From popular Pacific Theatre expert Jeffrey R. Cox comes this insightful new history of the critical Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign at the height of World War II. His previous book, Morning Star, Rising Sun, had found the US Navy at its absolute nadir and the fate of the Enterprise, the last operational US aircraft carrier at this point in the war, unknown. This new volume completes the history of this crucial campaign, combining detailed research with a novelist's flair for the dramatic to reveal exactly how, despite missteps and misfortunes, the tide of war finally turned. By the end of February 1944, thanks to hard-fought and costly American victories in the first and second naval battles of Guadalcanal, the battle of Empress Augusta Bay, and the battle of Cape St George, the Japanese would no longer hold the materiel or skilled manpower advantage. From this point on, although the war was still a long way from being won, the American star was unquestionably on the ascendant, slowly, but surely, edging Japanese imperialism towards its sunset.
Jeffrey Cox's analysis and attention to detail of even the smallest events are second to none. But what truly sets this book apart is how he combines this microscopic attention to detail, often unearthing new facts along the way, with an engaging style that transports the reader to the heart of the story, bringing the events on the deep blue of the Pacific vividly to life.
In January 1945, the collapse of the German front along the Siegfried Line led to a large-scale dissolution of German combat forces and capability. Pressed hard by Allied forces advancing eastward, German units often found themselves trapped west of the Rhine River. With his eye on history, US Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. was determined to be the first leader since Napoleon to make an assault crossing of the Rhine. The most logical crossing-place was at Mainz, as it served as a major railroad logistical link from west to east. However, Patton was aware that this would be obvious to the Germans, and therefore he and his staff made rapid plans for another site at Nierstein and Oppenheim, about 12 miles south of Mainz.
The crossing began at 2230 hours on 23 March, when the first boats carrying 11th Infantry Regiment troops left the western bank of the Rhine. They met with little opposition; despite a few sharp counterattacks, overall resistance was light and American forces suffered few casualties. By 24 March, the US 4th Armoured Division under Brig. Gen. William Hoge crossed the Rhine and began the exploitation phase. By 26 March, the exploitation to the Main River was clearly a rout, exacerbated by additional crossings of the Rhine by other Allied units over the next few days. Illustrated throughout with stunning full-colour artwork, maps, and bird's-eye-views, this title details the complete history of this dramatic campaign.
World War II was a significant period of development for American missile programs, during which time the US built pioneering examples of guided weapons systems. However, whilst the German missiles of World War II are famous around the world, their American counterparts have remained shrouded in secrecy, despite the fact that they formed the basis for the later revolutions in precision warfare.
Among the most sophisticated missiles of World War II was the US Navy's radar-guided Bat anti-ship missile, which was on the verge of deployment in the final months of the war. The war also saw the first use of guided assault drones, including the US Army Air Force's Aphrodite program of 1944, and the US Navy's Project Anvil and TDR-1.
This book draws back the veil on these weapons, examining the principal avenues of missile development in America during World War II, including the early glide bombs, radio-controlled bombs and electro-optically controlled bombs. Some of the more peculiar efforts, such as the "Bat bomb" and pigeon-guided bombs, are also explored. The text is supported by specially commissioned, full-colour artwork and diagrams.
The formidable European longsword - featuring a double-edged straight blade in excess of 40in, and capable of being used with one or both hands - remains one of the most impressive and distinctive edged weapons of the late medieval era. Also known as the 'bastard' sword and the 'hand-and-a-half' sword, the longsword evolved from the war swords and great swords of the 14th century, and emerged as a battlefield weapon in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War. It went on to become a key weapon on the battlefields of late medieval Europe, creating a new system of sword fighting.
Drawing together period sources, modern technical analysis and his own experiences with the longsword, Neil Grant explores the origins, manufacture and evolving use of this iconic late-medieval edged weapon. Illustrated throughout with specially commissioned full-colour artwork and an array of period illustrations and close-up photographs, this is the enthralling story of one of late-medieval Europe's most distinctive and deadly close-combat weapons.
During the Japanese occupation of large parts of Asia and the Pacific in 1941-45, Japan raised significant numbers of troops to fight alongside them, as well as militias to guard their conquests. The total number of these soldiers is estimated at no fewer than 600,000 men. These ranged from the regular troops of Manchukuo (200,000 men), Nanking China (250,000), Thailand, and recruits from the 'puppet' Burmese Independence Army (30,000) and Indian National Army (40,000), to constabularies and spear-wielding militias in the Philippines (15,000), Borneo, Indonesia and New Guinea.
Many of the recruits from former European colonies hoped for independence as part of the 'Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere' proclaimed by Japanese propaganda, but Japan's intentions were entirely cynical. They formed alliances to deny the Allied powers access to territory that they could not actually occupy, and raised these large numbers of auxiliary troops to relieve the manpower burden of occupation, or simply as 'cannon-fodder'.
This extensively researched study examines each of these armies and militias in detail, exploring their history and deployment during World War II, and revealing the intricacies of their arms and equipment with stunning full-colour artwork and previously unpublished contemporary photographs.
Between June 1940 and August 1943, RAF Bomber Command undertook a little-known strategic bombing campaign in Europe. The target was Mussolini's Italy. This air campaign was a key part of the strategic policy of Britain from 1940 to 1943, which aimed at securing Italy's early surrender. However, it posed unique challenges, not least of which was Italy's natural defences of distance and the Alps.
The bombing campaign against Italy can be divided into a number of phases, with each one having its own specific goals such as affecting Italian war production or hindering the Italian Navy's war in the Mediterranean. However, each also furthered the ultimate aim of forcing Italy's final capitulation, demonstrating that the tactic of area-bombing was not just about the destruction of an enemy's cities, as it could also fulfil wider strategic and political objectives. Indeed, the intensity and frequency of attack was greatly controlled, and the heavy bombing of Italy was only ever sanctioned by Britain's civilian war leaders to achieve both military and political goals. The issue of target-selection was also subject to a similar political restriction; cities and ports like Milan, Turin, Genoa and La Spezia were sanctioned under an official Directive, but other places, such as Verona, Venice, Florence and, above all, Rome, remained off-limits.
This fascinating title from British strategic and military history expert Dr Richard Worrall explores the political, motivational and strategic challenges of the campaign in full. His thorough analysis and meticulous research is supported by specially commissioned artwork, maps, and contemporary photographs.