Saturday, August 19, 2017

Secret Days - Code Breaking in Bletchley Park, Asa Briggs

The wartime memoirs of Lord Asa Briggs, one of post-war Britain's most distinguished historians, recounting his experiences at Bletchley Park, where he worked in Hut Six, playing a part in decoding the Enigma codes. A valuable mix of personal recollections of Bletchley Park and wider explanations of the role and background of Brigg's colleagues, and the links between BP and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
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Heinkel He 111 - The Early Years - Fall of France, Battle of Britain and the Blitz, Chris Goss

 A photographic history of the early career of the Heinkel He 111, tracing its development, early use in Spain, and the first campaigns of the Second World War, to the end of the Blitz. Provides more context to the pictures than is normally the case, often tracing mission that led to the picture, and the fate of each aircraft's crews, and thus greatly increasing the value of the book
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The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest & Chris McNab

Somewhat lacking on coverage of the Vietnamese view of the war, but excellent on the American side of the war, explaining not only what the US did, but why, and why so much of it went wrong. Good coverage of the wider war in South East Asia, looking at how the conflict affected Laos and Cambodia as well as the US Home Front. A good selection of pictures, but again almost entirely from the US side
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956)

Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956) was the chief of the Italian defence staff from 1925 to 1940 and Prime Minister of Italy after the fall of Mussolini, playing a major role in moving Italy from the Axis to Allied camps.

Vittorio Ambrosio (1879-1958)

Vittorio Ambrosio (1879-1958) was an Italian general who was the last chief of the general staff before the fall of Mussolini in 1943.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Consolidated PT-12/ BT-7

The Consolidated PT-12/ BT-7 was an improved version of the PT-1/ PT-3/ NY family of trainers, but only ten were ordered.

Consolidated PT-11/ BT-6

The Consolidated PT-11/ BT-6 was an improved version of the PT-3 trainer, but was only produced in small numbers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tiger (P)/ VK 45.01(P)/ Typ 101

The Tiger (P)/ VK 45.01(P)/ Typ 101 was Porsche's design for the Panzer VI Tiger, but the drive train and suspension were unreliable, and the project was abandoned with only ten at most completed as gun tanks.

VK 30.01 (P) 'Leopard'/ Typ 100

The VK 30.01 (P) 'Leopard'/ Typ 100 was Porsche's first tank design, and was the basis for the later Porsche Tiger.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Combat of Flemmingen (9 October 1813)

The combat of Flemmingen (9 October 1813) was part of a failed Allied attempt to prevent Marshal Augereau's IX Corps from reaching Leipzig.

Siege of Torgau (8 October 1813-10 January 1814)

The siege of Torgau (8 October 1813-10 January 1814) was one of a series of sieges that saw isolated French garrisons across Germany and Poland slowly forced to surrender in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig (16-19 October 1813).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Siege of Bovianum (89 BC)

The siege of Bovianum (89 BC) was Sulla's last victory during his campaign of 89 BC, and saw him capture a Samnite town that was the site of the common council of the Italian rebels.

Siege of Aeclanum (89 BC)

The siege of Aeclanum (89 BC) saw Sulla force the surrender of the Hirpini after capturing their chief town (Social War)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Instrument of War - The German Army 1914-18, Dennis Showalter

Looks at the nature of the German Army during the First World War, and how that impacted on its ability to fight the sort of war it ended up having to cope with after the initial attempt to knock the French out of the war in the first campaign failed. An interesting examination of the German Army, and also valuable for giving us the German view of the major battles on the Western Front
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The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood, Stephen M. Hood

A selection of the private papers of General John Bell Hood, notorious as the general who lost Atlanta and then destroyed his army during an invasion of Tennessee. These papers were believed to be lost for many years, but were actually in the hands of some of Hood's descendents. The documents selected here cover a wide range of topics, from Hood's serious injuries to his time in command and on to his post-war life
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Panzer Operations: Germany's Panzer Group 3 during the Invasion of Russia, 1941, Hermann Hoth

 Provides us with the views of one of the senior German tank commanders of the crucial fighting in 1941 on the Eastern Front, the commander of the 3rd Panzer Group. Looks at the problems faced by the Germans during this first campaign, and how some of them were overcome. Makes it clear that there were periods of very hard fighting throughout this campaign, although perhaps overstates the German difficulties. Also gives an idea of the problems caused by a lack of a clear campaign aim after the initial battles. A valuable primary source for this campaign, although as with virtually all such accounts the biases of the author have to be taken into account
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

VK 36.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI

The VK 36.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI was the direct precursor to the Henschel version of the Tiger I, but was let down by the choice of a weapon that required scarce tungsten.

VK 30.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI

The VK 30.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI was an early stage in the development of the Tiger tank, and the first to use interleaved road wheels.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18)

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last week of the First World War and then as a fast minelayer during the Pacific campaigns of the Second World War.

USS Montgomery (DD-121/ DM-17)

USS Montgomery (DD-121/ DM-17) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service as the last few months of the First World War and as a fast mine layer during the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Battle of Wartenburg (3 October 1813)

The battle of Wartenburg (3 October 1813) was a key battle in the campaign that led to Leipzig, and saw Bl├╝cher's Army of Silesia gain a firm foothold on the left bank of the Elbe, putting all three of the main Allied armies on the same side of the river.

Treaty of Ried (8 October 1813)

The treaty of Ried (8 October 1813) saw the Kingdom of Bavaria abandon its long-standing support for France and join the Sixth Coalition

Monday, August 07, 2017

Siege of Pompeii (89 BC)

The siege of Pompeii (89 BC) saw a Roman army under Sulla recapture the city, after it fell into the hands of the Italian rebels in the previous year (Social War).

Battle of Nola (Summer, 89 BC)

The battle of Nola (Summer, 89 BC) was a series of encounters in which Sulla defeated a Samnite attempt to raise his sieges of Herculaneum and Pompeii (Social War).

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Defending India: The Foreign Policy of Governor-General Lord Minto, 1807-1813, Amita Das and Aditya Das

Focuses on the period between 1807 and 1813, which began with the British worried about a possible French invasion of India via Persia, and ended with the conquests of Mauritius and Java, largely eliminating European threats to the British position in India. Also looks at how the perceived external threat from the French influenced Lord Minto's policy towards the other Indian powers and Persia
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The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France 1917-1921, Samantha Philo-Gill

A history at the WAAC, formed in a successful attempt to use women's labour to release category A men for service at the front line. Traces the development of the corps from the original debates of 1916 to its formation in 1917 and service in 1917-18. Organised by topic, and covers recruitment, daily life, the work itself and the risks of the being in the Corps, as well as the slow post-war disbandment of the corps
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Mad for Glory - A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812, Robert Booth

Looks at the voyage of Captain David Porter of the US Navy into the Pacific, and his eventual defeat at the hands of Captain James Hillyar of the Royal Navy in the battle of Valparaiso, an isolated naval action on the coast of Chile, that came at the end of a remarkable but controversial voyage. Includes fascinating material on the Chilean revolution, Porter's adventurous if rather misguided voyage across the Pacific, the battle itself and its aftermath
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Friday, August 04, 2017

Consolidated XN3Y

The Consolidated XN3Y was a single example of the NY training aircraft powered by a 200-220hp Wright R-790-A engine

Consolidated NY

The Consolidated NY was a Naval version of the Consolidated PT-1 trainer, and was produced in significant numbers in the mid 1920s.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Durchbruchswagen 2

The Durchbruchswagen 2 was the second prototype of a 30 ton break-through tank that was an early stage in the development of  the Panzer VI Tiger.

Durchbruchswagen 1

The Durchbruchswagen 1 was the first in a series of heavy tank designs that ended with the Panzer VI Tiger, and was produced after several years of discussion within the German military establishment.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22)

USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last month of the First World War and that was briefly selected for use as a mobile target vessel before being scrapped under the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

USS Lamberton (DD-119/ AG-21/ DMS-2)

USS Lamberton (DD-119/ AG-21/ DMS-2) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw brief service in the last weeks of the First World War, was used as an auxiliary in the interwar period, and then as a fast minesweeper for most of the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Buildup to the battle of Leipzig (25 September-15 October 1813)

The buildup to the battle of Leipzig (25 September-15 October 1813) saw the failure of Napoleon's last attempts to defeat one of his opponents in isolation, and ended with him forced to fight the united armies of his Russian, Prussian, Austrian and other enemies.