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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 21 юли 2018, 00:00

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1. Last Days Playthrough: The Escape - 2018-07-20 08:14:00
Ash's gang is back battling against Owen's survivors in the latest battle report for Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse. A massive horde of zombies is decending on the area and the two rival groups have found themselves directly in its path. There are far too many to fight and both sides are desperately searching for a vehicle large enough to carry them out of danger.

Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse is a skirmish wargame of survival horror written by Ash Barker. Order your copy today and see how well you survive against the undead!


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 25 юли 2018, 00:00

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1. Homemade Vietnamese Heavy Weapons of the 1st Indochinese War - 2018-07-24 15:55:00
Valley of the Shadow is the dramatic re-telling of the climactic battle of the First Indochina War, which saw French forces expelled from their former colony and air-land base in the valley of Dien Bien Phu, setting the stage for the 'American War' in Vietnam.
Today on the blog, author Kevin Boylan looks at some of the homemade Vietnamese Heavy Weapons that were adopted by the VPA during the conflict.
During the early years of the First Indochinese War (1947–1954), the Communist-led Vietnamese People’s Army (VPA) was armed chiefly with arms that were seized from Japanese occupation troops at the end of World War I, purchased from Nationalist Chinese troops that occupied northern Indochina in 1945-1946, or captured from the French. These included few heavy weapons (artillery pieces, mortars, bazookas, etc.) and ammunition for them was scarce. This situation would change dramatically after Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and began sending arms shipments across the border the following year. But until then, the VPA had to manufacture much of its own heavy weaponry in primitive arms factories. According to French military intelligence, the VPA produced 13 different types of mortars, three of grenade launchers, five of bazookas/rocket launchers, and 12 of recoilless guns (not to mention 15 types of small arms).
The first heavy weapons to be fabricated were mortars (súng cối) and bazookas (badôka) as these were easy to manufacture and did not require complex recoil systems. A bazooka is, after all, just an open-ended tube, while a mortar is merely a tube sitting on a baseplate that transmits the recoil forces downward into the ground. Both came in several different calibers because their barrels were made from metal tubes in whatever diameters were available. Thus, 187mm (7.4-inch) super-heavy mortars were made by sawing the tops off steel oxygen tanks, while in southern Vietnam, automobile shock absorber cylinders were converted into mortar barrels. Yet, the VPA also managed to produce copies of 50mm, 60mm, 81mm and 120mm mortars employed by the French, thus facilitating the use of captured ammunition. This was important because a high proportion of its homemade shells were duds. The French estimated that nearly 80 percent of the 66mm (2.36-inch) rockets made for captured M1A1 bazookas in the VPA’s arms factories were defective. Its homemade bazookas closely copied the American M1A1’s design, but had 60mm and 75mm bores. Like other VPA heavy weapons, they were commonly referred to using an alpha-numeric code based on their type and caliber (i.e., the Badôka 60mm was the “B-60”).
VPA bazooka and mortar warheads were generally too small to destroy the concrete bunkers and watchtowers (with walls up to 600mm (24 inches) thick) that the French built to guard key facilities and roads. To increase their firepower, some mortars were provided with over-caliber warheads that greatly exceeded the diameter of their barrels. At the 1954 siege of Dien Bien Phu, for example, 60mm mortars were used to fire massive “torpedo shells” that can probably be equated with several unexploded 90mm x 500mm (3.5 x 20-inch) projectiles recovered by the French. Likewise, some 120mm shells were fired by 81mm mortars during the siege. These and other oversize shells were loaded by inserting an attached rod (or “spigot”) down the mortar’s barrel before firing (thus converting it into a “spigot mortar”). The term “explosive charge launcher” (bộc phá phóng) could be applied to such weapons, but “bomb thrower” (súng phóng bom) was more commonly used although it could refer to recoilless guns as well (see below).
VPA spigot mortars were powerful enough to knock out French bunkers, watchtowers and riverine warships, but these crude indirect-fire weapons had great difficulty scoring direct hits. On the other hand, while direct-fire bazookas could accurately hit such targets at close and short ranges, their warheads were too small to destroy them. What the VPA needed, then, were direct-fire weapons capable of firing warheads as large as those launched by the spigot mortars. This requirement was met by manufacturing crude recoilless guns in two different series designated “SKZ” and “SS.” SKZs were first built in the VPA’s primary base area situated in the mountainous Việt Bắc region near the Chinese border, and were fielded only in northern and central Vietnam. The SS series was produced about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) away in the waterlogged Rừng Sác (Salty Forest) base area 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Saigon (known to American troops in a later war as the ‘Rung Sat Special Zone’) and were employed only in southern Vietnam. At least some weapons in each series could be classified as “bomb throwers” since they fired large, over-caliber shells, but others – especially SS types – appear to have shot projectiles that fit entirely within their barrels.
SKZs (súng không giật[1]– “gun no shock”) operated on the principle of allowing some of the high-velocity gases generated by the explosion of a shell’s propellant charge to escape through a nozzle at the rear of the weapon, generating forward thrust that counteracted the rearward force of recoil. Their principal designer was Nguyễn Trinh Tiếp, head of the VPA General Headquarters’ Military Research Office. Born in 1924, he studied mathematics and mechanics at college in Hanoi before World War II, and completed the first public engineering course offered in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam just before the outbreak of the First Indochinese War. In 1953, he transferred to the Ministry of Transport, where he would serve in a series of senior posts until he was killed on the job by a US air raid in June 1967.
Like the VPA’s homemade mortars, SKZs were produced in wide variety of calibers including 51mm, 81mm, 120mm, 175mm, but the SKZ-60 was the first and by far the most prolific. Used in action for the first time at the Battle of Phố Lu in February 1950, it was a tripod-mounted weapon 1.3 meters (52 inches) long that weighed 26 kilograms (57 pounds), but could be broken down into three pieces for transport. The standard 120mm shaped-charge warhead, which terminated in a 60mm rod that fit inside the gun barrel, carried a 2.2-kilogram (5-pound) explosive charge that could penetrate 600mm of concrete. But like all its kin, the SKZ-60 was a low-velocity smoothbore (VPA arms factories were incapable of cutting spiral rifling grooves inside gun barrels) and thus was accurate only at close range. Its muzzle velocity was just 75–80 meters (about 250 feet) per second and its effective range a mere 60 meters (200 feet). The low-grade steel tubes used in SKZ manufacture would have burst if larger propellant charges had been used to achieve higher muzzle velocities and ranges. And even if that problem could somehow have been overcome, the lack of rifling would still have hamstrung accuracy.
The same limitations applied to the SS-series recoilless guns, which were the brainchild of engineer Nguyễn Hy Hiền. Born in 1920 or 1921, he excelled in mathematics and philosophy at a high school in Hue, and won a scholarship to attend the prestigious École nationale des ponts et chaussées (National School of Bridges and Roads) in Paris. Arriving in 1939, he completed his studies during World War II and returned to Vietnam only in 1946. He soon joined the VPA and, in order to protect his influential family against French reprisals, adopted the nom de guerre “Lê Tâm” which he used for the rest of his long life. He was still alive in March 2017 and most likely remains so at the time of this writing.
The “SS” designation represented either súng sát (“close-range gun”) since the weapons had much shorter ranges than the homemade mortars that were produced at the same facility, or súng Sác indicating their place of manufacture. SS-series’ designs were similar to those of SKZs, but incorporated a novel recoil-dampening feature in the form of a wooden block (probably clamped to a hinged metal plate) which the backblast expelled from the rear of the gun barrel. This multiplied the forward force generated by the propellant gases and allowed the use of smaller propellant charges than would otherwise have been required. Since VPA units operating in the far south had no access to Chinese largesse and were, therefore, generally short of explosives, this was an important advantage.
Just when SS production kicked off is unclear. One Vietnamese source indicates that it began in 1949, while another suggests that small-scale production commenced as early as the end of 1947 – spurred on by the fact that the materials needed to construct bazookas could not be found in southern Vietnam. Whatever the truth was, many different models were in service by the early 1950s. The light SSAT-32 and SSAT-50 were designed as antitank weapons, and substituted for the bazookas that were typically found in VPA units operating elsewhere in the country. The larger and more cumbersome SS-66, SS-73, SS-81 and SS-88 models were intended for use against watchtowers, and French warships that patrolled the Saigon River and the waterways of the vast Mekong Delta. On one occasion, a shell fired by a submerged SS gun reportedly traveled 40 meters (130 feet) underwater before sinking a ship that was cruising the waters of the Rừng Sác.

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U.S. paratroops loading an M-18 57mm recoilless rifle
Impressive though their achievements were, the VPA’s homemade recoilless guns came nowhere near matching the performance of contemporary rifled recoilless weapons that had been built to fine tolerances from high-grade steel, and used larger propellant charges to achieve higher muzzle velocities and accurately fire shells to much greater ranges. The VPA naturally coveted precision-built recoilless rifles – which it referred to as DKZs (đại bác không giật – “cannon no shock”) – but had captured only a few from the French before Chinese arms shipments began in 1950. By the end of the war, first-line VPA infantry units were generally equipped with American 57mm M-18s that had been captured during the Chinese Civil War and in Korea, or virtually identical Type-36s that been built in Chinese arms factories. A small number of American 75mm M-20s and perhaps some Chinese Type-51 copies were also shipped across the border before hostilities ceased in 1954. Both calibers had muzzle velocities greater than 300 meters (1,000 feet) per second and effective ranges that exceeded 400 meters (1,300 feet) when engaging point targets with shaped-charge shells. Their maximum ranges when bombarding area targets with high explosive shells were far greater – nearly 4 miles (6.3 kilometers) in the case of the M-20.

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U.S. troops firing an M-20 75mm Recoilless Rifle in Korea

Despite their limitations, the SKZs and SSs filled a vital tactical niche, and the VPA’s homemade bazookas and mortars closely matched the performance of the French weapons on which they were modeled in all respects except ammunition reliability. Overall then, the VPA’s arms manufacturing programs were remarkably successful and stand as a testament to the creativity of the engineers and craftsmen who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles imposed by inadequate facilities and material shortages. Certainly, the French were impressed – and sometimes astounded – by how much their enemies accomplished with so little.
Valley of the Shadow is published 26 July 2018, and is now available to pre-order. To get your copy, click here.
[1] In Vietnamese, the letter “g” is pronounced like the letter “z” is in both French and English.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 17 сеп 2018, 00:00

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1. La suite d'une consternation... - 2018-09-16 11:08:00
Bonjour,
je crois que l'imprimeur m'a dans son colimateur...;O)
Voici le Spit des pages 30-31, celui piloté par Boudier, visible dans le n° 224 d'AVIONS.
Globalement les profils de ce numéros sont assez sombres, surtout le dessous des ailes, ils ne sont pas si ombrés à l'origine, et les couleurs comportent des dérives chromatiques, par exemple les verts, comme sur les deux Bloch 152 des pages 71 et 72.
Bizarrement, dans le numéros suivant, seul le FW190 de Hans Philipp s'en sort très bien, alors que les autres dans ce même numéros, ont le soucis évoqué ci-dessus, mais moindre malgré tout, allez comprendre !
TD

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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 18 сеп 2018, 00:01

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1. En préparation sur mon écran : Le Fiat CR 42, puis du "Made in Japan" - 2018-09-17 02:53:00
Salut à tous,
à découvrir dans le prochain AVIONS :


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 19 сеп 2018, 00:01

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1. En préparation sur mon écran : Le III./Zerstörergeschwader 26 par Jean-Louis Roba - 2018-09-18 03:47:00
Salut, bientôt un nouveau livre de J-L Roba...voici un des 28 profils de Bf 110 qui l'illustrera :
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 25 сеп 2018, 00:01

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1. Exercice de style, des Hellcat rutilants . - 2018-09-23 10:45:00
Bonjour, à l’occasion de la création d’autres Hellcat pour la saga qui continue dans AVIONS au court des mois à suivre (ceci dit, ce n’est pas tous les mois, histoire de varier et ne pas lasser…) j’ai dû relever un nouveau défi : la peinture brillante, genre Cadillac sortant d’usine. Il est plus facile de réaliser la peinture mate jusqu'à satinée sur Photoshop, en générale c’est celle que l’on observe sur la plupart des avions de la 2ème GM. Hors, dans certains cas la peinture est franchement rutilante, c’est le cas de cet Hellcat n° 170. Il n’y a pas d’effet 3D, avec des filtres très élaborés sur ce logiciel, et j’utilise la vielle version 7.0 des mémorables années 90… c’est suffisant. En 2D il faut donc tous créer… c’est plus gratifiant pour l’artiste que de régler un filtre avec des éclairages. Le premier est rutilant , mais propre, le deuxième est rutilant sur le dessus, mais assez sale sur le reste de l'appareil...
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 25 окт 2018, 18:00

Blog
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1. Myke Cole's Legion versus Phalanx - 2018-10-18 09:38:00
It's publication day, and to celebrate Myke Cole has written a fascinating piece on his love of history, writing and Osprey itself.
My first work of history, Legion versus Phalanx, comes out on October 18th. I’m beyond chuffed that it’s coming out with Osprey.
No, they didn’t put me up to this. Hear me out. I grew up with Osprey books, from my earliest days, I painted miniatures using their full-color plates, nurtured my love of history based on the visual world their artists established – images as close to a photograph of ancient and medieval battlefields as one could get.
But it wasn’t until two years ago, when I first came up with the idea for Legion versus Phalanx, that I realized the power of what Osprey books do. History is – necessarily – an academic discipline. It is a domain of scholars. This is how it should be. The analytical rigor, linguistic depth, and comprehensive command of the sources absolutely requires a dedicated corps of full-time professionals.
History as a discipline rightly emphasizes original research, dedication to supporting hypotheses with evidence, and ultimately, getting at the truth.
What it doesn’t emphasize is the “Holy s**t, WOW” aspect.
Getting in the pages of peer reviewed journals like Klio or Hisperia, you’re going to get top-notch scholarship and cutting-edge research. You’re probably not going to get the stunning visuals of an Angus McBride or Richard Hook, the drama and narrative tension of pop history books written by non-historians, like journalist S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon. We absolutely need the original research. We absolutely need the analytical rigor.

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Battle of Pydna
Angus McBride © Osprey Publishing
And we absolutely need to reach the vast majority of the audience for history: non-scholars, uninitiated. People who want to be enthralled and entertained. People who want to be told a good story.
If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably like me – passionate about history, wanting to see the field well loved and well funded. More museums with better collections opened for longer hours. More awesome TV shows and video games. More people on hand to say “Yeah, I love that too” when you wax eloquent on the battle or the leader or the kit that you’re obsessing over. Peer-reviewed journals don’t make this happen. For that, we need a marriage of uncompromising scholarship, dynamite visuals, and above all – a great story.
In other words, we need Osprey books.
I have always rejected the false dichotomy between the drama and narration of a novel and the complete abdication of story beats in strictly academic writing. We can have both. In books like Gwynne’s, like C. V. Wedgwood‘s The Thirty Years War, like Jennifer Roberts’ The Plague of War, we see what writers can do when they marry a dedication to scholarship and narrative. Because the truth is that history is far more dramatic and gripping on its own, without embellishment, than the greatest novelists can ever achieve with their fiction.
Legion versus Phalanx is my first nonfiction book, but it is my ninth published book. The previous eight are all fantasy. All I have ever known as a writer is the struggle to make characters flawed and compelling, to make plots arc satisfactorily, to make the tone of a book deliver the visceral punch that will leave readers wanting more.
History did that for me, all on its own. Pyrrhus of Epirus at sea off the Italian coast, his fleet beset by storm, diving into the water and swimming for shore. Titus Quinctius Flamininus at Cynoscephalae, seeing his left flank lost, switching to his right and sending Roman war elephants in a desperate uphill charge that would give him a chance to save the day. Demetrius of Macedon, returning from his tenure as a Roman hostage to the poisoned Antigonid court, plunged into the clutches of scheming nobles who saw him as infected with Roman sympathy. Hannibal Barca, scourge of Rome, a man so fearsome his name was invoked to frighten naughty children, finding refuge at the Seleucid court, his sage advice ignored by the arrogant king Antiochus III.
And above all, the Roman legionaries, hard-faced behind their giant shields, hefting their long knives as they ready themselves for the charge into the two-foot sweet spot where their way of war reigns supreme. The phalanx, brothers-in-arms standing nearly shoulder to shoulder, presenting 21-foot pikes in the tens of thousands, a virtual forest of iron points.

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I’m telling you, this stuff writes itself. There isn’t a need to embellish, only to evoke the tale as it is related by the contemporary sources – Polybius, Livy, Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, Appian, and on and on and on.
History can be all things to all people – rock-solid scholarship, original research, and a vivid, dramatic, gripping story aimed at as wide an audience as possible.
With many publishers, such a multi-faceted book comes along once in a while.
With Osprey, it’s a tradition.
So unspeakably thrilled to be bringing you Legion versus Phalanx, and over the moon that it will read “Osprey” on the spine.
Hope you like it. Thanks for giving me my shot.
Legion versus Phalanx is now available to order, click here to get your copy.


2. Creating a Monster - Ben Counter on Farwander - 2018-10-17 07:30:04
Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Farwander is a full length novel set in the mysterious Lost Isles. In this blog, author Ben Counter talks about the creation of Scaraveyla, the cruel shipwreck Goddess and main villain for the novel.
Getting the chance to write a Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago novel was a big opportunity for several different reasons. It was the chance to work with a new background, with a very new type of story. The Ghost Archipelago called for rollicking adventure with a dose of seaborne swashbuckling, lost civilisations, dinosaurs, pirates, and lots of derring-do, a refreshing change from what I had written before. But another opportunity came not from what Ghost Archipelago contained, but what it didn’t have yet.
On the tabletop, warbands fight one another - the antagonist of the game is each player’s opponent. When it came to coming up with an adversary for our hero, the rogueish swordsman Farwander, I realised there was room to invent a force for evil in the background. Farwander could have faced an evil Heritor and their warband, but that would have been a little too much like narrating a campaign of Ghost Archipelago – fun enough, but it wouldn’t really illuminate the reader to anything they hadn’t seen already. Instead, I seized the chance to make up a new villain to haunt the Ghost Archipelago.

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As any salty tar knows, the sea is a cruel mistress. In the Ghost Archipelago, this is literally true, in the form of Scaraveyla, the Kraken Queen and Drowner of Men. She represents everything that sailors fear about the sea – its black depths, its tentacled monstrosities, and above all its utter indifference to human life. As I was working out the various tribulations of Farwander and the route he took through the mistbound Ghost Archipelago, Scaraveyla also took shape. I decided early on the would be female, but not beautiful or seductive – instead, she became a hideous abomination who ruled over a vast realm of sunken ships and drowned souls.
Her cult was a particularly horrible and savage bunch, to contrast with the varied band of foul-mouthed but generally good people that Farwander falls in with. Coming up with an entire malevolent religion gave me the chance to indulge my imagination in making it as gross and creepy as possible. Tentacles! Madness! Magic! Scarification! Sea monsters! It was entirely too much fun to come up with a monstrous bad guy to put the dashing Farwander through his swashbuckling paces.
Scaraveyla and her cult gave me more than just an antagonist. They provided a way to say something about the Ghost Archipelago setting as a whole. The mysterious islands are enticing and fantastical, but they are also dangerous – not least because they are surrounded by fathomless, pitiless and monster-infested ocean. To get anywhere in the setting, Heritors and would-be treasure hunters have to deal with the ocean. Superstitious sailors personify such a dangerous and important element of their existence, and come up with all sort of ways to placate and bargain with it. Out of this need arises the Kraken Queen, Goddess of Shipwrecks, perhaps something that has always been there, perhaps coming about because of so many people’s need to believe in her.
Working on Farwander was a hugely enjoyable experience and the chance to contribute to the Ghost Archipelago setting was one I seized very eagerly. I hope that Scaraveyla will come to haunt your tabletops, just as she has the dreams of every sailor who points his prow towards the mysteries of the Ghost Archipelago.
Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Farwander is a swashbuckling adventure set in the Lost Isles. Order your copy today!


3. Sneak Peek at December's Artwork - 2018-10-09 11:44:16
The three books featured in today's Artwork Reveal are publishing in December, and are taken from our New Vanguard, Elite and Campaign series. Take a look at the incredible images below, and let us know which of our upcoming December books has caught your attention!
NVG 265: Superguns 1854–1991 by Steven J. Zaloga
Illustrated by Jim Laurier

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Taken from Superguns 1854–1991, depicts one of the most powerful field guns ever built, the M65 280mm gun. Its main claim to fame was the power of its projectile, the W-9 15 kiloton atomic projectile. The sole live firing of this weapon took place on May 25, 1953, near Frenchman Flat at the Nevada Test Site as part of the Operation Upshot/Knothole trials. A W-9 was fired from a M65, detonating at an altitude of 524ft at a range of 7 miles with an explosive yield of 15 kilotons. The M65 gun was finished in the usual US Army olive drab, though a portion of the barrel that recoiled into the recuperator was left in bare steel.
ELI 226: Division Leclerc by Merlin Robinson & Thomas Seignon
Illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri

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In this second plate from Division Leclerc, M4A2 Sherman Romilly has halted at an FFI barricade while approaching the Hôtel de Ville at about 2100hrs on August 24, and the commander Adjudant Henri Caron (centre) has dismounted to confer with Capitaine Raymond Dronne (left).
CAM 329: Mutina 43 BC by Nic Fields
Illustrated by Peter Dennis

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This final plate, from Mutina 43 BC, depicts Octavian retrieving the body of Hirtius during the battle on 21 April 43 BC. In the aftermath of Gaius Julius Caesar's murder and the civil war that ensured, his self-declared successor Mark Antony moved north and invaded the city of Mutina. His siege raged on, despire being badly bloodied and battered. Hirtius broke into Mark Antony’s camp, but fell fighting there. Octavian could not hold Mark Antony’s camp alone, but managed to personally retrieve the corpse of the fallen consul.
For more incredible artwork, see our previous artwork reveals, or become a member and get access to our online collection of plane profiles, explosive battle scenes, detailed historical maps and more!


4. Phil Stern & Sicily - 2018-10-05 08:20:12
Last month Liesl Bradner was invited to speak at the first anniversary of the opening of the Phil Stern Pavilion in Catania, Sicily. Today on the blog Liesl discusses Phil's history with and influence on the towns he visited whilst on the island. To see more of Phil Stern's incredible work as a combat photographer, get your copy of Snapdragon today.
70 years after sailing from Oran in North Africa to the bloodied beaches of Mussolini’s Italy during the invasion of Sicily, 93 year old photographer and Darby’s Ranger, Phil Stern returned to the Mediterranean island of his youth in July 2013.
The former Signal Corps. photographer best known for his famous photographs of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, was invited by Sicilian historian Ezio Costanzo in commemoration of the invasion codenamed Operation Husky. An exhibit of his photographs was displayed at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Museum of the landing in Sicily. Phil was welcomed with marching bands, keys to the towns he visited in 1943, a short documentary film and a speaking engagement with midshipmen from the nearby U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella, where he gladly shared his recollections about General George Patton. “Yes as far as I was concerned I did meet the old son of a b***h. He had a very shrill voice, almost feminine. Always carried around two pistols with handles made of mother-of-pearl inlaid with drawings of naked women. He was a very eccentric individual.”
For 10 days in July 2013, Phil and his family visited the towns and beaches where the British and American troops gallantly fought the Axis forces, and the streets where Italians citizens welcomed them as liberators that brought an end to the fascist regime.
This past week I was invited to attend the first anniversary of the opening of the Phil Stern Pavilion in Catania, a permanent museum devoted to Phil’s life and photographs. On September 25, I gave a presentation on my book Snapdragon: The World War II Exploits of Darby’s Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern along with stories of Phil’s life to a full audience in the Piazza Square as the sun set in Catania. Although I speak a little Italian I had a wonderful interpreter to assist. Phil’s nephew Ben Stern, also spoke about his uncle’s early life. After the book signing, I had the pleasure to meet several locals who shared their wartime stories about their Italian relatives that fought during the invasion and their experience as POWs in America.

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One of Phil’s Sicily stories he liked to share occurred as he made his way inland from the landing beach of Licata where he came in on the first wave along with Patton’s Seventh Army. Advancing further inland as sand turned into fertile ground, he ran into a ragged Italian Farmer. “He didn’t have a gun so I went up to him and said in my best Brooklyn Italian, ‘Buongiorno!” He replied, “Hiya doing’ keed?” The farmer’s name was Tom (Gaetano) Adamo. He was born in Sicily but lived in New Jersey for twenty years pressing women’s dresses. He saved enough money to return to Sicily and buy a house and farm. “I lived like a millionaire until the damnable Nazis infested our land!” said Adamo. He suggested Phil desert the Army because it was very likely he’d be killed. Instead he suggested marrying his 16 year old daughter Angelina. Phil decided to stick it out with the Army.
The recent exhibition at the Pavilion The Look Beyond the War. Phil Stern photographer 1942--1943 was curated by Constanzo, along with Ornella Laneri and Carmelo Nicosia, president and director of the Oelle Foundation.
18 images taken by Phil of the invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch) were added to the show. Keeping up with the digital era, a binaural audio installation that "sings the photos" is a new update. “The viewer has the sensation of a greater visual perception because the sense of hearing is solicited with sounds and noises consistent with the images,” said sound engineer Michele Spadaro. For example, you could be gazing at a photo of a couple Rangers in a dugout foxhole in Arzew scanning the sky for enemy planes. With the new audio headset you can hear the distant roar of planes and the nonstop pounding of ack ack guns as they get closer. In another photo you’ll hear the motor of the LCA and splashing of waves and as the Rangers disembark onto the landing beach in North Africa.

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Rangers in the dugout in Arzew
Copyright: Phil Stern

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Rangers in North Africa
Copyright: Phil Stern
An unpublished photo of magnum war photographer Robert Capa taken in Sicily in the summer of 1943, recently purchased by the Pintaura di Troina Family Foundation was loaned to the Phil Stern Pavilion for the event.

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Capa parachuted in with the 82nd Airborne Division into Sicily on the evening of the invasion on July 10 1943. He was left hanging for an entire night on a tree branch near the southern town of Agrigento. After the war Capa tried to recruit Phil to join his Magnum Photo Agency. Phil shot him down every time explaining that his photographers always end up dead in battle and he preferred to live a little longer.
With his legacy in good hands in Sicily, Phil Stern’s work will be noted alongside the likes of World War II Photographers Capa, Margaret Bourke White, Edward Steichen and Alfred Eisenstaedt.
If you have the opportunity to visit the museum be sure to check in at the Phil Stern Suite at the Four Points Sheraton Catania Hotel.


5. The Lessons of Mogadishu - 2018-10-03 16:21:15
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, and today on the blog we speak with Leigh Neville about his book Day of the Rangers and how the famous battle has shaped and influenced the US military during the Global War on Terror.
“The battle has had a profound effect on the military and in particular on special operations units. From relatively straight-forward things like ensuring every soldier has effective body armour with both front and rear plates through to some genuinely revolutionary ideas which have kept wounded soldiers alive in Afghanistan and Iraq, you could almost fill a book just with the lessons learnt from October 3 and 4, 1993,” Neville says.

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“Delta Force have always been at the forefront of researching and developing small arms and equipment that have gone on to influence both other special operations forces and eventually the larger ‘green’ army. For example they were the amongst the first to use modern close combat optics like the Aimpoint family of red-dot sights which significantly speed up target acquisition over traditional iron sights. They were also early adopters of the first infrared laser sights, visible only through night vision goggles.”
“Both of these items of equipment saw widespread adoption by the Ranger Regiment in the wake of the Mogadishu battle and by the start of the War on Terror, they were pretty much standard issue across the US military. Delta had also placed a lot of emphasis on close quarter shooting and breaching in an urban environment- both skills which were soon incorporated into Ranger training after Mogadishu.”
“The [Ranger] Regiment specifically overhauled their combat shooting programmes- they developed a four-part Ranger marksmanship programme which emphasised stress firing, close quarter battle and accuracy in both day and night scenarios. Breaching also became a far more widely disseminated skill- Rangers were issued specialist ammunition for their breaching shotguns and the Ranger close proximity charge was developed- an explosive small enough to fit in a cargo pocket but powerful enough to defeat most doors.”
“Ranger, SEAL and Delta medics who were veterans of the battle were instrumental in overhauling battlefield casualty care. One example, directly from the Mogadishu experience, was the development of the Combat Ready Clamp which works like a junctional tourniquet to stop femoral artery bleeds. The widespread use of tourniquets in general was also a key by-product of the battle- now every soldier carries at least one and most modern designs are based on either the Combat Application Tourniquet which as the name suggests was developed by Delta (Combat Applications Group is a cover name for the unit) or the Ranger Regiment equivalent, the Ranger Ratchet Tourniquet,” Neville explains.
“With US and Coalition forces working in high threat IED environments since 2001, the tourniquet (including the latest versions which can be applied and wound one-handed) have literally saved lives. In fact, one US Army study claims some 2000 service members have survived thanks to tourniquet use in Afghanistan and Iraq. The simple fact is that effective and timely tourniquet use can slow or stop blood loss, enabling the casualty to be evacuated to a field hospital- an incredible innovation and much of it was driven by one of the Special Forces medics from Delta who did a tremendous job keeping the wounded alive at the first crash site- Super 61.”
“Medical training is also now pushed down to the individual Ranger so that every soldier has a basic level of Tactical Combat Casualty Care; can pack a wound with a clotting product, apply a tourniquet… their Ranger medics- who attend a programme called the Special Operations Combat Medic course- are much more like specialist paramedics who can conduct surgery and can even use freeze-dried plasma to infuse casualties suffering massive haemorrhaging of the type often caused by IEDs. It’s amazing stuff.”

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“The appropriateness and issue of personal body armour was another key lesson that emerged from Mogadishu. In October 1993, the Rangers had a relatively small number of the then-new Ranger Body Armour available which was much closer to the kind of plate carriers we have today and certainly improved upon the standard issue PASGT system. Its major failing however, in its first iteration, was that it only had a pouch for a front plate. The trauma plate is the titanium or ceramic shield which covers the vital organs and will stop an armour-piercing round from an AK47. The Rangers realised that their RBA needed a back plate after Mogadishu and the design was changed.”
“Even Delta modified their gear in this regard following the battle. Until October 1993, the unit had typically used skate helmets that were lightweight but had zero ballistic protection. Their thinking had traditionally been that they were far more likely to suffer an injury whilst climbing through a window or fast roping than being shot- this was likely an extension of their primary mission of counterterrorism. Only one C-Squadron operator wore the K-pot or PASGT helmet rather than a plastic ProTec in Somalia. He was the recipient of much teasing during earlier missions but after October 3 and 4, he was considered one of the smartest guys in the Unit!”
“Of course, Delta tragically lost Earl Fillmore, the medic from A-Team, during the foot movement to the first crash site from a headshot that penetrated his ProTec and killed him instantly. This spurred on the testing and purchase of ballistic helmets that were lighter than the general issue PASGT. This testing and consultation with manufacturers contributed directly to the kind of modern lightweight ballistic helmets produced by the likes of Ops Core or Crye.”
“Along with the medical advances, the biggest impact the battle of Mogadishu had on military thinking was in the field of what we today call ISR or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Mogadishu was the first time in history that commanders could watch events unfold ‘live’ on a TV screen back at their TOC [tactical operations centre]. There were a number of camera equipped helicopters overhead during the battle, there was a specialist Navy P-3 Orion that was configured as a surveillance platform, there was even a CIA glider that could take high quality video- all of these feeds were available to General Garrison, the Task Force Ranger commander, and his staff.”
Neville argues that this was a major innovation in command and control; “This was an incredible first- it added so much to the situational awareness of the ground force commander that we almost take for granted today with all sorts of UAVs and specialist ISR aircraft available but in 1993, this was ground-breaking stuff. It also illustrated that having this kind of ‘unblinking eye in the sky’ required new processes as the delays in guiding Colonel McKnight’s convoy showed. You needed to be able to transmit the information instantaneously to those who needed it most.”

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“The battle had the most profound effect on ISR and how battlefield leaders access it- I would argue that it hastened the development of tablet sized viewers that now allow the real-time monitoring of whatever the airborne ISR asset ‘sees’. Most regular infantry platoons now have this capability and most even have their own UAV! I suspect the capability would have arrived eventually but Mogadishu really exposed the possibilities of ISR and likely sped its development.”
“All in all, the October 3 and 4 battle has had a tremendous influence on the US and allied militaries and even on the fundamental ways we wage war- from medical procedures to weapons to UAVs or drones. The fact that units like the Rangers and Delta recognised these lessons, that the next war would be the ‘Stepchild of Somalia and Chechnya’, and acted upon them should be lauded- they really did save many lives in the decades following.”


6. October's Book Vote and September's Results - 2018-10-02 09:38:50
It's back! This month sees the return of our Raid series to the book vote, and with 5 new thrilling titles to choose between, it's a hard decision to make! To help you we have included some brief descriptions of the operations and sieges below.
Don't forget to make your vote and tell us your thoughts in the comments!
RAID: Longships on the Seine: The Viking siege of Paris 885–86 RAID: Operation Eagle Claw 1980: Carter’s disastrous bid to end the Iran hostage crisis
RAID: Termoli 1943: Commandos, tanks, and Fallschirmjäger battle for an Italian seaport
RAID: The Empire Strikes Back: Japan’s raids on the US West Coast 1941–45
RAID: Von Hipper’s Cruise 1914: The High Seas Fleet raids Yarmouth, Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool

Longships on the Seine: The Viking siege of Paris 885–86
The Vikings’ siege of Paris in 885–86 was a turning point in the history of both Paris and France. In 885, a year after Charles the Fat was crowned King of the Franks, Danish Vikings sailed up the Seine demanding tribute. The Franks’ refusal prompted the Vikings to lay siege to Paris, which was initially defended by only 200 men under Odo, Count of Paris, and seemingly in a poor state to defend against the Viking warriors in their fleet of hundreds of longships. With siege engines, boats, mines and fire, they attempted to break the Parisian defenders, but failed, and after a year Charles’ army arrived to lift the siege. But Charles then allowed the Vikings to sail upstream against the revolting Burgundians. In this unsatisfactory aftermath the Carolingian empire declined, and Odo – the hero of the siege – was elected king of West Francia, the kingdom that would become modern France.
Operation Eagle Claw 1980: Carter’s disastrous bid to end the Iran hostage crisis
Following months of negotiations after the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran, President Jimmy Carter ordered the newly formed Delta Force to conduct a raid into Iran to free the hostages. The raid, Operation Eagle Claw, was risky to say the least. US forces would have to fly into the deserts of Iran on C-130s; marry up with carrier-based RH-53D helicopters; fly to hide sites near Tehran; approach the Embassy via trucks; seize the Embassy and rescue the hostages; board the helicopters descending on Tehran; fly to an airbase captured by more US forces; and then fly out on C-141s and to freedom. Unfortunately, and not surprising given the complexity of the mission, things went wrong from the start and when the mission was called off at the refuelling site at Desert One, the resulting collision between aircraft killed eight US personnel. This book would look both at the background to, the planning and the conduct of the raid, and what would have happened if the raid had continued.
Termoli 1943: Commandos, tanks, and Fallschirmjäger battle for an Italian seaport
In October 1943 British commandos landed near the small Italian port of Termoli, surprised the defending garrison and captured the port. They were reinforced by sea and over a light bridge by 78th Division troops, and held off early counterattacks by German Fallschirmjäger. But a German panzer division was en route to the area to drive them into the sea. British engineers raced to build a Bailey bridge that would allow the armour of Eighth Army to come to the aid of the desperate defenders. The battle for Termoli dislodged a superior German force from a valuable seaport, and left the 16th Panzer Division so mauled that it was taken from the front and its commander sacked.
The Empire Strikes Back: Japan’s raids on the US West Coast 1941–45
While the Allies fought to contain Imperial Japan, and then began to roll the empire back towards Tokyo Bay, Japan repeatedly struck targets right on the US West Coast, despite the formidable range difficulties. The IJN used long-range submarines to shell targets on land, conduct raids on shipping, and even launch a small floatplane bombing raid. This book would also look at Japan’s incendiary balloon campaign of late World War II – the world’s first intercontinental weapons system.
Von Hipper’s Cruise 1914: The High Seas Fleet raids Yarmouth, Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool
In 1914, the High Seas Fleet was banned from attempting a fleet action – but still sought ways to engage the Royal Navy on favourable terms. In November and December, von Hipper’s battlecruiser squadron led a series of raids, mining coastal waters and bombarding coastal towns, their docks and factories. It would provoke the Royal Navy’s battle fleet into action. If successful, it was a chance for von Hipper to even the odds in the North Sea, by finding and engaging a small part of the Grand Fleet, and inflicting disproportionate casualties on it with superior forces. In the confusion at sea, both sides escaped without inflicting or suffering major casualties, but with over a hundred civilians being killed in their homes, the raids shocked Britain, and became a rallying cry for the war.
Make your vote by clicking here!
Last month's Campaign book vote came to an end yesterday and we have found our clear winner. With 37.21% of the vote, your winner was Albania and Greece 1940, which would look at the Italian invasion of the two countries as part of Mussolini's doomed attempt to create a new Roman Empire. Not too far behind with 22.13% of the vote was Hydaspes 326 BC, followed by Fall Rot 1940 with 17.37%. See below the full results: CAM: Hydaspes 326 BC 22.13% CAM: Fulford 1066 13.33% CAM: Pea Ridge 1862 9.96% CAM: Albania and Greece 1940 37.21% CAM: Fall Rot 1940 17.37%


7. The Luger - 2018-09-29 13:46:57
The Luger by Neil Grant was published this month as part of our Weapon series. This engaging new study tells the story of the pistol that has come to symbolise Germany's armed forces in the 20th century. Today on the blog we welcome author Neil Grant as he discusses the history of the Luger's introduction, its difference to its competitors and how there is more to the story of the Luger than first meets the eye.
The Luger is one of the most recognisable firearms of the twentieth century, familiar from any number of war films. However, there’s rather more to it than simply being the German pistol through both world wars, and the reality can sometimes be unexpected.
First off, it was never a “Luger” to the men issued with one. German sources invariably refer to it as a “Pistole 08”, and the original manufacturer called it the “Parabellum Pistol”. It acquired the name in the English-speaking world because the US distributor preferred to use the designer’s name for the pistols he sold commercially there, and the term spread to Britain from the US.

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German service Lugers - the 100mm P08, the 150mm Naval P04 and the 200mm Lange Pistol 08.
Copyright Neil Grant

This produced bizarre consequences when Mauser brought the Luger back into production for the US collectors market in the 1970s. The former distributor had registered “Luger” as a US trademark, and was using it to sell their own range of cheap .22 target pistols, while Mauser found itself unable to use the name to describe the genuine pistols.
The Luger came onto the automatic pistol market in 1900, and far outshone any of its initial competitors. Indeed, the Luger and its ancestor the Borchardt defined what we expect from an automatic pistol, introducing the detachable box magazine in the grip. This seems an obvious layout in retrospect, but almost all the Lugers’ competitors loaded from chargers (like bolt action rifles) into fixed magazines ahead of the grip.
This early appearance meant that it was widely adopted before the Great War, starting with the Swiss in 1900. Perhaps against expectation, the German Army was among the last to adopt the Luger in 1908.
The US Army looked seriously at adopting the 7.65mm Luger, purchasing 1,000 guns for troop trials in in 1902. Ultimately these were rejected because the army had concerns about the stopping power of small calibre weapons after bitter experience against Moro fanatics in the Philippines.
However, the US Army were sufficiently impressed with the design to delay the 1907 pistol trials to allow the inclusion of a .45 calibre Luger, which made it through to the final round of the competition. Though the Colt entry ultimately won, the army requested that the production guns incorporate a number of features from the Luger, including the famous raked grip angle which had not featured in the original Colt submission
The most famous user was obviously Germany, who adopted three versions of the pistol – the famous P08 with a 100mm barrel as a standard sidearm, the naval model with 150mm barrel and a detachable stock, and the Lange Pistole 08 with 200mm barrel, long range sights and a detachable stock.
Although the latter was originally developed to allow field artillery units to defend themselves from cavalry, the vast majority were issued to infantry units with 32rd drum magazines for use as proto-submachine guns in the Great War, a role they filled rather well.
However, numerous other countries also adopted the Luger. Some only differed from the common versions in markings or minor details, such as the large hinged lanyard ring of the Bulgarian M1911. Others, such as the 7.65mm Swiss version with a grip safety, were quite visibly different, especially in the later 06/29 model optimised for simpler production.
Meanwhile, commercial versions included long barrelled hunting carbines, with wooden foregrips and rifle style stocks.
The Luger was a typical weapon of its day, carefully machined to precise tolerances, and by the late 1930s, Germany needed something that could be produced more simply. This resulted in the Walther P38, which had similar performance but could be produced in only 8.5 man-hours, compared to 14 man-hours for a Luger.
Even so, expansion of the armed forces and the need to make good the enormous losses on the Eastern Front kept the Luger in production until late 1942, and it remained in service until the end of the war.
It’s hard to be certain about the exact number of Lugers produced by all manufacturers, and estimates inevitably vary based on different assumptions about whether each of the main military models was given a separate sequence of serial numbers, or whether one or more were numbered in the same sequence. There are good cases for both, and practice varied between manufacturers. Even if a manufacturer used a common sequence, blocks of serial numbers seem to have been assigned for special production, and potentially not fully used.

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The Borchardt C93 was the Luger's immediate ancestor, and the first practical automatic pistol, preceding the
Mauser C96 by several years. Copyright Neil Grant.

Overall, the best estimate is that around 2.7 million pistols were produced, including some assembled from parts while the Mauser plant was under French control after the war.
With so many Lugers produced, it was inevitable that some remained in use long after the war. The French issued them – along with Walther P38s – to equip troops fighting in Indochina and Algeria until the French armaments industry could be restarted to replace them with domestic weapons.
German forces in Norway surrendered so many Lugers that the Norwegians actually adopted it as their standard pistol, keeping it in service into the 1970s. Significant numbers captured by the Soviets were passed on or sold to insurgent groups around the world, and could turn up in the most unexpected places – the author spoke to a soldier who took a Luger off a captured guerrilla in Rhodesia in the late 1960s, which might have been a Portuguese Luger captured in Angola or a German example captured by the Soviets and passed on as military aid.
Uniquely for a wartime weapon, a new Luger production line was set up in 1969, producing weapons largely for the US market. This line ran until 1986, but new Luger pistols continued to be assembled from stocks of components until 1998, almost a century after the design first appeared.
In summary, there can be a lot more to the Luger story than initially meets the eye.
To read more about the pistol's fascinating role in military history, click here to order your copy of The Luger.


8. Osprey Series' Prices - Important Information - 2018-09-28 16:46:15
As Osprey celebrates its 50th year of military history publishing we have been conducting a thorough review of how we produce our core military and aviation series. Part of this has been to recognise that our authors, illustrators, indexers and cartographers have not seen an increase in their fees for several years. We are therefore increasing our payments to all contributors working on our series titles.
We are also increasing the prices across our series books, something we have held off doing for a number of years. We have endeavoured to keep the rises as reasonable as possible in all currencies. These changes are designed to ensure the continued longevity of the Osprey series, by improving our contributors’ rates and improving the financial viability of the programme.
Below we have included a table of the price changes that will be implemented in 2019.
2018 Price
2019 price
Series
UK
US
UK
US
CAN
MEN-AT-ARMS
£10.99
$18.00
£11.99
$19.00
$25
NEW VANGUARD
£10.99
$18.00
£11.99
$19.00
$25
AIR VANGUARD
£11.99
$19.00
£12.99
$20.00
$27
COMMAND
£11.99
$18.95
£12.99
$20.00
$27
ELITE
£11.99
$19.00
£12.99
$20.00
$27
FORTRESS
£11.99
$19.00
£12.99
$20.00
$27
MODELLING MANUALS
£12.99
$17.95
£12.99
$20.00
$27
OSPREY WARGAMES
£11.99
$19.00
£12.99
$20.00
$27
WARRIOR
£11.99
$19.00
£12.99
$20.00
$27
COMBAT
£12.99
$20.00
£13.99
$22.00
$29
DARK OSPREY
£11.99
varies
£13.99
$22.00
$29
DUEL
£12.99
$20.00
£13.99
$22.00
$29
MYTHS AND LEGENDS
£11.99
$18.95
£13.99
$22.00
$29
OSPREY MODELLING
£13.99
$20.95
£13.99
$22.00
$29
RAID
£11.99
$18.95
£13.99
$22.00
$29
WEAPON
£12.99
$20.00
£13.99
$22.00
$29
X PLANES
£12.99
$20.00
£13.99
$22.00
$29
AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES
£13.99
$23.00
£14.99
$24.00
$32
BATTLE ORDERS
£16.99
$25.95
£16.99
$27.00
$36
CAMPAIGN
£14.99
$24.00
£14.99
$24.00
$32
AIR CAMPAIGN
£13.99
$20.00
£14.99
$24.00
$32
COMBAT AIRCRAFT
£13.99
$23.00
£14.99
$24.00
$32
AVIATION ELITE UNITS
£14.99
$25.95
£15.99
$26.00
$35


9. Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth - Illustrator Update - 2018-09-26 12:00:00
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth is scheduled for release in February 2019. Find out more about the illustrators in this blog!


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We are delighted to announce that Dredd illustrators Rufus Dayglo and Dan Cornwell are working with us on Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, providing specially commissioned, full-colour artwork for the game.
Rufus is a self-confessed 2000 AD superfan, and made his Judge Dredd debut in 1998. Since then he has worked extensively with 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine, with his art also featured in publications by Image Comics, IDW Comics, DC Vertigo, and more.
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Artwork by Rufus Dayglo
Rufus is providing artwork for the cover, as well as for the character and adventure cards.
Dan has been working on Judge Dredd since he made his 2000 AD debut in 2017, having impressed with his work on Rok of the Reds. His other work includes titles such as Futurequake, Dogbreath, and 100% Biodegradable.
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Artwork by Dan Cornwell
Dan is providing artwork for the character, adventure, and landscape cards.
Duncan Molloy, Games Developer at Osprey Games, commented, "Rufus and Dan have been a joy to work with, bringing that classic Dredd feel to the game. I think fans of Dredd’s world will love what they’ve done with the place."
A spokesman for 2000 AD said: “Rufus is well-known to our legions of fans and Dan is already making a name for himself drawing the new adventures of the ultimate lawman of the future – they’ve both brought new life to some of the classic locations and characters we all know and love from the past 41 years!”
***
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth is an immersive sci-fi western based on The Lost Expedition, the best-selling card game by Peer Sylvester. Players must lead a team of Judges against dinosaurs, mutants, and the Cursed Earth itself to hunt down a dangerous fugitive, before a gang of criminals can get their hands on him. As they scour the wastelands, the team will encounter a host of threats that will push their resources and abilities to their limits.
On an impossible journey through radioactive hell, can even the Judges survive the Cursed Earth? About Osprey Games
Osprey Games is the dedicated games division of Osprey Publishing (part of Bloomsbury Publishing plc) and publishes a wide range of wargames, card games, and board games. Launched in 2014, the company has produced an array of critically acclaimed titles, including Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City, Bolt Action, Odin’s Ravens, and The Lost Expedition. www.ospreygames.co.uk About 2000 AD
2000 AD is the legendary weekly British anthology comic and home of Judge Dredd, as well as a galaxy of original sci-fi, fantasy, and horror action stars. As well as producing innovative and provocative comics for 40 years, it has brought the industry some of its biggest talents, from Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Mark Millar, to Jock, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, and many more. Published in print and digital every Wednesday, 2000 AD is the galaxy’s Greatest Comic and remains at the industry’s cutting edge. www.2000ADonline.com

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2000AD®, 2000AD IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK; ® and © REBELLION A/S; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. JUDGE DREDD®; JUDGE DREDD IS A REGISTERED TRADE MARK; ® and © REBELLION A/S; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


10. SPIEL '18 Preorders - 2018-09-21 12:03:44
Osprey Games will be attending SPIEL ’18 in Essen, Germany, where we will be showcasing our games at Booth 5G124. We look forward to seeing you there! In this blog you will find details for preordering games from us. Please preorder by 17th October to give us time to get the stock ready!
This year at SPIEL we will be launching Wildlands, the new miniatures skirmish game from renowned designer Martin Wallace.
Also available as a pre-release special is The Unquiet Dead, the first expansion to Wildlands. We’ll be offering a bundle deal for the core game and expansion, with both available for €80.
Other games we are bringing can be found with their prices in the table below.
MINIATURE WARGAMERS – We will be bringing a very limited selection of our newest wargames. If there is a wargame you particularly want to pick up, please let us know by email and we will confirm whether it will be possible.
To make sure people don’t miss out on the games they want, we’re now accepting preorders on all the games we are bringing to the show! All you need to do is send an email to us at https://ospreypublishing.com/info@ospreygames.co.uk and let us know which games you are interested in. Please give your email the subject Essen Preorder. We’re happy to keep these to one side until 12pm on Saturday to give you time to come and get the games you are most excited by! Any games not collected by 12pm will be returned to general stock.

Game Price Wildlands €65 Wildlands: The Unquiet Dead €20 Wildlands + Wildlands the Unquiet Dead Bundle €80 The Lost Expedition €20 The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures €15 The Lost Expedition + The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures Bundle €30 Cryptid €30 High Society €15 Sakura €20 London €40


Please send your preorder requests by Tuesday 17th October so we can make sure we have the games for you!


11. Osprey's Big Reveal: General Military (2) - 2018-09-19 12:28:00
MAA ACE/COM NVG ELI RAID CAM GNM1 XPL CBT DUE WPN ANT ACM GNM2
To navigate your way through the Big Reveal please use the links in the bar above.
We've reached the end of the Big Reveal for another year, and whilst it may be over, we're ending with a big one! Find out the rest of the General Military books hitting the shelves in 2019. There's some fascinating books from a great range of military history, so whether you want to cut your teeth on something new or delve deeper into a period of interest, there's bound to be something that grabs your attention!
As always, have a read of the descriptions and let us know which are your favourites.
GNM: Hitler’s Death: The case against conspiracy
Did Hitler shoot himself in the Führerbunker or did he slip past the Soviets and escape to South America? For many years, conspiracy theorists have led much of the debate surrounding Hitler’s last days, while historians have argued over the limited forensic evidence. This book returns to the evidence of Hitler’s suicide in order to scrutinise the arguments of conspiracy theorists using scientific methods. Through analysis of recently declassified MI5 files, previously unpublished sketches of Hitler’s bunker, personal accounts of intelligence officers along with stories of shoot-outs, plunder and secret agents, this rigorously researched book takes on the doubters to tell the full story of how Hitler died – and where it happened.
GNM: Retribution
Following on from On a Knife’s Edge, which describes the encirclement of the German Sixth Army in Stalingrad and the offensives and counter-offensives that followed through the winter of 1942–43. This title will commence at the end of the Battle of Kursk and will continue to the end of 1943. Whilst the Battle of Kursk has attracted great attention over the years, the fighting that followed has largely been described in more general terms, and here the series of near continuous battles that saw the Wehrmacht driven back from the line of the Mius and Donets back to the Dnepr, with the German forces that had been left in the Kuban Peninsula south of Rostov in the vain hope of being used in a future attempt to retake the Caucasus being forced back into the Crimea.
GNM: Blood, Metal and Dust
The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have dominated the early years of the 21st century and defined much of the present shape of the Middle East. Both conflicts are inextricably linked under the banner of the “Global War on Terror”, and in how the coalition armies planned and fought them. Much has been written on the subject of these wars, both of which have proven controversial at the time they were launched and ever since, but too much of this written record is partial – it reflects political analysis, reportage or snapshots of soldiers' or battlegroups' experiences in specific circumstances. Blood, Metal and Dust is the overarching narrative of the wars, taking a military perspective: what actually happened, who did what and where they did it.
GNM: The Elite
The Elite: The A-Z Encyclopedia of Modern Special Forces is the ultimate guide to the secretive world of modern Special Forces. It sends the reader back in time to operations such as Eagle Claw in Iran and the recapture of the Iranian Embassy in London, and then forward to recent operations against al Shabaab and Islamic State. Entries detail units ranging from the New Zealand SAS Group to the Polish GROM, and key individuals, from Iraq counter-terrorism strategist General Stanley McChrystal to Victoria Cross recipient SASR Corporal Mark Donaldson.
GNM: The Pirate World
Often romanticized in print and on the silver screen, real-life pirates were a brutal menace that plagued the high seas. The Pirate World separates myth from reality, tracing the history of piracy through the centuries, from the pirates who plagued the Ancient Egyptians to the Viking raids and on to the era of privateers. It also discusses the so-called ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ and colourful characters such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, before examining the West’s initial encounters with Eastern pirates off the Chinese coast and the phenomenon of the modern pirate.
GNM: World War II Battle by Battle
World War II was the single greatest conflict the world has ever known, fought in theatres all around the globe, and many of its battles – Stalingrad, Monte Cassino, the Battle of Britain – are household names. While the Western Front in Europe is often what first comes to mind, bitter and bloody battles were also fought in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, on land, at sea and in the air, and their many stories help illuminate both the scale and the varying character of the conflict.
GNM: Case White
The German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, Fall Weiss (Case White), sparked the outbreak of World War II in Europe. The campaign has widely been described as a textbook example of Blitzkreig, but it was 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, yet in fact it was well equipped, with modern weapons and armour. Though the combined assault from Germany and the Soviet Union defeated Poland, 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.
GNM: Pilgrim Days
If there was ever anyone who went a little further, a little beyond, it was Alastair MacKenzie. In a career spanning 30 years, MacKenzie served uniquely with the New Zealand Army in Vietnam, the British Parachute Regiment, the British Special Air Service (SAS), the South African Defence Force’s famed ParaBats, the Sultan of Oman’s Special Forces and a host of private security agencies and defence contractors. MacKenzie lived the soldier’s life to the full as he journeyed ‘the Golden Road to Samarkand’. This is his rare and unflinching portrait of life in some of the most famous units in the world.
GNM: The Great Bear at War
Out of the chaos of the Russian Civil War, and following the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922, the Red Army built itself into the vast war machine that delivered the decisive blows for the defeat of Germany in World War II. From a world war, the Soviet Union went straight into a Cold War. The culminating disaster of this period for the Soviet Army was its long war in Afghanistan (1979–89), a grinding counterinsurgency conflict that resulted in ignominious defeat.
In 1991 the new Russian Federation struggled to make its mark on the world’s military stage. Morale and order virtually disintegrated within the Russian Army, as was evident in its horrifying and costly war in Chechnya (1994–96). Since then, however, there has been heavy investment in military reforms, special forces, new weapon technology and the tactics of ‘hybrid warfare’, building a modern, albeit still flawed, force, one that has regularly (and controversially) tested itself in combat in places such as Chechnya (1999–2009), Georgia (2008), Ukraine (from 2014) and most recently Syria. At a time when the world is closely focused upon Russian military behaviour, The Great Bear at War is both timely and fascinating.
GNM: The Persian War
The victory of a few Greek city-states over the world's first superpower was an extraordinary military feat that secured the future of western civilization.
All modern accounts of the war, and of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, the best-known battles, depend on the ancient sources, foremost amongst them Herodotus, but generally quote very little from them. The Persian War brings together Herodotus’ entire narrative and interweaves it with other ancient voices to present the original texts that comprise almost all that is known about this immense clash of arms.
GNM: War Bows
War bows dominated battlefields across the world for centuries. In their various forms, they allowed trained archers to take down even well-armoured targets from great distances, and played a key role in some of the most famous battles in human history. The composite bow was a versatile and devastatingly effective weapon, on foot, from chariots and on horseback for over a thousand years, used by cultures as diverse as the Hittites, the Romans, the Mongols and the Ottoman Turks. The Middle Ages saw a clash between the iconic longbow and the more technologically sophisticated crossbow, most famously during the Hundred Years War, while in Japan, the samurai used the yumi to deadly effect, unleashing bursts of arrows from their galloping steeds.
Complete with analysis of construction, tactics and use in the field, historical weapons expert Mike Loades examines the full history of these four iconic weapons.
GNM: Atlas of the Blitzkrieg
In August 1939, Nazi Germany launched its infamous Blitzkrieg invasion of Poland, bringing about the outbreak of World War II. Within the space of a year France had been knocked out of the war and occupied, while the forces of Great Britain had retreated headlong back across the Channel. Further campaigns in the air and at sea sought to subdue the British Isles, while more lightning fast attacks in 1941 overran Yugoslavia and Greece, leaving the bulk of Continental Europe under Nazi control.
GNM: Holding the Line
In what became known as the 'long hard slog' of the Korean War, naval aviators sought to slow and cut off communist forces and support troops on the ground. USS Leyte (CV-32) operated 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. 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.
GNM: Panzer IV
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 it in a secondary role, but during the invasions of the Low Countries and France, the more powerful Panzer IV took a more central role.
When the Panzerwaffe turned east to attack the Soviet Union, the Panzer IVs initially fared poorly against the better-armed T-34s, but upgrades to its gun and armour protection saw it perform far better against Soviet armour, as well as British and American tanks in North Africa and Italy.
GNM: Panzerartillerie
The German Panzerartillerie was one of the key components of the Panzer divisions that were the spearhead of the German forces in the years when they overran most of Western Europe and reached as far as the gates of Moscow in the East. Warfare in the age of Blitzkrieg required fast-moving, mobile artillery that could support forward units at the front line, and the Panzerartillerie provided that for the Wehrmacht. The Allies had no answer or equivalent to them until the US entry into the war.
GNM: The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 3: The Panzer Division
The first two volumes of the History of the Panzerwaffe have described how the Germans transformed armoured warfare from a lumbering and ponderous experiment in World War I into something that could decide the outcome of conflicts, and how the legendary Panzerwaffe overran Western Europe and reached the gates of Moscow to the East, before taking its place in the forefront of the German defence from the D-Day landings to the valiant last stand in Berlin.


12. Otto Skorzeny and the Assassination of Osama Bin Laden - 2018-09-17 10:10:00
Otto Skorzeny author, Stuart Smith, joins us today to discuss the fascinating similarities between Operation Neptune Spear and Skorzeny's Gran Sasso raid.
01:38 local time, 2 May 2011: a small team of US Navy SEALs stowed their target aboard a stealth helicopter and exited rapidly from Abbottabad, Pakistan. With the 44th President of the United States personally monitoring their progress, they had just carried out an audacious commando mission: the assassination of the world’s most notorious terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. There were no casualties – at least, not on the American side; only one helicopter down.
The military architect of this raid was (then) Vice-Admiral William H. McRaven, head of Joint Special Operations Command, and himself a former SEAL. Over 15 years previously McRaven had published a book, to this day regarded as a seminal text on special operations.[1] Among the eight historical case studies that comprise the book, one is of compelling interest here, because of its uncanny similarities with Bin Laden’s nemesis, Operation Neptune Spear.

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CIA aerial view of the compound in Abbottabad
Source: Spiegel Online
This other operation – known as Eiche (Oak) – also involved a surprise airborne assault on a fortified hideaway located in a dubiously allied country. It was carried out by gliders – though use of a helicopter had been discussed at the planning stage. Like Neptune Spear, Oak was a politically-instigated raid receiving minutely detailed attention from the head of the state which sponsored it. It, too, was a surgical operation focusing on a single, human, target – except, in the case of Oak, the objective was rescue rather than elimination. The raid achieved complete surprise and complete success. Its critical phase was over within a matter of minutes; no shots were fired; there were no fatalities among those carrying it out; the rescued high-status hostage was air-freighted to safety.
Operation Oak influenced the course of World War II. Its successful outcome bought the Germans precious time and political credibility, enabling them to reinforce their position in northern Italy. What a few days previously had looked an easy win for the Anglo-American forces battling up the Italian peninsula was now to become a hard slog. When the Allies achieved their strategic breakthrough the following year, it would be in Belarus and Normandy, not northern Italy.
The man who had tumbled out of that first, crash-landed, German glider and immediately assumed command of the situation looked every inch the expedition’s leader. He was enormously tall, Herculean in build; his voice stentorian; he was ruggedly handsome, the whole of the left side of his face was etched with a manly duelling scar; his eyes were a penetrating slate-blue; beneath his steel helmet (later exchanged for a jaunty garrison cap) was a preternaturally glossy crop of dark hair that seemed perma-waved in position. Hollywood could not have produced a finer casting-couch hero.
Within half an hour of landing he was standing side-by-side with Benito Mussolini, former Fascist dictator of Italy and the man he had just rescued, enjoying a carefully rehearsed photo opportunity. A few days later these photos – and the accompanying reels of news-film – would be relayed across the entire world, recording his achievement for posterity. His name, hitherto barely known, was Otto Skorzeny. He had come – he told Mussolini – on the personal orders of Adolf Hitler to escort him back to Berlin.

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Skorzeny (centre with binoculars) smiles for the camera with a liberated Mussolini
Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-567-1503C-15 / Toni Schneiders / CC-BY-SA 3.0
If this fact is indisputably accurate, much else that has been said and written about the raid, its protagonist and his subsequent exploits is not.
No doubt about it, McCraven’s own account of Operation Oak is, in places, infected by the hagiography that has encrusted Skorzeny’s reputation. It is a tad too reliant upon the Nazi commando’s self-glorifying memoirs and a somewhat credulous biography written by Glen Infield nearly 40 years ago. Skorzeny did not – as he would have us believe – mastermind and plan the raid. Quite simply, he didn’t have the military experience to do so. Planning and tactics were actually decided upon by the staff of Luftwaffe general – and overall commander of the mission – Kurt Student. In particular, by Major Harald Mors.
That said, it is quite conceivable the raid would never have taken place, still less succeeded, without Skorzeny’s participation in it. And here, in the final analysis, resides McRaven’s argument.
It was Skorzeny who, during the long, hot summer of 1943, relentlessly followed up every lead provided by his employer, the SS foreign intelligence service – the one organisation that eventually proved capable of delivering the goods on Mussolini’s whereabouts at Gran Sasso.
This at a time when the Abwehr, the Third Reich’s main intelligence service, was engaged in an opaque disinformation campaign aimed at throwing its SS rival off the scent. And when Skorzeny’s commanding officer, Student, was becoming increasingly preoccupied with the defence of Rome against an anticipated Allied attack. To Student, very much the professional military man, the recapture of Mussolini was a tiresome politically-motivated mission. To Skorzeny – as Hitler’s personal emissary – it was pivotal to his dreams of glory, which meant at very least winning the Ritterkreuz (the benchmark of military achievement in Hitler’s Germany).
It was Skorzeny who insisted on a last-minute aerial reconnaissance over the mountain-top, providing – however inadequate the photographs – the only available information on a suitable glider landing site. More importantly still, Skorzeny – due to an accident in the glider flight plan – was first to land on Gran Sasso, allowing him to seize the initiative, bluff his way past Mussolini’s Italian guards using a captured Italian general, and bag the former dictator alive. He did it without firing a shot.
These are the key issues McRaven focuses upon in his account: they clearly proved influential in his thinking on political decapitation missions. Though aware of the bitter controversy that had rumbled down the years about who should ultimately wear the laurels for Operation Oak (see note 4 of Chapter 5), he dismissed it as immaterial: ‘Whether Skorzeny was a straphanger or the mastermind of the operation is inconsequential. Ultimately, success resulted from Skorzeny’s actions at Gran Sasso and not from Mors’s.’
Stuart Smith is the author of Otto Skorzeny: The Devil’s Disciple, publishing 20 September 2018.

[1] Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare – Theory and Practice, 1995.


13. The adventure continues with The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures - 2018-09-14 09:02:35
Explorers have been returning from the Amazon with extraordinary tales – conquistadors withered with age marching through the rainforest, unidentified beasts stalking expeditions, and an ominous mountain that is said to be more perilous than the jungle itself! Only the most reckless adventurers would ignore these warnings, but even they might find they need some help.
The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures brings four different expansions to The Lost Expedition, adding new cards to the adventure deck, introducing companions to assist your party, and revealing a new trail that offers a range of new gameplay decisions. Add them individually or combine them to provide new challenges as you continue your search for El Dorado! The Fountain

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In the late 16th century, Francisco de Orellana led a band of conquistadors deep into the Amazon, in search of something incredible – a fountain with supernatural restorative powers. They called it ‘the fountain of youth’, and such is the folly of the single-minded. For though the legends promised eternal life, they said nothing of eternal youth. The twisted forms that still haunt the jungle guard the fountain jealously. They won’t take kindly to the presence of intruders…
This expansion increases the difficulty of the game by including new adventure cards featuring bloodthirsty undying conquistadors. The Mark

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Rumours abound in this part of the Amazon of a dark spirit that preys on the unwary. Those who stumble into its presence become distant, angry, and alien, or so the story goes. Strange s till is the dark transformation said to befall those that are exposed to its power for too long. For the rumours speak of a cat that walks like a man, prowling the jungle at night…
This expansion adds adventure cards that will curse your characters, potentially transforming them into a monstrous beast. Losing their Expertise might hinder your team, but having a ferocious creature on your side might just save all your hides. The Mountain

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The terrain in this part of the jungle is a lot rougher than you’d imagined. The trek will be a little longer than you’d anticipated, but maybe there’ll be some opportunities to plan ahead along the way.
This expansion replaces the expedition cards from the core game with a new route across a tall mountain. The route is longer, but amidst the challenges of the harsh slopes are opportunities to scout ahead and take a more favourable path to the lost city. New Friends

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The jungle is a dangerous place, so maybe it’s worth asking for help. When it seems like a maze, a local can guide the way. When you’re overwhelmed with threats, some muscle will help. And when all seems lost, a trusty friend might just save you from disaster.
This expansion adds companion cards to help you along the way to the lost city

The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth Other Adventures is coming out on 20th September. Order your copy today and continue your adventures in the Amazon!


14. Osprey's Big Reveal: Air Campaign - 2018-09-12 15:44:20
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2018 started with the launch of our new aviation series, Air Campaign, which has received a great response from so many of you. Next year, we're adding to our Air Campaign list with six new books. Which of our newest ACM books is making your wishlist?
ACM: Operation Linebacker I 1972

As the Paris peace talks floundered in 1972 and the US began to disengage from Vietnam, the North Vietnamese were preparing for a major conventional invasion into South Vietnam. Screened by bad weather and heavy air defences in the north, the attack advanced quickly but the US pushed back, rushing aircraft into the theatre, and launching a hard-hitting air campaign to stem the invasion.
Following the failure of Rolling Thunder, US aircraft were now armed with new technologies such as laser-guided bombs and the first (albeit improvised) helicopter-mounted anti-tank missiles. The Air Force now had the fearsome AC-130 gunship, and US Navy aviators had much better dogfighting training thanks to the new TOPGUN fighter school. It was in many ways the first modern, high-tech air campaign – but also brought back some old-fashioned technology, and many lessons were learned from this pioneering campaign.
ACM: Japan 1944–45
While preparing for a costly ground invasion of Japan, the United States sought to cut short the Pacific War with a bombing campaign built around the most expensive weapon programme of the war – the B-29 Superfortress. But in 1944, no strategic bombing campaign had ever brought about a nation’s surrender. Not only that, but Japan was half a world away, and the US had no airfields even within the extraordinary range of the B-29.
This military analysis of the B-29 campaign explains the many problems the US Air Force faced and their initial failures, and how General LeMay devised radical and devastating tactics that began to systematically incinerate Japanese cities and industries and eliminate its maritime trade. It looks at the campaign’s effect on Japan’s war-fighting ability – and how gaps in Japan’s defences contributed to the B-29s’ success.
ACM: Six-Day War 1967
The Israeli Air Force’s Operation Focus was not only a watershed in the history of the modern Middle East but was one of the greatest and most effective air superiority campaigns ever waged. On a single morning, almost the entire IAF was committed to a surprise, pre-emptive airstrike against the numerically far superior air forces of the encircling Arab states. The attack was extraordinarily successful. Hundreds of Arab aircraft were destroyed, their airfields crippled, and the IAF gained almost complete air supremacy for the rest of the war.
ACM: Battle of Berlin 1943–44
Throughout late 1943 and into early 1944, a titanic struggle raged over the skies of Germany between RAF Bomber Command and the Luftwaffe. The ‘Battle of Berlin’ was ordered by the Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, Arthur Harris, and was his all-out attempt to finish the war by massive strategic bombing of the enemy’s capital.
But the Berlin campaign turned into a hard, desperate slog. Fought in often dreadful and bitterly cold weather, Bomber Command ‘went’ to Berlin a total of 16 times, suffering increasingly severe losses throughout the winter of 1943/44 in the face of a revitalized German air defence. The campaign failed to achieve Harris’ goal, and it remains a matter of controversy what it ultimately achieved.
ACM: Ploesti 1943
The oil city of Ploesti was at the heart of the Romanian oilfields that fed the German war machine. As part of its expanding strategic bombing operation in 1943, and as a key part of the Oil Campaign, the USAAF decided to stage a major raid on Ploesti from air bases in Libya.
But the Halverston mission in 1942 had provoked the Luftwaffe to substantially reinforce the Ploesti defences so that by the time of the August 1943 raid, they consisted of a substantial Flak force as well as about 50 Luftwaffe Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters. 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.
ACM: Guadalcanal 1942–43
The campaign for Guadalcanal was centred on the airfield of Henderson Field, which was captured by the US on 8 August 1942 and was operational by 20 August. As long as the airfield could stay open and was stocked with sufficient striking power, the Japanese could not run convoys with heavy equipment and large amounts of supplies to the island. Instead, they were forced to rely on night runs by destroyers, which could not carry enough men or supplies to shift the balance. The American air contingent on the island, nicknamed the Cactus Air Force, had the challenging mission of defending the airfield against constant Japanese attacks, and more importantly, of striking major Japanese attempts to reinforce the island.


15. Cryptid receives the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence! - 2018-09-12 08:53:06
There's just over one week until cryptozoologists can start their search in Cryptid, a deduction game of honest misdirection by Hal Duncan and Ruth Veevers, with stunning artwork by Kwanchai Moriya. If you want to know more about the game, check out the videos below!




Cryptid is currently available for preorder, and will be released on 20th September. Order your copy today!


16. Henry Sakaida (1951-2018) - 2018-09-07 14:23:55
Henry Sakaida, author of Aircraft of the Aces 13 and 22, and Aviation Elite Units 5, passed away in late August 2018 following a severe stroke. He was only 67 years old. A second-generation Japanese-American with close ties to his family roots, he was a leading light in Pacific Air War history. Uniquely, he studied aerial combat in this theatre of war from the Japanese side, allowing the exploits of units and airmen of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force and Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force to receive coverage that they had never previously enjoyed. Known to one and all as a ‘people person’, Henry was very generous with his time when it came to assisting other historians and authors in their own research.
Fellow Osprey author and Japanese aviation historian Osamu Tagaya noted in his eulogy for Henry on j-aircraft.com:
Whether returning Hero of the Soviet Union medals to Soviet veterans and their families or his enthusiasm in contacting veteran fliers from both sides of the Pacific, he cared about people. Thus, much of his work revolved around human interest aspects of that great global conflict. He once said to me that what drove him was digging into mysteries, trying to figure out what really happened in some given incident, identifying the people involved, who otherwise may well have remained anonymous. He styled himself as a detective. When it came to the Pacific Air War, he was a Sherlock Holmes par excellence. His reputation needs no explanation among our community of historians and enthusiasts, of course. But to me, the greatest accolade he achieved was the recognition and respect he earned from the community of Japanese veterans he so enthusiastically sought and interviewed, men such as Minoru Genda, Saburo Sakai and many others.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

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17. Osprey's Big Reveal: Anatomy of the Ship - 2018-09-06 10:13:00
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It's the first time the Anatomy of the Ship has joined our Big Reveal. Having origins in the 1980s with Conway Maritime Press/Conway Publishing, the successful series has now joined the ranks of Osprey. Below are two books in the series that will be published under the Osprey Publishing name next year, and we are sure they'll delight all naval warfare fans.
Let us know your thoughts below!
ANT: USS Iowa
USS Iowa (BB-61) was the lead ship in one of the most famous classes of battleships ever commissioned into the US Navy. Transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944, the Iowa first fired her guns in anger in the Marshall Islands campaign, and sunk her first enemy ship, the Katori. The Iowa went on to serve across several pivotal Pacific War campaigns, including at the battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. It ended the war spending several months bombarding the Japanese Home Islands before the surrender in August 1945.
After taking part in the Korea War, the Iowa was decommissioned in 1958, before being briefly reactivated in the 1980s as part of President Reagan’s 600-Ship Navy Plan.
ANT: USS Kidd (Fletcher class destroyer)
USS Kidd (DD-661) was launched 28 February 1943 and served in the Pacific from August 1943 until the end of the war, taking part in operations in the Marshall Islands, the Marianas campaign, and the Philippines. In early 1945 she joined Task Force 58 (TF 58) for the invasion of Okinawa. After service in the Korean War as part of Task Force 77 she alternated West Pacific cruises with operations on the West Coast. She has been docked at Baton Rouge since 23 May 1982, when she was transferred to the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission and is now on public view there as a museum vessel. Never modernized, USS Kidd is the only destroyer to retain its World War II appearance.


18. Osprey's Big Reveal: Weapon - 2018-09-05 08:21:00
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From double-headed axes to sniper rifles, our Weapon series has a great new selection of books publishing in 2019. With six new topics coming your way, it'll be hard to pick a favourite.
WPN: Hotchkiss Machine Guns
Created by a long-forgotten Austrian nobleman, Adolf Odkolek von Augezd, the air-cooled Hotchkiss machine gun was the first to function effectively by tapping propellant gas from the bore as the gun fired. Although overshadowed by the water-cooled Maxim and Vickers Guns, the Hotchkiss had proved its effectiveness during the Russo-Japanese War. Towed on sleds and manhandled over obstacles, Japan’s 1900-type Hotchkiss guns showed the value of overhead and enfilade fire: lessons which had to be re-learned at such terrible cost on the Western Front.
The Hotchkiss medium machine gun was successful enough to persuade Laurence Benét and Henri Mercié to develop the Modèle Portative: a man-portable version. However, the strip feed was awkward to handle. The Hotchkiss Portative was one of the first automatic weapons to be mounted on aircraft and the first to obtain a ‘kill’ in aerial combat. A British-made version, adopted in 1916 to answer a perceived shortage of machine guns, equipped the earliest tanks.
WPN: Sniping Rifles on the Eastern Front 1939–45
The Soviet Union had developed a significant sniping force by 1939, but the extraordinary skill and cunning display by Finnish snipers during the Winter War forced the Soviets to innovate. On the other side, German sniping suffered from a lack of standardization of weapons and a lack of marksman deployed at the start of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). There were few heroes in the conflict, but on both sides, the snipers were idolized – especially on the Soviet side, gaining almost mythical status.
As well as traditional bolt-action weapons, both sides used several types of semi-automatic rifle, such as the SVT-38 and the Gew 41. Offering greater firepower at the expense of long-range accuracy, such weapons would be profoundly influential in the postwar world.
WPN: The Arisaka Rifle
Entering service in 1897, the Arisaka family of bolt-action rifles armed Japanese troops and others through two world wars and many other conflicts, including the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05.
Issued in long and short versions – the latter for cavalry and specialists – the Type 30 was the first main Arisaka model, arming Imperial Japan’s forces during the Russo-Japanese War, though after the war it was refined into the Type 38, which would still be in use in 1945. The main Arisaka rifle of World War II though was the Type 99. Lighter and more rugged than the US M1903 Springfield rifle it would face in the initial battles in the Pacific, it was produced in four main variants, including a sniping model and a take-down parachutist’s rifle.
WPN: The G3 Battle Rifle
During the Cold War, the G3 was one of the world’s pre-eminent battle rifles. Developed in France and Spain after 1945, the rifle was produced by the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch. Adopted by more than 40 countries and produced on licence by many more, it was widely employed during colonial wars in Africa, insurgencies in Latin America and conflicts in the Middle East, but perhaps its widest use was in the Iran–Iraq War. Variants of the G3 have also seen substantial usage among Special Forces including Britain’s Special Boat Service and the US Navy SEALs. Semi-automatic versions, especially the HK91 and HK93, remain popular in the United States, and the G3-derived HK11 and HK21 family of light machine guns have also been widely adopted by military and law-enforcement units across the world.
WPN: Weapons of the US Special Operations Command
The units and formations of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have privileged access to the finest weaponry in the world’s arsenal.
This means that, while SOCOM troops frequently use standard-issue weaponry, they also adopt many specialist pieces of kit that are not so accessible to the broader armed services, including sniper rifles, battle rifles, and machine guns, as well as high-tech tactical accessories used to transform standard weaponry into something exceptional.
Assessing the technology and capabilities of these combat weapons, as well as how they have been used in modern combat, this new Weapon title lifts the veil on some of the most distinctive hand-held weapon systems of US special operations forces since 1987.
WPN: Weapons of the Viking Warrior
Between the late 8th and late 11th century Viking warriors had a massive impact not just in northern Europe, but across a huge arc from the western Mediterranean round through northern Europe and the Baltic to the Middle East and Central Asia. Their success depended in part on their skills in battle, their unique sense of strategic mobility, and on the quality of their weapons and equipment. Written by an expert on early medieval weaponry, this book examines the weapons of the typical Viking warrior, dispels some of the myths of the popular image, such as double-headed axes, and considers the range of weapons that actually underpinned the Vikings’ success including bows and arrows.


19. Royal Netherlands East Indies Army: preparing for war - 2018-09-04 11:28:00
Last month saw the publication of Marc Lohnstein's new Men-at-Arms title, Royal Netherlands East Indies Army 1936–42, which looks at the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army before and during World War II. Marc joins us on the blog today to discuss Men-at-Arms 521, providing an insight into the conflict facing the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army throughout this period.
During the first phase of the war in the Pacific, the so-called Japanese southern offensive, the Netherlands-Indies and its army, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL), played an important part. The Dutch colony – present day Indonesia – was rich in natural resources, specifically oil, and was therefore the main target of the Japanese. Furthermore, the KNIL and Dutch Navy contributed a large number of troops to ABDACOM (American-British-Dutch-Australian Command), the allied command in charge of defending Southeast Asia against the Japanese encroachment.
It was around 1914 that the last areas of the Indonesian archipelago had come under formal Dutch colonial rule. This marked the end of the so-called pacification period. The formation, organisation and armament of the KNIL were tailored to maintaining internal order and tranquillity in the vast and outstretched colony. The size of the army was relatively small, based on the limited number of troops needed to control the Dutch outer islands, the islands outside Java and Madura. The army stationed at Java served only as a back up to these troops. Java personnel rotated with those stationed on the outer islands and, if necessary, the Java troops could be deployed as an expeditionary force. The number of troops available for these tasks was only just sufficient. The organisation and armament of the KNIL was matched to those limited tasks: light infantry with support from light artillery.
The KNIL was a professional army that consisted of Europeans who signed up for years and Indonesian volunteers. It was not a reflection of the diverse ethnic groups that inhabited the colony. On the contrary, the officers and higher ranked non-commissioned officers were almost exclusively European (read: Dutch). Europeans and Christian minorities from the outer islands of the archipelago were strongly overrepresented among the rank and file. In 1929, the KNIL consisted of 38,600 troops while the total population of the Netherlands Indies was 60 million. For political and financial reasons, the potential of possible recruits was scarcely used.
By 1941/1942 the KNIL had changed into a volunteer-conscript force with more modern equipment aimed at defending Java in particular from a foreign enemy. This significant metamorphosis mainly came about between 1936 and 1942. However, the army displayed some structural weaknesses when it came to management and the buildup of personnel. An Australian officer observed in November 1941 that ‘the infantry and artillery are generally well equipped, but (…) equipment is considerably ahead of training.’ Moreover, the command at the battalion and regimental level was poor.
The political-strategic policy of the Netherlands was based on neutrality. The Netherlands did not have the means, both in terms of money as well as troops, to defend the Netherlands-Indies against a major foreign power. The principles of defence as formulated in 1927 were based on maintaining neutrality on Java and the oil-rich Tarakan and Balikpapan. The KNIL did not believe in short and limited breaches of the Netherlands-Indies neutrality, but figured that a possible attack would be a targeted all-out invasion. Its resources were therefore directed towards defending the aforementioned positions. This became the new de facto doctrine of the KNIL after 1936.

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Indigenous KNIL troops, 1938
Source: Collectie Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen
For this new defensive task, the troops on Java were reorganised into the Java army. The old battalion structure was now superseded by new layers of organisation. First battalions were organised into brigades and later, from 1922 on, divisions with regiments were created, with some units that operated independently from this top down structure. The firepower of both infantry and artillery was enlarged with machine guns and some other new pieces of artillery. However, this build-up was delayed by successive severe budget cuts in 1922/1923, 1927 and 1930 and the years after that. These cuts were mainly realised by cutting down on personnel. It was only in the mid-1930s, because of the increasing international tensions in Europe and Asia, that these cutbacks were halted. From 1936 on, the defence budgets started to increase again.
The guideline for the build-up was the reinforcement plan of 1936. This plan sought to enhance the military capacities of the army. But the KNIL did not seek to achieve this increase in fighting power through a large expansion of the number of troops, but through improvements in its military equipment. This was laid down in an eight-point programme, which was expected to take four or five years to complete and which would have to commence in 1938 or 1939. The main points of the reinforcement plan called for additional bomber planes for the air force, the establishment of tank units and the purchase of medium machine guns and mortars for the infantry and finally it aimed to fill the gaps in personnel.
Modern anti-tank and anti-aircraft artillery was purchased to combat possible attacks from aircraft and armoured vehicles. The amount of new equipment that actually reached the Indies was modest though, since the orders were put out during a time when the arms market was already overheated with demands from all sides. To complicate matters, the traditional European arms suppliers were cut off after war broke out in Europe in 1939/1940 and American war production still had yet to get into full gear. An exception to the difficulties getting arms were the mortars. By the end of 1941, the KNIL owned 30 pieces of modern anti-tank artillery, 70 anti-tank rifles, 102 pieces of modern anti-aircraft artillery and 276 81mm mortars. Regarding combat vehicles, the KNIL counted 24 tanks and 142 armoured vehicles among its possessions. More modern material had been ordered, but could not be shipped in time.

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The modernisation of the air force was the main priority of the KNIL. This came at the expense of the army. The KNIL adopted the strategy of indirect defence through the use of horizontal bomber planes. These bomber planes could attack enemy fleet units before their troops could disembark. Originally, this strategy was only envisioned for Java. Later, this aerial strategy was broadened to encompass much more territory, all the way to the edges of the outer islands. The bombing fleet was supplemented in 1940 and 1941 with single-seat fighter aircraft that could be deployed for escorting the bombers, supporting local air defence of several ground objects and delivering air support to troops on the ground. All in all, this lead to a rapid growth, both in material as well as in personnel, for the air force between 1936 and 1942. Yet the planned war organisation targets were not all met. Apart from the enlargement of the air force, the replacement of the bomber fleet was scheduled for the beginning of 1942, but this ultimately came too late.
To support the adopted strategy of indirect defence, airfields were constructed all throughout the archipelago in the shape of three lines of air defence. The first line was along the outer border of the Indonesian archipelago. The second line was along the north side of the Java Sea. And the last line went from South Sumatra, across Java, to Bali.
Aside from the core of European volunteers who had signed up to serve for several years on end, the KNIL instated the draft for Europeans in 1917. Starting in 1938, all kinds of short term drafts were added to this. A limited draft for Indonesians was introduced in July 1941. The first two annual contingents of conscripts reported for duty on 27 October and 1 November 1941. These 6,000 men were only just beginning their military training when Japan attacked. They would never see action. As a result, it meant that after mobilisation the KNIL was 114,000 men strong in December 1941. 94,000 of these were deployed on Java.
In 1941, on the eve of the Japanese southern offensive and inspired by the German use of mechanised warfare in Western Europe, it was decided the KNIL was to be drastically reorganised and expanded. This plan sought to motorise and mechanise its infantry. To this effect, five mixed brigades and one mobile brigade were to be formed under the direction of three division staffs. But on the eve of the Japanese landings on Indonesian soil these plans had not yet fully come into being. It meant that the mobile troops consisted of four infantry regiments with support troops. Only seven out of the 16 infantry battalions had been motorised. However, the cavalry had become almost fully motorised. The Japanese invasion hit the KNIL in the middle of an extensive reorganisation.
Through a well-organised joint operation, Japanese land, sea and air forces soon broke through the resistance lines of the KNIL. The isolated garrisons in the outer islands were eliminated one by one. The Royal Netherlands Navy sought and found a naval confrontation together with its allies. But the Imperial Japanese Navy emerged as superior from the Battle of the Java Sea. At the end of February and the start of March, the Japanese 16th Army performed amphibious landings on three different locations on the east and west side of Java. It put almost 55,000 troops on shore. The KNIL and its allies had the upper hand in sheer numbers though: 94,000 KNIL forces, 3,500 British troops, 2,500 Australians (excluding RAF and RAAF forces) and 900 Americans. And both parties seemed to be equally equipped with material. The Japanese infantry had more direct fire power with its grenade launchers and infantry pieces. The Japanese had the clear advantage when it came to the number of aircraft and tanks. Ultimately the quick and aggressive Japanese forces outwitted the mostly static allied defences both operationally and tactically by making full use of their airpower. The use of their air power proved to be of decisive importance throughout the whole campaign. On 9 March, the KNIL surrendered.
To read more about the KNIL, get your copy of Royal Netherlands East Indies Army 1936-42 by clicking here!


20. September Sale - 2018-09-04 08:00:56
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If you missed out on adding to your New Vanguard, Air Vanguard, Weapon or Aviation Elite Units collections last month, not to worry, as this month they're included in our 20% off September Sale.
There's a great range of fantastic books on offer, so be sure to click the series titles below to browse the full lists of what's on offer.
New Vanguard Our New Vanguard series deals with World War II tanks, AFVs and ships, as well as covering the vessels of World War I, World War II and the Napoleonic period, and the artillery and naval innovations of the American Civil War and medieval periods. Featuring specially commissioned full colour artworks, including exploded and cutaway diagrams, these books are a valuable resource for model makers, wargamers, and military history enthusiasts. Air Vanguard Air Vanguard, cut from the same cloth as the technical military series New Vanguard but instead with a focus on aviation, this series provides a similar technical overview of machines, and how they developed technically throughout their combat history.

Weapon In the Weapon series we look at the most important, famous and infamous weapons throughout history. Using a combination of photography and classic Osprey artwork, this series examines the full story of each weapon, beginning with its design and development, following through its operational history, and finally analyzing its impact on warfare and violence. Aviation Elite Units Aviation Elite Units books provide a full combat history of a fighter or bomber unit that earned particular distinction in action, providing an authentic insight into the world’s greatest units, celebrating the men and machines that won each unit its ‘elite’ status. In a text supported by eyewitness accounts, the unsung heroes of each unit are identified and their stories told – alongside the tales of their more glamorous ‘ace’ counterparts.

Pre-order books and books publishing in September are excluded from this month's sale.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 26 окт 2018, 12:00

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1. IATA призова за резервен план за въздушните комуникации в Европа след Brexit - 2018-10-25 20:42:35
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Международната асоциация за въздушен транспорт (IATA) призова за спешен план за поддържане на въздушните съобщения в Европа, ако се стигне до излизане на Великобритания от ЕС без постигане на споразумение със Съюза.


2. МО отхвърли съобщенията, че ремонтът на Су-25 ще струва 310 млн. лева - 2018-10-25 19:16:37
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Министерство на отбраната излезе с нарочно съобщение, в което отхвърли съобщенията, че ремонтът на щурмовите самолети Су-25 ще струва 310 млн. лева. Съобщението се появи днес, 25 октомври 2018 г., малко преди 20 часа.


3. Белгия обяви, че купува F-35 - 2018-10-25 18:42:12
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Белгийското правителство обяви, че избира F-35A за свой нов боен самолет. Стойността на покупката ще бъде €4 млрд. Американската оферта бе предпочетена пред предложението за Eurofighter Typhoon. Това съобщава Reuters.


4. Беларус ще ремонтира Су-25 - 2018-10-25 12:58:51
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Белоруският "558-ми авиоремонтен завод" в Барановичи ще изпълни обществената поръчка за ремонта на щурмовите самолети Су-25 на нашите ВВС. Това се чете в решение на министъра на отбраната от 23 октомври 2018 г.


5. Министър Каракачанов не иска да бърза с избора на нов изтребител - 2018-10-23 19:42:37
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Министърът на отбраната Красимир Каракачанов даде да се разбере, че няма намерение да бърза в избора на нов боен самолет за ВВС. Той участва днес, 23 октомври 2018 г., в предаването „Лице в лице” по bTV.


6. Китайската амфибия AG600 започна полети от вода - 2018-10-22 20:46:34
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Китайската летяща амфибия AVIC AG600 е извършила първия си полет с излитане и кацане на вода. Това е станало на 20 октомври 2018 г., съобщава китайската държавна информационна агенция Синхуа.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 26 окт 2018, 18:00

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1. An exclusive extract from Jeremy Black's Forts - 2018-10-26 09:20:00
Today on the blog, we bring you an exclusive extract from Jeremy Black's newest book Forts: An Illustrated History of Buildings for Defence. This incredible new study uses a stunning array of plans, maps and photographs, outlining the history of fortifications, showing how their design has adapted to the changing technology of war.
Chapter One: Origins
Fortifications are a key element of human history, one that has left a lasting presence. They were also important even when the evidence for them is far more fragmentary.
Humans protected themselves against the elements, both natural and supernatural, against animals and against other humans. Initially, many ‘fortifications’ were natural features that provided shelter and/or enhanced strength. Caves and ridges were key examples, but so were thickets in which humans on foot could protect themselves from more mobile animal opponents.
Natural fortifications remained important throughout history, including as features that provided defensive sites in conflict. Some natural fortifications were eventually enhanced. This form of protection, which initially entailed barricades of stones and earth, as well as the use of fire, tended to involve palisades of wood when domestic animals also had to be protected as well as restrained and controlled. In the absence of wood, stone could be used for such enclosures, and so could earth. Indeed, the principle of fortification is more fundamental and continuous than the means employed.
Fortifications of a more sophisticated type followed the development of states, not least because human attackers could achieve far more than animal counterparts, especially in scale and persistence but also in sophistication, for example the use of fire. The need for protection, a determination to establish control, as well as clashing interests between states, encouraged the walling of settlements and large-scale conflict, the two being closely linked. City states developed in the fertile valleys of the Euphrates and, later, Tigris in modern Iraq from the fourth millennium BC. In addition, by about 3300 BC, walled towns had begun to be built along the Nile in Egypt. Such settlements also appeared in China.
The need to come to close quarters with an enemygave fortifications their power, which was only to be eclipsed (and then only partially) by dependable and powerful missile weapons. The viability of fortifications, moreover, was enhanced by limitations in siegecraft. However, fortifications were always in a dynamic relationship with the means to overcome them. This situation has persisted to today, and will continue into the future.
Improvements in siegecraft by the aggressive and expansionist Iraqi-based Assyrian empire in the ninth to seventh centuries BC ensured that Assyrian advances, whether or not they led to battle, could not be readily resisted by remaining behind walls, as was often the case in warfare. The stone reliefs from the palace of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, depict the sieges of walled cities. The Assyrians used battering rams. The carvings that show them have men fighting from the tops of the towers that protect the rams: they are siege towers with battering rams or vice versa.
Aside from devices that came into direct contact with the walls, notably battering rams and siege towers, there were siege engines including those that fired projectiles, especially catapults. Large catapults could throw heavy stones designed to inflict damage to the structure, while medium-size catapults launched bolts, and lighter, hand-held ones fired arrows and small stones designed to clear away defenders from their positions. Such anti-personnel weaponry provided an opportunity for gaining tactical dominance and for the use of siege engines against the walls. Thus, they were an aspect of the degree to which sieges involved stages in order to suppress the defences.

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In turn, these stages required different facets for the defence. This included firepower mounted on the walls and notably in the towers that were their strongest features. When Alexander the Great of Macedon successfully besieged the well-fortified port city of Tyre (in modern Lebanon) in 332 BC, during his conquest of the Persian Empire, the catapults were able to provide covering fire for battering rams employed to breach the walls, and for boarding bridges from which troops moved into the breaches from ships. Cannon were later to provide the breaching force of the battering rams without needing close contact.
The Hellenistic powers that succeeded Alexander’s empire, and that dominated the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean until the first century BC, were able to produce more formidable siege weapons such as battering rams sheathed with iron and mounted on rollers. At the siege in 305–04 BC of Rhodes, a city that continued to be an important and contested fortified position into the sixteenth century, there were also iron-tipped borers (made effective by a windlass, pulleys and rollers) that were designed to make holes in the walls. In addition, siege towers became larger and heavier, and therefore able to project more power. They were also better defended, for example with iron plates and goatskins to resist the fire missiles and catapults launched from the positions under attack. Flexibility in usage was crucial, as these siege towers could be assembled and disassembled or, alternatively, made on site if timber was available.
The Romans were also adept at capturing fortresses, while they built encampments as a matter of course on the march, and established permanent garrisons on, or close to, their frontiers. Both China and the Romans built formidable series of walls, including the Long Walls of Wei, Zhao and Yan (c.350–290 BC) in China and the Roman limes, notably between the upper Rhine and the upper Danube. These walls were supported by fortresses. In China, siege warfare developed with the use of siege towers and stone-throwing catapults (both also used by the Romans) against cities protected by thick earth walls behind deep, wide ditches. Due to their large armies, the Chinese and Indians surrounded fortified positions in order to establish blockades.
In the case of England, the remains of forts are readily apparent from the Bronze Age on, but hill forts became more common with the Iron Age from c.700 BC, although they were probably places of refuge rather than inhabited sites. In particular, this was because hilltops faced issues with the availability of water. They were often within visual contact of each other. Most English sites were relatively modest, for example Woodbury Castle in Devon, although Maiden Castle in Dorset was far more formidable.
In turn, the Romans were major fort builders in Britain, not least with their substantial legionary bases such as Deva (Chester), Eburacum (York) and Isca (Caerleon), as well as with shorter-lived legionary bases, for example Exeter. Moreover, Hadrian’s Wall was built to mark the northern frontier, while the forts of the Saxon Shore were built from the 270s onward from Brancaster, Norfolk, to Portchester, Hampshire, in order to limit attacks by seaborne raiders from Germany. These forts, most of which had protruding towers, were designed to protect harbours and estuaries. The standard Roman emphasis was on round-fronted protruded towers that were able to provide enfilading fire against attackers, for example at Jerusalem.
The construction of town defences in the Roman Empire from the third century, for example in Britain and Spain as well as a formidable wall at Rome in the 270s, indicated an attitude of growing defensiveness in the face of outside attack. This pattern of town walls remained significant under the ‘barbarian’ conquerors of the Roman Empire once they had established states of their own. Thus, Roman traditions were important under the Visigoths in Spain and southern France, as at Carcassonne and Toulouse, and under the Franks in France. As a defence against Viking advances along rivers, fortified bridges were used under the Franks in the ninth century.
In southern England, Alfred, King of Wessex, encouraged the creation of burhs (fortified proto-towns) in the late ninth century as a key part of the defensive system designed to resist the Vikings. Some were refurbished Roman town defences. Others were new. This system was continued by Alfred’s successors, as they established the Old English state in the tenth century, notably conquering the Viking-held East Midlands. In addition, private defended residences, the basis of castles, existed in the late Saxon period, some built by Norman and French protégés of Edward the Confessor (r. 1042–66). Similar developments were seen elsewhere in Western Europe.
In south-eastern Europe, the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire maintained formidable defences, notably at Constantinople (Istanbul) and at Salonica. Existing fortifications were improved, as in the Near East with the massive Byzantine city wall at Antioch in the sixth century, which had about 60 towers divided into two groups: large polygonal master towers, and smaller square towers dependent on them. This was a clear instance of the threat-based nature of fortification. Concern about expansion by the Sassanids of Persia (Iran) led to Byzantine fortifications in the region.
Forts is now available to order from Osprey Publishing. Click here to get your copy!
More from Jeremy Black:
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 27 окт 2018, 12:04

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1. МО даде ремонта на L-39 за българска фирма с украински подизпълнител, но Aero Vodochody заявява, че няма да носи отговорност за ремонтите в Украйна - 2018-10-26 17:07:05
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Българската компания „Йотов и син”, която е известна най-вече с това, че експортира оръжие, е спечелила обществената поръчка за осигуряване на летателната годност на учебно-тренировъчните самолети L-39. Тази дейност ще се изпълнява с украински подизпълнители. Това се чете в решение на министъра на отбраната, което бе публикувано днес, 26 октомври 2018 г. В същото време, производителят Aero Vodochody, който е класиран на второ място, заявява, че няма да носи отговорност за самолетите ремонтирани в Украйна.


2. Френският президент заяви, че белгийският избор за F-35 е лош за Европа - 2018-10-26 16:15:24
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Френският президент Еманюел Макрон определи белгийското решение за покупка на американските изтребители F-35 е против общите европейски интереси. Това е казал той днес, 26 октомври 2018 г., цитиран от Reuters.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 28 окт 2018, 12:04

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1. Delta Air Lines получи първия си Airbus A220 - 2018-10-27 19:38:21
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Delta Air Lines получи своя първи Airbus A220. Това стана вчера, 26 октомври 2018 г., с което приключва сагата около доставката на типа за Северноамериканския авиопревозвач.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 28 окт 2018, 18:00

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1. Sneak Peek at January's Artwork - 2018-10-28 12:21:00
As October nears its end, we are looking ahead into the new year on the blog, as we bring you your sneak peek at artwork featured in our January books. From the Khazars of the 7th century to the Pacific Theatre of 1944–45, we've got some great plates to share with you! Let us know, which of the books are on your to-read list!
MAA 522: The Khazars by Mikhail Zhirohov, David Nicolle
Illustrated by Christa Hook

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The first plate we're featuring is from our Men-at-Arms series. The Khazars looks at the armies, organisation, armour, weapons and fortifications of the largest Jewish-ruled state in world history. In the background on the left rides a Western steppes nobleman (7th century) his general appearance and clothing look European rather than from a nomadic steppe culture, but his sword, archery equipment and horse harness show strong Iranian influence. In the middle stands a Sabirian armoured cavalryman (6th–7th centuries).This Sabir (Savir) tribal warrior illustrates the sophistication achieved by the Khazars’ immediate predecessors north of the Caucasus. His substantial cuirass and upper arm defences are of iron lamellae laced with rawhide thongs. His archery equipment is of a form seen across most of the Eurasian steppes, while his single-edged sword is still straight. The final figure is of a Khazar warrior (7th century). Khazar wealth is suggested by the gilded front plate of his directly riveted segmented helmet. His full panoply consists of a single-edged straight sword with a curved hilt, in a brass-fitted scabbard with ‘D’-shaped projections for suspension; a spear with a two-tailed pennon; a leathercovered wooden shield with an iron boss; a composite bow carried unstrung in a brightly painted case; and a large fighting knife or khanjar perhaps made en suite with the sword.
DUE 91: Hellcat vs Shiden/Shiden-Kai by Tony Holmes
Illustrated by Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector

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Our second plate is from Hellcat vs Shiden/Shiden-Kai, which looks at the US Navy's burgeoning force of carried-based F6F-3/5 Hellcats and the formidable Japanese Kawanishi N1K1/2 Shiden/Shiden-Kai, as the clashed during World War II. The plate here shows an engagement from March 19, 1945, when veteran aviators of the 343rd Kokutai saw combat for the first time in the N1K2-J. They dove on 20 Hellcats from VBF‑17 that were targeting airfields in the Kure area. The US Navy pilots in turn started to climb in their F6F‑5s in order to meet their opponents head on.
WPN 66: Weapons of the Viking Warrior by Gareth Williams
Illustrated by Johnny Schumate

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Our final plate is featured in our upcoming Weapon book, Weapons of the Viking Warrior, which dispels the myths of the popular image, whilst considering the range of weapons that underpinned the Vikings' success. Here, two opposing shield-walls approach each other to fight in close order. Within this formation, the spear is the principal weapon. On the left of the scene, archers seek to disrupt the opposing shield-wall by loosing arrows into the enemy’s midst. Many of the warriors have only padded armour rather than mail, and the longbows of the period were heavy enough to penetrate this. On the right, a small number of mounted warriors are moving to turn the flank of the opposing shield-wall, again with the hope of causing the formation to collapse.
To read more about these stunning pieces of artwork, pre-order your copies by clicking here.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 30 окт 2018, 12:04

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1. От БСП атакуваха ремонта на Су-25 в Беларус - 2018-10-29 21:51:48
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От БСП атакуваха решението на МО да се дадат българските щурмови самолети Су-25 за ремонт в Беларус. Критиката е насочена към начина на провеждане на процедурата, липсата на участие на „Авионамс” в нея и отказа да се сътрудничи с оригиналния руски производител.


2. Boeing 737 катастрофира в Индонезия - 2018-10-29 21:36:57
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Пътнически самолет Boeing 737 Max 8 катастрофира малко след излитане от индонезийската столица Джакарта. Това стана днес, 29 октомври 2018 г. Няма оцелели сред намиращите се 189 души на борда му.


3. МО отново пусна обществена поръчка за пиротехнически изделия - 2018-10-29 20:36:10
Изображение
Министерство на отбраната стартира процедура за възлагане на обществена поръчка за доставка на барутни заряди и пиротехнически изделия за авиационна техника. Стойността на договора ще достигне 500 000 лв. без ДДС.


4. Gripen E с първи оръжейни изпитания - 2018-10-29 20:03:22
Изображение
Gripen E успешно приключи първите тестове за пускане на товари на външно очакване, включително и ракетни пускове. Тестовете бяха проведени през октомври 2018 г. на полигона Видсел в северна Швеция. Това съобщават от Saab.


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 31 окт 2018, 06:00

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