While French fighter aircraft of the early period of World War II are well known and the subject of many books, the bombers used by the French Air Force in this period are up to now not well documented in English. This book describes and illustrates all such aircraft in use on 1940, from the obsolescent (and very ugly!) older types still in use to the elegant and up-to-date modern bombers just coming into use at the beginning of the war. Fully illustrated with many wartime photographs, scale plans of airframe modifications and full colour profiles of representative aircraft. Mushroom Model Publications feature superb colour illustrations of camouflage and markings, walk-around colour photographs and rare b+w archive photographs. Essential reading for aviation enthusiasts and scale aero-modellers.
Magic, sorcery and witchcraft are among the most common themes of the great medieval Icelandic sagas and poems, the problematic yet vital sources that provide our primary textual evidence for the Viking Age that they claim to describe. Yet despite the consistency of this picture, surprisingly little archaeological or historical research has been done to explore what this may really have meant to the men and women of the time. This book examines the evidence for Old Norse sorcery, looking at its meaning and function, practice and practitioners, and the complicated constructions of gender and sexual identity with which these were underpinned. Combining strong elements of eroticism and aggression, sorcery appears as a fundamental domain of women's power, linking them with the gods, the dead and the future. Their battle spells and combat rituals complement the men's physical acts of fighting, in a supernatural empowerment of the Viking way of life. What emerges is a fundamentally new image of the world in which the Vikings understood themselves to move, in which magic and its implications permeated every aspect of a society permanently geared for war. In this fully-revised and expanded second edition, Neil Price takes us with him on a tour through the sights and sounds of this undiscovered country, meeting its human and otherworldly inhabitants, including the Sami with whom the Norse partly shared this mental landscape. On the way we explore Viking notions of the mind and soul, the fluidity of the boundaries that they drew between humans and animals, and the immense variety of their spiritual beliefs. We find magic in the Vikings' bedrooms and on their battlefields, and we meet the sorcerers themselves through their remarkable burials and the tools of their trade. Combining archaeology, history and literary scholarship with extensive studies of Germanic and circumpolar religion, this multi-award-winning book shows us the Vikings as we have never seen them before.
Ernie Coleman survived the worst open-sea defeat in US Navy history.
But he paid a price and buried the horrific memories for decades.
In the manner of Mitch Albom's highly successful Tuesdays with Morrie, 22 Minutes is a searing account of a survivor coming to terms with an incident he had suppressed for sixty years and the writer who painstakingly put together the clues about what had happened.
Author Jeff Spevak was confronted with a dilemma: How do you tell the story of a man who can't bring himself to talk about the most epic moment of his life? A clever fellow who'd scrapped to survive in a fashion that seems quaint today, Coleman tested himself as a teenager by swimming across lakes, building homes from foraged lumber, running a Navy carpentry shop as though he were a member of the scamming crew of McHale's Navy. He was a self-taught sailor who'd become a legend on Lake Ontario. At age 96, Ernie was still sailing.
Ernie Coleman talked of his life frankly - his honest remembrances of brawls and regrets. But he refused to talk about the one thing that had haunted him for decades: the sinking of his ship the Vincennes and his nightmares of men screaming in the burning sea, of incinerated corpses still manning the anti-aircraft guns.
Through interviews with Coleman's family and others who knew Coleman, and arduous research Spevak finally put together what had occurred the night of the horrendous loss of his ship, the USS Vincennes, a cruiser sunk during the World War II Battle of Savo Island off Guadalcanal. Four big ships and more than 1,000 sailors were lost that night in a 22-minute battle, the worst open-sea defeat in the history of the United States Navy.
Gripping, moving, highly personal, 22 Minutes is Coleman's story of the incident he had buried for more than 60 years. Did Ernie pursue sailing with such intensity, at a time when most men his age are sitting in front of the television, waiting for the end, so that he did not have to close his eyes and remember that night on the Vincennes?
"I know why those kids come back from Afghanistan and shoot themselves," he said sadly one morning, sitting on the shady patio at his home. "You lay awake at night, reacting, reacting, reacting. Because it's so real."
22 Minutes has enormous potential to match some of the best-selling first-hand World War II memoirs published in recent years.
The ninth HMS _Vanguard_, bearing one of the most illustrious names in the Royal Navy with honours from the Armada to Jutland, was the last and largest of Britain's battleships and was commissioned in 1946\. Her design evolved from of the King George V class and incorporated much of the fully developed design for the two battleships, _Lion_ and _Temeraire_, that were laid down in 1939 but never completed. At 813ft length overall and 42,300 tons, she was the last battleship to be built in the world and the only ship of her class. She was built during the Second World War and incorporated existing twin 15in mountings, and was part of the Royal Navy's response to the combined and increasing number of German and Japanese battleships in the early 1940s.
She was immediately recognisable by her transom stern and high flared bow and had fine sea keeping ability. Her appearance after the end of hostilities, however, and her huge crew requirements proved a conundrum for the Royal Navy, her most significant role being that of Royal Yacht during the royal family's tour of South Africa in 1947\. She was broken up at Faslane in 1960.
In this new book by R A Burt her design, construction and career are all covered. Armour, machinery, power plants and weaponry are examined in detail and the author has produced some 35 superb plans, profiles and other line drawings for which he is renowned. The text is further enhanced by the addition of some 80 colour and black and white photographs from his collection.
His earlier three volumes are regarded as definitive works on the subject of British battleships before 1945; with this new book he finally completes the story of the Dreadnought era, bringing to life the last of a magnificent type of vessel of which the world will not see again.
When Hitler ordered the north of Nazi-occupied Norway to be destroyed in a scorched earth retreat in 1944, everything of potential use to the Soviet enemy was destroyed. Harbours, bridges and towns were dynamited and every building torched. Fifty thousand people were forcibly evacuated - thousands more fled to hide in
caves in sub-zero temperatures.
High above the Arctic Circle, the author crosses northern Norway gathering scorched earth stories: of refugees starving on remote islands, fathers shot dead just days before the war ended, grandparents driven mad by relentless bombing, towns burned to the ground.
He explores what remains of the Lyngen Line mountain bunkers in the Norwegian Alps - where the Allies feared a last stand by fanatical Nazis - and where starved Soviet prisoners of war too weak to work were dumped in death camps, some driven to cannibalism.
With extracts from the Nuremberg trials of the generals who devastated northern Norway and modern reflections on the mental scars that have passed down generations, this is a journey into the heart of a brutal conflict set in a landscape of intense natural beauty.
July 1940, and Britain is the only European country which hasn't caved in to Hitler's Third Reich. Hitler's stated aim was to `eliminate the English home country as a base for the continuation of the war against Germany'. A Nazi invasion of Britain was set for 15 September, but the prerequisite was air supremacy - control of the skies over Britain to permit Blitzkrieg tactics and the successful crossing of the Channel by hundreds of thousands of German troops. The fighter pilots of the RAF stood in their way against the numerically superior Luftwaffe.
The quality of first-hand accounts left by the Battle of Britain fighter pilots is astonishing. Many were written in the midst of the epic air battle: a hastily jotted-down diary, letters written to young wives, a contemporary interview with a journalist or a radio broadcast, and most poignant of all, the short books that were written to while away the weeks stuck in hospital bed whilst recovering from wounds received in battle. Some were written up in the cold light of day later in the war or just after, but they all share one feature - they were written before `the Few' truly became etched in the mindset of the British people. The fighter pilots' modesty shines through.
Battle of Britain histories often integrate testimony from pilots, but this is the first book to collect together substantial accounts to give a true idea of the exhilaration of being in a dogfight with a swarm of Messerschmitt 109s, the harrowing experience of being trapped in a burning cockpit and the mental stress of day after day of the maelstrom of air fighting. Far better than any single narrative, the `voices', together with 150 photographs, many in colour, build up a complete picture of the Battle of Britain as it was experienced by the men who took part in it.
South Pacific Air War Volume 3 chronicles aerial warfare in the South Pacific during the critical months of May and June 1942. For the first time in history, opposing carriers faced each other in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The battle is portrayed in a complete regional context which includes the land-based air forces of both sides. The events were both complex and surprising: when the respective carrier forces departed an intense regional air war continued. This volume can be read alone or as part of a trilogy which spans the first six months of the Pacific War from December 1941 until June 1942.
By the beginning of May 1942, five months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US Navy was ready to challenge the Japanese moves in the South Pacific. When the Japanese sent troops to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the Americans sent the carriers Lexington and Yorktown to counter the move, setting the stage for the Battle of the Coral Sea.
In Scratch One Flattop: The First Carrier Air Campaign and the Battle of the Coral Sea, historian Robert C. Stern analyzes the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first major fleet engagement where the warships were never in sight of each other. Unlike the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Coral Sea has received remarkably little study. Stern covers not only the action of the ships and their air groups but also describes the impact of this pivotal engagement. His analysis looks at the short-term impact as well as the long-term implications, including the installation of inert gas fuel-system purging on all American aircraft carriers and the push to integrate sensor systems with fighter direction to better protect against enemy aircraft.
The essential text on the first carrier air campaign, Scratch One Flattop is a landmark study on an overlooked battle in the first months of the United States' engagement in World War II.
The book describes and analyses the early modern Swedish army, with a particular emphasis on the reforms introduced by King Gustavus Adolphus before and during the Thirty Years War. Furthermore, the book expands our understanding of the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War by also focusing on its operations on the eastern front, against Russian and Polish opponents, and not only on the better-known operations in Germany against the Catholic League and the Holy Roman Empire. Sweden had a long history of conflict with neighbouring countries, and the reforms introduced by King Gustavus Adolphus had their origin in wars fought in the early seventeenth century, before or in the early phases of the Thirty Years War. The Kalmar war with Denmark, the Novgorod and Pskov campaigns in Russia, the conquest of Livonia, and the war with Poland played important roles in preparing the Swedish army for the wars on the continent from 1630 onwards. While some of the technical and tactical innovations attributed to the Swedish Army in the Thirty Years War are myths, others were real. Possibly of yet more enduring importance were the Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna's administrative reforms. A conscription system was established which consistently managed to raise troops, despite the small population of Sweden and its territories. A logistics system was introduced which could supply the armies, despite the vast geographical depth of operations. The intelligence service was developed into a comprehensive support establishment to military operations. It is fair to say that the Swedish army that entered the Thirty Years War and the organisation that enabled it formed the foundation for the subsequent Swedish rise to regional great power status. While the army of Gustavus Adolphus has been described elsewhere, the book includes current research that has not yet appeared in the English language. It also, unlike most previous works, explains how the Swedish experiences on the eastern front influenced Gustavus Adolphus and his views on how to build a modern army that could challenge the established great powers on the continent
The Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz) was one of the highest decorations given for extreme acts of valour to all ranks of the German armed forces during the Second World War. Few awards captured the respect and admiration of the German public as the Knight's Cross - it was the greatest honour one could achieve.
In the perilous and close-knit world of the U-boat crews the award of the decoration to their captain was an event of particular pride and sometimes it was even added to the boat's insignia. In all, there were 123 recipients, including their commander-in-chief Karl D nitz, and Jeremy Dixon's highly illustrated book is the ideal guide to all these men and their wartime service.
A graphic text accompanied by almost 200 archive photographs describes the exploits of each of them, including those who received the higher grades of the award. Full details are given of their tours of duty, the operations they took part in, how they won their award, how many ships they sank and their subsequent careers.