Every summer, we unveil what's coming to Osprey in the following year. This year, we kick off the Big Reveal with the Campaign series. Let us know which of these books are you most intrigued by.
CAM: Barents Sea 1942
In December 1942, under Operation Regenbogen (Rainbow), the German Kriegsmarine sought to strike a crippling blow on the Arctic convoys and finally sever the important lifeline in the Barents Sea. In this fascinating work, renowned naval expert Angus Konstam documents the fate of the Allied Convoy JW 51B as it came under attack from some of the Kriegsmarine’s most powerful surface warships – a pocket battleship, a heavy cruiser and six destroyers. Illustrated with stunning battlescene artworks, maps, 3D diagrams and photographs, it explores the David and Goliath struggle between the Allied ships defending the convoy and the powerful German force, until the arrival of the two British cruisers tipped the balance of power.
CAM: Battle of Malta
From June 1940 through 1942, Malta was effectively besieged by a joint Italian and German air offensive. The strategically situated Mediterranean island were subjected to one Axis air raid after another. Italo-German forces were expected to invade, but first the islands had to be subjugated. Malta was reliant for defence on antiaircraft guns and often-outnumbered fighter aircraft and dependent for survival on naval supply convoys. But, soon, the population was reduced to starvation rations. Anti-aircraft guns were restricted in ammunition use and fighter aircraft were sometimes grounded through lack of fuel or numbers. Against the odds, and at heavy cost, Malta was held.
Anthony Rogers' fascinating account of these desperate times explores the background to events, and shows how the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and merchant navy, British and Maltese infantry and, not least, the islanders themselves, emerged triumphant.
CAM: Berezina 1812
Much has been written about the Battle of the Berezina and the 1812 Russian campaign in general, during which the cold winter devastated the Grande Armée. Historians often praise Napoleon for his actions at the Berezina and attribute his success to a brilliant strategic mind, laying a trap that deceived the Russians and resulted in a remarkable feat in the history of warfare. Drawing on contemporary sources, this title recreates one of the great escapes in military history. Although the core of Napoleon’s army escaped, tens of thousands were killed in the battle, trampled in the rush for the bridge, drowned in the icy waters of the Berezina, or captured. Written by an acknowledged expert on the period, this title brings to life in stunning visual detail the events of late November 1812, as Napoleon’s retreating, desperate Grande Armée extricated itself from the clutches of the Russian armies under Kutuzov-Golenischev, Wittgenstein and Chichagov in an epic of heroism and masterful tactics.
CAM: Carrhae 53 BC
In June 53 BC, Marcus Licinius Crassus (the Roman general who had famously put down the Spartacan revolt) led seven legions, 4,000 lightly armed troops and 4,000 horsemen across the Euphrates to wage war on Parthia in a vain attempt to gain glory and riches. Though soon deserted by his Armenian allies, Crassus continued his advance into unfamiliar, hostile territory. At Carrhae (present-day Harran, Turkey), the scene was set for a Roman military disaster on an epic scale.
Classical scholar Nic Fields describes in full detail how, despite being heavily outnumbered, Surena's cavalry completely outmaneuvered Crassus' heavy infantry, killing or capturing most of the Roman soldiers. Crassus himself was killed; the Parthians allegedly poured molten gold down his throat, in a symbolic gesture mocking his renowned greed.
CAM: East China Sea 1945
The island invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were the last two major ground campaigns to be initiated during the Pacific War. This superbly illustrated volume explores the air–sea aspects of these pivotal battles. Among the events covered are the ‘death ride’ of the Japanese battleship Yamato (the largest ever built), and the mass kamikaze attacks off Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as well as the amphibious invasions themselves, including the air–sea bombardment of the two islands. The book explores the devastating impact the kamikazes had, and considers the contribution of the USAAF and the British Pacific Fleet to the eventual victory of US air and ground forces.
CAM: Japanese Conquest of Burma 1942
The Japanese invasion of Burma, which began in January 1942 and ended in May with the arrival of Burcorps at Imphal in Manipur on the borders of British India, was the longest land campaign fought by British Commonwealth troops during World War II. In the Burmese jungles, the battle-hardened, highly trained and lightly equipped Imperial Japanese Army quickly proved itself a vastly superior fighting force to the British, Indian and Gurkha troops that formed 1st Burma and 17th Indian Division, and to the allied Chinese nationalist forces fighting in eastern Burma. This title narrates Burcorps' successful and lengthy fighting retreat north across hundreds of miles of highly malarial, challenging terrain.
CAM: Leyte Gulf 1944 (2)
In the epic naval battle of Leyte Gulf, crucial roles were played by the Imperial Japanese Navy's Northern and Southern forces. The Northern Force was a key part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's SHO-1 plan: its mission was to lure the US Navy’s Task Force 38 to the north, which would allow the Japanese Center Force to attack into Leyte Gulf. The Imperial Japanese Navy's Southern Force fought the Battle of Surigao Strait on October 25. In this key clash, the Japanese were attempting to enter Leyte Gulf from the south, but encountered the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, resulting in the last battleship duel in history.
In this second volume of a two-part study, naval expert Mark Stille examines both the Japanese and US decisions that led to the Surigao Strait and Cape Engano battles, the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing sides, and the decisions taken by the commanders involved, notably those taken by Admiral Halsey. It also presents a thorough examination of the impact of the largest naval battle in history on the remainder of the Pacific War.
CAM: Narvik 1940
The northern Norwegian town of Narvik was a key ice-free port. At sea, the Royal Navy fought the Kriegsmarine, and succeeded in destroying a German destroyer flotilla in the battles in the fjords. The ensuing land battles that took place between 9 April and 8 June 1940 pitted Norwegian, French, British and Polish troops against German Gebirgsjäger and Fallschirmjäger units. Despite their initial successes, the German invasion of France and the Low Countries altered the overall situation of the war, and the importance of Norway was considerably lessened: on 25 May, Allied commanders received orders to evacuate from Norway.
In this study, David Greentree presents a meticulously researched narrative of the Narvik campaign, showing how it was a lost opportunity for the Allies. The campaign was a key learning ground for both sides, particularly in the coordination of combined operations.
CAM: Siege of Budapest 1944–45
The 52-day siege of Budapest was one of the most significant urban battles of World War II. The Transdanubia region was strategically vital to Nazi Germany for its raw materials and industry, and because of the bridgehead it allowed into Austria. As a result, Hitler declared Budapest a fortress city in early December 1944. The battle for the city pitted 90,000 German and Hungarian troops against 170,000 Soviet (2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts) and Romanian attackers. The operations to take the city ran across several phases, from the initial Soviet approach to Budapest commencing in late October 1944, through the encirclement of city first on the Pest side of the Danube, and then on the Buda bank, and on to the savage urban fighting that began in December 1944 for the Hungarian capital. This superbly detailed work analyses the background, chronology and consequences of the siege from both a military and political perspective, and documents the huge losses in military and civilian casualties and material damage.
CAM: Stalingrad 1942–43 (3)
After failing to defeat the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa in 1941, Adolf Hitler planned Operation Blue, which was intended to achieve a decisive victory. In this campaign, Hitler directed that one army group would advance to seize the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus, while the other pushed on to the Volga River. However instead of a victory, the German forces had to fight hard just to reach the outskirts of Stalingrad and then found themselves in a protracted urban battle. Although hit hard by the initial German offensive, the Soviet Red Army was able to hold onto the city then mount a surprise winter counteroffensive known as Operation Uranus, which succeeded in encircling the German 6. Armee at Stalingrad. Despite a desperate German relief operation, the Red Army eventually crushed the 6. Armee and hurled the remnants of the German southern front back in disorder.
This third and final volume in the Stalingrad trilogy begins just after the German 6.Armee has been isolated at Stalingrad, and covers the period from 24 November 1942 to 2 February 1943. It explores in detail the German relief operation, the fighting on the Chir River, and the Soviet operations Koltso and Little Saturn, and concludes with the surrender of 6.Armee.
CAM: Syria and Lebanon 1941
In June 1941, Australian, British, Indian and Free French forces invaded the Vichy French-controlled mandate of Syria and Lebanon. They faced an enemy that had more artillery, tanks and aircraft. They fought in rocky, mountainous terrain, through barren valleys and across swollen rivers, and soon after the initial advance faced a powerful Vichy French counter-attack on key strategic positions. Despite these difficulties, the Allies prevailed, and in doing so ensured that the territory did not fall into German or pro-German hands, and thus provide a springboard from which Axis forces could attack British oil interests in Iraq, the key territory of Palestine or the Suez Canal. This book examines the high military and political strategy that lay behind the campaign, as well as the experiences and hardships as endured by the men on the ground. The battles in Syria and Lebanon were complex actions, often at the battalion level or below, and this work uses extensive war diaries and available records to make sense of the actions and examine how they affected the wider campaign.
CAM: Tannenberg 1914
When Germany declared war in 1914, the Obersteheeresleitung (Army High Command) elected to act offensively in the West whilst leaving a single army to defend the Prussian heartland against any Russian aggression. The belief was that France would be quickly defeated and that there would be time to redeploy forces to the East before any Russian attacks could gather momentum. The Russian war plan was to use overwhelming numbers to gain a quick victory before conducting further operations. Despite some initial success, tardiness and poor communication between the Russian commanders allowed their German opponents to reorganize and to mask one Russian army with a token force whilst engaging the other with the bulk of their troops. This fascinating addition to the Campaign series describes the initial border engagements and the battles of Gumbinnen and Stallupönen, as well as the massive, complex running battle of Tannenberg, in which the Germans mauled Samsonov’s Second Army and all but destroyed the Russians as a fighting force.
CAM: The Battle of Gettysburg 1863 (1)
The Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1–3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, PA resulted in the largest number of casualties of the entire American Civil War and is seen as the key turning point in the conflict. On its first day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia sought to destroy the Union army, forcing its men to retreat through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south.
This volume, the first of three to cover the battle in depth, includes the morning cavalry skirmish, the morning clash at the Herbst's wood lot and at the railroad cut, the afternoon clash at Oak Ridge, the afternoon fight at the Edward McPherson farm, the afternoon rout of XI Corps, the last stand ofI Corps at Seminary Ridge, the Union retreat through town, and the positions of the armies at nightfall.
CAM: The East Africa Campaign 1914–18
The East African Campaign in World War I comprised a series of battles and guerrilla actions that began in German East Africa in 1914 and spread to portions of Portuguese Mozambique, northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, the Uganda Protectorate, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign saw German colonial forces under Lieutenant-Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck attempt to divert Allied forces from the Western Front. The British responded by attempting to take over German East Africa, launching several incursions, and employing British, Indian, South African, Belgian, Portuguese and local native forces. Progress for Britain and her allies was painfully slow. Initially, the Germans inflicted stinging defeats, but eventually were forced to fall back in front of vastly superior numbers. In this colourful and engaging study, author David Smith documents how German forces were slowly ousted from German East Africa, a process made tortuous by Lettow-Vorbeck's masterful management of the campaign.