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6 Dec 2019

New Releases for November 2019 from Osprey Publishing Ltd

New Releases for November 2019, we have another fantastic set of new releases.

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The Persian War in Herodotus and Other Ancient Voices

The Persian War in Herodotus and Other Ancient Voices

Weaving together the accounts of the ancient historian Herodotus with other ancient sources, this is the engrossing story of the triumph of Greece over the mighty Persian Empire.

The Persian War is the name generally given to the first two decades of the period of conflict between the Greeks and the Persians that began in 499 BC and ended around 450. The pivotal moment came in 479, when a massive Persian invasion force was defeated and driven out of mainland Greece and Europe, never to return. The victory of a few Greek city-states over the world’s first superpower was an extraordinary military feat that secured the future of Western civilization

All modern accounts of the war as a whole, and of the best-known battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, depend on the ancient sources, foremost amongst them Herodotus. Yet although these modern narratives generally include numerous references to the ancient authors, they quote little directly from them.

This is the first book to bring together Herodotus’ entire narrative and interweave it with other ancient voices alongside detailed commentary to present and clarify the original texts.

The extracts from other ancient writers add value to Herodotus’ narrative in various ways: some offer fresh analysis and credible extra detail; some contradict him interestingly; some provide background illumination; and some add drama and colour. All are woven into a compelling narrative tapestry that brings this immense clash of arms vividly to life.

'Distinguished military historian of the Persian Wars William Shepherd [...] shows himself to be also a most sensitive interpreter of those Wars’ original historian Herodotus. With Shepherd as our guide and Herodotus by our side this key moment in West-East relations is given its full cultural and strategic due.' Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge


The Elite

The Elite

Using previously unpublished images from around the world, as well as maps and illustrations, The Elite: The A-Z of Modern Special Operations Forces is the ultimate guide to the secretive world of modern Special Forces. It sends the reader back in time to operations such as Eagle Claw in Iran and the recapture of the Iranian Embassy in London and then forward to recent operations against al Shabaab and Islamic State. Entries also detail units ranging from the New Zealand SAS Group to the Polish GROM, and key individuals from Iraq counter-terrorism strategist General Stanley McChrystal to Victoria Cross recipient SASR Corporal Mark Donaldson.

Answering questions such as how much the latest four-tube night vision goggles worn by the SEALs in Zero Dark Thirty cost, what types of parachutes are used to covertly parachute into a target location, and if Special Forces still use HALO jumps, this book is the definitive single-source guide to the world's elite Special Forces.


Sent by the Iron Sky

Sent by the Iron Sky

Following on from the success of Ian Gardner's critically acclaimed trilogy on the exploits of the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in World War II, Sent by the Iron Sky tells their exhilarating story for a new readership. From the moment they entered the war in June, 1944, the men of 3rd Battalion were faced with brutal fighting against horrendous odds. Later in the year, nearly five months in combat with no relief lead to heavy losses that reduced them to the size of a company. Their heroic defence of Bastogne saw their division awarded a Unit Citation, a first in the history of the US armed forces, and they subsequently fought on across Europe, finishing the war occupying Hitler's mountain retreat of Berchtesgaden.

Drawing on years of research and interviews with veterans of some of the toughest battles of World War II, together with maps and over 200 vintage images, Ian Gardner brings to life some of the most bitter fighting of the war in Europe, laying bare the horrors of war, the deprivations of day-to-day living and the chaos of the front line. Additional material includes a chapter on the fate of the men captured in Normandy and a foreword by Lee Wolverton, the grandson of the commander of 3rd Battalion, Col Robert Wolverton.


Hotchkiss Machine Guns

Hotchkiss Machine Guns

Created by a long-forgotten Austrian nobleman, Adolf Odkolek von Augezd, the air-cooled Hotchkiss machine gun was the first to function effectively by tapping propellant gas from the bore as the gun fired. Although the Hotchkiss would be overshadowed by the water-cooled Maxim and Vickers Guns, it proved its effectiveness during the Russo-Japanese War. The gun, quirky though it was, was successful enough to persuade Laurence Benét and Henri Mercié to develop the Modèle Portative: a man-portable version which, it was hoped, could move with infantrymen as they advanced. Later mounted on tanks and aircraft, it became the first automatic weapon to obtain a ‘kill' in aerial combat.

Though it served the French and US armies during World War I (and also the British in areas where French and British units fought alongside each other), the Odkolek-Hotchkiss system was to have its longest-term effect in Japan. Here, a succession of derivatives found favour in theatres of operations in which water-cooling could be more of a liability than an asset. When US forces landed on Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima, battling their way from island to island across the Pacific, it was the ‘Woodpecker' - the Type 92 Hotchkiss, with its characteristically slow rate of fire - which cut swathes through their ranks. Supported by contemporary photographs and full-colour illustrations, this title explores the exciting and eventful history of the first successful gas-operated machine gun.


Samurai vs Ashigaru

Samurai vs Ashigaru

During the 16th century, Japan underwent a military revolution, characterized by the deployment of large armies, the introduction of firearms and an eventual shift towards fighting on foot. This study encapsulates these great changes through an exploration of the experience on the ground at three key battles, Uedahara (1548), Mikata ga Hara (1573) and Nagashino (1575), in which two very different types of warrior were pitted against each other. On one side were samurai, the elite aristocratic knights whose status was proclaimed by the possession and use of a horse. On the other side were the foot soldiers known as ashigaru, lower-class warriors who were initially attendants to the samurai but who joined the armies in increasing numbers, attracted by loot and glory. These two types of warrior battled for dominance across the period, changing and adapting their tactics as time went on.

In this title, the development of the conflicts between samurai and ashigaru is explored across three key battles, where highly trained elite mounted samurai of the Takeda clan faced ashigaru at very different stages in their development. The profound and irreversible changes that took place as the conflicts progressed are analysed in detail, culminating in the eventual incorporation of the ashigaru as the lowest ranks of the samurai class in within the standing army of Tokugawa Japan.


Tirpitz in Norway

Tirpitz in Norway

In September 1943, under the cover of darkness, six British midget submarines crept into the heart of enemy territory, penetrating a heavily guarded Norwegian fjord in an attempt to eliminate the threat of the powerful German battleship, the Tirpitz. Numerous previous attempts to attack the ship from both air and sea had failed, and this mission was carefully strategized, and undertaken by skilled operatives who had undergone extensive training in an isolated sea loch. Though five of the six X-Craft submarines were either lost or captured, two crews had just enough time to lay their explosive charges, which detonated after they were forced to the surface, putting the Tirpitz out of action for a crucial six-month period. Masterminded from a top-secret naval headquarters on the east coast of Scotland, Operation Source has been memorialised as one of the most daring naval raids of World War II.

This new study tells the complete story of this epic operation in unparalleled detail, supported by full-colour illustrations and contemporary photography.


German Guided Missiles of World War II

German Guided Missiles of World War II

Although not as well-known as the V-1 buzz bomb and the V-2 missile, the first German missiles to see combat were anti-ship missiles, the Henschel Hs.293 guided missile and the Fritz-X guided bomb. These began to see extensive combat in the Mediterranean in 1943. In their most famous use, the Italian battleship Roma was sunk by a Fritz-X attack in September 1943 when Italy attempted to switch sides. The serious threat posed by these missiles led to a vigorous but little known ‘Wizard War' by the Allies to develop electronic counter-measures, the first effort of its kind.

Besides the anti-ship missiles, the other major category of German missiles were the air-defence missiles. Germany suffered extremely heavy losses from Allied strategic bombing attacks, and German fighter and flak defences proved increasingly unsuccessful. As a result, the Luftwaffe began an extensive programme to deploy several families of new air defence missiles to counter the bomber threat, including the Wasserfall, Schmetterling, and others. This book traces the origins of these missile programmes and examines their development and use in combat. With full-colour illustrations and detailed explorations of the stories behind the missiles, this study offers a comprehensive overview of German guided missiles in the World War II era.


Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units

Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units

Intended as a progressive development of the twin-engined Bf 110 Zerstörer (‘destroyer' or heavy fighter), the Me 210 first took to the air in September 1939. However, due to a lack of sufficient flight-testing before being declared service-ready, the Me 210 suffered from a less than satisfactory reputation in respect to its flight characteristics and weak undercarriage. After enhancements were made to the fuselage and wings, and the power of the plane was increased, the Me 210 became the Me 410 in late 1942.

By this stage of the war much was expected of the two types, which were forced to fly in very dangerous skies over North Africa and in the defence of the German homeland. Both aircraft were deployed as heavy fighters, fighter-bombers, reconnaissance platforms and interceptors, seeing service with a number of different units. The Me 410 was fitted with 30 mm cannon, 21 cm underwing mortars and the colossal 5 cm BK cannon that was intended to pack a punch against the USAAF's four-engined bombers which threatened the Reich in large numbers from 1943 onwards.
In this title, supported by contemporary photography and full-colour artwork, Robert Forsyth tells the complex story of the Me 210 and 410, detailing their development and assessing their capabilities as combat aircraft.


MiG Alley

MiG Alley

Of the many myths that emerged following the end of the Korean War, the prevailing one in the West was that of the absolute supremacy of US Air Force pilots and aircraft over their Soviet-supplied opponents. The claims of the 10:1 victory-loss ratio achieved by the US Air Force fighter pilots flying the North American F-86 Sabre against their communist adversaries, amongst other such fabrications, went unchallenged until the end of the Cold War, when Soviet records of the conflict were finally opened.

From that point onwards, a very different story began to emerge. Far from decisive American victories over an unsophisticated opponent, the aerial battles of the Korean War were, at least in the early years, evenly matched affairs, fought to an approximate 1:1 victory-loss ratio. Though the Soviet victories declined over the following years, this had more to do with home politics than American tactics.

Regardless of the accuracy of claims and wartime propaganda, one fact stands clear: in the battle for air supremacy over Korea, the US Air Force denied to its opponents the opportunity to intervene over the battlefield. In the face of overwhelming enemy manpower superiority, this allowed the United Nations forces to hold the line in Korea until an armistice that protected South Korea could be put into effect.

In addition to the aerial combat over MiG Alley, this title covers the full range of US Air Force activities over Korea, including the failed strategic bombing campaign and the escalating nuclear threat. Incorporating first-hand accounts from those involved, both US and Russian, this new history of the US Air Force in Korea reveals the full story of this bitter struggle in the Eastern skies.


Java Sea 1942

Java Sea 1942

The battle of the Java Sea, fought in February 1942, was the first major surface engagement of the Pacific War and one of the few naval battles of the entire war fought to a decisive victory. It was the culminating point of the Japanese drive to occupy the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) and, to defend the territory, the Allies assembled a striking force comprised of Dutch, American, British and even an Australian ship, all under the command of a resolute Dutch admiral.

On 27 February 1942, the Allied striking force set course to intercept the Japanese invasion force in the Java Sea. In one of the few such times during the whole of World War II a protracted surface engagement was fought unmolested by airpower. For over seven hours, the Allied force attempted to attack the Japanese invasion force, finally breaking off in the early evening. Some three hours later, the Allied force, now reduced to just four remaining cruisers and two destroyers, attempted another attack on the invasion convoy during which Japanese torpedoes scored heavily, sinking two Dutch cruisers and bringing the battle to a conclusion. Over the next two days, as the Allies attempted to flee, five more ships were sunk. From that point on, Allied naval power was eliminated from Southeast Asia.

In this illustrated title, Mark Stille tells the full story of the battle of the Java Sea, explaining how and why the Japanese achieved such a resounding victory, and delving into the tremendous impact of the battle on the course of the Pacific War.


Raiders from New France

Raiders from New France

Though the French and British colonies in North America began on a 'level playing field', French political conservatism and limited investment allowed the British colonies to forge ahead, pushing into territories that the French had explored deeply but failed to exploit. The subsequent survival of 'New France' can largely be attributed to an intelligent doctrine of raiding warfare developed by imaginative French officers through close contact with Indian tribes and Canadian settlers. The ground-breaking new research explored in this study indicates that, far from the ad hoc opportunism these raids seemed to represent, they were in fact the result of a deliberate plan to overcome numerical weakness by exploiting the potential of mixed parties of French soldiers, Canadian backwoodsmen and allied Indian warriors.
Supported by contemporary accounts from period documents and newly explored historical records, this study explores the 'hit-and-run' raids which kept New Englanders tied to a defensive position and ensured the continued existence of the French colonies until their eventual cession in 1763.


The Great Bear at War

The Great Bear at War

From the chaos of the civil war to the political manoeuvring of the Cold War, Russia's armed forces have shaped the future not only of Russia but of countless other countries around the globe. The Great Bear at War: The Russian and Soviet Army, 1917-Present explores the development and struggles of Soviet and Russian armed forces across the numerous conflicts which mark its history. It charts the great historical events that have defined the Red/Russian Army, especially World War II and the Cold War, but also the post-communist insurgencies and wars in which the Russian military has redeveloped its outlook and mission.

The post-Soviet development of the Russian military into a modern force is explored in detail, including its controversial campaigns in Chechnya (1999-2009), Georgia (2008), and Ukraine (from 2014). Sewn into the narrative are details about the equipment, uniforms, training, service conditions and weaponry of the Soviet/Russian soldiers, bringing personal experience and technological context to the broader history. At a time when the world is closely focused upon Russian military behaviour, The Great Bear at War is both timely and fascinating.


Osprey Publishing Ltd

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