This is the first book to focus on the Fleet Air Arm's contribution to naval operations in the Mediterranean after the Italian declaration of war in June 1940\. The Royal Navy found itself facing a larger and better-equipped Italian surface fleet, large Italian and German air forces equipped with modern aircraft and both Italian and German submarines. Its own aircraft were a critical element of an unprecedented fight on, over and under the sea surface.
The best-known action was the crippling of the Italian fleet at Taranto, which demonstrated how aircraft carriers and their aircraft had replaced the dominance of battleships, but every subsequent operation is covered from the perspective of naval aviation. Some of these, like Matapan or the defence of the 'Pedestal' convoy to Malta, are famous but others in support of land campaigns and in the Aegean after the Italian surrender are less well recorded. In all these, the ingenuity and innovation of the Fleet Air Arm shines through - Taranto pointed the way to what the Japanese would achieve at Pearl Harbor, while air cover for the Salerno landings demonstrated the effectiveness of carrier-borne fighters in amphibious operations, a tactic adopted by the US Navy.
The author's years of archival research together with his experience as a carrier pilot allow him to describe and analyse the operations of naval aircraft in the Mediterranean with unprecedented authority. This provides the book with novel insights into many familiar facets of the Mediterranean war while for the first time doing full justice to the Fleet Air Arm's lesser known achievements.
'The Japanese attacked us, they mortared us, they shelled us...they did everything.'
On 21 July 1942, a large Japanese reconnaissance mission landed along the north-eastern coastline of Papua, it would soon turn into an all-out attempt to capture Port Morseby. This is the powerful story of the three weeks of battle by a small Australian militia force, the 39th Battalion, supported by the 1st Papua Infantry Battalion and the Royal Papuan Constabulary, to keep the Japanese at bay. Outnumbered by at least three to one, they fought courageously to hold the Kokoda Plateau - the gateway to the Owen Stanleys. Critically short of ammunition and food and stranded in the fetid swamps and lowland jungles, they did everything they could to keep the Kokoda airstrip out of Japanese hands.
Not far away, and desperately trying to reach the Australians, were two groups of Anglican missionaries trapped behind enemy lines. With each passing day the parties grew, joined by lost Australian soldiers and downed American airmen. Theirs is a story of tragedy and betrayal.
Using letters, diaries and other first-hand accounts, from friend and foe alike, leading military historian David W Cameron, has for the first time written a detailed, compelling and provocative account of what occurred at the northern foot of the Owen Stanleys in late July and early August 1942. These are stories that deserve to be firmly embedded into the Kokoda legend.
The Great Northern War (GNW) has seen a resurgence in recent years within the wargames community, however, there has not been a general (non-rules specific) guide to the conflict until know.
This book gives the reader a general understanding of the historical background to the conflict and to the main combatants. In addition to Russia and Sweden, the armies of Denmark, Hanover& Holstein, Ottoman Empire, Saxony, Poland, Prussia are covered, as well as the involvement of the Cossack nations.
The book looks at naval landings, siege warfare as well as the more traditional battles, with this focus on lesser known battles instead of the more traditional battles of Narva and Poltava. Battle reports primarily are focused on small evening games utilising a small number of units and therefore achievable by the majority of wargamers. Options are included to turn a number of these into larger multi-player games.
While the majority of the GNW occurred in and around the Baltic states, the book also covers events on Russia's southern borders with the Ottoman Empire and there are gaming suggestions for the continuation of the conflict on Russia's eastern border with China.
Utilising almost 100 unit and individual figure photographs from several renowned collections, the book contains a large amount of detail readily accessible to the reader, while incorporating the latest research into the period from international renowned academics, historians, and wargamers.
The world's first truly global conflict erupted in 1740 over the question as to who would rule the Holy Roman Empire, with Europe divided between those who supported the Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria and those who endorsed the claim of Charles-Albert of Bavaria. As Europe divided, allies would become enemies and enemies, allies; with the conflict ultimately stretching from Europe, to India and the Americas. Lasting for eight years, the fighting ultimately escalated into an undeclared war between Europe's two superpowers - France and Great Britain - and by its end in 1748, with the loss of her bases at Louisbourg in New France and Pondichery in India it looked as if France would end up the loser, her influence in Europe curtailed and her plans for colonial expansion dead in the water.
That she avoided this fate was down to the actions of the 'least of Her generals' - Armand Maurice de Saxe - the illegitimate son of King August 'the strong' of Saxony-Poland who, having defeated the Allied invasion of northern France in 1744, used this as a springboard to then conquer the Austrian Netherlands, defeating the Allies in three set piece battles (Fontenoy, 1745, Rocoux, 1746 and Lauffeld, 1747) and numerous sieges. Fortified by Saxe's victories, France went into the eventual peace negotiations in the ascendant and was able to secure a favourable treaty which ensured the return of her overseas colonies.
Using both modern and contemporary sources, Michael McNally sets Saxe's achievement in its true context, not merely choosing to deal with the events of single battles or sieges, but instead illustrating the circumstances which led firstly to his appointment to the command of the French forces in the Low Countries and then the development and execution of a strategic plan which ultimately led to the capture of Maastricht in May 1748, almost three years to the day of his first great victory.
In early October 1966, the fresh and inexperienced 196th Light Infantry Brigade of the US Army was conducting a series of routine patrols in War Zone C. A lucky discovery of a rice cache led to the uncovering of a planned base area being established by the Viet Cong insurgents of South Vietnam (NLF) southeast of Tay Ninh City. What followed was named Operation Attleboro. Unbeknownst to the US and ARVN forces the NLF 9th Division was preparing to attack the brigade in its base and two ARVN positions near Tay Ninh. American moves spoiled the planned attack and initiated a prolonged battle that at its height would pit four regiments of the NLF and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) against 18 American and three ARVN battalions, supported by 24 artillery batteries and countless fixed wing and helicopter sorties, including 225 B-52 strikes. The battle would also draw in the 1st Infantry Division, the famed 'Big Red One' and the 25th Infantry Division. Both sides would claim victory but the 9th Division limped towards Cambodia.
Attleboro was the largest American operation in the Vietnam War to date, the culmination of one year of bloody battles between the 9th Division and II Field Force Vietnam. It would be a test for the campaign that US General William Westmoreland had planned for 1967. It would be also a test of different tactical approaches to be used in Vietnam: an 'infantry-heavy' approach favoured by the commander of the 196th, General Edward H. De Saussure, and for firepower-intensive approach championed by the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division, General William.