In this highly detailed book, naval historian Edward Hampshire reveals the fascinating history of the nuclear-powered attack submarines built and operated by the Soviet Union in the Cold War, including each class of these formidable craft as they developed throughout the Cold War period.
The November class, which were the Soviet Union's first nuclear submarines, had originally been designed to fire a single enormous nuclear-tipped torpedo but were eventually completed as boats firing standard torpedoes. The Alfa class were perhaps the most remarkable submarines of the Cold War: titanium-hulled (which was light and strong but extremely expensive and difficult to weld successfully), crewed with only thirty men due to considerable automation and 30% faster than any US submarines, they used a radical liquid lead-bismuth alloy in the reactor plant. The Victor class formed the backbone of the Soviet nuclear submarine fleet in the 1970s and 1980s, as hunter-killer submarines began to focus on tracking and potentially destroying NATO ballistic missile submarines. The Sierra classes were further titanium-hulled submarines and the single Mike-class submarine was an experimental type containing a number of innovations. Finally, the Akula class were being constructed as the Cold War ended, and these boats form the mainstay of the Russian nuclear attack submarine fleet today.
This book explores the design, development, and deployment of each of these classes in detail, offering an unparalleled insight into the submarines which served the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War period. The text is supported by stunning illustrations, photographs and diagrams of the submarines.
The tactics and technologies of modern air assault - vertical deployment of troops by helicopter or similar means - emerged properly during the 1950s in Korea and Algeria. Yet it was during the Vietnam War that helicopter air assault truly came of age and by 1965 the United States had established fully airmobile battalions, brigades, and divisions, including the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).This division brought to Vietnam a revolutionary new speed and dexterity in battlefield tactics, using massed helicopters to liberate its soldiers from traditional overland methods of combat manoeuvre.
However, the communist troops adjusted their own thinking to handle airmobile assaults. Specializing in ambush, harassment, infiltration attacks, and small-scale attrition, the North Vietnamese operated with light logistics and a deep familiarity with the terrain. They optimized their defensive tactics to make landing zones as hostile as possible for assaulting US troops, and from 1966 worked to draw them into 'Hill Traps', extensive kill zones specially prepared for defence -in -depth. By the time the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) withdrew from Vietnam in 1972, it had suffered more casualties than any other US Army division.
Featuring specially commissioned artwork, archive photographs, and full-colour battle maps, this study charts the evolution of US airmobile tactics pitted against North Vietnamese countermeasures. The two sides are analysed in detail, including training, logistics, weaponry, and organization.
The last predreadnought battleships of the US Navy were critical to the technological development of US battleships, and they were the first tool of international hard power wielded by the United States, a nation which would eventually become the world's dominant political and military power of the 20th century. These battleships were the stars of the 1907-09 Great White Fleet circumnavigation, in which the emerging power and reach of the US Navy was displayed around the world. They also took part in the bombardment and landings at Veracruz, some served as convoy escorts in World War I, and the last two were transferred to the Hellenic Navy and were sunk during World War II.
This book examines the design, history, and technical qualities of the final six classes of US predreadnought battleships, all of which were involved in the circumnavigation of the Great White Fleet. These classes progressively closed the quality gap with European navies - the Connecticuts were the finest predreadnought battleships ever built - and this book also compares and contrasts US predreadnought battleships to their foreign contemporaries. Packed with illustrations and specially commissioned artwork, this is an essential guide to the development of US Navy Battleships at the turn of the twentieth century.
The Trails War formed a major part of the so-called 'secret war' in South East Asia, yet for complex political reasons, including the involvement of the CIA, it received far less coverage than campaigns like Rolling Thunder and Linebacker. Nevertheless, the campaign had a profound effect on the outcome of the war and on its perception in the USA.
In the north, the Barrel Roll campaign was often operated by daring pilots flying obsolete aircraft, as in the early years, US forces were still flying antiquated piston-engined T-28 and A-26A aircraft. The campaign gave rise to countless heroic deeds by pilots like the Raven forward air controllers, operating from primitive airstrips in close contact with fierce enemy forces. USAF rescue services carried out extremely hazardous missions to recover aircrew who would otherwise have been swiftly executed by Pathet Lao forces, and reconnaissance pilots routinely risked their lives in solo, low-level mission over hostile territory. Further south, the Steel Tiger campaign was less covert. Arc Light B-52 strikes were flown frequently, and the fearsome AC-130 was introduced to cut the trails. At the same time, many thousands of North Vietnamese troops and civilians repeatedly made the long, arduous journey along the trail in trucks or, more often, pushing French bicycles laden with ammunition and rice. Under constant threat of air attack and enduring heavy losses, they devised extremely ingenious means of survival.
The campaign to cut the trails endured for the entire Vietnam War but nothing more than partial success could ever be achieved by the USA. This illustrated title explores the fascinating history of this campaign, analysing the forces involved and explaining why the USA could never truly conquer the Ho Chi Minh trail.
While the F 105 Thunderchief was the USAF's principal strike weapon during the Rolling Thunder campaign, the US Navy relied on the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk for the majority of its strikes on North Vietnam. The Skyhawk entered service in 1956 and remained in continuous production for 26 years. Throughout Operation Rolling Thunder it was the US Navy's principal day time light strike bomber, remaining in use after its replacement, the more sophisticated A-7 Corsair II, began to appear in December 1967.
During the 1965-68 Rolling Thunder period, up to five attack carriers regularly launched A-4 strike formations against North Vietnam. These formations faced an ever-expanding and increasingly coordinated Soviet-style network of anti-aircraft artillery missiles and fighters. Skyhawk pilots were often given the hazardous task of attacking anti-aircraft defences and to improve accuracy, they initially dropped ordnance below 3000 ft in a 30-degree dive in order to bomb visually below the persistent low cloud over North Vietnam, putting the aircraft within range of small-arms fire. The defenders had the advantage of covering a relatively small target area, and the sheer weight of light, medium and heavy gunfire directed at an attacking force brought inevitable casualties, and a single rifle bullet could have the same effect as a larger shell. This illustrated title examines both the A-4 Skyhawk and the Vietnamese AAA defences in context, exploring their history and analysing their tactics and effectiveness during the conflict.