Thursday, August 15, 2019

USS Humphreys (DD-236)

USS Humphreys (DD-236) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in the campaign in the Aleutains, New Guinea, New Britain, the Admiralty Islands, the return to the Philippines and Okinawa.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

HMS Velox (1902)

HMS Velox (1902) was the Navy’s third turbine destroyer, and although her turbines were a success she wasn’t terribly sea-worthy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

USS Kane (DD-235/ APD-18)

USS Kane (DD-235/ APD-18) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in US reconquest of the western Aleutians, and the invasions of New Guinea, the Admiraly Islands, Saipan, Guam, Leyte and Okinawa

Monday, August 12, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190S

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190S was the designation given to a small number of dedicated two-man trainers produced to help convert pilots from two-seat bombers to the single seater Fw 190.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Confederate Artillery Organizations: An Alphabetical Listing of the Officers and Batteries of the Confederacy 1861-1865, F. Ray Sibley Jr

A very specialised book, giving an alphabetical listing of all known artillery units to serve in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, with a list of their commanding officers, and brief notes about most of them, mainly in the footnotes. If you need this information this book with be invaluable
(Read Full Review)

Fight Like the Devil - The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, Daniel T. Davis

A detailed examination of the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, looking at how the battle developed on both sides, the many myths and debates of the first day, the role of the key officers on both sides, and the eventual result of the fighting. This was an encounter battle, with both sides pouring troops into the fight as the day went on, with limited interventions by Lee or Meade, so the emphasis is on the role of key commanders at a lower level, and the results of their efforts
(Read Full Review)

Dawn of Victory - Breakthrough at Petersburg, March 25-April 2, 1865, Edward Alexander

A look at the final week of the long sieges of Richmond and Petersburg, between Lee’s failed assault on Fort Stedman on 25 March and the evacuation of Richmond on 2 April. Although the retreat to Appomattox is more famous, it was these battles that really sealed the fate of Lee’s army, preventing him from making the clean break he needed if he had any chance of escaping into the south. This is a good clear account of that crucial last week
(Read Full Review)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

HMS Albatross (1898)

HMS Albatross (1898) was a C class destroyer that was originally ordered as a 33-knot special, but that failed to achieve her target speed in normal service. During the First World War she served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914-1918 and the Lowestoft Local Flotilla in 1918.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

USS Fox (DD-234)

USS Fox (DD-234) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in Alaskan waters for most of the Second World War, mainly on escort and patrol duties.

Monday, July 29, 2019

York’s Military Legacy, Ian D. Rotherham

A look at the military history of a city that was for many years the most important in the north, effectively the northern capital of England for much of the medieval period, as well as sitting on a river that made it accessible from the sea, and on one of the two key routes between England and Scotland. Focuses on events that took place in and around the city, so we get plenty on 1066 or the English Civil War, but relatively little on the World Wars
(Read Full Review)

The Defence of Sevastopol 1941-1942 - The Soviet Perspective, Clayton Donnell

A look at the prolonged siege of Sevastopol, which saw the Soviet garrison pin down an increasingly sizable German force at a key point during their invasion of the Soviet Union, only finally falling in July 1942, after the start of the main German offensive of the year. A detailed study of the impressive Soviet defence of a city that had not really been prepared to be attacked from the land, but that sucked in a large German army and kept Manstein, one of Hitler’s most able generals, tied up in a side theatre at a key point in the war
(Read Full Review)

Lutzen and Bautzen - Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813, George Hafziger

A very detailed account of the spring campaign of 1813, starting at the end of the retreat from Moscow, tracing the creation of a fresh French army, Napoleon’s victories at Lutzen and Bautzen, and his inability to turn either of them into a war winner. This was Napoleon’s last realistic chance of saving his Empire, and thus a more significant campaign than is often acknowledged. Once the campaign ended in an armistice and Austrian joined the war against him, Napoleon’s last real chance of surviving had gone, so this campaign and its two main battles deserve this detailed examination
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190G

The Focke Wulf Fw 190G was a long range fighter bomber, based on the Fw 190A and originally produced with dedicated racks for fuel drop tanks under the wings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

HMS Vigilant (1900)

HMS Vigilant (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla in 1914-1918 before becoming the only destroyer in the Portland Local Flotilla during 1918. After the war she remained in use into 1919, when she was used to ferry a British diplomat home from Copenhagen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

USS Gilmer (DD-233/ APD-11)

USS Gilmer (DD-233/ APD-11) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as a fast transport, taking part in the New Guinea campaign, the invasions of Saipan and Taipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190F

The Focke Wulf Fw 190F was an armoured ground attack version of the aircraft, produced to replace the obsolete Ju 87 Stuka.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Eisenhower's Thorn on the Rhine - The Battle for the Colmar Pocket, 1944-45, Nathan N. Prefer

Looks at the fighting on the southern end of the Allied front in France in 1944-45, where American and French troops attempted to reach the Rhine, while the Germans held on to Colmar and parts of southern Alsace. Traces the course of the battle as well as the problems faced by the commanders on both sides of this hard fought backwater, at a time when both sides were running short of men but still had ambitious aims
(Read Full Review)

Air Combat – Dogfights of World War II, ed. Tony Holmes

A collection of four Ospreys, looking at the Spitfire vs Bf 109, F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero, La 5/7 vs Fw 190 and F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 Frank, an interesting cross section of the fighter battles of the Second World War. Some are more crucial than others, but all are interesting, and the book costs less than buying any two of the existing volumes, so is good value for money
(Read Full Review)

The Two Handed Sword – History, Design and Use, Neil Melville

A detailed history of the European two handed sword, a surprising agile but still fairly rare weapon that was used in some numbers during the later Middle Ages and early modern periods. Looks at the development of the weapon (a surprisingly complex subject), its use in combat, the many regional variations, the evidence for how it was wielded, and its evolution into a prestige, non-combat weapon
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

HMS Thorn (1900)

HMS Thorn (1900) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, before moving to Scapa Flow at the end of 1914. In February 1915 she was used to found the North Channel Patrol, based at Larne, where she spent the rest of the war.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

USS Brooks (DD-232/ APD-10)

USS Brooks (DD-232/ APD-10) was a Clemson class destroyer that was converted into a fast transport, and took part in the New Guinea campaign and the invasion of the Philippines, before being badly damaged by a kamikaze attack and never repaired.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190E

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190E may have been a designation for a dedicated reconnaissance version of the aircraft, but none were produced under that designation.

Monday, July 15, 2019

HMS Ostrich (1900)

HMS Ostrich (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1918 and the Lowestoft Local Flotilla in 1918.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

USS Hatfield (DD-231)

USS Hatfield (DD-231) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on escort duties in Alaskan waters, before being used as an auxiliary.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190D was a high altitude version of the aircraft, powered by an inline engine hidden behind an extended version of the normal fuselage, making it look like a radial powered aircraft.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

HMS Falcon (1899)

HMS Falcon (1899) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla based at Dover throughout the First World War before being sunk in a collision with the naval trawler John Fitzgerald in 1918.

Monday, July 08, 2019

USS Paul Jones (DD-230)

USS Paul Jones (DD-230) was a Clemson class destroyer that survived the disastrous campaign in the Dutch East Indies in 1941-42, and spent most of the rest of the war on escort duties or working with hunter-killer anti-submarine groups.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190C

The Focke Wulf Fw 190C would have been powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine, but it never got past the development stage.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

HMS Vixen (1900)

HMS Vixen (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914 to 1917, with the East Coast Convoys formation in 1917 and the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1918.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Clemson class destroyer

USS Truxtun (DD-229) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in Pacific waters for ten years then in home waters, before being lost when she ran aground early in 1942.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190B

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190B was one of three attempts to improve the high altitude performance of the aircraft, in this case by giving it a longer wing, GM-1 engine boost and a pressurized cabin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

HMS Roebuck (1901)

HMS Roebuck (1901) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War as par of the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla, but spent most of the war with the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

USS John D. Ford (DD-228)

USS John D. Ford (DD-228) was a Clemson class destroyer that began the Second World War in the Pacific, and survived the disastrous battle of the Java Sea, before spending most of the rest of the war on convoy escort or anti-submarine duties.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190A was the most important fighter version of the aircraft, and was one of the best fighters in the world when it first entered service in 1941-42.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

HMS Racehorse (1900)

HMS Racehorse (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover throughout the First World War, and that was at sea during several German raids into the area, without coming into contact with them.

Monday, June 17, 2019

USS Pillsbury (DD-227)

USS Pillsbury (DD-227) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922, and was sunk by Japanese surface ships on 2 March 1942, after apparently attacking a much larger Japanese force.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Royal Navy 1793-1800 – Birth of a Superpower, Mark Jessop

An unusual approach to the history of the Royal Navy during the Revolutionary Wars, with each chapter starting with an account of the life of a semi-fictional character, tracing their experiences in key aspects of the war, before moving on to a more historical narrative.  Covers the main events of the war, including the early battles, the mutinies, and the various theatres of war, as well as the life of the normal sailor
(Read Full Review)

General Sir Ralph Abercromby and the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792-1801, Carole Divall

A biography of one of the more competent British generals of the Revolutionary Wars, killed at the height of his success during the expulsion of the French from Egypt. Inevitably most of his experiences during the Revolutionary War came during the unsuccessful campaigns in northern Europe, but he managed to emerge from these campaigns with his reputation largely intact, and won fame with his death during a successful campaign. An interesting study of a less familiar part of the British struggle against revolutionary France
(Read Full Review)

Fontenoy 1745 - Cumberland's Bloody Defeat, Michael McNally

Looks at a key French victory during the War of the Austrian Succession, where the British infantry enhanced their reputation after advancing into a trap and nearly winning an improbably victory despite being attacked from three sides. Traces the campaign that led to the British being drawn into that trap, and the failures elsewhere on the battlefield that meant that the famous infantry attack had little real chance of success, leading to a French victory that began a successful conquest of the Austrian Netherlands
(Read Full Review)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

HMS Greyhound (1900)

HMS Greyhound (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover from 1914-1918 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

USS Peary (DD-226)

USS Peary (DD-226) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922 and was sunk by Japanese aircraft at Darwin on 19 February 1942.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was designed in response for a request for a ‘back-up’ to the Messerschmitt Bf 109, and went on to be one of the most important German military aircraft of the Second World War, with around 20,000 produced.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

USS Pope (DD-225)

USS Pope (DD-225) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922 until she was sunk by Japanese aircraft on 1 March 1942.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

HMS Leven (1898)

HMS Leven (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover during the First World War, and that sank UB-35 off Calais on 26 January 1918.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 153

The Focke-Wulf Ta 153 was one of Kurt Tank’s early designs for a replacement for the Fw 190, and a partial prototype was constructed late in 1943, before the entire programme was cancelled for the second time.

Focke-Wulf Ta 152S

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152S was a planned two-man tandem trainer version of the Ta 152, which was ordered into production but never delivered.

Monday, June 03, 2019

HMS Leopard (1897)

HMS Leopard (1897) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, but was soon moved north to Scapa Flow. From 1917 she served as a convoy escort, taking part in the first Norwegian convoy. She ended the war with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

USS Stewart (DD-224)

USS Stewart (DD-224) was a Clemson class destroyer that was deliberately sunk in the floating drydock at Surabaya during the disasterous defence of the Dutch East Indies in 1942 but later raised by the Japanese and pressed into their service as a patrol boat.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

HMS Fawn (1897)

HMS Fawn (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1914-1918 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Operation Craftsman or the battle of Bologna (14 April-2 May 1945)

Operation Craftsman or the battle of Bologna (14 April-2 May 1945) was the Fifth Army's part of the final Allied offensive in Italy and saw the army break out into the Po valley to the west of Bologna then advance rapidly to the Po before occupying the central and western parts of the Po valley.

Monday, May 27, 2019

HMS Flirt (1897)

HMS Flirt (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover during the First World War, and that was sunk by German destroyers during their raid into the Dover Straits on 26 October 1916.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

German Destroyers, Robert Brown

 A guide to the German destroyers of the Second World War targeting those who wish to build models of these modern but flawed warships. Lots of good detail on their technical specs, physical appearance and how it changed over time, along with reviews of the various kits available, and examples of some high quality builds. Could do with brief service histories, but otherwise useful
(Read Full Review)

Sir Alan Cobham – The Flying Legend who brought Aviation to the Masses, Colin Cruddas

A biography of one of the most famous British airmen of the inter-war period, a pioneer of long distance aviation, publicist for air power (running a series of popular touring air shows) and a pioneer of air-to-air refuelling, most famous for ‘Cobham’s Flying Circus’, four years of touring air shows that were seen by 75% of wartime aircrew volunteers!
(Read Full Review)

The Composite Bow, Mike Loades

A splendid examination of this complex but elegant weapon, looking at its construction, the skills needed to use it effectively, the types of bows, arrows and supporting equipment in use, the different national traditions and the military use of the bow by both mounted and foot soldiers. An impressive book that packs a great deal of information into its 80 pages, and greatly benefits from its author's own experience as an archer
(Read Full Review)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H was designed as a high altitude version of the standard Ta 152, but as a result of a series of poor decisions by the German Air Ministry it became the only version of the aircraft to actually enter combat, and only in tiny numbers and too late to have any impact on the course of the war.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

HMS Kestrel (1898)

HMS Kestrel (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla for most of 1918.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

USS McCormick (DD-223)

USS McCormick (DD-223) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the eastern Mediterranean in 1922-24, the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-38 and the Atlantic from 1939 onwards, mainly as a convoy escort. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

HMS Bullfinch (1898)

HMS Bullfinch (1898) was a C class destroyer that suffered a disastrous boiler explosion in 1899, then served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914 and the Scapa Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Operation Buckland or the battle of the Argenta Gap (12-19 April 1945)

Operation Buckland or the battle of the Argenta Gap (12-19 April 1945) was the Eighth Army’s contribution to the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy, and saw them bypass the last series of river defences facing them and break out into the Po plains.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

War Bows, Mike Loades

Looks at the longbow, crossbow, composite bow and Japanese Yumi, largely based on previously published Osprey books, but updated for this combined edition. Brings together four fascinating topics to provide a useful overview of the many types of war bow that were used from western Europe to Japan, and the varied types of archery that developed around them.  Useful to have all four together in a single volume, allowing a more direct comparison between the different types
(Read Full Review)

Aboard the Farragut Class Destroyers in World War II, Leo Block

Looks at life onboard the eight ships of the Farragut class, the first newly designed destroyers built for the US Navy after the First World War, and the prototypes for the ‘1,500 ton’ destroyers. Written by a veteran of these ships, using his own knowledge and the memories of the decreasing number of surviving crewmen to produce an in-depth picture of the life of the enlisted men on these small but hard hitting warships
(Read Full Review)

Period Ship Modelmaking – An Illustrated Masterclass, Philip Reed

 A lavishily illustrated account of the creation of two models of the American privateer Prince de Neufchatel, one waterline model and one with a full hull. I’ve no idea how useful it will be for the ship modeller, not being an experienced scratch builder, but it is a very pretty book, and the end results are very impressive. Most of the work is covered in great detail (apart from the original creation of the ship’s hull, which only gets a single short paragraph!)
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

HMS Dove (1898)

HMS Dove (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, briefly at Scapa in 1914-15 then helped form the North Channel Patrol in February 1915. She was officially part of that force for the rest of the war, but was taken over by the senior naval officer at Liverpool in February 1915 and never returned to Larne.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152E

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152E was a reconnaissance version of the Ta 152, and was on the verge of entering production at the end of the war.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

HMS Osprey (1897)

HMS Osprey (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, was part of the East Coast Convoys organisation in 1917 and ended the war with the North Channel Patrol based at Larne.

Monday, May 13, 2019

USS Bulmer (DD-222)

USS Bulmer (DD-222) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1922-24, and with the Asiatic Fleet from 1925 onwards. She survived the disasterous campaign in the Dutch East Indies in 1942, and went on to serve with anti-submarine hunter-killer groups in the Atlantic in 1943-44.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Empire and Espionage, Spies in the Zulu War, Stephen Wade

Looks at the use of military intelligence by both sides in the Zulu War, demonstrating that the Zulus actually began the war with the better intelligence capabilities, and a clearer idea of their opponents plans and abilities than the British did. Also looks at the wider context of British military intelligence, including its development over time and its place in the world of the 1870s and Britain’s increasing obsession about Russian expansionism, including a fear that they might be about to attack the Suez canal, cutting the British Empire in half
(Read Full Review)

Waterloo - The Campaign of 1815 Volume 2 - From Waterloo to the Restoration of Peace in Europe, John Hussey

A good history of Waterloo and its aftermath using the most recent research and ignoring long held ideas that have since been disproved. Has a useful focus on the command decisions made by the senior leaders on each side, and how they impacted on the eventual result of the campaign. Provides a well balanced examination of the successes and mistakes on both sides, as well as placing Waterloo in the wider context of the 1815 campaign
(Read Full Review)

A Military History of China, David Richard Petriello

An ambitious attempt to cover several thousand years of Chinese history in a single volume, from the earlier legends to the conflicts of Communist China. A generally successful book, despite getting a little too bogged down in the fine details of many of the ancient and medieval campaigns, with a useful examination of the motivation behind China’s external wars. Supported by over 100 maps, which make it easier to trace the course of events and identify the very many kingdoms that appeared in the area now covered by modern China
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, May 09, 2019

HMS Gipsy (1897)

HMS Gipsy (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover throughout the First World War, playing a role in sinking U-48 in November 1917. She survived into the 1970s after being used as a pontoon at Dartmouth.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Operation Blimey (6-24 April 1945)

Operation Blimey (6-24 April 1945) was the final SAS operation in the north-west of Italy, and was an attempt to repeat the success of Operation Galia, but the area was overrun by the advancing Allies before it could achieve much

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

HMS Fairy (1897)

HMS Fairy (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Cromarty Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917, then the East Coast Convoys in 1917. She sank after ramming and sinking UC-75 on 31 May 1918.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152C

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152C was the third attempt to produce a standard version of the Ta 152, and reached the prototype stage but too late in the war to actually enter production.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

HMS Cheerful (1897)

HMS Cheerful (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, then moved to the East Coast Convoys organisation, but was sunk by a mine off the Shetlands on 30 June 1917.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

USS Simpson (DD-221)

USS Simpson (DD-221) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1922-4, the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-1932 and on convoy escort duties and anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic during the Second World War

Monday, April 29, 2019

HMS Mermaid (1898)

HMS Mermaid (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1914-1918, taking part in a series of bombardments of the Belgian coast, but ended the war with the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Operation Impact Royal (14-15 April 1945)

Operation Impact Royal (14-15 April 1945) was the second of two amphibious assaults carried out to support the right flank of the Eighth Army’s advance towards Argenta, and the narrow ‘Argenta Gap’ leading out onto the Po plains.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

HMS Sylvia (1897)

HMS Sylvia (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, then with the Scapa Local Defence Flotilla for most of the rest of the war, often serving on convoy escort duties. She ended the war with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152B

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152B was the original design for a version of the Ta 152 optimised for higher altitudes, but suffered from problems with its Jumo 213E engine, and never got beyond the prototype stage. However a modified ‘Destroyer’ version, the B-5, did reach the prototype stage late in the war.

Monday, April 22, 2019

HMS Violet (1897)

HMS Violet (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914-1917, East Coast Convoys in 1917, briefly with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla and then with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1918.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

USS MacLeish (DD-220)

USS MacLeish (DD-220) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the eastern Mediterranean in 1922-24, with the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-31 and on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and US Home Waters for much of the Second World War.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

HMS Vulture (1898)

HMS Vulture (1898) was a C Class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla from 1914 to early in 1917, and was present when the Lighting was sunk by a mine in 1915.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Operation Impact Plain (11 April 1945)

Operation Impact Plain (11 April 1945) was the first of two amphibious operations carried out to support the right flank of the British advance into the Argenta Gap, the final battle for the Eighth Army in Italy.

Monday, April 15, 2019

HMS Recruit (1896)

HMS Recruit (1896) was a C Class destroyer that was part of the Nore Local Defence Flotilla at the start of the First World War, but was sunk by UB-6 near the Galloper Light Vessel on 1 May 1915.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman, Sean McLachlan

Looks at the forty-year long struggle between the US Cavalry and the Apache tribes of the US south-west, which lasted from the US conquest of the area in 1848 to the final surrender of Geronimo in 1886. Benefits from focusing on the two main combatants in these was – the entire fighting force of the Apache tribes and the US Cavalry, to present an overview of how the conflict was eventually won by the United States
(Read Full Review)

Murat’s Army - The Army of the Kingdom of Naples 1806-1815, Digby Smith

A very pretty book, based on the paintings of Henri Boiselier, produced in the first half of the 20th Century. The book is dominated by full colour, full page reproductions of his illustrations of the many and varied uniforms worn in Murat’s small and not terribly effective army of Naples. Each comes with a brief caption that explains what we are looking at, and any errors in the original painting (normally fairly trivial).
(Read Full Review)

F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 'Frank' Pacific Theatre 1945, Edward M. Young

Looks at the development of these two advanced fighters, the training of their pilots and the handful of clashes between the two types – only around twenty in total, mainly over the Japanese Home Islands and Okinawa. Includes good sections on the development of the two fighters, the training of their pilots, with a detailed look at the limited number of clashes between them. An interesting read that does demonstrate some of the flaws in some entries in this series, in this case that the clash being examined wasn’t an especially important part of the overall battle in the air
(Read Full Review)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152A

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152A was the original design for the standard version of the Ta 152, but the project was cancelled just as it was about to go into production.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

HMS Electra (1896)

HMS Electra (1896) was a C Class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

USS Edsall (DD-219)

USS Edsall (DD-219) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Middle East and Far East in the interwar period, then took part in the disasterous attempt to defend the Dutch East Indies before being sunk by overwhelming Japanese naval forces on 1 March 1942.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

HMS Brazen (1896)

HMS Brazen (1896) was a C class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917 and the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla in 1917-1918, supporting the torpedo school HMS Vernon.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Operation Fry (4-5 April 1945)

Operation Fry (4-5 April 1945) was a minor SBS operation that saw them capture a series of undefended islands in Lake Commachio.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

HMS Flying Fish (1897)

HMS Flying Fish (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Cromarty Patrol of the Grand Fleet for most of the First World War, before joining East Coast Convoys on the Humber in 1917 and then the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was the final evolution of the Fw 190, and entered combat very late in the war as the high altitude Ta 152H, which was only available in tiny numbers and proved to be an impressive but unreliable fighter.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Operation Roast (1-3 April 1945)

Operation Roast (1-3 April 1945) saw the 2nd Commando Brigade clear the narrow spit of land between Lake Commachio and the Adriatic in a preliminary operation before the start of the Eighth Army’s spring offensive in Italy, Operation Buckland.

Monday, April 01, 2019

HMS Crane (1896)

HMS Crane (1896) was a C class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1902-5, and with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover from 1914-18 then the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Operation Barbarossa 1941 - Hitler against Stalin, Christer Bergström

A splendid account of Operation Barbarossa that clears away many of the misrepresentations that have often distorted our picture of this massive campaign. Takes advantage of the opening of Soviet archives after the fall of the Soviet Union to provide a balance to the more readily available German sources, and relies more on working documents and contemporary reports than on the often badly biased post-war memoirs. Gives a clear idea of how the Germans won their early victories, the surprise of their collapse outside Moscow at the end of the year, and of the importance of both German and Soviet aviation in the eventual result of the conflict
(Read Full Review)

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem, Stanley Lane-Poole

Originally published in 1898, but relying mainly on Arabic sources written by Saladin’s contemporaries, supported by accounts of the Third Crusade for the later part of the book. Provides a very readable account of Saladin’s career, from his unexpected promotion to ruler of Egypt, through his conquest of Syria and on to the defeat of the Crusaders at Hattin, the conquest of Jerusalem and the successful defence of the city against the forces of the Third Crusade. Generally favourable towards Saladin, although without becoming overly biased, and largely accurate due to the reliance on the main contemporary sources
(Read Full Review)

Cruiser Birmingham - detailed in the original builder’s plans, Conrad Waters

Fascinating study of the cruiser, built around the builder’s plans from 1937, the wartime refit of 1943 and the major reconstruction of 1952. These are impressively well drawn, colourful documents, that contain a wealth of detailed information on the layout of these cruisers, allowing us both to appreciate the care and attention required to produce these powerful weapons of war, and their second nature as a large floating village, complete with band, workshops, kitchens, and eventually a cinema
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

USS Parrott (DD-218)

USS Parrott (DD-218) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1922-25 and with the Asiatic Fleet from 1925 onwards. She survived the disastrous attempt to defend the Malay Barrier early in 1942, and returned to the US, from where she carried out escort duties and took part in anti-submarine hunter killer operations, before being decommissioned after she was badly damaged in a collision in 1944.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

HMS Bat (1896)

HMS Bat (1896) was a C class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1902-5 and in home waters for the rest of her career. During the First World War she was attached to the Grand Fleet from 1914-1917, mainly serving with the Cromarty Patrol. In 1917 she formed part of the East Coast Convoys organisation, before joining the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Operation Second Wind (5-19 April 1945)

Operation Second Wind (5-19 April 1945) was a diversionary attack on the far left of the Allied front line in Italy that saw the US 92nd Division capture the town of Massa, forcing the Germans to move precious reinforcements west to try and hold their line.

Monday, March 25, 2019

HMS Whiting (1896)

HMS Whiting (1896) was a C class destroyer that was allocated to the China Station soon after being commissioned, and that spent the rest of her career in eastern waters, remaining on active duty throughout the First World War.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

14in Gun on Railway Mount Model E

The 14in Gun on Railway Mount Model E was a coastal defence weapon that was being designed before the US entry into the First World War, and that could be used either as a sliding type gun or from a fixed firing emplacement.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

HMS Star (1896)

HMS Star (1896) was a C class destroyer that was part of the Shetlands Patrol at the start of the First World War, served with the Cromarty Patrol from 1915-1917 and then with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

USS Whipple (DD-217)

USS Whipple (DD-217) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1920-21, with the Asiatic Fleet in 1921-25 and again from 1929. She survived the disasterous battles in the Dutch East Indies early in 1942, and escaped to Australian waters. She was then withdraw to the United States, where she was converted into an escort. She spent the rest of the war on a mix of convoy escort and anti-submarine duties, playing a part in the sinking of U-544.

Monday, March 18, 2019

HMS Otter (1986)

HMS Otter (1986) was a C class destroyer that spent most of her career on the China station, briefly returning to active service after the outbreak of the First World War, before being sold off in 1916.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Operation Grapeshot, or the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy (9 April-2 May 1945)

Operation Grapeshot, or the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy (9 April-2 May 1945) saw the Allied armies in Italy finally break their German opponents, leading to the first large scale German capitulation in Europe, signed only 20 days after the start of the offensive.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Operation Encore (19 February-5 March 1945)

Operation Encore (19 February-5 March 1945) was a limited offensive carried out by the US Fifth Army in an attempt to improve its position in the Apennines and prepare for the upcoming spring offensive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

HMS Avon (1896)

HMS Avon (1896) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914-1917, before moving to the North Channel Patrol at the northern entrance to the Irish Sea in 1918. However she was soon ‘borrowed’ by the Senior Naval Officer at Liverpool, where she spent most of 1918

Monday, March 11, 2019

12in Howitzer on Railway Mount

The 12in Howitzer on Railway Mount was one of the more advanced designs of railway artillery produced for the US Army, but like most American designs didn’t arrive in time to see service in the First World War.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Greek and Macedonian Land Battles of the 4th Century BC, Fred Eugene Ray Jr

Looks at 187 battles fought during one of the most dramatic centuries of Ancient History, a period that started with Sparta the dominant power of Greece and ended with the successors of Alexander the Great squabbling over the ruins of his Empire. An interesting study of a period in which Greek warfare evolved dramatically, ending the dominance of the simple Hoplite army and seeing the rise of cavalry as a battle winning weapon
(Read Full Review)

Battles on the Seven Seas - German Cruiser Battles 1914-1918, Gary Staff

Looks at the activities of German cruisers during the First World War, covering the major naval battles in the North Sea, the exploits of the surface raiders early in the war, the role of the two German cruisers in Turkish service and the limited fighting in the Baltic. A useful counter to the tendency to see these events from the British point of view, made possible by the author’s impressive use of German sources
(Read Full Review)

Augustus at War - the struggle for the Pax Augusta, Lindsay Powell

A year-by-year study of all of the wars fought during Augustus’s reign, covering a suprising amount of offensive wars, in which Augustus and his generals doubled the size of the Roman Empire. Looks at both the central role of Augustus and his family and the part played by other Roman aristocrats, who were still willing to struggle for glory during this period, buying in to the idea that the Republic still existed under Augustus
(Read Full Review)

Friday, March 08, 2019

HMS Bittern (1897)

HMS Bittern (1897) was a C class destroyer that served in home waters for her entire career. She was part of the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918, and was lost with her entire crew after she collided with SS Kenilworth in thick fog on 4 April 1918.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Gridley class destroyers

The Gridley class destroyers marked a victory for those in the US Navy who saw the destroyer as primarily an offensive ship, and the torpedo as its main weapon.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

‘C Class destroyer’

‘C Class destroyer’ was the designation given to those pre-First World War 30-knot destroyers that had three funnels in the general reorganisation of destroyer classes in 1912.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Operation Tombola (4 March-24 April 1945)

Operation Tombola (4 March-24 April 1945) was a successful SAS operation in northern Italy that saw them form a battle group along with Italian partisans and escaped Russian POWS, causing a great deal of disruption before the start of the Allied spring offensive of 1945.

Monday, March 04, 2019

HMS Arab (1901)

HMS Arab (1901) was the third of three 33-knot ‘specials’ that all failed to reach their target speed. She became a standard B class destroyer, and served with the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, the Scapa Patrol in 1915-17 before returning to the Seventh Flotilla in 1918.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Martin T4M

The Martin T4M was a version of the earlier T3M torpedo bomber, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HMS Express (1897)

HMS Express (1897) was ordered as a 33-knot ‘special’, but never achieved her target speed and became a ‘B class destroyer’, serving with the Eighth Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, the East Coast Convoys in 1917 and the North Channel Patrol at the top of the Irish Sea in 1918.

Monday, February 25, 2019

12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount

The 12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount combined American guns originally built for export with French sliding railway gun mounts. Three had been completed by the end of the war in 1918, but none reached France and the type was soon scrapped after the war.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clan Fabius Defenders of Rome - A History of the Republic’s Most Illustrious Family, Jeremiah McCall

Traces the history of one of the most important families in the early and middle Republic, from their legendary origins, through the Samnite Wars and peaking with the career of the famous ‘delayer’, a key figure in the Second Punic War who played a major part in saving the city from Hannibal. Finishes with the slow decline of the family, which began before the collapse of the Republic, and ended as the family disappeared from the records in the early Empire.
(Read Full Review)

Agent Michael Trotobas and SOE in Northern France, Steward Kent & Nick Nicholas

A compelling account of the creation of one of the more successful SOE circuits in northern France, the death of its charismatic leader and creator, and its activities after his death. Includes a satisfying large amount of information about the ‘Farmer’ circuit’s operations, as well as the events that led to Trotobas’s death. Also provides an insight into the problems that can be caused by placing unsuitable agents into the field, where everyone had to trust each other, often under intense pressure
(Read Full Review)

America's Commandos: U.S. Special Operations Forces of World War II and Korea, Leroy Thompson

Starts with a brief overview of the creation and use of American special force units during the Second World War and in Korea, before moving onto a good but not well organised selection of photographs. Does its job of illustrating the uniforms and equipment of these units, but needs chapter headings!
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

HMS Lively (1900)

HMS Lively (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1904-6, but spend the rest of her career in home waters. At the start of the First World War she was part of the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast, but late in 1914 she was moved to Scapa, where she was based until 1918, when she joined the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dunlap Class destroyers

The two Dunlap Class destroyers were similar to the earlier Mahan class destroyers, but with experimental enclosed mounts for two of their 5in guns.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

HMS Sprightly (1900)

HMS Sprightly (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1905-6, but spend the rest of her career in home waters. At the start of the First World War she was part of the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast, but late in 1914 she was moved to Scapa, where she was based until 1918, when she joined the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Operation Cold Comfort/ Zombie (17 February-March 1945)

Operation Cold Comfort/ Zombie (17 February-March 1945) was an unsuccessful SAS attempt to block the railway through the Brenner Pass, to prevent German troops moving in or out of Italy during the upcoming Allied spring offensive.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Operation Agreement - Jewish Commandos and the Raid on Tobruk, John Sadler

Looks at a disastrous raid on Tobruk carried out just before the battle of El Alamein in an attempt to disrupt Rommel’s supply lines, but that ended as a total failure, with the loss of most of the troops that got into combat, as well as two destroyers and a cruiser. Provides a good case study of how not to mount a Special Forces operation, starting with not basing your plans on wishful thinking and not over-complicating things!
(Read Full Review)

Sailors behind the Medals - Waging War at Sea 1939-1945, Chris Bilham

Gives brief overviews of the careers of twenty three medal winning members of the Royal Navy during the Second World War, illustrating just how varied the experiences of different sailors could be. Covers the entire naval career of each man, rather than just their medal winning exploits, and focuses on the general experiences of their ships more than their individual life stories.
(Read Full Review)

Time Stood Still in a Muddy Hole - Captain John Hannaford, one of the last Bomb Disposal Officers of WWII, Pat Strickson

A biography of one of the longest surviving Bomb Disposal Officers, inspired by the discovery of one of his post-war paints on sale in a local shop soon after his death, tracing his route into bomb disposal, his experiences in the field, as well as focusing on the author’s motivation for writing the book, and the progress of their research efforts. A compelling and often poignant story of a very brave man, thrust into one of the most dangerous jobs of the entire war
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Martin P6M SeaMaster

The Martin P6M SeaMaster was an advanced jet powered flying boat that was ordered into production, but only appeared in small numbers before the project was cancelled.

Martin RM-1/ C-3

The Martin RM-1/ C-3 was the designation given to two Martin 4-0-4 airliners that served with the US Coast Guard and then the US Navy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

HMS Kangaroo (1900)

HMS Kangaroo (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean early in her career, then in home waters. She spent the entire First World War serving with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, part of the very active Dover Command.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Canon de 75 mle 1897

The Canon de 75 mle 1897, or the ‘French 75’, was the most famous artillery weapon of the First World War, and when it first appeared was a revolutionary design that made most existing artillery obsolete.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mahan Class Destroyers

The Mahan Class Destroyers were similar to the Farragut class, but with high speed turbines and high pressure boilers, a more advanced power plant that was later used on the the Dunlap and Bagley classes

Sunday, February 03, 2019

March by Moonlight - A Bomber Command Story of Ops and Evasion, Captivity and Friendship, Jack Love & Barry Love

A fascinating autobiography focusing on the co-author’s initial evasion attempts after his aircraft crash landed in France, and then his time in a series of POW camps, including the famous Stalag Luft III. Includes a compelling tale of an almost successful attempt to evade capture after the crash, followed by Jack’s time in the camps, and his observations on the life of the average POW, not involved in the constant efforts to escape
(Read Full Review)

Bradley vs BMP Desert Storm 1991, Mike Guardia

Looks at the first clash between the main Soviet and American infantry fighting vehicles, when US troops clashed with the Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm. Includes a good technical history of the two vehicles as well as an account of their role in Desert Storm, where the Bradley was by far the more effective of the two vehicles, despite the BMP having some technical advantages
(Read Full Review)

Setting France Ablaze - the SOE in France during WWII, Peter Jacobs

Looks at the activities of SOE in the organisation’s main theatre of operations, tracing the slow and often costly expansion of SOE’s activities, which finally paid off in 1944, when the organisation’s networks helped to delay and distract the Germans at key moments, slowing down the arrival of reinforcements in Normandy and forcing the Germans to leave troops in less important areas. Perhaps has a little too much focus on the failures and the loss of so many agents, but otherwise a good account of the organisation’s activities
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

HMS Success (1901)

HMS Success (1901) was a B class destroyer that served in home waters for her entire career, and that served with the Seventh Patrol Flotilla on east coast during 1914, before being wrecked off Fife Ness on 27 December 1914.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Amyntas III (r.393-369 BC)

Amyntas III (r.393-369 BC) of Macedon was the father of Philip II, and had a long but unstable reign, dominated by wars with the Illyrians and the Olynthians.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Jean-Baptiste Kléber (1753-1800)

Jean-Baptiste Kléber (1753-1800) was one of the most able of the French revolutionary generals, and is most famous for his short period in command of the French army in Egypt.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Porter Class Destroyers

The Porter Class Destroyers were the first destroyer leaders built by the US Navy, and were armed with eight 5in single purpose guns that made them less useful during the Second World War than the smaller destroyers of the Farragut and similar classes

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Royal Navy's Air Service in the Great War, David Hobbs

An impressive history of the RNAS, the organisation that developed many of the principles of naval aviation while under intense pressure during the First World War, only to disappear into the RAF in 1918. Traces the impressive development of the service, which ended the war on the verge of attempting a massed torpedo bomber attack on the German fleet in its anchorages, a precursor of Taranto and Pearl Harbor that was only abandoned because of the end of the war
(Read Full Review)

Pharaoh Seti I - Father of Egyptian Greatness, Nicky Nielsen

Excellent biography of the father of Ramesses II, tracing the key developments of his decade long reign, which saw Egypt recover from a period of religious and dynastic confusion, and set the stage for the long reign of his more famous son. Traces his early life, military campaigns and monumental construction projects as well as some of the more ordinary aspects of life in Seti’s Egypt. The author makes a good case for seeing Seti’s reign as key to the success of his son
(Read Full Review)

Spy of the Century – Alfred Redl & The Betrayal of Austro-Hungary, John Sadler & Silvie Fisch

Looks at one of the most famous spies of the period before the First World War, simultaneously the head of the Austro-Hungarian counter-espionage service and a Russian spy. A potentially interesting story that really needs to be better organised than it is here in order to give a clearer picture of what Redl actually did and what impact it might have had
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

HMS Spiteful (1899)

HMS Spiteful (1899) was a B class destroyer that became the first British destroyer to be entirely oil powered, and spent the entire First World War as part of the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla.

HMS Myrmidon (1900)

HMS Myrmidon (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Home Waters before the First World War and the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Dover Patrol, during the First World War. She was sunk in a collision in the channel on on 26 March 1917.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

HMS Peterel (1899)

HMS Peterel (1899) was a B class destroyer that served in home waters for her entire career, serving with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth from 1914-17, then moving to the Humber in 1917, spending the rest of the war with the Seventh Flotilla.

HMS Orwell (1898)

HMS Orwell (1898) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Home Waters before the First World War, then with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, the Scapa Defensive Flotilla in 1915-17 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla in 1918.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin XB-33

The Martin XB-33 was the designation given to two different designs for high altitude bombers, neither of which entered production.

The Martin AM Mauler was a single seat carrier based attack aircraft, designed to replace the multi-seat SB and TB types that dominated during the Second World War.

The Martin AM Mauler was a single seat carrier based attack aircraft, designed to replace the multi-seat SB and TB types that dominated during the Second World War.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Waterloo Archive Volume V: German Sources, ed. Gareth Glover

A super selection of sources translated from German, reflecting the experience of the numerically most important nation at Waterloo, with Germans making up a sizable part of Wellington’s army, as well as Blucher’s Prussians. Almost entirely focuses on those troops in British or Dutch service, with the Prussians getting a single article. Covers the cavalry, artillery and six infantry divisions, as well as an inquiry into the behaviour of part of the medical corps. A useful selection of sources not previously available in English
(Read Full Review)

Real War Horses - The Experiences of the British Cavalry 1814-1914, Anthony Dawson

Looks at the performance of the British cavalry from Waterloo to the first year of the First World War, the last hundred years of classic cavalry warfare, and one in which the quality of the British cavalry varied quite alarmingly, probably reaching a peak of efficiently towards the very end of the period. Starts with a brief overview of how the cavalry was organised, before concentrating on eyewitness accounts of life in the cavalry, mainly using letters home, many published in the press at the time. The result is as atmospheric study of the last century in which the cavalry was a major battle winning weapon
(Read Full Review)

Nanjing 1937 - Battle for a Doomed City, Peter Harmsen

Nanjing 1937 - Battle for a Doomed City, Peter Harmsen.
A compelling but rather depressing look at the campaign that ended with the sack of Nanjing, one of the most serious Japanese war crimes of the Sino-Japanese War. Looks at the way in which the Japanese army in China slipped out of the control of the leaders at home, the advance to Nanjing, the siege of the city and the six-week long sack that followed
 (Read Full Review)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

HMS Wolf (1897)

HMS Wolf (1897) was a B class destroyer that served in home waters for her entire career. She was part of the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla based on the Humber in 1914-17, the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1917 and the North Channel Patrol at Larne in 1918.

HMS Syren (1900)

HMS Syren (1900) was a B class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla of the Dover Patrol during the First World War, and helped sink U-8 in March 1915.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

12in Mortar on Railway Mount Model 1918

The 12in Mortar on Railway Mount Model 1918 carried a 12in mortar on a fully traversing barbette. Several were almost completed by the end of the First World War, and it remained in use between the wars, before the carriage was used to carry surplus 8in naval guns.

12in Gun on Batignolles Railway Mount

The 12in Gun on Batignolles Railway Mount combined American guns with a French designed firing platform that could be constructed from a purpose built railway car.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

HMS Panther (1897)

HMS Panther (1897) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Home Waters before the First World War, and with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914-17, then the Nore Local Defence Flotilla and finally the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover.

HMS Seal (1897)

HMS Seal (1897) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Home Waters before the First World War, then with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914-17, the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1917-18 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla in 1918.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Farragut Class Destroyers

The Farragut Class Destroyers were the first new American destroyers to be ordered after the First World War, and was a major improvement on the flushdecker destroyers, with a raised forecastle, 5in dual purpose guns, an increase in speed and a new stern that improved their turning circle.

Friday, January 11, 2019

B Class Destroyers

The B Class Destroyers was the designation given to all surviving 30-knot destroyers that had four funnels in 1912, in an attempt to rationalise the rather confusing mass of early destroyer types in service. Twenty were still in service at the start of the First World War, and served with a variety of patrol formations around the British Coast.

A Class Destroyers of 1912

The A Class Destroyers of 1912 was the designation given to the surviving ‘27 knotters’, the second generation of British destroyers, in 1912. By the outbreak of the First World War they were almost obsolete, but many served for most of the war, normally with the various defensive flotillas scattered around the British coast.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Operation Galia (27 December 1944-10 February 1945)

Operation Galia (27 December 1944-10 February 1945) was an SAS operation in the north-west of Italy designed to prevent the Germans moving troops from the western end of the Gothic Line to the area around Bologna, and to reduce the German pressure on the western end of the line.

battle of the Romagna or of the Rivers

The battle of the Romagna or of the Rivers was the final Eighth Army offensive of 1944 and saw them narrowly fail to break out onto the Po Plain before the winter weather forced an end to the fighting.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

HMS Earnest (1896)

HMS Earnest (1896) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean until 1906 and then in home waters, serving with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the east coast in 1914-17, the Nore Local Defence Flotilla at the start of 1918 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla for most of 1918.

HMS Locust (1896)

HMS Locust (1896) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean from 1902-6, and with the Seventh Patrol Flotilla on the East Coast at the start of the First World War, before moving to the Scapa local defence forces late in 1914. She remained there until 1918, when she returned to the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Martin M-130

The Martin M-130 was a massive flying boat produced for the trans-Pacific route. Only three were built, and two were taken into US Naval service in 1942.

Martin PB2M/ JRM Mars

The Martin PB2M/ JRM Mars was the largest flying boat to enter service with the US Navy, although only a handful were completed for use as a transport aircraft.

Monday, January 07, 2019

HMS Quail (1895)

HMS Quail (1895) was a B class destroyer that served on the North American and West Indies Station in 1897-1903, the Mediterranean in 1905-6 and in Home waters from 1906, and with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber during the First World War.

HMS Griffon (1896)

HMS Griffon (1896) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1900-6 and then in home waters, forming part of the Seventh Flotilla on the east coast at the start of the First World War, before spending most of the war in the local patrol force at Scapa Flow. She ended the war with the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.

Friday, January 04, 2019

10in Gun on Sliding Railway Mount

The 10in Gun on Sliding Railway Mount was produced using US guns on French railway mounts in an attempt to speed up production, but none were ready before the end of the First World War.

8in Gun on Railway Mount Model 1918

The 8in Gun on Railway Mount Model 1918 saw US coastal defence guns and their barbettes mounted on a low loading railway carriage. Three actually made it to France in 1918, but none saw action.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

HMS Virago

HMS Virago was an B class destroyer that served on the Pacific Station in 1897-1903 and then on the China Station from 1903 until she was sold in 1919.

HMS Thrasher

HMS Thrasher was a B class destroyer that served with the Seventh Patrol Flotilla on the Umber and the Nore Local Defence Flotilla during the First World War, sinking UC-39 in 1917.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Battle of San Marino (17-20 September 1944)

The battle of San Marino (17-20 September 1944) was a short battle that saw the 4th Indian Division of the Eighth Army clear out a German force that had moved into neutral San Marino to take advantage of its position overlooking the right flank of the Allied advance up the Adriatic.

Battle of Rimini (13-21 September 1944)

The battle of Rimini (13-21 September 1944) saw the Eighth Army attempt to break though the last hilly barriers before the Romagna Plains, part of an attempt to break out into the Po valley, but the advance took longer than expected, and by the time the army reached the Romagna winter rains had turned it into ideal defensive territory. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

HMS Sunfish

HMS Sunfish was an A class destroyer that served with the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla during the First World War.

HMS Surly

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