Osprey's Big Reveal: Campaign

In Military History, Featured

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Get ready for it because here comes an epic list of new Campaign books, all publishing in 2019! There's 14 new book descriptions below to whet your appetite. Which will be added to your Osprey Publishing collection?

CAM: Castagnaro 1387

The battle of Castagnaro, fought on 11 March 1387 between the Veronese and the Paduans, is one of the most famous Italian medieval battles. It is widely known in the English-speaking world in no small part due to the exploits of the renowned English mercenary (or condottiero) captain, Sir John Hawkwood. He commanded the Paduan army, he led them to a stunning victory.

This new study challenges the conventional story of the battle, relocating it to the other side of the Adige River, and shows that Hawkwood was no mere disciple of his previous commander, the Black Prince, but a highly talented and intelligent general in his own right.

CAM: Java Sea 1942

The battle of the Java Sea, fought in February 1942, was the first major surface engagement of the Pacific War and one of the few naval battles of the entire war fought to a decisive conclusion. It was the culminating point of the Japanese drive to occupy the Netherlands East Indies (NEI); to defend the NEI, the Allies assembled a striking force comprised of Dutch, American, British and even an Australian ship under the command of a Dutch admiral.

On 27 February 1942, the Allied striking force set course to intercept the Japanese invasion force in the Java Sea. In one of the few such times during World War II, a major surface engagement was fought without any significant role played by air power.

CAM: Kos and Leros 1943

The Italian armistice of September 1943 saw an opportunity for the Allies to open a new front in the eastern Mediterranean. Although the Germans beat the Allies to the strategically vital island of Rhodes, Kos, Samos and Leros were nonetheless secured and garrisoned by British forces. The Germans were determined to drive the British out, and Generalleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller commanding 22. Infanterie-Division made Kos his first objective in a combined sea and airborne assault. The first wave landed on 3 October and forced the demoralised British defence into the hills.

The campaign rolled on, and on 13 November an aerial armada began its final approach to Leros. The decision by the Germans to deploy paratroopers was the key factor in the outcome of the battle, although fighting continuing for five days until the British capitulated. Samos, the final obstacle, was abandoned by the British and fell without a fight on 22 November 1943. German forces had unknowingly undertaken their last successful operation to seize and occupy foreign soil.

CAM: Kulikovo 1380

The 14th-century Mongol conquest of the Rus’ – the principalities of Russia – was devastating and decisive. Cities were lain waste, new dynasties rose and for a hundred years the Russians were under unquestioned foreign rule. However, the Mongols were conquerors rather than administrators and they chose to rule through subject princes. This allowed the Rurikid dynastic princes of Moscow to rise with unprecedented speed.

With the famed ‘Mongol Yoke’ loosening, Grand Prince Dmitri of Moscow saw in this an unparalleled opportunity to rebel. On 7 September 1380 his 60,000 troops crossed the Don to take the battle to Mamai’s 125,000, which included Armenian and Cherkessk auxiliaries and Genoese mercenaries.

CAM: Mortain 1944

Following the successful landings in Normandy on D-Day and consolidation during Operation Cobra, the Wehrmacht was ordered to begin a counter offensive named Operation Lüttich.

The plan was to send a large Panzer force across the First US Army sector, cutting off its spearheads, before reaching the coast at Avranches. Had this succeeded, it not only would have cut off the First US Army, but also Patton’s newly deployed Third US Army operating in Brittany. However, thanks to an intercepted radio message, the Allies were well-prepared for the offensive and not only repelled the oncoming Panzers but launched a counter-attack that would lead to a whole German army becoming encircled in the Falaise Pocket.

CAM: Nieuwpoort 1600

The Eighty Years War began as a limited Dutch rebellion seeking only religious tolerance from their Spanish overlords, but it quickly escalated into one of the longest wars in European history. Spain’s failed invasion of 1599 and the mutinies that followed convinced Dutch leaders that they now should go on the offensive. This campaign pitted two famous leaders’ sons against each other: Maurice of Nassau and Archduke Albert VII. One led an unproven new model army, the other Spain’s ‘unbeatable’ Tercios, each around 11,000 men strong.

The Dutch wanted to land near Nieuwpoort, take it and then march on to Dunkirk, northern home port of the Spanish fleet, but they were cut off by the resurgent and reunited Spanish army. The two forces then met on the beach and in the dunes north of Nieuwpoort.

CAM: Petsamo and Kirkenes 1944

In October 1944 the Soviet 14th Army under Marshal Meretskov launched the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation, the last of their ten major offensives of that year, to throw the Germans out of northern Finland. The area was of strategic importance, not only for its bases that enabled the interdiction of Artic convoys from Britain but also because of the nickel mines at Kolosjoki and the iron ore mines near Kirkenes.

Combat conditions were unique: extremely rough terrain, laced with bogs, streams, boulder fields, and significant rivers, was opposition enough. The Soviets employed Soviet naval infantry in abundance, not only to make amphibious landings to capture strategically significant port facilities, but also on deep outflanking manoeuvres inland. Their opponents were the elite Gebirgsjäger from XIX Gebirgskorps. Trained to be self-sufficient and resourceful and equipped with a range of bespoke weaponry, mountain divisions were ideally suited to operate in harsh climates, such as the Arctic.

CAM: Smolensk 1943

Following the German defeat at Kursk, the Soviet Stavka ordered the Western and Kalinin Fronts to launch Operation Suvorov to liberate the city of Smolensk. The Germans had held this city for two years and Army Group Centre’s 4. Armee had heavily fortified the region. The Soviet offensive began in August 1943 and they quickly realized that the German defences were exceedingly tough and that the Western Front had not prepared adequately for an extended offensive. Consequently, the Soviets were forced to pause their offensive after only two weeks, to replenish their combat forces and begin again.

The 4. Armee was commanded by Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici, and although badly outnumbered, Heinrici’s army gamely held off two Soviet fronts for seven weeks. Eventually, the 4. Armee’s front was finally broken and Smolensk was liberated on 25 September 1943. However, the Western Front was too exhausted to pursue Heinrici’s defeated army, which retreated to the fortified cities of Vitebsk, Orsha and Mogilev; the 4. Armee would hold these cities until the destruction of Army Group Centre in June 1944.

CAM: Strasbourg AD 357

Civil war in the Western Roman Empire between AD 350 and 353 had left the frontiers weakly defended, and the major German confederations along the Rhine – the Franks and Alemanni – took advantage of the situation to cross the river, destroy the Roman fortifications along it and occupy parts of Roman Gaul. In AD 355, the Emperor Constantius appointed his 23-year-old cousin Julian as his Caesar in the provinces of Gaul with command of all troops in the region. Having recaptured the city of Cologne, Julian planned to trap the Alemanni in a pincer movement, but when the larger half of his army was forced into retreat, he was left facing a much larger German force outside the walls of the city of Strasbourg.

CAM: The Aleutians 1942–43

It is often forgotten that during World War II, the Japanese managed to successfully invade a precious part of American home soil – the first time this had happened since 1815. Capturing the Aleutian Islands, located in Alaska territory, was seen by the Japanese as vital to shore up their northern defensive perimeter.

Fighting in the Aleutians was uniquely brutal. It is a barren, rugged archipelago of icy mountains and thick bogs, with a climate of constant snow, freezing rains and windstorms. These geographic conditions tended to neutralize traditional American strengths such as air power, radar, naval bombardment and logistics. The campaign to recapture the islands required extensive combined-ops planning, and inflicted on the United States its second highest casualty rate in the Pacific theatre. Featuring the largest Japanese banzai charge of the war, first use of pre-battle battleship bombardment in the Pacific and the battle at the Komandorski Islands, this is the full story of the forgotten battle to liberate American soil from the Japanese.

CAM: The First Anglo-Sikh War 1845–46

The First Anglo-Sikh War broke out due to escalating tensions between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company in the Punjab region of India in the mid-19th century. Political machinations were at the heart of the conflict, with Sikh rulers fearing the growing power of their own army, while several prominent Sikh generals actively collaborated with the East India Company.

The British faced a disciplined opponent, trained along European lines, who fielded armies numbering in the tens of thousands. The war featured a number of closely contested battles, with both sides taking heavy losses in one of the major colonial wars of the 19th century.

CAM: The Glorious First of June 1794

As 1794 opened Revolutionary France stood on the knife-edge of failure. Its army and navy had been shaken by the revolution, with civil war and famine taking its toll on their resources. The French government decided to organize a massive convoy to bring food from the Caribbean colonies and the United States to France, but they would have to cross the North Atlantic to get there, an ocean patrolled by the Royal Navy, the most powerful navy force in the world, whose sailors were eager to inflict a damaging defeat on Revolutionary France and win their fortune in prize money.

This is the full story of the only fleet action during the Age of Fighting Sail fought in the open ocean, hundreds of miles from shore. Fought over the course of a month, it would be a close run affair, with both sides claiming victory.

CAM: The Long March 1934–35

Every nation has its founding myth, and for modern China, it is the Long March. In the autumn of 1934 the Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek routed the Chinese Communists and some 80,000 men, women and children left their homes to walk with Communist leader Mao Zedong into the unknown. Mao’s force had to endure starvation, harsh climate, challenging terrain while under constant aerial bombardment, and daily skirmishes. The Long March survivors had to cross 24 rivers, 18 mountain ranges, and disease-ridden wilderness to safety. In military terms, the Long March was the longest continuous march in the history of warfare. One year, 6,000 miles and countless battles later, fewer than 4,000 of them were left.

CAM: The Paraguayan War 1864–70

The Paraguayan War was the greatest and most important military conflict in the history of South America following the various Wars of Independence. It involved four countries and lasted for more than five years, during which Paraguay fought alone against a powerful alliance formed by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. No other war in South America was fought on such a massive scale until the Chaco War of 1932–35 between Bolivia and Paraguay.

The war was a real revolution for the armies of South America in that it was the first truly modern conflict of that continent. When the war started in 1864, South American armies were quite small and lacked professionalism – at best they were poorly trained and badly equipped, semi-professional forces. When the war ended, most of them had adopted percussion rifles employing the Minié system. New weapons like breech-loading rifles and Gatling machine guns were tested for the first time, while rifled artillery showed its superiority on the field of battle.

Post Comments

PAUL W posted on 28 Aug 2018 22:52:28
14 good sounding titles , let's hope they all make it. As for the anti American title comments, I do feel in the past some members have been fait forceful, shall we say in their views. Personally if it makes a good book I don't mind which area of the globe it's from.
Hessy Field posted on 23 Aug 2018 14:17:21
I really like this list especially for the Nieuwpoort and the medieval titles with "The Long March" being a surprise. Slightly disappointed that there are no WWI volumes although the WWII volumes are strong if a little over represented. Also pleased with "The Glorious First of June" - more non-WWII naval titles are needed - will Navarino 1827 ever see the light of day? (the largest and arguably most decisive naval battle in the hundred years between Trafalgar in 1805 and Tsushima in 1905 in which a combined British-French-Russian force destroyed the Ottoman fleet). The Sikh War and Paraguayan War volumes are also welcome with some reservations: there are at least three major battles during the Sikh War which could be argued to warrant a campaign title each (much smaller battles - such as Rorke's Drift - have previously had this level of coverage); as for the Paraguayan War (surely "The Great Paraguayan War" is the more correct term?) this was a war almost contemporaneous with the American Civil War, lasted a similar length of time with a similar casualty rate and was similarly seismic for South America although with fewer battles (it would not be a stretch to say this would be like putting the entire American Civil War in one Campaign book).
Robert @ Osprey posted on 23 Aug 2018 11:37:39
Hi AdamC,

I can reveal Ia Drang 1965 will be coming in early 2020 instead.
Robert @ Osprey posted on 22 Aug 2018 09:49:00
Thank you everyone for your positive comments!

Tarawa90 - Mutina 43 BC is publishing in December 2018, sorry about your wait there.

AdamC - I'm afraid next year won't see an Ia Drang 1965 book
Tarawa90 posted on 18 Aug 2018 14:32:04
I'm very pleased by the nice spread of subjects for next year. I think two Medieval titles in one year is quite a gamble on Osprey's part but I like it. I'm very happy The Aleutians is coming out, I'm really looking forward to the segment on the Komandorski Islands. I wish they had gone with an Ancient Greek title, I know they have to pump one Roman title per year (not to say I don't want them, because I do) but it's been a while since we've had a Greek one. Speaking of, what happened to Mutina 43 BC? I thought that was supposed to come out this year? The First Afghan War book must have done well since they're coming out with the Anglo-Sikh War, which I'm also looking forward to, it's been a long time since they covered the British Imperial conflicts. They did quite a few in the early days then stopped. You can also see their trends, mainly Italian, Dutch, and South American focus, which I am a little disappointed they're not calling it "The War of the Triple Alliance".
AdamC posted on 17 Aug 2018 11:45:23
“Anti-American” is a bit harsh!!! I don’t think I’ve seen any posts that could be described as that! Yes, there certainly has been a long standing gripe that Osprey often appears to favour US themed titles at the expense of others but that’s hardly anti-American. Three of this crop of Campaign titles are very US themed (Java Sea, the Aleutians and Mortain). Ok, they are all WWII granted but still its not like the US is unrepresented here.

I’m certainly not against American content at Osprey. That would be ridiculous and would leave out tons of great content. There are also loads of classic US campaigns still to be covered (Eutaw Springs 1781? Queenston Heights 1812? Mexico City 1847? Cold Harbor 1864? Mobile Bay 1864? Red Cloud’s War 1866-68? Meuse-Aragonne 1918? Chosin Reservoir 1950?) all of which would be welcome additions to the Campaign range. The issue has been when Osprey ignores or overlooks non-US content in favor of shoe horning in US-centric material. It’s certainly not anti-American to say that surely???
89P13 posted on 17 Aug 2018 10:30:00
Disappointing year for campaign series. Two maybe's, an ancient & a horse and musket campaign title. Six endless war titles & six obscure campaign titles.
I guess the anti-American posts worked.
KAL9000 posted on 17 Aug 2018 01:45:49
I can barely contain my excitement! Also cool to see Strasbourg 357 AD on here
adammak posted on 17 Aug 2018 00:32:35
Yes! Java Sea and Aleutians have been in my top 5 wish list for ages! (Java Sea behind only Kokoda). Kos and Leros, the Long March, and Petsamo sound interesting too. Any chance of Suomussalmi?

I hope Long March is an indication of greater interest in East Asia. If you do ever decide to publish that canceled Nomonhan, you'll have a buyer in me.
David Hale posted on 16 Aug 2018 18:31:42
Oh and I’m enjoying the pace of The Big Reveal this year, didn’t like it when it dragged on for months!
David Hale posted on 16 Aug 2018 18:30:35
Excellent selection of titles and a great many of them. This means I’ll have less money for beer which is probably a good thing. The only thing missing is anything about WW1 - there’s a gaping void in particular in the Camaign series about the Eastern front in WW1.
Paintybeard posted on 16 Aug 2018 17:18:47
So pleased to hear it, Mr. Lardas. Would you care to give us a hint?
Mark Lardas posted on 16 Aug 2018 15:28:10
"Are messers Winkler and Lardas feeling under the weather?"

I have one in the list.
Paintybeard posted on 16 Aug 2018 15:10:35
Oh yes, one piece of absolute astonishment: a whole year without an ACW or AWI title!!! Are messers Winkler and Lardas feeling under the weather?
Paintybeard posted on 16 Aug 2018 15:06:18
14 titles is a LOT of books. Too many for them all to be good quality? We shall see. I do look forward very much the First Sikh War and Kos and Leros. Niewpoort and Smolensk are also definites. Dubious that there is enough "meat" for Aleutians and worried that The Long March might be a whitewash. (Depends on the author.)
Carl(Sweden) posted on 16 Aug 2018 15:05:49
The most surprising is tha campaign was revealed so soon. Great list personally my highlights are Java Sea 1942, Paraguayan war, The long march, The first Sikh war and Smolensk 1943. I´ll probably get some more ww2 titles though I´m getting tired on the "zoom down and create new titles regarding ever more detailed books concerning the Normandy campaign. For 2020 my hope ramains on getting New Guinea ww2, Rzhev, Balkans 1941 and East African campaign.
AdamC posted on 16 Aug 2018 13:46:24
PS. I thought we were also getting Ia Drang Valley 1965 next year too???
AdamC posted on 16 Aug 2018 13:22:58
*6/14 titles
AdamC posted on 16 Aug 2018 13:12:47
Well well!!! I wasn't expecting to see Campaign up so early in the big reveal by that's fine by me. I'd say this is a great selection and I'm really looking forward to several of these. I'm really excited to see some 19th centaury British empire again with The First Anglo-Sikh War (please, please, please follow it up with the Second!!!), Java Sea is a massive gap filler and Kos & Leros will be interesting. I know people have been asking for more South American content so I'm sure the Paraguayan War will go down well with some. Petsamo & Kirkenes and The Long March were both welcome surprises! If I had one minor criticism its possibly that there a bit too much WWII (6/16 titles? Nearly half?) but that being said all six are valid, decent additions so no real complaints from me.

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