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Military history

See below for a selection of the latest books from Military history category. Presented with a red border are the Military history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Military history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Case White The Invasion of Poland 1939

Case White The Invasion of Poland 1939

Author: Robert Forczyk Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

The German invasion of Poland on 1 September, 1939, designated as Fall Weiss (Case White), was the event that sparked the outbreak of World War II in Europe. The campaign has widely been described as a textbook example of Blitzkrieg, but it was actually a fairly conventional campaign as the Wehrmacht was still learning how to use its new Panzers and dive-bombers. The Polish military is often misrepresented as hopelessly obsolete and outclassed by the Wehrmacht, yet in fact it was well-equipped with modern weapons and armour. Indeed, the Polish possessed more tanks than the British and had cracked the German Enigma machine cipher. Though the combined assault from Germany and the Soviet Union defeated Poland, it could not crush the Polish fighting spirit and thousands of soldiers and airmen escaped to fight on other fronts. The result of Case White was a brutal occupation, as Polish Slavs found themselves marginalized and later eliminated, paving the way for Hitler's vision of Lebensraum (living space) and his later betrayal and invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Using a wide array of sources, Robert Forczyk challenges the myths of Case White to tell the full story of the invasion that sparked history's greatest conflict.

Douglas D-558 D-558-1 Skystreak and D-558-2 Skyrocket

Douglas D-558 D-558-1 Skystreak and D-558-2 Skyrocket

Author: Peter E. Davies Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

The six Douglas D-558 research aircraft, built as two variants, were produced for a US Navy and NACA collaborative project to investigate flight in the high subsonic and supersonic regimes and to develop means of coping with the dangerous phenomena of compressibility and pitch-up which had caused many accidents to early jets. Wind tunnels could not provide the necessary data so pilots had to risk their safety in experimental aircraft which, for their time, achieved phenomenal performance. Both series of D-558 were well-designed, strong and efficient aircraft which enabled test pilots to tackle the unknown in comparative safety. Though delayed by their innovative but troublesome power-plants, and limited by the cost of their air-launched sorties, they went well beyond their original Mach 1 speed objective and continued to generate information that provided design solutions for a whole generation of supersonic combat aircraft. Although the final stage of the D-55 programme, the USN's `militarized' D-558-3, never happened, the Navy was able to apply the lessons of the programme to its much more practical combat types such as the F8U Crusader and F3H Demon. Supported by full-colour artwork including three-view plates of the two D-558 models and a technical view of the D-2 cockpit, this authoritative text offers a comprehensive guide to the record-breaking Navy research craft.

Ploesti 1943 The great raid on Hitler's Romanian oil refineries

Ploesti 1943 The great raid on Hitler's Romanian oil refineries

Author: Steven J. (Author) Zaloga Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

Operation Tidal Wave was one of the boldest and most controversial air raids by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). At the time, the Romanian Ploesti oil fields produced about a third of all Axis oil, and was Germany's single most important fuel source. In the summer of 1943, the USAAF decided to stage a major raid on Ploesti from air bases in Libya. The resulting Operation Tidal Wave raid on 1 August 1943 was one of the costliest to date, losing 53 aircraft, about a third of the starting force. Of the more than 150 bombers that took part in the raid, only 88 B-24s returned to Libya, 55 of which were damaged. On the other hand, of the 17 Medals of Honor awarded to US soldiers and airmen from Pearl Harbor in 1941 to D-Day in 1944, 5 were awarded to pilots of the Tidal Wave mission in recognition of their extraordinary performance. Although undoubtedly bold and heroic, the mission had questionable results. Initial assessments argued that the mission caused 40% of the refinery capacity at Ploesti to be lost but subsequent studies concluded that the damage was quickly repaired and that output had exceeded August levels within a month. This new study examines the raid in detail, exploring the reasons why its dubious success came at such a high price. Supported by maps, diagrams, and full-colour artwork including battlescenes and bird's-eye views, this is the full story of the audacious Ploesti raid of 1943.

Armies of the Great Northern War 1700-1720

Armies of the Great Northern War 1700-1720

Author: Gabriele Esposito Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

The Great Northern War was a long series of campaigns in which Russia, linked with several other countries in temporary alliances, confronted and eventually replaced Sweden as the predominant power in Northern Europe. While contemporary with the Duke of Marlborough's pivotal campaigns against France, the Great Northern War was in fact more decisive, since it reshaped the Northern European power balance up to the eve of the Napoleonic Wars. It began with a series of astonishing Swedish victories lead by King Charles XII, from Denmark to Poland and deep into Germany. But Peter the Great of Russia showed steadfast determination, and Charles overreached himself when he invaded Russia in 1708; the Russians adopted classic 'scorched earth' tactics until they could destroy the Swedish army at Poltava in 1709, one of the most overwhelming victories in history. Nevertheless, Sweden continued to fight, and frequently win, in Germany, Denmark and Norway, until Charles's death in battle in 1718, though the war itself did not conclude until 1721. This study explores, in detail, the numerous armies and complex alliances engaged in the war for Northern European dominance. Containing accurate full-colour artwork and unrivalled detail, Armies of the Great Northern War offers a vivid insight into the troops which battled for control of the North.

Retribution The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943

Retribution The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943

Author: Prit Buttar Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

Making use of the extensive memoirs of German and Russian soldiers to bring their story to life, the narrative follows on from On A Knife's Edge, which described the encirclement and destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and the offensives and counter-offensives that followed throughout the winter of 1942-43. Beginning towards the end of the Battle of Kursk, Retribution explores the massive Soviet offensive that followed the end of Operation Zitadelle, which saw depleted and desperate German troops forced out of Western Ukraine. In this title, Buttar describes in detail the little-known series of near-constant battles that saw a weakened German army confronted by a tactically sophisticated force of over six million Soviet troops. As a result, the Wehrmacht was driven back to the Dnepr and German forces remaining in the Kuban Peninsula south of Rostov were forced back into the Crimea, a retreat which would become one of many in the months that followed.

Civil-Military Relations in the United States

Civil-Military Relations in the United States

Author: Richard (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) Kohn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

This volume comprises the best essays of Prof. Richard Kohn focusing on civilian control of the military in American history and contemporary national security affairs. One of the oldest problems of human society has been preventing armies from overthrowing their governments. From ancient times to the present-from Caesar crossing the Rubicon to Egypt's army hovering in the in the background as the ultimate arbiter of power to newly-installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping taking control of China's military instead of leaving that to his predecessor as was practice for nearly forty years-civilian control of the military has been crucial to political life. The founders of the United States certainly understood this principle. They wrote explicit provisions into the first state and federal constitutions to assure it. For over two centuries, American security has rested on the foundation of military subordination to civilian authority, with little worry about a coup or even an attempt. Yet the relationship between the most senior military officers and the political leadership have been anything but smooth, and in recent years the chains of civilian control have weakened - not to the point of direct challenges to civilian authority, but in the relative influence of the military in policy and decision making, the deference of politicians to generals, and a growing belief that the relationship has been so filled with tension and distrust as to endanger the country's security. This book will be of much interest to students of US politics, American history, civil-military relations and military studies in general.

Civil-Military Relations in the United States

Civil-Military Relations in the United States

Author: Richard (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) Kohn Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

This volume comprises the best essays of Prof. Richard Kohn focusing on civilian control of the military in American history and contemporary national security affairs. One of the oldest problems of human society has been preventing armies from overthrowing their governments. From ancient times to the present-from Caesar crossing the Rubicon to Egypt's army hovering in the in the background as the ultimate arbiter of power to newly-installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping taking control of China's military instead of leaving that to his predecessor as was practice for nearly forty years-civilian control of the military has been crucial to political life. The founders of the United States certainly understood this principle. They wrote explicit provisions into the first state and federal constitutions to assure it. For over two centuries, American security has rested on the foundation of military subordination to civilian authority, with little worry about a coup or even an attempt. Yet the relationship between the most senior military officers and the political leadership have been anything but smooth, and in recent years the chains of civilian control have weakened - not to the point of direct challenges to civilian authority, but in the relative influence of the military in policy and decision making, the deference of politicians to generals, and a growing belief that the relationship has been so filled with tension and distrust as to endanger the country's security. This book will be of much interest to students of US politics, American history, civil-military relations and military studies in general.

British Forces in Germany 1945-2019 The Lived Experience

British Forces in Germany 1945-2019 The Lived Experience

Author: Dr Peter (Head of Collections Research and Academic Access) Johnston Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

A lavishly illustrated military and social history of the forces in Germany, published to coincide with the winding down of the operation in 2019-20. The book is split into decades and covers important military strategy, political events such as the Berlin airlift and the fall of the Wall, but also the experiences of British soldiers and the increasing integration of British troops and the German population, and their domestic and family lives.

German Flak Defences vs Allied Heavy Bombers 1942-45

German Flak Defences vs Allied Heavy Bombers 1942-45

Author: Donald Nijboer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2019

Since the end of World War II, the strategic bombing of Germany has inspired numerous studies, countless books and several documentary films, and it is not surprising. With more than one million tons of bombs dropped, close to 300,000 civilians killed, 700,000 wounded and in excess of 3,500,000 industrial and residential structures destroyed, the Allied bomber offensive was industrial war on a grand scale. The air battle that raged over Germany has often been described as a battle between Allied and German fighters but what has been frequently missed by historians on all sides is the impact of German anti-aircraft defences (flak). Though often dismissed as ineffective and a waste of valuable material and personnel, the German flak arm made a major contribution to the defence of the Third Reich - at least half of the American aircraft shot down over Germany fell to flak, and according to the RAF Official History, it was estimated that flak accounted for 1229 of 3302 aircraft lost by Bomber Command between 1942 and April 1945. Additionally, the strategic role of flak extended beyond simply shooting down aircraft - its other, more important task was to force bombers to drop their ordnance sooner or from a higher altitude, thus reducing bombing accuracy. Both these roles are explored in depth in this detailed study of the German flak defences and of their adversaries, the Allied heavy bombers. Containing full-colour illustrations including cockpit scenes and armament views, this is the definitive guide to the much-overlooked conflict between Allied planes and German anti-aircraft defences.

SAS Shadow Raiders The Ultra-Secret Mission that Changed the Course of WWII

SAS Shadow Raiders The Ultra-Secret Mission that Changed the Course of WWII

Author: Damien Lewis Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

The incredible story of the radar wars: Britain's most secret battle. In the winter of 1941 an alien-seeming object was captured in a death-defying dash by an RAF reconnaissance pilot flying a lone unarmed Spitfire across the French coast. Balanced upon the cliffs near Le Havre was what appeared to be a giant convex dish, directed across the Channel at the war-torn British coastline. With Britain's cities being pounded by fearsome bombing raids, teams of experts studied the photograph worriedly. Might the dish constitute a highly secret form of radar - one that had the capacity to tip the balance of the war decisively in the enemy's favour? If so, Nazi Germany would have leapfrogged British technology many-fold. A top-secret mission was devised to steal what had become known as the 'Wurzburg Dish' after Enigma intercepted coded German messages. Appropriately christened Operation Biting, this was to be the first-ever Allied raid using airborne forces. Commanded by legendary Major John 'Johnny' Frost, he demanded blind loyalty from his band of piratical raiders. 'A wild crew ... they looked horrible,' he admitted. Each and every rehearsal had proved disastrous; it was a suicide mission in all but name. On the French coast agents of the Special Operations Executive - Churchill's shadowy ministry for ungentlemanly warfare - risked all to map the target's defences. At the eleventh hour, two unwelcome additions joined Frosts's crew. One was a shadowy German cloaked in mystery; the other a British radar specialist who could not be allowed to fall into enemy hands. Relying on files declassified for the purposes of writing this book, eyewitness testimony, and working with the families of key figures involved, Lewis reveals an untold epic of daring, ruthless rule-breaking and ferocity, coupled with bravery and ingenuity beyond measure. The results of Operation Biting would resonate throughout the war and beyond, changing the course of twentieth-century history.

Expeditionary Forces in the First World War

Expeditionary Forces in the First World War

Author: Alan Beyerchen Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2019

When war engulfed Europe in 1914, the conflict quickly took on global dimensions. Although fighting erupted in Africa and Asia, the Great War primarily pulled troops from around the world into Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Amid the fighting were large numbers of expeditionary forces-and yet they have remained largely unstudied as a collective phenomenon, along with the term expeditionary force itself. This collection examines the expeditionary experience through a wide range of case studies. They cover major themes such as the recruitment, transport, and supply of far-flung troops; the cultural and linguistic dissonance, as well as gender relations, navigated by soldiers in foreign lands; the political challenge of providing a rationale to justify their dislocation and sacrifice; and the role of memory and memorialization. Together, these essays open up new avenues for understanding the experiences of soldiers who fought the First World War far from home.

From the Halls of the Montezumas Mexican War Dispatches from James L. Freaner, Writing under the Pen Name Mustang

From the Halls of the Montezumas Mexican War Dispatches from James L. Freaner, Writing under the Pen Name Mustang

Author: Alan D. Gaff Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2019

James L. Freaner is one of the most important unknown Americans in our nation's history. Freaner gained fame throughout the country during the Mexican War while covering General Winfield Scott's campaign. As one of America's first war correspondents, Freaner's letters appeared in newspapers under the byline Mustang, and his reports from the front included information unavailable elsewhere. Among Freaner's scoops were the publication of complete casualty lists (long before official reports became public), detailed battle descriptions, and observations on postwar Mexico. Despite his widespread fame as a reporter, Freaner's greatest contribution to the United States came during a conversation with Nicholas P. Trist, negotiator of the peace treaty with Mexico. After Trist had passed along an outrageous proposal from the Mexican commissioners, he was recalled, but Freaner convinced Trist to ignore the order and begin a new round of negotiations. Trist resumed, concluded the war, and added California, Nevada, Utah, and other territory to a growing country. This acquisition was second in size only to the Louisiana Purchase and was a direct result of James Freaner persuading Trist to brazenly conclude a treaty when he had no authority to do so. From the Halls of the Montezumas is a complete compilation of Freaner's Mexican War reporting. Editors Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff have annotated the text with footnotes identifying people, places, and events, and also have added illustrations of key figures and maps. They supplement Freaner's dispatches with biographical information that ranges from his early career to his journey to the gold fields of California and his untimely death at the hands of Indians in California in 1852.