Tuesday, September 18, 2018

USS Southard (DD-207/ DMS-10)

USS Southard (DD-207/ DMS-10) was a Clemson class destroyer that fought at Guadalacanal, Bougaunville, the Palaus, the Philippines and Okinawa, before being damaged beyond repair by typhoons after the end of the war.

USS Chandler (DD-206/ DMS-9)

USS Chandler (DD-206/ DMS-9) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as a fast mine sweeper during the American invasions of the later stages of the Pacific War.

Monday, September 17, 2018

476th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 476th Fighter Group (USAAF) was briefly activated with no squadrons in China, before being activated for a second time as a home based training unit.

475th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 475th Fighter Group (USAAF) was created in Australia in 1943, and supported the Allied advance across New Guinea and into the Philippines.

474th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 474th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, taking part in the Allied invasion of Europe and the advance across north-western Europe into Germany.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Napoleon and the Archduke Charles - A History of the Franco-Austrian Campaign in the valley of the Danube 1809, F. Loraine Petre

Covers Napoleon’s final victorious campaign, the hard fought victory over Austria that also saw him suffer his first significant battlefield defeat at Aspern-Essling, as well as the eventual victory at Wagram. Traces the failures and successes of both senior commanders, and the early signs of a reduction in the quality of the French army. A good account despite being over a century old
(Read Full Review)

Panzer I & II Blueprint for Blitzkrieg 1933-1941, Robert Jackson

A well illustrated history of the Panzer I and Panzer II, the most numerous German tanks of the early Blitzkrieg victories, and still present in very large numbers at the start of Operation Barbarossa, by which time they were utterly outclassed. Covers their development, technical specifications, variants and modified vehicles using the same chassis and their combat record, all supported by a good selection of photographs and plans
(Read Full Review)

Conquerors of the Roman Empire: The Goths, Simon Macdowall

Looks at the long period of interaction between the various Gothic tribes and the Roman Empire, as well as the post-Roman history of the two main Gothic kingdoms in Italy and Spain. Produces a more complex picture than the normal image of the Goths as simply rampaging destroyers of the Empire, showing that Rome and the Goths were allies almost as often as enemies, and looking at the brief attempt to produce a combined Roman and Gothic society in Italy
(Read Full Review)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Siege of San Sebastian (28 June-31 August 1813)

The siege of San Sebastian (28 June-31 August 1813) saw Wellington successfully capture the last French stronghold on the northern coast of Spain, although after a longer siege than had been originally expected.

Siege of Fort San Felipe de Balaguer (4-7 June 1813)

The siege of Fort San Felipe de Balaguer (4-7 June 1813) was the one success during Murray’s disastrous attempt to capture Tarragona in the summer of 1813, and saw a small Anglo-Spanish force capture a fort that blocked the best road from Tortosa to Tarragona, making it harder for Marshal Suchet to intervene in the siege.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Battle of Zela (May 47 BC)

The battle of Zela (May 47 BC) saw Caesar defeat Pharnaces, king of the Cimmerian Bosporus, so quickly that it inspired his most famous quote, ‘Veni, vidi, vici’, or ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’.

Battle of Nicopolis (48 BC)

The battle of Nicopolis (48 BC) saw Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates the Great of Pontus, defeat a Roman army that was attempting to stop him taking advantage of Caesar’s absence in Egypt to regain control part of his father’s old Empire.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Third battle of Cassino (15-22 March 1944)

The third battle of Cassino (15-22 March 1944) was the last attack at Cassino to be carried out by the US Fifth Army alone, but the attack failed after a week of bitter fighting.

Second battle of Cassino (15-18 February 1944)

The second battle of Cassino (15-18 February 1944) was the most controversial of the four battles, and saw Allied bombers destroy the ancient Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino without any military benefit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lockheed C-140

The Lockheed C-140 was the designation given to a small number of Lockheed Jetstars that were ordered as cargo aircraft, after the original military requirement for the aircraft had been cancelled.

Lockheed P2V (P-2) Neptune

The Lockheed P2V (P-2) Neptune was a very successful post-war maritime patrol bomber that was developed during the Second World War, but didn’t enter service until after the war was over.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ordnance, BL converted, 15-pounder field gun

The Ordnance, BL converted, 15-pounder field gun was a modified version of a pre-Boer War weapon that was given a more modern recoil system and used to equip the Territorial Army before the First World War.

Ordnance jointed BL 10-pounder

The Ordnance jointed BL 10-pounder was the standard British mountain gun at the start of the First World  War, but was rapidly replaced by the more modern BL 2.75in Mountain Gun.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Professor Porsche’s Wars, Karl Ludvigsen

A study of the military aspects of Fredinand Porsche’s career, spanning a wide range of activities from First World War artillery tractors to the vast Maus tank, and including his most successful military design, the Beetle based Kubelwagen. A well balanced account of a long and active career that actually produced a surprisingly small number of militarily significant products.
(Read Full Review)

German Military Vehicles of World War II, Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage

Main focus is on soft skinned, unarmed vehicles - trucks, cars, bikes etc, but also covers half tracks and armoured cars. For me the soft skinned section is a useful reference, if a bit dry, while the half track and armoured car section is more interesting, covering some of the more famous combat vehicles of the Second World War as well as their less successful contemporaries
(Read Full Review)

M50 Ontos and M56 Scorpion 1956-70 - US Tank Destroyers of the Vietnam War, Kenneth W. Estes

Looks at two very light tank destroyers developed for the Cold War but that never saw action against enemy army, but instead saw limited use as infantry support weapons during the Vietnam War. Both were seen as expendable weapons, combining heavy firepower with a light and easy to produce vehicle, but neither was produced in very large numbers, both were made obsolete by anti-tank missiles
(Read Full Review)

Friday, September 07, 2018

USS Dallas (DD-199)

USS Dallas (DD-199) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily and the Salerno landings, as well as performing escort duties.

USS Herndon (DD-198)

USS Herndon (DD-198) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a very short career in the US Navy and Coast Guard, before joining the Royal Navy as HMS Churchill, then the Soviet Navy, where she was lost in 1945. 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

473rd Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 473rd Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that operated in 1943-44.

414th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 414th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that entered combat as a ground attack group with the Twentieth Air Force late in the Second World War.

413th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 413th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter group that served as a fighter-bomber unit with the Twentieth Air Force, mainly operating over Japan and occupied China.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Siege of Tarragona (3-12 June 1813)

The siege of Tarragona (3-12 June 1813) was an unsuccessful British attempt to recapture the Spanish city and provide a distraction for Wellington’s campaign in the north of Spain.

Battle of Castalla (13 April 1813)

The battle of Castalla (13 April 1813) was a defensive victory that saw General Murray’s largely Anglo-Sicilian army defeat an attack by Suchet’s Army of Valencia.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Battle of the Nile (February 47 BC)

The battle of the Nile (February 47 BC) was the final action of Caesar’s Alexandrian War, and saw him unite with the relief army under Mithridates of Pergamum to defeat the army of Ptolemy XIII.

Siege of Pelusium (early 47 BC)

The siege of Pelusium (early 47 BC) was an early victory for Mithridates of Pergamum during his expedition to rescue Caesar, who was then besieged in Alexandria.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Fighter Aircraft Since 1945, Frank Schwede

This book falls into something of a gap between the two main types of aircraft books - detailed examinations of individual types and encyclopaedic books covering as many types as possible. Instead the author has chosen to provide medium sized articles covering a smaller selection of the most important types. Organised by area, then manufacturer and finally by date, but without losing the overall picture of fighter development
(Read Full Review)

The Battle of Glendale - The Day the South Nearly Won the Civil War, Jim Stempel

Looks at one of the more obscure of the Seven Day’s Battles, the least organised stage of the Union retreat and the best chance the Confederates had to inflict a heavy defeat on McClellan’s retreating forces, left without an overall commander while attempting to retreat south to a secure base, giving Lee a chance to attack from the west and potentially cut the Union line into two parts
(Read Full Review)

Sparta - Rise of a Warrior Nation, Philip Matyszak

An interesting fast paced history of Sparta, starting with the earliest inhabitants of the site that became Sparta, tracing the rise of the city and the evolution of its unusual institutions, and up to the high point of Sparta’s status, the battle of Plataea, the final defeat of the most dangerous of the Persian invasions of Greece, focusing on the earlier period.
(Read Full Review)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lockheed YO-3A

The Lockheed YO-3A was a very quiet surveillance aircraft, designed to fly low and silently over Vietnam in an attempt to locate hidden Communist troops.

Lockheed XR6O

The Lockheed XR6O was a massive transport aircraft that was produced for the US Navy during the Second World War, but that had a low priority and wasn’t completed until after the end of the war.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

76.2mm Divisional Canon Model 1942 (ZiS 3)

The 76.2mm Divisional Canon Model 1942 (ZiS 3) was the most numerous Soviet field gun of the Second World War, and was mass produced after the German invasion of 1941.

76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1939 USV

The 76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1939 USV was the best Soviet 76mm gun at the start of the Second World War, and was lighter than the previous Model 1936 F-22.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

USS Branch (DD-197)

USS Branch (DD-197) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a brief career with the US Navy before serving with the Royal Navy as HMS Beverley, where she performed valuable service as a convoy escort before finally being sunk by U-188 in the spring of 1943.

USS George E. Badger (DD-196/ AVP-16/ AVD-3/ APD-33)

USS George E. Badger (DD-196/ AVP-16/ AVD-3/ APD-33) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard, as a seaplane tender in 1940-42, on convoy escort duties and finally as a fast transport in the Pacific theatre.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Combat of Biar (12 April 1813)

The combat of Biar (12 April 1813) was a successful British rearguard action that delayed Suchet’s advance and reduced his chances of winning a major victory over Murray’s Army of Alicante.

Siege of Villena (12 April 1813)

The siege of Villena (12 April 1813) was a quick French victory that briefly appeared to have opened the road to Castalla and the main body of General Murray’s Army of Alicante.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Emperor Alexander Severus - Rome’s Age of Insurrection, AD 222-236, John S. McHugh

A biography of the last Severan emperor (admittedly one with a very limited link to the founder of the dynasty), looking at the turbulent life and times of the last emperor before the start of the Third Century Crisis. An interesting look at how an Emperor from a dynasty of political outsiders managed to survive for a surprisingly long time, despite coming to the throne as a child
(Read Full Review)

The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign, Eric Wittenberg

A study of the final major cavalry battle of the American Civil War, a Confederate surprise attack that achieved initial success before the Union forces rallied and regained control of the battlefield. Looks at the two forces involved, the battle itself and its impact on the remaining few weeks of the Civil War. The author is perhaps a little over-impressed with the initial Confederate success, but other than that this is a well balanced account of a relatively obscure but interesting late Civil War battle
(Read Full Review)

Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone

The story of one of the infantry commanders involved in the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Mogadishu, taking part in the rescue mission. Whetstone tells a fascinating story, and gives us an insight into a successful infantry unit, looking at the training, attitude and skills required to overcome heavy odds to achieve their objectives and escape with light losses.
(Read Full Review)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Siege of Alexandria (August 48 BC-January/ February 47 BC)

The siege of Alexandria (August 48 BC-January/ February 47 BC) saw Julius Caesar become trapped in the city after getting involved in Egyptian politics. He was only able to escape after a relief army reached the city, allowing him to defeat Ptolemy XIII and his allies at the battle of the Nile.

Battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48 BC)

The battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48 BC) was the decisive battle of the Great Roman Civil War, and saw Caesar defeat Pompey and the Senate’s main army.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Battles of the Winter Line or Gustav Line (12 January-18 May 1944)

The battles of the Winter Line or Gustav Line (12 January-18 May 1944) were the most important battles of the Italian campaign, and saw the Germans under Kesselring keep the Allies pinned down south of Rome from the autumn of 1943 until the summer of 1944.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1936 (F-22)

The 76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1936 (F-22) introduced a new split trail, and largely replaced the older Model 1933 in Soviet Service.

76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1933

The 76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 1933 combined a new L/50 gun with an existing howitzer carriage to produce a serviceable gun that was meant to serve as a stop-gap until the more modern Model 1936 F-22 gun was ready to enter service.

Monday, August 20, 2018

USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195)

USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard and the Neutrality Patrol, before serving with the Royal Navy as HMS Chesterfield, carrying out three years of convoy escort duties.

USS Hunt (DD-194)

USS Hunt (DD-194) was a Clemson class destroyer that briefly served with the US Neutrality Patrol before being transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS Broadway, where she helped capture U-110.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage

Combines a good background history of the Luftwaffe with a comprehensive examination of its aircraft, from the biplanes of the mid 1930s to the main wartime aircraft and on to the seemingly unending range of experimental designs that wasted so much effort towards the end of the war. A useful general guide that provides an impressively wide range of information on almost every element of the Luftwaffe
(Read Full Review)

Gaius Marius - The Rise and Fall of Rome’s Saviour, Marc Hyden

Looks at the career of one of the key figures in the fall of the Roman Republic, a general whose victories saved the Republic from foreign invasion, but whose ambition helped trigger the series of civil wars that saw its eventual collapse into chaos that only ended with the victory of Augustus and the foundation of the Empire. A good biography of an important historical figure, aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist in Roman history
(Read Full Review)

Decisive Victory - the Battle of the Sambre, 4 November 1918, Derek Clayton

Looks at the BEF’s last major battle of the First World War, in which the Germans were forced out of their last prepared defensive line in a single day, marking the start of the final collapse of German resistance and the start of the rush to the Armistice. Aims to look at the level of skill displayed by the BEF towards the end of the victorious 100 Days campaign, tracing the balance between skill, experience and exhaustion
(Read Full Review)

Friday, August 17, 2018

337th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 337th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training group that served with the Third Air Force in the south-east of the United States from 1942 until 1944.

332nd Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 332nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served in Italy in 1944-45, and spent most of that time escorting the heavy bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force.

329th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 329th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training unit that served with the US Fourth Air Force from 1942 to 1944.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Combat of Yecla (11 April 1813)

The combat of Yecla (11 April 1813) was a French success at the start of the Castalla campaign that saw Suchet’s Army of Valencia split the Allied army facing them on the Xucar, giving Suchet a chance of inflicting a serious defeat on Murray’s army of Alicante.

Combat of Albeyda (15 March 1813)

The combat of Albeyda (15 March 1813) was a minor British success in eastern Spain, and was meant to be followed by an amphibious attack on Valencia which was cancelled before it began.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Battle of Ortona (20-27 December 1943)

The battle of Ortona (20-27 December 1943) saw the Canadians capture a key part of the Adriatic section of the Gustav Line in the first major urban battle of the Italian campaign, but by the time it ended the Eighth Army was in no condition to carry out further offensive operations.

Battle of the Moro River (4-26 December 1943)

The battle of the Moro River (4-26 December 1943) was part of the Eighth Army attack on the Gustav Line, the main German defensive position south of Rome, and came after the British had broken through the main Gustav line position in the east of Italy, behind the Sangro River.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Lockheed F-94

The Lockheed F-94 was an all weather fighter produced to fill a gap in the USAF’s post-war arsenal. It entered service late in 1949 and remained in service for a decade, seeing some service in Korea.

Lockheed T-33

The Lockheed T-33 was a two-seat training version of the P-80 Shooting Star, originally developed using Lockheed’s own funds, but soon adopted by the USAF and was produced in impressively large numbers.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's Revolt .

Focuses on the German Peasant's Revolt, one of the more famous of the surprisingly rare large scale peasant's revolts, and no more successful than any of the others, despite coming at a time of religious turmoil and affecting large parts of the German speaking world.  Looks at why the revolt started, who took part in it and why it failed. Also looks at the soldier in 16th century art, the Norman royal forests and the military flail. [see more]

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 3: Legacy of Ancient Rome - The Byzantine-Sassanid Wars .

Focuses on the later wars between Byzantium and her eastern neighbours, the Sassanids, a series of conflicts that left both powers exhausted and unable to resist the Arab conquests. Covers the main course of the final war, the armour of the Sassanids, Byzantine commanders, the motives of the defeated Sassanid emperor and the final events of the war. Also looks at Japanese and English longbows, the Livonian crusades and the battle of Loch Lochy. [see more]

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 1: Reign of the Leper King - The Kingdom of Jeruslem .

 Focuses on the later years of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and in particular the reign of Baldwin IV, the Leper King, a short-lived but fairly effective king who managed to hold off the rising power of Saladin. Also looks at Odin's reputation as a warrior, the military career of St. Francis of Assisi, the Grand Chevauchee of 1355 and the purpose built war wagons of the Hussites [see more]

Friday, August 10, 2018

76.22mm Divisional Gun Model 02/30

The 76.22mm Divisional Gun Model 02/30 was an updated of the First World War era Model 00/02, and was still in service in large numbers during the Second World War.

76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 00/02

The 76.2mm Divisional Gun Model 00/02 was the standard Russian field gun during the First World War, and a modified version was still in use in large numbers at the start of the Second World War.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193)

USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard and the Neutrality Patrol before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she served as HMS Clare.

USS Graham (DD-192)

USS Graham (DD-192) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a short active career with the US Navy before being sold for scrap in 1922.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

328th Fighter Group

The 328th Fighter Group was a training unit based in the US South-West from 1942 until 1944.

327th Fighter Group

The 327th Fighter Group was a training group that served with the First Air Force in the US from 1942 until 1944.

326th Fighter Group

The 326th Fighter Group was a training unit that served with the First Air Force from 1942 until 1944.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Combat of Lequeitio (30 May 1813)

The combat of Lequeitio (30 May 1813) was a rare success for the French in the north of Spain during their attempts to capture or destroy the Spanish guerrilla bands.

Combat of Roncal (12-13 May 1813)

The combat of Roncal (12-13 May 1813) was a partly successful French attempt to defeat the successful guerrilla leader Francisco Espoz y Mina by attacking his magazines, depots and hospitals.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Great Roman Civil War (50-44 BC)

The Great Roman Civil War (50-44 BC) was triggered by the rivalry between Julius Caesar and his conservative opposition in the Senate, and saw Caesar defeat all of his enemies in battles scattered around the Roman world, before famously being assassinated in Rome on the Ides of March, triggering yet another round of civil wars.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

F-15C Eagle vs MiG-23/25 Iraq 1991, Douglas C. Dildy & Tom Cooper

Looks at the war in which the west realised that it’s best fighter aircraft outclassed their feared Soviet opponents, despite the limitations of the weapons it was armed with. Studies the background to the war, the development of the aircraft and their weapons, the way they were controlled, and the results of the limited number of clashes between the F-15s and the two Soviet types
(Read Full Review)

Hold at All Costs! The Epic Battle of Delville Wood 1916, Ian Uys

A very detailed look at the battle of Delville Wood, one of the most intense parts of the battle of the Somme, and an important battle for the South Africans, who held the wood against determined German counter attacks for the first few days of the battle. Does a good job of covering the battle from both sides, using detailed German sources to demonstrate that both sides suffered heavy losses during the fighting
(Read Full Review)

Formidable - A True Story of disaster and courage, Steve R. Dunn

Looks at the full story behind the loss of HMS Formidable, a British battleship sunk by a U-boat on 1 January 1915 while under the overall command of an Admiral who at that point didn’t accept that the submarine posed a threat to his fleet. Sections on why she was lost and who was to blame are balanced by detailed examinations of the fate of her crew, the dependents of those lost with her and the public reaction to her lose to produce a useful account of this naval disaster
(Read Full Review)

Friday, August 03, 2018

Battle of the Sangro (20 November- 4 December 1943)

The battle of the Sangro (20 November- 4 December 1943) was the first part of the Eighth Army contribution to the attack on the Gustav Line, the main German defensive position south of Rome.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

USS Mason (DD-191)

USS Mason (DD-191) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a limited US career, and then served in the North Atlantic with the Royal Navy as HMS Broadwater, before being sunk by U-101.

USS Satterlee (DD-190)

USS Satterlee (DD-190) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a short US career before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she served as USS Belmont before being sunk by U-81.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

325th Fighter Group

The 325th Fighter Group fought in Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sicily and mainland Italy, then became a escort unit supporting the Italian based heavy bombers on their raids across Germany and occupied Europe.

324th Fighter Group

The 324th Fighter Group fought in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, the south of France and the final advance into Germany, mainly operating as a close support unit.

318th Fighter Group

The 318th Fighter Group spent two and a half years based on Hawaii, before moving to the front in June 1944 to take part in the invasion of the Marianas and the air attack on Japan.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Combat of Bilbao (10 April 1813)

The combat of Bilbao (10 April 1813) was an unsuccessful Spanish attempt to capture the city while it was weakly defended, but failed after one of the key forces failed to arrive in time to support the initial attack.

Combats of Guernica (2 and 5 April 1813)

The combats of Guernica (2 and 5 April 1813) saw a French column force the Spanish guerrillas to abandon their HQ in Biscay, but the majority of the Spanish troops were able to escape, reducing the value of the success.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The 1916 Battle of the Somme Reconsidered, Peter Liddle

A modified version of a 1992 original that attempted to produce a new perspective of the battle of the Somme, seeing it as an essential step towards the eventual Allied victory, both for the damage it did to the German army and the improvements it forced on the British, as well as looking at the contemporary views of the soldiers involved in the fighting, suggesting that the average soldier wasn’t the disillusioned figure painted by the war poets or of the post-war period
(Read Full Review)

Bac Si: A Green Beret Medic's War in Vietnam, Jerry Krizan and Robert Dumont

An unusual perspective on the Vietnam War, written by a Special Forces Medic serving at Loc Ninh, one of the more active Green Beret bases during his year in the country. As well as fighting alongside a Vietnamese Army force, he also had more contact with the locals that you find in many of these accounts. Nicely organised, largely by topics, the result is a valuable memoir looking at a less familiar part of the war
(Read Full Review)

Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris

The autobiography of Bomber Harris, giving his view of the strategic bombing campaign in its immediate aftermath. Invaluable for the insights it provides into Harris’s approach to the war, what he was trying to achieve and the problems he faced. Harris perhaps overstates his case, not entirely surprisingly given how soon after the end of the war this book was written
(Read Full Review)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Battle of the Bernhardt Line (5 November-17 December 1943)

The battle of the Bernhardt Line (5 November-17 December 1943) saw the Allies capture the mountains that guarded the ‘Mignano Gap’, on the approaches to the main Gustav line positions behind the Garigliano and Rapido Rivers after a series of costly infantry assaults.

Battle of the Trigno (27 October-4 November 1943)

The battle of the Trigno (27 October-4 November 1943) saw the Eighth Army overcome the second of a series of German defensive positions on the Adriatic coast of Italy, in the aftermath of the initial landings in the south.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lockheed R5O

The Lockheed R5O was the US Navy’s designation for the Model 18 Lodestar transport, of which nearly 100 were used during the Second World War.

Lockheed R3O

The Lockheed R3O was the designation for two versions of the Model 10 Electra used by the US Navy, one purchased for the Navy and one impressed during the Second World War

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

80cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 80cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) was the largest artillery gun ever built, and was a vanity project that consumed far more resources than its limited impact could possibly justify.

28cm K(E) ‘neue Bruno’

The 28cm K(E) ‘neue Bruno’ was the last of four models of railway gun produced by mounting old naval guns on railway carriages. It was an attempt to produce a weapon that was more powerful than the ‘short’, ‘long’ and ‘heavy’ Brunos,

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

USS Semmes (DD-189)

USS Semmes (DD-189) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard in the interwar period and carried out a mix of experimental, training and escort work during the Second World War.

USS Goldsborough (DD-188/ AVP-18/ AVD-5/ APD-32)

USS Goldsborough (DD-188/ AVP-18/ AVD-5/ APD-32) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent much of the Second World War supporting amphibious aircraft, before being converted into a fast transport to take part in the invasions of Saipan, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Monday, July 23, 2018

87th Fighter Group

The 87th Fighter Group was a short lived replacement training unit for P-47s.

86th Fighter Group

The 86th Fighter Group was mainly used as a close support unit, and took part in the invasions of Sicily, mainland Italy and the south of France, before ending the war operating over Germany.

85th Fighter Group

The 85th Fighter Group was a training group that served with the Second and Third Air Forces in the United States in 1942-44.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Paper Caper, Tim Topps

A fun and generally light hearted spy caper, based in the immediate post-war period, at the start of the Cold War. After arriving at a large military depot in the Midlands, our hero is soon involved in an attempt to track down a Soviet sleeper agent, while at the same time running the base newspaper and getting involved in romances. An entertaining read, presumably rather loosely based on the author’s own experiences to give the convincing feel for the period
(Read Full Review)

I, Horatio, Donald A. Tortorice

A novelised biography of Nelson, written from his point of view, and largely in the style of the period. Suffers from some historical errors, including minor matters of titles, and one major error about the status of Nelson’s ship at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, but the result is still a readable and fairly convincing life of Nelson, from an unusual point of view
(Read Full Review)

The Social History of English Seamen 1650-1815, ed. Cheryl A. Fury

A selection of articles looking at the live of British sailors during the period that saw the Royal Navy evolve into the foremost naval power in the world, after overcoming the trauma of the Civil Wars. A mix of general and very specific articles, the choice of an earlier than normal start date means that this covers some unfamiliar topics, and unfamiliar twists on familiar topics
(Read Full Review)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Battle of the Barbara Line (31 October-4 November 1943)

The battle of the Barbara Line (31 October-4 November 1943) saw the Allies break through the outlining defences of the ‘Winter Line’, a hastily constructed line of outposts between the Volturno and the more strongly defended Bernhardt and Gustav Lines.

Battle of the Biferno (1-7 October 1943)

The battle of the Biferno (1-7 October 1943) saw the British Eighth Army break through the eastern flank of the first German defensive line in Italy, the Volturno Line.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lockheed XF-90

The Lockheed XF-90 was a design for a penetration fighter, capable of escorting bombers and carrying out ground attack missions, but never got beyond the prototype stage.

Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star

The Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter to enter US service, but despite an impressively quick development didn’t arrive in time for the Second World War. It saw extensive service early in the Korean War, before being replaced by the F-86 Sabre.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

28cm ‘Schwere Bruno’ (Heavy Bruno)

The 28cm ‘Schwere Bruno’ (Heavy Bruno) was the third of four models of railway gun loosely modelled on the First World War 28cm ‘Bruno’ railway guns.

28cm lange Bruno Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 28cm lange Bruno Kanone (Eisenbahn) was the second of four models of railway gun loosely based on a First World War original, and carried a L/45 gun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

USS Dalhgren (DD-187)

USS Dalhgren (DD-187) was a Clemson class destroyer that was used on experimental and sonar training duties during the Second World War.

USS Clemson (DD-186/ AVP-17/ AVD-4/ APD-31)

USS Clemson (DD-186/ AVP-17/ AVD-4/ APD-31) was the name ship of the Clemson class of destroyers. She entered service too late for the First World War, but had a varied career during the Second World War, serving as aircraft tender, a destroyer with an anti-submarine group and a fast transport.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Battle of the Volturno Line (9-19 October 1943)

The battle of the Volturno Line (9-19 October 1943) saw the Germans under Kesselring delay the Allied advance north from Naples for over a week, winning crucial time for the construction of defences further to the north.

Operation Giant III, (14-15 September 1943)

Operation Giant III, (14-15 September 1943) was an unsuccessful American airborne operation carried out to the north of the Salerno beachhead in an attempt to reduce the flow of German reinforcements from the north.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

War Birds - The Diary of a Great War Pilot, Elliot White Springs

The compelling diaries of an American volunteer serving with the RFC and RAF during the First World War, covering his time in training, which became increasingly light-hearted (and drunken) and his six month long combat career during 1918. Provides a fascinating study of the way in which combat stress could affect someone, as well as the contrast between the fairly safe life on the airfield and the dangers in the air
(Read Full Review)

Patricians and Emperors - the Last Rulers of the Western Roman Empire, Ian Hughes

Looks at the final decades of the Western Roman Empire, focusing on the series of short-lived Emperors, some of whom came tantalisingly close to winning significant victories, while others were shadowy non-entities who came and went without having any visible impact. Takes an interesting approach, organising the period by the Emperors and not by the series of military commanders who normally dominate the period, and as a result giving us a rather different view of the final years of the Empire in the west
(Read Full Review)

A Soldier for Napoleon - The Campaigns of Lieutenant Franz Joseph Hausmann, 7th Bavarian Infantry, ed John H. Gill

. A look at the Bavarian Army’s role in the Napoleonic Wars, built around the war diaries and surviving letters of Franz Joseph Hausmann, a junior officer who served on many of Napoleon’s greatest campaigns, then on the opposite side during the invasion of France of 1814. Most valuable for the collection of letters from the Russian campaign of 1812, covering the activities of one of the flank armies that attempted to protect the Grande Armée as it advanced to Moscow and back
(Read Full Review)

Friday, July 06, 2018

Lockheed XP-58 Chain Lighting

The Lockheed XP-58 Chain Lighting was a two-man version of the P-38 that suffered from repeated changes of purpose, and that never entered production.

Lockheed XP-49

The Lockheed XP-49 was a design for a more powerful fighter to be based on the P-38 Lightning, but it never got beyond the prototype stage, and by the time the prototype was ready, it was outclassed by existing P-38s.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

28cm kurze Bruno Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 28cm kurze Bruno Kanone (Eisenbahn) was the first of four models of railway artillery loosely based on a First World War original, and carried a L/40 gun.

28cm Kanone 5 (Eisenbahn) (schlanke Bertha or slim Bertha)

The 28cm Kanone 5 (Eisenbahn) (schlanke Bertha or slim Bertha), was one of the most effective railway guns ever produced, and was large enough to have a major impact on the fighting, without being so large that it became too cumbersome to be used effectively.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Clemson Class Destroyers

The Clemson Class Destroyers were the second class of standardized flushdecker deck destroyers produced for the US Navy during the First World War, but none of them were completed in time to see service. Instead they formed the backbone of the inter-war destroyer force, were used for a large number of specialised modifications, and performed valuable service during the Second World War.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Lockheed C-66

The Lockheed C-66 was the designation given to a single Twin Wasp powered Model 18 Lodestars that was impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

Lockheed-Vega XB-38

The Lockheed-Vega XB-38 was a prototype for an improved version of the Flying Fortress using inline liquid cooled engines to guard against any shortage of the standard R-1820s used on the B-17.

Detroit Lockheed YP-24

The Detroit Lockheed YP-24 was a prototype for a two seat monoplane fighter that was purchased by the USAAC, but not placed into production. However it did lead to the later Lockheed P-30, which was produced in small numbers.

Lockheed XR2O

The Lockheed XR2O was a single example of the Lockheed Electra that went to the US Navy in 1936.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

21cm Kanone 12 (Eisenbahn)

The 21cm Kanone 12 (Eisenbahn) was a vanity project produced by the German Army, and consumed a vast amount of effort and resources without having any significant military value.

20.3cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 20.3cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) was a German railway gun produced used spare barrels originally built for heavy cruisers.

35.5cm Haubitz M.1

The 35.5cm Haubitz M.1 was a massive siege howitzer that was used at the siege of Sevastopol.

24cm Kanone 3

The 24cm Kanone 3 was a very heavy cannon designed as a long range counterbattery weapon, but that was only produced in very small numbers and used by a single unit in Normandy and on the Eastern Front.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

USS Bagley (DD-185)/ USS Doran/ HMS St. Marys

USS Bagley (DD-185)/ USS Doran/ HMS St. Marys was a Wickes class destroyer that had a brief US career before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she supported minelaying operations and carried out escort duties.

USS Abbot (DD-184)

USS Abbot (DD-184) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a short career with the US Navy, then served as HMS Charleston with the Royal navy, mainly operating in British home waters.

USS Haraden (DD-183)

USS Haraden (DD-183) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a short career with the US Navy before become HMCS Columbia and serving on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic.

USS Thomas (DD-182)

USS Thomas (DD-182) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated on convoy escort duties with the Norwegian Navy in exile as HMS St. Albans in 1942-43 and ended her career with the Soviet navy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

83rd Fighter Group

The 83rd Fighter Group was a training unit that served with the First Air Force.

79th Fighter Group

The 79th Fighter Group supported the British Eighth Army from 1942 until early in 1944, then fought at Anzio, in the south of France and in northern Italy, where it once again operated with the Eighth Army.

78th Fighter Group

The 78th Fighter Group served with the Eighth Air Force from 1943 until the end of the war, supporting the campaign in north-western Europe and the advance into Germany.

59th Fighter Grou

The 59th Fighter Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as an observation group and then as a training group.

58th Fighter Group

The 58th Fighter Group took part in the long New Guinea campaign, the invasion of the Philippines and attacked targets in Korea and on Kyushu.

57th Fighter Group

The 57th Fighter Group supported the British Eighth Army from El Alamein to Tunisia and onto Sicily and Italy, where it took part in the long campaign in Italy and the invasion of the south of France.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Philibert Guillaume Duhesme (1768-1815)

Philibert Guillaume Duhesme (1768-1815) was a French general who fought on the Rhine, in Spain and at Waterloo, where he was killed while commanding the Young Guard.

Maximilien Sebastien Foy (1775-1825)

Maximilien Sebastien Foy (1775-1825) was one of Napoleon’s most able divisional commanders, and performed well during the Peninsular War before fighting in the Waterloo campaign.

Marie-Francois Caffarelli (1766-1849)

Marie-Francois Caffarelli (1766-1849) was a French general who rose to command the Army of the North in Spain during the Peninsular War, but without great success.

Louis Marie Joseph Maximilien Caffarelli (1756-99)

Louis Marie Joseph Maximilien Caffarelli (1756-99) was an engineer who became one of Napoleon’s closest friends during the Egyptian Campaign, but who died after his arm was amputated during the siege of Acre.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hitler's Arctic War - The German Campaigns in Norway, Finland and the USSR 1940-1945, Chris Mann and Christer Jörgensen

Covers the fighting in Norway and Finland and the far north of the Soviet Union, from the Winter War to the victorious Soviet campaign that forced the Finns to change sides, as well as the battles around the Arctic Convoys, portrayed here as one of the great ‘missed chances’ of the German war effort. An interesting attempt to cover a wide range of topics loosely connected by their geographical location
(Read Full Review)

Constantius II - Usurpers, Eunuchs and the Antichrist, Peter Crawford

Looks at the reign of one of the sons of Constantine the Great, and a rather controversial Roman emperor, despite being the victor in repeated civil wars and successfully defending the borders of the Empire against increasingly powerful opponents. Paints a picture of a more than capable ruler, let down by his poor choice of courtiers and possibly by a paranoid nature and a tendency to undermine his own subordinate rulers
(Read Full Review)

Kings and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC, John D Grainger

Looks at the nature of kingship in the years between Alexander the Great and the Roman conquest of the Hellenistic world, a period in which a surprising number of dynasties established themselves, and in some cases even flourished for centuries before disappearing. Organised thematically, so we see how the various dynasties differed, and more often how much they had in common. Also helps to explain how some of these apparently unstable dynasties managed to survive for so long
(Read Full Review)

Lucullus – The Life and Campaigns of a Roman Conqueror, Lee Fratantuono

Looks at the public career of Lucius Lucullus, one of the less familiar Roman military and political figures in the dying days of the Roman Republic, a generally successful general who was unable to end the wars he had almost won, and who was overshadowed by his patron Sulla and his rival and replacement Pompey. Aimed at the general reader, so provides a concise narrative of the life of this important figure
(Read Full Review)

The Typhoon Truce, 1970, Robert F. Curtis

Looks at the experiences of a Chinook helicopter unit during a rare example of a humanitarian truce during the Vietnam War, three days in which the unit focuses on rescuing Vietnamese villages cut off by floods caused by a massive typhoon. The events of the rescue mission are interesting, but the book is most valuable for its insights into the every day life of a transport unit operating over the war zone, but based in relative safety
(Read Full Review)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo (d.87 BC)

Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo (d.87 BC) was a successful but unpopular Roman general of the Social war and Sulla's First Civil War. He was the father of Pompey the Great, one of the greatest of all Roman generals.

Perpenna’s Defeat (72 BC)

Perpenna’s Defeat (72 BC) was the final battle of the Sertorian War, and saw Sertorius’s assassin defeated by Pompey after several days of skirmishing.

Siege of Pallantia (74 BC)

The siege of Pallantia (74 BC) was a rare success for Sertorius in the later stages of the Sertorian War and saw him prevent Pompey from capture the town of Pallantia, in his Celtiberian heartland.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Operation Avalanche, or the battle of Salerno (9-18 September 1943)

Operation Avalanche, or the battle of Salerno (9-18 September 1943) was the main part of the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland, and saw a joint Anglo-American force land in the Gulf of Salerno, where it had to fight off a severe German counterattack before the position was fully secured.

Operation Slapstick, 9 September 1943

Operation Slapstick, 9 September 1943, was an amphibious operation that saw the British 1st Airborne Division capture Taranto without any resistance, giving the Eighth Army a second foothold in Italy and allowing them to gain control of the Adriatic coast around Bari and Brindisi.

Operation Speedwell (7 September 1943 onwards)

Operation Speedwell (7 September 1943 onwards) was an SAS operation in the north-west of Italy that did significant damage to the rail links supplying the western end of the Gothic Line.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lockheed C-60

The Lockheed C-60 was the designation given to a mix of impressed Model 18 Lodestars and versions of the aircraft that were ordered specifically for the USAAF, and was by far the most numerous military version of the Lodestar.

Lockheed C-59

The Lockheed C-59 was the designation given to Hornet powered Model 18 Lodestars originally produced for Britain, some of which were impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

Lockheed C-57

The Lockheed C-57 was the designation given to Twin Wasp powered Model 18 Lodestars that were used by the USAAF during the Second World War.

Lockheed C-56

The Lockheed C-56 was the designation given to a mix of Cyclone and Hornet powered Model 18 Lodestars that were impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

18.5cm V haubitz L/22 (Krupp)

The 18.5cm V haubitz L/22 (Krupp) was an experimental weapon produced to provide a howitzer with the same range as the 21cm mortar.

Long Barrel 21cm Morser L/14.6

The Long Barrel 21cm Morser L/14.6 was an improved version of the 21cm Morser L/12, the standard German heavy mortar at the start of the First World War, and was produced in somewhat larger numbers.

28cm Haubitze L/12

The 28cm Haubitze L/12 was one of the heaviest guns in regular use with the German army during the First World War, but was an obsolete and almost immobile design that didn’t really justify the amount of effort it took to move it along the front.

28cm Küstenhaubitz

The 28cm Küstenhaubitz was a naval version of the German army's 28-cm howitzer and was originally produced for coastal defence, although it ended up being used on the Western Front during the First World War.

Monday, June 18, 2018

USS Hopewell (DD-181)

USS Hopewell (DD-181) was a Wickes class destroyer that was sunk by U-204 while serving in the Royal Norwegian Navy as HMS Bath.

USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8)

USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8) was a Wickes class destroyer that performed convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and took part in Operation Torch and the invasion of the Marshalls and Marianas. 

Treaty of Vervins (2 May 1598

The Treaty of Vervins (2 May 1598) ended the fighting between France and Spain in the Ninth War of Religion, and effectively ended the long series of wars of religion that had divided France since 1562.

Karl Philipp Furst zu Schwarzenberg (1771-1820)

Karl Philipp Furst zu Schwarzenberg (1771-1820) was an Austrian general and diplomat most famous for service as Allied supreme commander during the autumn campaign of 1813 and the invasion of France of 1814.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Seizing the Enigma - The Race to break the German U-Boat Codes, 1939-1943, David Kahn

A fascinating account of the struggle to crack the German Navy’s version of the Enigma, covering the development of the machine, the international efforts to break the code, and the long British efforts to get into the Navy Enigma, including the Navy expeditions to capture key parts of the machine and related documents. Does a good job of explaining this complex story, with the space to go into more detail of the specific naval aspects
(Read Full Review)

You Can't Get Much Closer Than This, A.Z. Adkins Jr and Andrew Z Adkins, III

The often moving diaries of Captain A. Z. Adkins, an officer in the 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division, tracing his experiences as he fought his way from Normandy to the end of the war, serving with a heavy weapons company and then with 81mm mortars. A vivid picture of what it was like to be under fire at the front line, the painful nature of the Allied progress across Europe, and the sudden change as German resistance finally broke in the last days of the war
(Read Full Review)

Britain and the Widening War 1915-1916 – From Gallipoli to the Somme, ed. Peter Liddle

Covers a wide range of topics, from wartime to modern records of wartime archaeology, covering a rather wider date range than the title would suggest, and several articles that don’t directly relate to Britain. The result is an interesting selection of articles covering unusual aspects of the war, or unusual views of familiar topics such as Verdun or the Somme
(Read Full Review)

Sea & Air Fighting – Those Who Were There, David Bilton

A series of lively accounts of air and naval exploits, clearly written while they were still fresh in the mind, and before the inter-war cynicism took root. As a result gives us a feel for how these actions must have felt at the time, covering an impressively wide range of topics. Serves as a reminder of the time the First World War was the most recent, most high technology war ever fought, and away from the trenches had more than enough dramatic incidents to fill several books like this
(Read Full Review)

Gold Run - The Rescue of Norway's Gold Bullion from the Nazis, April 1940, Robert Pearson

Looks at the successful attempt to save the last batch of Norwegian gold still in the country when the Germans invaded, a lengthy journey that saw the gold taken off in British warships from different ports, with some reaching Tromso in the far north of Norway before being evacuated! A tale of dedication to duty in very difficult circumstances
(Read Full Review)

Grouchy's Waterloo - The Battles of Ligny and Wavre, Andrew W. Field

Focuses on Marshal Grouchy’s performance during the key days of the Waterloo campaign - his own actions, the behaviour of his senior subordinates, Napoleon’s orders to him, and how they all combined to affect the outcome of the campaign. Covers some of the most controversial moments of the Waterloo campaign and the post-war battle of allocate blame for the French defeat
(Read Full Review)

Friday, June 01, 2018

Siege of Clunia (75 BC)

The siege of Clunia (75 BC) saw Sertorius rebuild his army while being besieged by Pompey and Metellus, and then escape to join his new army.

Battle of Saguntum or the Turia (75 BC)

The battle of Saguntum or the Turia (75 BC) was a drawn battle during the Sertorian War, and saw Sertorius initially gain the upper hand before being forced to retreat.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Operation Hooker (8 September 1943)

Operation Hooker (8 September 1943) was an outflanking attack carried out by the Eighth Army in order to speed up their advance up Calabria.

Operation Baytown (3 September 1943)

Operation Baytown (3 September 1943) was the first stage in the Allied invasion of Italy, and saw Montgomery’s Eighth Army cross from Sicily to nearby Calabria.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Combat of San Pelayo (24 March 1813)

The combat of San Pelayo (24 March 1813) saw the Spanish under Mendizabal attempt to defeat the French forces preparing to besiege Castro-Urdiales, but ended as a costly draw.

Siege of Castro-Urdiales (22 March-12 May 1813)

The siege of Castro-Urdiales (22 March-12 May 1813) saw the French recapture a port that had fallen to a joint Anglo-Spanish force in the summer of 1812, but only after suffering a series of setbacks largely caused by underestimating the difficulty of the task.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Defence Logistics in Military History (4 of 4)

Defence Logistics in Military History (4 of 4) – An Analysis: placing the development of logistics into its proper historical context: Part 4 focuses on the later Cold War and post Cold War periods.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Battle of the Sucro (75 BC)

The battle of the Sucro (75 BC) was an inconclusive clash between Pompey and Sertorius, but Sertorius was forced to retreat on the following day after Roman reinforcements arrived.

Battle of Valentia (75 BC)

The battle of Valentia (75 BC) saw Pompey defeat two of Sertorius’s subordinates and capture the city of Valentia, giving him a successful start to the campaign of 75 BC that he wasn’t able to turn into a successful conclusion to the war.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

British Commando 1940-45, Angus Konstam

A overview of the British Commandos, focusing on what made them different to the regular army, the sort of skills they were required to have, the training that made sure they gained them, and the wide range of equipment that they carried into combat. Also includes a good ‘On Campaign’ section that gives an overview of the sort of experiences the Commandos underwent in combat, but focuses mainly on their training and skills
(Read Full Review)

Spearhead of the Fifth Army - the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Italy, from the Winter Line to Anzio, Frank van Lunteren

A very ‘up close’ study of the combat experiences of the 504th PIR, covering the advance to the Winter Line, the fighting at the Barbara and Bernhardt Lines and the regiments’ participation at Anzio. Very good on the day-to-day experiences of the combat troops, perhaps not so good on putting them in the wider context
(Read Full Review)

Rommel in his own words, ed. Dr John Pimlott

Starts with his inter-war account of his First World War experiences, then moves on to the Second World War, with some material on the 1940 campaign and the defence of France, but with the largest section covering his famous campaigns in the desert of North Africa. Includes private letters, official reports and published works, giving us a range of Rommel’s public and private views
(Read Full Review)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Italian Campaign (3 September 1943-2 May 1945)

The Italian Campaign (3 September 1943-2 May 1945) was one of the hardest fought and most controversial offensives carried out by the Western Allies during the Second World War, and saw the Germans fight a skilful delaying action that lasted from September 1943 until the end of the war in the spring of 1945.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Lockheed C-101 ‘Vega’

The Lockheed C-101 ‘Vega’ was the designation given to a single example of the Lockheed Vega that was impressed by the USAAF in 1942

Lockheed C-85

The Lockheed C-85 was the designation given to a single Model 9 Orion that was impressed into the USAAF in 1942-44.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) was a slightly larger version of the 15cm K (E), but wasn’t powerful enough to be worth the effort required to produce it, and only a handful were ever built.

15cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 15cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) was the smallest calibre railway gun produced by the German Army during the period of rearmament in the 1930s, but only a handful were produced because it wasn’t a powerful enough weapon to be worth the effort.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

USS Howard (DD-179/ DMS-7)

USS Howard (DD-179/ DMS-7) was a Wickes class destroyer that served as a minesweeper during Operation Torch, on convoy escort duties in 1943 and in the campaigns in the Pacific in 1944-45.

USS Hogan (DD-178/ DMS-6)

USS Hogan (DD-178/ DMS-6) was a Wickes class destroyer that took part in Operation Torch, and the invasions of the Marshalls, Mariannas, Luzon and Iwo Jima.

Monday, May 21, 2018

54th Fighter Group

The 54th Fighter Group was mainly used as a training unit in the US, but also took briefly took part in the campaign in the Aleutian Islands in 1942.

53rd Fighter Group

The 53rd Fighter Group served in the Panama Canal Zone and as a training unit, before being disbanded in 1944.

52nd Fighter Group

The 52nd Fighter Group was one of the first units to join the Eighth Air Force in Britain, before moving to North Africa for Operation Torch. It then spent the rest of the war operating in the Mediterranean theatre.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fighting the Bombers - The Luftwaffe's Struggle against the Allied Bomber Offensive, ed. David C. Isby

A fascinating look at the Luftwaffe’s fight against the Allied bombers, based around a series of interviews carried out with key figures in the Luftwaffe just after the end of the war. As a result it gives us an idea of what they thought about the battle in its immediate aftermath, and before their stories began to change in the post-war years. A very valuable primary source for anyone interesting in the Second World War bombing campaigns
(Read Full Review)

The Anatomy of Glory - Napoleon and his Guard, Henry Lachouque & Anne S. K. Brown

A splendid study of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, the most famous part of his military machine, taking us into their daily life as Napoleon’s favoured elite, and following its evolution from a small bodyguard for the Consuls into a massive army within an army, serving as the elite and the reserve of Napoleons army, and playing an increasingly important combat role as the wars turned against Napoleon. Follows the wars from the Guard’s point of view, so we get a fairly uncritical view of Napoleon, reflecting how they saw him.
(Read Full Review)

A Handful of Hard Men: The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia, Hannes Wessels

Looks at the role of the Rhodesia SAS in the long struggle to maintain white minority rule. A good example of how a military organisation can be almost entirely successful within its own terms, while at the same time losing the war, as large areas of Rhodesia became ‘no go’ zones for the white population. An interesting study of what the Rhodesian SAS did, perhaps less successful on what they hoped to achieve
(Read Full Review)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Edict of Nantes (13 April 1598)

The edict of Nantes (13 April 1598) was the final religious settlement that came Henry IV’s victory in the Ninth War of Religion, and gave the Huguenots a series of political, social and religious rights and produced a period of comparative religious peace that lasted for almost a century.

Siege of Amiens (April-25 September 1597)

The siege of Amiens (April-25 September 1597) was the last major campaign of the Ninth War of Religion, and saw Henry IV recapture the city after it had fallen to a Spanish ruse earlier in the year.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Combat of Lerin (30 March 1813)

The combat of Lerin (30 March 1813) was a major victory for the Spanish troops of Mina, and gave Mina control of large parts of Navarre for almost a month.

Capture of Fuenterrabia (11 March 1813)

The capture of Fuenterrabia (11 March 1813) was a daring exploit carried out by a force of Spanish guerrillas and saw them capture and destroy the castle at Fuenterrabia, within sight of France.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Defence Logistics in Military History (3 of 4)

Defence Logistics in Military History (3 of 4) – An Analysis: placing the development of logistics into its proper historical context: Part 3 focuses on the Second World War and Cold War.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Battle of Segovia (75 BC)

The battle of Segovia (75 BC) was one of the most significant battles of the Sertorian War, and saw Metellus Pius defeat and kill Sertorius’s most able lieutenant Hirtuleius.

Battle of Italica Hispalis (76 BC)

The battle of Italica Hispalis (76 BC) was the first of two recorded victories won by Metellus Pius over Sertorius’s able lieutenant Hirtuleius, and came while Sertorius himself was campaigning in eastern Spain.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Operation Fustian (13-14 July 1943)

Operation Fustian (13-14 July 1943) was an airborne assault on the Primosole Bridge, a key point on the coastal road to Catania, that didn’t go entirely to plan, and triggered a three day long battle to secure a bridgehead across the river.

Operation Husky No.2 (11-12 July 1943)

Operation Husky No.2 (11-12 July 1943) was an almost disastrous attempt to fly reinforcements to the US paratroops dropped on Sicily in Operation Husky No.1.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Secret Naval Investigator - the Battle against Hitler's Secret Underwater Weapons, Commander F. Ashe Lincoln QC, RNVR

The autobiography of one of the leading figures in the battle against Germany’s increasingly advanced mines and torpedoes, a key part of the battle of the Atlantic, allowing the British to overcome a series of German ‘secret weapons’ that might otherwise have cut the vital sea lanes to Britain. This comes across as one of the most dangerous research jobs of the Second World War, and many of the author’s colleagues were killed while trying to disarm and dismantle these weapons
(Read Full Review)

Peter the Great Humbled - The Russo-Ottoman War of 1711, Nicholas Dorrell

Looks at the short and almost disastrous Russian invasion of the Ottoman Empire, which ended with Peter the Great and his army trapped on the Pruth and forced to surrender on Ottoman terms. Covers the various armies involved on both sides, the commanders, the aims of the two main commanders and the course of the short, and for Peter, almost disastrous war. Despite some victories away from the main front, the war could have ended with Peter’s power greatly diminished and he was lucky to be offered rather generous terms
(Read Full Review)

Breaking Point of the French Army - The Nivelle Offensive of 1917, David Murphy

Looks at the state of the French army at the start of 1917, the hopes raised by Nivelle when he took command, the failure of his offensive and the crisis of morale caused by that failure. Includes interesting material on how Nivelle and his team were able to ignore the evidence that there were problems with their plan, and on how Petain managed to undo the damage to the French army in remarkably little time
 (Read Full Review)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Lockheed XR4O

The Lockheed XR4O was the designation given to a single example of the Lockheed Super Electra that was used by the US Navy.

Lockheed C-111 Super Electra

The Lockheed C-111 Super Electra was the designation given to four Lockheed Model 14-WF62s that were impressed by the USAAF after they reached Australia after escaping from the Dutch East Indies.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

21cm Mörser 18

The 21cm Mörser 18 was one of two parallel Krupp designs using a double recoil system, and was phased out in 1942 in favour of the longer ranged 17cm Kanone 18.

17cm Kanone 18

The 17cm Kanone 18 was one of two parallel Krupp designs to use the same double recoil system, and soon replaced the 21cm mortar variant as the main production version.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

USS O'Bannon (DD-177)

USS O'Bannon (DD-177) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a very short service career at the start of the 1920s.

USS Renshaw (DD-176)

USS Renshaw (DD-176) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a very brief active career at the start of the 1920s.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

50th Fighter Group

The 50th Fighter Group served with various training commands in the US, before moving to Britain to take part in the liberation of Europe in 1944-45.

49th Fighter Grou

The 49th Fighter Group took part in the defence of Australia, the long campaign on New Guinea, the return to the Philippines and raids against Formosa and the China coast.

48th Fighter Group

The 48th Fighter Group served as a replacement training unit, before joining the Ninth Air Force in Britain in the spring of 1944 and taking part in the campaign to liberate Europe.