Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dutch Armies of the 80 Years' War 1568-1658 (2) Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers, Bouko de Groot

Traces the impressive development of the Dutch cavalry, artillery and engineering forces during the long wars of independence from Spain, a period in which they went from being improvised forces created at great speed to highly professional specialists, with advanced artillery and increasingly proficient and well equipped engineers, allowing the Dutch to carry out ever more ambitious campaigns
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Dutch Armies of the 90 Years' War 1578-1648 (1) Infantry, Bouko de Groot

Traces the dramatic evolution of the Dutch armies during the long war of independence, which saw the Dutch Republic emerge as one of Europe's military superpowers. Part one focuses on the infantry, which began as unwieldy blocks of poorly trained men, and developed into a powerful, flexible force, using new tactics and centrally produced weapons
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The First Afghan War 1839-42 - Invasion, catastrophe and retreat, Richard MacRory

A deeply relevant look at the first, and most disastrous, British intervention in Afghanistan, which saw the complete destruction of a British army, in what was one of the worst setbacks ever suffered by the British army in India. Covers the reasons for the invasion, the initial campaign, the wasted year at Kabul, the build-up to disaster, the failed retreat and the army of retribution, which allowed the British to put a gloss on the war
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Douglas C-74 Globemaster I

The Douglas C-74 Globemaster I was developed during the Second World War to serve as a very long range transport, but didn't enter production until just after VJ Day, and only a handful were ever completed.

Douglas C-1

The Douglas C-1 was the first in the long family of Douglas transport aircraft and was a biplane transport capable of carrying eight passengers or 2,500lb of cargo.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

10cm Kanone 14

The 10cm Kanone 14 was a more complex version of the 10cm Kanone 04, designed to be useable as an anti-aircraft gun as well as a normal field cannon.

10cm Kanone 04

The 10cm Kanone 04 was the standard German 10cm gun at the start of the First World War, and only the second gun with a modern recoil system to enter service with the German army.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wartime Standard Ships, Nick Robins

Looks at the surprisingly wide variety of ‘standard’ ships produced by the Allied and Axis nations during the two World Wars, covering their design, construction, civil service and military usage. Could have done with more basic info for those without a background in maritime matters, but is otherwise an interesting look at the massive industrial effort that defeated both German U-boat campaigns and produced many of the ships used in the inter-war and post-war periods
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The Boat that Won the War - An Illustrated History of the Higgins LCVP, Charles C. Roberts, Jr

A detailed examination of the history, design and construction of the LCVP, the most famous landing craft of the Second World War and an iconic vessel that played a key part in amphibious operations from Normandy to the Pacific. Supported by a huge array of detailed plans, contemporary photographs and wartime documents, and written by someone who has restored one of these boats, this is a very valuable look at this key weapon
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Friends of the Wigwam - A Civil War Story, John William Huelskamp

An entertaining historical novel before and during the first half of the American Civil War, mainly tracing the lives of a small group of young friends, linked originally by their discovery of a hidden riverside cave, and following the group as it was split up by the war. Largely based on genuine historical events, with a mix of fictional and real characters
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Friday, December 22, 2017

USS Du Pont (DD-152/ AG-80)

USS Du Pont (DD-152/ AG-80) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy escort duty in the Atlantic theatre and that played a part in the sinking of U-172.

USS Biddle (DD-151/ AG-114)

USS Biddle (DD-151/ AG-114) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy duty in the Caribbean.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Peace of Bergerac (14 September 1577)

The peace of Bergerac (14 September 1577) ended the Sixth War of Religion, and was a slightly modified version of the unpopular Edict of Beaulieu, which had helped trigger the war in the first place.

Siege of Issoire (to 12 June 1577)

The siege of Issoire (to 12 June 1577) was the last significant military action during the Sixth War of Religion, and saw Henry III’s army capture a second one of the security towns offered to the Huguenots after the Fifth War of Religion.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Combat of San Cristobal (20-22 June 1812)

The combat of San Cristobal (20-22 June 1812) was a standoff between Wellington and Marmont that developed while the British were besieging the Salamanca forts, and that almost produced the major battle that Wellington was searching for.

Siege of the Salamanca Forts (17-26 June 1812)

The siege of the Salamanca Forts (17-26 June 1812) saw Wellington detach a division from his army to eliminate the last French strong points in Salamanca, while the rest of his army continued to face Marmont.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Battle of Suthul (late 110 BC or early 109 BC)

The battle of Suthul (late 110 BC or early 109 BC) was a Roman defeat early in the Jugurthine War and saw Aulus Postumious Albinus forced to surrender on harsh terms after his army was forced out of its camp in a night attack.

Battle of the Muthul River (109 BC)

The battle of the Muthul River (109 BC) was the first significant Roman victory during the Jugurthine War, but had little long term impact on the course of the war.

Occupation of Jacob Island (Ennuebing), 31 January 1944

The occupation of Jacob Island (Ennuebing), 31 January 1944, was one of two simultaneous landings that began the attack on Roi and Namur in Kwajelein Atoll (Operation Flintlock).

Occupation of Majuro (31 January 1944)

The occupation of Majuro (31 January 1944) was the first American invasion of pre-war Japanese territory, but was almost entirely unopposed (Operation Flintlock).

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Camden 1780 - The annihilation of Gates' Grand Army, David Smith

An account of the last successful British campaign of the American of Independence, which saw them capture Charleston and then destroy Gates' Grand Army at the battle of Camden, but which failed to have any long term success, as the Americans were soon able to regain control of everywhere outside the reach of a large British garrison, marking the failure of the 'Southern Strategy', and the beginning of the end for the British
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Chattanooga 1863 - Grant and Bragg in Central Tennessee, Mark Lardas

Good account of the entire Chattanooga campaign, from the moment the Confederates arrived outside the city, through the siege and on to the series of battles which saw Grant break the siege and force the Confederates back onto the defensive. Gives a clear picture of the contrast between the lethargy and dysfunctional command structure on the Confederate side and the energy levels injected into the battle by Grant and his trusted subordinates
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Hannibal's Oath - The Life and Wars of Rome's Greatest Enemy, John Prevas

A good biography of Hannibal, covering his entire life from childhood to his death in exile, as well as the famous period of dramatic victories over the Romans in Italy. Pitched at the interested non-historian, and covers his entire life story, from childhood, through the long years of war in Italy to exile in the east. Paints a picture of an obsessed figure whose career in Italy peaked early, and who spent most of his time in Italy unable to find a way to come to grips with the Romans, before continuing to campaign against them even when in exile
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Friday, December 15, 2017

Bell XV-15

The Bell XV-15 was a successful experiment into tilt-rotor technology and played a major role in the development of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey.

Bell XV-3 (Model 200)

The Bell XV-3 (Model 200) was a convertiplane powered by rotors mounted at the end of the wings, which could switch between vertical and horizontal positions. Although it was produced in the 1950s, it was also an early step in the development of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, which entered development in the 1980s and service in the 2000s.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

7.5cm Feldkanone 38

The 7.5cm Feldkanone 38 was a light field gun built by Krupp for Brazil and later adopted by the Wehrmacht.

7.5cm leichte Feldkanone 18

The 7.5cm leichte Feldkanone 18 was designed after the German Army decided to switch from 77mm to 75mm field guns, but it was more complex and had shorter range than the weapon it was designed to replace and was only produced in small numbers.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

USS Blakeley (DD-150)

USS Blakeley (DD-150) was a Wickes class destroyer that survived having her bows blown off by a U-boat, and spent most of the Second World War serving in the Caribbean.

USS Barney (DD-149)

USS Barney (DD-149) was a Wickes class destroyer that served on convoy escort duties in the Caribbean, as well as escorting two trans-Atlantic convoys.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Siege of La Charité (25 April-2 May 1577)

The siege of La Charité (25 April-2 May 1577) saw Henry III’s army seize one of the eight security towns granted to the Huguenots at the end of the Fifth War of Religion.

Sixth War of Religion (December 1576-September 1577)

The Sixth War of Religion (December 1576-September 1577) was a short conflict triggered by the terms that had ended the Fifth War, but it ended with stalemate and a similar peace settlement.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Combat of Maguilla (11 June 1812)

The combat of Maguilla (11 June 1812) was a minor French victory in a cavalry clash, fought during of one of Wellington's diversionary attacks during the Salamanca campaign.

Battle of Bornos (1 June 1812)

The battle of Bornos (1 June 1812) was a French victory over the Spanish army of General Ballasteros, who had been asked to carry out a diversion to prevent Soult from sending troops north to interfere with Wellington's advance on Salamanca.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hell on Wheels: The Men of the US Armored Forces, 1918 to the end of the 20th century, Christopher J. Anderson

A photographic study of the US armoured forces, covering the period from the armoured cars of 1917 to the end of the twentieth century. Focuses largely on the crews and their equipment, showing how that has evolved over the years. Includes coverage of both World Wars, Korea and the first Gulf War, as well as peace time operations
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Fixer & Fighter - The Life of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, 1170-1243, Brian Harwood

Follows the turbulent career of one of the key figures during the reign of King John and Henry III, and one of the victors in the war that established the infant Henry on the throne after the death of his father. A self made man, Hubert suffered several periods of out favour, and even had to go on the run for a period late in his career, despite his constant support for John and Henry
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Pyrrhus of Epirus, Jeff Champion

A useful biography of one of the more adventurous leaders of the generation that followed Alexander the Great, twice king of Macedon, twice king of Epirus, once king of Sicily and one of Rome's most dangerous early opponents, even if his victories did come at such a cost that his name has become associated with costly self defeating victories. Does a good job of tracing his career through the often fragmentary sources, and of placing him in the context of his times
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Friday, December 08, 2017

Jugurthine War (111-104 BC)

The Jugurthine War (111-104 BC) was a prolonged struggle between Rome and her former ally of Numidia that played a part in the rise of Marius and eventually ended with a Roman victory.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Occupation of Bennett Island

The occupation of Bennett Island saw the Americans occupy one of the smaller islands in Kwajalein Atoll after overcoming unexpected Japanese resistance

Occupation of Burton Island (3-4 February 1944)

The occupation of Burton Island (3-4 February 1944) was one of a series of operations that saw the Americans capture the defended islands in Kwajalein Atoll, and saw them occupy the next major island to the north of Kwajalein island.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Bell X-22

The Bell X-22 was an experimental aircraft designed to test out the potential of a ducted-fan powered VTOL aircraft.

Bell Model 65 ATV

The Bell Model 65 ATV was an experimental jet powered VTOL aircraft that successfully hovered and flew level, but never converted between the two.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

7.5cm Feldkanone 16 nA

The 7.5cm Feldkanone 16 nA was an inter-war redesign of the First World War 7.7cm FK 16, modifying it to use the new standard 75mm ammunition.

Heavy 30.5cm Kartaune L/30/ 30.5cm Beta-M-Gerät howitzer

The Heavy 30.5cm Kartaune L/30/ 30.5cm Beta-M-Gerät howitzer was produced in an attempt to get more use out of the M-Gerät carriage by fitting a longer barrelled but smaller calibre barrel.

Monday, December 04, 2017

USS Breckinridge (DD-148/ AG-112)

USS Breckinridge (DD-148/ AG-112) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy escort and anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic.

USS Roper (DD-147/ APD-20)

USS Roper (DD-147/ APD-20) was a Wickes class destroyer that sank U-85, before becoming a fast transport that served in the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Railway Guns – British and German Guns at War, John Goodwin

After a rather rushed introduction, really gets into its stride when discussing British railway guns in the south-east during the Second World War, looking at the demands they made on the rail network, how the individual guns were operated, where they were located, what their targets were, and many of the occasions on which they fired. Supported throughout by an impressive collection of photographs covering the full range of the topic
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Tiger Tank, Marcus Cowper

A fairly short, well balanced account of the Tiger I and Tiger II, looking at their development, technical descriptions and examples from their combat record, as well as looking at some of their main opponents - the Firefly and IS-2. Focuses on a selected series of individual tank battles to examine the combat performance of the Tiger - Tiger I vs Sherman Firefly in the west and Tiger II vs IS-2 in the east
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The Forgotten War Against Napoleon - Conflict in the Mediterranean 1793-1815, Gareth Glover

Covers the full range of British commitments in the Mediterranean theatre, from the early siege of Toulon through to the brief campaigns that accompanied Napoleon's return from exile in 1815. A well researched and readable account of more than twenty years of warfare that covered the full length of the Mediterranean, making it clear just how significant the British commitment was in this theatre
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Friday, December 01, 2017

Combat of Almaraz (18 May 1812)

The combat of Almaraz (18 May 1812) saw a detached British army under General Rowland Hill destroy a key French bridge over the River Tagus, making it much harder for Marmont and Soult to help each other.

Combat of Guarda (14 April 1812)

The combat of Guarda (14 April 1812) was Marmont's only significant success during his belated attempt to help the defenders of Badajoz, and came eight days after the city had fallen to Wellington's men.