Friday, June 29, 2018

Lockheed C-66

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

Lockheed-Vega XB-38

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

Detroit Lockheed YP-24

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

Lockheed XR2O

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

21cm Kanone 12 (Eisenbahn)

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

20.3cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

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

35.5cm Haubitz M.1

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

24cm Kanone 3

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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

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

USS Abbot (DD-184)

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

USS Haraden (DD-183)

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

USS Thomas (DD-182)

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

83rd Fighter Group

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

79th Fighter Group

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

78th Fighter Group

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

59th Fighter Grou

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

58th Fighter Group

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

57th Fighter Group

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

Monday, June 25, 2018

Philibert Guillaume Duhesme (1768-1815)

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

Maximilien Sebastien Foy (1775-1825)

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

Marie-Francois Caffarelli (1766-1849)

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

Louis Marie Joseph Maximilien Caffarelli (1756-99)

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

Sunday, June 24, 2018

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

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

Looks at the reign of one of the sons of Constantine the Great, and a rather controversial Roman emperor, despite being the victor in repeated civil wars and successfully defending the borders of the Empire against increasingly powerful opponents. Paints a picture of a more than capable ruler, let down by his poor choice of courtiers and possibly by a paranoid nature and a tendency to undermine his own subordinate rulers
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Kings and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC, John D Grainger

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

Looks at the public career of Lucius Lucullus, one of the less familiar Roman military and political figures in the dying days of the Roman Republic, a generally successful general who was unable to end the wars he had almost won, and who was overshadowed by his patron Sulla and his rival and replacement Pompey. Aimed at the general reader, so provides a concise narrative of the life of this important figure
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The Typhoon Truce, 1970, Robert F. Curtis

Looks at the experiences of a Chinook helicopter unit during a rare example of a humanitarian truce during the Vietnam War, three days in which the unit focuses on rescuing Vietnamese villages cut off by floods caused by a massive typhoon. The events of the rescue mission are interesting, but the book is most valuable for its insights into the every day life of a transport unit operating over the war zone, but based in relative safety
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo (d.87 BC)

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

Perpenna’s Defeat (72 BC)

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

Siege of Pallantia (74 BC)

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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

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

Operation Slapstick, 9 September 1943

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

Operation Speedwell (7 September 1943 onwards)

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lockheed C-60

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

Lockheed C-59

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

Lockheed C-57

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

Lockheed C-56

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

18.5cm V haubitz L/22 (Krupp)

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

Long Barrel 21cm Morser L/14.6

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

28cm Haubitze L/12

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

28cm Küstenhaubitz

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

Monday, June 18, 2018

USS Hopewell (DD-181)

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

USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8)

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

Treaty of Vervins (2 May 1598

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

Karl Philipp Furst zu Schwarzenberg (1771-1820)

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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

A fascinating account of the struggle to crack the German Navy’s version of the Enigma, covering the development of the machine, the international efforts to break the code, and the long British efforts to get into the Navy Enigma, including the Navy expeditions to capture key parts of the machine and related documents. Does a good job of explaining this complex story, with the space to go into more detail of the specific naval aspects
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You Can't Get Much Closer Than This, A.Z. Adkins Jr and Andrew Z Adkins, III

The often moving diaries of Captain A. Z. Adkins, an officer in the 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division, tracing his experiences as he fought his way from Normandy to the end of the war, serving with a heavy weapons company and then with 81mm mortars. A vivid picture of what it was like to be under fire at the front line, the painful nature of the Allied progress across Europe, and the sudden change as German resistance finally broke in the last days of the war
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Britain and the Widening War 1915-1916 – From Gallipoli to the Somme, ed. Peter Liddle

Covers a wide range of topics, from wartime to modern records of wartime archaeology, covering a rather wider date range than the title would suggest, and several articles that don’t directly relate to Britain. The result is an interesting selection of articles covering unusual aspects of the war, or unusual views of familiar topics such as Verdun or the Somme
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Sea & Air Fighting – Those Who Were There, David Bilton

A series of lively accounts of air and naval exploits, clearly written while they were still fresh in the mind, and before the inter-war cynicism took root. As a result gives us a feel for how these actions must have felt at the time, covering an impressively wide range of topics. Serves as a reminder of the time the First World War was the most recent, most high technology war ever fought, and away from the trenches had more than enough dramatic incidents to fill several books like this
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Gold Run - The Rescue of Norway's Gold Bullion from the Nazis, April 1940, Robert Pearson

Looks at the successful attempt to save the last batch of Norwegian gold still in the country when the Germans invaded, a lengthy journey that saw the gold taken off in British warships from different ports, with some reaching Tromso in the far north of Norway before being evacuated! A tale of dedication to duty in very difficult circumstances
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Grouchy's Waterloo - The Battles of Ligny and Wavre, Andrew W. Field

Focuses on Marshal Grouchy’s performance during the key days of the Waterloo campaign - his own actions, the behaviour of his senior subordinates, Napoleon’s orders to him, and how they all combined to affect the outcome of the campaign. Covers some of the most controversial moments of the Waterloo campaign and the post-war battle of allocate blame for the French defeat
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Friday, June 01, 2018

Siege of Clunia (75 BC)

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

Battle of Saguntum or the Turia (75 BC)

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