Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Prince Friedrich Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1757-1844)

Prince Friedrich Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1757-1844) was an Austrian general who was undefeated in independent command, with a reputation for leading his men from the front.

Johann Conrad (Freidrich), Freiherr von Hotze (1739-99)

Johann Conrad (Freidrich), Freiherr von Hotze (1739-99) was a Swiss officer who served in the Württemburg, Russian and Austrian armies, and who was killed while campaigning in Switzerland in the Austrian service.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Battle and siege of Spoletium (82 BC)

The battle and siege of Spoletium (82 BC) was a partial success for Pompey, then serving under Sulla, against Carrinas, one of the lieutenants of the consul Carbo.

First battle of Clusium (82 BC)

The first battle of Clusium (82 BC) was an inconclusive battle between Sulla and Carbo, fought eighty miles to the north of Rome

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Atlanta 1864 - Sherman Marches South, James Donnell

Covers one of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War, the start of Sherman's devastating march across the heart of the Confederacy, both a crucial military victory and a key element in Lincoln's re-election as President. A good text, supported by a well chosen series of maps, starting with one that covers the opening of the campaign and gives an overview of the entire campaign area, and moving on to maps for each series of battles that give a really good idea of Sherman's fluid movements
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merican Knights - The Untold Story of the Men of the Legendary 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Victor Failmezger

Tells the story of the first Tank Destroyer battalion to be formed in the US army, from its original creation in the United States, through its wartime service in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. Heavily based on the recollections of a core group of members of the battalion (all of whom survived), this gives us an insiders view of the use of one of the more controversial weapons in the US armoury during the Second World War
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The Gestapo - A History of Hitler's Secret Police, 1933-45, Rupert Butler

 More of a general history of Nazi repression than a focused study of the Gestapo, with a tendency to focus on the major events - the Röhn Purge, the career of Heydrich, the attempts to assassinate Hitler and not on the day-to-day activities of the Gestapo. Good on the areas it covers, and does include a fair amount of material on the Gestapo, but could have been better focused
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bell P-63 Kingcobra

The Bell P-63 Kingcobra closely resembled the P-39 Airacobra, but was actually a new aircraft and not simply a modified P-39. Very few were used by the US, but a large number did serve in the Soviet Union.

Bell FM-1 Airacuda

The Bell FM-1 Airacuda was a twin engined escort fighter developed to operate with the B-17, but that never entered service due to its poor performance and limited manoeuvrability.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10.5cm leFH 18M

The 10.5cm leFH 18M was a modified version of the leFH 18 that was given a muzzle brake to reduce the recoil forces.

10.5cm leFH 18

The 10.5cm leFH 18 was the first in a large family of light howitzers that provided the standard divisional artillery guns for the German Army during the Second World War.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

USS Kennison (DD-138/ AG-83)

USS Kennison (DD-138/ AG-83) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated as a coastal escort off Califonia from 1941-44 and then as a target ship for the rest of the war.

USS Kilty (DD-137/ APD-15)

USS Kilty (DD-137/ APD-15) was a Wickes class destroyer that served as a fast transport in the Pacific in 1943-45, serving in the Solomons, along New Guinea and in the Philippines.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 2: Weapons of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

Looks at an impressively wide range of the weapons used by the Japanese military during the Second World War, covering personal weapons such as machine guns or grenades, the full range of artillery and anti-aircraft guns, aircraft detection systems, tanks, mines, chemical weapons (including smoke generators) and even river crossing equipment. A very useful reference work on the equipment of the Japanese armed forces, providing both a narrative account of developments in a particular area and weapon by weapon technical details
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Military Technology of the First World War - Development, Use and Consequences, Wolfgang Fleischer

Focuses on the technology used by the German army, with a particular focus on those weapons that played a direct part in the battles on the Western Front - machine guns, flame throwers, gas, artillery, mortars and tanks. Very useful to have a book written from the German point of view. Well illustrated, and the text is supported by a good selection of eyewitness accounts describing the impact of the new technology as seen by those who were using it
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The Thinking Man's Soldier - The Life and Career of General Sir Henry Brackenbury, 1837-1914, Christopher Brice

A biography of a Victorian soldier who made his name away from the front line, and in particular as head of the Intelligence Department and the successful head of the Ordnance Department during the Boer War, where the army had to cope with demands on a unprecedented scale. An interesting view of life in the British Army as it changed from the disastrously amateurish force of the Crimean War into the increasingly professional force that fought the First World War
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Friday, October 20, 2017

Battle of Saturnia (83 BC)

The battle of Saturnia (83 BC) was a minor victory for Sulla's forces over a detached part of Carbo's army during a period of campaigning in the area around Clusium (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Battle of the Glanis River (83 BC)

The battle of the Glanis River (83 BC) saw Sulla defeat a force of Celtiberian cavalry that had been sent to help the Consuls in their attempt to resist his invasion of Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Consolidated B-36 Peacekeeper

The Consolidated B-36 Peacekeeper was developed in response to the early German victories in 1939-40, but development was slow, and it ended up being Strategic Air Command's main long range bomber during the 1950s.

Consolidated B-32 Dominator

The Consolidated B-32 Dominator was produced to the same specifications as the B-29 Superfortress, but took far longer to develop and was only ever produced in small numbers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10.5cm leFH 16 (light field howitzer)

The 10.5cm leFH 16 (light field howitzer) was a Rheinmetall design that became the main German field howitzer during the second half of the First World War, and remained in service until 1945.

10.5cm leFH 98/09 (light field howitzer)

The 10.5cm leFH 98/09 (light field howitzer) was the main German field howitzer at the start of the First World War, and was a modified version of an earlier weapon.

Monday, October 16, 2017

USS Boggs (DD-136/ DMS-3)

USS Boggs (DD-136/ DMS-3) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the interwar years on experimental duties, before serving as a minesweeper in the Pacific from 1940 to 1944.

USS Tillman (DD-135)/ HMS Wells

USS Tillman (DD-135)/ HMS Wells was a Wickes class destroyer that saw active service with the Royal Navy, performing convoy escort duties.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ancient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 2: On the Cusp of Empire - The Romans unify Italy

 Focuses on the period which saw Rome defeat its last enemies in peninsular Italy, the first stage on the road to Empire. An interesting focus on the Greeks of southern Italy, Rome's last major enemies , and a fascinating look at two newly discovered frescos recovered from grave robbers by the Italian police that give us images of some of Rome's enemies in this period.
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Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 6: Ancient Rome in Turmoil - The Year of the Four Emperors

 Looks at one of the more familiar topics in Roman history, the turmoil that ended the reign of Nero and with it the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and ended the period of internal peace first established by Augustus. Mainly focuses on topics that are away from the main events of the civil wars, demonstrating just how widespread an impact the year of crisis had across the Empire.
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Ancient Warfare Vol IX, Issue 6: A Feast for Dogs & Crows - The Aftermath of Battle

 An unusual theme, focusing on the aftermath of war, looking at the fate of the victors and vanquished, the return home and the celebrations of victory as well as the fate of the dead or the captive. Interesting to follow on from where most accounts of battles end,  . Also looks at the real role of the Praetorian Guard, and the nature of the cuneus in Roman fighting.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Battle of Sena Gallica (82 BC)

The battle of Sena Gallica (82 BC) saw Pompey defeat one of the consul Carbo's armies near a small port on the Adriatic, helping to strengthen Sulla's position in the north of Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Siege of Praeneste (82 BC)

The siege of Praeneste (82 BC) saw the consul Marius the Younger besieged in the city for most of the campaign of 82 BC, from his defeat at the battle of Sacriportus in the spring, to his suicide as the city surrendered to Sulla (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Consolidated C-109

The Consolidated C-109 was a fuel tanker produced from the B-24 Liberator and mainly used on the 'hump' between India and China.

Consolidated XC-99

The Consolidated XC-99 was a transport aircraft based on the massive B-36 bomber, but only a single example was ever completed.The Consolidated XC-99 was a transport aircraft based on the massive B-36 bomber, but only a single example was ever completed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

USS Crowninshield (DD-134)

USS Crowninshield (DD-134) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Neutrality Patrol and then on convoy escort duties with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

USS Hale (DD-133)

USS Hale (DD-133) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Neutrality Patrol before becoming HMS Caldwell and carrying out convoy escort duties for the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Battle of Hanau (30-31 October 1813)

The battle of Hanau (30-31 October 1813) was an  unsuccessful attempt to interfere with the French retreat after Leizpig, carried out by a Austro-Bavarian army that had moved up from southern Germany.

Combat of Kosen (20 October 1813)

The combat of Kosen (20 October 1813) was a rearguard action during the French retreat from Leipzig.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Operation Dragoon - The Invasion of the South of France, 15 August 1944, Andrew Stewart

A reprint of the Naval Staff History of Operation Dragoon, one of a series of studies written during and immediately after the war. Focuses very much on the naval aspects of the campaign, and on the initial battles close to the coast. Gives a clear picture of just how sizable a naval effort was involved in the invasion, both before, during and after the beach landings, including a major minesweeping effort, convoy escorts, the invasion fleet itself, air support and gun support for the coastal battles.
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Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 1: Tactical Organization of Imperial Japanese Army & Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

A valuable reference book that provides a well researched and detailed guide to the often confusing ground forces of the Japanese army and navy, tracing the creation, career and end of every significant unit, as well as their many changes in organisation, and the actual troops allocated to these units (often very different to the official structure). Includes some interesting material on how the army in particular reacted to the changing war situation, but is mainly intended as a reference work
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Sumter After the First Shots, Derek Smith

Looks at the famous Confederate siege of Fort Sumter and the much longer, but also less successful Union siege, part of a wider, and equally unsuccessful attack on Charleston. Demonstrates the limits of artillery before the introduction of high explosive shells, and the perils of having a split command, which hamstrung the Union campaign at key moments. A useful account of the longest siege of the American Civil War, which only ended when Sherman's advancing army forced the Confederates were evacuate Charleston
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