Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov remains a national hero in todays Russia as the man who beat Hitler and saved both Russia and Europe from the Nazis. His reputation is that of a Russian patriot and an independent-minded general who remained a key figure in Stalins high command throughout the Great Patriotic War. Zhukov played a significant role in virtually all the principal battles on the Eastern Front during the Second World War including Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin. It was Zhukov who formally accepted Germanys unconditional surrender on 9 May 1945. In his post-war autobiography Zhukov chronicled his brilliant career as he saw it and wanted it to be seen. His memoirs reveal the why and how of decision-making at the highest level of the Soviet command throughout the war, and his continued loyalty to the Soviet dictator despite being demoted after the war. Zhukovs writing is a fascinating and invaluable source for anyone interested in the war on the Eastern Front and presents intriguing insights into Zhukov the man as well as Zhukov the military commander.
Military and aviation history enthusiasts have always been interested in the fighter pilots of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Some of their stories are extraordinary. Fighting from the Arctic Circle to the North African deserts, from the Caucasus in the East to Normandy in the West, the German fighter pilot flew and fought until he was shot down, "flown out," wounded or killed in action. A handful survived from "first to last."
This first volume of Day Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe traces the story of the Luftwaffe's day fighter arm (der Tagjagd) from its inception to 1942. Organized campaign by campaign, this chronological account interweaves brief biographical details, newly translated personal accounts and key moments in the careers of a host of notable and lesser known Luftwaffe aces. Around 500 Luftwaffe fighter pilots were awarded the Knight's Cross, accumulating huge numbers of missions flown. A similar number achieved more than 40 victories - more than the two leading USAF and RAF fighter pilots.
Designed both as a military and civil aircraft, the Dornier Do 17 'Flying Pencil', so called because of its slender fuselage, was one of three twin-engine medium bombers in service with the Luftwaffe at the start of WWII. Its service with the Legion Condor during the Spanish Civil War, mainly in the reconnaissance role, so impressed the Luftwaffe that high priority was allocated to the aircraft as both a bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.
The Do 17 was loved by its crews. It served over Poland, France and the Low Countries, Britain, the Balkans, Greece and the Soviet Union, often without escort and against increasing and improved fighter opposition. Despite a comparatively light bomb-load and limited range, the ultimate version, Do 17Z, possessed good maneuverability and during the Luftwaffe's campaign against England in 1940, it was preferred for low-level attacks on British airfields and installations, though its lack of protection made it vulnerable.
Though production ceased in October 1940, the sleek Do 17 could be found on the strength of Luftwaffe units to the end of the war operating as a glider tug, night reconnaissance platform, research aircraft and trainer.
In this book Luftwaffe historian, Chris Goss, recounts the operational history of the Do 17, perhaps the least understood and often forgotten of the Luftwaffe's medium bombers.
The era of the combat biplane is usually thought to have been between 1914 and 1938. By the outbreak of World War II, most of the advanced air forces of the world had moved on to monoplane aircraft for their front-line battle forces, both in bomber and fighter capacities. Yet despite this, many biplanes did still survive, both in front-line service and in numerous subsidiary roles, and not just as training machines but as fully operational warplanes. Thus in 1939 the majority of major European powers still retained some, albeit few, biplane aircraft. Sadly, and as an indictment of failed British Government defence policies, it was Great Britain who still had the bulk of such obsolescent combat aircraft, machines like the Gladiator, Swordfish, Walrus, Vildebeeste and Audax for example, while the inferior Albacore, meant to replace the Swordfish, was still yet to enter service!
Germany had relegated most of her biplane designs to secondary roles, but they still managed to conduct missions in which biplanes like the He.50, He.51 and Hs.120 excelled. Both France and Italy had biplanes in active service, Mussolinis Regia Aeronautica attaching great importance to the type as a fighter aircraft as late as 1941, while the Soviet Union also retained some machines like the Po-2 in front-line service right through the war and beyond. In addition, a whole range of smaller nations utilised biplanes built for larger combatants in their own air forces. By the time Japan and the United States entered the war two years later, they had mainly rid themselves of biplanes but, even here, a few specialised types lingered on. This book describes a selection of these gallant old warriors of all nations. They represent the author's own personal selection from a surprisingly large range of aircraft that, despite all predictions, fought hard and well in World War II.
The meteoric rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party cowed the masses into a sense of false utopia. During Hitler's 1932 election campaign over half those who voted for Hitler were women. Germany's women had witnessed the anarchy of the post-First World War years, and the chaos brought about by the rival political gangs brawling on their streets. When Hitler came to power there was at last a ray of hope that this man of the people would restore not only political stability to Germany but prosperity to its people.
As reforms were set in place, Hitler encouraged women to step aside from their jobs and allow men to take their place. As the guardian of the home, the women of Hitler's Germany were pinned as the very foundation for a future thousand-year Reich. Not every female in Nazi Germany readily embraced the principle of living in a society where two distinct worlds existed, however with the outbreak of the Second World War, Germany's women would soon find themselves on the frontline.
Ultimately Hitler's housewives experienced mixed fortunes throughout the years of the Second World War. Those whose loved ones went off to war never to return; those who lost children not only to the influences of the Hitler Youth but the Allied bombing; those who sought comfort in the arms of other young men and those who would serve above and beyond of exemplary on the German home front. Their stories form intimate and intricately woven tales of life, love, joy, fear and death. Hitler's Housewives: German Women on the Home Front is not only an essential document towards better understanding one of the twentieth century's greatest tragedies where the women became an inextricable link, but also the role played by Germany's women on the home front which ultimately became blurred within the horrors of total war.
This is their story, in their own words, told for the first time.
Before the war, Normandy's Plage d'Or coast was best known for its sleepy villages and holiday destinations. Early in 1944, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took one look at the gentle, sloping sands and announced 'They will come here!' He was referring to Omaha Beach - the primary American D-Day landing site. The beach was subsequently transformed into three miles of lethal, bunker-protected arcs of fire, with chalets converted into concrete strongpoints, fringed by layers of barbed wire and mines. The Germans called it 'the Devil's Garden'.
When Company A of the US 116th Regiment landed on Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944, it lost 96% of its effective strength. This was the beginning of the historic day that The Fury of Battle narrates hour by hour - from midnight to midnight - tracking German and American soldiers fighting across the beachhead.
Two and a half hours in, General Bradley, commanding the landings aboard USS Augusta, had to decide whether to proceed or evacuate. On 6 June there were well over 2,400 casualties on Omaha Beach - easily D-Day's highest death toll.
The Wehrmacht thought they had bludgeoned the Americans into bloody submission, yet by mid-afternoon the troops were ashore. Why were the casualties so grim, and how could the Germans have failed? Robert Kershaw draws on American troops' eyewitness accounts together with letters and post-combat reports to expose the horrors of Omaha Beach. He also cites the experiences of the Germans and of French civilians.
These are stories of humanity, resilience, and dark humour; of comradeship holding beleaguered men together during an amphibious landing that looked as though it might never succeed.
The Army of George II is often forgotten, as 18th century British military history is bookended by the victories of the Duke of Marlborough during the War of the Spanish Succession and the final defeat of Napoleon by the Duke of Wellington. Yet it was in this period that Britain rose to prominence, not only as a European, but also as a world power, defeating the French in India, North America, and the Caribbean and fighting them in two major wars in Europe. Great leaders emerged, such as Robert Clive and James Wolfe, whilst the private soldiers proved themselves to be adaptable, stoic, and, above all, brave in the face of extreme hardship. This was the army that crushed French colonial ambitions and in so doing laid the groundwork for the British Empire.
In this book you will find details of how the army was recruited, funded, and how it functioned day-to-day. Details are also provided of the uniforms worn by infantry, artillery, and cavalry; how they were organised, paid, and punished. There are also new insights into the logistics of 18th century warfare, how the soldiers performed in battle, both in Europe and in the colonies, and what medical treatment they could expect when the battles were over. This book provides a unique insight into what it was like to serve in the Army of King George II.
The Battle of Villamuriel was the largest engagement of Wellington's retreat from Burgos in 1812. Twice as many men were involved as in the better-known actions at Villadrigo/Venta del Pozo two days earlier. This is the first full length account of the action and improves significantly on previous accounts in the campaign histories by Napier, Fortescue, Oman, and Divall.
Archival sources from Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal have been used to build a coherent and balanced account. The orders of battle are detailed and the military experience of both the commanders and their units is provided. Detailed maps of the deployment of both forces throughout the action are provided. A detailed breakdown of the casualties on both sides is also given. Also highlighted are the previously unreported role of 9th Foot as an aspiring light infantry regiment, and the 1835 controversy around Napier's account using the archives of the Sir John Oswald and a potential source for Napier's account is identified.
This has resulted in a detailed study of one day's action in the 1812 campaign, with a view to extracting improved understanding of how the armies fought. The wargamer is provided with detailed scenarios to enable them to recreate the action on the table top. The action is effectively a re-match between the Anglo-Portuguese 5th Division and the 5e Division of the Armee de Portugal, only a few months after the former successfully dispersed the latter at Salamanca in July. Wellington at Bay includes a Foreword by Carole Divall.
Many books have been written about the 1st Duke of Marlborough's famous victories, but none of the previous studies has really concentrated on how the warfare was perceived by the men and women who took part - those who experienced the action at first hand. James Falkner has brought together a vivid selection of contemporary accounts of every aspect of the war to create a panoramic yet minutely detailed picture of those years of turmoil. The story is told through memoirs, letters, official documents, despatches, newspaper reports and eyewitness testimony from the French and Allied sides of the conflict. His linking narrative provides a penetrating analysis of the strategy and tactics of warfare at the time.