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Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas. Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Edouard Detaille. Born in Malaya in 1949, Alan Gilliland studied photography/film and architecture, and has worked as a photojournalist and cartoonist. He also spent 18 years as the graphics editor of The Daily Telegraph, winning 19 awards in that time, including numerous UK Press Awards. He now writes, illustrates and publishes fiction (www.ravensquill.com), as well as illustrating for a variety of publishers (including Osprey, the Penguin Group, Brown Reference Group, Ivy Group and Aurum), architects and developers, such as John McAslan (Olympic Energy Centre) and Kit Martin (Prince Charles' Phoenix Trust advisor on historic buildings). www.alangilliland.com
Two of World War II's most distinctive weapons, the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck offered German and other infantrymen the ability to destroy enemy tanks singlehandedly at close ranges. While the Panzerschreck owed its origins largely to the US bazooka, the Panzerfaust was a revolutionary design that was unlike any previous weapon, and went on to influence anti-tank technology and tactics for decades after World War II. Allied troops, notably Soviet forces, made widespread use of captured Panzerfauste, and they were also supplied to German allies such as Finland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Written by an expert on anti-tank warfare, this book reveals the fascinating development history of these two feared weapons and assesses the tactics that were employed by the soldiers using them.
During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong were frequently unable to hold their own in stand-up fights against US and allied forces who were superior in strength, firepower, mobility, and logistics. They relied instead on traditional guerrilla warfare tactics including small-scale hit- and-run attacks, ambushes, terrorist actions, and precision attacks against bases. These included one of the oldest of guerrilla weapons - the boobytrap. Booby traps could be made in large numbers in village workshops and jungle camps using locally available materials as well as modern munitions. The VC were adept at making booby traps 'invisible' in the varied terrain of Vietnam, often emplacing them in locations and surroundings totally unexpected by their enemies. Booby traps could be incredibly simple or startlingly complex and ingenious, ranging from pointed sticks to command-detonated submerged floating river mines. Besides a wide variety of booby traps, they also used land and water mines, both contact/pressure-detonated and command-detonated. Between January 1965 and June 1970 11 percent of US troop deaths in action and 17 percent of injuries were by caused booby traps and mines. This fascinating title explores not only the wide variety of booby traps employed by the Viet Cong, but also their various uses in halting, stalling, or locating an enemy, and the many evolutions these traps underwent in order to retain the element of surprise. Written by a Vietnam veteran with first-hand experience of such traps, this is an engaging look at one of the most frightening aspects of guerrilla warfare.
The slang, the unique vocabulary of the soldiers and Marines serving in Vietnam was a mishmash of words and phrases reaching back to the Korean War, World War II, and even earlier. At the same time it used words and phrases reflecting the country's changing protest culture at home, ideological and poetical doctrine, ethical and cultural conflicts, and racialism and the drug culture. The slanguage in Vietnam was made even more complex by the Pidgin Vietnamese-English used by Americans and Vietnamese alike. American culture and society were changing rapidly and drastically at home and this bled into Vietnam. In the jungles, swamps, and hills of Vietnam soldier and marine slang also followed the traditional path of what was important to their daily lives: their leaders, the harsh environment, food, uniforms, weapons, equipment, and how they fought and lived in the country.
The United States Marine Corps came into its own in the Pacific Islands campaign against Japan in World War II. From Guadalcanal to Okinawa, US Marines formed the tip of the spear as Allied forces sought to push the Japanese back to their Home Islands. This fascinating study tracks the deployments of the various Marine divisions throughout the war and explains their composition, but also goes deeper, to detail the individual regiments - the focus of the marines' identity and pride. It explains the organization of the Marine infantry regiment and its equipment, and how they evolved during the war. The marine infantryman's evolving uniforms, field equipment and weapons are illustrated throughout using specially commissioned artwork and detailed descriptions to produce a fitting portrait of the US military's elite fighting force in the Pacific.
A USA TODAY and Amazon bestseller, author Gordon L. Rottman has finally given fans of The Hardest Ride and Ride Harder their beloved heroine Marta's own tale, and in a way, her own voice. The brutal 1886 winter on the Texas-Mexico border is a terrible time for a mute sixteen-year-old Mexican girl and her familia, who roam the trails and towns of the frontier, searching for work and struggling to survive. When her parents and siblings are murdered before her eyes, Marta is faced with a stark reality. Completely alone in the harsh Texas backlands, she realizes her own time in this world will be short, lonely, and possibly end in blood. Marta has not lived and thrived in her hardscrabble life thus far to give up without a fight. And the arrival of an out of work cowboy from whom she grudgingly accepts help and protection gives her a sliver of hope. Besides she reasons, Gero-Blondie-as she's named him, would be lost without her care, guidance, and decent meals. Despite the chasm between Mexicans and Anglos in this harsh age, the loner cowpoke and mute Mexican girl tentatively build a fragile trust. Finding work on a welcoming ranch, the couple bonds, and their future appears brighter. But a raid by vicious bandits takes Marta, another Mexican girl, and the rancher's two daughters on a journey into hell. Marta tells us a harrowing tale of terror and anguish as the women struggle to stay alive and hang on to their sanity. Her faith in Gero coming to their rescue rises and diminishes day-to-day as their circumstances change. In the end, there is a great deal more to Marta than we ever realized.
In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the first of over 150,000 Allied soldiers stormed five beaches in Normandy against fierce German resistance. They were specially trained and task-organized in a range of different landing teams depending on their means of transport, their tasks, and the resistance they anticipated. The first assault infantry were accompanied by tankers, combat engineers, and other specialist personnel, to breach German obstacles, knock out defensive positions, and to defend and prepare the beaches for the follow-on waves. On some beaches the plans worked, on others they were disrupted by bad weather, faulty timing, or enemy fire, with consequences that varied from survivable confusion to absolute carnage. This is an in-depth study of the uniforms, equipment, weapons, passage, landings, and tactics of US, British and Canadian assault units during the period from before H-Hour on June 6 to dawn on June 7.
In an effort to provide the US infantryman with more firepower to cover the range gap between the hand grenade and the light mortar, the 40mm M79 grenade launcher - a shoulder-fired, single-shot weapon - entered service with US forces in 1961. Reliable, easy to use, and lethally effective, the M79 soon became an iconic symbol of the Vietnam War and had a profound influence on small-unit tactics. As the Vietnam conflict continued, it was joined on the front line by experimental models such as the magazine-fed T148E1, as well as two launchers intended to be fitted under the barrel of the new M16 assault rifle: Colt's XM148 and AAI Corporation's M203. The M203 remains in US Army service today, while the US Marine Corps now also fields the M32 multiple grenade launcher - like the M79, a standalone weapon. Featuring full-colour artwork, this is the story of the rugged and formidable grenade launchers that equipped the United States and its allies in Vietnam and beyond from the 1960s to the present day.
Over the eight years of the Vietnam War, US forces used three major types of equipment sets, with numerous modifications for particular circumstances. Different equipments were also used by Special Forces, the South Vietnamese, and other allied ground troops. Vietnam War US & Allied Combat Equipments offers a comprehensive examination of the gear that US and allied soldiers had strapped around their bodies, what they contained, and what those items were used for. Fully illustrated with photographs and artwork detailing how each piece of equipment was used and written by a Special Forces veteran of the conflict, this book will fascinate enthusiasts of military equipment and will be an ideal reference guide for re-enactors, modellers and collectors of Vietnam War memorabilia.
From Western Spur award-winning author Gordon L. Rottman comes Ride Harder, the sequel to USA Today bestseller The Hardest Ride. Another classic western yarn from a master storyteller, Ride Harder follows cowpuncher Bud Eugen and his resourceful fiance Marta as they confront all of the dangers Texas in the late 1880's holds, both old and newfangled. When the seed money for Bud and Marta's ranch is stolen from a local bank out of its Yankee-made safe, along with an Army arms shipment, Bud and Marta go back to Mexico to secure their future and that of Texas itself, come hell, high water, or steam-powered locomotives.
As infantry units advanced across Europe the only support they could rely on from day to day was that provided by the heavy weapons of their own units. While thundering tanks struck fear into the hearts of their enemies it was the machine guns, mortars and light cannon that proved to be most important, causing the majority of casualties suffered during World War II. Common principles were shared across units but the wide variety of weapons available to the different armies altered the way they were used in battle. Focusing on the US, British, German and Soviet troops, this title offers a comprehensive guide to infantry fire support tactics used through World War II. Combat reports are complemented by specially commissioned artwork to show the way in which tactics varied, and highlight how developments obliged opposing armies to review their own methods.
A soldier's web gear is as important to his ability to live and fight on the battlefield as are his clothing and weapons. In World War II the US Army issued equipment items that had originated in 1910, though modified and augmented in the 1920s and 1930s, and again during the war itself as a result of combat experience. This book describes and illustrates the great majority of the personal equipment provided for infantry riflemen, GIs armed with other weapons and their ammunition-bearers, officers, and medics. In addition to the web gear itself it covers canteens, mess kit, and first aid items; weapons-related and other specialist items; the long struggle to produce a practical backpack; bivouac and shelter gear, and the most commonly carried tools. The text also explains the basics of materials, colors, markings, nomenclature, and weights for the guidance of collectors. It is illustrated with wartime photos and color close-ups, and the wide-ranging color plates specially prepared for this book offer more than 130 images.
Even when Western Allied troops gained a foothold in Normandy, World War II in Europe was far from over. The route to Germany's interior and the Nazis final surrender was long, arduous and blood-stained. The Wehrmacht's stubborn resistance and the shocking losses suffered by US, British, Canadian and 'Free European' troops meant that the Allies had to adapt and refine small-unit tactics, battle-drills, and their use of weapons and munitions. The troops who finally met up with the Red Army in Germany were a very different fighting force to the one that struggled up the beaches of northern France. This book offers a comprehensive guide to the late-war Allied troops, exploring their uniforms, equipment, organization and tactics. Detailed description and accurate colour pictures illustrate the means by which the Allied troops on the ground evolved to the point of winning the war on the Western Front.
Allowing the user to inflict damage on his opponent within throwing range without leaving cover, the portable, lethally efficient hand grenade is a ubiquitous weapon of modern warfare, and has now found its way into law-enforcement arsenals too. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and an array of revealing photographs of grenades in use and in close-up, this engaging study explores and assesses the origins, development, combat use, and lasting legacy of the formidable military hand grenade.
The brutal fighting between US Marines and Japanese infantry on the island of Guadalcanal in many ways came to typify the island-hopping war in the Pacific. This book not only explores the differing tactics and equipment used by the two combatants but also shows how the challenges of fighting in inhospitable tropical jungles impacted on soldiers on the ground, as combatants had to deal not only with their determined opponents but also the twin issues of disease and stretched supply lines. Written by a former special forces veteran with extensive knowledge of jungle warfare, this fully illustrated book lifts the veil on one of the most pivotal and ferocious close combat duels of World War II.
On August 17-18, 1942, 211 men of the US Marine Corps' 2nd Raider Battalion conducted a daring amphibious raid on the Japanese-occupied Makin Island in the South Pacific. This ambitious but flawed operation was intended to divert Japanese reinforcements bound for Guadalcanal, over 1,000 miles to the southwest, in the wake of the US landings there ten days earlier; the Raiders were to destroy the seaplane base and radio station, take prisoners, and collect intelligence. Although yielding limited results, it was to be an invaluable test of the innovative training and tactics employed by the Raiders, and a crucial boost to national morale at this difficult stage in the war. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and expert analysis, this gripping account of the fateful Makin Raid tells the whole story, from the plan's conception to its troubled execution and aftermath.
A coming of age self-discovery story of frantic survival, the value of diversity, and dependence on one another. Fifteen-year-old Karen Herber is exactly where she wants to be-in the Nicaraguan rainforest with a volunteer medical team. What she had not expected was a hurricane collapsing a bridge to wipe out her team and a mudslide burying a village. Only a Nicaraguan six-year-old girl and a forty-four-year-old woman with both arms broken survive the mudslide. Then she finds that Jaydon Bonner survived, a privileged, arrogant seventeen-year-old American tenderfoot. Academic and confidence concerns are already dragging Karen down and she was tagged a "e;weak leader"e; in Outward Bound School. Her doctor parents are pushing her into a medical career, of which she's uncertain. Less than fluent in Spanish, but an experienced backpacker, the reluctant leader is challenged by nature, animals, desperate men, and her fellow survivors' mistrust and cultural differences. Their only path to salvation is a risky boat trip down a rainforest river, 150 miles to the mysterious Mosquito Coast. Karen soon finds her companions' experiences, so different from her own, invaluable with each deadly encounter forging a closer bond between them.
Military gliders came of age in World War II, when glider assault infantry were the forerunners of today's helicopter-delivered airmobile troops. From the light pre-war sports and training machines, several nations developed troop-carrying gliders capable of getting a whole squad or more of infantry, with heavy weapons, onto the ground quickly, with the equipment that paratroopers simply could not carry. They made up at least one-third of the strength of US, British, and German airborne divisions in major battles, and they also carried out several daring coup de main raids and spearhead operations. However, the dangers were extreme, the techniques were difficult, the losses were heavy (particularly during night operations), and the day of the glider assault was relatively brief. This book explains the development and organization of glider troops, their mounts, and the air squadrons formed to tow them, the steep and costly learning-curve and the tactics that such troops learned to employ once they arrived on the battlefield.