Friday, March 30, 2018

Lucius Cornelius Cinna (d.84 BC)

Lucius Cornelius Cinna (d.84 BC) was a leader of the opposition to Sulla, and helped overthrow Sulla's supporters after Sulla's first march on Rome, but was killed just before Sulla returned to Italy at the start of Sulla's Second Civil War.

Gaius Marcius Censorinus (d.82 BC)

Gaius Marcius Censorinus (d.82 BC) was a supporter of the Marian cause during Sulla's civil wars, and was executed after the battle of the Colline Gate.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Operation Barclay was the deception plan to support the invasion of Sicily, and was intended to convince the Germans that the Allies might be about to attack Corsica, Sardinia or Greece rather than Sicily.

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat was the most famous part of the deception plan to support the invasion of Sicily, and saw the British drop the body of a vagrant dressed in naval uniform into the sea off the coast of Spain, in the hope that the Spanish would pass on the ‘confidential’ documents in his possession to the Germans.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lockheed XB-30

The Lockheed XB-30 was a bomber version of the C-69/ C-121/ Constellation, developed in response to the same specifications that produced the B-29 Superfortress.

Monday, March 26, 2018

15cm Kanone 39

The 15cm Kanone 39 was originally produced for Turkey but entered German service in small numbers in 1939 and was mainly used as a coastal defence gun.

15cm Kanone 18

The 15cm Kanone 18 was a long range but awkward artillery piece that was only produced in small numbers, and wasn’t popular with the German Army.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Enduring Freedom Enduring Voices: US Operations in Afghanistan, Michael G. Walling

Looks at US military operations in Afghanistan between the 2001 and 2013, with very little on events in parts of the country not under US control. Includes a wide range of useful eyewitness accounts from US service personnel, largely untainted by hindsight simply because we don’t actually know the outcome of the war yet (the book even ends a year before the official end of Operation Enduring Freedom)
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Images of War: United States Naval Aviation 1911-2014, Michael Green

Covers the full range of US naval aircraft, from the early biplanes that entered service only five years after the first powered flight to the modern jet aircraft and unmanned drones. Split into four time periods, with each section beginning with a brief introduction to each aircraft type, followed by the photos themselves, each supported by a useful caption. Also includes a short section of colour plates, mainly of more modern aircraft or surviving older types
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RAF and the SOE - Special Duty Operations in Europe During WW2, An Official History

The official history of the RAF’s role in SOE operations, with valuables sections on problems such as navigation, what sort of supply containers to use, how reception committees worked or the dangerous landing operations. Not always terribly readable, due to its origin as an official report, but always valuable, providing a detailed examination of the aerial operations that made almost all of SOE’s operations possible.
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Friday, March 23, 2018

USS Foote (DD-169)

USS Foote (DD-169) was a Wickes class destroyer that served on convoy escort duties with the Royal Navy as HMS Roxborough.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Siege of Paris (November 1589)

The siege of Paris (November 1589) was a short lived attempt by Henry IV to capture Paris and secure his position as King of France (Ninth War of Religion).

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Combat of Venta del Pozo and Villadrigo (23 October 1812)

The combat of Venta del Pozo and Villadrigo (23 October 1812) was a rearguard action during the retreat that followed the failure of the siege of Burgos, and saw the French fail to take advantage of their superior numbers.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Gaius Carinnas (d.82 BC)

Gaius Carinnas (d.82 BC) was a senior commander on the Marian side during Sulla's Second Civil War, but he was defeated in all of his recorded battles, and was executed after the battle of the Colline Gate.

Gnaeus Papirius Carbo (d.81 BC)

Gnaeus Papirius Carbo (d.81 BC) was the main leader of the Marian faction during Sulla's Second Civil War, and was killed after fleeing into exile in Africa as his cause began to collapse.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Finnish Soldier vs Soviet Soldier - Winter War 1939-40, David Campbell

Looks at three key battles during the Winter War, comparing the performance of the full range of ground troops on both sides, including armour and artillery. Shows how the Soviet performance slowly improved, just as the Finns were being worn down by the constant fighting, but also how the determined Finnish resistance probably convinced Stalin to abandon his early plans to occupy the entire country, and also how the Soviet debacles in 1939 helped convince the Germans that the Red Army would be an easy opponent to defeat
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GI Stories 1942-45, Henry-Paul Enjames

Looks at the wartime careers of more than fifty US service personnel fighting in North Africa and Europe, tracing them from their pre-war lives in the US, through training and into combat. Tends to provide more individual details before their units entered active combat, then focus on the unit history until the subject of the chapter was wounded, captured, killed or the fighting ended, when we then get more personal details. Each entry is supported by a wide selection of photos of memorabilia, mainly closely related to the individual
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The Lions of Carentan: Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6, 1943-1945, Volker Griesser

A unit history that perhaps tells you more about the paratroops saw themselves than the reality of their war, although the eyewitness accounts are often more honest, reflecting the often desperate fighting that saw the unit pushed back from Normandy into the heart of Germany, suffering massive casualties on the way. Covers the German seizure of Rome, D-Day and the fighting in Normandy, the attacks on the land corridor leading to Arnhem and the final defensive battles in Germany
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Operation Corkscrew or the invasion of Pantelleria (11 June 1943)

Operation Corkscrew or the invasion of Pantelleria (11 June 1943) saw the British occupy this fortified Italian island without a shot being fired, after the garrison was subjected to a heavy aerial bombardment.

Operation Beggar or Turkey Buzzard (3 June-7 July 1943)

Operation Beggar or Turkey Buzzard (3 June-7 July 1943) was a series of long distance flights to tow Horsa gliders from Britain to North Africa, where they were to take part in the invasion of Sicily.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

15cm Kanone 16 (Krupp)

The 15cm Kanone 16 (Krupp) was an important German heavy gun during the second half of the First World War, and had longer range than its direct Allied equivalents, making it a more flexible weapon.

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 18/40 or 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 42

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 18/40 or 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 42 was a compromise design for a heavy howitzer, combining the barrel from the sFH 40 and the carriage from the sFH 18.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

USS Maddox (DD-168)

USS Maddox (DD-168) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Royal Navy as HMS Georgetown and then in the Soviet Navy.

USS Cowell (DD-167)

USS Cowell (DD-167) was a Wickes class destroyer that was transferred to the Royal Navy as part of the destroyers for bases deal where she served as HMS Brighton.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ninth War of Religion (1589-98)

The Ninth War of Religion (1589-98) was the last stage of the long series of religious wars that had divided France since 1562, and was fought over the succession of Henry of Navarre as Henry IV.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Siege of Burgos (19 September-22 October 1812)

The siege of Burgos (19 September-22 October 1812) was the disastrous end to otherwise successful Salamanca campaign, and his failure outside Burgos forced Wellington to retreat back to the Portuguese border, ending the year almost where he had started it.

Second combat of Bilbao (27-29 August 1812)

The second combat of Bilbao (27-29 August 1812) saw the French recapture the Basque capital only two weeks after it had been captured by a joint Anglo-Spanish force.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The SADF in the Border War 1966-1989, Leopold Scholtz

Looks at the long war on the Angolan-Namibian border, fought between South Africa and UNITA on one side and the Angolans, Cubans and SWAPO on the other. The author states in the introduction that his work can't be entirely balanced because of the available sources, but still does a good job of producing an unbiased account of the South African performance during the war, looking at their successes and failures on the battlefield, and in the eventual peace negotiations that ended the war
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Lobositz to Leuthen - Horace St. Paul and the Campaigns of the Austrian Army in the Seven Years War 1756-57, Neil Cogswell

Meant as a series study of the military art, so includes orders of battle, extracts from other author's work, all pulled together in St. Paul's diaries, and describing some of the earliest campaigns of the Seven Years War. A valuabkle source for this period, giving us an educated outsider's view of some of the early battles and sieges of the Seven Years War, seen from a position close to the senior Austrian and Imperial armies
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The Petersburg Campaign vol II: The Western Front Battles September 1864-April 1865, Bryce A. Suderow and Edwin C. Bearss

Looks at the fighting to the south and west of Petersburg during the long siege of 1864-65, which ended with the Confederates forced to abandon Petersburg and Richmond, the retreat to Appomattox and the final surrender of Lee's army. Starts with a rather dry account of the early battles on this front, which ended in stalemate, before moving on to the key battles of the spring of 1865, which saw the Confederate lines finally broken
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Friday, March 09, 2018

L. Junius Brutus Damasippus (d.82 BC)

L. Junius Brutus Damasippus (d.82 BC) was a supporter of the Marians during Sulla's Second Civil War, and is most famous for carrying out the murder of four of the younger Marius's enemies.

Battle of Vercellae or the Raudian Plain (30 July 101 BC)

The battle of Vercellae or the Raudian Plain (30 July 101 BC) was the final battle of the Cimbric War and saw Marius destroy the Cimbri at an uncertain location in northern Italy.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Invasion of Tinian (24 July-1 August 1944)

The invasion of Tinian (24 July-1 August 1944) took place three days after the start of the invasion of Guam, and after a week the island had been secured by the Americans.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Lockheed XFV-1

The Lockheed XFV-1 was an experimental VTOL aircraft that never made a vertical take off or landing, but that did fly with a temporary conventional undercarriage.

Lockheed R7O/ R7V

The Lockheed R7O/ R7V was a US navy transport aircraft based on the Lockheed Super Constellation airliner, a stretched version of the earlier Constellation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 40

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 40 was designed to provide longer range than the standard sFH 18, but a lack of production capability meant that it never entered full production, although a compromise version, the sFH 18/40, was produced in small numbers

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 36 L/23

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 36 L/23 was a lightweight howitzer designed to towed by a single team of horses.

Monday, March 05, 2018

USS Bush (DD-166)

USS Bush (DD-166) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a very short active career after the First World War then spent fourteen years out of commission before being scrapped.

USS Meredith (DD-165)

USS Meredith (DD-165) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a short active career just after the First World War then spent fourteen years out of commission before being scrapped.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

World War II US Army Combat Equipments, Gordon L. Rottman

 At first glance this is a rather unpromising topic, but it actually gives you an interesting insight into the daily life of the US soldier of the Second World War, looking at the kit they carried with themselves every day, cooked with and camped in, as well as the various ammo holders and pouches. The result is a surprisingly interesting book
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Caen Controversy - The Battle for Sword Beach 1944, Andrew Stewart

Looks at the plans for the attack on Sword Beach, the question of if Caen was an Allied target for D-Day, and if so why it wasn't captured on the day. Provides a good account of the beach landings, as well as the wider battle, before looking at the controversy surrounding the failure to take Caen on or close to D-Day, one of Montgomery's stated aims before the invasion
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The Suomi Submachine Gun, Leroy Thompson

Looks at the main Finnish submachine gun during the Winter War and to a lesser extent the Continuation Wars, focusing not just on what made it distinctive technically, but also on how it was used by the Finns to increase the firepower of their hit-and-run raiders, and the wider significance of that combat experience, which turned the SMG from a specialist weapon into a mainstay of the infantry.
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Friday, March 02, 2018

Battle of Arques (21 September 1589)

The battle of Arques (21 September 1589) was a victory for Henry IV early in the Ninth French War of Religion, and saw him defeat the duke of Mayenne, the new leader of the Catholic League.

Siege of Paris (30 July-c.5/6 August 1589)

The siege of Paris (30 July-c.5/6 August 1589) saw the combined armies of Henry III and Henry of Navarre besiege Paris, which was held by the Catholic League, but the besieging army fell apart after the assassination of Henry III and the siege soon had to be lifted (Eighth War of Religion).

Thursday, March 01, 2018

First combat of Bilbao (13-14 August 1812)

The first combat of Bilbao (13-14 August 1812) saw a joint Anglo-Spanish force capture the Basque capital, but it was recaptured by the French only two weeks later.

Siege of the Retiro (13-14 August 1812)

The siege of the Retiro (13-14 August 1812) was the only French attempt to defend Madrid in the aftermath of the battle of Salamanca, and saw the British storm the outer line of defences before the defenders surrendered.