In the early 1900s, the decaying Ottoman Turkish Empire had lost some of its Balkan territories, but still nominally ruled all of North Africa between British Egypt in the east and French Algeria in the west. Libya had fertile coastal territory, and was the last North African (almost, the last African) region not yet conquered by a European colonialist power. Italy was a young country, ambitious for colonies, but had been defeated in Ethiopia in the 1890s. The Italian government of Giovanni Giolitti was keen to overwrite the memory of that failure, and to gain a strategic grip over the central Mediterranean by seizing Libya, just across the narrows from Sicily.
The Italian expeditionary force that landed in October 1911 easily defeated the Ottoman division based in the coastal cities, incurring few losses. However, the Libyan inland tribes reacted furiously to the Italian conquest, and their insurgency cost the Italians thousands of casualties, locking them into the coastal enclaves during a winter stalemate which diminished Italian public enthusiasm for the war. To retrieve Italian prestige the government launched a naval campaign in the Dardanelles and the Dodecanese - the last Turkish held archipelago in the Aegean - in April-May 1912, and landed troops to capture Rhodes. The army finally pushed inland in Libya in July- October (using systematic air reconnaissance, for the first time), and after brutal fighting the war ended in a treaty that brought Italy all it wanted, although though the Libyan tribes would not finally be quelled until after World War I.
Containing accurate full-colour artwork and unrivalled detail, Armies of the Italian-Turkish War offers a vivid insight into the troops involved in this pivotal campaign, including the tribal insurgents and the navies of both sides.
For the Romans, Britannia lay beyond the comfortable confines of the Mediterranean world around which classical civilisation had flourished. Britannia was felt to be at the outermost edge of the world itself, lending the island an air of dangerous mystique.
To the soldiers crossing the Oceanus Britannicus in the late summer of AD 43, the prospect of invading an island believed to be on its periphery must have meant a mixture of panic and promise. These men were part of a formidable army of four veteran legions (II Augusta, VIIII Hispana, XIIII Gemina, XX Valeria), which had been assembled under the overall command of Aulus Plautius Silvanus. Under him were, significantly, first-rate legionary commanders, including the future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus. With the auxiliary units, the total invasion force probably mounted to around 40,000 men, but having assembled at Gessoriacum (Boulogne) they refused to embark. Eventually, the mutinous atmosphere was dispelled, and the invasion fleet sailed in three contingents.
So, ninety-seven years after Caius Iulius Caesar, the Roman army landed in south-eastern Britannia. After a brisk summer campaign, a province was established behind a frontier zone running from what is now Lyme Bay on the Dorset coast to the Humber estuary. Though the territory overrun during the first campaign season was undoubtedly small, it laid the foundations for the Roman conquest which would soon begin to sweep across Britannia.
In this highly illustrated and detailed title, Nic Fields tells the full story of the invasion which established the Romans in Britain, explaining how and why the initial Claudian invasion succeeded and what this meant for the future of Britain.
During the American Civil War, the mounted soldiers fighting on both sides of the conflict carried a wide array of weapons, from sabers and lances to carbines, revolvers, and other firearms. Though some sections of the cavalry placed their trust in the sabre, the advent of viable breechloading carbines -- especially repeaters such as the Spencer -- was to transform warfare within little more than a decade of General Lee's final surrender at Appomattox. However, output struggled to keep up with unprecedented demands on manufacturing technology and distribution in areas where communication was difficult and in states whose primary aim was to equip their own men rather than contribute to the arming of Federal or Confederate regiments. In addition, the almost unparalleled losses of men and equipment ensured that almost any firearm, effectual or not, was pressed into service. Consequently, the sheer variety of weaponry carried reflected the mounted soldiers' various roles in different theatres of operation, but also the availability -- or otherwise -- of weapons, notably on the Confederate side.
Fully illustrated, this study assesses the effectiveness of the many different weapons arming the Civil War cavalryman and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the decisions made after 1865 concerning the armament of the US cavalry.
When the revolutionary twin jet-powered Arado Ar 234 first appeared in the skies over north-west Europe in the summer of 1944, it represented the state-of-the-art in terms of aeronautical and technical development. The Ar 234 was a formidable aircraft - powered by Jumo 004Bs, the same engine used by the Me 262, and with a maximum speed of 735 km/h and range of 1600 km/h, it was very difficult for the Allies to 'catch'. Here was a machine that with its superior speed could operate with impunity as both a bomber and in the reconnaissancerole.
As such, the aircraft became the world's first reconnaissance jet, undertaking secret, high-speed, high-altitude observation missions for the German High Command over the Allied beachheads in Normandy and other Allied strongholds. Astonishingly, in September 1944 and as late as 1945, lone Ar 234s conducted reconnaissance flights over British ports and theMediterranean. The aircraft was equally efficient as a jet bomber - although the Ar 234B-2 bomber variant carried no defensive gun armament, it was able to deliver 1000 kg of bombs at high-speed and at either low- or high-level with considerable and devastating accuracy.
This highly detailed title from renowned aviation historian Robert Forsyth explores the history of this incredible aircraft, from its development in the early 1940s to its deployment in both reconnaissance and bomber roles throughout the rest of the war. The masterful text is supported by stunning, specially commissioned artwork.
The striking power of the Imperial Japanese Navy's carrier- based attack aircraft was established at Pearl Harbor, and the IJN's carrier- based torpedo and dive- bombers showed their prowess again at the Battle of Coral Sea when they sank the US Navy carrier USS Lexington and damaged the carrier USS Yorktown. Even at the disastrous Battle of Midway, the relatively small number of IJNAF attack- and torpedo-bombers that were launched against the US fleet proved that they remained a potent force by heavily damaging Yorktown again, which allowed an IJN submarine to sink the carrier. At Guadalcanal, IJNAF carrier-based aircraft sank the carrier USS Hornet and badly damaged USS Enterprise twice.
However, throughout 1942, US Navy ship defences brought down an increasing number of attacking IJNAF aircraft. The final major battle of the year, the Battle of Santa Cruz, exacted crippling losses on the IJN, setting the stage for the eclipse of the IJNAF's highly trained and effective aviation attack forces.
Packed with illustrations and contemporary photographs, this engrossing volume details the design, tactics, and operational records of both the US Navy ships and the IJNAF aircraft which attacked them over the year following Pearl Harbor.
Hunt the Bismarck, now available in paperback, tells the story of Operation Rheinubung, the Atlantic sortie of the Nazi Germany's largest battleship in May 1941.
Bismarck entered service in the summer of 1940. She was well-armed, with eight 15- inch guns as well as a powerful array of lighter weapons, while her armoured protection earned her the reputation of being unsinkable. This claim was put to the test in May 1941, when she sortied into the Atlantic and fought the legendary battle of the Denmark Strait, destroying HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy. Bismarck was now loose in the North Atlantic. However, damage sustained in the battle limited her ability to roam at will, and the Royal Navy had deployed the Home Fleet to avenge the Hood. The stage was set for the greatest chase story in the history of naval warfare.
Drawing on a wealth of first-hand accounts and intertwining extensive research into a fast-paced narrative, this is the most readable and accurate account of Bismarck's epic pursuit ever produced.