A former Harvard professor of decision science and game theory draws on those disciplines in this review of controversial strategic and tactical decisions of World War II. Allied leadership-although outstanding in many ways-sometimes botched what now is termed meta-decision making or deciding how to decide. Operation Jubilee, a single-division amphibious raid on Dieppe in August 1942, illustrates the pitfalls of groupthink. Prior to the invasion of North Africa in November, American and British leaders fell victim to the planning fallacy, going in with rosy expectations for easily achievable objectives. In the conquest of Sicily, they violated the millennia-old principle of command unity-now re-endorsed and elaborated on by modern theorists. Had Allied tacticians understood the game-theoretic significance of the terrain and conditions for success at Anzio, they might well not have and landed two-plus divisions there to fight a months-long stalemate in the first half of 1944.
The Encyclopedia of Aircraft of WWII is an exhaustive survey of the aircraft flown by all the combatants in Europe and the Pacific, including such famous aircraft as the P-51 Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire, Yakovlev Yak-3, Messerschmitt Me 109 and Vought F4U Corsair.
Written by a team of experts, this comprehensive volume provides specification boxes for each aircraft listing powerplant, performance, weights, dimensions and armament (with all weights and measures given in metric and imperial), and a detailed description of the type's development and service history.
Each aircraft is illustrated with a number of outstanding photographs as well as a three-view illustration. Annotations point out specific features, such as camouflage, markings, performance, seating and armaments. Additional feature boxes offer a rounded picture of some of the world's most famous aircraft.
With authoritative text and more than 1500 photographs and artworks, The Encyclopedia of Aircraft of WWII is essential reading for both the expert and general enthusiast.
German Paratroopers focuses on the actions of German airborne forces during World War II. It describes the battles over the Low Countries in 1940, the seizure of Crete in 1941, fighting on the Eastern Front and in later in Italy - most famously at the battle for Monte Cassino in 1944. Drawing together rare images of German paras in the war, the book presents a unique examination of the German airborne soldier in World War II. German Paratroopers also includes chapters on the recruitment and training for this e lite corps, and the specialist equipment that was devised for the Third Reich's airborne troops.
German armoured forces were a key component of the Wehrmacht's Blitzkrieg ('Lightning War') tactics that quickly conquered Poland, the Low Countries and France in 1939 and 1940. Germany introduced a new style of mechanised warfare that surprised the Allies and allowed the German forces to overwhelm often numerically superior forces in France and Russia. However, as the war progressed the Allies learned how to counter the German tactics, and in the final years of the war German armour was on the defensive. Large, powerful tanks and self-propelled guns - such as the Tiger, King Tiger and Jagdtiger - became key to the defence of the Reich as the Allied armies closed on the Fatherland.
Panzer provides a full pictorial record of the German armoured forces, from the Blitzkrieg years to the last stand in Berlin. The book features key figures, such as panzer generals Hoth and Guderian, and also Panzer aces Michael Wittmann and Joachim Peiper.
The German Navy, or Kriegsmarine, fought a valiant campaign in World War II. Though her surface fleet was small, German ships such as the Graf Spee, Bismarck and Tirpitz tied down a substantial amount of Allied naval resources for much of the war, and the U-boat fleet almost starved Britain into surrender. Kriegsmarine is a pictorial record of Germany's naval forces before and during World War II: from the rebirth of the U-boat fleet and the new pocket battleships; through the early naval campaigns of World War II; to the U-boats initial success before losses mounted dramatically; and finally the small-scale actions that characterized much of the navy's activity later in the war.
A detailed examination of Hitler's navy, Kriegsmarine assess everything from the small coastal vessels to the giant battleships. The book also includes accounts and photographs of the ships in action, such as the Battle of the River Plate and the sinking of the Bismarck. The dramatic story of the Kriegsmarine is told through 250 photographs, many of which are rare or have never been previously published. The illustrative element is complemented by authoritative text written by an expert on naval warfare.
In early October 1942 the German Sixth Army realised that it had one last chance to break through the Soviet lines and capture Stalingrad before exhaustion and the Russian winter set in. Stalingrad examines this last attempt by the Germans to win Stalingrad and how the Red Army managed to cling on against the odds, marking the turning point of the war on the Eastern Front.
Beginning with the background to Stalingrad, the book shows how initially the Germans made progress against the city's defenders, but failed to break them. By 14 October 1942 the German Army was ready to make its third, final assault on the Soviet 62nd Army. Hitler issued an order halting all other offensive operations on the Eastern Front: Stalingrad was to be the battle that determined whether the Germans could maintain their position in the East. Victory would give Germany access to natural resources, while defeat would demoralise the Wehrmacht.
With first-hand accounts from both sides, vivid photographs, and specially commissioned maps of the combat zones, Stalingrad is a comprehensive examination of the decisive failure of the German assault that ultimately decided the course of the war in the East.
The final stage of the Second World War, with the enemy across the Reich's borders, saw final desperate battles for numerous "fortified places" and blocking positions. Hitler ordered the defense of these fortified places such as KAnigsberg and Breslau, Wesel and Kolberg, Danzig, Posen and many others. In these isolated bastions the war-weary German units offered desperate resistance, offered for good purpose. This stubborn holding-on to the last round saved hundreds of thousands of women and children, made possible the evacuation of hospitals and the transport out of surrounded Wehrmacht female auxiliaries. The fates of German soldiers were realized in bunkers and caves, in tunnels and fields of rubble. In the HA"rtgenwald as in the Reichswald, during the crossing of the Rhine between Wesel and Emmerich, in the Remagen bridgehead, on the hill at Keppeln, in the Ruhr pocket, as well as in the east of the Reich in the East Prussian pocket, in Pomerania, in Silesia and in the Reich capital. Shocking scenes of apocalyptic battle were played out wherever Hitler's last bastions held out against the onrushing enemy, whether at the frontiers of the Reich or inside Germany itself.