The Six-Day War in 1967 was a lightning Israeli campaign that changed the face of the Middle East. Israel's armoured brigades, despite being heavily outnumbered on paper by Arab AFVs, managed to dominate the Arab forces tactically and technologically, through excellent gunnery and decentralized battlefield leadership. The fighting took place on three different fronts: the Sinai Front, the Jordanian Front and the Golan Heights. Each presented its own unique set of tactical and terrain challenges, from the long-range battles between massed Egyptian and Israeli armour in the scorching flatlands of the Sinai Desert, to relatively close-quarters engagements across steep and narrow terrain in the Golan Heights.
Not only did the Six-Day War see the direct clash of opposing Cold War tactical approaches, but also the direct confrontation of Western and Soviet MBTs. On the Israeli side, the IDF had the British Centurion, the American M48 Patton, the M51 Super Sherman, and the French AMX-13, although they focused their armoured spearheads on the Centurions and Pattons. The Arabs' armoured power was expressed through T-34/85s, T-54/55s, PT-76s and JS-3s (IS-3s). Each vehicle brought its own set of advantages and disadvantages, although ultimately it was the long-range tank-killing gunnery of the Centurion that often took the day.
Drawing on compelling first-hand accounts from both unit commanders and individual crews, this Duel title explains the tactical and mechanical dynamics of one of history's greatest post-war armoured engagements.
For more than half a century, American gunboats were the ships often responsible for policing small crises and provided deterrence and fast-response capabilities around the world - showing the flag, landing armed parties, patrolling river and littoral areas, and protecting ex-pats. They were often the United States' most-visible and constant military presence in far-flung foreign lands, and were most closely associated with the Far East, particularly the Philippines and China. Most famous, of course, was the multinational Yangtze Patrol.
Many US gunboats were built, purchased, or reassembled overseas, where they usually served out their entire careers, never coming within 7,000 miles of the national homeland which they served. Numerous gunboats were captured from the Spanish during the 1898 war, many being raised from shallow graves, refurbished, and commissioned into USN service.
The classic haunt of US gunboats was the Asiatic Station of China and the Philippines. Gunboat service overseas was typically exotic and the sailors' lives were often exciting and unpredictable. The major operational theaters associated with the US gunboats were the pre-1898 cruises and patrols of the earliest steel gunboats, the Spanish-American War of 1898 (both the Philippines and the Caribbean), the guerilla wars of the early 20th century Philippines and Latin America, the Asiatic Fleet and Yangtze Patrol of the 1890s-1930s, and finally World War II, which largely entailed operations in China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Alaska, and on convoy routes. It was Japan's sudden 1941-1942 "Centrifugal Offensive" that effectively spelled the beginning of the end not just of most American gunboats, but also the century-old world order in Asia that had provided US gunboats their primary mission.
In the manner of many Roman generals, Caesar would write his domestic political ambitions in the blood and treasure of foreign lands. His governorship of Cisalpine Gaul gave him the opportunity to demonstrate the greatness of his character to the people of Rome through the subjugation of those outside Rome's borders. The fact that the main account of the subsequent wars in Gaul was written by Caesar himself - by far the most detailed history of the subject, with new reports issued annually for the eager audience at home -is no accident.
The Roman Army of the late Republic had long been in the process of structural and change, moving towards the all-volunteer permanent standing force that would for centuries be the bulwark of the coming Empire. Well-armed and armoured, this professional army was trained to operate within self-supporting legions, with auxiliaries employed in roles the legions lacked such as light troops or cavalry. The Roman legions were in many ways a modern force, with formations designed around tactical goals and held together by discipline, training and common purpose.
The armies fielded by the tribes of Gaul were for the most part lightly armed and armoured, with fine cavalry and a well-deserved reputation for ferocity. As might be expected from a region made up of different tribes with a range of needs and interests, there was no consensus on how to make war, though when large armies were gathered it was usually with the express purpose of bringing the enemy to heel in a pitched battle. For most Gauls - and certainly the military elites of the tribes - battle was an opportunity to prove their personal courage and skill, raising their status in the eyes of friends and foes alike.
Fully illustrated, this study investigates the Roman and Gallic forces pitched into combat in three battles: Bibracte (58 BC), Sabis (57 BC) and Gergovia/Alesia (52 BC). Although charismatic Gallic leaders did rise up - notably Dumnorix of the Aedui and later Vercingetorix of the Arverni - and proved to be men capable of bringing together forces that had the prospect of checking Caesar's ambitions in the bloodiest of ways, it would not be enough. For Caesar his war against the Gauls provided him with enormous power and the springboard he needed to make Rome his own, though his many domestic enemies would ensure that he did not long enjoy his success.
When Allied tanks began to roll off the landing craft on D-Day, it marked the start of one of the great periods of tank warfare in World War II. Often outgunned by the German Panzers, and fighting in the close confines of bocage country, they nevertheless managed to break out of Normandy and begin the liberation of Europe. It was a battle that was dominated by the Americans' legendary Sherman, but also saw a wide and complex range of armour committed to battle across the many armies involved, from British Churchills and special-purpose 'Funnies' to the Canadians' Ram tank.
This book explains the qualities, strengths and weakness of the major British and US tank types as well as associated Allied units in Normandy including the Canadians, Poles, and French, and how they really fought. It will discuss the organization and equipment of the units, providing thumbnail sketches of organization and doctrine as well as statistical data on the types and categories of AFVs that saw action, providing a handy and concise guide for military historians, wargamers and military modelers.
The Falklands Conflict was remarkable for many reasons: it was a hard fought, bloody and short conflict between a leading NATO power and one of the most capable armed forces in South America; it demonstrated the capabilities of a range of cutting-edge technologies including nuclear-powered attack submarines, Exocet missiles and Sea Harrier VSTOL aircraft; and it was fought many thousands of miles away from the Royal Navy's home bases.
In this illustrated study, renowned naval historian Dr Edward Hampshire draws upon the latest available sources to offer a comprehensive examination of the Falklands naval campaign. Blow-by-blow accounts of key engagements, such as the sinking of the General Belgrano, the loss of HMS Sheffield, and the landings at San Carlos Bay, are presented alongside lesser known but equally important naval operations that helped shape the outcome of the conflict.
Although muskets delivered devastating projectiles at comparatively long ranges, their slow rate of fire left the soldier very vulnerable while reloading, and early muskets were useless for close-quarter fighting. Consequently, European infantry regiments of the 17th century were composed of both musketeers and pikemen, who protected the musketeers while loading but also formed the shock component for close-quarter combat. The development of the flintlock musket produced a much less cumbersome and faster-firing firearm. When a short knife was stuck into its muzzle, every soldier could be armed with a missile weapon as well as one that could be used for close combat. The only disadvantage was that the musket could not be loaded or fired while the plug bayonet was in place. The socket bayonet solved this problem and the musket/bayonet combination became the universal infantry weapon from c.1700 to c.1870.
The advent of shorter rifled firearms saw the attachment of short swords to rifle barrels. Their longer blades still gave the infantryman the 'reach' that contemporaries believed he needed to fend off cavalry attacks. The perfection of the small-bore magazine rifle in the 1890s saw the bayonet lose its tactical importance, becoming smaller and more knife-like, a trend that continued in the world wars. When assault rifles predominated from the 1950s onwards, the bayonet became a weapon of last resort. Its potential usefulness continued to be recognized, but its blade was often combined with an item with some additional function, most notably a wire-cutter.
Ultimately, for all its fearsome reputation as a visceral, close-quarter fighting weapon, the bayonet's greatest impact was actually as a psychological weapon. Featuring full-colour artwork as well as archive and close-up photographs, this is the absorbing story of the complementary weapon to every soldier's firearm from the army of Louis XIV to modern-day forces in all global theatres of conflict.