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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!
In May 1940, German troops advanced through Holland, Belgium and France with astonishing speed, forcing the British Expeditionary Force and the French army to retreat to the north-east coast of France. The evacuation plan - Operation Dynamo - was put into effect with the expectation that only about 45,000 men might be rescued. However, by the hasty assembly of a vast armada of disparate vessels (thought to be in the region of 900, of which about 700 were privately owned), 338,226 Allied troops were brought safely back to England. Without the contribution of those Dunkirk Little Ships, as they have come to be known, thousands of British troops would have died on the shores of France, and the ongoing fight against the Axis powers rendered all the more challenging. In this title, Philip Weir reveals the story of all the vessels that undertook such a great mission, exploring their general role and individual histories, including their preservation and the Little Ships participation in return runs every five years.
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.
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.
In 1914 the British expedition to Mesopotamia set out with the modest ambition of protecting the oil concession in Southern Persia but, after numerous misfortunes, ended up capturing Baghdad and Northern Towns in Iraq. Initially the mission was successful in seizing Basra but the British under Generals Nixon and Townshend, found themselves drawn North, becoming besieged by the Turks at Kut. After various failed relief attempts the British surrendered and the prisoners suffered appalling indignities and hardship, culminating in a death march to Turkey. In 1917 General Maude was appointed CinC but, as usual in Iraq, policy kept changing. Hopes that the Russians would come into the war were dashed by the Revolution. Operations were further frustrated by the hottest of summers. Fighting against the Turks continued right up to the Armistice. The conduct of the Campaign was subject to a Commission of Inquiry which was highly critical of numerous individuals and the administrative arrangements.
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.
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.
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.
Over the past 80 years, histories of the Battle of Britain have consistently portrayed the feats of 'The Few' (as they were immortalized in Churchill's famous speech) as being responsible for the RAF's victory in the epic battle. However, this is only part of the story. The results of an air campaign cannot be measured in terms of territory captured, cities occupied or armies defeated, routed or annihilated. Successful air campaigns are those that achieve their intended aims or stated objectives. Victory in the Battle of Britain was determined by whether the Luftwaffe achieved its objectives. The Luftwaffe, of course, did not, and this detailed and rigorous study explains why. Analysing the battle in its entirety in the context of what it was - history's first independent offensive counter-air campaign against the world's first integrated air defence system - Douglas C. Dildy and Paul F. Crickmore set out to re-examine this remarkable conflict. Presenting the events of the Battle of Britain in the context of the Luftwaffe's campaign and RAF Fighter Command's battles against it, this title is a new and innovative history of the battle that kept alive the Allies' chances of defeating Nazi Germany.
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.
For Hitler and the German military, 1942 was a key turning point of World War II, as an overstretched but still lethal Wehrmacht replaced brilliant victories and huge territorial gains with stalemates and strategic retreats. In this major reevaluation of that crucial year, Robert Citino shows that the German army's emerging woes were rooted as much in its addiction to the war of movement --attempts to smash the enemy in short and lively campaigns--as they were in Hitler's deeply flawed management of the war. From the overwhelming operational victories at Kerch and Kharkov in May to the catastrophic defeats at El Alamein and Stalingrad, Death of the Wehrmacht offers an eye-opening new view of that decisive year. Building upon his widely respected critique in The German Way of War, Citino shows how the campaigns of 1942 fit within the centuries-old patterns of Prussian/German warmaking and ultimately doomed Hitler's expansionist ambitions. He examines every major campaign and battle in the Russian and North African theaters throughout the year to assess how a military geared to quick and decisive victories coped when the tide turned against it. Citino also reconstructs the German generals' view of the war and illuminates the multiple contingencies that might have produced more favorable results. In addition, he cites the fatal extreme aggressiveness of German commanders like Erwin Rommel and assesses how the German system of command and its commitment to the independence of subordinate commanders suffered under the thumb of Hitler and chief of staff General Franz Halder. More than the turning point of a war, 1942 marked the death of a very old and traditional pattern of warmaking, with the classic German way of war unable to meet the challenges of the twentieth century. Blending masterly research with a gripping narrative, Citino's remarkable work provides a fresh and revealing look at how one of history's most powerful armies began to founder in its quest for world domination. This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.
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.
In 1870 France embarked on a war with Prussia and her allied German states that was to be a complete disaster. For Napoleon III, after his ignominious surrender with thousands of his troops from the Army of the Rhine and the Army of of Chalons, it meant his abdication and exile. For France it resulted in the humiliation of her army, a bitter civil war in Paris, the loss of two Provinces (Alsace and Lorraine) and a heavy indemnity. Maarten Otte provides background chapters to place the lead up to the war and the issues that were involved; he describes the make up of the opposing armies and some of their principal commanders.The campaign around Sedan was short, fought in the fag end days of August and early September 1870, though the war was to drag on for four months. The Sedan Campaign was fought over a relatively small area and the locations of some of the key battles have changed little, though some of those near the built up areas, such as Sedan itself, require some imagination. After the war several German regiments erected monuments and a surprising number remain today, often hidden away in isolated fields and copses. Several communal cemeteries have a number of German graves. Perhaps one of the most macabre of these is the ossuary in Bazeilles, where the visitor is able to see skeletons that still have shreds of uniform and footwear on them. A notable feature of this battlefield is to see memorials to the conflicts of the twentieth century - the Great War and the Second World War - Sedan was a focus of the most recent and most bloody western European wars.