Friday, March 24, 2017

Heavy Tank T34

The Heavy Tank T34 was based on the Heavy Tank T29 and Heavy Tank T30, and was armed with a modified 120mm anti-aircraft gun. It didn’t enter production, but the post-war Heavy Tank M103 was largely based on it.

Heavy Tank T32

The Heavy Tank T32 was an attempt to quickly produce a heavy tank based on the T26E3 version of the Pershing, and was the first of several contemporary designs for heavy tanks to reach the pilot stage.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

USS McKean (DD-90/ APD-5)

USS McKean (DD-90/ APD-5) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that served in the Solomon Islands campaign of the Second World War as a fast transport, before being sunk off Bougainville.

USS Ringgold (DD-89)

USS Ringgold (DD-89) was a Wickes class destroyer that was commissioned too late to see service in the First World War, but that served with the Royal Navy in the Second World War as HMS Newark.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Battle of Bautzen (20-21 May 1813)

The battle of Bautzen (20-21 May 1813) was the second major battle of the Spring Campaign of 1813, and saw Napoleon come close to winning the descisive victory he needed to knock at least one of his opponents out of the war.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Battle of Coroneia (c.352)

The battle of Coroneia (c.352) was the second in a series of defeats suffered by the Phocian leader Phayllus during a failed invasion of Boeotia (Third Sacred War).

Battle of Abae (c.352 BC)

The battle of Abae (c.352 BC) was one of a series of setbacks suffered by the Phocian leader Phayllus, and came after a unsuccessful invasion of Boeotia and a failure to capture the city of Naryx (Third Sacred War).

Monday, March 20, 2017

Battle of Gazala (26 May-14 June 1942)

The battle of Gazala (26 May-14 June 1942) was Rommel's most impressive victory in North Africa, and saw him force the British to abandon the defences of the Gazala Line and retreat back towards the Egyptian frontier. In the aftermath of the battle he was also able to capture Tobruk, which had held out for eight months in 1941, but fell after the first serious attack in 1942.

Rommel's Second Offensive (21 January-4 February 1942)

Rommel's Second Offensive (21 January-4 February 1942) was an unexpected counterattack that forced the British to retreat 350 miles, from the western border of Cyrenaica to the Gazala Line, and set the scene for Rommel's advance into Egypt later in the year

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Palestine - the Ottoman Campaigns of 1914-1918, Edward J. Erickson.

Palestine - the Ottoman Campaigns of 1914-1918, Edward J. Erickson. 
An interesting study of the Ottoman side of the Palestinian campaigns of 1915-1918, looking at the failed Ottoman attacks on the Suez canal, the first two unsuccessful British attacks on Gaza and Allenby's successful campaign that eventually forced the Ottomans to sue for peace. A useful book somewhat marred by the author's approach to the Armenian Genocide, which is briefly discussed as if it was a valid response to a major security threat instead of a deliberate genocide ordered from above.
[read full review]

Special Operations South-East Asia 1942-1945: Minerva, Baldhead and Longshanks/ Creek, David Miller.

Special Operations South-East Asia 1942-1945: Minerva, Baldhead and Longshanks/ Creek, David Miller. 
 Focuses on three Special Forces operations in South East Asia – a failed attempt to gather intelligence on Sumatra, a series of similar but successful operations on the Andaman Islands and a 'cutting out' operation conducted in the Portuguese enclave of Goa. These were three very different operations, and perhaps the only thing they have in common is that they are now hardly remembered, so this is a useful study of the three.
[read full review]

T-64 Battle Tank - The Cold War's Most Secret Tank, Steven J. Zaloga.

T-64 Battle Tank - The Cold War's Most Secret Tank, Steven J. Zaloga. 
A brief history of a tank that was too advanced for its own good, combining advanced features that meant it couldn't be exported with an unreliable engine that made it unsuited for service with the Red Army for many years after it first appeared. The limited service life of the T-64 allows the author to focus on the complex and troubled development process, giving us an interesting picture of the way tank development worked in the Soviet Union
[read full review]

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Combat of Konigswartha (19 May 1813)

The combat of Konigswartha (19 May 1813) took place on the day before the battle of Bautzen (20-21 May 1813) and saw the French defeat an Allied force that had been sent out to attack Lauriston's corps (War of Liberation).

Combat of Colditz (5 May 1813)

The combat of Colditz (5 May 1813) was a rearguard action during the Allied retreat after their defeat at Lutzen three days earlier.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fourth Sacred War or Amphissean War (339-339 BC)

The Fourth Sacred War or Amphissean War (339-339 BC) was the final step in Philip II of Macedon's rise to a position of dominance in Greece, and ended with the defeat of the joint Athenian and Theban army at the battle of Chaeronea.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45, Bruce Oliver Newsome

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45, Bruce Oliver Newsome. 
Looks at the most numerous British tank of the Second World War, but one that only saw limited combat service, mainly in North Africa. Notable for the amount of information packed into a series of tables, including specifications and identifying features of the many versions of the Valentine, as well as the interesting material on the interior of the tank, how it was driven, and on the many special variants such as the Archer self -propelled gun, which carried its main gun pointing backwards.
 [read full review]

Railway Guns of World War II, Steven J. Zaloga.

Railway Guns of World War II, Steven J. Zaloga. 
Although the heyday of the railway gun came during the First World War, the most famous example of the type, the massive German 80cm K(E) guns 'Dora' and 'Gustav', came from the Second World War. In reality these were useless vanity projects, but as this book makes clear every major combatant used a least a handful of railway guns during the Second World War. This book combines  brief technical descriptions of each country's railway guns with a look at their combat service
[read full review]

Picket's Charge at Gettysburg, James A. Hessler and Wayne E. Motts.

Picket's Charge at Gettysburg, James A. Hessler and Wayne E. Motts. 
An excellent guide to the most famous Confederate attack on the third day at Gettysburg, combining four battlefield trails with a detailed examination of the attack itself, covering the impact of the terrain on both sides, the performance of individual units and commanders, and many of the controversies that have dogged the subject ever since the fighting stopped. The trails appear to make sense, but for me the main value of the book is its account of the Confederate attack, supported by a detailed knowledge of the landscape over which it took place
[read full review]

Friday, March 10, 2017

Operation Crusader (18 November-20 December 1941)

Operation Crusader (18 November-20 December 1941) was Rommel's first defeat in North Africa, and was a confused battle, won in part by a combination of Auchinleck's determination and Rommel's rash 'dash to the wire'.

Operation Battleaxe (15-17 June 1941)

Operation Battleaxe (15-17 June 1941) was an unsuccessful British offensive in North Africa, carried out in an attempt to raise the siege of Tobruk

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Supermarine Scylla

The Supermarine Scylla was a flying boat originally designed to replace the Felixstowe F.5, but that was eventually used for taxing trials only.

Supermarine Scarab

The Supermarine Scarab was an amphibian reconnaissance and bombing aircraft, produced in 1924 for the Spanish Navy.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Heavy Tank M45

The Heavy Tank M45 was a howitzer armed version of the M26 Pershing tank, originally developed as the T26E2

Heavy Tank M6 (Heavy Tank T1)

The Heavy Tank M6 (Heavy Tank T1) was the first American heavy tank to come close to production during the Second World War, but was rejected by the Armored Force and only a handful were ever completed.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

USS Stevens (DD-86)

USS Stevens (DD-86) was a Wickes class destroyer that served from Queenstown during the First World War, and supported the first successful transatlantic flight in 1919.

USS Colhoun (DD-85/ APD-2)

USS Colhoun (DD-85/ APD-2) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw limited service towards the end of the First World War, and was later converted into a fast transport and sunk in a Japanese air attack off Guadalcanal.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Battle of Lützen (2 May 1813)

The battle of Lützen (2 May 1813) was Napoleon's first victory during the Spring campaign of 1813 (War of Liberation), but he was unable to take full advantage of his victory, and the Prussians and Russians were able to escape east with their armies largely intact.

Action of Poserna (1 May 1813)

The action of Poserna (1 May 1813) was a French victory on the road to Lützen, but one that cost them Marshal Bessières, who was killed by a cannon shot during the battle.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Normandy June 1944: The Night of Liberation, Gilles Vallée and Christophe Esquerré. 
A heavily illustrated book that follows one stick of paratroops from the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment as they dropped behind Utah Beach on D-Day. A splendid educational publication that doesn't pull its punches, following a stick that saw its leader killed before reaching the ground, suffered heavy losses and fell into German hands almost immediately. Also follows the aircraft that flew them to Normandy and its aircrew.
[read full review]
Hitler's Nordic Ally? Finland and the Total War 1939-1945, Claes Johansen. 
A wide ranging examination of Finland's two wars with the Soviet Union, the period leading up to the Winter War, the uneasy peace, and the aftermath of the wars, looking at the political debate within Finland, the fighting, and the wider impact of the war in the other Nordic countries. Especially interesting for the light it shines on the rather murky period between the two wars, where parts of the Finnish government entered into a de-facto alliance with Germany without the authority to do so, and on the varying Soviet aims.
[read full review]

The Hindenburg Line, Patrick Osborn & Marc Romanych.

The Hindenburg Line, Patrick Osborn & Marc Romanych. 
A good study of the full network of defences generally known in English as the Hindenburg Line, and which spread from the Channel coast to the St. Mihiel salient east of Verdun. Looks at the original purpose behind their construction, the actual shape they took on the ground, and how they performed under attack. Very useful to have a book that focuses on the entire length of this key German fortification
[read full review]

Friday, March 03, 2017

Battle of the Cephisus River (c.352)

The battle of the Cephisus River (c.352) was the second in a series of defeats suffered by the Phocian leader Phayllus during a failed invasion of Boeotia (Third Sacred War).

Battle of Orchomenus (c.352 BC)

The battle of Orchomenus (c.352 BC) was the first in a series of defeats suffered by the Phocian leader Phayllus during a failed invasion of Boeotia (Third Sacred War).

Thursday, March 02, 2017

North African Campaign (1940-1943)

The North African Campaign (1940-1943) produced some of the British army's most iconic moments of the Second World War, and the Allied and Axis armies repeated advance back and forward across Libya, before the Allied victories of El Alamein and Operation Torch forced the Axis forces back into an increasingly small bridgehead in Tunisia.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Boulton Paul P.104

The Boulton Paul P.104 was a design for a pusher naval fighter produced in response to Specification N.7/43.

Boulton Paul P.103

The Boulton Paul P.103 was a design for a naval fighter based on the Defiant turret fighter.