Osprey's Big Reveal: Campaign

In Military History, Featured
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Next year, Osprey will be adding 13 new titles to the Campaign series. Which ones are you looking forward to most?

 

CAM: Ia Drang 1965

The Pleiku campaign of October–November 1965 was a major event in the Vietnam War. The brigade-sized actions involving elements of the US 1st Cavalry Division at Landing Zones X-Ray and Albany in the valley of the river Drang have become iconic episodes in the military history of the United States.

In 1965, in an effort to stem the Communist tide, the Americans began to commit substantial conventional ground forces to the war in Vietnam. Amongst these was the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On 19 October, North Vietnamese forces besieged a Special Forces camp at Plei Me, and after the base was relieved days later, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division advocated using his troops to pursue the retreating Communist forces. A substantial North Vietnamese concentration of relatively fresh troops was discovered. On the morning of 14 November 1965, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, landed at LZ X-Ray to start the first major set-piece battle of the Vietnam War. This title explores the events of the campaign that followed, using detailed maps, specially-commissioned bird’s-eye views, and full-colour battlescenes to bring the narrative to life.

 

CAM: Yalu River 1950–51

Following the Inchon landings and the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, UN forces crossed the North Korean border on 9 October and moved on the capital Pyongyang. Many in America believed the war would be over by Christmas, but some diplomatic, military, and intelligence experts continued to raise dire warnings that the People’s Republic of China might intervene. Nevertheless, General MacArthur decided to push on to the Chinese/North Korean border, the Yalu River. On 25 October, Communist Chinese Forces unexpectedly attacked Republic of Korea forces near Unsan. Then, on 25 November, the Chinese 13th Army Group struck in mass against the Eighth Army in the north-west corner of North Korea, overrunning the US 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions.

The Chinese attacks quickly shattered Truman’s dream of a unified Korea. American, UN, and ROK forces could not hold a successful defensive line against the combined CCF and NKPA attacks and they withdrew.

Using expert research, bird’s-eye views, and full-colour maps, this study tells the fascinating history of the critical Yalu campaign.

 

CAM: Constantinople AD 717–18

The siege of Constantinople in AD 717–18 was the supreme crisis of Western civilization.

The Byzantine Empire had been reeling under the onslaught of Arabic imperialism since the death of the Prophet, whilst Jihadist armies had detached Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Carthage from imperial control and were in the process of imposing their ascendancy at sea. The Empire had been reduced to its Anatolian and Balkan heartland, and Arab incursions threatened even this – Arab naval forces had appeared under the walls of Constantinople every year from AD 674 to 678. But all this was only a prelude to the massive combined-arms invasion force that advanced on the capital in 717.

This title offers a comprehensive study of the ensuing clash between the ascendant Caliphate and the Empire at bay. It details the forces available to each side, with their respective advantages and vulnerabilities, evaluating the leadership qualities of the rival commanders and assessing their strategic and tactical initiatives. It also accounts for the trajectory and outcome of the campaign and emphasises the fundamental significance of the struggle.

 

CAM: The Naval Siege of Japan 1945

The Allies’ final naval campaign against Japan involved the largest and arguably most successful wartime naval fleet ever assembled, and was the climax to the greatest naval war in history. Though suffering grievous losses during its early attacks, by July 1945 the United States Third Fleet wielded 1,400 aircraft just off the coast of Japan, while Task Force 37, the British Pacific Fleet’s carrier and battleship striking force, was the most powerful single formation ever assembled by the Royal Navy. In the final months of the war the Third Fleet’s 20 American and British aircraft carriers would hurl over 10,000 aerial sorties against the Home Islands, whilst another ten Allied battleships would inflict numerous morale-destroying shellings on Japanese coastal cities.

In this illustrated study, historian Brian Lane Herder draws on primary sources and expert analysis to chronicle the full story of the Allies’ Navy Siege of Japan from February 1945 to the very last days of World War II.

 

CAM: Warsaw 1920

The Battle of Warsaw in August 1920 has been described as one of the decisive battles of European history. At the start of the battle, the Red Army appeared to be on the verge of advancing through Poland into Germany to expand the Soviet revolution. Had the war spread into Germany, another great European war would have ensued, dragging in France and Britain. However, the Red Army was defeated by ‘the miracle on the Vistula’.

Thanks to the low density of forces on both the Polish and Soviet sides and the huge distances involved, the conflict was a war of manoeuvre, with a curious mixture of traditional and advanced tactics. Horse cavalry played a dominant role in the fighting, but aeroplanes, tanks, and armoured trains lent the war an air of modernity. This illustrated study explores the war through the lens of the Battle of Warsaw, the turning point when, after a summer of disastrous retreat, the Polish army rallied and repulsed the Red Army at Warsaw and Lwow.

 

CAM: Nierstein and Oppenheim 1945

In January 1945, the collapse of the German front led to a large-scale dissolution of German combat forces and capability. Pressed hard by Allied forces advancing eastward, German units often found themselves trapped west of the Rhine River. US Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. was determined to be the first leader since Napoleon to make an assault crossing of the Rhine. He and his staff made rapid plans for crossing at Nierstein and Oppenheim.

The crossing began on 23 March, when the first boats carrying 11th Infantry Regiment troops left the western bank of the Rhine. They met with little opposition; despite a few sharp counterattacks, overall resistance was light and American forces suffered few casualties. By 24 March, the US 4th Armoured Division crossed the Rhine and began the exploitation phase. By 26 March, the exploitation to the Main River was clearly a rout, exacerbated by additional crossings of the Rhine by other Allied units over the next few days. Illustrated throughout with stunning full-colour artwork, maps, and bird’s-eye-views, this title details the complete history of this dramatic campaign.

 

CAM: Velikiye Luki 1942–43

Velikiye Luki had been an important Russian fortress city since the 13th century and had become an important rail-hub by the 19th century. In August 1941, the Germans occupied the city of 30,000 during Operation Barbarossa and made it a bulwark on the boundary between Heeresgruppe Nord and Heeresgruppe Mitte. In the winter of 1942–43, while Soviet forces were encircling Stalingrad, the Stavka (High Command) conducted a simultaneous offensive to isolate and destroy the 7,500-man German garrison in Velikiye Luki. After surrounding the city on 27 November 1942, the Soviet 3rd Shock Army gradually reduced the city to rubble, while the German garrison, sustained by Luftwaffe air lifts, hunkered down in the medieval city and awaited rescue.

This illustrated title reveals the full story of the tense seven-week siege of Velikiye Luki, which saw Soviet forces striving to liberate the city in the face of a determined garrison and fierce relief efforts.

 

CAM: Dettingen 1743

The death of the Emperor Charles VI in 1741 was the catalyst for a conflict ostensibly about the female inheritance of the Hapsburg patrimony but, in reality, about the succession to the Imperial Throne. The great European powers were divided between those, such as Britain, who supported the Pragmatic Sanction and the rights of the Archduchess Maria-Theresia, daughter of Charles VI, and those who challenged it, including Bavaria which were supported by France.

The conflict quickly escalated into what is now known as the War of the Austrian Succession, and a series of turbulent political events brought the crisis to a head on the road to Hanau, near Dettingen. Supported by specially commissioned artwork including maps and battleplates, this title explores the battle in depth, detailing its build-up, events, and aftermath, as well as analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the commanders, armies, and tactics of both sides.

 

CAM: Britannia AD 43

For the Romans Britannia lay beyond the comfortable confines of the Mediterranean world around which classical civilisation had flourished. Britannia was felt to be at the outermost edge of the world itself, a fact that lent the island an air of dangerous mystique. Britannia, invaded briefly by Caius Iulius Caesar in late August 55 BC and again the following summer with a much larger force, remained free, but in contact with the Roman world.

To the soldiers crossing the Oceanus Britannicus in the late summer of AD 43, the prospect of invading an island believed to be on its periphery must have meant a mixture of panic and promise. These men were part of a formidable army of four veteran legions and first-rate legionary commanders. With the auxiliary units, the total invasion force probably mounted to around 40,000 men, but having assembled at Gessoriacum (Boulogne) they refused to embark. Eventually the mutinous atmosphere was dispelled and the invasion fleet sailed in three contingents. After a brisk summer’s campaign, it was to establish a province behind a frontier zone running from what is now Lyme Bay on the Dorset coast to the Humber estuary.

 

CAM: King Philip's War 1675–78

King Philip's War was the result of over 50 years' tension between the native inhabitants of New England and its colonial settlers, as the two parties competed for land and resources. The former were led by the Wampanoag chief Metacomet (who adopted the name Philip), and comprised a coalition of the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Pocumtuck and Narraganset tribes. They fought against a force of over 1,000 men raised by the New England Confederation of Plymouth, Connecticut, New Haven and Massachusetts Bay, alongside their Indian allies, the Mohegans and Mohawks. The fighting took place in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and later Maine and New Hampshire. It witnessed the destruction of 12 of the region's towns, over half the towns in New England attacked, and thousands of homes burnt to the ground by warriors from Metacomet's coalition. Although the end result was a victory for the Colonists, the war brought the local economy to its knees, halting trade and increasing taxation, and its populations were decimated by the fighting. Between 600 and 800 colonists and 3,000 Indians were killed.

 

CAM: Malplaquet 1709

In 1709, after eight years of war, France was on her knees. Things were so bad that King Louis XIV offered to end the War of Spanish Succession on humiliating terms. The allied powers refused Louis’ offer, believing that one more successful campaign would utterly destroy French power.

This book will describe the campaign of 1709 which culminated in the battle of Malplaquet. Led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy, the allied armies achieved a tactical victory but it was a hollow one. They suffered 23,000 casualties to the French 11,000 in what was the bloodiest battle of the 18th century. The scale of casualties shocked Europe and led to a reversal of fortunes. Marlborough was dismissed and King Louis resolved to fight on. When the war finally ended it did so on terms favourable to France.

Although it is generally accepted that Marlborough was never defeated, this book will show how the battle of Malplaquet was ultimately a French strategic victory.

 

CAM: North Cape 1943

In late December 1943, German battleship Scharnhorst was put to sea. Her target was an Allied convoy, JW55B, which was passing through the Barents Sea on its way to Murmansk. Unknown to to Rear-Admiral Bey though, Admiral Fraser, commanding the British Home Fleet was using the convoy as bait, to draw the Scharnhorst into battle. What followed was a running battle fought in rough seas and near-perpetual darkness, fought over the next two days. Finally, on 26 December 1943, Scharnhorst was brought to bay by Fraser's flagship Duke of York, and a mixed bag of British cruisers and destroyers. The German battleship was finally sunk after a hard-fought duel, with the loss of all but 36 of her crew. The loss of Scharnhorst ended any serious German naval threat to the Arctic convoy lifeline, and ended any homes it had of helping turn the tide of battle in Russia. Effectively, it was the last hurrah of the German Kriegsmarine.

 

CAM: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive 1918

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the tiny US Army did not even have a standing division. A huge national army worthy of the Western Front was created from scratch, trained, and then transported to France to fight the Germans. This force first saw full-scale combat in September 1918: the main planned US offensive was in Lorraine, where the US First Army and the US Second Army would drive north between the Argonne Forest and the Meuse river towards Sedan, seize the Sedan railhead and destroy the rail logistics supplying the southern half of the German front between the Ardennes and Switzerland. The offensive began on September 26, 1918. A largely inexperienced US First Army suffered setbacks and heavy casualties during its straight-ahead offensive against a still-potent but fading German Fifth Army. However, by early November, the Hindenburg Line had been decisively broken. The German withdrawal from Sedan approached a rout as the Americans finally had the Germans on the run. The Armistice unexpectedly ended the offensive on November 11, 1918.

Post Comments

Hessy Field posted on 7 Sep 2019 15:52:39
Extremely pleased with the 18th Century titles - for me, the most interesting of periods (now, how about a title on Minden?) although I would disagree that Malplaquet was the bloodiest battle of the 18th C as that dubious honour surely belongs to the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 in which a Maharatha Indian Army suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of an Afghan Army (with indian allies) - there were c.50,000 battle casualties in addition to 30,000 prisoners (arguably it assisted the British takeover of India as the Maharathas were the principal military power in India at the time) - apologies for going off on a tangent! Also glad to see the modern warfare titles although slightly disappointed at the lack of 19th Century volumes.
PAUL W posted on 29 Aug 2019 09:33:42
First of all I think this is a very good list and I’m interested in all the titles. I do think there is a massive gap in some of the ww1 coverage, others in this blog have covered the vast majority so I won’t repeat them here. I do think osprey missed a trick over the last few years in not publishing books that corresponded to 100th anniversaries. There was a lot of interest in the news and other media, so a lot of free publicity. A majority of book stores did have a lot of relevant displays over the period.
brianwithani posted on 29 Aug 2019 01:56:45
The Eastern Front in World War II is a great example of a non-Anglo-American topic that I assume sells very well. I think Westerners have a certain fascination with the Eastern Front's sheer scale, horror, stakes, etc. And I suspect anything Nazi sells well, regardless of who they are fighting or what they are doing. As opposed to the 1937-1945 Japanese war in China, which was of similar scale and brutality as the Eastern Front, but Westerners just don't seem as curious about.

The Eastern Front subject also reminds me that after enough years and enough books, a few Osprey authors, because of the consistent quality they deliver, probably have developed their own personal fanbase that is eager to buy almost anything they produce, even if it's of a battle they previously had never heard of. I'm not going to name names, but I can think of several. More power to these authors, and more power to Osprey for landing such talent.

Secondly, I would love to see more non-Western Front World War I titles (as well as other subjects) - as long as they were done well. But once Osprey pulls the trigger on a subject, I am confident it will be done well, by a good author.

Speaking of non-Western Front World War I, this Sunday brianwithani is finally seeing Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen! Yeah! LOL.
Paintybeard posted on 28 Aug 2019 22:47:39
Thank you for the well reasoned argument brianwithani.

Just one small flaw in your reasoning: I KNOW that the entire reason for Ospreys existence is to print ALL the books that I ask for.

Seriously, I agree with the main points of your post, but I do think there is plenty of room for books on non British/US campaigns. There have been a whole series of titles on the Eastern Front in WW2. If these were not doing good business I don't think we would have seen so many of them. With a capable author I think non-Western Front books on WW1 could be just as successful.
brianwithani posted on 28 Aug 2019 20:19:44
One thing that's easy to forget is that Osprey is a business. If we want to keep reading great books every year, Osprey has to consistently turn a profit. I'm assuming Osprey's commissioning team has two major factors they consider when commissioning a new book:

1. Whether they actually have a plausible book proposal in hand on the subject.

2. Whether, based on Osprey's historical sales data (which I assume is proprietary information only), there is reason to believe the proposed subject will probably turn a profit if published.

While many of us who post here are, nicely put, fanatics who often seek particularly obscure subjects and titles, I suggest the bulk of Osprey's sales probably comes from the casual reader. I suspect certain subjects sell noticeably better than others - for example World War II likely sells much better than any other subject. Anglo-American topics likely sell better than other nationalities. To expound on that, there are about six potential American buyers for every potential British buyer, so I assume American subjects typically weight pretty heavily. As far as World War I, I am confident the Western Front sells better than any other theater. Lastly, the more obscure the subject and the farther away it is from an Anglo-American subject, the more difficult it will be to find a quality English-speaking author who can access (and possibly translate) the necessary obscure foreign sources to write a worthy Osprey book on the subject.

Fortunately, Osprey seems to do an awfully impressive job every year choosing some titles to be the financial heavy lifters intended to sell with the bread-and-butter audience, while also choosing a fair amount of esoteric titles for those of us who already have a couple hundred Osprey titles on our bookshelves (yes, plural).
Abrizzolari posted on 28 Aug 2019 13:04:29
Hi, Great list, but i think like the rest about the World War I gap. But the real issue to me is the gap in the Napoleonic Wars, i think there is a huge gap in the Napoleon victories and many books about the peninsular campaign, i don't have anything against the Peninsular War but i miss battles like Cape St Vincent, Arcole, Rivoli, the battle of the Pyramids, Cape Finisterre, The Campaign of Ulm, Eylau, Friedland, Landshut, Aspern-Essling, Smolensk, Maloyaroslavets, Berezina, Dresden and many more.
ph posted on 27 Aug 2019 18:00:00
Darn,

Painty you have pre-empted my comment almost in whole. 2 small issues: Tanneberg and Masurian lakes to be treated as different battles (actually, Tannenberg is the most covered battle, so I am presonally more interested in the other ones), and then missing are Lemberg 1914 (the whole initial campaign in 1 or 2 books) and the Carpathians 1914-1915. I have to admit some of your suggestions are new to me.

Meuse-Argonne is indeed a BIG battle, I just would like Osprey to give us those other battles too.
AdamC posted on 27 Aug 2019 12:59:28
Hi Painty,

It's not exactly like the old days just yet as nobody has suggested an obscure multi volume Campaign on a Polynesian tribal conflict or Leisure Wear of LA gangstas 1980-2010 yet! Lol!

I think it's safe to say that there is lots more ground to cover in WWI and hopefully it's only a matter of time. Tannenberg 1914 is the biggest omission for me so far but 2nd Ypres 1915, Kut 1915-16, Gaza 1917 and Passchendaele 1917 would complete my top 5 must haves.
Paintybeard posted on 27 Aug 2019 12:41:01
Counter-rant!
WW1 battles that Osprey have yet to have a Campaign
Second and Third Ypres. (Also called Passchendaele, which needs at least 3 books)
Neuve Chapelle, Loos, First and Second Champagne, First and Second Artois, First and Second Yser, Arras, Nivelle Offensive, La Malmaisson, Second Cambrai and Second Marne.
Other Fronts
Tannenburg-Masurian Lakes, Lodz, Gorlice-Tarnow, Brusilov Offensive, Przemsyl, Kerensky Offensive.
Caporetto, Vittorio Veneto and 11 battles on the Isonzo.
Austro Hungarian assault on Serbia in 1914 and 1915
Campaign against Romania in 1916-16
Battle of Manzikert and other actions in the Caucasus
Battles in Macedonia and Salonika
Turkish Suez offensives. Fall of Jerusalem, 3 Battles of Gaza
Cestiphon, Kut and the fall of Baghdad
Actions in Southern Africa, including Rufiji Delta
Goeben and Breslau and Otranto Straits
Japanese Operations in the Pacific

Just because American forces are not involved does not mean that these battles are not real or important. And some of them are very important battles indeed.
I'm not against Meuse-Argonne, it's just that we have had at least 4 American battles, none on Russian or Austro-Hungarian. And only 2 on the French! It's a really skewed perspective.

Gosh, this is quite like the old days...
AdamC posted on 27 Aug 2019 12:22:20
Afternoon all!
Well that is an absolutely cracking Campaign list for next year!!! It fills so many glaring holes in so many periods. There are at least nine guaranteed sales for me there.

Seeing Malplaquet 1709 there, while welcome, was a bit of a surprise - how come you have chosen to skip Oudenarde 1708?

As for the WWI debate that going on I'll say this (from the other side of the pond). Firstly I full support the inclusion of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. It's an important WWI campaign and one that needed to be covered. It's a big gap filled if you ask me. As Tarawa90 points out, it's American's bloodiest battle and is therefore very "real". Secondly I would also agree with others that there are several other highlighy significant WWI campaigns yet to be looked at. Why Tannenberg 1914 hasn't been looked at is a complete mystery!!! I also throw Neuve Chapelle 1915, Loos 1915, 2nd Ypres 1915, Kut 1915-16, Brusilov Offensive 1916, the rest of the Somme 1916 (Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Fromelles, Delville Wood, Pozieres, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval & Ancre - multiple titles there!), Arras 1917, Gaza 1917, 3rd Ypres 1917 and Caparretto 1917 into the ring.
Tarawa90 posted on 27 Aug 2019 05:28:23
This coming year is ok. Happy to see another Byzantine title, I'm sure the 18th Century fans will be happy, don't think there's ever been two in a year. Finally some more Korea and Vietnam as well, and the Russian fortress should be interesting. North Cape is a nice surprise on the naval front. I also hope the Naval Siege of Japan covers the "sinking a train" incident, as well as a nod to my local sub the USS Cod leaving 3 men stranded on a sampan for a few days. Medieval fans lost out this year. Nothing in the 19th Century which is disappointing.

Now I'm going to go on a little rant. Excuse me, but pray tell, what WWI battles are you considering more "real" than Meuse-Argonne? Apparently the bloodiest battle in American history isn't "real" enough for you guys opposite the pond. Furthermore, just how many large scale WWI battles are left that haven't been done? Aside from Caporetto and Tannenberg (which I am fully supportive of seeing) I can't think of any. MAYBE Passchendaele. Meuse-Argonne, Caporetto, and Tannenberg are the only three major battles left, otherwise the big ones have all been done.
89P13 posted on 27 Aug 2019 02:53:55
A Great Campaign year, a couple of ancient's:
"Britannia 43AD" & "Constantinople 717-718AD".
A few Horse & Musket:
"King Philip's War 1675-1678", "Malplaquet 1709" & "Dettingen 1743".
And a couple of modern warfare titles: "Yalu River 1950-1951" & "Ia Drang 1965".
Even "Velikiye Luki 1942-1943" sounds interesting for a possible purchase.
Thank you Osprey.
89P13 posted on 27 Aug 2019 02:53:55
A Great Campaign year, a couple of ancient's:
"Britannia 43AD" & "Constantinople 717-718AD".
A few Horse & Musket:
"King Philip's War 1675-1678", "Malplaquet 1709" & "Dettingen 1743".
And a couple of modern warfare titles: "Yalu River 1950-1951" & "Ia Drang 1965".
Even "Velikiye Luki 1942-1943" sounds interesting for a possible purchase.
Thank you Osprey.
KenA posted on 27 Aug 2019 01:20:31
Something for everyone on this list. I agree wholeheartedly with others about WWI Meuse-Argonne title. There are so many other far more significant battles/conflicts to concentrate on. How about one on the forgotten WWI Macedonian/Salonica front (1915-1918)?

I assume Angus Konstam will be the author of North Cape as he wrote a book with a similar title published in 2009 (P&S). I’m looking forward to The Naval Siege of Japan, Warsaw 1920, and the Patton titles.
David Hale posted on 26 Aug 2019 18:52:12
Excellent selection of subjects, most of these will grace my shelves.
Certainly agree with the others regarding the WW1 choice though; yes the Americans made an important contribution but there are so many other areas that are more deserving of a Campaign title - there aren’t any at all covering the Eastern front!
GI Gene posted on 26 Aug 2019 17:49:47
Interesting list overall, some familiar, some not so familiar.
I wonder if "The Naval Siege of Japan 1945" will cover the submarine USS Barb's commando raid on a Japanese train at Karafuto in July 1945?

ph posted on 26 Aug 2019 16:28:51
I will most probably buy all, I agree with Painty, it is an excellent list, and I join him in asking for more WW1 main battles (Kaiserschlacht 1918 is one of my all time Osprey favorites). And please please include Eastern Front battles, you are Osprey, should give us content beyond British and American battles!
Paintybeard posted on 26 Aug 2019 13:42:51
This is an absolutely excellent list. In fact I think there is only one I shall not be buying. (Meuse-Argonne. PLEASE can we have some of the real WW1 battles!)

Highlights are North Cape, Dettingen and Malplaquet.

Slightly disappointed that it will not be Pritt Buttar who is the author of Warsaw 1920.

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