From the author of Fire and Fortitude, a white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division's harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach--acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this titanic World War II battle. Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed. Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle. The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One's nineteen hours of hell--and their ultimate triumph--on June 6, 1944.
To Great Britain and Germany, the Battle of the Denmark Strait came like a thunderclap in the spring of 1941. The pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, was utterly destroyed, and its newest battleship, Prince of Wales, severely damaged and forced to withdraw. This was at the hands of Germany's huge battleship Bismarck, on its first foray into North Atlantic waters. The blast of heavy shells between the behemoths resonated both in Whitehall and Berlin.
However, despite the wealth of documentary information and photographic evidence available on the battle, there continues to be controversy as to how the conflict was actually fought. This book attempts to resolve the remaining issues by a detailed technical analysis of the circumstances, while new discoveries, revealed for the first time in this book, shed new light on the battle in which the best of both navies traded salvoes and over 1,500 Royal Navy sailors were killed.
By carefully considering the factors affecting naval gunnery, such as flight time of shells to their target, reaction time for correcting the fall of shot, and recycle times of the various gun systems, the battle has been painstakingly reconstructed in this book within all of the established time and distance parameters. Not limited to the battle itself, the book also explores the relevant events leading up to the titanic clash, and the events associated with its aftermath, including the Bismarck's ultimate demise, as the Royal Navy avenged the Hood's destruction. With a professional career associated with fielded military weapon systems, the author is uniquely qualified to perform the analytic functions involved in the reconstruction of this battle. He not only brings the epic clash to life in real-time, he provides a wealth of information on the ships, tactics, and strategies involved on both sides
In 1839 Britain embarked on the first of its wars with China, sealing the fate of the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Motivated by drug profiteering and free-trade interests, the Opium War helped shaped the China we know today, sparking the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty and the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century.
Imperial Twilight is a riveting and revealing account of the end of China's Golden Age and the origins of one of the most unjust wars in history.
April 1945. As Allied bombs rain down on Europe, a 400-year-old institution looks set to be wiped off the face of the Earth. The famous white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, unique and precious animals representing centuries of careful breeding, are scattered across rural Austria and Czechoslovakia in areas soon to be swallowed up by Soviet forces - there, doubtless, to become rations for the Red Army.
Their only hope lies with the Americans: what if a small, highly mobile US task force could be sent deep behind German lines, through fanatical SS troops, to rescue the horses before the Soviets arrive. Just five light tanks, a handful of armoured cars and jeeps, and 300 battle-weary GIs must plunge headlong into the unknown on a rescue mission that could change the course of European history.
So begins Operation Cowboy, the greatest Second World War story that has never been fully told. GIs will join forces with surrendered German soldiers and liberated prisoners of war to save the world's finest horses from fanatical SS and the ruthless Red Army in an extraordinary battle during the last few days of the war in Europe.
For more than a century, the U.S. Navy's battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and amphibious warfare vessels have depended on a small group of specialized auxiliary ships to provide fuel, food, ammunition, parts and other material support and services. Without these workhorse vessels, the U.S. Fleet could not have won in World War II and it could not today deploy and remain on station in the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
This book provides the rosters, histories, specifications and illustrations of 130 different auxiliary ship types used throughout U.S. history: the little-known ones, the latest expeditionary fast transports and future towing, salvage and rescue ships.
Petropavlovsk was part of the seven-ship unit of the Nikolaev type (project 1134B Berkut), which was a gas-turbine alternative design to the units of the project 1134A. They were classified as large ASW (anti-submarine warfare), although they matched cruisers in size. The primary task of these ships was to search and destroy nuclear submarines in the oceanic zone, in particular, strategic missile submarines.
Due to the requirement of high autonomy and long cruising range, the ships were equipped with a new type of engine in the COGOG (Combined gas or gas) system. It was comprised of two gas turbine units driving two separate shaft lines. Each of the two units consisted of two peak power turbines (20 000 HP each) with a one-speed reduction gear and one sustained turbine (5000 HP) with a two-speed reduction gear. The advantage of the gas turbine was its shorter activation time and greater acceleration. It was also assumed that it would be smaller and more economical than the traditional steam turbine. In fact, it turned out to be a complicated and expensive construction, and, more importantly, quite unreliable.
The Gloster Gladiator was the very last biplane fighter to enter service with the RAF. Yet, despite being one of the fastest biplanes ever built, it was already obsolete upon its introduction to service in January 1937. Nonetheless, in the first eighteen months of WW2, it garnered many combat plaudits in the skies over the frozen Arctic, the sun-kissed Mediterranean, and the arid deserts of Africa. In Britain, it provided crucial defense of the RN Fleet anchored at Scapa Flow, and was among the first aircraft sent to France to aid the BEF. Adopted early-on by the FAA and renamed Sea Gladiator, for a time this navalized version represented the nearest thing the service had to a modern fighter as it struggled toward parity with its Axis opponents.This book tells the complete story. The text covers not only the type's remarkable operational history, but also that of Gloster's journey to its production. Also examined are the Gladiator's design and construction, and its subsequent technical development. Second-line duties and service with foreign air forces are also briefly covered. Supporting lavish artwork and 3-D exploded views vividly bring the aircraft to life, making it an ideal reference work for the modeler.
By early August 1944 the Germans fighting in Normandy had been worn down by the battles around Caen, while to the west, the American breakout was finally gaining momentum. Now was the time to launch II Canadian Corps south towards Falaise. With much of the German armour having been stripped away for the Mortain Counter-Attack, hopes ran high that the Corps, reinforced with British tanks, the 51st Highland and the Polish Armoured Divisions, would repeat the success of their predecessors in the Battle of Amiens.
An innovative change of tactics to a night armoured assault and the conversion of seventy-two self-propelled guns to armoured personnel carriers for the accompanying infantry was very successful, but up against their implacable foes, 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division, the pause for bombing allowed Kurt Panzer' Meyer to deploy his division. Consequently, when the 4th Canadian and Polish Armoured Divisions were launched into their first battle they made frustratingly little progress. As the Canadians advanced over the following days, the battle degenerated into a costly fight for ground as the Hitlerjugend struggled to contain the inexperienced Poles and Canadians.
Operation Totalize is renowned for the death of SS panzer Ace Michael Wittmann at the hands of Trooper Joe Ekins and the destruction of Worthington Force, the result of a navigational error.
Although built in fewer numbers than the PZL P.11, the PZL P.24 was for a period during the 1930's the fastest and most heavily armed single-seat fighter in the world. Having acquired early notoriety at the Paris Salon with their innovative wing design, the P.24 represented the ultimate development of the family of fighter planes designed by Zygmunt Pulawski and saw service in the air forces of four countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey
War is far more than a series of military victories and defeats. Civilians always are the biggest victims and there are often staggering imbalances between casualties on the frontlines, and those behind; between the victims and the aggressors. According to recent figures, The Second World War saw the deaths of an estimated 72 million people worldwide, two thirds of whom were civilians. Wars also have serious social, economic and human consequences. They may defeat politicians and aggressive politics, but it is communities who pay the price. In 1939 one European country after another suffered defeat, which later resulted in enormous social and economic degradations of the communities involved. The failure of Operation Market Garden in 1944 resulted in yet another tragedy for the Dutch and one that would have far deeper social consequences than those before it. After the Allies were defeated, the Nazis terrorised the local Dutch populace and the V2 rockets fired immediately from their Dutch launch sites resulted in over 9,000 casualties in the UK. Arnhem and the Aftermath begins and ends in Arnhem, in 1940 and 1945 respectively.It focuses on the experiences of the civilians in those mournful years, against a back-drop of all three airborne operations in the Netherlands, in which both German and Allied forces were involved