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FEATURE SERIES: EARLY MODERN ERA AND NAPOLEON


EARLY MODERN ERA AND NAPOLEON · Published 7 April 2024 at 2:52pm EDT · COMMENT - LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

"Vive l’Empereur!: The Rise and Fall of Napoleon’s Military Maxims" by Michael G. Stroud (Part 1 of a Series)

ABOVE: Napoleon in this painting is connecting with and inspiring his Army of Italy. This would become one of Napoleon's hallmarks: the ability to fire the blood of those around him to achieve the seemingly impossible. Source: Battles and Campaigns on Wordpress.

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth century bore witness to the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) and his Military Maxims. The Corsican born, artillery trained military acolyte, experienced a meteoric rise in political and military fortunes during the tumult of the late Revolutionary period of France. His battlefield successes during the age, often against numerically larger forces, would become the basis for his methodology of warfare. This methodology, along with Napoleon’s thoughts on such matters, would coalesce and become known as his Military Maxims.

The development of Napoleon’s Maxims are closely interwoven in the man himself. The earliest indications of the fire and defiance against the traditional establishments of the day, were evidenced early in his burgeoning career. Having been sent to the Royal School of Brienne at the age of nine on 23 April 1779, Napoleon struggled to fit in with the other more cultured cadets, being smaller of build, easy to anger, and with a strong Corsican accent, the future emperor found solace in mathematics and history, especially the writings of Polybius and the military campaigns of Julius Caesar. Relentlessly persecuted by many of his classmates and even professors for everything from his then five-foot three-inch stature to his terrible French (which he never completely mastered ironically enough), Napoleon’s defiance against the odds, which would play prominently in his political and military career, became clear in one classroom incident in particular.   ☞ Read the full article

FEATURE SERIES: WORLD WAR I AND THE GATHERING STORM


WORLD WAR I & THE INTERWAR YEARS · Published 6 April 2024 at 9:55pm EDT · COMMENT - LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

"The February Revolution: Prelude to Tsardom's Fall and Global Impact" by Scott Lyons

ABOVE: Winter Palace, Petrograd (Later Leningrad and now Saint Petersburg) 1917. Russian army officers take the oath of allegiance to the October Revolution. Soldiers gathered in the square of the Winter Palace, many of whom previously supported the Provisional Government. Source: License assigned to War History Network. Click to enlarge.

On the precipice of World War I in 1917, Russia found herself at the heart of an immense historical upheaval that would alter not only her course but the world's as well. Two revolutions unfolded, each rippling across the globe, signaling irreversible change. When Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, it was with the expectation of lifelong rule, continuing the lineage of absolute power bequeathed by his father, Alexander III. Yet, barely two decades into his reign, Nicholas would witness the disintegration of both his authority and the tsarist regime itself—a monumental descent catalyzed by socioeconomic tribulations. The societal fabric of Russia bore scars from economic stagnation intertwined with burgeoning industrialization, leading to widespread urban food shortages and rural discontent over sluggish land reform. Political unrest fomented among moderates, who pressed for Western-inspired liberalism, and socialist factions championed more drastic solutions. However, it was the catalyst of war that ignited change, cumulating in the February revolution.    ☞ Read the full article

FEATURE SERIES: MEDIEVAL MILITARY HISTORY: c.500 - C.1500


MEDIEVAL MILITARY HISTORY - C.500 - C.1500 · Published 6 April 2024 at 11:14 am EDT · COMMENT: LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

Focus on Cavalry: “’Rise of the Magnus Equus: Medieval Horse Breeding and Procurement” by Prof. Brian Todd Carey

ABOVE: An illustration from Jean Fouquet of Tours’ Grandes Chroniques de France depicting the violence of late fifteenth century cavalry warfare using destriers. In the Public Domain. Click to enlarge.

The most identifiable symbol of warfare in the European Middle Ages (c.500-c.1500 CE) is that of the mounted knight, and the foundation of that medieval heavy cavalry was the warhorse itself. The horse had to be a warrior in its own right, capable of entering the chaos of battle at a charge without panicking at the sounds and smells of warfare.  It needed to be strong enough to carry a fully armored man into the fray and fierce enough to take an aggressive part in the battle. Such horses were difficult to find, and they did not occur naturally, but from a process of selective breeding and training that developed over hundreds of years and was informed by many cultures in Europe, North Africa, and Asia, eventually resulting in the famous and relatively rare destrier or magnus equus (“great horse”) ridden by heavily armored knights at tournament and in war.    ☞ Read the full article

FEATURE SERIES: THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR 1846 - 1848


MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR: APRIL 1846 - FEBRUARY 1848 · Published 2 April 2024 at 3:15am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"Open for Business and Scattering Gold: U.S. Occupation of Mexico City and Army Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 1847-8 (Part Two)" by Prof. Benjamin J. Swenson

ABOVE: Winfield Scott on horseback. Source: Library of Congress. Wikimedia Commons. In the Public Domain.

During the Mexican-American War (1846–48) the U.S. Army implemented an innovative population-centric strategy designed to mitigate animus among the population and reduce the potential for guerrilla warfare in occupied areas. The decision to eschew the traditional practice of forced requisitions, informed U.S. Army counterinsurgency methods for years to come – including in the Philippines. Other policies included paying for goods at equitable market rates, facilitating trade between the capital and coastal region by protecting conveys from guerrilla attacks, rescinding the alcabala tax directed at poorer Mexicans seeking to sell their goods in areas controlled by the U.S. Army, and respecting the property rights of Mexicans. These policies were implemented throughout U.S. occupied Mexico but were particularly important to success in Mexico’s large metropolis.   ☞ Read the full article

Vimy Ridge Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Vimy Ridge Day: “Today, we remember the bravery and sacrifices of the Canadian soldiers who fought for peace, freedom, and justice in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. “In the early…

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75th Anniversary of NATO

Statement by the Prime Minister on the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationApril 4, 2024Ottawa, OntarioThe Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic…

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CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


AERIAL WARFARE · Published 19 April 2022 at 7:43pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"18 April 1942: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo: Avenging Pearl Harbor"

ABOVE: Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, Crew No. 1 (Plane #40-2344, target Tokyo): 34th Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, pilot; Lt. Richard E. Cole, copilot; Lt. Henry A. Potter, navigator; SSgt. Fred A. Braemer, bombardier; SSgt. Paul J. Leonard, flight engineer/gunner. Photo in the Public Domain; U.S. Air Force (Click to enlarge).

ABOVE: National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, TX. 6 December 2021. One of the B-25 Mitchell Bombers flown by the Doolittle Raiders over Japan after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Source: War History Network license.

On 18 April 1942, the Doolittle Raid was launched by the United States against the Japanese capital of Tokyo and other targets on the island of Honshu. This event marked the first American air operation to directly target the Japanese archipelago during World War II. Commandeered by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, this mission was more than a military operation; it was an emblem of retaliation for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and subsequently, a pivotal morale booster for the American public. Sixteen B-25B Mitchell medium bombers, with crews of five each, took to the uncertain skies from the deck of the USS Hornet, without the accompaniment of fighter escorts. Despite the mission's success in reaching and bombing its intended military and industrial targets, the aftereffects were felt deeply on both sides of the Pacific.   ☞  Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 26 March 2023 at 10:01am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"18 April 1945: War Correspondent Ernie Pyle killed on Ie Shima, Okinawa"

ABOVE: Ernie Pyle on Ie Shima, Okinawa shortly before is death. Source: U.S. Library of Congress. In the Public Domain.

Ernie Pyle remains a towering figure in the annals of American journalism, etching an indelible legacy as the voice of the common soldier during the cataclysm of World War II. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1944, Pyle captured the grim realities of war with a poignant clarity that bridged the front lines and the home front. His dispatches offered a window into the souls of the infantrymen, whose stories of bravery and sacrifice became the heartbeat of his revered columns. Before the war's outbreak, Pyle had already established his empathetic narrative voice through human interest stories that crisscrossed the North American continent. Starting in 1935, these stories laid the groundwork for the textured dispatches he would later write from the European Theater from 1942 to 1944 and the Pacific Theater in 1945. Pyle's narrative arc was characterized by an intrinsic sympathy that endeared him not only to his readers but also to the soldiers and marines who found a kindred spirit in him—a scribe of their struggles and a custodian of their hopes.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE HOLOCAUST - DAY BY DAY


THE HOLOCAUST - SHOAH · Published 26 March 2023 at 10:02am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"19 April - 16 May 1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising"

Modern day, Warsaw, Poland. Uprising Monument. Source: War History Network license.

In the backdrop of World War II, German authorities systematically initiated the process of ghettoization across occupied Poland, striving to isolate and control the Jewish population. The establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto in October 1940 marked the beginning of a horrific chapter for over 400,000 Jews, who were forcibly relocated into an area of merely 3.3 square kilometers. This concentration, the largest of its kind, subjected its inhabitants to inhumane living conditions, rampant disease, and a death toll exacerbated by starvation and brutal enforcement by Nazi forces under the command of Odilo Globocnik and Ludwig Hahn. The situation deteriorated further with the onset of Operation Reinhard, a ruthless campaign aimed at the extermination of Polish Jews. The Warsaw Ghetto, once a bustling hub of Jewish life, became emblematic of the Nazi regime's genocidal cruelty. The mass deportations to Treblinka, especially during the operation known as Grossaktion Warschau, carried out between July and September 1942, saw between 254,000 and 300,000 residents perish, marking a pivotal moment that would eventually ignite the flames of resistance among the surviving Jewish population.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR I - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR I · Published 30 January 2024 at 8:49Pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"20 April 1918: All Bark and Bite: Sergeant Stubby Wounded in France During World War I" 

ABOVE: U.S. Army General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing awards Sergeant Stubby with a medal in 1921 as his owner, James Robert Conroy, wearing suit, stands behind them. Source: Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Wikipedia; in the Public Domain.

On the campus of Yale University in July 1917, a young (1-2 years old) Boston terrier wandered to the parade grounds where young Army members of the 102nd Infantry were training. The dog immediately became attached to Corporal James Robert Conroy and a (dog's) lifetime of love, friendship and comradeship began. Conroy hid the pup aboard ship departing from Newport News, Virginia, to France to fight in the First World War. Named "Sergeant Stubby" for his bobbed tail, the pup was taught by Corporal Conroy to salute--whereupon the canine companion would sit up on his hind legs, and pull his right paw up to his head. Sergeant Stubby even had his own dog tags which read "STUBBY, 102nd INF, 26th DIV." (Bausum 2014, 24)    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR I - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR I: 1914 - 1918 · Published 26 March 2023 at 10:05am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"21 April 1918: Manfred von Richthofen - The Red Baron Shot Down" 

ABOVE: Germany, 23 April 1917. German Federal Archives caption: "The famous Fighter Squadron 11 with Manfred von Richthofen at the controls of his 'Red Airplane'. From this fighter squadron emerged Jagdgeschwader I, which officially bore the name 'von Richhofen'. During its one-year existence in 1917/18, the Richthofen Squadron won no less than 1,000 victories. At the age of 25, Rittmeister von Richthofen, recipient of the Order Pour le Merite, had become commander of the squadron, which, according to a military decree, had the combat value of several divisions on the sector of the front where it was deployed." Source: Wikipedia. In the Public Domain.

Manfred von Richthofen, widely known as the 'Red Baron', was a figure of valor and tactical prowess during the tumultuous skies of the First World War. Born into an aristocratic Prussian family on 2 May 1892 in Breslau, Germany (present-day Wrocław, Poland), he would rise to become a legendary German flying ace, claiming an unparalleled 80 victories against Allied aircraft. Richthofen initially served with the cavalry; however, his destiny took a soaring turn upon transferring to the Luftstreitkrafte (Imperial German Air Service) in 1915. By 1917, his escalating notoriety as a pilot propelled him to command Jasta 11, lifting him to national hero status within Germany. His astute fighter tactics granted him prestigious awards, including the Pour le Merite, commonly referred to as the 'Blue Max', Oak Leaves with Swords and Diamonds, and Iron Crosses of both the 1st and 2nd Class.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: AMERICAN CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


AMERICAN CIVIL WAR · Published 26 March 2023 at 10:09am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"30 April - 6 May 1863: A Costly Confederate Victory: The Battle of Chancellorsville"  ABOVE: 30 April 1863: Lieutenant George B. Winslow commanding 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment. 1st New York Artillery Light Regiment was engaged in the Chancellorsville Campaign, attached to Artillery Brigade, 3rd Army Corps, from April 27-May 6, 1863. Source: Library of Congress, https://bit.ly/42CIPJD. In the Public Domain.<

The Battle of Chancellorsville is often epitomized as a paragon of military leadership and strategy, particularly from the Confederate perspective due to General Robert E. Lee's masterful employment of complex battle tactics in the face of considerable numerical disadvantage. This encounter, which spanned from April 30 to May 6, 1863, unfolded near the village of Spotsylvania, Virginia, and was a pivotal event in the American Civil War, underpinned by the tactical acumen that contributed to its classification as "Lee's Perfect Battle." At Chancellorsville, the audacious Confederate commander General Lee confronted an overextended Union force led by Major General Joseph Hooker. Despite the formidable size of Hooker's forces, totaling over 130,000 men juxtaposed against Lee's 62,000 troops, Confederate strategy prevailed due to innovative maneuvers and adept battlefield leadership. "Without Longstreet's divisions Lee had only 43,000 men." (Korda 2014, 509)   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: VIETNAM WAR - DAY BY DAY


VIETNAM WAR ERA: 1955-1975 · Published 26 March 2023 at 10:11am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"30 April 1975: Fall of Saigon: The Vietnam War Ends" 

ABOVE: Saigon, South Vietnam, 29 April 1975. United States Marine Private First Class Forrest M. Turner, Jr. provides security as two Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters land at the Defense Attaché Office compound during Operation Frequent Wind. Military helicopters dropped the ground security component at landing zones. Once on the ground they set up security positions. Source: Wikipedia. In the Public Domain.

The 30th of April, 1975, marked a solemn and significant milestone in world history—the end of one of the most protracted and tragic conflicts, the Vietnam War. Known by several names, including the Second Indochina War, the Vietnam War was emblematic of the Cold War and a brutal testament to the proxy battles fought between the world's two superpowers and their allies. The fall of Saigon was the dramatic conclusion that profoundly altered geopolitical landscapes and human migrations. A quick glance at the historical latticework of policy would reveal a complex entwining of interests. Following the First Indochina War and the 1954 Geneva Conference, the country was partitioned, and the stage was set for the tumultuous years to come. The U.S. saw Vietnam as an inevitable battleground against Communist expansion, and through financial and military support, it threw itself behind the fledgling government of South Vietnam.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR I: 1914 - 1918


WORLD WAR I & THE INTERWAR YEARS · Published 21 February 2024 at 8:36am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"3 May 1915 - In Flanders Fields written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae" 

ABOVE: Fields of Red Poppies. Source: War History Network license.

"In Flanders Fields," resonating through the annals of time, stands as a poignant piece of war poetry eloquently captured in the rondeau form by Canadian physician and Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. It emerged amidst the devastating backdrop of the First World War, born out of profound personal loss and the harrowing landscape of conflict. On composing this impactful poem, McCrae drew inspiration from the most harrowing of circumstances—the death of his dear friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who tragically fell during the Second Battle of Ypres. Chronologically, it was on 3 May 1915, following the funeral rites over which he presided, that McCrae found the words to encapsulate the grief and the valorous spirit of those who fought. Legend tells a tale of initial dissatisfaction wherein McCrae discarded his manuscript, only for it to be retrieved by fellow soldiers who recognized the power of his words. The emotive verse received its first publication on 8 December 1915, within the pages of 'Punch' magazine, based in London.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE GATHERING STORM: 1919 - 1939


THE GATHERING STORM: 1919 - 1939 · Published 29 March 2024 at 8:32am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"April 1922 - October 1952" - The Rise and Fall of Dictatorial Regimes in Germany and Soviet Union"

ABOVE: Nuremburg, Germany, 1928. Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute at a rally. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, 242-HAP-1928 (46).) Click to enlarge.

In the volatile aftermath of the Great War and the stringent demands placed by the Versailles Treaty, seeds were sown for the rise of one of history's most notorious dictators, Adolf Hitler. In a similar vein, the untimely demise of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin precipitated Joseph Stalin's grip on power in the Soviet Union. Exploring the landscape of these leaderships reveals a stark reality that their similarities in governance and control mechanisms—encompassing terror, exile, execution, repression, and propaganda—overwhelmingly eclipsed their differences, creating an atmosphere of dread that was deemed necessary to emerge from the Great Depression's shadow. Both Hitler and Stalin were charismatic leaders who capitalized on the discontent and economic turmoil of their respective nations. They both appealed to nationalist sentiments, promising to restore their countries to greatness and rid them of perceived enemies. However, their methods of achieving these goals were vastly different.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 20 January 2023 at 10:04pm EDT · COMMENT: JOIN THIS CONVERSATION

"4 May to 8 May 1942: Carrier War: The Battle of the Coral Sea" 

ABOVE: View on the flight deck of USS Lexington (CV-2), at about 1500 hours on 8 May 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea. The ship's air group is spotted aft, with Grumman F4F-3 fighters nearest the camera. SBD scout bombers and TBD-1 torpedo planes are parked further aft. Smoke is rising around the after aircraft elevator from fires burning in the hangar. Note fire hose, wheels, propellers, servicing stands and other gear scattered on the flight deck. Source: Official U.S. Navy Photograph. In the Public Domain. Click to enlarge.

The Battle of the Coral Sea--a turning point for the War in the Pacific? Yes, as Japan lost two key aircraft carriers which would later prove costly at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942. This epic sea battle took place from 4 May to 8 May 1942. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) faced off against the United States and Australian naval and air forces, engaging in a revolutionary shift in tactics. It was the first naval battle in history where opposing fleets never sighted nor fired upon one another. Instead, they attacked over the horizon with aircraft carriers, marking a turning point in how naval warfare was conducted. The incorporation of aircraft carriers in naval battles had revolutionized warfare, and the United States and Australia had mastered it. The Allies' victory in the Battle of Coral Sea was vital in turning the tide of World War II's Pacific conflict. It forced Japan to reassess its military strategy and capabilities and reminded them that they were not invincible.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: AMERICAN CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR · Published 2 March 2024 at 4:46pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

“9 May 1800: Abolitionist John Brown is Born – in 1859 the U.S. Civil War Ignites”

Painting by John Steuart Curry (1897–1946) titled "Tragic Prelude." The most famous of his finished murals is called, "Tragic Prelude," Curry's interpretation of John Brown and the anti-slavery movement in Kansas Territory. Rich in symbolism, the painting depicts a fierce John Brown holding a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. Curry's work is in the Kansas State Capitol building in Topeka, Kansas. Photo source: Harvey County Historical Museum. In the Public Domain.

John Brown's raids in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry have cemented his legacy as a complex figure in American history. Labeling him solely as a terrorist oversimplifies the multifaceted nature of his campaigns against slavery. Brown's actions, particularly the Pottawatomie raid and the seizure of Harpers Ferry, were undeniably violent and resulted in loss of life. However, these acts were driven by a fervent opposition to the institution of slavery, which he viewed as a moral abomination against God's law. His strategic use of violence aimed at dismantling the infrastructure of slavery and provoking a broader insurrection among enslaved populations. The dichotomy of Brown's character—seen as a martyr by some and a fanatic or terrorist by others—highlights the profound divisions in antebellum America over the issue of slavery.    ☞  Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


D-DAY & THE EUROPEAN THEATER · Published 28 January 2024 at 5:29am EDT · COMMENT AND PLEASE JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"11 May 1941: Destruction from the Skies: The Luftwaffe's Blitz Over the United Kingdom Ends" 

ABOVE: "Buildings burning in Manchester after a German air raid on the night of 23 December 1940. The heaviest raids on Manchester took place on consecutive nights on 22-23 and 23-24 December. The Free Trade Hall, Smithfield Market and St Anne's Church were destroyed. Deansgate and Oxford Road were blocked with debris and unexploded bombs. More than 8,000 homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable. The Trafford Park industrial area was badly damaged by fires. Many of the city's firemen and civil defence workers had not yet returned from Liverpool which had been hit on 20 December. Fires still burning in Liverpool from that raid also helped illuminate the bombers' path to Manchester." (Imperial War Museum, "The Blitz Around Britain")

The Blitz was a time of terror for the people of the United Kingdom during World War II. From 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941--8 months and 5 days--German bombers conducted mass air attacks against towns, cities, and industrial targets, causing widespread devastation and destruction. Over 40,000 civilians were killed during the Blitz, with almost half of them in London, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged. The Blitz was launched by Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, in an attempt to force the British into submission. The Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets, towns, and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940. The Luftwaffe had lost the Battle of Britain and the German air fleets were ordered to attack London, to draw RAF Fighter Command into a battle of annihilation.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


AERIAL WARFARE · Published 20 February 2024 at 8:31pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"13 May 1944: Eighth Air Force Destroys the German Oil Industry" 

ABOVE: Hamburg, Germany. 20 June 1944. Aerial view of three oil refineries in Hamburg after bombing by U.S. 8th. Air Force. Source: War History Network license.

The Mighty Eighth, as the Eighth Air Force has been referred to throughout history, was a formidable aerial force during World War II. Originally established as VIII Bomber Command in early 1942, this unit rapidly became a cornerstone of America's strategic bombing campaign in Europe, a theater defined by its dogged combat and relentless pursuit of Allied victory over Axis powers. When the first combat units of the Eighth Air Force arrived in the United Kingdom in June 1942, there was an air of imminent change on both sides of the conflict. It was not long after, in August of that same year, that its bombers were deployed from bases primarily situated around East Anglia—a region that would soon become synonymous with American air power. The mighty Eighth's initial operations were monumental. On 4 July 1942, its Bostons, a version of the Douglas A-20 Havoc, inaugurated its combat missions with an attack on enemy airfields in the Netherlands. Despite formidable defenses, Captain Charles C. Kegelman managed to navigate his flak-damaged aircraft back home, earning the first Distinguished Service Cross awarded within the force.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER · Published 17 March 2023 at 10:25pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"17 May 1944: Merrill's Marauders Take Myitkyina After a 62-mile March"

ABOVE: Marauders rest during a break along a jungle trail near Nhpum Ga, Burma. Source: Wikipedia. In the Public Domain.

Merrill's Marauders, an elite U.S. Army long-range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit, etched their name in the annals of World War II history through their daring and audacious actions in the China-Burma-India Theater. Known officially as the 5307th Composite Unit, this exceptional group of soldiers left an indelible mark with their intricate and perilous deep-penetration missions behind enemy lines. They frequently engaged and defeated Japanese forces with superior numbers and resources by relying on their unparalleled skills, exceptional teamwork, and unyielding determination.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR I - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR I: 1914-1918 · Published 5 July 2022 at 9:31pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"1 June 1918: The Battle of Belleau Wood: Turning Point in World War One" 

ABOVE: "German machine gunners retreating, Belleau Wood," June 1918. Photograph. Joel T. Boone Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (135.00.00). Source: Library of Congress. In the Public Domain. Click to enlarge.

Amid the unyielding battlegrounds of World War One, one particular engagement stands out as a testament to valor and strength, etching an indelible mark in the annals of warfare. The Battle of Belleau Wood, fought between the U.S. Marine Corps and the German Army from June 1st to June 26th, 1918, near the Marne River in France, remains not just a military triumph but an emblem of human resilience against overwhelming odds. With the German spring offensive looming large on the Western Front, the Allies faced a critical juncture. Their backs against the wall, the U.S. 2nd and 3rd Divisions, bolstered by relentless infantry and strategic maneuvering, stood firm against the German tide. This article delves into the Battle of Belleau Wood, dissecting its critical moments and unraveling the profound significance that reverberated across the landscape of World War One.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


BATTLE OF THE SEAS · Published 25 March 2023 at 11:12am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION

"4-7 June 1942: The Battle of Midway - Turning Point in the War in the Pacific" 

ABOVE: U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6) Douglas TBD-1 Devastator aircraft are prepared for launching aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730-0740 hrs, 4 June 1942. Eleven of the fourteen TBDs launched from Enterprise are visible. Three more TBDs and ten Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters must still be pushed into position before launching can begin. The TBD in the left front is Number Two (BuNo 1512), flown by Ensign Severin L. Rombach and Aviation Radioman 2nd Class W.F. Glenn. Along with eight other VT-6 aircraft, this plane and its crew were lost attacking Japanese aircraft carriers somewhat more than two hours later. The heavy cruiser USS Pensacola (CA-24) is in the right distance and a destroyer is in plane guard position at left. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command under the digital ID 80-G-41686. In the Public Domain.

The Battle of Midway, fought between 4 and 7 June 1942, stands as one of the pivotal battles in the Pacific Theater and turning point from which Japan would not recover. Six months on from Japan's raid on Pearl Harbor and a month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy won a decisive victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Two strategic factors contributed to the battle: the Japanese intended to establish a "barrier" to extend their defensive perimeter following the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo and aimed to entice American carriers into a trap to clear for further offensives. Conversely, American cryptographers' remarkable breakthroughs enabled the U.S. Navy to set an ambush of their own, tipping the scales before a single shot was fired.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


D-DAY AND THE WAR IN EUROPE · Published 24 February 2024 at 4:47pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"6 June 1944: D-Day Captured Through Different Lenses" 

ABOVE: Robert Capa's camera captures U.S. troops’ assault on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings. Normandy, France. June 6, 1944. Souce: Robert Capa and Magnum Photos.

The images of the Normandy landings taken by photographers such as Life Magazine photographer Robert Capa and Coast Guard Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent are ingrained in the collective memory of World War II. These visual testimonies provide an insight into one of history's pivotal moments, laden with raw emotion, perilous endeavors, and unyielding courage.

Robert F. Sargent captured "Into the Jaws of Death," an image enveloped with the same raw authenticity as Capa’s, portraying the immediate moments of troops braving the surf under fire. While Sargent remained on his landing craft, Capa dared further, stepping onto the deadly beach and documenting the soldiers' arduous progress amidst chaos and bombardment. U.S. Coast Guard Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent (August 26, 1923 – May 8, 2012) served valiantly as a United States Coast Guard chief petty officer. With the critical function of a photographer's mate, Sargent is chiefly recognized for his seminal work, Into the Jaws of Death. This forceful photograph captures the profound gravity of D-Day, depicting members of Company E, 16th Infantry, of the renowned 1st Infantry Division. A fine exemplar of courageous photojournalism, the photograph was taken as the troops disembarked from a U.S. Coast Guard landing craft. These valiant men owed their safe passage to the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase, a vessel integral to the maneuvers of Operation Neptune—the naval component of Operation Overlord. Through Sargent's lens, we observe a visceral freeze-frame of history.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN NORTH AFRICA · Published 26 March 2024 at 8:48am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"11 June 1940 - 4 February 1943: The Western Desert Campaign Begins" by Scott Lyons

ABOVE: Bovington, Dorset, United Kingdom. 7 July 2012: German Sd Kfz 141/1 Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L, Panzer III, on display at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset. Source: War History Network license.

The North African Campaign, spanned from June 1940 until May 1943, encapsulating a series of operations and battles that involved vast maneuvers across desert terrains by both Axis and Allied forces. This campaign was characterized by a series of strategic thrusts and counterthrusts over control of Libya and Egypt and is a testament to the tenacity and resourcefulness of the involved forces. Initiated on September 13, 1940, with the Italian advance on British-held Egypt, the campaign swiftly escalated. The subsequent Operation Compass—a British assault that launched in December 1940—yielded key victories  at the Battle of Sidi Barrani and the Battle of Bardia. Continued Allied success led to the significant capture of Tobruk, signaling the first major surrender of Italian forces.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 6 April 2023 at 8:53am EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN THIS CONVERSATION

"15 June 1944: D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan Begins" 

ABOVE: Marines carry one of their own back from battle. Saipan USMC Photo No. 1-15. From the Frederick R. Findtner Collection (COLL/3890), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections. OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH; in the Public Domain.

The Battle of Saipan, fought from 15 June to 9 July 1944, was a critical episode in the Pacific campaign of World War II. This clash unfolded on the island of Saipan, located within the Mariana Islands, marking a pivotal moment in Operation Forager. The meticulously orchestrated assault was initiated when the expansive fleet set sail from Pearl Harbor, a strategic movement that occurred concurrently with the operations of Operation Overlord in Europe. The U.S. forces, comprising the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division, were under the adept command of Lieutenant General Holland Smith. They faced the formidable 43rd Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito. The decisive American victory witnessed in Saipan precipitated the resignation of the Prime Minister of Japan, Hideki Tojo, further emphasizing the strategic vulnerability of the Japanese archipelago to the United States Army Air Forces B-29 bombers.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


THE EASTERN FRONT · Published 22 April 2023 at 5:51pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"22 June 1941: An Invasion Begins: The Catastrophic Miscalculation of Operation Barbarossa"

ABOVE: The Nazi propaganda picture shows the welcoming of the German Wehrmacht through the Ukrainian population. The photo was taken in June 1941. Photo by: Berliner Verlag/Archiv/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Source: flickr: Manhhai.

Operation Barbarossa stands as one of the most monumental military endeavors and a seminal turning point in the history of World War II. Launched on June 22, 1941, this invasion by Nazi Germany into the heartland of the Soviet Union, was not only the largest land offensive in human history, involving around 10 million combatants, but also a catastrophic error in strategic judgment by Adolf Hitler. Spearheaded by German forces and supported by Axis allies, the operation, named after the medieval Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, sought to decimate communism and forcibly seize territory for German repopulation. In its wake, Operation Barbarossa hoped to commandeer economic resources, including the oil reserves of the Caucasus, and the fertile grounds of Ukraine and Byelorussia.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 18 August 2022 at 8:04pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"24 July 1944: U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Teamwork: The Battle of Tinian Begins"

Marines wading ashore. USMC Archives: Tinian USMC Photo No. 10-6. From the William Luc Collection (COLL/5424), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections. Official USMC photograph.

The Battle of Tinian, fought between 24 July and 1 August 1944, was central to the Marianas campaign, and critical in undermining Japanese defenses and enabling American forces to gain a strategic foothold. A prelude to victory, the capture of Saipan set the stage for the assault on Tinian, a mere three miles away. The proximity of Tinian to Saipan rendered it a pivotal target for U.S. forces. The island's terrain, relatively flat compared to its neighbors, was perfectly suited for airfield construction, particularly for the deployment of the cutting-edge B-29 bombers. Japan's existing runways on Tinian were of great tactical interest to the American military, signaling the potential to position U.S. bombers within range of Japan's home islands.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR II - DAY BY DAY


BATTLE FOR THE SEAS · Published 4 June 2023 at 12:39pm EDT · COMMENT AND JOIN OUR CONVERSATION

"30 July 1945: The USS Indianapolis is Torpedoed and Sunk"

ABOVE: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, 10 July 1945. The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) after her final overhaul and repair of combat damage. The photo was taken before the ship delivered atomic bomb components to Tinian and just 20 days before she was sunk by a Japanese submarine. Source: Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives

The USS Indianapolis, a Portland-class heavy cruiser, was commissioned into the United States Navy in 1932. It bore witness to pivotal moments of World War II, playing a crucial role as a flagship across various operations within the Pacific Theater. Notable among its engagements were the Aleutian Islands campaign and the formidable Battle of Okinawa. Yet, despite its decorated service, the USS Indianapolis met a harrowing fate, culminating in one of the most heartbreaking naval tragedies in American military annals—the devastating sinking in July of 1945. In the dead of night on the 30 July 1945, amid the fathomless Pacific, the USS Indianapolis was dealt a crippling blow by Japanese submarine I-58. Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto, who had mistaken the cruiser for the Idaho-class battleship, dispatched two Type 95 torpedoes that struck the USS Indianapolis' starboard side. The impact near the bow and amidships was staggering, causing the cruiser to list ominously due to the added top-weight from wartime armaments. Within a mere twelve minutes, a sight of despair unfolded as the warship capsized, sending the stern soaring before plummeting beneath the waves. This swift demise claimed approximately 300 of the 1,195 crew members, consigning them to the depths, while the rest faced the merciless expanse of the ocean.   ☞ Read the full article

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ABOVE: Tribute in Amsterdam to Holocaust victims Abraham Icek Tuschinski (Auschwitz), Hersch Jozef Gerschtanowitz (Auschwitz) and Hermann Ehrlich (Sobibor). Photo by Erwin Leydekkers. Click to enlarge.

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The AmericanREVOLUTIONARY WAR IN THE WEST History Conference IIJUNTA DE GUERRA OF BERNARDO DE GÁLVEZ, JULY 13, 1779, BY MITCHELL NOLTE, COURTESY OF THGC PUBLISHINGSEPTEMBER 27–29, 2024  |  ST. LOUIS, MISSOURIThe St. Charles County Historical…
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The most identifiable symbol of warfare in the European Middle Ages (c.500-c.1500 CE) is that of the mounted knight, and the foundation of that medieval heavy cavalry was the warhorse itself. The horse had to be a warrior in its own right, capable…
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The most identifiable symbol of warfare in the European Middle Ages (c.500-c.1500 CE) is that of the mounted knight, and the foundation of that medieval heavy cavalry was the warhorse itself. The horse had to be a warrior in its own right, capable…
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Open for Business and Scattering Gold: U.S. Occupation of Mexico City and Army Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 1847-8 (Part Two)During the Mexican-American War (1846–48) the U.S. Army implemented an innovative population-centric strategy designed to…
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Statement by the Prime Minister on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force
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The Battle of Hue, also known as the Siege of Hue, was one of the most significant and bloody events of the Vietnam War. The intense fighting between the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces, and U.S. Marines and Army soldiers and ARVN (South…
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The “Age of the Trireme” parallels Greece’s Hellenic era (c.500-c.338 BCE), and its use as the primary capital ship of both Greece and the major naval powers of the Mediterranean corresponds to this roughly 170 year time span.  Although most closely…
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The “Age of the Trireme” parallels Greece’s Hellenic era (c.500-c.338 BCE), and its use as the primary capital ship of both Greece and the major naval powers of the Mediterranean corresponds to this roughly 170 year time span.  Although most closely…
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Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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    The Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 10-12, 2024) is a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all…

  • Created by: Scott Lyons

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BOOK REVIEWS


Tohopeka: Rethinking the Creek War and the War of 1812

Edited by Kathryn E. Holland Braund

Reviewed by Jim Gallen, JD  

Posted by Jim Gallen on March 3, 2024 at 10:38pm

Tohopeka; Rethinking the Creek War and the War of 1812 consists of twelve essays by multiple authors chronicling the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, the defeat of the Creek Indians that opened the Southeast to white settlement. Topics include casualties and consequences from the Creek viewpoint and the description of the Red Sticks, the Creek warriors so named, probably because of the weapons they carried.    ☞  The full review ·  All book reviews

SPRING BOOK FAIR - THE BEST OF 2024


Warfare in the Age of Crusades: Europe

by Brian Todd Carey (Author) and Joshua B Allfree 

Publication date: 18 January 2024 by Pen & Sword Military. 272 pages, hardcover.

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From the publisher: "Warfare in the Age of Crusades: Europe explores in fascinating detail the key campaigns, battles and sieges that shaped the crusading period in Europe during the Middle Ages, giving special attention to military technologies, tactics and strategies. Key personalities and political factors are addressed, including the role of the papal monarchy in initiating the crusading expeditions and the use of crusade in the Christianization of the Baltic region and against heresies in Europe. Chapters focus on the Iberian crusades or Reconquista beginning in the eleventh century through to the final surrender of the Emirate of Granada in 1492." 


The Dawn of Guerrilla Warfare: Why the Tactics of Insurgents against Napoleon Failed in the US Mexican War

by Benjamin J Swenson (Author)

Publication date: 30 January 2024 by Pen and Sword Military. Hardcover, 232 pages.

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From the publisher: "While one military empire in Europe lay in ruins, another awakened in North America. During the Peninsular War (1808-1814) the Spanish launched an unprecedented guerrilla insurgency undermining Napoleon’s grip on that state and ultimately hastening the destruction of the French Army in Europe. The advent of this novel “system” of warfare ushered in an era of military studies on the use of unconventional strategies in military campaigns and changed the modern rules of war. A generation later during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Winfield Scott and Henry Halleck used the knowledge from the Peninsular War to implement an innovative counterinsurgency program designed to conciliate Mexicans living in areas controlled by the U.S. Army, which set the standard informing a growing international consensus on the proper conduct for occupation."


Gustavus v Wallenstein: Military Revolution, Rivalry and Tragedy in the Thirty Years War

by John Pike (Author)

Publisher: Pen and Sword Military. Publication date: May 31, 2024. Hardcover, 544 pages. ISBN-10 1399012657

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From the publisher, "The conflict, personal rivalry and contrast in personality, generalship and command, between the two iconic commanders in the Thirty Years War, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden for the Protestant powers, and Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland. More than just commanders at the tactical level they were statesmen, military organizers and strategists on a continental scale. Both commanders represented the 17th-century ‘military revolution in action’. The writing is vivid, graphic and detailed, without overloading, and readers can feel ‘involved’ in the action, from strategic planning to battlefield tactics, and even the melee. Both generals are titanic figures come, and their respective deaths - Gustavus heroically in battle and Wallenstein, murdered with the Emperor’s compliance – were dramatic highpoints in the long war."


This Fierce People: The Untold Story of America's Revolutionary War in the South

by Alan Pell Crawford (Author)

Publisher: Knopf. Publication date: July 2, 2024. Hardcover, 400 pages. ISBN-10 0593318501

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From the publisher, "The famous battles that form the backbone of the story put forth of American independence—at Lexington and Concord, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, and Monmouth—while crucial, did not lead to the surrender at Yorktown. It was in the three-plus years between Monmouth and Yorktown that the war was won."


The House of War: The Struggle between Christendom and Islam

by Simon Mayall (Author)

Publisher: Osprey Publishing. Publication date: September 10, 2024. Hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN-10 1472864336

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From the publisher, "From the taking of Jerusalem in the 7th century AD 638 by Caliph Umar, to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following the end of World War I, Christian popes, emperors and kings, and Muslim caliphs and sultans were locked in a 1300-year battle for political, military, ideological, economic and religious supremacy."


Taking London: Winston Churchill and the Fight to Save Civilization

by Martin Dugard (Author)

Publisher: Dutton. Publication date: June 11, 2024. Hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN-10 0593473213

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From the publisher, "Great Britain, summer 1940. The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin. Adolf Hitler’s powerful armies control Europe. England stands alone against this juggernaut, the whole world knowing it is only a matter of time before Nazi Germany unleashes its military might on the island nation. In London, a new prime minister named Winston Churchill is determined to defeat the Nazi menace, no matter the costs."


Why War?

by Richard Overy Ph.D. (Author)

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company. Publication date: June 4, 2024. Hardcover, 304 pages. ISBN-10 1324021748

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From the publisher: "Richard Overy is not the first scholar to take up the title question. In 1931, at the request of the League of Nations, Albert Einstein asked Sigmund Freud to collaborate on a short work examining whether there was “a way of delivering mankind from the menace of war.” Published the next year as a pamphlet entitled Why War?, it conveyed Freud’s conclusion that the “death drive” made any deliverance impossible―the psychological impulse to destruction was universal in the animal kingdom. The global wars of the later 1930s and 1940s seemed ample evidence of the dismal conclusion."


The Eastern Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918

by Nick Lloyd (Author)

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company. Publication date: August 27, 2024. Hardcover, 608 pages. ISBN-10 1324092718

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From the publisher: "Writing in the 1920s, Winston Churchill claimed that the First World War on the Eastern Front was “incomparably the greatest war in history.” In The Eastern Front, the second volume of his trilogy on the war, historian Nick Lloyd demonstrates that the conflict in the East was more fluid than that in the West, but no less deadly. Colliding on battlefronts up to three times larger than those in France and Belgium, the armies of Russia, Austro-Hungary, Germany, and the Balkan states fought on a vast scale and in a way that would have been unthinkable on the stalemated Western Front. Drawing on the latest scholarship, as well as eyewitness accounts, diaries, and memoirs, Lloyd narrates the destruction of old empires and the rise of the Soviet Union, showing how the war forever changed the region’s political order. The Eastern Front is a gripping historical narrative that will transform our understanding of these cataclysmic events."


We Dared to Fly: Dangerous Secret Missions During the Vietnam War

by William Reeder Jr. (Author)

Publisher: Lyons Press. Publication date: Novermber 5, 2024. Hardcover, 272 pages. ISBN-10 1493085301

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From the publisher: "We Dared to Fly is the true story of the young men who risked their lives daily on classified missions deep behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War. The Army aviators and enlisted observers assigned to the 131st Surveillance Airplane Company, call sign Iron Spud, flew the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk into the jaws of death to capture timely intelligence for top military decision makers and senior national officials. The story is the author’s account of his assignment to that special mission unit, of the history that came before and the events that unfolded while he was there. When he arrived, three-quarters of the unit’s aircraft had been lost, most to combat action in Laos and North Vietnam—some of the most hostile threat environments in aviation history. The Army quickly replaced losses because of the critical need for the information they collected. Some downed crew members were recovered; most were killed or missing in action."


Emperor of the Seas: Kublai Khan and the Making of China

by Jack Weatherford (Author)

Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum. Publication date: October 29, 2024. Hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN-10 1399417738

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From the publisher: "Genghis Khan built a formidable land empire, but he never crossed the sea. Yet by the time his grandson Khublai Khan had defeated the last vestiges of the Song empire and established the Yuan dynasty in 1279, the Mongols controlled the most powerful navy in the world. How did a nomad come to conquer China and master the sea? Based on ten years of research and a lifetime of immersion in Mongol culture and tradition, Emperor of the Seas brings this little-known story vibrantly to life." 


Alexander at the End of the World: The Forgotten Final Years of Alexander the Great

by Rachel Kousser (Author)

Publisher: Mariner Books. Publication date: July 16, 2024. Hardcover, 432 pages. ISBN-10 006286968X

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From the publisher: "By 330 B.C.E., Alexander the Great had reached the pinnacle of success. Or so it seemed. He had defeated the Persian ruler Darius III and seized the capital city of Persepolis. His exhausted and traumatized soldiers were ready to return home to Macedonia. Yet Alexander had other plans. He was determined to continue heading east to Afghanistan in search of his ultimate goal: to reach the end of the world." 


1217: The Battles that Saved England

by Catherine Hanley (Author), Tina Ross (Cartographer)

Publisher: Osprey Publishing. Publication date: May 7, 2024. Hardcover, 304 pages. ISBN-13 978-1472860873

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From the publisher: "In 1215 King John had agreed to the terms of Magna Carta, but he then reneged on his word, plunging the kingdom into war. The rebellious barons offered the throne to the French prince Louis and set off the chain of events that almost changed the course of English history. Louis first arrived in May 1216, was proclaimed king in the heart of London, and by the autumn had around half of England under his control. However, the choice of a French prince had enormous repercussions: now not merely an internal rebellion, but a war in which the defenders were battling to prevent a foreign takeover. John's death in October 1216 left the throne in the hands of his 9-year-old son, Henry, and his regent, William Marshal, which changed the face of the war again, for now the king trying to fight off an invader was not a hated tyrant but an innocent child."


Warsaw Testament

by Rokhl Auerbach (Author), Samuel Kassow (Translator)

Publisher: White Goat Press. Publication date: May 7, 2024. Hardcover, 423 pages. ISBN-13 979-8988677390

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From the publisher: "Born in Lanowitz, a small village in rural Podolia, Rokhl Auerbach was a journalist, literary critic, memoirist, and a member of the Warsaw Yiddish literary community before the Holocaust. Upon the German invasion and occupation of Poland in 1939, she was tasked by historian and social activist Emanuel Ringelblum to run a soup kitchen for the starving inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto and later to join his top-secret ghetto archive, the Oyneg Shabes."


Historicism and Its Problems: The Logical Problem of the Philosophy of History

by Ernst Troeltsch (Author), Garrett E. Paul (Translator), James David Reid (Translator)

Publisher: Fortress Press. Publication date: October 1, 2024. Hardcover, 925 pages. ISBN-13 979-8889831402

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From the publisher: "This is a translation of Ernst Troeltsch's last (1923) major work. It is an exhaustive study of the methods of historiography and of German, French, English, and Italian philosophies of history during the nineteenth century. It is motivated by the purpose of developing the proper concept of historical development, for overcoming "bad" historicism (i.e., unlimited relativism) with "good" historicism (with relativity, not relativism), and determining how values drawn from history can be used to shape the future. It concludes with a sketch of the unwritten second volume on the material philosophy of history."


Arming the World: American Gun-Makers in the Gilded Age

by Geoffrey S. Stewart (Author)

Publisher: Lyons Press. Publication date: April 23, 2024. Hardcover, 368 pages. ISBN-10 1493078585

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From the publisher: "Arming the World tells the story of the American small arms industry from the early 1800’s through the post-Civil War era. Almost from the beginning, the United States produced arms in new, and radically different, ways, relying upon machinery to mass produce guns when others still made them by hand. Leveraging their technological advantage, American gun-makers produced guns with interchangeable parts and perfected new types of small arms, ranging from revolvers to repeating rifles. The federal government’s staggering purchases of arms during the Civil War stimulated the development of fast-firing breech-loading rifles and metal-cased ammunition."


Mr. Churchill in the White House: The Untold Story of a Prime Minister and Two Presidents

by Robert Schmuhl (Author)

Publisher: Liveright. Publication date: July 2, 2024. Hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN-10 1324093420

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From the publisher: "Scores of biographies have been written about Winston Churchill, yet none examine his frequent, sometimes furtive, trips to the White House, where he resided for weeks on end―the (often unclothed) visitor who “dropped out of the sky.” These extended visits during his two terms as prime minister were spirited, even entertaining, occasions. Yet, in retrospect, they take on a new level of diplomatic significance, demonstrating just how influential a foreign leader can become in shaping American foreign policy. Drawing on years of research, Robert Schmuhl not only contextualizes the days Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower spent together, but also vividly portrays the individual characters, from Churchill himself―a devoted fisherman who never stopped “angling”―to a resentful Eleanor Roosevelt. Evoking an era far different from today, Mr. Churchill in the White House becomes an insightful work for our own fractious times."


The Vietnam War: A Military History

by Geoffrey Wawro (Author)

Publisher: Basic Books. Publication date: October 1, 2024. Hardcover, 656 pages. ISBN-10 1541606086

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From the publisher: "The Vietnam War cast a shadow over the American psyche from the moment it began. In its time it sparked budget deficits, campus protests, and an erosion of US influence around the world. Long after the last helicopter evacuated Saigon, Americans have continued to battle over whether it was ever a winnable war. Based on thousands of pages of military, diplomatic, and intelligence documents, Geoffrey Wawro’s The Vietnam War offers a definitive account of a war of choice that was doomed from its inception. In devastating detail, Wawro narrates campaigns where US troops struggled even to find the enemy in the South Vietnamese wilderness, let alone kill sufficient numbers to turn the tide in their favor. Yet the war dragged on, prolonged by presidents and military leaders who feared the political consequences of accepting defeat. In the end, no number of young lives lost or bombs dropped could prevent America’s ally, the corrupt South Vietnamese regime, from collapsing the moment US troops retreated."


Hitler's Deserters: Breaking Ranks with the Wehrmacht

by Douglas Carl Peifer (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: January 7, 2025. Hardcover, 336 pages. ISBN-10 0197539661

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From the publisher: "The German military executed between 18,000 and 22,000 of its personnel in World War II on the charges of desertion and "undermining the military spirt." This book examines who these Wehrmacht deserters were, why they deserted, what punishment they could expect, and how German military justice operated. The German army was not apolitical, but rather a pillar of the Nazi state. Although much attention has been devoted to officers within the military who resisted Hitler--particularly those associated with the July 1944 attempt on Hitler's life--far less attention has been paid to those who refused military service or deserted during the war. While providing a full account of what constituted desertion, how it was punished, and how many were convicted for the crime, the book makes the Wehrmacht deserter its main subject. It examines their motivations and the paths they took to evade military service, ranging from hiding in the Third Reich, deserting at the front line, or fleeing to neutral Switzerland or Sweden."


The Deerfield Massacre: A Surprise Attack, a Forced March, and the Fight for Survival in Early America

by James L. Swanson (Author)

Publisher: Scribner. Publication date: February 27, 2024. Hardcover, 336 pages. ISBN-10 1501108166

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From the publisher: "Once it was one of the most infamous events in early American history. Today, it has been nearly forgotten. In an obscure, two-hundred-year-old museum in a little town in western Massachusetts there stands what once was the most revered relic from the history of early New England: the massive, tomahawk-scarred door that came to symbolize the notorious Deerfield Massacre of 1704. This impregnable barricade—known to early Americans as “The Old Indian Door”—constructed from double-thick planks of Massachusetts oak and studded with hand-wrought iron nails to repel the tomahawk blades wielded by several attacking Native tribes, is the sole surviving artifact from one of the most dramatic moments in colonial American history: In the leap year of 1704, on the cold, snowy night of February 29, hundreds of Indians and their French allies swept down on an isolated frontier outpost to slaughter or capture its inhabitants."


A Day in September: The Battle of Antietam and the World It Left Behind

by Stephen Budiansky (Author)

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company. Publication date: September 3, 2024. Hardcover, 304 pages. ISBN-10 1324035757

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From the publisher: "The Battle of Antietam, which took place on September 17, 1862, remains the single bloodiest day in America’s history. As a turning point in the Civil War, the narrow Union victory was the key catalyst for Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation. Yet Antietam was not only a battle that dramatically changed the fortunes and meaning of the war; it also changed America in ways we feel today. Antietam ushered in a new beginning in politics, military strategy, gender roles, battlefield medicine, war photography, and the values and worldview of the postwar generation. A masterful and fine-grained account of the battle and the intimate experiences of those who were there, Stephen Budiansky’s A Day in September expands this view to encompass Antietam’s enduring legacy in American society and culture."


Making Makers: The Past, the Present, and the Study of War

by Michael P. M. Finch (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: July 11, 2024. Hardcover, 288 pages. ISBN -10 0192867121

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From the publisher: "Making Makers presents a comprehensive history of a seminal work of scholarship which has exerted a persistent attraction for scholars of war and strategy: Makers of Modern Strategy. It reveals the processes by which scholars conceived and devised the book, considering both successful and failed attempts to make and remake the work across the twentieth century, and illuminating its impact and legacy. It explains how and why these influential volumes took their particular forms, unearths the broader intellectual processes that shaped them, and reflects on the academic parameters of the study of war in the twentieth century."


The First Cold War: Anglo-Russian Relations in the 19th Century

by Barbara Emerson (Author)

Publisher: Hurst. Publication date: August 1, 2024. Hardcover, 391 pages. ISBN -10 180526057X

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From the publisher: "Britain and Russia maintained a frosty civility for a few years after Napoleon's defeat in 1815. But, by the 1820s, their relations degenerated into constant acrimonious rivalry over Persia, the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia--the Great Game--and, towards the end of the century, East Asia. The First Cold War presents for the first time the Russian perspective on this 'game', drawing on the archives of the Tsars' Imperial Ministry. Both world powers became convinced of the expansionist aims of the other, and considered these to be at their own expense. When one was successful, the other upped the ante, and so it went on. London and St Petersburg were at war only once, during the Crimean War. But Russophobia and Anglophobia became ingrained on each side, as these two great empires hovered on the brink of hostilities for nearly 100 years."


Henry V: The Astonishing Triumph of England's Greatest Warrior King

by Dan Jones (Author)

Publisher: Viking. Publication date: October 1, 2024. Hardcover, 432 pages. ISBN -10 0593652738

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From the publisher: "In 1413, when Henry V ascended to the English throne, his kingdom was hopelessly torn apart by political faction and partisanship. Public finances and law and order were in a state of crisis. Pirates tormented the coast; plots, conspiracies, and heresy threatened society. The lingering effects of the worst pandemic in human history continued to menace daily life. And then, in less than ten years, Henry turns it all around. By common consensus in his day, and for hundreds of years afterward, Henry was the greatest medieval king that ever lived.

"Through skillful leadership, unwavering vision, and seemingly by sheer force of personality, he managed to catapult his realm into the greatest triumphs it has ever achieved: he united the political community behind the crown, renewed the justice system, revived England’s maritime dominance. And then there are his military achievements in France, most notably the resounding, against-the-odds victory at Agincourt. He was tough, lucky, intelligent, farsighted, and cultured. But he was also, at times, cold, callous, violent, by instinct a traditionalist and even a reactionary. A historical titan, his legacy over the years has become a complicated one."


The Crusader States and their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187

by Dr Nicholas Morton (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: March 14, 2024. Hardcover, 320 pages. ISBN -10 019887880X

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From the publisher: "The Crusader States and their Neighbours (Winner, The Verbruggen Prize, The Society for Medieval Military History) explores the military history of the Medieval Near East, piecing together the fault-lines of conflict which entangled this much-contested region. This was an area where ethnic, religious, dynastic, and commercial interests collided and the causes of war could be numerous. Conflicts persisted for decades and were fought out between many groups including Kurds, Turks, Armenians, Arabs, and the crusaders themselves.

"Nicholas Morton recreates this world, exploring how each faction sought to advance its own interests by any means possible, adapting its warcraft to better respond to the threats posed by their rivals. Strategies and tactics employed by the pastoral societies of the Central Asian Steppe were pitted against the armies of the agricultural societies of Western Christendom, Byzantium, and the Islamic World, galvanising commanders to adapt their practices in response to their foes. Today, we are generally encouraged to think of this era as a time of religious conflict, and yet this vastly over-simplifies a complex region where violence could take place for many reasons and peoples of different faiths could easily find themselves fighting side-by-side.


Beyond Ukraine: Debating the Future of War

by Tim Sweijs (Editor), Jeffrey H. Michaels (Editor), Christopher Coker (Afterword)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: August 1, 2024. Hardcover, 432 pages. ISBN -10 0197790240

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From the publisher: "Across the ages, policymakers, military professionals and scholars have sought answers to the question: what does the future of war look like? Often, when the next war does come along, there is a significant chasm between expectations and reality. Today, some believe that the future of war will be radically different from past conflicts. In recent years, visionaries have conjured up images of robots doing battle on isolated fields and cyber-warriors crafting weapons from zeros and ones. Others emphasize evolution rather than transformation: they picture updated versions of rifle-carrying infantrymen, sailors on ships and pilots in planes, fighting as before. Some focus on technological and organizational factors, or stress the importance of politics, societal developments and international norms. Others examine different types of conflict, as well as the phenomenon of war as a social institution.


44 Days in Prague: The Runciman Mission and the Race to Save Europe

by Ann Shukman (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: May 1, 2024. Hardcover, 288 pages. ISBN -10 0197786359

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From the publisher: "After discovering that her grandmother had pro-German sympathies, Ann Shukman resolved to investigate her grandfather Walter Runciman's 1938 Mission to Prague. This government-sponsored British delegation sought to broker peace between the Czechoslovak republic and its Sudeten German minority--a dispute that Hitler was aggravating with virulent anti-Czech propaganda and threats of invasion. Drawing fresh evidence from personal diaries, private papers and Czech publications, 44 Days in Prague exposes the misunderstandings and official ignorance that provoked a calamitous series of betrayals. It reveals that, while Walter Runciman always supported Czechoslovakia's integrity, his wife Hilda--whose role became crucial--publicly favored the German cause.


Harfleur to Hamburg: Five Centuries of English and British Violence in Europe

by DJB Trim (Editor), Brendan Simms (Editor)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: June 15, 2024. Hardcover, 336 pages. ISBN -10 0197784208

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From the publisher: "Britain has historically been seen as an upholder of international norms, at least in its relations with western powers. This has often been contrasted with the violence perpetrated in colonial contexts on other continents. What is often missed, however, is the extent to which the state with its capital in London--first England, then Great Britain--inflicted extreme violence on its European neighbors, even when still using the rhetoric of neighborliness and friendship.

"This book comprises eleven case-studies of Anglo-British strategic violence, from the siege of Harfleur in 1415 to the fire-bombing of Hamburg in 1943. Chapters examine actions that were top-down and directed, and perpetrated for specific geopolitical reasons--many of them at, or well beyond, the bounds of what was sanctioned by prevailing international norms at the time. The contributors look at how these actions were conceived, executed and perceived by the English/British public, by the international legal community of the time, and by the victims."


The Compleat Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution (Pivotal Moments in American History)

by Kevin J. Weddle (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: May 21, 2024. Softcover, 544 pages. ISBN -13 978-0197695166

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From the publisher: "In The Compleat Victory, award-winning military historian Kevin J. Weddle traces an epic panorama of strategy and chance--from London, to Quebec, to Philadelphia, to New York--that ultimately led to the decisive conclusion at Saratoga. In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion the following year and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy, sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany.

"When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it was a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and Militia forces, commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory stunned the world and changed the course of the war."


Conquering the Ocean: The Roman Invasion of Britain (Ancient Warfare and Civilization)

by Richard Hingley (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: June 1, 2024. Softcover, 336 pages. ISBN -13 978-0197776896

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From the publisher: "Why did Julius Caesar come to Britain? His own account suggests that he invaded to quell a resistance of Gallic sympathizers in the region of modern-day Kent -- but there must have been personal and divine aspirations behind the expeditions in 55 and 54 BCE. To the ancients, the Ocean was a body of water that circumscribed the known world, separating places like Britain from terra cognita, and no one, not even Alexander the Great, had crossed it. While Caesar came and saw, he did not conquer. In the words of the historian Tacitus, "he revealed, rather than bequeathed, Britain to Rome." For the next five hundred years, Caesar's revelation was Rome's remotest imperial bequest."


Endgame 1944: How the Soviet Army Won World War Two

by Jonathan Dimbleby (Author)

Publisher: Oxford University Press. Publication date: June 3, 2024. Hardcover, 640 pages. ISBN -10 0197765319

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From the publisher: "The year 1944 was the turning point of World War Two, and nowhere was this more evident than on the Eastern Front. For three years, following the onslaught of the German Army during Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the Red Army had retreated and then eventually held, fighting to a stalemate while the Germans occupied and ravaged large parts of the Soviet Union and its republics. Finally, following the breaking of the German siege of Leningrad in January 1944, Stalin and his generals were able to consider striking back. In June, they launched Operation Bagration, during which more than two million Red Army soldiers began an offensive, pushing west. The results were almost immediate and devastating. Within three weeks, Army Group Centre, the core of the German Army, had lost 28 of its 32 divisions. The ending had begun."


The Dawn of Guerrilla Warfare: Why the Tactics of Insurgents against Napoleon Failed in the US Mexican War

by Benjamin J Swenson (Author)

Publication date: 30 January 2024 by Pen and Sword Military.

Hardcover, 232 pages.

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From the publisher: "While one military empire in Europe lay in ruins, another awakened in North America. During the Peninsular War (1808-1814) the Spanish launched an unprecedented guerrilla insurgency undermining Napoleon’s grip on that state and ultimately hastening the destruction of the French Army in Europe. The advent of this novel “system” of warfare ushered in an era of military studies on the use of unconventional strategies in military campaigns and changed the modern rules of war. A generation later during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Winfield Scott and Henry Halleck used the knowledge from the Peninsular War to implement an innovative counterinsurgency program designed to conciliate Mexicans living in areas controlled by the U.S. Army, which set the standard informing a growing international consensus on the proper conduct for occupation."


Aces at Kursk: The Battle for Aerial Supremacy on the Eastern Front, 1943

by Christopher A Lawrence (Author)

Publication date: 8 March 2024 by Casemate. Hardcover, 392 pages.

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From the publisher: "The Battle of Kursk in July 1943 is known for being the largest tank battle in history. A Russian victory, it marked the decisive end of the German offensive capability on the Eastern Front and set the scene for the Soviet successes that followed. While many have focused on the tank engagements, especially the Battle of Prokhorovka, there was an intense air battle going on overhead that was bigger than the Battle of Britain. As part of the German offensive, the Luftwaffe’s VIII Air Corps deployed around 1,100 aircraft in the south alone, while the opposing Soviet Second and Seventeenth air armies initially deployed over 1,600 aircraft. There was a similar effort surrounding the German attack in the north."


Generals and Admirals of the Third Reich For Country or Fuehrer: Volume 1: A–G

By James "Jack" Webb

Publication date: February 2024 by Casemate. Hardcover, 384 pages.

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From the publisher: "This three-volume set offers concise biographical information for over five thousand generals and admirals of the Third Reich. It covers all branches of service, ordered alphabetically and provides a brief, though scholarly, overview of each individual, including personal details and dates for all attachments to unit, and medals awarded, offering a readily accessible go-to reference work for all World War II researchers and historians. In addition to the biographic information, each volume includes extensive appendices. The books are packed with information on these senior officers of the Third Reich, many of whom are little documented in the English language."


World of War: A History of American Warfare from Jamestown to the War on Terror

by William Nester (Author)

Publication date: January 16, 2024 by Stackpole Books. Hardcover, 472 pages.

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From the publisher: "World of War is an epic journey through America’s array of wars for diverse reasons with diverse results over the course of its existence. It reveals the crucial effects of brilliant, mediocre, and dismal military and civilian leaders; the dynamic among America’s expanding economic power, changing technologies, and the types and settings of its wars; and the human, financial, and moral costs to the nation, its allies, and its enemies. Nester explores the violent conflicts of the United States—on land, at sea, and in the air—with meticulous scholarship, thought-provoking analysis, and vivid prose."


A Nasty Little War: The Western Intervention into the Russian Civil War

by Anna Reid (Author)

Publication date: February 6, 2024 by Basic Books. Hardcover, 400 pages.

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From the publisher: "Overlapping with and overshadowed by the First World War, the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War was one of the most ambitious military ventures of the twentieth century. Launched in the summer of 1918, it drew in 180,000 troops from fifteen different countries in theaters ranging from the Caspian Sea to the Arctic, and from Poland to the Pacific. Though little remembered today, its consequences stoked global political turmoil for decades to come."


General J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man

by Edward G. Longacre (Author)

Publication date: February 15, 2024 by Savas Beatie. Hardcover, 504 pages.

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From the publisher: "Fifteen years have passed since the publication of the last full-length biography of Jeb Stuart. Several have appeared during the last century, each lauding his contributions to Confederate fortunes in the Eastern Theater. These studies follow a familiar postwar tradition established by hero-worshipping subordinates portraying its subject as a model of chivalric conduct with a romantic’s outlook on life and a sense of fair dealing and goodwill, even toward his enemy. General J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man, by award-winning author Edward Longacre, is the first balanced, fully detailed, and thoroughly scrutinized life of the Civil War’s most famous cavalryman."


Warfare in the Age of Crusades: Europe

by Brian Todd Carey (Author) and Joshua B Allfree 

Publication date: 18 January 2024 by Pen & Sword Military. 272 pages, hardcover.

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From the publisher: "Warfare in the Age of Crusades: Europe explores in fascinating detail the key campaigns, battles and sieges that shaped the crusading period in Europe during the Middle Ages, giving special attention to military technologies, tactics and strategies. Key personalities and political factors are addressed, including the role of the papal monarchy in initiating the crusading expeditions and the use of crusade in the Christianization of the Baltic region and against heresies in Europe. Chapters focus on the Iberian crusades or Reconquista beginning in the eleventh century through to the final surrender of the Emirate of Granada in 1492."