During the American Revolution (1775-83), German auxiliary troops provided a vital element of the British war effort. Some 30,000 German troops served in North America, continuing a long-established relationship between Britain and various German principalities. These troops were widely referred to as mercenaries, implying that they sold their services individually, but they were in fact regular troops hired as a body by the British. Initially feared by the American population, the German troops came to be highly respected by their opponents. Their role in the fighting would inform the tactics and methods of a generation of German officers who returned to Europe after the war, many of whom went on to hold senior commands during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
The largest body of German troops was from Hessen- Cassel. The only German contingent to be employed as a unit under its own general officers, they were clothed and equipped in the style of Frederick the Great's Prussians and were trained in much the same way. Many had seen active service during the Seven Years' War (1756-63) and served under career officers; they were well-disciplined and competent but showed little overt enthusiasm for the British cause. The troops of Hessen-Cassel would participate in every major campaign of the conflict, with the specialized skills of the famous Jager being particularly in demand. Fully illustrated, this lively study examines the organization, appearance, weapons, and equipment of the Hessen-Cassel troops who fought for King George in the American Revolution.
The Long Range Desert Group was one of the most famous special units of World War II, operating heavily modified vehicles deep behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and support the raids of David Stirling's new Special Air Service.
When war broke out, a pre-war explorer and army officer, Ralph Bagnold, convinced Middle East Command of the need for a reconnaissance force to penetrate into Italian-held desert. Bagnold tested four types of vehicles over rocks and through soft sand to find the best one for his new unit. Bagnold selected the Chevrolet WB (30 CWT) as the signature vehicle of the Long Range Desert Group because it is "fast, simple and easy to handle". With left-hand steering, horizontal grill and round fenders on the rear wheels, these trucks proved themselves popular and effective. The durability of the Chevrolets was demonstrated in January 1941 with an audacious raid on the Italian fort/air strip at Murzuk, hundreds of miles behind enemy lines.
This book explains the detail of all the vehicles of the LRDG, as well as their modifications, driving techniques, and special kit for surviving behind enemy lines in one of the most hostile environments on earth.
At the A-7 Corsair II's peak in the mid-1980s, some 30 US Navy squadrons flew various versions of the aircraft, including six Naval Air Reserve units, and these many of these units saw action across the Middle East. By the time the jet saw combat in Operation Desert Storm (1991), there remained only two fleet squadrons - many fleet squadrons having either disestablished or transitioned to the F/A 18 Hornet - but both of these units (VA-46 and VA-72) played a major role in the campaign to free Kuwait.
The book details the technological development and improvements that were introduced to the airframe post-Vietnam (the FLIR targeting pod from 1979 and AGM-88 HARM missile from 1983 being the most important), and how they shaped operational employment of the aircraft. The jet's combat experiences in conflicts during the 1970s (Cambodia), 1980s (Lebanon, Grenada, Libya and Iran), and 1990s (Iraq) are explained in detail, and Peter Mersky's expert analysis is supported by numerous first-hand accounts from naval aviators that saw action with the A-7 during these campaigns.
Few weapons developed a more deadly reputation than the German '88' in the role of anti-tank gun, its long reach and lethal hitting power making it a significant problem for every type of British and later American armour. Despite its individual potency, it was almost always utilized as part of a comprehensive system of defences that relied on a mix of weapons carefully deployed in anticipation of the enemy's likely avenue and method of attack. Used in this way, the 88 became a particularly deadly part of the Afrika Korps' attempts to shatter British armoured power in the Western Desert.
Initially extremely successful over the course of 1941 and 1942 in Operations Battleaxe and Crusader, the Allies' tactics and vehicles (such as the American-made M3 and the Crusader III) eventually evolved to deal with the 88's awesome power. This detailed new book tells the story of that evolution and provides an in-depth treatment of this key weapon of World War II.
The battle of Bosworth was the culmination of the War of the Roses, the dynastic struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster that dominated England in the second half of the 15th century. Edward IV had secured the throne for the house of York, but his early death in 1483, followed by the death of his sons and the taking of the throne by his brother, Richard of York, saw a renewed outbreak of fighting. His reign began with a major rebellion and was dogged by rumours of his involvement in murder, with Richard facing threats not only from the lords he alienated but also the Lancastrian faction waiting in the wings. Henry Tudor eventually decided to take the huge risk of attempting to seize the throne and Richard's army marched to meet him, finally clashing near Market Bosworth.
Guiding the reader from the campaign's origins to its aftermath, and covering the commanders and forces of King Richard III and Henry Tudor, this is a complete treatment of one of the most important events in English history. The story of Bosworth has been transformed in the 20th century as an extensive survey between 2005 and 2009 by the Battlefields Trust has pinpointed the location of the battlefield, for many years a source of debate and controversy, and this new history is based on that interpretation. It will also highlight the incredible discovery of Richard III's remains in Leicester, the study of the bones and relate this to what was previously thought to have happened to him at the end of the battle.
As 1942 opened, both Nazi Germany and the Allies were ready for the climactic battles of the Atlantic to begin. Germany had 91 operational U-boats, and over 150 in training or trials. Production for 1942-44 was planned to exceed 200 boats annually. Karl Doenitz, running the Kriegsmarine's U-boat arm, would finally have the numbers needed to run the tonnage war he wanted against the Allies.
Meanwhile, the British had, at last, assembled the solution to the U-boat peril. Its weapons and detection systems had improved to the stage that maritime patrol aircraft could launch deadly attacks on U-boats day and night. Airborne radar, Leigh lights, Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) and the Fido homing torpedo all turned the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft into a submarine-killer, while shore and ship-based technologies such as high-frequency direction finding and signals intelligence could now help aircraft find enemy U-boats. Following its entry into the war in 1941, the United States had also thrown its industrial muscle behind the campaign, supplying VLR Liberator bombers to the RAF and escort carriers to the Royal Navy. The US Navy also operated anti-submarine patrol blimps and VLR aircraft in the southern and western Atlantic, and sent its own escort carriers to guard convoys.
This book, the second of two volumes, explores the climactic events of the Battle of the Atlantic, and reveals how air power - both maritime patrol aircraft and carrier aircraft - ultimately proved to be the Allies' most important weapon in one of the most bitterly fought naval campaigns of World War II.