The story of the British Eastern Fleet, which operated in the Indian Ocean against Japan, has rarely been told. Although it was the largest fleet deployed by the Royal Navy prior to 1945 and played a vital part in the theatre it was sent to protect, it has no place in the popular consciousness of the naval history of the Second World War. So Charles Stephenson's deeply researched and absorbing narrative gives this forgotten fleet the recognition it deserves.
British pre-war naval planning for the Far East is part of the story, as is the disastrous loss of the battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse in 1941, but the body of the book focuses on the new fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir James Somerville, and its operations against the Japanese navy and aircraft as well as Japanese and German submarines. Later in the war, once the fleet had been reinforced with an American aircraft carrier, it was strong enough to take more aggressive actions against the Japanese, and these are described in vivid detail.
Charles Stephenson's authoritative study should appeal to readers who have a special interest in the war with Japan, in naval history more generally and Royal Navy in particular.
Robert Lyman's deep knowledge and understanding of the war in Burma, and the great battles at Kohima and Imphal in 1944, are well known. In this book he uses original documents, published works and personal accounts to weave together an enthralling account of some of the bitterest fighting of WWII. Not only does he use British sources for his research but he has also included material from the Naga tribes of north-east India, on whose land these battles were fought, and from Japanese accounts, including interviews with Japanese veterans of the fighting. Thus he has been able to produce what is arguably the most balanced history of the battles that were pivotal in ending the Japanese empire.
Fergal Keane, journalist and author of Road to Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 wrote to the author saying 'What a triumph! I finished it last night. You have done a wonderful job. I only wish I'd read it before writing my own book!' He goes on to say 'Robert Lyman is one of the great writers about men and war and in this book he has succeeded in conveying the courage, genius and folly of an epic struggle. I cannot think of a writer engaged in the subject of the Second World War who can match Lyman for his integrity or the soundness of his judgments.'
The T-34 was one of the most remarkable tanks of the Second World War. Although the Red Army suffered continual heavy tank losses, the rugged and reliable T-34 was an immense success story and was ultimately instrumental in turning the tide of the war.
This photographic history follows the story of this exceptional armoured vehicle from its disastrous first action during Operation Barbarossa to its miraculous defence of Moscow, its envelopment of the Axis forces at Stalingrad and victory at Kursk, and finally, the advance to the gates of Warsaw then on to Berlin.
Packed with a wealth of images, including rare archive photographs and photographs of surviving examples, this is an extraordinary record of both the tank and its personnel. The accompanying text features an in-depth technical evaluation outlining the differences in the myriad of models, including detailed plans of each type, alongside a gripping breakdown of the tank's entire operational history.
Like other books in Norman Friedman's design-history series, this one pays attention to all designs, even those that never left the drawing board, since every proposal made is a link in the evolution of the cruiser force. Friedman, a recognized authority on U.S. warships, uncovers the reasoning behind the many radical changes in U.S. cruiser design, which culminated in the series of Aegis missile ships. He deals both with evolving technology and with those changes in the doctrine and role of the U.S. Navy that clearly affected cruiser design,
Because the nature of the cruiser is somewhat ill defined, his book discusses a wide variety of ships, from the battleship-like armored cruisers of the turn of the century the battle cruisers of 1916 to scout cruisers and the Atlantas, ships that were, in many ways, enlarged destroyers. It covers the emergence of ""peace cruisers,"" which were essentially large gunboats, and the post-1945 command and missile cruisers. The World War II Alaska-class large cruisers are also included.
Friedman shows how the path from the first steel cruisers to the ultramodern Ticonderogas defines many of the themes of U.S. naval development: the transition from a coastal defense/commerce raiding navy to a navy designed to seize and exploit command of the world's oceans, and from a navy of independent cruisers on foreign stations to a battle fleet navy and then a carrier navy.
Arms control is another important theme of this book. Friedman explains how cruiser design, much more that the design of any other category of ship, has been affected by the constraints of naval arms limitation treaties. He uses the Erie-class gunboat, a ""slow cruiser,"" and the original Cleveland, an abortive design that stayed within the 8,000-ton limit prescribed by the London Treaty of 1936, as examples of attempts to exploit treaty restrictions.
Also carefully examined are the many post-World War II cruiser projects, both those that were built, like the nuclear powered Long Beach, and those that were not, like the specialized command ship of 1968. In every case, the author discusses not merely what was tried, but why it succeeded or failed.
A.D. Baker III and Alan Raven have drawn detailed scale outboard and plan views of each cruiser class and of major modifications to many classes. The author has provided inboard profiles and sketches of abortive projects. Numerous photographs complement the text. Appendices include ship characteristics and data on ship careers.
U.S. Cruisers is essential reading for those concerned with the future of the U.S. Navy. Naval historians and architects alike will find this the most comprehensive reference available on the subject.