Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Osprey Books

February 21st Street Date

The Fall of English France 1449-53 (SC)
$ 19.95 SRP

Despite the great English victories at Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt, the French eventually triumphed in the Hundred Years War. This book examines the last campaign of the war, covering the great battles at Formigny in 1450 and Castillon in 1453, both of which hold an interesting place in military history. The battle of Fornigny saw French cavalry defeat English archers in a reverse of those earlier English victories, while Castillon became the first great success for gunpowder artillery in fixed positions. Finally, the book explains how King Charles VII of France all but drove the English into the sea, succeeding where so many of his predecessors had failed.

HE 111 Kampfgeschwader in the West
$ 22.95 SRP

Originally designed in the mid-1930s as a fast airliner that could be easily adapted for the bombing role, the He 111 first saw action in Spain with the Legion Condor during the civil war. By the time Germany invaded Poland, more than 700 were in service with the Luftwaffe’s Kampfgeschwadern, and they were used with devastating effect during the fall of Poland and France. However, the He 111 met its match during the Battle of Britain when over 240 were lost. It then became a night-time pathfinder, guiding in the bigger bombers during the Blitz. Elsewhere, He 111s filled a number of roles including acting as torpedo bombers against convoys and as reconnaissance platforms. This book charts the full story of the deployment of the He 111 in the western theater of Word War II, including their last missions as V-1 Doodlebug launch platforms.

P-47 Thunderbolt Units Twelfth Air Force
$ 22.95 SRP

The P-47 Thunderbolt, originally designed as a high-altitude interceptor, became the principal US fighter–bomber of World War II. First adapted to the ground attack role by units of the Twelfth Air Force in early 1944, the strength and durability of the P-47 airframe, along with its massive size, earned it the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was quickly shortened to ‘Jug’ throughout the MTO and ETO. By October 1943, with the creation of the Fifteenth Air Force, nearly half of the Twelfth’s fighter groups would be retasked with strategic escort missions, leaving six groups to perform close air support and interdiction missions throughout the entire Mediterranean theater. The groups inflicted incredible damage on the enemy’s transport routes in particular, using rockets, bombs, napalm and machine-gun rounds to down bridges, blow up tunnels and strafe trains. Myriad first-hand accounts and period photography reveal the spectacular success enjoyed by the Thunderbolt in the MTO in the final year of the war.

Forts of the War of 1812 (SC)
$ 18.95 SRP

When war broke out between the United States and Great Britain in 1812, neither side was prepared for the conflict, as evidenced by their respective fortifications. The most sophisticated and modern fortifications were those built by the US Corps of Engineers to protect some of the main port cities. These included Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Castle William in New York. The British also heavily fortified their main harbor at Halifax and their main center of power at Quebec. However, elsewhere, especially in the interior, fortifications were old, neglected or only hastily erected. The forts at Detroit and Mackinac were much as the British had left them in 1796. This book covers all of the main fortifications of the conflict, those that faced the crashing of guns and those whose intimidation played a part in the grand strategy of the war.

Roman Centurions 31 BC-AD500 (SC)
$ 17.95 SRP

In the years between 31 BC and AD 500 the Romans carved out a mighty empire stretching from Britain to the deserts of North Africa. The men who spearheaded this expansion were the centurions, the tough, professional warriors who led from the front, exerted savage discipline and provided a role model for the legionaries under their command. This book, the second volume of a two-part study, reveals the appearance, weaponry, role and impact of these legendary soldiers during the five centuries that saw the Roman Empire reach its greatest geographical extent under Trajan and Hadrian, only to experience a long decline in the West in the face of sustained pressure from its ‘barbarian’ neighbors. Featuring spectacular full-color artwork, written by an authority on the army of the Caesars and informed by a wide range of sculptural, written and pictorial evidence from right across the Roman world, this book overturns established wisdom and sheds new light on Rome’s most famous soldiers during the best-known era in its history.

Imperial Japanese Navy Light Cruisers
$ 17.95 SRP

The Imperial Japanese Navy went to war with 17 light cruisers and another three cruiser-sized training ships. Of these, most were 5,500-ton ships designed to act as destroyer squadron flagships. This made them much different in capabilities and mission from their American counterparts. During the war, the Japanese built another five light cruisers, all but one of which maintained the design premise of being able to serve as destroyer squadron flagships. During the war, Japanese light cruisers were active throughout the Pacific performing many missions in addition to their flagship duties. Mark Stille continues Osprey's coverage of the IJN of WWII with this concise and complete study of all 25 ships, from their design and development to their ultimate fates. Detailed Osprey artwork and rare period photographs from the Fukui collection held in Kure, Japan illustrate this discussion.

Run The Gauntlet (SC)
$ 18.95 SRP

In February 1942, three of the major ships of the German surface fleet – the battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen – stormed out of the harbor at Brest on a dramatic voyage back to Germany. Passing through the straights of Dover, the ships faced everything the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy could throw at them. In a dramatic running fight, the ships managed to sail right under the nose of history’s greatest maritime nation to reach the safety of Germany. The brilliantly executed operation brought great humiliation to the British – Hitler, who had developed the plan, had judged perfectly the reaction of the British command to the Channel Dash. This book tells the complete story of this great race, from the planning through to the repercussions of this unique Germany victory.

Tunnel Rat in Vietnam (SC)
$ 18.95 SRP

In 1965, soon after the first US combat troops had arrived in Vietnam, it was realized that in some areas the Viet Cong had developed vast tunnel complexes in which to hide from the enemy. It was long known that such complexes existed, but it was not realized just how extensive they were in some areas, how important they were to the Viet Cong, and how difficult it was to detect and neutralize them. At first infantrymen volunteered to enter the tunnels armed with only pistols and flashlights – the ‘tunnel runners’ were born, known to the Australians as ‘tunnel ferrets’. Starting as an ad hoc force of infantrymen, combat engineers and chemical troops, it was not long before units were ‘formalized’ as ‘tunnel exploration personnel’ and 4–6-man ‘tunnel exploitation and denial teams’ were created. They came to be known simply as ‘tunnel rats’ with the unofficial motto Non Gratum Anus Rodentum – ‘Not Worth a Rat’s Ass’. This title will be based on the personal accounts of those who served in this unique role and will describe the specialist training and equipment, not to mention the tactics and combat experiences, of those who fought an underground war against the Viet Cong in Vietnam.

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