Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Battle of Salamanca (22 July 1812)

The battle of Salamanca (22 July 1812) was one of the most important of Wellington's victories during the Peninsular War, and forced the French to abandon Madrid and temporarily withdraw towards the French border.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cimbric War (113-101 BC)

The Cimbric War (113-101 BC) saw the Romans suffer a series of serious defeats at the hands of the Cimbri, Teutons and other tribes, before the consul Marius won a series of victories that ended the threat to Italy.

Second battle of Cirta (winter 106-105 BC)

The second battle of Cirta (winter 106-105 BC) was the final major battle of the Jugurthine War, and saw the Romans repulse a second attack on their army in four days, convincing Jugurtha's ally Bocchus to change sides.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Battle of Engebi (17-18 February 1944)

The battle of Engebi (17-18 February 1944) was the first stage in the American conquest of Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands (Operation Catchpole).

Operation Catchpole (17-22 February 1944)

Operation Catchpole (17-22 February 1944) saw the Americans conquer Eniwetok Atoll in the north-western corner of the Marshall Islands, giving them a good base for the advance into the Marianas Islands.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Stalin's Secret Police, Rupert Butler

Covers the full history of Soviet political policing, from the Revolution and Civil War, through Stalin's rule and the Second World War and onto the post-war and Cold War worlds. More of a history of Soviet repression than of the activities of the Secret Police, covering what they did rather than how they were organised or how they worked. A useful but rather grim look at one of history's darker corners
(Read Full Review)

Man of War - The Fighting Life of Admiral James Saumarez, Anthony Sullivan

An interesting biography of a less familiar senior British naval officer of the Napoleonic Wars, who served off the French coast and as a floating diplomatic in the Baltic, where he helped prevent an escalation of the war, as well as fighting at many of the major naval battles of the period and commanding at the two battles of Algerciras
(Read Full Review)

US Navy Ships vs Kamikazes 1944-45, Mark Stille

Looks at the reasons for the kamikaze attacks, the techniques used by them, the aircraft involved, the ships they targeted, the American response, and the effectiveness of the attacks. Includes a useful statistical analysis of the campaign, looking at if it was an effective use of resources. A good short account of the kamikaze campaign, looking at it from both sides
(Read Full Review)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lockheed Y1C-17 'Speed Vega'

The Lockheed Y1C-17 'Speed Vega' was a single example of the DL-1B Vega purchased by the USAAC, and was lost in 1931 during an attempt to break a transcontinental speed record.

Lockheed Y1C-12

The Lockheed Y1C-12 was a single example of a DL-1 'Vega' that was purchased for evacuation by the USAAC.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

USS Leary (DD-158)

USS Leary (DD-158) was a Wickes class destroyer that served in the Atlantic and Caribbean, before being sunk by U-boats on 24 December 1943. 

USS Dickerson (DD-157/ APD-21)

USS Dickerson (DD-157/ APD-21) was a Wickes class destroyer that served on convoy escort duties until 1943 when she was converted into a fast transport. In 1945 she was struck by two kamikazes and suffered such heavy damage that she was sunk by US gunfire two days later.

15cm schwere Versuchs-Haubitzen L/13

The 15cm schwere Versuchs-Haubitzen L/13 was an experimental howitzer produced by Ehrhardt in response to a request from the German War Ministry.

15cm schwere Feldhaubitze 02

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitze 02 was the first artillery gun with barrel recoil to enter service with the German Army, and was still in service in large numbers at the outbreak of the First World War.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Treaty of Nemours (7 July 1585)

The treaty of Nemours (7 July 1585) saw Henry III of France give in to pressure from the Catholic League and agree to attempt to eliminate Protestantism in France, turning a Catholic revolt against his authority into the Eighth War of Religion.

Eighth War of Religion or War of the Three Henrys (1585-89)

The Eighth War of Religion or War of the Three Henrys (1585-89) was fought after the Protestant Henry of Navarre became heir to the throne of France, and merged into the Ninth War after Henry III died, leaving Navarre as king.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Combat of Castrillo (18 July 1812)

The combat of Castrillo (18 July 1812) was the second of two combats on the same day, and came after Marmont outmanoeuvred Wellington on the Douro and briefly threatened to cut off his rearguard.

Combat of Castrejon (18 July 1812)

The combat of Castrejon (18 July 1812) was a rearguard action that came after Marmont outmanoeuvred Wellington on the River Douro, early in the campaign that ended at Salamanca.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tippecanoe 1811 - The Prophet's battle, John F Winkler

Follows the campaign from the pressures on Indian land that helped trigger the fighting, through the rise of the Prophet, and the split that he caused in Indian society, and on to the actual fighting itself, looking at Harrison's careful efforts to reach Prophetstown with his army intact and the battle itself, a night attack on the American camp that failed to achieve its objectives, and ended the rule of the Prophet, but opened the way to the brief dominance of Tecumseh
(Read Full Review)

Nile River Gunboats 1882-1918, Angus Konstam

Looks at the increasingly powerful gunboats that supported Anglo-Egyptians operations on the Nile, from Gordon's disastrous invention in the Sudan and the attempts to save him to the eventual reconquest under Kitchener. Looks at the different classes of gunboat, the individual boats involved, how they were armed, armoured, powered and crewed and what life was like onboard, and finishes with a look at their two main campaigns
(Read Full Review)

US Infantryman vs German Infantryman, European Theatre of Operations 1944, Steven J. Zaloga

 Looks at three clashes between American and German infantry, from Normandy to the Ardennes, looking at how their units were equipped, organised and supported, and how that impacted on the fighting. I found the background information most interesting, looking at how the different sides were equipped and organised, and struggled to get into the perfectly well written battle accounts
(Read Full Review)

Friday, January 19, 2018

First battle of Cirta (winter 106-105 BC)

The first battle of Cirta (winter 106-105 BC) saw a Roman army under Marius narrowly escape from an ambush led by Jugurtha and his ally Bocchus (Jugurthine War).

Siege near the Muluccha River (106 BC)

The siege near the Muluccha River (106 BC) saw Marius besiege and capture one of Jugurtha's last fortresses, almost at the western border of Numidia.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Battle of Namur (1-2 February 1944)

The battle of Namur (1-2 February 1944) saw the US Marines capture the most strongly defended island in the northern part of Kwajalein Atoll, completing the conquest of the northern part of the Atoll.

Battle of Roi (1 February 1944)

The battle of Roi (1 February 1944) saw the US marines captured the main Japanese airbase in Kwajalein Atoll in a single day, after the Japanese defences were almost destroyed by the pre-invasion bombardment.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was the largest turboprop transport to be built for the USAF, and was designed to carry ICBM missiles around the United States.

Douglas C-132

The Douglas C-132 was a design for a two-deck turboprop powered transport aircraft that never got beyond the mock-up stage.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

15cm Versuchs-Haubitzen 99

The 15cm Versuchs-Haubitzen 99 was an experimental weapon that played a part in the development of the 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 02.

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz M1893

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz M1893 was the first German heavy howitzer to be light enough to serve with the field armies. It was obsolete at the outbreak of the First World War, but still saw service.

Monday, January 15, 2018

USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156/ AG-81)

USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156/ AG-81) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy escort duties in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

USS Cole (DD-155)

USS Cole (DD-155) was a Wickes class destroyer that served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres during the Second World War, supporting Operation Torch and the invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Japanese Navy in World War II, ed. David C. Evans

A very valuable examination of the successes and failures of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War, written by some of the officers who were closest to the action. Provides a very different view of some very familiar battles, and some interesting insights into the flaws in the Japanese war effort, including a lack of a realistic war plan and the tendency to adopt over-complex plans
(Read Full Review)

Conquerors of the Roman Empire - The Vandals, Simon MacDowall

Tells the impressive story of the Vandals, who in not much more than a single generation crossed the Rhine into Gaul, established a kingdom in Spain and then did the same in North Africa, sacked Rome and briefly set themselves up as one of the major naval powers of the period. Also covers the earlier, rather obscure, history of the Vandals, and their eventual defeat and destruction by the Eastern Romans
(Read Full Review)

Generals of the Bulge - Leadership in the U.S. Army's Greatest Battle, Jerry D. Morelock

A valuable study of the performance of a series of US generals, from Eisenhower, through the various levels of command down to Divisional, during the battle of the Bulge, the biggest single American land battle of the Second World War. Benefits greatly from the author's willingness to choose officers whose performance was less than impressive as well as those who shone during the battle. Includes some very useful debates on the bigger controversies of the battle
(Read Full Review)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Treaty of Joinville (31 December 1584)

The Treaty of Joinville (31 December 1584) was an agreement between Philip II of Spain and the more radical French Catholics, led by Henry, duke of Guise, aimed at preventing the Protestant Henry of Navarre coming to the French throne.

Peace of Fleix (November 1580)

The peace of Fleix (November 1580) ended the short Seventh War of Religion, and largely repeated the terms of earlier treaties.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Combat of Portugalete (11 July 1812)

The combat of Portugalete (11 July 1812) was an unsuccessful Anglo-Spanish attack on a fortified village at the mouth of the Bilbao River.

Combat of Castro Urdiales (6-8 July 1812)

The combat of Castro Urdiales (6-8 July 1812) was the second of a series of joint Anglo-Spanish successes that weakened the French hold on the coast of northern Spain.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Siege of Capsa (107 BC)

The siege of Capsa (107 BC) was Marius's first major military success in Numidia, but although it helped him conquer the south-east of the kingdom it failed to bring an end to the war any nearer (Jugurthine War).

Siege of Thala (108 BC)

The siege of Thala (108 BC) saw the Romans under Metellus capture the site of one of Jugurtha's treasuries, but without capturing the King or securing much of the treasure (Jugurthine War)

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Monday, January 08, 2018

Douglas C-124 Globemaster II

The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II was the main USAF heavy strategic cargo transport during the 1950s and 1960s, until it was replaced by the Lockheed C-5.

Douglas C-118 Liftmaster/ Douglas R6D

The Douglas C-118 Liftmaster/ Douglas R6D was the military version of the DC-6, and most were based on the improved DC-6A model.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Armoured Horsemen: With the Bays and Eight Army in North Africa and Italy, Peter Willett

Looks at the experiences of a British armoured unit during the key battles in North Africa and the last year of the Italian campaign, with a focus on the desert war. Gives us an interesting view into a generally well led but Public School dominated regiment, as well as the author's own experiences of the nature of armoured warfare. Also covers his post-war career in racing, to complete the picture (Read Full Review)

Death before Glory! The British Soldier in the West Indies in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, Martin R. Howard

Looks at the costly campaigns in the West Indies, where disease was often more dangerous for either side than their opponents. Well organised, split into three - the armies, the campaigns and the soldier's experiences, and gives a good picture of a series of difficult campaigns, where isolated, disease afflicted, British forces slowly came to dominate the area
(Read Full Review)

River Plate 1939 - The sinking of the Graf Spee, Angus Konstam

Looks at one of the earliest major British naval successes of the Second World War, the defeat and forced destruction of the pocket battleship Graf Spee by a much weaker force of British cruisers. Covers everything from the design of the warships, her commerce raiding career, and the allied hunt to the final destruction of Graf Spee by her own crew
(Read Full Review)

Friday, January 05, 2018

schwere 10cm Kanone 18 (heavy 10cm cannon 18)

The schwere 10cm Kanone 18 (heavy 10cm cannon 18) was the standard equipment of German medium artillery units in the late 1930s but wasn't a terribly successful design, and was eventually relegated to the coastal defence role.

10cm Kanone 17

The 10cm Kanone 17 was an improved version of the earlier 10cm Kanone 14, with a longer barrel to improve range.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

USS Ellis (DD-154)

USS Ellis (DD-154) was a Wickes class destroyer that mainly performed escort duties in the Atlantic theatre during the Second World War.

USS Bernadou (DD-153)

USS Bernadou (DD-153) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War performing various escort duties in the Atlantic theatre, as well as taking part in Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily and the Salerno landing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Siege of Cahors (28-31 May 1580)

The siege of Cahors (28-31 May 1580) was the main military action of the Seventh War of Religion, and saw Henry of Navarre capture a city that had been promised to him as part of his wife’s dowry.

Seventh War of Religion (1580)

The Seventh War of Religion (1580) was the least significant of the nine wars of religion, and saw Henry of Navarre expand his influence in the south-west of France.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Combat of Lequeitio (21-21 June 1812)

The combat of Lequeitio (21-21 June 1812) was the first of a series of successes for a joint British and Spanish force operating in northern Spain.

Siege of Astorga (2 July-18 August 1812)

The siege of Astorga (2 July-18 August 1812) saw the Spanish attack the isolated French garrison of Astorga, in an attempt to support Wellington's advance to Salamanca.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Revolt of Vaga (108 BC)

The revolt of Vaga (108 BC) saw this Numidian city massacre a Roman garrison, before almost immediately being recaptured by the Romans, at the same time opening up a feud between the Roman commanders Metellus and Marius.

Siege of Zama (109 BC)

The siege of Zama (109 BC) was a Roman attempt to force Jugurtha to accept battle that backfired and had to be abandoned after Jugurtha carried out a series of costly attacks on the Roman camp.