The Partisan's Companion was produced by the Red Army to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II, as it was later used to train Third World guerrillas in their wars of national liberation during the 1950s-70s, and even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought US and coalition forces in Iraq.
By the end of 1942, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war. The partisan ranks grew as did the training requirements for partisan commanders. The 1942 edition of The Partisan's Companion helped quickly train new guerrillas to a common standard. Besides field craft, it covers partisan tactics, German counter-guerrilla tactics, demolitions, German and Soviet weapons, scouting, camouflage, anti-tank warfare and anti-aircraft defense for squad and platoon-level instruction. It contains the Soviet lessons of two bitter years of war and provides a good look at the tactics and training of a mature partisan force. The partisans moved and lived clandestinely, harassed the enemy, and supported the Red Army through reconnaissance and attacks on German supply lines. They clearly frustrated German logistics and forced the Germans to periodically sideline divisions for rear-area security. The partisans and their handbook were clearly part of the eventual Soviet victory over Germany. This pocket manual puts The Partisan's Companion in context, explaining its importance.
Of D-Day, everybody remembers the American paratroopers dropping over Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the bloodbath at Omaha Beach, the heroic capture of the Point du Hoc, or again the 177 French Commandoes landing at Ouistreham. What everybody forgets was that in the middle of this front, there was a sector, Gold Beach, where the Allied offensive turned out to be particularly effective, so much so that by the evening of 6 June the 25 000 British soldiers who set foot on the beaches at Asnelles and Ver-sur-mer had reached their objectives, in particular the control of the Caen-Bayeux road and liberated Bayeux the next day. But Gold Beach was also the story of the technical expertise resulting in the building of the artificial port at Arromanches and changing Port-en-Bessin into a "petrol station" supplying the whole of the Allied armada. It was in the Gold Beach sector that Sergeant Stan Hallis earned his Victoria Cross (the highest British military award) in recompense for his acts of bravery, the only one awarded in Normandy. It was for all these reasons that the British Government chose Gold Beach and in particular the village of Ver-sur-Mer to set up the Memorial bearing the names of some 21 000 United Kingdom soldiers killed on D-Day or during the Battle of Normandy. A book was therefore needed for Gold Beach to obtain a rightful place of its own in history among the five landing beaches. Thanks to the exceptional documentation gathered over more than half a century by Philippe Bauduin, a recognised specialist of D-Day, born in Ver-sur-mer, this richly illustrated book reminds you of what was at stake in this sector of D-Day, and tells the story of what happened there, nearest the participants.
After the success of Jour-J, ce qu'on ne vous a pas raconte, les secrets du Debarquement, published in 2016, Philippe Bauduin and Jean-Charles continue their work together with this most recent book devoted to 6 June 1944.
t was on 14 June 1944, D+8, that the tanks of the 144th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps began to disembark on Gold Beach during the Normandy landings. Delayed in going ashore, the regiment's tanks had been sorely missed by the infantry - and consequently the men of the 144th soon found themselves in action. It was the start of a long and bitter campaign that would take them across North West Europe into the heart of Germany.
During that advance the regiment took part in a number of important actions. These included Operation Pomegranate (July 1944), Operation Totalize, an innovative night attack which was one of the final steps to breaking out of the Caen bridgehead (7/8 August 1944), the siege and capture of Le Havre, the fighting in Holland during late 1944, the crossing of the Rhine (by which time the regiment had been equipped with amphibious Buffaloes and during which it carried the flag which accompanied the first British tanks to cross the Rhine after the end of the First World War), and the capture of Bremen just before the end of the war in Europe.
The author began to investigate the regiment's service through his late father-in-law, Captain R.W. Thorne, who had been officer in it during the war. As well as extensive interviews with him about the regiment and the campaign, this book draws on a variety of contemporary sources - not least of which are the archives of fellow officer Marcus Cunliffe.
Cunliffe, who went on to become a distinguished British scholar and author who specialized in American Studies after the war (particularly military and cultural history), had kept a detailed and graphic diary and written a number of lively and informative accounts - all of which are now in the George Washington University in Washington DC. Unsurprisingly, Cunliffe's work features heavily in this publication.
Arromanches to the Elbe is a serious contribution to the history of the Second World War. As well as exploring all aspects of army life, such as training and what might be called the social history of an active service unit, this book will appeal to those interested in the campaign in Europe as a whole, the use of tanks and armoured warfare in general, and, of course, the final battles to defeat Hitler's Third Reich.
Between 1961 and 1974 Portugal fought a war to retain its African colonies of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique. Collectively known as the Campaigns for Africa, the origin of the conflict stems from the post-World War II atmosphere of nationalism and anti-colonial fervour. The Angolan insurgency began in 1961, followed by unrest in Guinea-Bissau in 1963 and Mozambique in 1964.
Portugal's initial actions in Angola were based on foot-slogging by infantry, considered the best method of addressing an insurgency, not only to hunt the enemy but also to keep contact with the population. But in the vast areas of Angola - the majority of which was unsuited to wheeled vehicles - this tactical approach was too painful, and for Portugal the number of troops available was limited. The helicopter was a possible solution, but it was beyond Portugal's finance resources and it had a tendency to fly over those areas where it was vital to communicate with the population and secure its loyalty.
When in 1966 the enemy guerrillas sought a new front in eastern Angola, Portugal needed a force that could combine mobility over rough terrain with the ability to engage insurgents, while maintaining strong links with the population.
One of the adaptive solutions to this challenge was found in the past: create horse cavalry units in the form of dragoons that were equally trained for cavalry or infantry service, just as their historical predecessors fought. In this particular case, adaptive tactics involved adjusting existing military methods and means from the traditional and available inventory to craft a solution that would deny eastern Angola to insurgents and support the population there. This story is about imaginative thinking that, instead of a `forced abandonment of the old', led to a `resurrection of the old'.
The ocean is humanity's largest battlefield. It is also our greatest graveyard. Resting in its depths lay the lost ships of war spanning the totality of human history. Many wrecks are nameless, others from more recent times are remembered, honored even, as are the battles they fought, like Actium, Trafalgar, Tsushima, Jutland, Pearl Harbor, and Midway.
This book is a dramatic global tour of the vast underwater museum of lost warships. It is also an account of how underwater exploration has discovered them, resolving mysteries, adding to our understanding of the past, and providing intimate details of the life of war at sea. Arranged chronologically, the book begins with ancient times and the warships and battles of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, the Chinese, and progresses through three thousand years to the lost ships of the
In bringing this violent past to life, James Delgado's approach is informed by scholarship, but it is not academic. Through his insights as an explorer, archaeologist, and story teller, Delgado provides a unique and idiosyncratic history of naval warfare, the evolution of its strategy and technology, and it critical impact on the past. From fallen triremes and galleons to dreadnoughts, aircraft carriers, and nuclear submarines, this book vividly brings naval warfare to life.
Operation Diver is the story of a battle: its action, people, landscapes, and remains. The battle was Anti-Aircraft Command's attempt to defeat the V1 flying-bomb, the first of Nazi Germany's `retribution' weapons, whose attacks dominated the home front in the final year of the Second World War.
Beginning in the week of D-Day, the flying bomb battle lasted for nine months. In that time the men and women of AA Command became a massed, mobile army, shifting a vast carpet of guns to meet the V1's changing lines of attack. Beginning in Kent and Sussex, their journey took in the Thames Estuary, East Anglia and eventually the Yorkshire coast. Along with the RAF's fighter aircraft and the larger air defence system, their mission was to prevent a single flying bomb from reaching London, or any other British city. The battle was won; but not before many technical and human obstacles were overcome.
Published to mark the 75th anniversary of the flying bomb campaign, Operation Diver is also an essay in landscape history, and shows for the first time in detail how hundreds of guns and thousands of gunners were deployed across the fields and farms of Britain, from the south-east to Flamborough Head. Published with a full gazetteer of gunsite positions, it also documents Historic England's work in assessing the survival of Operation Diver's fragmentary remains.