In April 1532 a bloody civil war between two brothers ended with one of them, Atahualpa, as master of the mighty Inca Empire. Now the most powerful man in South America, his word was law for millions of subjects spread across thousands of square miles, from the parched deserts of the coast to the lush rainforest of the Amazon and along the spine of the soaring Andes Mountains. But the time of the Incas was coming to an end. In November of that year a handful of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro seized Atahualpa at Cajamarca, extorted his treasure, murdered him, and then marched on the Inca capital Cuzco to elevate a puppet, Manco, to the vacant throne. In 1536, however, Manco roused his people against the intruders, and the Spaniards found themselves isolated and fighting for their lives. This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book brings to life the background to and progress of the desperate 10-month siege of Cuzco; the opposing commanders, their fighting men, tactics, and military technologies; the key clashes, from Sacsayhuaman to Ollantaytambo; and how the outcome shaped our world today.
A fully illustrated history of how the US Navy destroyed Truk, the greatest Japanese naval and air base in the Pacific, with Operation Hailstone, and how B-29 units and the carriers of the British Pacific Fleet kept the base suppressed until VJ-Day.
In early 1944, the island base of Truk was a Japanese Pearl Harbor; a powerful naval and air base that needed to be neutralized before the Allies could fight their way any further towards Tokyo. But Truk was also the most heavily defended naval base outside the Japanese Home Islands and an Allied invasion would be costly. Long-range bombing against Truk intact would be a massacre so a plan was conceived to neutralize it through a series of massive naval raids led by the growing US carrier fleet. Operation Hailstone was one of the most famous operations ever undertaken by American carriers in the Pacific.
This book examines the rise and fall of Truk as a Japanese bastion and explains how in two huge raids, American carrier-based aircraft reduced it to irrelevance. Also covered is the little-known story of how the USAAF used the ravaged base as a live-fire training ground for its new B-29s -- whose bombing raids ensured Truk could not be reactivated by the Japanese. The pressure on Truk was kept up right through 1945 when it was also used as a target for the 509th Composite Squadron to practise dropping atomic bombs and by the British Pacific Fleet to hone its pilots' combat skills prior to the invasion of Japan.