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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!
Colonel Pat Proctor's long overdue critique of the Army's preparation and outlook in the all-volunteer era focuses on a national security issue that continues to vex in the twenty-first century: Has the Army lost its ability to win strategically by focusing on fighting conventional battles against peer enemies? Or can it adapt to deal with the greater complexity of counterinsurgent and information-age warfare? In this blunt critique of the senior leadership of the U.S. Army, Proctor contends that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Army stubbornly refused to reshape itself in response to the new strategic reality, a decision that saw it struggle through one low-intensity conflict after another-some inconclusive, some tragic-in the 1980s and 1990s, and leaving it largely unprepared when it found itself engaged-seemingly forever-in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first book-length study to connect the failures of these wars to America's disastrous performance in the war on terror, Proctor's work serves as an attempt to convince Army leaders to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Originally published in Japan in 2005, each album in The Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Series contains official photographs taken by the Kure Maritime Museum, as well as those taken by private individuals. These pictorial records document the main types of Japanese vessels, from battleships to submarines, based on the best images from Shizuo Fukui, a former Imperial Japanese Navy commander and technician. These photos include the ones Fukui began collecting as a young boy and continued after he worked as a naval shipbuilder, and those that he was given in order to complete a photographic history of the Imperial Japanese Navy's ships, which include those gathered by Nagamura Kiyoshi, a shipbuilder who proactively collected photos, and the collection of machinist Amari Yoshiyuki. Moreover, with the help of shipbuilder Makino Shigeru, among others, Fukui was able to continue to gather photographs and other items throughout the postwar period. It is not an exaggeration, therefore, to say that Fukui dedicated his entire life to this work. These images are especially valuable because of the massive destruction of official documents at the end of the war.
In 1905 Japan and Russia were at war. With the Russian Far East Fleet destroyed, the Czar decided to send his Baltic Fleet half way around the world to exact revenge. This mammoth journey took many months and was, in itself, an amazing feat of seamanship. But, at the end of this epic adventure, the Russians were totally overwhelmed and the vast majority of the fleet went to the bottom. There was no alternative for the Czar but to sue for an ignominious peace. The story of the journey and the final battle remain fascinating, the people involved acting and deporting themselves like characters from a novel. Russian Admiral Rozhestvensky was a gunnery expert but someone who had never held active command in a major sea battle. Japanese Admiral Togo had trained in Britain, enlisting as a cadet on the Training Ship Worcester, even though he was far too old and was forced to lie about his age. Inept generalship on the part of the Russians, combined with brilliant seamanship from the Japanese Admiral Togo, saw the complete destruction of the Russian fleet. The naval battle of Tsushima is one of the forgotten actions of the twentieth century, but it has a significance that is immense in world history.
Counterinsurgency is defined as efforts to defeat and confine a rebellion against a consituted authority. While it has become a buzz-word in the last twenty years, it is as old as society itself. This concise history discusses the development of modern counterinsurgency over the last two hundred years, beginning with the origins of modern insurgency from the concept of 'small wars' and colonial warfare, through the ideas of early insurgents including Clausewitz and the theories of Lawrence of Arabia, to the methods of 20th-century insurgents, including Mao and Che Guevara. It then examines a number of post-1945 insurgencies and how western armies have tried to counter them, in particular how the French tried to counter insurgencies in Indochina and Algeria, and then the US in Vietnam, and the reaction to the American experience there. This is compared with the British approach in the years after World War II, particularly in Malaya, but also in Kenya and Northern Ireland. Against that backdrop there is an examanination of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, the rise of COIN literature, and the subsequent backlash against that literature. The book concludes with a discussion on the future of COIN.
Almost one hundred and twenty five years ago, a Scottish adventurer attempted to expand the British Empire in South Africa with the backing of a mere 500 men. He was part of a conspiracy of entrepreneurs, gold magnates and politicians, each of whom had different motives for supporting and encouraging his actions. Leander Starr Jameson's Raid failed miserably. It almost brought down the British Government, destroyed the career of one of the most eminent South African Statesmen, nearly caused a war with the South African Republic and exposed Britain to international ridicule. It was a failed attempt to expand the Empire on the cheap. This book, using a number of contemporary sources, examines the motives for Jameson's actions, the reasons for the Raid's failure and its consequences for those involved. It attempts to answer the extent of the involvement of the British Colonial Office and its Secretary of State, Joseph Chamberlain and how he, Cecil Rhodes, Paul Kruger and Jameson worked for their own and their countries best interests which were not necessarily one in the same.It also considers the part played by the dignitaries in Johannesburg and the consequences of their lukewarm support of Dr Jameson. The book contains a detailed examination of the two Inquiries which were held as a result of the Raid and a blow by blow account of the evidence given by their many witnesses. Reactions in the British Parliament and the fate of the Raiders are particular features of this work,as is how the actions of those swept up in the plans of the key players were to affect their future careers.
The book describes and analyses the early modern Swedish army, with a particular emphasis on the reforms introduced by King Gustavus Adolphus before and during the Thirty Years War. Furthermore, the book expands our understanding of the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War by also focusing on its operations on the eastern front, against Russian and Polish opponents, and not only on the better-known operations in Germany against the Catholic League and the Holy Roman Empire. Sweden had a long history of conflict with neighbouring countries, and the reforms introduced by King Gustavus Adolphus had their origin in wars fought in the early seventeenth century, before or in the early phases of the Thirty Years War. The Kalmar war with Denmark, the Novgorod and Pskov campaigns in Russia, the conquest of Livonia, and the war with Poland played important roles in preparing the Swedish army for the wars on the continent from 1630 onwards. While some of the technical and tactical innovations attributed to the Swedish Army in the Thirty Years War are myths, others were real. Possibly of yet more enduring importance were the Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna's administrative reforms. A conscription system was established which consistently managed to raise troops, despite the small population of Sweden and its territories. A logistics system was introduced which could supply the armies, despite the vast geographical depth of operations. The intelligence service was developed into a comprehensive support establishment to military operations. It is fair to say that the Swedish army that entered the Thirty Years War and the organisation that enabled it formed the foundation for the subsequent Swedish rise to regional great power status. While the army of Gustavus Adolphus has been described elsewhere, the book includes current research that has not yet appeared in the English language. It also, unlike most previous works, explains how the Swedish experiences on the eastern front influenced Gustavus Adolphus and his views on how to build a modern army that could challenge the established great powers on the continent.
Since the earliest recorded military history, scouting and reconnaissance have been key tools employed by military commanders to obtain a picture of the tactical situation and make informed decisions. Scouts known as sciritae were deployed by the Spartans and had a privileged position in their order of battle. The Spartans were so aware of the advantage their scouting operations gave them that they went to great lengths to keep them secret. As military tactics, weapons and equipment developed over the centuries, methods of scouting and reconnaissance evolved and adapted but were never discarded. This Short History provides a concise but revealing picture of the art of military scouting and reconnaissance, always remaining true to the spirit of the scout - light on their feet, taking only what they need and returning with information that can make the difference between victory and defeat. From the highly toned Spartan warriors through the scouts employed by Julius Caesar, through the middle ages to the Napoleonic Wars and the mass warfare of the modern era, this book gives you all you need to know, and nothing that you don't. Scouting and reconnaissance responsibilities are sometimes carried out by other military units. For example, the US Marines call their snipers Scout Snipers since snipers are often in a good position to gather intelligence covertly. Special forces units tasked with a particular mission also bring back valuable intelligence information. This book focuses on units whose mission is to move covertly without engaging with the enemy.
Conflicts between Christian powers and the Ottoman Empire displayed completely different characteristics compared to other contemporary wars fought in Europe, war without mercy being the norm. The tones adopted by Western literature to describe the Ottomans resemble the ones recently used against the communist bloc and the Soviet Union, and it is probably not a coincidence that certain prophecies about the sultan, such as his arrival in Rome and watering the horse in San Pietro, survived until the post-1945 period, replacing the Grand Turk with the Red Army's Cossacks. This book deals with the organization, the composition and the history of the army of the Sublime Porte, starting from the information contained in Western sources. This approach, despite the partial origin of the information, allows a critical examination of the sources and the formulation of a vision that is not conditioned by the cliches that often occur about such topics, returning us to a a neutral vision of the complex Ottoman 'Military' represented with all its refined and sumptuous costumes and weapons apparatus. A larger part of the work is dedicated to the different types of clothing and insignia of the different corps, their evolution and the meaning of the different symbols.
The Chaco War was the first modern conflict in South America. Over time, it became the topic of many volumes published in both Bolivia and Paraguay - first by veterans, such as the commanders-in-chief, and the commanders of army corps', regiments or battalions, and by other ranks, in the form of personal memoirs or wider histories, and using a wide variety of sources. Subsequently, the conflict attracted attention of many foreign writers, foremost from the United States of America and Europe, who researched it with great interest. Hundreds of related articles have also been published. Nevertheless, `The Chaco War, 1932-1935' is the first ever concise history of this conflict, providing the reader with the full background to this conflict, the military build-up of the Bolivian and Paraguayan armed forces, a blow-by-blow account of Bolivian penetration of this territory since the early 20th Century, precise details on troops mobilised for the war by both sides, all of the battles fought between the belligerents, and their casualties. Two very different military concepts faced each other: the German General Hans Kundt, a First World War veteran, hired by the Bolivian Government, was a proponent of the typical Prussian tactics of front attacks regardless of cost, but also of the strategy of taking and controlling as much territory as possible without annihilating the enemy. The Paraguayan Lieutenant-Colonel Jose Felix Estigarribia (later promoted to Colonel, and then General), took his specialization courses in Chile and France, and was a proponent of tactics of using trench warfare for defence, and flanking the enemy when in the offensive. Eventually, Estigarribia's ideas proved their worth - partially because his forces managed to capture huge stocks of Bolivian arms and ammunition throughout the war. This is also the first book to provide an exclusive collection of photographs from the archives of the Institute of History and Military Museum of Ministry of National Defence of Paraguay, and several private archives in Paraguay and Bolivia. Perfectly complementing the earlier volume The Chaco Air War of the Latin America@War series, The Chaco War provides an indispensable, single-point-source-of-reference for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
The air force of Tito's Yugoslavia has had many different peculiarities - from a unique Cold War position of having operated a mix of US, Soviet, and indigenous aircraft and equipment, to the changeable strategies in case of war. One such feature was an entire underground air base constructed inside a hill near the town of Bihac, in western Bosnia. 'The Object' was the core, the heart, of this air base: it housed four MiG-21 squadrons for nearly 25 years, until the civil war tore Yugoslavia apart. 'The Object' was built as the outcome of Yugoslav military efforts to build up its independent defence capabilities, especially the air force which was regarded as the strategic tool in keeping Tito's Yugoslavia's independence from both Cold War blocks. There were a few other underground shelters built at Yugoslavia's air bases, but Bihac underground air base remained the only underground facility which was permanently used. Bihac Air Base was constructed directly on the border between two former federal states of Yugoslavia, now two independent countries: The Republic of Croatia, and The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Indeed, their post-independence border runs between the former taxiways and underground entrances. Nowadays, its ruins are a place of pilgrimage by many aviation and military enthusiasts, and is known as 'Zeljava', after a nearby village on the Croatian side. In its five chapters this book provides an in-depth account of the design and construction of the air base and its 'underground object', and a detailed account of the activities of its MiG-21 squadrons and everyday operations in the period between 1968 and 1991. The book concludes with an exhaustive description of combat operations during the final year of the existence of the Bihac Air Base in 1991-1992, under the conditions of the civil war. Drawing upon exclusive archival sources - many of them classified until very recently - the authors have expanded the emerging story through interviews with dozens of officers and other ranks that served at this 'underground aircraft carrier', thus managing to fill the gaps in usage not covered by the documentation. Tito's Underground Air Base is lavishly illustrated with a huge collection of exclusive photographs collected from numerous archives, museums, and private collections, and a set of authentic colour profiles and diagrams. It is a unique source of reference about one of most fascinating projects related to underground military facilities constructed during the Cold War.
On 5 November 1757, in the vicinity of the small Saxon village of Rossbach, Frederick the Great and his army achieved a spectacular victory over an enemy composed of French and Imperial troops. 22,000 Prussian soldiers drove an army twice their size from the field of battle. Neither before or after would the Prussian king achieve such a decisive victory at so little cost to his own forces. Following the battle the French did not actively participate in any further campaigns against Prussia, whilst the Reichsarmee's reputation was permanently damaged. In contrast Frederick's generalship assumed a new lustre after the difficulties he had experienced during the summer campaign in Bohemia. The present volume brings together essays by well-known authors who examine the battle from differing perspectives. These include analyses of the three armies involved, and discussion of the course of the battle, its effects on the surrounding civilian population, and forms of remembrance. The volume is illustrated with a number of attractive images and maps.
To avenge defeats in a former war, Austria assembled a massive superiority in forces thanks to powerful alliances, and an army reformed and far more effective than ever before. But Prussia hung on, to force a long war and a bloody draw. The brilliance of Frederick the Great and the Prussian army have been given credit for this outcome, but Austria had more than its fair share of good soldiers and skilled generals. Wars never turn out as expected when there are formidable foes, and this book tells what went wrong. This is more than an account of battles and marches. The story of the Seven Years War in Central Europe has been long neglected, and yet it was there that the Austrians (followed closely by the Prussians) broke with the former rigidity of the armies of monarchical Europe, and not just foreshadowed but put into actual effect initiatives that are normally associated with the campaigns of the Revolution and Napoleon. The myth of a limited war leading to indecisive battles is no longer tenable. Not that it lacks a good story of excellent soldiers, some of them left in the limelight when Frederick the Great's legend was created, and of battles long forgotten. A wealth of maps and as many eyewitness accounts as possible have been used to explain what actually happened. This is a superb account of the war in central Europe, with its emphasis and focus on the operations of the Austrian army, based firmly on primary sources, the majority never before fully explored.