Thursday, May 31, 2018

Operation Hooker (8 September 1943)

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

Operation Baytown (3 September 1943)

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Combat of San Pelayo (24 March 1813)

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Defence Logistics in Military History (4 of 4)

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Battle of the Sucro (75 BC)

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

Battle of Valentia (75 BC)

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

Sunday, May 27, 2018

British Commando 1940-45, Angus Konstam

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

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

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

Rommel in his own words, ed. Dr John Pimlott

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

Italian Campaign (3 September 1943-2 May 1945)

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Lockheed C-101 ‘Vega’

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

Lockheed C-85

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

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

15cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

USS Howard (DD-179/ DMS-7)

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

USS Hogan (DD-178/ DMS-6)

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

54th Fighter Group

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

53rd Fighter Group

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

52nd Fighter Group

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

Sunday, May 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Edict of Nantes (13 April 1598)

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

Siege of Amiens (April-25 September 1597)

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Combat of Lerin (30 March 1813)

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

Capture of Fuenterrabia (11 March 1813)

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Defence Logistics in Military History (3 of 4)

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Battle of Segovia (75 BC)

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

Battle of Italica Hispalis (76 BC)

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Operation Fustian (13-14 July 1943)

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

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

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

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Lockheed XR4O

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

Lockheed C-111 Super Electra

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

21cm Mörser 18

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

17cm Kanone 18

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

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

USS O'Bannon (DD-177)

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

USS Renshaw (DD-176)

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

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

50th Fighter Group

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

49th Fighter Grou

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

48th Fighter Group

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

Monday, May 07, 2018

Fall of Amiens (11 March 1597)

The fall of Amiens (11 March 1597) saw the city fall to the Spanish after they used a trick to get through the city gates.

Siege of La Fère (November 1595-16 May 1596)

The siege of La Fère (November 1595-16 May 1596) saw Henry IV capture the last Spanish outpost south of the Somme, but while he was engaged in the siege the Spanish were able to capture Calais.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Anders Lassen VC, MC of the SAS, Mike Langley

A biography of one of the most remarkable men to serve with the SAS and SBS during the Second World War, an exiled Dane who went on to win the MC and two bars and the Victoria Cross, looking at his military career and his character, and producing a picture of a more complex than expected man, who inflicted a great deal of damage on the Germans, especially in the Aegean
(Read Full Review)

Monte Cassino: A German View, Rudolf Böhmler

Very good on the nitty gritty of the fighting carried out by Bohmler’s paratroops, who were responsible for much of the determined defence of Cassino monastery and town, so we get a good feel for the day-to-day experience of the paratroops. Not so strong on the overall picture or the political background, which is sometimes dominated by a desire to rehabilitate the reputation of the German army in a Cold War context
(Read Full Review)

Friends and Enemies: The Natal Campaign in the South African War 1899-1902, Hugh Rethman

Looks at the Boer invasion of Natal, the siege of Ladysmith and the efforts to raise the siege, with an emphasis on the role of troops raised in Natal and on the fate of the civilian population of the area. Perhaps a bit too hostile to the Boers and critical of British officers, but excellent on its core subject - the contribution of the people of Natal to their own defence in the face of hostile invasion
(Read Full Review)

Friday, May 04, 2018

Combat of Poza de la Sal (10-11 February 1813)

The combat of Poza de la Sal (10-11 February 1813) saw the Spanish guerrillas of Longa ambush the headquarters of Palombini’s division, which held out until reinforcements arrived and forced the Spanish to retreat.

Combat of Tiebas (9 February 1813)

The combat of Tiebas (9 February 1813) saw the Spanish guerrilla leader Mina defeat a French force that was attempting to lift the siege of Tafalla (to 12 February 1813), and was quickly followed by the fall of the town.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Siege of Lauro or Lauron (76 BC)

The siege of Lauro or Lauron (76 BC) saw Sertorius outwit Pompey and force him to watch helpless while the city fell to him and was destroyed (Sertorian War).

Siege of Lacobriga (78 BC)

The siege of Lacobriga (78 BC) saw Sertorius outwit Metellus and foil his attempt to capture the chief city of one of Sertorius’s Spanish allies.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Operation Chestnut (12-19 July 1943)

Operation Chestnut (12-19 July 1943) was an unsuccessful attempt by the SAS to disrupt Axis communications in northern Sicily, to support the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Operation Narcissus (10 July 1943)

Operation Narcissus (10 July 1943) was an SAS raid carried out to support the Eighth Army landings on Sicily.