The battle of the Java Sea, fought in February 1942, was the first major surface engagement of the Pacific War and one of the few naval battles of the entire war fought to a decisive victory. It was the culminating point of the Japanese drive to occupy the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) and, to defend the territory, the Allies assembled a striking force comprised of Dutch, American, British and even an Australian ship, all under the command of a resolute Dutch admiral.
On 27 February 1942, the Allied striking force set course to intercept the Japanese invasion force in the Java Sea. In one of the few such times during the whole of World War II a protracted surface engagement was fought unmolested by airpower. For over seven hours, the Allied force attempted to attack the Japanese invasion force, finally breaking off in the early evening. Some three hours later, the Allied force, now reduced to just four remaining cruisers and two destroyers, attempted another attack on the invasion convoy during which Japanese torpedoes scored heavily, sinking two Dutch cruisers and bringing the battle to a conclusion. Over the next two days, as the Allies attempted to flee, five more ships were sunk. From that point on, Allied naval power was eliminated from Southeast Asia.
In this illustrated title, Mark Stille tells the full story of the battle of the Java Sea, explaining how and why the Japanese achieved such a resounding victory, and delving into the tremendous impact of the battle on the course of the Pacific War.
Following on from the success of Ian Gardner's critically acclaimed trilogy on the exploits of the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in World War II, Sent by the Iron Sky tells their exhilarating story for a new readership. From the moment they entered the war in June, 1944, the men of 3rd Battalion were faced with brutal fighting against horrendous odds. Later in the year, nearly five months in combat with no relief lead to heavy losses that reduced them to the size of a company. Their heroic defence of Bastogne saw their division awarded a Unit Citation, a first in the history of the US armed forces, and they subsequently fought on across Europe, finishing the war occupying Hitler's mountain retreat of Berchtesgaden.
Drawing on years of research and interviews with veterans of some of the toughest battles of World War II, together with maps and over 200 vintage images, Ian Gardner brings to life some of the most bitter fighting of the war in Europe, laying bare the horrors of war, the deprivations of day-to-day living and the chaos of the front line. Additional material includes a chapter on the fate of the men captured in Normandy and a foreword by Lee Wolverton, the grandson of the commander of 3rd Battalion, Col Robert Wolverton.
From the chaos of the civil war to the political manoeuvring of the Cold War, Russia's armed forces have shaped the future not only of Russia but of countless other countries around the globe. The Great Bear at War: The Russian and Soviet Army, 1917-Present explores the development and struggles of Soviet and Russian armed forces across the numerous conflicts which mark its history. It charts the great historical events that have defined the Red/Russian Army, especially World War II and the Cold War, but also the post-communist insurgencies and wars in which the Russian military has redeveloped its outlook and mission. The post-Soviet development of the Russian military into a modern force is explored in detail, including its controversial campaigns in Chechnya (1999-2009), Georgia (2008), and Ukraine (from 2014). Sewn into the narrative are details about the equipment, uniforms, training, service conditions and weaponry of the Soviet/Russian soldiers, bringing personal experience and technological context to the broader history. At a time when the world is closely focused upon Russian military behaviour, The Great Bear at War is both timely and fascinating.
In September 1943, under the cover of darkness, six British midget submarines crept into the heart of enemy territory, penetrating a heavily guarded Norwegian fjord in an attempt to eliminate the threat of the powerful German battleship, the Tirpitz. Numerous previous attempts to attack the ship from both air and sea had failed, and this mission was carefully strategized, and undertaken by skilled operatives who had undergone extensive training in an isolated sea loch. Though five of the six X-Craft submarines were either lost or captured, two crews had just enough time to lay their explosive charges, which detonated after they were forced to the surface, putting the Tirpitz out of action for a crucial six-month period. Masterminded from a top-secret naval headquarters on the east coast of Scotland, Operation Source has been memorialised as one of the most daring naval raids of World War II.
This new study tells the complete story of this epic operation in unparalleled detail, supported by full-colour illustrations and contemporary photography.
During the 16th century, Japan underwent a military revolution, characterized by the deployment of large armies, the introduction of firearms and an eventual shift towards fighting on foot. This study encapsulates these great changes through an exploration of the experience on the ground at three key battles, Uedahara (1548), Mikata ga Hara (1572) and Nagashino (1575), in which two very different types of warrior were pitted against each other. On one side were samurai, the elite aristocratic knights whose status was proclaimed by the possession and use of a horse. On the other side were the foot soldiers known as ashigaru, lower-class warriors who were initially attendants to the samurai but who joined the armies in increasing numbers, attracted by loot and glory. These two types of warrior battled for dominance across the period, changing and adapting their tactics as time went on.
In this title, the development of the conflicts between samurai and ashigaru is explored across three key battles, where highly trained elite mounted samurai of the Takeda clan faced ashigaru at very different stages in their development. The profound and irreversible changes that took place as the conflicts progressed are analysed in detail, culminating in the eventual incorporation of the ashigaru as the lowest ranks of the samurai class in within the standing army of Tokugawa Japan.
The victory of a few Greek city-states over the world's first superpower was an extraordinary military feat that secured the future of western civilization.
All modern accounts of the war as a whole, and of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, the best-known battles, depend on the ancient sources, foremost amongst them Herodotus, but generally quote very little from them. This is the first book to bring together Herodotus' entire narrative and interweave it with other ancient voices to present the original texts that comprise almost all that is known about this immense clash of arms.
Created by a long-forgotten Austrian nobleman, Adolf Odkolek von Augezd, the air-cooled Hotchkiss machine gun was the first to function effectively by tapping propellant gas from the bore as the gun fired. Although the Hotchkiss would be overshadowed by the water-cooled Maxim and Vickers Guns, it proved its effectiveness during the Russo-Japanese War. The gun, quirky though it was, was successful enough to persuade Laurence Benét and Henri Mercié to develop the Modèle Portative: a man-portable version which, it was hoped, could move with infantrymen as they advanced. Later mounted on tanks and aircraft, it became the first automatic weapon to obtain a ‘kill' in aerial combat.
Though it served the French and US armies during World War I (and also the British in areas where French and British units fought alongside each other), the Odkolek-Hotchkiss system was to have its longest-term effect in Japan. Here, a succession of derivatives found favour in theatres of operations in which water-cooling could be more of a liability than an asset. When US forces landed on Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima, battling their way from island to island across the Pacific, it was the ‘Woodpecker' - the Type 92 Hotchkiss, with its characteristically slow rate of fire - which cut swathes through their ranks. Supported by contemporary photographs and full-colour illustrations, this title explores the exciting and eventful history of the first successful gas-operated machine gun.