Genesis of the Grand Fleet: The Admiralty, Germany, and the Home Fleet, 1896-1914 tells the story of the prewar predecessor to the Royal Navy's war-winning Grand Fleet: the Home Fleet. Established in early 1907 by First Sea Lord Sir John Fisher, the Home Fleet combined an active core of powerful armored warships with a unification of the various reserve divisions of warships previously under the control of the three Royal Navy home port commands. Fisher boasted that the new Home Fleet would be able to counter the growing German Hochseeflotte.
While these boasts were accurate, they were not the sole motivation behind the Home Fleet's establishment. The Liberal Party's landslide victory in the 1906 General Election made fiscal economy on the part of the Admiralty even more important than before, and this significantly influenced the Home Fleet's creation.
Subsequently the Home Fleet suffered a sustained campaign of criticism by the commanderinchief of the Channel Fleet, Lord Charles Beresford. This campaign ruined many careers including Beresford's and resulted in the assimilation of the Channel Fleet into the Home Fleet in 1909. From 1910 onward the Home Fleet steadily evolved and became the most important single command in the Royal Navy, and the Home Fleet's successive commandersinchief had influence on strategic policy rivaled only by the Board of Admiralty. The last prewar commander of the Home Fleet, Admiral Sir George Callaghan achieved this influence by impressing the civilian head of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. A driven reformer, Churchill's influence was almost as important as Fisher's.
Against this backdrop of political drama, Genesis of the Grand Fleet: The Admiralty, Germany, and the Home Fleet, 1896-1914 explains how Britain maintained its maritime preeminence in the early twentieth century. As Christopher Buckey describes, the fleet sustained Britain and her allies' path to victory in World War I.
In the early hours of 9 April 1940, Adolf Hitler's forces made their next move of the Second World War, and, striking north, launched their invasion of Denmark and Norway. Ostensibly undertaken as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed Franco-British plan to occupy Norway, Operation _Weserubung_ has, more than any other campaign of the Second World War, been shrouded in mystery. Strategic political and legal issues were unclear and military issues were dominated by risk.
The German success was the result of improvisation and the application of available forces far beyond the comprehension of their British and Norwegian counterparts. The operation necessitated combining the resources of air force, army and navy. Troops were transported into battle by warship and aircraft, and paratroopers were used for the first time.
This combined arms assault was the first three dimensional strategic invasion in history. In _Hitler Strikes North,_ Jack Greene and Alessandro Massignani detail the course of this ground-breaking invasion, at the same time providing valuable historical and modern lessons about the role of combined arms planning, the strategic demand for resources, and the use of military force.
On 1 April 1982 Major Mike Norman, commander of Naval Party 8901, was looking forward to a peaceful year-long tour of duty on the Falkland Islands. But events turned out differently, for the next day the Argentinians invaded and he and his small Royal Marines garrison found themselves fighting for their lives.
They took up defensive positions in and around Government House and on the approaches to Stanley to protect the Governor, Rex Hunt, and delay the enemy's advance. They were prepared to die executing these orders. After a desperate battle against vastly superior numbers, Hunt ordered them to lay down their arms. As the surrender took place, an Argentinian told a Marine: 'The Islands are ours now'. The response was simple: 'We will be back'. They were, and this is their story.
The Royal Marines of Naval Party 8901 volunteered to join the Task Force and, some seventy-five days after the invasion, the men who were forced to watch the raising of the Argentine flag over the Islands were able, in return, to proudly run up the Falklands flag once more at Government House.
Mike Norman and Michael Jones's dramatic account draws upon Norman's vivid recollections, the log book and action reports of the defence of Government House and Stanley, the testimony of Marines under Mike Norman's command and recently released government archives.
A common theme of airpower histories is that the Combined Bomber Offensive was the proving ground for a post-war independent air force. Whether or not the United States Strategic Air Forces (USAAF) could perform to the hype of its interwar doctrine, Allied commanders based their rival approaches to victory in Europe on their differing views of independent airpower. However, there is an essential, yet overlooked facet to this story: commanders' convictions alone could not hold sway within the War Department, much less at the politically and bureaucratically charged meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The air commanders pressed their staffs for decision-quality assessments and photographic evidence to sell their arguments and project their progress. They needed informed targeting plans and objective post-raid reports as well as an air-intelligence enterprise to mature all-too-quickly out of interwar neglect. What they received--and Brian Vlaun explains--was a collision of organizational interests and leadership personalities that shaped Ira Eaker's command of the Eighth Air Force in 1943, the tumultuous air campaign over Germany, and the path of the post-war U.S. Air Force.
As a result of the author's research through thousands of declassified files, Selling Schweinfurt examines the relationships between air-intelligence organizations and key decision-makers. His analysis spans from pre-war planning and doctrine development, through the Eighth Air Force's independent air campaign, and culminates with the formation of the United States Strategic Air Forces and its 1944 pre-invasion preparations. This book concludes that military organizations, if left unchecked, may adopt symbols and exaggerate claims to justify their own preferences and market their ideas in ways that mask their optimistic assumptions. In the case of the air campaign against Germany, both the four-engine bomber and specialized targets--like Schweinfurt's ball bearings--served as symbols and powerful marketing tools for the AAF and air intelligence, respectively.
The Macedonian pike phalanx dominated the battlefields of Greece and the Near and Middle East for over two centuries. It was one of the most successful infantry formations of the ancient world, only rivalled by the manipular formation of the Roman legions. The phalanx was a key factor in the battlefield success of Alexander the Great and after his death dominated the armies of his Successors (the Diadochoi), who ruled from Greece and Egypt to the borders of India.
Richard Taylor gives an overview of the phalanx's development, organization, equipment and training. He analyses the reasons for its success, with an emphasis on case studies of the many battles in which it was used, from Philip II's reign to the Mithridatic Wars. He discusses whether the famous defeats by the Romans necessarily mean it was inherently inferior to the manipular legion tactics, and considers what other factors were in play. The clear, accessible and well-researched text is supported by diagrams and battle maps, making this an outstanding study of this mighty formation.