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This book is the first volume about Artillery Regiment 1 of the 1st Waffen-SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). The artillery batteries of the LAH during the whole of World War II faced some of the hardest combat, and probably no other artillery unit was used as often at critical spots on all fronts. While it had only three batteries of light field howitzers during the French campaign, when the full artillery regiment was set up in August 1940, it later received heavier guns and 88mm flak. In April 1941, at Lake Kastoria in Macedonia during a tremendous artillery battle, the full regiment fired as a unit for the first time. During the battles on the Russian Front the regiment's artillery equipment was constantly upgraded. One of the artillery batteries was equipped from 1943 with Wespe and Hummel self-propelled guns and later with Nebelwerfer rocket launchers that gave the regiment its tremendous firepower. Especially during the difficult defensive battles in the winter of 1943-1944 in the Ukraine, every artillery piece - whether a heavy field howitzer, or 15cm rocket launcher - was often used at such close range that it was fired with barrels in a horizontal position. The battery was later attached to the reconnaissance unit in the vanguard of the LAH and experienced the hardest battles while using "Panzermeyer tactics" that required rapid marches and lightning fast deployment into firing positions. Nearly 300 photos, most never before published, document the bitter battles of the LAH artillery regiment.
James Controvich's magisterial updated Bibliography is the first truly comprehensive listing of all Army unit histories that will not be superseded for years to come. Collectors, genealogists, librarians, museum curators, and amateur and professional military historians have all come to rely on Controvich to provide the necessary starting place for their research.
The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) provides the Army s integral repair and recovery capability. Its soldiers are deployed at the front line and have to be capable of switching instantly from a technical role to fighting alongside those they support, as their many awards for gallantry demonstrate. This, the third, volume of REME s distinguished history covers the period from post-Cold War drawdown to the end of UK combat operations in Afghanistan, during which time REME was continuously involved in operations. The narrative knits together personal accounts of front line experiences with an explanation the political and military background, with a particular focus on equipment support issues. It explains how REME operates and deals with broader issues related to the procurement and support of equipment, and the changing organisations delivering these vital services, within which members of REME have frequently played key enabling roles.
Born out of necessity in the dark days of the War, the RAF Regiment found itself in the thick of the action supporting the vital operations in all theatres. This comprehensive record of their operations gives the clearest indication of the contribution that the Regiment made and includes many first hand accounts of the fighting, including the first shooting-down of a jet aircraft, the Me 262A-2a Sturmvogel in November 1944. As a result of their outstanding contributions to the success of RAF operations in WW2, the Regiment became a permanent part of the RAF.
It may come as some surprise that in such a popular area of military history there is no book that focuses on the experience of the Victorian soldier--from recruitment to embarkation, fighting, and perhaps returning, perhaps dying -- in his own words. Dr. Manning's meticulous research in primary sources gives the lie to the received image of the disciplined, redcoated campaigner of Victorian art and literature--for one thing, by the time he arrived at his destination, the coat would have been in rags. The distances covered on march were unbelievable, through desert and disease-ravaged swamp. Lavishly illustrated thoughout, all the major Colonial campaigns and most of the minor ones are featured. To understand how what was in reality a tiny standing army controlled the largest empire the world has ever seen, this book is a must.
During World War II 51,000 Italian prisoners of war were detained in the United States. When Italy signed an armistice with the Allies in September 1943, most of these soldiers agreed to swear allegiance to the United States and to collaborate in the fight against Germany. At the Letterkenny Army Depot, located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, more than 1,200 Italian soldiers were detained as co-operators. They arrived in May 1944 to form the 321st Italian Quartermaster Battalion and remained until October 1945. As detainees, the soldiers helped to order, stock, repair, and ship military goods, munitions and equipment to the Pacific and European Theaters of war. Through such labor, they lent their collective energy to the massive home front endeavor to defeat the Axis Powers. The prisoners also helped to construct the depot itself, building roads, sidewalks, and fences, along with individual buildings such as an assembly hall, amphitheater, swimming pool, and a chapel and bell tower. The latter of these two constructions still exist, and together with the assembly hall, bear eloquent testimony to the Italian POW experience. For their work the Italian co-operators received a very modest, regular salary, and they experienced more freedom than regular POWs. In their spare time, they often had liberty to leave the post in groups that American soldiers chaperoned. Additionally, they frequently received or visited large entourages of Italian Americans from the Mid-Atlantic region who were eager to comfort their erstwhile countrymen. The story of these Italian soldiers detained at Letterkenny has never before been told. Now, however, oral histories from surviving POWs, memoirs generously donated by family members of ex-prisoners, and the rich information newly available from archival material in Italy, aided by material found in the U.S., have made it possible to reconstruct this experience in full. All of this historical documentation has also allowed the authors to tell fascinating individual stories from the moment when many POWs were captured to their return to Italy and beyond. More than seventy years since the end of World War II, family members of ex-POWs in both the United States and Italy still enjoy the positive legacy of this encounter.
Thomas Pearson, a country parson's son, was commissioned in the 23rd Foot, Royal Welch Fusiliers, in 1796. In a career spanning 47 years he fought on three continents, was wounded five times, received two battlefield promotions and achieved the rank of general.Fix Bayonets! follows this hard-biting soldier in the deserts of Egypt, the dikes of the Netherlands, the jungles of the West Indies, the mountains of Spain and the wilderness of America. Through Pearson's true-life adventures we learn about war, wine, women and song in a fascinating epoch and meet a cast of famous and infamous characters, including King George III, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, James Madison, Winfield Scott, Marichal Soult, Lord Nelson and Major General William ("Auld Grog Willie") Stewart.The centrepiece is a detailed account of the bloody battle of Albuera in 1811. Albuera was the high point of Pearson's career he went into it as a junior major in his brigade and came out as the brigade commander because he was the only officer above the rank of captain still standing.
Numbering over five million men, Britain's army in the First World War was the biggest in the country's history. Remarkably, nearly half those men who served in it were volunteers. 2,466,719 men enlisted between August 1914 and December 1915, many in response to the appeals of the Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener, by then a natural hero. Peter Simkins describes how Kitchener's New Armies were raised and reviews the main political, economic and social effects of the recruiting campaign. He examines the experiences and impressions of the officers and men who made up the New Armies. As well as analysing their motives for enlisting, he explores how they were fed, housed, equipped and trained before they set off for active service abroad. Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, ranging from government papers to the diaries and letters of individual soldiers, he questions long-held assumptions about the 'rush to the colours' and the nature of patriotism in 1914. The book will be of interest not only to those studying social, political and economic history, but also to general readers who wish to know more about the story of Britain's citizen soldiers in the Great War.
Following the success of Nice One Centurion the second volume in the Centurion series, 'Are You Tittering Centurion?' chronicles the true, personal and hilarious antics of an RAF Regiment Gunner and his fellow Penguin counterparts. Featuring more illustrations from Tim Parker, this volume continues the tales of the nitty-gritty life of training, exercises, deployment, war, and the general mayhem that followed the RAF Regiment wherever it went.Born out of an idea to help fellow service members who suffer with PTSD, a percentage of proceeds is going to Help 4 Heroes, the RAF Regiment Museum and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The study provides an in-depth, up-to-date, and scholarly analysis of the liberation war and the Sheikh Mujib Regime of Bangladesh. Situating the emergence of Bangladesh in the broader historical context of the partition of British India in 1947, the study re-examines: a) how Mujib successfully galvanized the legitimate grievances of Bangladeshi people during the united Pakistan period (1947-71) and how a highly successful guerilla warfare of Bangladeshi people led to dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 with crucial military and political support from neighboring India; (b) how in the post-liberation Bangladesh the Mujib regime toyed with contradictory political ideologies of democracy and socialism, and eventually ended up with a one-party monolithic rule; (c) how in the economic sphere the Mujib regime vacillated between petty bourgeoisie and socialist inclinations by half-heartedly pursuing socialization of agriculture and nationalization of industries, which resulted in plundering of the economy and plunging of millions of people in famine and near-famine situations; (d) how in 1975 the assassination of Mujib and collapse of his ill-fated regime, that failed to deliver both economically and politically, evoked little sympathy from the masses; and (e) how the trial of the killers of Mujib after 21 years of his death, and the trial of the collaborators of the liberation war after four decades of the country's liberation war, orchestrated by Sheikh Hasina government, keep the nation's political discourse still sharply divided.
Liverpool Pals, is a record of duty, courage and endeavour of a group of men who, before war broke out in 1914, were the backbone of Liverpool's commerce. Fired with patriotism, over 4,000 of these businessmen volunteered in 1914 and were formed into the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th (Service) Battalions of the King's (Liverpool Regiment); they were the first of all the Pals battalions to be raised, and they were the last to be stood down. It is commonly held that the North of England's Pals battalions were wiped out on the 1st July, 1916, certainly this befell a number of units, but the Liverpool Pals took all their objectives on that day. From then on they fought all through the Somme Battle, The Battle of Arras and the muddy hell of Passchendaele in 1917, and the desperate defence against the German offensive of March 1918.
In early September 1939, the 2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment were one of the first complete infantry units of the BEF to land in France.returncharacterreturncharacterThe first months of World War Two were relatively quiet but after deploying to the Maginot Line sector during January 1940 they came into contact with those Germans manning the West Wall or Siegfried Line. A patrol led by Captain Peter Barclay entered German territory and was attacked. As a result, the first decorations of the war were awarded. Barclay received the Military Cross and Lance-Corporal Davis the Military Medal while the remaining members of the patrol were mentioned in despatches.returncharacterreturncharacterTwo days later, the battalion suffered a tragic first when Lieutenant Patrick Everitt was mortally wounded while leading a daylight patrol. Everitt was the first British officer to be killed in action in the Second World War.returncharacterreturncharacterWhen the Germans launched their offensive on 10 May, the BEF advanced to the River Dyle in Belgium. Within days the Allied Armies had been forced onto the back foot by the speed and ferocity of the German breakthrough. The Norfolks withdrew to the River Escaut where the BEF was to make a stand. On 21 May, the Company Sergeant Major George Gristock courageously destroyed some German machine-gun posts and won a posthumous Victoria Cross.returncharacterreturncharacterAs the Allies withdrew towards the Channel, the Norfolks were ordered to defend a section of the Canal Line between Be'thune and Le Cornet Malo. Already down to around half strength, the Norfolks held their sector from 24 to 27 May. By the time the order was issued for them to withdraw, it was too late, Battalion HQ at Duries Farm, Le Paradis was surrounded and they had no alternative but to surrender, although 'C' Company held out until the following morning.returncharacterreturncharacterAfter the surrender, ninety-nine men of the Battalion were marched to a paddock where they were machine-gunned in cold blood by their SS captors. Miraculously, two men survived and were instrumental in bringing the SS officer responsible, Fritz Knoechlien, to justice after the war.returncharacterreturncharacterWhen the remnants of the battalion reassembled in England, its strength was just five officers and 134 other ranks. The remainder had either been killed or captured as POWs.
In this inspiring account of the Tuskegee Airmen-the country's first African American military pilots-historian J. Todd Moye captures the challenges and triumphs of these brave aviators in their own words, drawing on more than 800 interviews recorded for the National Park Service's Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project. Denied the right to fully participate in the U.S. war effort alongside whites at the beginning of World War II, African Americans-spurred on by black newspapers and civil rights organizations such as the NAACP-compelled the prestigious Army Air Corps to open its training programs to black pilots, despite the objections of its top generals. Thousands of young men came from every part of the country to Tuskegee, Alabama, in the heart of the segregated South, to enter the program, which expanded in 1943 to train multi-engine bomber pilots in addition to fighter pilots. By the end of the war, Tuskegee Airfield had become a small city populated by black mechanics, parachute packers, doctors, and nurses. Together, they helped prove that racial segregation of the fighting forces was so inefficient as to be counterproductive to the nation's defense. Freedom Flyers brings to life the legacy of a determined, visionary cadre of African American airmen who proved their capabilities and patriotism beyond question, transformed the armed forces-formerly the nation's most racially polarized institution-and jump-started the modern struggle for racial equality. "The personal nature of the examples Moye cites make it a far deeper and richer narrative than typical WWII fare.... The author's friendly style should open the title up to even casual readers." -Booklist "An excellent history of the first African-American military pilots.... Moye's lively prose and the intimate details of the personal narratives yield an accessible scholarly history that also succeeds as vivid social history." -Publishers Weekly
Military historians have often regarded the roll of the Italian military as somewhat "bi-polar." During the First World War, Italy sided with the Allies including Britain, France, Russia and the U.S. against Germany and the Central Powers. During the Second World War it signed on as a member of the Tri-Partite powers joining Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The legacy of the latter often presents a less than positive appraisal of the Italian soldier's performance... one espoused both by its enemies and allies. However a positive consensus appears when focusing on the Bersaglieri... translating as "sharp shooter"... and acting as shock troops often leading both assaults and defences. As "The Tip of the Spear" they would thus pay the price during the Italian Wars of Unification, the early colonial forays into Africa, WWI, the Ethiopian War and lastly WWII with much Bersaglieri blood soaked up by European soil as well as the burning sands of Africa and frozen in the vastness of Russia. Over 300 images including rare unpublished photographs chronicle Italy's elite "Plumed Warriors."
The 'Pals' battalions were a phenomenon of the Great War, never repeated since. Under Lord Derby's scheme, and in response to Kitchener's famous call for a million volunteers, local communities raised (and initially often paid for) entire battalions for service on the Western Front. Their experience was all too frequently tragic, as men who had known each other all their lives, had worked, volunteered, and trained together, and had shipped to France together, encountered the first full fury of modern battle on the Somme in July 1916. Many of the Pals battalions would not long survive that first brutal baptism, but their spirit and fighting qualities have gone down into history - these were, truly, the cream of Britain's young men, and every single one of them was a volunteer.
For more than half of its existence, members of the Marine Corps largely self-identified as soldiers. It did not yet mean something distinct to be a Marine, either to themselves or to the public at large. As neither a land-based organisation like the Army nor an entirely sea-based one like the Navy, the Corps' missions overlapped with both institutions. This work argues that the Marine Corps could not and would not settle on a mission, and therefore it turned to an image to ensure its institutional survival. The process by which a maligned group of nineteenth-century naval policemen began to consider themselves to be elite warriors benefited from the active engagement of Marine officers with the Corps' historical record as justification for its very being. Rather than look forward and actively seek out a mission that could secure their existence, late nineteenth-century Marines looked backward and embraced the past. They began to justify their existence by invoking their institutional traditions, their many martial engagements, and their claim to be the nation's oldest and proudest military institution. This led them to celebrate themselves as superior to soldiers and sailors. Although there are countless works on this hallowed fighting force, How the Few Became the Proud is the first to explore how the Marine Corps crafted such powerful myths.
This is the first full-length detailed study of the uniforms, organization, personnel and campaigns of the numerous Swiss units that served in the armies of Revolutionary, Directorate, and Imperial France from the campaigns of 1798 in Switzerland until the Hundred Days of 1815. The author covers not just the regulation uniforms but also the numerous variations recorded in contemporary documents and plates. The uniforms of the Tete de Colonne could change from issue to issue and year to year and the author has tried to cover all of these known changes. Estimates of the number of Swiss who served in the French Army from 1798-1815 vary from fifty to ninety thousand - numbers that makes the Swiss the largest non-French nationality in the Imperial Armies. There have been many studies of these units published in France and Switzerland but this is the first full-length study to be published in England.
The Welsh at War trilogy is the culmination of over twelve years of painstaking research by the author into the Welsh men and infantry units who fought in the Great War. These units included the four regular regiments-the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, South Wales Borderers Welsh Regiment and Welsh Guards-as well as the Territorial Monmouthshire Regiment, the Yeomanry regiments: the Denbighshire Hussars, Pembroke Yeomanry, Montgomeryshire Yeomanry, Glamorgan Yeomanry and Welsh Horse Yeomanry and their amalgamation into service battalions for the regular regiments during 1917. Welsh troops fought with great courage in every theatre of the war-the Western Front, Aden, China, Gallipoli, Egypt, India, Italy, Salonika and in Palestine-and as well as the casualties who were suffered during these campaigns, many men gained recognition for acts of gallantry. The three volumes, split chronologically, cover all of the major actions and incidents in which each of the Welsh infantry regiments took part, as well as stories of Welsh airmen, Welshmen shot at dawn, Welsh rugby players who fell, Welsh gallantry winners and the Welshmen who died in non-Welsh units, such as the Dominion forces and other units of the British armed forces. While chronicling a history of the war through the events and battles that Welshmen took part in, the stories of many individual casualties are included throughout, together with many compelling photographs of the men and their last resting places. Volume III-'Through Mud To Victory'-'Third Ypres And The 1918 Offensives'-records the stories of the Welsh troops involved in the Third Battle of Ypres, from the Welsh battalions of the 19th (Western) Division at Messines Ridge, through the storming of the Pilckem Ridge by the 38th (Welsh) Division and the Guards Division; and the Welsh troops who fought in the final offensives at Passchendaele Ridge. The actions of Welsh troops during the Battle of Cambrai carry through to the final winter of the war and the volume records the sufferings of Welsh troops fighting during the desperate German 'Kaiserschlacht', offensives of the spring of 1918; and carries through the summer of 1918, when the 38th (Welsh) Division moved back to the Somme, to the actions of Welsh troops during the 100 Days Offensive which finally ended the war. The volume also covers the stories of the final battles in Italy, Salonika and Palestine, which saw Welsh troops play a large part.
In August and September 1914 the Regimental Depot of the Durham Light Infantry at Fenham Barracks in Newcastle was overwhelmed by the number of men enlisting. Accommodation was tight so the men were formed into batches and sent off to training grounds in the south of England. Over 2,000 men were sent to Bulllswater near Woking in Surrey where they became the 12th and 13th Battalions of the DLI serving in 68 Brigade of the 23rd Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Sir James Babington KCB KCMG. The Division never failed to take an objective between 1915 and 1918. After initial training around Aldershot and Ashford, in May they embarked for France on 25 August 1915. In November Private Thomas Kenny, of the 13th DLI, a miner from Wingate, County Durham, won the Victoria Cross rescuing his wounded officer. In the summer of 1916 they joined the fighting on the Somme and took part in the capture of Contalmaison on 10 July. In October the two battalions took part in the capture of Le Sars before being sent north to the Ypres Salient. In Flanders they took part in the Battle of Messines and the 3rd Battle of Ypres. In November 1917 the 23rd Division was ordered to the Italian Front. The 12th and 13th Battalions were initially deployed on the Montello before moving into the mountainous region of the Asiago Plateau. They were attacked by the Austrians on 15 June 1918, however, the only enemy soldiers that entered the Durhams' trenches did so as prisoners, brought in by men of the two battalions. The 13th DLI was ordered back to France in September 1918 where it took part in the advance to victory; the battalion suffered many casualties in the last six weeks of the war. The 12th DLI remained in Italy and took part in the crossing of the River Piave in October 1918 and the Battle of Vittorio Veneto that led to the end of the war in Italy. The book uses unpublished memoirs and diaries along with letters from officers and men of both battalions. Using the soldier's personal documents this book reveals many of the tragic stories that led to unnecessary loss of life. Lists of gallantry awards and nominal rolls of officers of both battalions are included.
Using a wealth of contemporary sources, this book narrates the story of the Liverpool Rifles in the Great War from their mobilisation in August 1914 to their return to Liverpool in 1919, each day of their active service in France and Belgium detailed. The role played by 3,000 individuals, including every single casualty---wounded or killed---is covered in the narrative and in many cases, the exact position where this happened. The battalion served a tough apprenticeship in the Second Battle of Ypres, losing over 40 per cent casualties in their first five months overseas. By the time the battalion left the Somme in September 1916, their casualties figures exceeded the number who sailed to France in 1915. The ferocious struggle in the Third Battle of Ypres and their epic defensive actions at Little Priel Farm and Givenchy are described down to individual platoon level; twenty-one detailed sketch maps allowing the reader to follow the action. Uniquely, the battalion roll in the appendices includes every officer and man who served with the battalion overseas, many of whom do not feature in the Medal Rolls.
As part of the Light Division created to act as the advance guard of Wellington's army, the 95th Rifles are the first into battle and the last out. Fighting and thieving their way across Europe, they are clearly no ordinary troops. The 95th are in fact the first British soldiers to take aim at their targets, to take cover when being shot at, to move tactically by fire and manoeuvre. And by the end of the six-year campaign they have not only proved themselves the toughest fighters in the army, they have also - at huge personal cost - created the modern notion of the infantryman. In an exhilarating work of narrative military history, Mark Urban traces the story of the 95th Rifles, the toughest and deadliest sharpshooters of Wellington's Army. 'If you like Sharpe, then this book is a must, your Christmas present solved.' Bernard Cornwell, Daily Mail 'Urban writes history the way it should be written, alive and exciting.' Andy McNab
Soldiers in the Union Army volunteered for many reasons--to reunite
the country, to put down the southern rebellion. For most, however,
slavery was a peripheral issue. Sympathy for slaves often came only
after the soldiers actually witnessed their plight.
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