Elite forces need elite vehicles. As Vladimir Putin has devoted effort and funds into modernising Russia's armed forces and turning them into an instrument geared not just for defending the Motherland but also projecting power beyond its borders, Russia has seen a growing emphasis on special and specialist forces. Traditionally, the elite Spetsnaz commandos had to make do with regular vehicles or civilian-based 'technicals', not least to conceal their presence (or, indeed, very existence). Now, increasingly at the forefront of Russian power projection, the Spetsnaz are acquiring more capable, versatile vehicles, such as the paratroopers' BTR-D personnel carrier, and also experimenting with exotic, specialist new acquisitions, such as the Chaborz M-3 buggy and Yamaha Grizzly all-terrain vehicle.
The other elite branches of Russia's forces, such as the Arctic-warfare troops of the 200th Independent Motor Rifle Brigade, the paratroopers of the Air Assault Troops (VDV), the Naval Infantry, and the elite units of the security forces are also developing and fielding new vehicles for their specialist roles, from combat snowmobiles to urban-warfare vehicles. From highly-mobile LMVs able to operate in the deserts of Syria or the streets of Ukraine, through dedicated fire-support vehicles such as the air-droppable Sprut-SD or the massive BMPT 'Terminator', to amphibious tanks and drone-equipped security trucks, these are the workhorses of Russia's special forces. This study explores all these combat vehicles in detail, combining expert analysis from Russia expert Mark Galeotti with highly accurate full-colour illustrations and photographs.
During World War II, the US Army and its allies faced a formidable challenge: the need to assault Hitler's 'Fortress Europe' from the sea. As a result, during 1941-45, the US Army had to add amphibious assault to its list of combat capabilities. Officers and troops from across the US Armed Forces had to develop the techniques and technologies to assault the coasts of Axis-occupied Europe, from logistics to beach assault and beachhead consolidation, and more. In order to win and hold a contested beachhead in the face of bitter enemy resistance, the amphibious-warfare specialists played a variety of essential battlefield roles; if the US troops could not establish a beachhead quickly, they risked being thrown back into the sea. For their part, the Germans had to devise a practical defensive doctrine that made the most of the limited resources and troops available and the terrain. The German infantry defenders immediately around the landing areas had to be able to call upon support from nearby artillery, mechanized troops, and armoured forces to have a chance of containing the enemy beachhead.
This illustrated study analyses the specialist beach-landing troops involved in three key battles - the Allied amphibious landings at Salerno and Anzio in Italy, and Omaha Beach in Normandy - focusing upon the US Army's various types of beach-assault specialists and their German opponents, whose combat experience and effectiveness varied considerably. Each of the three featured battles is then examined in detail, exploring how the Germans made defensive preparations; how the US troops planned to overcome them; and the immediate actions undertaken by the US amphibious specialists and their German opponents both during and following the main assault landings.
In September 1943, following wave upon wave of Allied bombing, Italy announced an armistice with the Allies. Shortly afterwards, the German army disarmed Italian forces and, despite military and partisan resistance, quickly overran Rome. Rome - City in Terror is a comprehensive history of the nine-month-long German occupation of the city that followed.
The Gestapo wasted no time enforcing an iron grip on the city once the occupation was in place. They swiftly eliminated the Carabinieri, the Italian paramilitary force, rounded up thousands of Italians to build extensive defensive lines across Italy, and, at 5am one morning, arrested more than 1,000 Roman Jews and sent them to Auschwitz. Resistance, however, remained strong. To aid the thousands of Allied POWs who escaped after the dissolution of the Italian army, priests, diplomats and escaped ex-POWs operating out of the Vatican formed a nationwide organization called the 'Escape Line'. More than 4,000 Allied POWs scattered all over Italy were sheltered, clothed and fed by these courageous Italians, whose lives were forfeit if their activities were discovered. Meanwhile, as food became scarce and the Gestapo began to raid on homes and institutions, Italian partisan fighters launched attack after attack on German military units in the city, with the threat of execution never far away.
This is the compelling story of an Eternal City brought low, of the terror and hardship of occupation, and of the disparate army of partisan fighters, displaced aristocrats, Vatican priests, Allied POWs and ordinary citizens who battled for the liberation of Rome.
The Battle of Warsaw in August 1920 has been described as one of the decisive battles of European history. At the start of the battle, the Red Army appeared to be on the verge of advancing through Poland into Germany to expand the Soviet revolution. Had the war spread into Germany, another great European war would have ensued, dragging in France and Britain. However, the Red Army was defeated by 'the miracle on the Vistula'.
This campaign title explores the origins and outcomes of this momentous battle. In May 1920, the Polish Army intervened in war-torn Ukraine, pushing all the way to Kiev, but the Red Army, by now triumphant in most of the theatres of the Russian Civil War, turned its attention to this new threat. By the late summer of 1920, two Soviet armies had advanced into Poland and the overconfident Soviet leadership dreamed of advancing over a prostrate Polish Army into neighbouring Germany to ignite a Communist revolution in the heart of Europe.
Thanks to the low density of forces on both sides and the huge distances involved, the conflict was a war of manoeuvre, with a curious mixture of traditional and advanced tactics. Horse cavalry played a dominant role in the fighting, but aeroplanes, tanks, and armoured trains lent the war an air of modernity. This illustrated study explores the war through the lens of the Battle of Warsaw, the turning point when, after a summer of disastrous retreat, the Polish army rallied and repulsed the Red Army at Warsaw and Lwow.