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Battles & campaigns

See below for a selection of the latest books from Battles & campaigns category. Presented with a red border are the Battles & campaigns 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 Battles & campaigns books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Panzer IV

Panzer IV

Author: Thomas Anderson Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/01/2021

The Panzer IV programme was started in 1934, forming, alongside the Panzer IIs and IIIs, the schnellen Truppen, the force that was to become the Panzerwaffe. At first, German planners envisioned the tank in a secondary role, but during the invasions of The Low Countries and France, it took on a more central role. When the Panzerwaffe turned east to attack the Soviet Union, the Panzer IV initially fared poorly against the better-armed T-34. However, upgrades to its gun and armour protection saw it perform far better, not only against Soviet armour but also against British and American tanks in North Africa and Italy. In 1944, it was slowly replaced by the Panzer V Panther, but the dire strategic situation meant that it bore the brunt of the Allied D-Day invasion and its aftermath, and it remained in service until the end of the war. Fully illustrated throughout with contemporary photographs, this fascinating study from German armour expert Thomas Anderson tells the complete story of Germany's most widely produced tank of World War II, from its design and development to its many upgrades and variants.

Holding the Line

Holding the Line

Author: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2021

Naval and air power were crucial to the United Nations' success in the Korean War, as it sought to negate the overwhelming Chinese advantage in manpower. In what became known as the 'long hard slog', naval aviators sought to slow and cut off communist forces and support troops on the ground. USS Leyte (CV-32) operated off Korea in the Sea of Japan for a record 93 continuous days to support the Marines in their epic retreat out of North Korea, and was crucial in the battles of the spring and summer of 1951 in which the UN forces again battled to the 38th Parallel. All of this was accomplished with a force that was in the midst of change, as jet aircraft altered the entire nature of naval aviation. This paperback edition of Holding the Line chronicles the carrier war in Korea from the first day of the war to the last, focusing on front-line combat, while also describing the technical development of aircraft and shipboard operations, and how these all affected the broader strategic situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Dunkirk and the Little Ships

Dunkirk and the Little Ships

Author: Philip Weir Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

During 1940 the German army swept with devastating speed across the Low Countries and into northern France and drove Allied forces back into a small pocket around Dunkirk. Without a swift withdrawal across the English Channel, the latter faced certain death or capture. The evacuation plan - Operation Dynamo - initially calculated that 45,000 men might be rescued, but between 26 May and 4 June 338,226 men were in fact brought back to England. Naval historian Philip Weir shows how this was made possible by a vast armada of disparate vessels including destroyers, minesweepers, fishing vessels and, most famously of all, the privately owned 'Little Ships'. He explores the vessels' various roles within the evacuation, and their subsequent fates, including preservation and participation in commemorative return runs to the port, which now take place every five years.

The Reckoning

The Reckoning

Author: Prit Buttar Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2020

The Reckoning is vivid history, the tragic Eastern Front brought to life through the widest range of Russian and German sources I've ever read. Bravo.' -- Peter Caddick-Adams, author and broadcaster By the end of 1944 the Red Army was poised on the very frontiers of the Third Reich. How had the once unstoppable, mighty Wehrmacht faltered so disastrously? Certainly it had suffered defeats before, in particular the vast catastrophe of Stalingrad, but it was in 1944 that the war was ultimately lost. It was no longer a case of if but rather when the Red Army would be at the gates of Berlin. Prit Buttar retraces the ebb and flow of the various battles and campaigns fought throughout the Ukraine and Romania in 1944. January and February saw Army Group South encircled in the Korsun Pocket. Although many of the encircled troops did escape, in part due to Soviet intelligence and command failures, the Red Army would endeavour to not make the same mistakes again. Indeed, in the coming months the Red Army would demonstrate an ability to learn and improve, reinventing itself as a war-winning machine, demonstrated clearly in its success in the Iasi-Kishinev operation. The view of the Red Army as a huge, unskilled horde that rolled over everything in its path is just one myth that The Reckoning reassess. So too does it re-evaluate the apparent infallibility of German military commanders, the denial of any involvement in (or often even knowledge of) the heinous crimes committed in the occupied territories by German forces, and the ineffectiveness of Axis allies, such as the Romanians at Iasi, to withstand the Soviet forces. Like all myths, these contain many truths, but also a great many distortions, all of which are skilfully unpicked and analysed in this powerful retelling of 1944 on the Eastern Front.

Case White

Case White

Author: Robert Forczyk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

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, when 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.

Midway

Midway

Author: Richard Worth Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/10/2020

Marathon, Hastings, Midway -- just a few of the major battles covered in this series, which introduces readers to the wartime engagements that changed the course of human history. Each book gives a historical account of a decisive battle -- its participants, the political climate leading to the engagement, and the deciding factors that ultimately led to a victory or defeat. This World War II naval battle, fought entirely by aircraft, ushered in a new era in military history.

The Eye of Command

The Eye of Command

Author: Kimberly Kagan Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/10/2020

Published in 1976, Sir John Keegan's The Face of Battle was a ground-breaking work in military history studies, providing narrative techniques that served as a model for countless subsequent scholarly and popular military histories. Keegan's approach to understanding battles stressed the importance of small unit actions and personal heroism, an approach exemplified in the narratives produced by reporters embedded with American combat troops in Iraq. Challenging Keegan's seminal work, Kimberly Kagan's The Eye of Command offers a new approach to studying and narrating battles, based upon an analysis of the works of the Roman military authors Julius Caesar and Ammianus Marcellinus. Kagan argues that historians cannot explain a battle's outcome solely on the basis of soldiers' accounts of small-unit actions. A commander's view, however, helps explain the significance of a battle's major events, how they relate to one another, and how they lead to a battle's outcome. The eye of command approach also answers fundamental questions about the way commanders perceive battles as they fight them - questions modern military historians have largely ignored.

Colder than Hell

Colder than Hell

Author: Joseph R. Owen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/10/2020

During the early, uncertain days of the Korean War, World War II veteran and company lieutenant Joe Owen saw firsthand how the hastily assembled mix of some two hundred regulars and raw reservists hardened into a superb Marine rifle company known as Baker-One-Seven. As comrades fell wounded and dead around them on the frozen slopes above Korea's infamous Chosin Reservoir, Baker-One-Seven's Marines triumphed against the relentless human-wave assaults of Chinese regulars and took part in the breakout that destroyed six to eight divisions of Chinese regulars. Colder Than Hell paints a vivid, frightening portrait of one of the most horrific infantry battles ever waged.

The Eye of Command

The Eye of Command

Author: Kimberly Kagan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/10/2020

Published in 1976, Sir John Keegan's The Face of Battle was a ground-breaking work in military history studies, providing narrative techniques that served as a model for countless subsequent scholarly and popular military histories. Keegan's approach to understanding battles stressed the importance of small unit actions and personal heroism, an approach exemplified in the narratives produced by reporters embedded with American combat troops in Iraq. Challenging Keegan's seminal work, Kimberly Kagan's The Eye of Command offers a new approach to studying and narrating battles, based upon an analysis of the works of the Roman military authors Julius Caesar and Ammianus Marcellinus. Kagan argues that historians cannot explain a battle's outcome solely on the basis of soldiers' accounts of small-unit actions. A commander's view, however, helps explain the significance of a battle's major events, how they relate to one another, and how they lead to a battle's outcome. The eye of command approach also answers fundamental questions about the way commanders perceive battles as they fight them - questions modern military historians have largely ignored.

Attack on the Scheldt

Attack on the Scheldt

Author: Graham A Thomas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/09/2020

During the Allied advance across northwest Europe in 1944, the opening up of the key port of Antwerp was a pivotal event, yet it has been neglected in histories of the conflict. The battles in Normandy and on the German frontier have been studied often and in detail, while the fight for the Scheldt estuary, Walcheren and Antwerp itself has been treated as a sideshow. Graham Thomas's timely and graphic account underlines the importance of this aspect of the Allied campaign and offers a fascinating insight into a complex combined-arms operation late in the Second World War. Using operational reports and vivid first-hand eyewitness testimony, he takes the reader alongside 21 Army Group as it cleared the Channel ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk, then moved on to attack the Scheldt and the island stronghold of Walcheren. Overcoming entrenched German resistance there was essential to the whole operation, and it is the climax of his absorbing narrative.

Dettingen 1743

Dettingen 1743

Author: Michael McNally Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

The death of the Emperor Charles VI in 1741 was the catalyst for a conflict ostensibly about the female inheritance of the Hapsburg patrimony but, in reality, about the succession to the Imperial Throne. The great European powers were divided between those, such as Britain, who supported the Pragmatic Sanction and the rights of the Archduchess Maria-Theresia, daughter of Charles VI, and those who challenged it, including Bavaria which were supported by France. The conflict quickly escalated into what is now known as the War of the Austrian Succession, and a series of turbulent political events brought the crisis to a head on the road to Hanau, near Dettingen. There, the French moved to put into place a complex manoeuvre which had the potential to end the war at a single stroke. A column of French troops would cross the Main near Dettingen and block the road to Hanau, their orders being to simply hold their ground and bar the route of the Allied British and Hanovarian advance. A second column would cross the Main behind the enemy and then follow their line of march northwards. The bulk of the army would use a combination of bridges and pontoon-bridges to cross the Main and engage the enemy from the flank as they were strung out on the line of march. However, the plan relied heavily on the blocking force, and command of this crucial sector fell to an inexperienced nobleman Louis-Auguste, Duc de Grammont, who chose to attack rather than hold his position. Consequently, the manoeuvre failed and the French broke, fleeing for the Main and safety, with the Gardes Francaises famously swimming the river. Supported by specially commissioned artwork including maps and battleplates, this title explores the battle in depth, detailing its build-up, events, and aftermath, as well as analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the commanders, armies, and tactics of both sides.

The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain

Author: Nigel Cawthorne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/08/2020

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few - Churchill on the RAF. The fate of Britain was balanced on a knife edge after Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF. German aircraft outnumbered Britain's forces four to one, and the Luftwaffe was inexorably gaining the upper hand. It was touch and go whether the nation could survive. This landscape-format book presents an incredible pictorial history of the Battle of Britain. Over 200 full-page photographs reveal the twists and turns of this momentous air battle and the men and women who fought for their nation. Images feature: * The courageous 'Few' who fought from the skies, including Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson. * Local defence volunteers who prepared on the ground * The various aircraft that defined this battle, featuring the iconic Spitfire, the Hurricane and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109. * Scenes of tragedy and jubilation, including the London Blitz and final VE day celebrations in Trafalgar square. These spectacular photographs are accompanied by fascinating captions and chapter text which narrates the action. Emphasising the human side to this battle, The Battle of Britain is a moving tribute to a men and women who pulled together in the face of overwhelming odds and pushed back against Adolf Hitler.