This month's book vote sees five naval New Vanguard titles battling for your vote. Read the full descriptions and cast your vote by clicking on the link below. Plus, check out the results of last month's Duel book vote below.
NVG: The South Vietnamese Navy 1955–75
NVG: Royal Navy Monitors 1914–45
NVG: US Navy Airships of World War II
NVG: Soviet River Gunboats of World War II
NVG: US Navy Seaplane Tenders
The South Vietnamese Navy 1955–75
One of the least-known aspects of the Vietnam War is the role played by the Republic of Vietnam Navy. Initially a small force, it was first expanded with hundreds of armed junks for coastal operations against North Vietnamese infiltration, then hugely expanded with American assistance under the Vietnamization programme. By the 1970s it was the largest navy in Southeast Asia, operating hundreds of ex-US Navy vessels, from amphibious landing ships to former destroyer escorts, gunboats, minesweepers, and seaplane tenders.
Royal Navy Monitors 1914–45
The Royal Navy’s series of World War I monitors were slow, stable, and designed to use up spare or decommissioned heavy naval guns. They were a cheap way of bringing heavy guns within range of enemy coastlines, and it was monitors that mounted the biggest guns ever used by the Royal Navy, the 18-inch guns originally built for Furious. While most were decommissioned between the wars, the most capable served again in World War II, and were joined by the two new Roberts-class. Before the monitor era was over, these ships fought in the Mediterranean in support of Eighth Army in North Africa and Italy, and joined the fleet bombarding Normandy on D-Day.
US Navy Airships of World War II
The US Navy’s lightest fleet operated hundreds of airships or blimps during World War II, carrying out anti-submarine warfare initially in the Atlantic, and later in the Mediterranean. Equipped with radar and magnetic anomaly detection, their range made them excellent convoy escorts, although they were initially let down by their weaponry. Only one blimp, K-74, was shot down during the war, by U-134, and only one ship was sunk in convoys guarded by the US Navy’s blimps.
Soviet River Gunboats of World War II
The USSR’s geography – huge expanses of land, crossed by wide, deep rivers – made it ideal country for river gunboats. Large gunboats and monitors had been built since Tsarist days, and during World War II these were joined by small, mass-produced, shallow-draught armoured gunboats that used obsolete tank turrets. They fulfilled the classic roles of river gunboats, providing mobility and fire support to the Red Army, protecting the flanks of offensives, and conducting amphibious landings. At Stalingrad the Volga gunboats kept supply lines open in the face of the Luftwaffe onslaught, and gunboats fought through to the end of the war, seeing action on the Oder River as the Red Army approached Berlin.
US Navy Seaplane Tenders
Foreseeing the need to support flying boat operations in the remote atolls of the Pacific, the US Navy built both small 2,000-ton (AVP) and large, 14,000-ton (AV) seaplane tenders before and during World War II. These were designed not only to maintain, supply and support flying boat operations, but also to be heavily armed enough to defend the squadrons they served. From the moment USS Curtiss got underway at Pearl Harbor and fought one of the Japanese midget submarines, they had long, active, and varied careers. Postwar many were kept in service, some were modified, some fought in Korea and Vietnam, or participated in polar exploration missions
Last month, we asked you what you would like to see published in our Duel series. Thank you to everyone who voted and provided feedback. The results were very close, check out the full results below to find out more!
|DUE: Fw 190F vs Soviet Tank Destroyers (Eastern Front 1944-45)||18%|
|DUE: B-29 Superfortress vs Japanese Nightfighters (Japan 1944–45)||17%|
|DUE: RAF Fighters vs Ju 87B Stuka (Channel Front 1940)||24.1%|
|DUE: P-38 Lightning vs Bf 109 (MTO 1942-43)||23.3%|
|DUE: Me 163 Komet vs B-17 Flying Fortress (Europe 1944–45)||17.6%|
Did your favourite win? Which New Vanguard title did you vote for? Let us know in the comments!