Monday, February 17, 2020

Ragnarok: The Abyss & more upcoming releases from Osprey!

Order by Date: February 20, 2020
Street Date: March 24, 2020

Ragnarok: The Abyss

$30.00 SRP

A supplement introducing the horrors of the Gaping Abyss to Ragnarok, the game of vicious Viking combat with a heavy metal edge.

Ginnungagap, the Gaping Abyss, was once what separated the realms of Ice and Fire, keeping them in balance and sparing the other realms from their ravages. With the Nine Realms shattered, however, Ginnungagap has been left unguarded and unspeakable horrors now await those who wish to cross it.

Ragnarok: The Abyss includes new scenarios for Ragnarok as well as new monsters to vanquish in glorious battle. New mechanics introduce something once barely recognized by war clans--Fear--and present entirely new challenges for them to overcome in the telling of their sagas.

Author: Tim Korklewski
Illustrator: RU-MOR
112 page hardcover

Constantinople AD 717–18

$24.00 SRP

The siege of Constantinople in AD 717--18 was a key clash between the expanding Umayyad Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire, and one which influenced the fate of Western civilization. In this specially illustrated study, Si Sheppard examines the course of this pivotal campaign.

The siege of Constantinople in AD 717--18 was the supreme crisis of Western civilization. The Byzantine Empire had been reeling under the onslaught of Arabic imperialism since the death of the Prophet, whilst Jihadist armies had detached Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Carthage from imperial control and were in the process of imposing their ascendancy at sea. The Empire had been reduced to its Anatolian and Balkan heartland, and Arab incursions threatened even this--Arab naval forces had appeared under the walls of Constantinople every year from 674 to 678. But all this was only a prelude to the massive combined-arms invasion force that advanced on the capital in 717.

This title offers a comprehensive study of the ensuing clash between the ascendant Caliphate and the Empire at bay. It details the forces available to each side, with their respective advantages and vulnerabilities, evaluating the leadership qualities of the rival commanders and assessing their strategic and tactical initiatives. It also accounts for the trajectory and outcome of the campaign and emphasizes the fundamental significance of the struggle. By holding the line, the Byzantines gave Europe enough time to develop at its own pace and emerge strong enough to face down its Islamic counterpart on equal terms. If Constantinople had fallen in 717, could Europe have endured as an independent entity? Could Christianity have survived as major religion? What would the future course of world history have been?

Author: Si Sheppard
Illustrator: Graham Turner

French Soldier vs German Soldier

$22.00 SRP

Featuring specially commissioned artwork, archive photography, and full-color maps, this engrossing study investigates the doctrine, training, equipment, and combat record of the French and German troops who clashed in three key battles during the epic struggle for the Verdun sector at the height of World War I.

On February 21, 1916, the German Army launched a major attack on the French fortress of Verdun. The Germans were confident that the ensuing battle would compel France to expend its strategic reserves in a savage attritional battle, thereby wearing down Allied fighting power on the Western Front. However, initial German success in capturing a key early objective, Fort Douaumont, was swiftly stemmed by the French defenses, despite heavy French casualties. The Germans then switched objectives, but made slow progress towards their goals; by July, the battle had become a stalemate.

During the protracted struggle for Verdun, the two sides’ infantrymen faced appalling battlefield conditions; their training, equipment, and doctrine would be tested to the limit and beyond. New technologies, including flamethrowers, hand grenades, trench mortars, and more mobile machine guns, would play a key role in the hands of infantry specialists thrown into the developing battle, and innovations in combat communications were employed to overcome the confusion of the battlefield. This study outlines the two sides’ wider approach to the evolving battle, before assessing the preparations and combat record of the French and German fighting men who fought one another during three pivotal moments of the 10½-month struggle for Verdun.

Author: David Campbell
Illustrator: Adam Hook

Japanese Armies 1868–1877

$19.00 SRP

This title explains and illustrates the 19th-century transition of Japanese armies from traditional Samurai equipment and tactics to those of the Western world, and the armed clashes between the two cultures.

The restoration of the Meiji Imperial dynasty in 1868, after 250 years of the Tokugawa Shogunate, decisively opened Japan to the outside world and the monarchy embraced modernization, including the creation of a new Westernized army. However, this modernization process was resisted by the traditional Samurai feudal nobility, leading to a series of battles.

The first clash between the two cultures came swiftly. During the Boshin War of 1868¬--69, a French military adviser, Jules Brunet, changed sides to join the insurgents. They won several engagements before the final crushing of the rebel Ezo Republic. After this point, the Imperial Army continued to modernize along French lines, and social changes began to impoverish Samurai noblemen, who lost their social and political role and their associated privileges.

During 1876, the powerful Satsuma Domain, around Kagoshima in southwest Kyushu, became a focus for discontent. Its leader Saigo Takamori effectively ignored the central government, and in January 1877, increasing unrest broke out into open rebellion. The Imperial forces were now much stronger, and the Navy could land troops and bombard Kagoshima. The bitter Satsuma siege and attempted capture of Kumamoto Castle finally failed in April, and the Samurai made a last stand at Shiroyama on September 24, choosing to go down fighting. This marked the final defeat and displacement of the Samurai class.

This fully illustrated title explores the fall of the Samurai in detail, examining the arms, tactics, key figures of both sides, and charting the increasing Westernization of the Imperial forces.

Author: Gabriele Esposito
Illustrator Giuseppe Rava

World War II German Super-Heavy Siege Guns

$19.00 SRP

This is a new history of Germany's powerful super-heavy siege artillery of World War II, which were designed to smash the most formidable fortresses on the Western and Eastern fronts.

As the outbreak of World War II approached, Nazi Germany ordered artillery manufacturers Krupp and Rheimetall-Borsig to build several super-heavy siege guns, vital to smash through French and Belgian fortresses that stood in the way of the Blitzkrieg. These "secret weapons" were much larger than the siege artillery of World War I and included the largest artillery piece of the war, the massive 80cm railway gun "schwere Gustav" (Heavy Gustav). However, these complex and massive artillery pieces required years to build and test and, as war drew near, the German High Command hastily brought several WWI-era heavy artillery pieces back into service and then purchased, and later confiscated, a large number of Czech Skoda mortars.

The new super siege guns began entering service in time for the invasion of Russia, notably participating in the attack on the fortress of Brest-Litovsk. The highpoint for the siege artillery was the siege of Sevastopol in the summer of 1942, which was the largest concentration of siege guns in the war. Afterwards, when Germany was on the defensive in the second half of 1943, the utility of the guns was greatly diminished, and they were employed in a piecemeal and sporadic fashion on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. In total, the German Army used some 50 siege guns during World War II, far more than the thirty-five it had during World War I.

Supported by contemporary photographs and detailed artwork of the guns and their components, this is an essential guide to these guns, exploring their history, development, and deployment in stunning detail.

Authors: Marc Romanych and Martin Rupp
Illustrator: Andrea Ricciardi di Gaudesi

Operation Eagle Claw 1980

$22.00 SRP

A fully illustrated history of the disastrous 1980 attempt to rescue the 53 US Embassy hostages in Tehran, which involved the new Delta Force and a complex series of airlifts, hides and refueling stops in the Iranian desert.

Following months of negotiations after the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran on November 4 1979, President Jimmy Carter ordered the newly formed Delta Force to conduct a raid into Iran to free the hostages. The raid, Operation Eagle Claw, was risky to say the least. US forces would have to fly into the deserts of Iran on C-130s; marry up with carrier-based RH-53D helicopters; fly to hide sites near Tehran; approach the Embassy via trucks; seize the Embassy and rescue the hostages; board the helicopters descending on Tehran; fly to an airbase captured by more US forces; and then fly out on C-141s and to freedom. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly given the complexity of the mission, things went wrong from the start and when the mission was called off at the refueling site at Desert One, the resulting collision between aircraft killed eight US personnel.

This title tells the full story of this tragic operation, supported by maps, photographs, and specially-commissioned bird’s-eye-views and battlescenes, which reveal the complexity and scale of the proposed rescue and the disaster which followed.

Author: Justin Williamson
Illustrators: Jim Laurier and Johnny Shumate

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