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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Osprey: Titles Available From December 2017

Osprey: Titles Available From December 2017

British Tank Crewman 1939-45

British Tank Crewman 1939-45

Great Britain had introduced the tank to the world during World War I, and maintained its lead in armoured warfare with the ‘Experimental Mechanised Force' during the late 1920s, watched with interest by German advocates of Blitzkrieg. Despite these successes, the Experimental Mechanised Force was disbanded in the 1930s, making Britain relatively unprepared for World War II, both in terms of armoured doctrine and equipment.

This fully illustrated new study examines the men who crewed the tanks of Britain's armoured force during World War II, which was only four battalions large in 1939. It looks at the recruitment and training of the vast numbers of men required, their equipment, appearance and combat experience in every theatre of the war as the British armoured division sought to catch up with the German Panzers.


Bell X-2

Bell X-2

Even before the spectacular success of its X-1 rocket-powered aircraft in breaking the ‘sound barrier', the adventurous Bell Aircraft Corporation was already pushing ahead with a parallel project to build a second aircraft capable of far higher speeds. The X-2 (or Model 52) explored the equally uncertain technology of swept-back wings. Now common in modern conventional fighter aircraft, the Bell X-2 was revolutionary in using this type of airframe to probe Mach 3 and research the effects of extreme aerodynamic friction heat on airframes.

Although both X-2s were destroyed in crashes after only 20 flights, killing two test pilots, the knowledge gained from the programme was invaluable in developing aircraft that could safely fly at such speeds. Using stunning artwork and historical photographs, this is the story of the plane that ultimately made the Lockheed Blackbird and Concorde possible.


Roman Legionary 109–58 BC

Roman Legionary 109–58 BC

The Roman centurion, holding the legionaries steady before the barbarian horde and then leading them forward to victory, was the heroic exemplar of the Roman world. This was thanks to the Marian reforms, which saw the centurion, although inferior in military rank and social class, superseding the tribune as the legion's most important officer. This period of reform in the Roman Army is often overlooked, but the invincible armies that Julius Caesar led into Gaul were the refined products of 50 years of military reforms.

Using specially commissioned artwork and detailed battle reports, this new study examines the Roman legionary soldier at this crucial time in the history of the Roman Republic from its domination by Marius and Sulla to the beginning of the rise of Julius Caesar.


Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter

Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter

In 1979 the Soviet Union moved from military ‘help' to active intervention in Afghanistan. Four-fifths of the Afghan National Army deserted in the first year of the war, which, compounded with the spread and intensification of the rebellion led by the formidable guerrilla fighters of the Mujahideen, forced the Soviets to intensify their involvement.

The Soviet army was in generally poor condition when the war started, but the troops of the airborne and air assault units were better trained and equipped. As a result they developed aggressive, sometimes effective tactics against an enemy that refused to behave the way most Soviet commanders wished him to.

Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this absorbing study examines the origins, combat role and battlefield performance of the Soviet Union's paratroopers and their Mujahideen adversaries during the long and bloody Soviet involvement in Afghanistan during the 1980s.


Shrewsbury 1403

Shrewsbury 1403

The battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 is one of the most important battles in English history. King Henry IV faced his erstwhile ally Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland in a bloody contest on a field outside the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury where two English armies, well-matched, and fighting with similar equipment and tactics, struggled in an archery duel in which the arrows ‘fell like leaves in Autumn', before the battle was ultimately decided in close quarter hand-to-hand combat. With his victory, Henry IV secured the Lancastrian hold on the kingdom and demonstrated the right of his bloodline to the throne.

Using full colour artwork and specially commissioned battlefield maps and illustrations, this is the fascinating story of the battle without which the reign of Henry V, his wars and glorious victories against the French, and the later disastrous reign of Henry VI and subsequent Wars of the Roses could not have happened.


USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship

USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship

In the build-up to World War II both the United States and Japan believed their battleships would play a central role in battle, but after the Pacific War began in December 1941, the role of the battleship proved to be much more limited than either side expected. There would be only two battleship vs battleship actions in the Pacific in World War II, both of which are assessed in this engaging study. At Guadalcanal in 1942, Kirishima faced two modern US battleships, USS Washington and USS South Dakota. In the Surigao Strait in 1944, two World War I-era Japanese battleships, Yamashiro and Fuso, faced six American battleships supported by four heavy cruisers in history's last-ever clash between battleships.

Employing full-colour artwork, carefully selected archive photographs, and expert analysis, former US Navy Commander Mark E. Stille examines the two head-to-head clashes between the battleships deployed by the United States and Japan in the struggle for control of the Pacific during World War II.


The Cavalry Lance

The Cavalry Lance

The development of cavalry firearms and the widespread disappearance of armour from the European battlefield saw a decline in the use of the cavalry lance in early modern warfare. However, by 1800 the lance, much changed from its medieval predecessors in both form and function, was back.

During the next century the use of the lance spread to the armed forces of almost every Western country, seeing action in every major conflict from the Napoleonic Wars to World War I including the Crimean and Franco-Prussian wars and across the Atlantic in the American Civil War. The lance even reached the colonial conflicts of the Anglo-Sikh and Boer wars. It was not until the disappearance of the mounted warrior from the battlefield that the lance was consigned to history.

Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon a variety of sources, this is the engaging story of the cavalry lance at war during the 19th and 20th centuries, from Waterloo to the Somme.


Armies of the Greek-Italian War 1940–41

Armies of the Greek-Italian War 1940–41

In October 1940 an Italian army some 200,000 strong invaded Greece across its largely undefended border with Albania. Although supported by Great Britain, at first by sea and in the air and later by landing British and ANZAC troops from North Africa, Greece bore the main brunt of the six-month war. Outclassed in materiel and outnumbered, LtGen Papagos's Greek army was so successful against the Italians in north-west Greece that, by 22 November 1940, it was advancing into Italian-held Albania. This would eventually force Hitler to send in German reinforcements to support his beleaguered Italian allies, delaying his invasion of the Soviet Union. Complete with contemporary photographs and full-colour uniform plates, this fascinating study explores the history, organization, and appearance of the armies of this oft forgotten conflict.


M113 APC 1960–75

M113 APC 1960–75

The M113 is the most widely used and versatile armoured vehicle in the world. Fielded in 1960 as a simple 'battlefield taxi', over 80,000 M113s would see service with 50 nations around the world and 55 years later, many thousands are still in use. In addition to its original role of transporting troops across the battlefield, specialized versions perform a multitude of other functions including command and control, fire support, anti-tank and anti-aircraft defence, and casualty evacuation.

This new fully illustrated study examines the service record of the M113 from its initial fielding through to the end of the Vietnam War. It will also describe the many US, South Vietnamese, and Australian variants of the M113 used in the Vietnam War as well as information on tactics, unit tables of organization and equipment, and a selection of engagements in which the M113 played a decisive role.


British Destroyers 1939–45

British Destroyers 1939–45

As the possibility of war loomed in the 1930s, the British Admiralty looked to update their fleet of destroyers to compete with the new ships being built by Germany and Japan, resulting in the commissioning of the powerful Tribal-class. These were followed by the designing of the first of several slightly smaller ships, which carried fewer guns than the Tribals, but were armed with a greatly enlarged suite of torpedoes. The first of these, the 'J/K/M class' was followed by a number of wartime variants, with slight changes to their weaponry to suit different wartime roles.

Designed to combat enemy surface warships, aircraft and U-boats, the British built these destroyers to face off against anything the enemy could throw at them. Using a collection of contemporary photographs and beautiful colour artwork, this is a fascinating new study of the ships that formed the backbone of the Royal Navy during World War II.


Osprey Publishing Ltd