This is a well-researched and authoritative account by a military historian, Maj Gen Syed Ali Hamid. It embraces the evolution of the Pakistan Armoured Corps, including its culture, organisation, doctrine, equipment, operational performance, overseas deployment, garrisons, personalities and a myriad of events that together portray what and why the corps is at this point in time. Beginning with the mechanization of the Indian cavalry in 1938, it spans nearly 95 years and chronicles the corps remarkable growth. It narrates how a redundant horse mounted force went through various stages of metamorphosis, surmounted the challenges of Independence and transformed from a small supporting arm into the mechanized spearhead of the Pakistan Army. Its richness lies in the portrayal the Muslim clans that form the rank and file of the Armoured Corps, as well as tracing the development of its officer corps from its genesis and onwards through the Second World War and leading onto post-Independence. This includes an assessment of many personalities who performed a leading role in the development of the corps. It also provides an interesting insight into the culture of the Pakistan Armoured Corps which is a unique blend of values and traditions inherited from its predecessor, with those of a post-Independence national army.
This highly informative book compliments publications on the Pakistan Army by elaborating on the role and structure of one of its principal arms. Since it covers in some detail the Pakistan-India conflicts, it also compliments books published by the Indian authors by presenting a view from 'the other side of the hill.' To place the evolution and development of the armoured corps in context, the author has painstakingly researched and presented hitherto fragmented information on the Pakistan Army. Consequently the book also emerges as a work of value to an audience which is interested in how the Pakistan Army evolved and the milestones in its development.
Having served in the Pakistan Army for 50 years, the author has a unique insight into the evolution of the corps and is linked with its past through his father Maj Gen Syed Shahid Hamid who was commissioned from Sandhurst into the cavalry of British India in 1933. Shahid was one of the pioneers of the Pakistan Army and the author of several books on political and military history of the sub-continent. The publication is liberally illustrated with a large number of photographs, many of them unpublished, which makes for very interesting reading. There is also a liberal use of maps to support the text. For a serious student of the military history of the Pakistan-India Subcontinent, this book is a major scholarly work with footnotes / endnotes, a bibliography of ten pages of primary and secondary references, and two large indexes.
During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this aerial offensive quickly became known as "Big Week," and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II.
In Big Week, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources--fuel and pilots--were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft--especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang--and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944--D-Day.
Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war.
In 1938, the Reichsluftfahrtsministerium (German Air Ministry, RLM), issued a requirement for a new twin-engine heavy fighter to replace the Me 110. This type of combat aeroplane was known as Zerst rer (Destroyer). The first prototype flew in September 1939. The Me 210 proved very difficult to fly, having numerous deficiencies. It was said to be deadlier to its crews than the enemy. Nevertheless, the Luftwaffe ordered the Me 210 into production. Operational trials began in late 1941, but it was eventually acknowledged that the aircraft had to be redesigned in order to be accepted into Luftwaffe service. The whole Me 210 debacle proved a huge scandal. A redesigned variant, the Me 410 began to reach Luftwaffe units in mid-1943. Even if the Me 210 and Me 410 were similar in appearance, the latter had to be redesigned to avoid the extremely poor reputation of the Me 210. The Me 410 proved a quite successful aeroplane, being used as a heavy fighter and for reconnaissance duties. Its closest Allied equivalent was the British DH 98 Mosquito. More than 1,500 Me 210/410s were built in Germany and Hungary, with only two Me 410s surviving today.
Adolf Hitler considered the Mediterranean an unimportant theater of the war, leaving it to the troops of Benito Mussolini who wanted to dominate the "Mare Nostro." Nevertheless, when the Italian army was defeated on the Libyan-Egyptian border at the beginning of 1941, the Fuhrer was forced to help his ally by sending an air detachment first to Sicily, then Africa.
This latest in the Casemate Illustrated series examines that tiny expeditionary force, solely devoted to protecting Italian possessions in North Africa. When General Erwin Rommel launched his Afrika Korps to the east, the Luftwaffe had to go on the offensive to cover that advance. With over 100 images, this book explores how German and British air forces were quickly reinforced and, in the following months, Germany was forced to engage more and more aerial units on what was initially considered a peripheral arena of the war for the German High Command. Losses in bombers and fighters were high on both sides and when, at the end of 1942, the Allies landed in Morocco and Algeria on the back of the Afrika Korps, the Wehrmacht's fate was sealed. The depleted Luftwaffe did its best but could not change the course of the battle. The last German units capitulated in Tunisia in May 1943.