Osprey's Big Reveal: Combat

In Military History, Featured
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Today we're charging into battle with one of our final reveals. Take a look at the 8 Combat titles below and let us know, as always, which has caught your attention.

Chinese Soldier vs Japanese Soldier: China 1937–38

In July 1937, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident sparked a bloody conflict between Chinese and Japanese forces that would rage across China and beyond for more than eight years. The outbreak was the culmination of decades of an aggressive Japanese foreign policy, including the creation of a puppet state in Manchuria; tensions between the Chinese and the Japanese had flared into violence several times in the 1930s before the onset of total war.

This study investigates the origins, training, doctrine and armament of the Chinese and Japanese forces who fought in the opening stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It examines three key battles during this period: the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (July 1937); the battle of Tai'erzhuang (March–April 1938), the first major Chinese victory of the war, which boosted Chinese morale and destroyed the myth of Japanese invincibility; and the bloody battle of Wanjialing (September–October 1938).

French Foreign Légionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent: North Vietnam 1948–52

The French Indochina War (1946–54) was the largest of the first generation of post-World War II wars of decolonization as Vietminh insurgents sought to topple their French colonial masters. It was also unique in that the insurgency evolved from low-level guerrilla activity to having a large conventional army which finally defeated a large European-led expeditionary force supported by artillery, armour and airpower. The war’s progress was almost entirely dictated by the extreme terrain, and by the Chinese support enjoyed by the Vietnamese insurgents. The actions explored in this study cover three contrasting phases of the war in Tonkin during 1948–52, setting both sides on the path that would lead to the conflict’s climactic encounter at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

Gebirgsjäger vs Soviet Sailor: Arctic Circle 1942–44

In 1941–44, Nazi Germany’s Gebirgsjäger - elite mountain troops - clashed repeatedly with land-based units of the Soviet Navy during the mighty struggle on World War II’s Eastern Front. Formed into naval infantry and naval rifle brigades, some 350,000 of Stalin’s sailors would serve the Motherland on land, playing a key role in the defence of Moscow, Leningrad, and Sevastopol. The Gebirgsjäger, many among them veterans of victories in Norway and then Crete, would find their specialist skills to be at a premium in the harsh terrain and bitter weather encountered at the northern end of the front line. Operating many hundreds of miles north of Moscow, the two sides endured savage conditions as they fought one another inside the Arctic Circle.This is the absorbing story of the men who fought and died in the struggle for the Soviet Union’s northern flank at the height of World War II.

Greek Hoplite vs Persian Warrior: 499–479 BC

The Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BCE) convulsed Greece, Asia Minor and the Near East for half a century. Through a series of bloody invasions and pitched battles, the mighty Persian Empire pitted itself against the smaller armies of the Greeks, strengthened through strategic alliances. This epic conflict also brought together two different styles of warfare: the Greek hoplite phalanx and the combined spear and projectile weapon-armed Persian infantry.

Analysing the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea from the eyes of a soldier, this study explores the experience of front-line combat during the first two decades of the Greco-Persian Wars. This is the enthralling story of the fighting men of Greece and Persia and the tactics and technologies they employed.

Hitlerjugend Soldier vs Canadian Soldier: Normandy 1944

Canadian and Waffen-SS troops of 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend faced one another in a series of bloody battles following the D-Day landings of June 1944. The Canadian units fought in a number of distinguished regiments, while the Hitlerjugend Division were drawn from the ranks of the Hitler Youth organizations. Veteran officers and NCOs were joined by inexperienced teenagers, and clashed with the Canadians repeatedly, notably at Authie, Bretteville and Soumont-Saint-Quentin. The struggle quickly took on an especially bitter nature, fuelled by the massacre of Canadian prisoners by Hitlerjugend personnel.

Hitlerjugend Soldier vs Canadian Soldier investigates the origins, ethos, training, fighting techniques and weapons of both sides during the epic struggle for Normandy.

Roman Legionary vs Carthaginian Warrior: Second Punic War 217–206 BC

The peace that followed the First Punic War was shallow and fractious, with the resumption of hostilities in 218 BC sparked by Carthaginian expansion in Iberia seeing Rome suffer some of the worst defeats in her entire history. The Carthaginian army was a composite affair primarily made up of a number of levies from Africa and around the Mediterranean augmented by mercenaries and allies, and these troops crushed the Roman heavy infantry maniples in a series of battles across Southern Europe. Improvements made to their military, however, would see Roman revenge visited on Hannibal in full measure by Scipio, who would beat him at his own game and bring Roman legions to the gates of Carthage itself. Roman Legionary vs Carthaginian Warrior looks at the epic battles at Lake Trasimene (217 BC), Cannae (216 BC), and Ilipa (206 BC).

US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier: Sicily, Normandy, and Operation Market Garden, 1943–44

The US Airborne force fielded some of the toughest, best-trained and most resourceful troops of World War II – all necessary qualities in a force that was lightly armed and which would in most operational circumstances be surrounded from the moment it landed on the battlefield. The German Wehrmacht grew to rely on a series of defensive measures to combat the airborne threat, including fortifications, localized reserves, and special training to help intercept and disrupt airborne troops both in the air and on the ground. Despite such methods it was cool-headed command and control that would prove to be the real key to blunting the Airborne’s edge.

This book examines the development of the American airborne forces that spearheaded the Allied effort in Sicily, Normandy and Operation Market Garden, and the German countermeasures that evolved in response to the threat of Allied airborne landings.

US Marine vs German Soldier: Belleau Wood 1918

After the US declaration of war on Germany, hundreds of thousands of American troops flooded into France and were thrust into the front line. Among them was the US Marine Corps’ 4th Marine Brigade whose first major action was the battle of Belleau Wood in June 1918, fighting elements of Germany’s 10th, 28th, and 237th Infantry divisions. Volunteers to a man, the newly arrived Marines faced experienced but war-weary German conscripts whose doctrine had been honed by nearly four years of conflict on the Western Front. During the fighting, the Germans are alleged to have given the nickname “Devil Dogs” to the Marines, and Belleau Wood has become enshrined in the Corps’ heritage.

US Marine vs German Soldier investigates three different actions that shaped the course of the bitter battle for Belleau Wood, revealing the interplay of doctrine, tactics, technology, leadership, and human endeavour on the brutal battlefields of World War I.

Post Comments

cverrue posted on 12 Oct 2017 09:34:08
Ill look to a lot of them. mostly the gebirgsjager in artic circle.
overman posted on 23 Sep 2017 07:57:07
Perfect! I had requested something on the assault on Murmansk a while back; the Gebirgs vs Soviet sailors in the Arctic Front should be a nice addition! Also looking forward to the Chinese-Japanese war...looking forward to see an Osprey compare & contrast of those powers.
Hessy Field posted on 10 Sep 2017 11:55:08
Although I feel that "Combat" has effectively replaced the "Warrior" series I still rather like this list and in common with most of the other comments the outstanding titles for me are French Foreign Legionnaire vs Viet Minh and Chinese Soldier vs Japanese Soldier.
PAUL W posted on 9 Sep 2017 16:33:44
I actually think this is a very good list and think I'll get all of them. Whilst I take the point about the world war 1 titles here and in campaign being both American orientated, something is better than nothing. Hopefully if they sell well we'll get more first world war titles.
KenA posted on 9 Sep 2017 05:17:40
Hmmmm. Notice how there was only one WWI Campaign title and that was US oriented. Now we have just the one WWI Combat title and guess what? That features US forces also.

I seem to recall that the US was a trifle tardy in becoming involved in WWI. In fact even after it declared war against Germany (6 April 1917 - 7 December 1917 against the other Central Powers) the need for training meant that very limited numbers of US troops could be sent to the front in France initially and it was only by around May 1918 that over one million US troops were stationed in France (not to other theatres). So, significant US army involvement in WWI really only took place during 1918 whereas most of the other belligerents had been going hard at it since August 1914.

While the US Marines at Belleau Wood played an important part in stopping a German push towards Paris there were a lot of other interesting and important actions that took place during WWI that could be studied and provide a fair balance of subjects covered. One suggestion might be (and to be a little different): the Desert Mounted Corps (including cameliers) of Allenby’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force vs Turkish soldiers during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign 1916-18.

As for the other titles scheduled for 2018, C-Bone has rather beaten me to it. The first three on the list - Chinese v Japanese; FFL v VMI; and Gebirgsjäger v Soviet Sailor are the ones that catch the eye.
Carl(Sweden) posted on 8 Sep 2017 20:32:36
I´ll definately will buy the two titles that are the ones that made the list a surpisingly good one. Instead of only US Inf/Para/Armored inf vs German... or Svjet inf vs German inf .... Chinese Soldier vs Japanese Soldier: China 1937–38 and French Foreign Légionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent: North Vietnam 1948–52 are the goodies in this bag. I´m a bit curious aboyt Canadian soldier vs Hitlerjudend too.
Whats the last reveal? Warrior or maybe Air Vanguard?(Except General books and game books)
Paintybeard posted on 8 Sep 2017 19:45:15
All of these titles sound reasonable enough, but I have to say that I am getting frustrated with the "Combat" series as a whole. All too often we get a rehash of information covered in Ospreys other series and just a bit of new stuff in the second half of the book and a minor action that would not get coverage in a "Campaign" title. I had hope that this series would mature and show us how the tactics and doctrine of each side evolved to meet the challenges of their opponents. With a few honourable exceptions this isn't happening. The series is beginning to feel a little stale.
GI Gene posted on 8 Sep 2017 19:41:23
Quite a diverse offering I must say!
Chinese Soldier vs Japanese Soldier: China 1937–38 is the surprise hit for me.
I also look forward to French Foreign Légionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent, Gebirgsjäger vs Soviet Sailor, Hitlerjugend Soldier vs Canadian Soldier, US Airborne Soldier vs German Soldier, and even though I don't collect WWI titles, I may just get US Marine vs German Soldier.
C-Bone posted on 8 Sep 2017 18:10:00
Correction, not just Foreign Legion Paratroopers.
C-Bone posted on 8 Sep 2017 18:09:12
Definitely interested in several of these titles.
Must haves: Foreign Legion Paras vs. Viet Minh, Chinese vs. Japanese, and Gebirgsjager vs. Soviet Sailors.
Railok posted on 8 Sep 2017 17:17:27
Many of these do look intriguing to me, in particularly the FFL vs Viet Minh title. However, and this might be an unpopular opinion, I'm growing quite tired of Johnny Schumate's illustrations for these books. The reason I buy Osprey books is not only for the information held within but also the illustrations and I find Mr. Schumate's plates for many titles to be quite disappointing and lacklustre. It has held me back from buying many titles that I otherwise would have bought without hesitation.

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