A study of the Soviet and NATO armored forces that faced each other off in Central Europe in the early Cold War, and how their technology, tactics, and doctrine were all rapidly developed.
For 45 years, the most disputed point in the World was the dividing line between East and West in Europe; here the use and development of tanks was key. In this fully illustrated study, author Steve Zaloga, describes how Soviet and NATO tanks were deployed in the early years of the Cold War, and how a generation of tanks such as the Soviet T-44/T-54 and IS-3, British Centurion, US Army M26/M46 Pershing (all developed during World War II) saw extensive service after the war had ended. Initial post-war generation tanks including the Soviet T-54A, T-10 heavy tank, British late-model Centurions, Conqueror, US Army M41, M47, M48 and the French AMX-13 are examined in detail alongside the most important technical trends of the era: the development of shaped-charge anti-tank projectiles, the influence of anti-tank missiles, and the introduction of chemical/nuclear protection and night fighting equipment. The book also considers the influence of post-war doctrine and tactics on tank technology and the effect of regional conflicts such as the 1950 Korean War, the war in Indo-China, and the 1956 Mid East War on tank warfare.
This long-awaited addition to the Campaign series addresses the bloody fighting in Hue, South Vietnam, during the Communist 1968 Tet Offensive. Hue was the ancient capital of Vietnam, and as such, had been previously avoided by both sides; it had not seen any serious fighting prior to 1968. All that changed on the night of January 31 that year when four North Vietnamese battalions and supporting Viet Cong units simultaneously attacked and occupied both parts of the city straddling the Perfume River. The Communist forces dug in and prepared to defend their hold on the city. US Marines and South Vietnamese soldiers were ordered to clear the city, supported by US Army artillery and troops. A brutal urban battle ensued as combat raged from house to house and door to door. It was a bloody fight and resulted in large-scale destruction of Hue. Eventually, the Marines and the South Vietnamese forces retook Hue, but it turned out to be one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Tet Offensive, and led to a sea change in US policy in Vietnam.
During the Korean War and the Vietnam War, US Navy Special Warfare units played a variety of vital combat roles amid two of the deadliest conflicts of the Cold War. In Korea, underwater demolition teams (UDTs) surveyed beaches for amphibious operations, cleared sea mines from harbors, conducted seaborne raids against inshore targets, and served as scouts for the infiltration of Korean guerrillas and British Royal Marine Commando raids along the North Korean coast. In South Vietnam, UDTs surveyed beaches and demolished Viet Cong bunkers, supply caches, and river obstacles in the Mekong Delta. The SEALs (Sea Air Land teams) deployed entire platoons into the Mekong Delta and the Rung Sat Special Zone to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Viet Cong that included ambushes, reconnaissance, and capturing leaders and supply caches. In addition, the SEALs also played important roles in the Phoenix Program and in rescuing prisoners of war. Fully illustrated throughout, this study explores how the US Navy's specially trained naval commandos accomplished their missions in Korea and Vietnam.
In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Imperial Japanese Navy's First Diversion Strike Force took part in two major actions during the course of the battle: the intense air attacks from US Navy carriers on October 24 (the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, which accounted for superbattleship Musashi), and the compelling action off Samar the following day. A considerable body of myth surrounds the latter, since most accounts of the Samar fighting assume that it should have been a crushing Imperial Japanese Navy victory-in truth, the result was anything but that. This book examines in detail why, following the Samar action, the Imperial Japanese Navy commander of the First Diversion Strike Force (Takeo Kurita) chose to ignore orders and break off the attack into Leyte Gulf-one of the two most controversial decisions of the entire battle. In the first of two volumes, Mark Stille examines the Japanese planning for Leyte Gulf, and the strengths and weaknesses of the Imperial Japanese Navy in this phase of the war alongside the US Navy's planning and command arrangements, which had the potential to end in disaster. This book also focuses on the commanders on each side whose decisions shaped this definitive battle.
In response to the challenge of the Soviet Dragunov self-loading rifle, the British Army adopted the 7.62mm L42A1 bolt-action sniping rifle in 1970. The L42A1 was deployed in Dhofar and Northern Ireland, but arguably saw its finest hour during the Falklands War in 1982. The harsh conditions of the South Atlantic laid bare the L42A1's inadequacies and a new company, Accuracy International, won the contract to replace the L42A1 and the PM Rifle, a world-beating revolutionary design, was adopted in 1985 as the L96A1. Progressively upgraded, the L96A1 went on to serve as the British Army's primary sniper system, being deployed in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The L115A3, chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, joined the L96A1 in the front line in 2008 and since 2012 has been Britain's standard issue sniping rifle. Featuring full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, this absorbing study assesses the development, combat use, impact and legacy of these three iconic British sniping weapons.