In January 1945 when the Red army launched their massive winter offensive, a number of German occupied towns on the path of the Soviet advance were declared fortresses by Hitler. The garrisons were ordered to mount last-ditch stands. Posen in Western Poland was one of them. In German hands and on the main route between Warsaw and Berlin it was a serious obstacle to Soviet re-supply efforts.By mid-January the town was surrounded by the Guards Rifle, troops of General Chuikov's 8th Guards Army. The German troops, from a variety of less than experienced units, fought in bitter combat managing to hold the Red Army at bay for a full month. Three survivors of the battle tell us their stories.
From its origins as the Consular Guard of the French Republic, and as Napoleon's personal bodyguard, the Imperial Guard developed into a force of all arms numbering almost 100,000 men. Used by Napoleon as his principle tactical reserve, the Guard was engaged only sparingly, being deployed at the crucial moment of battle to turn the tide of victory in favour of the Emperor of the French.
Naturally, the Imperial Guard has been the subject of numerous books over many decades, yet there has never been a publication that has investigated the uniforms and equipment of the infantry of the Imperial Guard in such detail and with such precision. The author has collected copies of almost all the surviving documents relating to the Guard, which includes a vast amount of material regarding the issuing of dress items, even in some instances down to company level.
This information is supported by an unrivalled collection of illustrations, many of which have never been published before, as well as images of original items of equipment held in museums and private collections across the globe. In addition, the renowned military artist, Keith Rocco, has produced a series of unique paintings commissioned exclusively for this book.
This glorious book is, and will remain, unsurpassed as the standard work on the clothing and equipment of the Imperial Guard, and will not only be invaluable to historians, but also reenactors, wargamers and modellers. It is one of the most important publications ever produced on this most famous of military formations.
This is the classic account of the dramatic action at Calais.
Between Scylla and Charybdis : The Army of Elector Frederick August II of Saxony, 1733-1763. Volume 2: Infantry and Artillery
During the 18th Century, the Electorate of Saxony was a rich state of the Holy Roman Empire. Northern Saxony was one of most fertile parts of Germany, though fertility diminishes toward the Ore Mountains of the south where Saxony long had important mineral production. The House of Wettin ruled Saxony since 1429. Between 1697 and 1763, the Electors of Saxony were also elected Kings of Poland. The Elector Frederick August I (12 May 1670-1 February 1733), also known as "Sun King" of Saxony, was elected King of Poland with the support of Austria and the help of Russia when the former King Stanislaw I Leszczynski, supported by France, was forced to flee after the Swedish defeat of Poltava in 1709. The Elector married Maria Josepha, sister of the Emperor Charles VI of Austria. The Emperor, having no male heirs was obsessed with the partition of the vast Imperial territories after his death. He issued on 19 April, 1713, an edict to ensure that the Habsburg hereditary possession could be inherited by a daughter, the Pragmatic Sanction. Frederick August I recognised the edict. When Frederick August died in 1733, Leszczynski, the archenemy of the House of Wettin, with the support of France and Spain, contested the election of Frederick August II of Saxony as King of Poland. This led to the War of the Polish Succession.
The new Elector inherited an efficient and modern army. Forged by Field Marshall von Flemming on new lines between 1717 and 1727, this re-born army could match the other European countries. Frederick August II, aided by the Russian army and supported by Austria, managed to defeat Leszczynski's supporters, and after a short but bloody conflict he was elected King of Poland. Next the Saxon army fought as an auxiliary in the Austrian service in Hungary against the Turks, and on the Rhine against the French. In 1741, Saxony reneged on the Pragmatic Sanction and sided with France, Bavaria, and Prussia when Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia after the death of Emperor Charles VI. The Saxons fought against Maria Theresia's Austrian army during the First Silesian War, occupied Prague and campaigned in both Bohemia and Moravia. Thereafter, Prussia signed a unilateral peace with Austria. Saxony signed a separate cease-fire and France was left alone. Years of armed peace followed until the Second Silesian War. During the war, Saxony sided with Austria. The Prussian army crossed the border and invaded Saxony. The Saxon army was badly defeated at Kesseldorf on 15 December, 1745. The Second Silesian War was over.
Peace once again reigned in Europe until 1756 when France changed alliances. Frederick II of Prussia launched another preventive war and invaded Saxony. Caught totally unprepared, the Saxon army retired to Pirna where it was surrounded by an overwhelming Prussian force. With no food, the Saxon army was forced to lay down its arms and surrender unconditionally. The prisoners were incorporated into the Prussian army. A massive desertion followed and soon a Saxon Corps was formed in Bohemia. The Saxon Auxiliary Corps of 10,000 men was transferred to French service and fought until the end of the Seven Years War. It was repatriated in 1763.
Volume II of this work deals with the Saxon army of the years 1730-1763, detailing the uniforms and service of the infantry and artillery. Lavishly illustrated by Franco Saudelli, the volume shows the elegance of the Saxon army and particularly an army misjudged by Frederick II of Prussia as "weak"
Formed at Rochford on 1 October 1918, just weeks before the Armistice that ended the First World War, 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron was originally a night fighter unit equipped with the Sopwith Camel. Its existence was short-lived, for the squadron was disbanded on 30 June 1919. With war clouds looming over Europe once more, 152 Squadron reformed at Arklington on 1 October 1939, becoming operational just over four weeks later. In January 1940, conversion to Spitfires began and after a period of defensive patrols in the North East, the squadron moved to Warmwell in Dorset to help defend southern England against attacks from the Luftwaffe forces now based in northern France. Throughout the Battle of Britain, the men and machines of 152 Squadron, call sign Maida, defended the Warmwell sector, which included the vital Royal Navy base at Portland, as part of 10 Group. It is the period from 12 July to 28 November 1940 that the author examines in great depth and detail in this definitive account. This, then, is the story of one squadron s part in the struggle to defend Britain during those dark days in the summer of 1940.
Here is an unpublished work about the Wallonie Legion and its members engaged on the Eastern Front in the uniform of the Heer from 1941 to 1945. Here the reader will dive into the archives and documents still mostly unpublished to this date, including previously unedited stories and also tales of the legionnaires. It offers biographies of most of the officers. One will also find rare and previously unseen archives of newspapers and propaganda for the Wallonie Legion, shedding light on its development and international reputation, so important to the morale of the Legionaries and the families of these men.
This work is rich in both written and photographic documentation along with previously undisclosed information about the activities and services LW. It will provide researchers and amateur historians of the Legion many details and clarifications about the"uses and customs," service organisations and actions both inside and outside the LW.
The award of a military decoration or medal does not define valor, it only recognizes it. Many acts of unbelievable courage and self-sacrifice occur on the battlefield, but are often obscured in the fog of battle, to remain unrecognized and unheralded.
The men and women in these stories did incredible things and although in many cases there was the official awarding of medals, including several Medals of Honor, their stories remain unknown and untold. This book is a modest attempt to correct that oversight
"This book is the latest in a new reference series for aircraft modellers called "Spotlight On" and presents detailed illustrations of the German Luftwaffe's WWII lightweight ground attack aircraft which saw front-line combat in North Africa and on the Eastern Front.
The book contains 40 specially-commissioned colour plan and profile views illustrating the different camouflage, colours and markings of German and other air forces including Hungary and Romania.
The recent discovery of a wooden chest, unopened for 100 years revealed a treasure trove of eloquent trench diaries, letters and poetry. The author was Hamish Mann, a young Black Watch subaltern killed in France in 1917 just five days after his 21st birthday.
Thanks to Mann's outstanding literary gifts and prodigious output, this book re-lives his fateful journey from the declaration of war, his voluntary work at a military hospital, his training and commission and, finally, his service with 8th Black Watch on the Somme.
The daily hardship and trauma he experienced at the Front were shared with countless thousands of his comrades. But Hamish's extraordinary gift was his ability to record the traumatic events and the range of his emotions, writing often in his dug-out 'by the light of a guttering candle'.
A century on, thanks to the Family's discovery and Jacquie Buttriss's sensitive commentary, Hamish's tragically short life can be celebrated and his literary legacy given the recognition it so richly deserves.
This book is a rare examination of the Luftwaffe's greatest transport aircraft. The Messerschmitt ME 323 started out as the giant glider ME 321 before evolving as a 6-engined giant transport aircraft, capable of hauling up to 22 tonnes of cargo, including tanks. Its nickname "Giganten" was very accurate! Initially designed for the ill-fated planned invasion of Great Britain, "Seelowe", it emerged in active service in time for the turning point in the war, Stalingrad 1942. It was widely used on both the Eastern front 1942 -44 and in the Mediterranean 1942-43. But as it was big, bulky and slow, it very often became an easy target for allied fighters. Nevertheless it played an important part in tactical movement of German forces during the latter part of the war. This book examines in detail the technical aspects of this aircraft, its origins, its design and operational service. It also describes the various versions of it, including the notorious "Waffentrager" that came into service in 1945. Me 323 might have been one of the most ugly looking aircraft of the Third Reich but it was a very effective transporter.Had it not been for the mess the Third Reich administration was in, the blunders the RLM (Reich Air Ministry) made, or the catastrophic fuel situation Germany faced late in the war, this advanced aircraft could have had a much bigger effect.
Dinan tells the story of the design, development, production and operational use of one of World War II's most mysterious aircraft.