Monday, December 31, 2018

Martin XB-51

The Martin XB-51 was a three engine jet ground attack aircraft that reached the prototype stage but didn’t enter production.

Martin XB-48

The Martin XB-48 was an early American jet bomber that reached the prototype stage, but didn’t enter production.

Friday, December 28, 2018

HMS Opossum

HMS Opossum was an A class destroyer that served with the Devonport Local Flotilla during the First World War, remaining active enough for her commander to win the DSC for action against enemy submarines in 1918.

HMS Ranger

HMS Ranger was an A class destroyer that served with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla during the First World War, before being withdrawn from service in 1917.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

7in Gun on Railway Mount Model 1918

The 7in Gun on Railway Mount Model 1918 mounted a US Navy 7in gun on an army railway car, and was constructed to protect the US coast against U-Boat attack during the First World War.

4.7in Howitzer on Railway Mount Model 1917

The 4.7in Howitzer on Railway Mount Model 1917 was a Model 1913 howitzer mounted on a simple railway carriage, and was used as a coastal defence weapon at Panama after the American entry into the First World War

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Queen's American Rangers, Donald J. Gara.

 A history of the unit first raised by Robert Rogers early in the American War of Independence, but that was soon taken from him, and that eventually gained an impressive reputation, become one of only four Loyalist units to be incorporated into the British Army. During that time they took part in a wide range of activities, fighting at some of the major battles of the war (including Yorktown), as well as acting as light infantry and taking part in many of the small scale raids (Read Full Review)

Wellington's Brigade Commanders - Peninsula and Waterloo, Ron McGuigan and Robert Burnham

. A very useful reference work giving four or five page biographies of the surprisingly large group of men who commanded brigades in Wellington’s armies in the Peninsula or during the Waterloo campaign, covering just over sixty men. Covers a wide range of careers, from men who commanded a brigade for less than a month to those who served under Wellington for most of the Peninsula Campaign and at Waterloo, such as Denis Pack.(Read Full Review)

Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 5: Chaos and Civil War in Flanders - the death of Charles the Good.

 Focuses on the civil war that followed the assassination of Charles the Good in 1127, mainly as seen by the contemporary chronicler Galbert of Bruges, who was actually caught up in the events he described, and provides us with one of the more involving and detailed accounts of a medieval conflict. [read full review]

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

USS Flusser (DD-289)

USS Flusser (DD-289) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a limited peacetime career, before being scrapped in 1930.

USS John D Edwards (DD-216)

USS John D Edwards (DD-216) was a Clemson class destroyer that survived the disasterous battle of the Java Sea in 1942, and was then mainly used on escort duties, first in the Pacific and then in the Atlantic, along with one spell serving with an anti-submarine hunter-killer group in the Atlantic.

HMS Handy

HMS Handy was an A class destroyer that served in the Far East, and that was withdraw from service in 1913 and sold at Hong Kong in 1916.

HMS Zephyr

HMS Zephyr was an A class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla in 1918

Monday, December 17, 2018

HMS Fervent

HMS Fervent was an A class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla and was still active enough in 1918 for her commander to win the DSC.

HMS Wizard

HMS Wizard was an A class destroyer that served with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla for most of the First World War, before being withdrawn from service in March-April 1917.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 4: The Battle of Hattin - Fighting for the Holy Land.

Focuses on the career of Saladin, looking at his place in the Middle East, his greatest successes and the less successful aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem. Also looks at the place of the Crusader Kingdoms in the Middle East, which was more complex than is normally acknowledged, and away from the theme covers the battle of Sandwich and the Teutonic Knights.
[read full review]

Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Jousts and Tournaments.

Entirely focuses on the medieval tournament, covering a wide timespan from the First Crusade to the end of the Middle Ages, where the formal tournament made something of a comeback. Includes a look at some most unusual contests, such as the Ghent Crossbow Tournament, the wide appeal of the tournament and the way in which it evolved over time.
[read full review]

Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 1: Invasion of the Vikings - Warriors, sailors and heroes.

 Looks at a number of less familiar topics, from the Viking invasions of France and Spain to the possible role of woman as warriors, as well as examining the theories for why the Vikings began to raid. Away from the theme includes an interesting eyewitness account of medieval Korea, the use of mining at the siege of Edessa and the appearance of armies of the dead in Medieval literature.
[read full review]

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Combat of Yanzi (1 August 1813)

The combat of Yanzi (1 August 1813) saw a small Spanish force badly disrupt Soult’s retreat down the Bidassoa valley in the aftermath of his defeat at the second battle of Sorauren.

Combat of Sumbilla (1 August 1813)

The combat of Sumbilla (1 August 1813) was a rearguard action in which two British divisions attempted to catch up with Soult’s troops retreating down the Bidassoa valley in the aftermath of their defeat at the second battle of Sorauren.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

HMS Conflict

HMS Conflict was an A class destroyer that served with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War. 

HMS Porcupine

HMS Porcupine was an A class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla from August 1914 until November 1917, when she was probably withdrawn from front line service as more modern destroyers became available.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Operation Olive (25 August-October 1944)

Operation Olive (25 August-October 1944) was the first Allied attack on the German Gothic Line in the northern Apennines. Although most of the fortifications of the Gothic Line were captured early in the offensive, the Germans managed to hold on to new lines further back, and the Allied offensive eventually ran out of steam late in 1944, tantalisingly close to the Po plains.

Monday, December 10, 2018

HMS Lightning (1895)

HMS Lightning (1895) was an A class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla early in the First World War, before being sunk by a submarine laid mine in June 1915.

HMS Boxer (1894)

HMS Boxer (1894) was an A class destroyer that was a record breaker in her early career, and that served with the Portsmouth local Defence Flotilla during the First World War, before being lost in a collision in 1918.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

From Marne to Verdun - The War Diary of Captain Charles Delvert, 101st Infantry 1914-1916, Charles Delvert

The compelling war diaries of a French officer who found in some of the costliest battles of the first half of the First World War, including the battle of the Frontiers, the Marne, the Race to the Sea and most famously at Verdun. Gives us both an insight into life in the French army during the first part of the war, and into some of the costliest battles of the conflict. Mainly light-hearted in tone, the dark moments thus stand out far more (Read Full Review)

Gunfire! British Artillery in World War II, Stig H. Moberg

A very detailed examination of how British artillery operated during the Second World War, focusing on how the guns were actually used, looking at the ballistics of the artillery, how individual guns were aimed and how batteries were combined and controlled to produce the flexible, devastating firepower that made the Royal Artillery the most effective part of the British army during the Second World War, and a genuine battle winning weapon (Read Full Review)

Byzantine Naval Forces 1261-1461 - The Roman Empire's Last Marines, Raffaele D'Amato

Looks at the last naval forces of the Roman Empire, existing for two centuries between the Greek re-conquest of Byzantium and the fall of the city to the Ottomans. Supported by a wide range of colourful examples of Byzantine paintings and manuscript illustrations that give us a really vivid picture of this final period of Roman naval power (Read Full Review)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Martin P5M (P-5) Marlin

The Martin P5M (P-5) Marlin was developed from the successful PBM Mariner, and was the last operational flying boat to serve with the US Navy.

Martin P4M Mercator

The Martin P4M Mercator was a long range reconnaissance aircraft, powered by a mix of piston and jet engines, and that saw service as an ECM aircraft in the 1950s.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

7.2in Howitzer Mk 6

The 7.2in Howitzer Mk 6 combined the American Mk1 carriage with a long 7.1in barrel to produce a significantly better weapon than the earlier 7.2in Howitzer Mk I-V.

7.2in Howitzer Mk I-V

The 7.2in Howitzer Mk I-V was an improvised weapon that was originally produced in 1940 and based around relined First World War 8in Howitzers.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

USS Borie (DD-215)

USS Borie (DD-215) was Clemson class destroyer that served in the Caribbean for most of the Second World War, before being scuttled after suffering heavy damage when she rammed and sank U-405 in November 1943.

USS Tracy (DD-214/ DM-19)

USS Tracy (DD-214/ DM-19) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet in the 1920s and 1930s. She was in the middle of a refit when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, then took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal, before spending most of the rest of the war on escort duties, as well as taking part in the invasion of Okinawa.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Combat of Venta de Urroz or Donna Maria (31 July 1813)

The combat of Venta de Urroz or Donna Maria (31 July 1813) was a rearguard action during Soult’s retreat after his defeat at the second battle of Sorauren, and saw Hill’s division harass the French rearguard and begin to provide evidence that the French weren’t retreating along the route that Wellington had expected.

Combat of Beunza (30 July 1813)

The combat of Beunza (30 July 1813) was part of the wider second battle of Sorauren and saw a French attack some way to the north-west of the main battlefield repulsed by Hill’s Division.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Battle of Hippo Regius (Summer 46 BC)

The battle of Hippo Regius (Summer 46 BC) was a naval victory for the Roman adventurer P. Sittius in which several of the Republican leaders fleeing in the aftermath of their defeat at Thapsus were killed.

Battle of Thapsus (April 46 BC)

The battle of Thapsus (April 46 BC) saw Caesar defeat the last major Republican army, commanded by Metellus Scipio, after a campaign in Africa which often saw him outnumbered and short of supplies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Battle of Gemmano (4-15 September 1944)

The battle of Gemmano (4-15 September 1944) was part of the Eighth Army’s assault on the eastern end of the Gothic Line, and saw the Germans carry out a skilful delaying action after their original defensive positions were overrun unexpectedly quickly.

Battle of the Arno Line (23 July -31 August 1944)

The battle of the Arno Line (23 July -31 August 1944) saw the Germans delay the Allied advance on the Arno west of Florence for over a month, allowing more work to be carried out on the Gothic Line, further into the mountains.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Martin XB-27

The Martin XB-27 was a design for a high altitude medium bomber that never got beyond the blueprint stage.

Martin XB-16

The Martin XB-16 was a design for a heavy bomber to satisfy a USAAC specification for a heavy bomber with a range of 5,000 miles.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

USS Barker (DD-213)

USS Barker (DD-213) was a Clemson class destroyer that remained in commission for her entire career, spending most of the interwar period with the Asiatic Fleet, before taking part in the unsuccessful attempt to defend the Dutch East Indies early in 1942. She remained in service to the end of the war, largely operating in the Atlantic.

USS Smith Thompson (DD-212)

USS Smith Thompson (DD-212) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in European waters, with the Asiatic Station and off the US East Coast before being written off after a collision with one of her sister ships in 1936.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Second battle of Sorauren (30 July 1813)

The second battle of Sorauren (30 July 1813) was Soult’s last attempt to win a significant victory during the battle of the Pyrenees, and saw an attack along a longer front than during the first battle repulsed by Wellington.

First battle of Sorauren (28 July 1813)

The first battle of Sorauren (28 July 1813) was Soult’s best chance to win a significant victory during the battle of the Pyrenees, but by the time he attacked Wellington had reached the scene with reinforcements, and the French attack was repulsed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Battle of Tegea (March 46 BC)

The battle of Tegea (March 46 BC) was the last in a series of skirmishes between the forces of Caesar and the Republicans in the campaign that ended at Thapsus, and was an inconclusive battle that helped convince Caesar that the Republican commander Scipio wouldn’t risk a full scale battle unless he was forced into it.

Siege of Acilla (January 46 BC)

The siege of Acilla (January 46 BC) was an unsuccessful Republican attempt to recapture a city that had sided with Caesar after his arrival in North Africa.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Battle of Ancona (17-18 July 1944)

The battle of Ancona (17-18 July 1944) was the only fully independent battle fought by General Anders’ 2nd Polish Corps in Italy, and saw them capture the key port of Ancona on the Adriatic Coast.

Battle of the Arezzo Line (3-18 July 1944)

The battle of the Arezzo Line (3-18 July 1944) saw the Germans fight a delaying action along a line that protected the ports of Livorno and Ancona, winning them precious time to improve the fortifications of the Gothic Line.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Martin XB-14

The Martin XB-14 was an experimental version of the Martin B-10, produced to test out the new Twin Wasp engines.

Martin XB-13

The Martin XB-13 was the designation given to a version of the Martin B-10 that would have been powered by the Hornet B radial engine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ordnance QF 3.7in Howitzer

The Ordnance QF 3.7in Howitzer (known as a pack or mountain howitzer) was designed to be carried by mules, and was the last in a series of ‘screw guns’ used by the British and Indian Armies.

Ordnance QF 2.95in Mountain Gun

The Ordnance QF 2.95in Mountain Gun was the first British mountain gun to use a hydraulic buffer, and was ordered in small numbers by the British Army, the Egyptian Army, the West African Frontier Force and the US Army.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

USS Alden (DD-211)

USS Alden (DD-211) was a Clemson class destroyer that survived the early disasterous battles in the Dutch East Indies, and spent most of the rest of the war on escort duties in the Caribbean and Atlantic, along with one spell with a hunter-killer submarine warfare group.

USS Broome (DD-210)

USS Broome (DD-210) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War operating on convoy escort and other duties off the US East Coast, with rare trips across the Atlantic.

Monday, November 12, 2018

508th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 508th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-47 group that trained as a long range escort group, but never got further forward than Hawaii.

507th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 507th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-47 group that operated as a ground attack unit during the last few months of the war against Japan.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Erich Raeder - Admiral of the Third Reich, Keith W. Bird

Looks at the full career of the first commander-in-chief of Hitler’s navy, a man who was often overshadowed by his successor Donitz and his U-boat war, but who played a major part in shaping the Kriegsmarine, both physically and politically. Undermines his claims to have been a non-political leader, and shows how close he was to the Nazi leadership, before eventually their different views of Germany’s war aims, and Hitler’s rather unrealistic expectations of the Navy forced his resignation
(Read Full Review)

Attack on the Scheldt - The Struggle for Antwerp 1944, Graham A. Thomas

Looks at the hard fought battles to clear the approaches to the port of Antwerp along the lower stretches of the Scheldt, an area that was almost entirely suited to the defender, with much of it flooded and only a handful of narrow approaches along well defended causeways. Despite these problems, the Allies, led by the First Canadian Army, cleared the Scheldt in just over a month
(Read Full Review)

Russian Weapons of World War II, David Porter

A good overview of the weapons used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War, ranging from individual infantry weapons up to the battleships of the Soviet fleet, as well as the various lend lease items that supported the Soviet war effort. Well illustrated, acknowledges the problems dealing with Soviet sources, and accurate in areas of some confusion (such as the various types of artillery pieces in service)
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Battle of Roncesvalles (25 July 1813)

The battle of Roncesvalles (25 July 1813) was part of the wider battle of the Pyrenees, and saw Soult’s main attack held up all day by British and Spanish forces at the top of the Roncesvalles pass, before General Cole decided that his position was too vulnerable and ordered a retreat on the night of 25-26 July.

Combat of Linzoain (26 July 1813)

The combat of Linzoain (26 July 1813) was a minor rearguard action fought in the aftermath of the battle of Roncesvalles, and was a British delaying action, greatly aided by a lack of interest in attacking on the part of the French.

Battle of Roncesvalles (25 July 1813)

The battle of Roncesvalles (25 July 1813) was part of the wider battle of the Pyrenees, and saw Soult’s main attack held up all day by British and Spanish forces at the top of the Roncesvalles pass, before General Cole decided that his position was too vulnerable and ordered a retreat on the night of 25-26 July.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Siege of Cirta (January 46 BC)

The siege of Cirta (January 46 BC) saw Caesar’s allies capture and sack one of the key cities of Numidia, forcing King Juba to withdraw most of his troops from the Republican army, weakening it just as Caesar was at his most vulnerable.

Siege of Leptis Minor (January 46 BC)

The siege of Leptis Minor (January 46 BC) was a brief attempt by Republican forces under Labienus to recapture a city that had gone over to Caesar soon after his arrival in Africa.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Battle of the Trasimeno Line (20 June-2 July 1944)

The battle of the Trasimeno Line (20 June-2 July 1944) saw the Allies break through the first significant defensive line that the Germans had been able to create in the aftermath of the fourth battle of Cassino and the fall of Rome

Battle of Elba (17-19 June 1944)

The battle of Elba (17-19 June 1944) saw a largely French force capture the island after overwhelming a much smaller Italian and German garrison (Italian Campaign).

Monday, November 05, 2018

Martin T3M

The  Martin T3M was an improved version of the CS-2, using a geared Wright engine. It was the most numerous member of its family, with 124 produced.

Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M

The Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M was a Navy designed scout and torpedo bomber of the 1920s that was produced in several versions by Curtiss and Martin

Sunday, November 04, 2018

The British Civil Wars at Sea 1638-1653, Richard J. Blakemore and Elaine Murphy

Looks at one of the less familiar aspects of the Civil Wars, the conflict between Parliament’s Navy and their various opponents, including Royalist, Irish Confederate and Scottish warships and privateers, a conflict that lacked major naval battles, but that had a big impact on the course of many of the campaigns on land, and in particular the fighting in Ireland later in the wars
(Read Full Review)

Fortress Island Malta - Defence & Re-Supply During the Siege, Peter Jacobs

Looks at the aerial battles over the island, and the many attempts to run supplies through the Mediterranean to the island. Includes detailed accounts of many of the convoys that attempted to bring supplies into Malta, as well as accounts of some of the key aerial battles, and the shifting balance of power in the air, as the British flew fighters onto the island and the Germans committed, withdrew and re-committed their forces to the battle. A good readable account of one of the most significant battles in the Mediterranean theatre
(Read Full Review)

Images of War: US Infantry Weapons of the Second World War, Michael Green

Covers a wide range of infantry and infantry support weapons, from the pistol and rifle, through machine guns and mortars and up to infantry guns and light tanks! Each chapter starts with a good sized piece of text examining the weapons in that section, followed by the individual pictures, each with a useful caption. A good photographic guide to the weapons used by the US Infantry during the Second World War
(Read Full Review)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Ordnance BL 2.75in mountain gun

The Ordnance BL 2.75in mountain gun was a significantly modernized version of the 10-pounder mountain gun, and was given a modern recoil system that put it almost on a par with the cavalry and field artillery guns.

Ordnance QF 15-pounder Ehrhardt

The Ordnance QF 15-pounder Ehrhardt was a German produced gun bought for the British Army after the Boer War, and used in limited numbers in France in 1915.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

USS Long (DD-209/ DMS-12)

USS Long (DD-209/ DMS-12) was a Clemson class destroyer that fought in the Aleutians, at Hollandia, in the Marianas, the Palaus and the Philippines, before being sunk during the landings at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon.

USS Hovey (DD-208/ DMS-11)

USS Hovey (DD-208/ DMS-11) was a Clemson class destroyer that fought at Gualadcanal, Bougainville and Leyte before she was sunk by a torpedo during the landings at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

506th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 506th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-51 group that operated with the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific, carrying out a mix of ground attack and bomber escort missions.

479th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 479th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, and operated as a ground attack and bomber escort unit from May 1944 to the end of the war in Europe.

478th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 478th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that served as a replacement training unit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Battle of Maya (25 July 1813)

The battle of Maya (25 July 1813) saw the French force Wellington’s men to abandon the pass of Maya and retreat toward Pamplona, and was the only occasion in which an army under Wellington’s command lost guns (battle of the Pyrenees).

Battle of the Pyrenees (25 July-2 August 1813)

The battle of the Pyrenees (25 July-2 August 1813) saw Marshal Soult unexpectedly launch an offensive across the mountains in an attempt to raise the siege of Pamplona. After some early successes he was turned back to the north of the city, and was lucky to escape back into France with his army largely intact.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Battle of Ascurum (46 BC)

The battle of Ascurum (46 BC) was a minor defeat for the Republican forces during the final African campaign of the Great Civil War and saw an attempt to invade Mauritania fail

Battle of Ruspina (46 BC)

The battle of Ruspina (46 BC) was a minor defeat suffered by Caesar soon after he arrived in Africa, but his Republican opponents failed to take full advantage of their success, and allowed Caesar to recover from the early setback

Sunday, September 23, 2018

In the Legions of Napoleon - the Memoirs of a Polish Officer in Spain and Russia 1808-1813, Henrich von Brandt

The memoirs of a Polish officer from a German background who served with the French from 1808-1813, covering the four years he spent in Spain and the disastrous invasion of Russia of 1812. Provides a rather different viewpoint on these famous campaigns, especially in Spain, where Brandt fought in a part of the war rarely covered by British memoirs. Also includes some more lighthearted moments from Spain, as well as a vivid account of the disastrous retreat from Spain
(Read Full Review)

Voices from the Peninsula - Eyewitness Accounts by Soldiers of Wellington's Army, 1808-1814, ed. Ian Fletcher

Covers the long series of campaigns fought by Wellington’s army, from the initial victories at Rolica and Vimeiro to the eventually invasion of France, when his troops became the first Allied troops to cross onto French soil as the net closed in on Napoleon. Uses a wide range of authors to bring us into the heart of the action, and to give us accounts of many of the key moments of Wellington’s many victories as well as his rare setbacks
(Read Full Review)

American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II, Robin L. Rielly

Looks at the creation of armed gunboats based on the Landing Craft, Infantry (LCI), at first as a weapon for use against Japanese barges and later used to support amphibious landings and to defend against suicide boats and kamikaze attacks. An impressive example of how an improvised weapon could turn into a vital weapon, playing a major part in the second half of the Pacific War, and especially at Okinawa
(Read Full Review)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fourth battle of Cassino or Operation Diadem (11-18 May 1944)

The fourth battle of Cassino or Operation Diadem (11-18 May 1944) was a large scale Allied attack that finally broke the stalemate on the Cassino front, and allowed the Allies to occupy Rome just before the start of Operation Overlord.

Operation Shingle, or the battle of Anzio (22 January-5 June 1944)

Operation Shingle, or the battle of Anzio (22 January-5 June 1944) was one of the most controversial battles of the Italian campaign, and saw a joint Anglo-American force land close to Rome to break the deadlock at Camino, only to get bogged down and besieged in a narrow beachhead for months

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Martin B-12

The Martin B-12 was a modified version of the successful B-10, powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet A engines.

Martin B-10

The Martin B-10 was the first of the new generation of monoplane bombers to enter USAAC service in the 1930s, and when it first appeared was a revolutionary aircraft that was faster than the standard fighter aircraft of its day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ordnance QF 18-pounder field gun Mk.IV

The Ordnance QF 18-pounder field gun Mk.IV was a modernised version of the 18-pounder Mk.I, but didn’t enter service until late in the First World War.

Ordnance QF 18-pounder field gun Mk I

The Ordnance QF 18-pounder field gun Mk I was the British Army’s standard field gun of the First World War, and after some teething troubles developed into a reliable weapon.

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.