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FEATURE SERIES: MEXICAN-AMERCAN WAR 1846 - 1848


MEXICAN-AMERCAN WAR 1846 - 1848 · Published 3 June 2024 at 6:09am EDT · COMMENT

"Texas Rangers, Presidential War Powers, and the Mexico City Campaign, 1847–8 (Part 2)" by Benjamin J. Swenson, PhD

ABOVE: U.S. 3rd Cavalry Regiment in Mexico. "Brave Rifles" painting by Don Prechtlel. Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History.

In the summer of 1847, using presidential powers authorized by Congress, US Commander-in-Chief James K. Polk sent a mounted regiment of Texas Rangers under Colonel John Coffee “Jack” Hays to Mexico to confront guerrillas attacking US Army convoys between Veracruz and Mexico City. Accompanying that force, which contributed to lifting a siege against a small US Army garrison in the city of Puebla, was Polk’s younger brother, William H. Polk, who had recently resigned his post as chargé d’affaires of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in Naples. The force was sent in response to a request submitted in April by General Winfield Scott, the commander of the campaign to seize the Mexican capital. However, what Scott did not know was that federal officials authorized the regiment to enter the war as militia operating under a semi-separate set of laws governing military conduct – which was another indication of Polk’s tendency to micromanage the war to Scott’s consternation. Three months after Polk met privately with Hays in Washington DC, Secretary of War Marcy informed General Zachary Taylor that the mounted units from Texas selected to be sent to Veracruz had “come out as militia, as distinguished from volunteers”. Although the Texans were excellent counterinsurgency fighters, their designation complicated Scott’s population-centric war strategy, and caused friction between the West Point-led operation and ‘volunteers’ who often eschewed traditional laws of war during their years defending the Republic of Texas from hostile tribes and Mexicans along a lawless frontier.    ☞ Read the full article

Major Richard Bong's P-38 found in New Guinea - Richard is the highest scoring US Pilot of WWII.

If you're a fan of WWII aviation you probably know who Major Bong is, and of the competition among American Pilots to be the highest scoring ace. Richard was pulled from front line action while in the lead with 40 kills. No American pilot topped his score. He was sent to test new jet aircraft and later died testing the P-80, ironically the same day that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.Recently his last P-38 was discovered in New Guinea where it crashed while being flown by another pilot…

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Across Peleliu with the 5th Marine Regiment (Eugene Sledge) - interview with Henry Sledge and viewing the battlefield in modern times

I think members of this site may enjoy watching this interview with Henry Sledge, Eugene "Sledgehammer" Sledge's son. He recounts the battle of Peleliu with antedotes his father told him and pictures of the battlefield as it looked in his travels there. Funny side note: he says his father was offered an all expenses paid trip back to the island by a tourist org, and his father told them he already had an all expenses paid trip there. And passed on a return trip. This video is 1 hour, 45 minutes…

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REVOLUTIONARY WAR IN THE WEST History Conference II St. Louis, Missouri, September 27-29, 2024

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 Society, the Saint Charles Chapter of the Daughters of the  American Revolution, the Fernando de Leyba Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution,  and the España Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will present a second…

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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: Omaha Beach, Normandy France on 6 June 1944. Robert Capa's camera captures U.S. troops’ assault on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings. 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 (not shown here, but the iconic D-Day Higgins Boat 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.    ☞ Read the full article

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

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


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: U.S. CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


U.S. CIVIL WAR & ANTEBELLUM PERIOD · Published 20 April 2024 at 7:27pm EDT · COMMENT - LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

"25 - 26 June 1876: A Last Stand for Many: The Battle of Little Bighorn"

ABOVE: "Custer's Last Stand" by artist Edgar Samuel Paxson (1852–1919) oil on canvas painted in 1899. Source: Wikimedia, in the Public Domain.

The significance of the Battle of Little Bighorn extends well beyond the immediate outcome of the conflict. This consequential showdown between Native American tribes and United States forces encapsulates the height of struggle for control over the Great Plains. Painted against a backdrop of tension, the resounding Native American victory underscored their fortitude in repelling encroachment upon their lands, while simultaneously foreshadowing a devastating aftermath for the indigenous tribes – an ultimate defeat and relegation to reservations. It stands as a pivotal yet paradoxical chapter in their resistance; a poignant triumph followed by the erosion of freedom and age-old traditions. In 1868, an all-too-fleeting tranquility settled upon the western front of the Missouri River. The notable Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed by tribal leaders of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, gestated the Great Sioux Reserve within modern-day South Dakota, conceived in hubristic perpetuity. However, the ink scarcely dried before the looming breakdown of the treaty, accelerated by the interests of the railroad expansion and the insatiable hunger for progress    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE HOLOCAUST - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR II - THE HOLOCAUST · Published 30 May 2023 at 10:52pm EDT · COMMENT - LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

"25 June 1947: Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, is published"

ABOVE: Amsterdam, Netherlands - 26 Ooctober 2016: Anne Frank handwriting, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Amsterdam. Source: War History Network license.

Anne Frank's diary has become an iconic symbol of the horrors of the Nazi occupation and the persecution of the Jewish people during World War II. The diary provides a candid and intimate glimpse into Anne's life while in hiding, as well as her hopes, fears, and dreams during a tumultuous time in history. Anne began writing in her diary on 12 June 1942, just a few weeks before she and her family went into hiding. She chose a red checkered autograph book with a lock and began her diary with a single sentence: "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support."

From that moment on, Anne poured her heart and soul into her diary, documenting her daily life, her relationships with her family members and fellow hiding occupants, her thoughts on the war and the outside world, and her own personal struggles as a teenage girl. The Frank family went into hiding on 6 July 1942, after Anne's sister Margot received an official summons to report to a Nazi work camp in Germany. They were joined by the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer, and all eight occupants lived in cramped quarters in a hidden annex behind Otto Frank's business. Despite the difficult conditions and constant fear of discovery, Anne continued to write in her diary, even as she battled depression, loneliness, and uncertainty about the future.   ☞ Read the full article

ABOVE: Lohheide, Germany - Bergen Belsen Memorial. The memorial to Anne and Margot Frank. Source: War History Network license.

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: KOREAN WAR: 1950 - 1953


KOREAN WAR: 1950 - 1953 · Published 4 July 2022 at 5:15pm EDT · COMMENT

"25 June 1950: North Korea invades the South"

ABOVE: Korea, 4 September 1951: F4U's Corsairs returning to the flight deck of the USS Boxer from a combat mission over North Korea. Aircraft in the next strike are about to be launched from the carrier flight deck. Source: War History Network license and archives. Click to enlarge.

On 25 June 1950, seven divisions of highly trained and well-equipped North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, the boundary between North and South Korea, initiating a full-scale invasion of South Korea. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA), numbering over 90,000 soldiers and bolstered by Soviet-supplied artillery and tanks, aimed to swiftly overrun the South Korean defenses and unite the Korean Peninsula under communist rule. The ill-prepared and outnumbered South Korean Army, known as the Republic of Korea Armed Forces (ROKAF), was caught off guard by the sudden attack. Despite valiant efforts to repel the invaders, the South Korean defenders were pushed back, with the North Koreans capturing the capital city of Seoul within just three days of the invasion.

In response to the North Korean aggression, the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the attack and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Suspecting potential involvement and encouragement from the Soviet Union and Communist China, U.S. President Harry S. Truman made the decision to deploy American air, ground, and naval forces to support the combined United Nations forces in their efforts to assist the Republic of Korea's defense. General Douglas MacArthur was appointed by President Truman to serve as the Commanding General of the United Nations Command (UNC). The United States, under President Harry S. Truman, promptly intervened on behalf of South Korea, leading a coalition of 21 member nations under the United Nations Command (UNC). The UN forces were primarily composed of US troops, along with smaller contingents from other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Turkey.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: U.S. CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


U.S. Civil War · Published 4 July 2022 at 5:18pm EDT · COMMENT

"27 June 1864:  South Through Georgia - The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain"

"Federal entrenchments at the foot of Kenesaw Mountain." Published 1911 (photo 1864). Source: Wikipedia. File from The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Three, The Decisive Battles. The Review of Reviews Co., New York. 1911. p. 117.

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, fought on 27 June 27 1864, was a pivotal engagement in the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. Union Major General William T. Sherman's armies had been steadily advancing through Georgia, with the goal of capturing the vital Confederate city of Atlanta. The battle represented the Confederacy's best chance to halt Sherman's inexorable march, but despite fierce fighting and heavy casualties, the Union forces ultimately prevailed. Sherman's strategy in the campaign was to "move south, engage the Confederate Army, and destroy the railroads that supplied Atlanta." To achieve this, he employed a series of flanking maneuvers to force Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston to withdraw and stretch his defensive lines. As described by historian Shelby Foote, Johnston used "Fabian tactics" of strategic withdrawal and fortification to slow Sherman's advance and preserve his own army.    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WORLD WAR I AND THE GATHERING STORM - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR I AND THE GATHERING STORM · Published 14 May 2024 at 8:48pm EDT · COMMENT

"28 June 1919: Post-War Peace Aims - What did the U.S., Britain, and France Want?"

ABOVE: Versailles, Paris, France. 26 September 2017 : The Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles. Source: War History Network license.

In October 1918, the tide of World War I began to shift decidedly in favor of the Allies—comprising France, Britain, the United States, and Italy—as they recognized their impending victory. With foresight towards establishing a lasting peace, they slated a preliminary conference to take place in early 1919 in Paris. The agenda for this conference was to outline the critical issues to be addressed with Germany and its allies. Subsequent discussions were planned with other significant allied nations, notably Japan, followed by engagements with smaller states such as Belgium and Serbia. Ultimately, the leaders of the main Allied powers, known as the Big Four—President Wilson from the USA, Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Britain, Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando of Italy, and Premier Georges Clemenceau of France—intended to convene with German representatives to forge a treaty.

However, this process proved to be unfeasible as the complexity of the issues far exceeded initial expectations. The Big Four found themselves inundated with appeals from across the globe. In the Middle East, there were demands for sovereignty from Arabs who had opposed the Turks, alongside a parallel petition from Jewish communities. Meanwhile, in Eastern and Central Europe, numerous ethnic groups that had once been part of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire aspired for self-determination. The challenge was the demographic diversity of Eastern Europe, making it exceedingly difficult to establish nations such as Poland or Yugoslavia without including minority populations like Germans.   ☞ The full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: U.S. CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


THE U.S. CIVIL WAR · Published 6 July 2022 at 7:40pm EDT · COMMENT

"1 - 3 July 1863: Harvest of Death: The Battle of Gettysburg"

ABOVE: Gettysburg, Pa., fall 2018. "The Angle," is a designated area on the Gettysburg Battlefield notable for several historical features. It encompasses the 1863 grove of trees, which served as a target landmark during Pickett's Charge, the 1892 monument marking the Confederacy's high-water mark, a rock wall, and various other monuments commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg. Source: War History Network.

The Battle of Gettysburg represented a pivotal moment in the Civil War. Over the course of three days, the conflict resulted in more than 50,000 estimated casualties, making it the bloodiest single battle of the war. Following a series of defensive successes in Virginia, General Lee aimed to secure a victory north of the Mason-Dixon line, intending to compel a negotiated end to the hostilities. However, his defeat at Gettysburg thwarted this objective. Subsequently, the beleaguered general retreated southward, accompanied by a wagon train of wounded soldiers heading towards the Potomac. Union General Meade did not capitalize on this moment to pursue the retreating Confederates, missing a critical chance to encircle Lee's forces and force a Confederate surrender. Consequently, the deeply divisive war continued for an additional two years. On 3 June, shortly after his notable triumph over Major General Joseph Hooker at the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee commences his second invasion of enemy territory, leading his troops northward. The 75,000-man Army of Northern Virginia, buoyed by their recent victory, is in high spirits. Alongside their quest for fresh supplies, the soldiers anticipate replenishing their provisions with food from the fertile fields of Pennsylvania, as the war-ravaged terrain of Virginia can no longer sustain them.   ☞ Read the full article

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


WORLD WAR I · Published 28 April 2023 at 11:48apm EDT · COMMENT

"1 July 1916 - 18 November 1916: Storm of Steel: The Battle of the Somme"

ABOVE: Des Fermes - Somme, Ca. 1916. Allied soldiers soldiers occupy entrenchments and dugout bunkers in the shell blasted wood. Source: War History Network license.

The Battle of the Somme, fought between July and November of 1916, was one of the costliest and most traumatic conflicts of World War I. Its significance in shaping the course of the war and the fate of Europe cannot be overstated. The primary objective of the battle was to alleviate the pressure on the French army at Verdun, which had been under relentless attack by the Germans since February of that year. But the battle became much more than that, and the fighting would last for months with no clear victor. The battle began with an unprecedented artillery barrage that hammered the German front lines for days before the British and French infantry advanced. The bombardment was meant to destroy the barbed wire and trenches of the enemy, making it easier for British and French soldiers to cross into no-man's-land. The shelling was so intense that it was heard in England, and the British hoped that it would pave the way for an easy victory.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE EASTERN FRONT (WWII) - DAY BY DAY


THE EASTERN FRONT· Published 23 June 2023 at 9:12pm EDT · COMMENT

"5 July 1943: The Battle of Kursk - History's Largest Tank Battle" 

ABOVE: Kursk, Soviet Union. July 1943. Soviet Red Army infantry and armor in the fight.

The Battle of Kursk, fought from 5 July to 23 August 1943, marked a pivotal turning point on the Eastern Front during World War II. It remains one of the largest battles in military history, especially notable for its massive scale, the huge numbers of men and armored vehicles involved, and its outcome which permanently shifted the strategic initiative to the Red Army. The battle marked the first time that the Germans had been defeated in a major offensive operation. The German offensive, codenamed Operation Citadel, aimed to encircle and destroy the Soviet forces in the Kursk salient - a large bulge in the front line around the city of Kursk, roughly 500 kilometers south of Moscow. Leading the German assault were some of their most skilled commanders and elite units. Army Group South, commanded by Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, included the II SS Panzer Corps led by Paul Hausser. Hausser's corps was made up of three Waffen-SS divisions – the 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Division Das Reich, and 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Division Totenkopf. Army Group Center, commanded by Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, contained the 9th Army under Walter Model, including the XLI, XLVI and XLVII Panzer Corps. The total German forces involved were 780,900 men, 2,928 tanks, 7,417 guns and 2,110 aircraft.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE EASTERN FRONT - DAY BY DAY


WAR ON THE EASTERN FRONT · Published 28 My 2023 at 10:35pm EDT · COMMENT

"17 July 1942: The Battle of Stalingrad Begins: Turning point for the War in Europe"

ABOVE: “Soviet soldiers attack”. Soviet soldiers on the attack, Stalingrad. Source: Wikipedia. Attribution: Russian International News Agency (RIA) Novosti archive, image #44732 / Zelma / CC-BY-SA 3.0.

The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in World War II, pitting the armies of Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union. It has become one of the most studied and remembered battles in history due to its significance in deciding the war in Europe. It began on 17 July 1942 and lasted until 2 February 1943 and caused an estimated 1.8 million casualties on both sides. 80% of all German casualties during World War II occurred on the Eastern Front, marking Soviet victory on the Eastern Front pivotal in defeating Nazi Germany in Europe. To put the Soviet contribution towards allied victory in modern perspective, historian and author Iain MacGregor writes in The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II, that, "Across the old Soviet Union, and specifically Putin's Russia today, the victory in the city named after the old dictator represents the turning point in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45. The sacrifices made, the casualties suffered in the war, and the victory gained in its most famous battle define modern Russia. The United States of America suffered 419,000 killed in action after it entered the war, at the end of 1941. The United Kingdom sustained a higher figure of 451,000 dead. The Soviets suffered more than 27,000,000 dead. From the fall of Crete in may 1941 to the invasion of Italy in September 1943, the Red Army was the only force engaged in battle with the bulk of German forces on European soil. Putin's own elder brother perished in the siege of Leningrad. and his father was severely wounded in 1942 defending the city [Stalingrad]. Putin has a deep, personal connection with and a passion for the conflict, which extends to the war's greatest battle and the Red Army's finest victory." (MacGregor 2022, 11)    ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: ANCIENT, CLASSICAL, AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY


ANCIENT, CLASSICAL, AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY· Published 15 April 2023 at 5:18pm EDT · COMMENT

"21 July 480 BC: Xerxes and the Battle of Thermopylae"

ABOVE: The Battle of Thermopylae engraving. Source: History of Xerxes, published 1900. Wikimedia.

The Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 BCE during the second Persian invasion of Greece, is one of the most famous battles in ancient history. While the precise dates are uncertain, sources suggest that the three-day battle took place either from 21 to 23 July or from 8 to 10 September in the year 480 BC. The primary source for our knowledge of this battle is the account given by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his work The Histories, written about 40 years after the battle. Herodotus records that Persian King Xerxes I commanded an enormous army, believed to number between 100,000 and 250,000 soldiers, in his campaign against Greece. In response, the Greeks, anticipating the invasion, dispatched a contingent of around 7,000 warriors, under the leadership of Spartan King Leonidas I, to guard the strategic pass of Thermopylae, the principal gateway to central Greece.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: WWII: WAR IN THE PACIFIC - DAY BY DAY


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 4 June 2023 at 12:34pm EDT · COMMENT 

"21 July 1944: The Battle of Guam Begins"

ABOVE: Marines and their doberman pincers advance. Guam USMC Photo No. 1-13. From the Frederick R. Findtner Collection (COLL/3890), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections. In the United States Public Domain. Click to enlarge.

The Battle of Guam in 1944 was a pivotal military operation during World War II, in which the United States recaptured the Japanese-held island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Mariana Islands. The battle was a critical component of Operation Forager, a larger offensive aimed at securing the Mariana Islands and gaining control of the central Pacific region. The victory at Guam not only liberated the island from Japanese occupation but also resulted in the destruction of much of Japan's naval air power. This allowed the United States to establish large airbases from which it could launch strategic bombing campaigns against the Japanese home islands using its new long-range bomber, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Originally, the attack on Guam was meant to begin just days after the successful U.S. landings on Saipan, another key island in the Marianas. However, due to various logistical and tactical postponements, the invasion of Guam was delayed. U.S. forces used this additional time to their advantage, carrying out thorough preliminary naval bombardment and aerial attacks on Japanese positions. They also efficiently cleared offshore obstacles to ensure safe passage for the landing craft that would carry the invasion forces to the island's shores.   ☞ 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 I: 1914 - 1918 - DAY BY DAY


WORLD WAR I · Published 4 June 2023 at 11:15am EDT · COMMENT - LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS

28 July 1914: Global conflagration: World War One begins

ABOVE: Meuse-Argonne front, 1918. American Corporal Erland Johnson showing the strain of battle on guard in his trench. U.S. Signal Corps photograph. Source: War History Network license.

World War One was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. The war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918, resulted in an estimated nine million soldiers killed and 23 million wounded. Additionally, five million civilians died as a result of the fighting, hunger, and disease. Millions more died from genocide, and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was also exacerbated by the movement of combatants during the war. The origins of the First World War can be traced back to the complex and shifting alliances among European powers in the years leading up to the conflict. These alliances were rooted in centuries of conflict and competition, as well as in the economic and political shifts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, it was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip on 28 June 1914 that ultimately ignited the conflict. In the months that followed, diplomacy between the major powers in Europe became increasingly tense, with Austria-Hungary ultimately declaring war on Serbia on 28 July 1914. Russia, an ally of Serbia, mobilized its forces in response, sparking a chain reaction of defensive alliances that drew Germany, France, and Britain into the conflict.    ☞ 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

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


WORLD WAR II · Published 2 August 2022 at 9:29pm EDT · COMMENT

"1 August 1944: The Warsaw Uprising begins"

ABOVE: Warsaw Uprising: German soldiers at Theater Square with the National Theater visible in the back. This image was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) as part of a cooperation project. Click to enlarge.

The Warsaw Uprising stands as one of the more tragic events of World War II, exemplifying the extraordinary courage and resilience of the Polish Home Army and civilians under brutal German occupation. Not to be confused with the Jewish-only Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, the Warsaw Uprising was launched on 1 August 1944, this valiant attempt to liberate Warsaw was both a testament to human spirit and a tragic tale of betrayal and loss. The Home Army offensive commenced on the afternoon of 1 August 1944. Initially planned as a brief, week-long “mopping-up” operation, this assessment proved to be a significant miscalculation. The German forces opted to mount a robust defense of "fortress" Warsaw, especially as the Soviets paused their advance. Consequently, the uprising extended over nine weeks, becoming the most prolonged and ferocious urban insurgency of the Second World War. Despite initial triumphs in liberating much of the city, the momentum soon shifted against the Home Army. The disparity in military strength was stark: the Home Army fielded approximately 40,000 fighters, including 4,000 women, though only about 10 percent were adequately armed, mostly with light weapons. In contrast, the Germans had a similar number of troops, but they were heavily equipped with tanks, artillery, and aircraft.    ☞ Read the full article

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


WAR IN THE PACIFIC · Published 14 May 2023 at 11am EDT · COMMENT

"7 August 1942: Six Months of Hell: The Ground Battle of Guadalcanal begins"

ABOVE: Marine Patrol Crossing Lunga River, Guadalcanal, circa 1942. “1775-1943, November 10, the 168th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps: These photos depict some of the events in the history of the Marine Corps during the past year. MARINES ON THE MARCH: Through jungle thickets, swamps and burning sands, the fighting Leathernecks march on to their goals. With rifle and full packs, on day and nights of endless marching it is plain to see why they are called the toughest fighting men in this world."A picture taken by me personally. It is a patrol crossing the Lunga river upstream a way and this was quite a bit later in the campaign." Source: From the Thayer Soule Collection (COLL/2266) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division. OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH. Click to enlarge.

The Battle of Guadalcanal was the earliest major ground battle of the Pacific War, fought between 7 August 1942, and 9 February 1943. It was a pivotal battle that saw the Allies, primarily the United States, take a crucial step towards victory in the Pacific Theater. The battle was the first offensive launched by the U.S. in the Pacific, and it was also the first time that the Japanese Imperial Army had been defeated on land. Additionally, the battle was a turning point in the war, and it marked the first stage of failure for the Japanese Empire. The Japanese had been using Guadalcanal as an airbase to launch attacks on Allied forces, and they had also been using the island to transport supplies and troops to other areas in the Pacific. The U.S. knew that if they could capture the island, they could disrupt the Japanese supply lines and gain a strategic foothold in the Pacific. The Marines landed on the island and quickly secured the airfield, which they renamed Henderson Field in honor of a Marine pilot who had been killed earlier in the campaign. The Japanese responded with a massive counter-offensive, and for the next six months, both sides engaged in a brutal and bloody battle for control of the island.   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE VIETNAM WAR - DAY BY DAY


THE VIETNAM WAR · Published 11 July 2023 at 11pm EDT · COMMENT

"9 August 1968: Last Phase of the Tet Offensive; Looking Back at the Campaign"

ABOVE: Hue, Vietnam on 4 February 1968. U.S. Army Soldiers exchange instructions by phone, near the U.S. Army base of Kon Tum during the Vietcong Tet offensive. (Photo by Bob WILDAU / AFP) (Photo by BOB WILDAU/AFP). Source: Manhhai on flickr. In the Public Domain.

The Tet Offensive, launched by communist North Vietnamese forces on 31 January 1968, was a series of attacks meant to weaken the morale of South Vietnam and its allies, ultimately leading to a communist victory. The attacks were meant to take place simultaneously throughout the country, targeting major cities and military installations. Among the most notable of these attacks were the three battles that took place in Khe Sanh, Hue, and Saigon. These battles are remembered as some of the fiercest encounters of the entire war, with U.S. and South Vietnamese troops fighting hand-to-hand against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. The Communist forces of North Vietnam and the NLF launched the Tet Offensive with the aim of triggering a popular uprising and overthrowing the South Vietnamese government. The strategists of the Communist forces believed that if they launched a coordinated attack on multiple targets across South Vietnam, they would provoke mass defections among the South Vietnamese army and create chaos and political instability. They also believed that by attacking during the lunar new year of Tet, they could take advantage of the absence of many South Vietnamese troops who were visiting their families. In Stanley Karnow's Pulitzer Prize winning landmark work Vietnam: A History, he writes "Why, then, did the North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces submit to such horrendous losses at Khesanh? Nearly every Communist officer to whom I posed the quesiton offered roughly the same answer. The battles at Khesanh and elsewhere in the hinterlands before and during the Tet Offensive were intended to draw Americans away from South Vietnam's population centers, thereby leaving them naked to assault. (Karnow 1984, 554)   ☞ Read the full article

CENTURIES OF WAR CALENDAR: THE U.S. CIVIL WAR - DAY BY DAY


THE U.S. CIVIL WAR 1861 - 1865 · Published 23 June 2023 at 11:50pm EDT · COMMENT

"19-20 September 1863: River of Death: The Battle of Chickamauga"

ABOVE: Battle of Chickamauga. 19407 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyrighted 1890 by Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, IL. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1928."

The Battle of Chickamauga, fought on 19 - 20 September 1863, was a turning point in the American Civil War. The Union forces, under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, were defeated by the Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by Gen. Braxton Bragg, in what would become one of the bloodiest battles of the war in terms of casualties. This battle marked the end of the Union offensive, known as the Chickamauga Campaign, in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia. The battle was a significant victory for the Confederacy, as it halted the Union's advance into southern territory and prevented them from taking the city of Chattanooga. It was also the first major battle fought in Georgia during the Civil War. The battle involved the second-highest number of casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg, with over 34,000 casualties and over 18,000 killed or wounded. The conflict began when Rosecrans, following his successful Tullahoma Campaign, renewed his offensive against Bragg's army in Chattanooga. Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet and defeat part of Rosecrans's army in the hopes of moving back into the city. On September 18, 1863, as Bragg headed north, his cavalry and infantry engaged with Union cavalry and mounted infantry, who were armed with Spencer repeating rifles, at Alexander's Bridge and Reed's Bridge    ☞ Read the full article

LEYDEKKERS PHOTOGRAPHY


ABOVE: Hollandsche Schouwburg, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 2024. Posted by Erwin Leydekkers on May 16, 2024 at 5:37pm EDT

From the Hollandsche Schouwburg (above), Jews were deported to Camp Westerbork. Initially, the Hollandsche Schouwburg served as a prominent theatre in the Netherlands. However, in 1941, under the directives of the Nazi regime, it was designated as a Jewish theatre. Subsequently, it became a site for the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust in the Netherlands.

In a poignant act of witness, Lydia Riezouw, a teenager at the time, captured five photographs from her home window in 1942. These photographs depicted Jewish prisoners at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, among them her friend, Greetje Velleman. Riezouw's photographs have since been displayed in exhibitions across the globe, providing a stark visual testament to the events of that era. On 4 May 1962, the theatre was officially consecrated as a memorial site by the mayor of Amsterdam, with its auditorium dedicated to the memory of the Dutch victims of the Holocaust. Photo and onsite visit by Erwin Leydekkers. Click to enlarge.

Auschwitz Birkenau · The Bedford Boys · Belgium · Berchtesgaden and The Eagle's Nest · Buchenwald · Dieppe, France · Equipment · Finland · Germany · The Great War · Holland · The Holocaust · Hong Kong · Italy · Juno Beach · La Cambe German War Cemetery · Landsberg Prison · Omaha Beach · Operation Market Garden · Battle of Monte Cassino · Militracks 2023 · Museums · Netherlands · Normandy 2023 · Normandy, France · Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam) · The Somme · Spottinger Cemetery · Vimy Ridge · Waterloo · War Museum Medemblik · World War II Veterans

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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

TOP RELEASES OF 2024


American Civil Wars: A Continental History, 1850-1873

by Alan Taylor (Author)

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company. Publication date: 21 May 2024. Hardcover, 560 pages. ISBN-10 1324035285

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From the publisher: "A masterful history of the Civil War and its reverberations across the continent by a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. In a fast-paced narrative of soaring ideals and sordid politics, of civil war and foreign invasion, the award-winning historian Alan Taylor presents a pivotal twenty-year period in which North America’s three largest countries―the United States, Mexico, and Canada―all transformed themselves into nations. The American Civil War stands at the center of the story, its military history and the drama of emancipation the highlights. Taylor relies on vivid characters to carry the story, from Joseph Hooker, whose timidity in crisis was exploited by Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the Union defeat at Chancellorsville, to Martin Delany and Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Black abolitionists whose critical work in Canada and the United States advanced emancipation and the enrollment of Black soldiers in Union armies."


Fifty-Three Days on Starvation Island: The World War II Battle That Saved Marine Corps Aviation

by John R Bruning (Author)

Publisher: Hachette Books. Publication date: 14 May 2024. Hardcover, 528 pages. ISBN-10-0316508659

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From the publisher: "On August 20, 1942, twelve Marine dive-bombers and nineteen Marine fighters landed at Guadalcanal. Their mission: defeat the Japanese navy and prevent it from sending more men and supplies to "Starvation Island," as Guadalcanal was nicknamed. The Japanese were turning the remote, jungle-covered mountain in the south Solomon Islands into an air base from which they could attack the supply lines between the U.S. and Australia. The night after the Marines landed and captured the partially completed airfield, the Imperial Navy launched a surprise night attack on the Allied fleet offshore, resulting in the worst defeat the U.S. Navy suffered in the 20th century, which prompted the abandonment of the Marines on Guadalcanal."


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."


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."