Osprey's Big Reveal: Combat

In Military History, Featured
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In 2022, 16 opposing forces will face off on the battlefield in eight new books. Read the descriptions below and let us know which head-to-heads you are interested in.


CBT: ANZAC Soldier vs Ottoman Soldier

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915–16 pitched the Australian and New Zealand volunteers known as the ANZACs into a series of desperate battles with the Ottoman soldiers defending their homeland. In August 1915, the bitter struggle for the high ground known as Chunuk Bair saw the peak change hands as the Allies sought to overcome the stalemate that set in following the landings in April. The ANZACs also played a key part in the battle of Lone Pine, intended to divert Ottoman attention away from the bid to seize Chunuk Bair.

The Gallipoli campaign ended in Allied evacuation in the opening days of 1916. Thereafter, many ANZAC units remained in the Middle East and played a decisive role in the Allies’ hard-fought advance through Palestine that finally forced the Turks to the peace table. The fateful battle of Beersheba in October 1917 pitted Australian mounted infantry against Ottoman foot soldiers as the Allies moved on Jerusalem.

Though divided by language, faith and culture, the men of both sides would find common ground in mutual respect, and the confrontations between them remain burned into the collective national identity of their respective countries. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and mapping, this fully illustrated study examines the fighting men on both sides who fought at Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine and Beersheba.


CBT: British Cavalryman vs German Cavalryman

In the early months of World War I, before the fighting degenerated into static trench warfare, there was a brief period of mobile combat as the German Army advanced through Belgium and northern France, forcing the French and British forces facing them to retreat. Both sides in the escalating conflict deployed substantial numbers of cavalry units to screen their infantry forces, conduct reconnaissance and harness their superior mobility to undertake aggressive combat operations. In the summer of 1914, the British cavalry had the difficult task of covering the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force and the German cavalry, the equally demanding task, after weeks of combat and forced marches, of maintaining contact with a rapidly retiring enemy. In this study a comparative assessment is made of each side’s doctrine, organization, equipment and training, followed by a detailed analysis of their actual performance in three key encounter actions: Casteau/Soignies (22 August), Cérizy/Moÿ (28 August) and Montcel/Frétoy (7 September). This analysis is supported by carefully chosen photographs and specially commissioned full-colour artwork and maps.


CBT: Celtic British Warrior vs Roman Soldier

Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43, the tribes of the west and north resisted the establishment of a ‘Roman peace’, and slowed Roman expansion through many years of guerrilla conflict, led in particular by the chieftain Caratacus. Even in the south-east, resentment of Roman occupation remained, exploding into the revolt of Boudicca’s Iceni in AD 60. Though the uprising was decisively suppressed, the initial British success demonstrated the effectiveness of the indigenous warriors.

The citizen foot soldiers of the Roman legions were supported by an array of other troops from across the empire including: the Tungrians, from what is now Belgium, and the Batavians, from the modern Netherlands. From the late 80s AD, units of both the Batavians and the Tungrians were garrisoned at a fort at Vindolanda in northern Britain. The so called ‘Vindolanda tablets’ provide an unparalleled body of material with which to reconstruct the lives of these auxiliary soldiers in Britain.

This book examines how both the British warriors and the Roman auxiliaries experienced the decades of conflict that followed the invasion, and compares their recruitment, training, leadership, motivation, culture and beliefs through an analysis of three particular battles: the final defeat of Caratacus in the hills of Wales in AD 50; the Roman assault on the island of Mona (Anglesey) in AD 61; and the battle of Mons Graupius in Scotland in AD 83.


CBT: Hunnic Warrior vs Late Roman Cavalryman

The Huns burst on to the page of western European history in the 4th century AD. Highly skilled, lightly armed warriors who fought for the most part on horseback, the Huns employed sophisticated tactics that harnessed the formidable power of their bows; they also gained a reputation for their fighting prowess at close quarters, using nooses as well as swords in hand-to-hand combat. Facing the Huns, the Roman Army fielded a variety of cavalry types, from heavily armed and armoured clibanarii and cataphractii to horse archers and missile cavalry. Many of these troops were recruited from client peoples or cultures; in this vein, the Romans soon employed Hunnic mercenaries and bodyguard troops, with an entire Hunnic army being recruited to aid one would-be usurper, Joannes.

The Huns quickly carved out a polyglot empire in eastern and central Europe. After the terms of a treaty expired in 440, the Huns repeatedly invaded Roman territory, forcing the Romans to take action. In this study, the origins, fighting methods and reputation of the two sides’ cavalry forces are examined, with particular reference to the siege of Naissus, the battle of the Utus and the climactic encounter at the Catalaunian Plains.


CBT: Patriot vs Loyalist

The American Revolutionary War was America’s first civil war. As the conflict raged from Canada to the Caribbean and from India to Gibraltar, it was in American communities that the war was the most intimate, the most personal, and – accordingly – the most vicious.

In 1775, the inhabitants of British America included those born in North America and newly arrived immigrants; the established landed aristocracy and the indigent; the diverse nations of the Native Americans; and people of African descent, both slave and free. The coming of war forced every person to make the choice of whether to side with the Patriots or remain loyal to the British Crown. With so many cross-cutting imperatives, the individual decisions made splintered communities, sometimes even households, turning neighbour against neighbour in an escalating spiral of ostracism, embargo, exile, raid, reprisal and counter-reprisal. Accordingly, the war on the frontiers and on the margins of conflict was as underhanded and ugly as any of the 21st century’s insurgencies. In this study, the origins, fighting methods and combat effectiveness of the combatants fighting on both sides are assessed, notably in three significant clashes of the American Revolutionary War.


CBT: Seminole Warrior vs US Soldier

During the 19th century, US forces confronted the Seminole people in a series of bitter wars over the fate of Florida. After the refusal of the Seminoles to move west to the Creek Reservation in Mississippi, the US government sent troops to bring Florida under federal control, marking the beginning of the Second Seminole War. On December 23, 1835, troops led by Major Francis Langhorne Dade were ambushed and massacred en route to Fort King. Two years of guerrilla warfare ensued, as the Seminoles evaded the US forces sent to defeat them. Ordered to hunt down the Seminoles, a US force led by Colonel Zachary Taylor incurred heavy losses at the battle of Lake Okeechobee (December 25, 1837), but the Seminoles were forced to withdraw. At the battle of the Loxahatchee River (January 24, 1838), forces led by Major General Thomas S. Jesup  encountered a large group of Seminoles and met them with overwhelming numbers and greater firepower. Despite their stubborn efforts to resist the US military, the Seminoles were defeated and Florida became a state of the Union in 1845. This fully illustrated study assesses the forces fighting on both sides, casting light on the tactics, weaponry, and combat record of the Seminole warriors and their US opponents during the Second Seminole War.


CBT: US Marine vs North Korean Soldier

Equipped with Soviet tanks and bolstered by a cadre of combat veterans returning from the Chinese Civil War, North Korea’s army launched its surprise offensive against the Republic of Korea on 25 June 1950; within days Seoul had fallen and the majority of South Korea’s divisions had been shattered. American ground troops rushed to Korea also seemed incapable of stopping the rapidly advancing North Koreans. By August, the remnants of the South Korean and US Army divisions had been pushed into a small corner around the port of Pusan. Although the North Korean People’s Army had enjoyed an impressive string of victories, its losses were no longer being replaced in the needed quantity or quality. It was truly a do-or-die moment for both sides.

In the wake of World War II, the United States Marine Corps had shrunk in terms of budget and manpower. Despite this, the Corps responded swiftly and decisively in 1950. Using first-hand accounts and specially commissioned artwork, this study assesses the KPA and US Marine Corps troops participating in three crucial battles – Hill 342, the Obong-Ni Ridge and the Second Battle of Seoul – to reveal the tactics, weapons and combat effectiveness of both sides’ fighting men in Korea in 1950.


CBT: Viking Warrior vs Frankish Warrior

On the eve of the 9th century, Vikings first raided the Frankish Empire on the coast of what is now western France. Although this attack ended in disaster for the Scandinavians, Charlemagne reportedly wept, not in fear of his own life, but for the ensuing bloodshed brought upon his successors. Mobile parties of highly skilled Viking warriors would continue to raid Francia for decades; as these attacking contingents grew more numerous they began to assail powerful centres, besieging Paris in 845 and again in 885. To combat the Viking threat, Frankish kings mustered scores of infantrymen, then subsequently transitioned to cavalry-based forces in the 9th century.The dynamic nature of Viking activity in Francia meant that numbers and mobility would determine the fate of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire.

This study documents the evolving trial of strength between the Vikings and the Franks under Charlemagne and his successors. Through a careful synthesis of primary sources, expert analysis and the archaeological record, the author invites the reader to visualize the fighting men who fought one another in Francia, and offers a balanced assessment of their successes and failures over decades of warfare during the Viking Age.


Post Comments

EDave posted on 15 Aug 2021 03:53:35
AdamC, your idea for a Peninsular War title sounds good! I'm surprised this series hasn't generated more Napoleonics. Okay, 2021's US Soldier vs British Soldier was technically Napoleonic, but I mean something like French Fusilier vs Prussian Landser or something like that.

Going back to Paintybeard's comment on more non-infantry Combat titles, I'm hoping they swap out Beersheba on the ANZAC one for another Gallipoli action, or at least one not involving Light Horsemen. That way we can give the Australian Light Horse their own Combat title. I know they were originally going to cover Ia Drang as one of the actions for US Air Cavalry Trooper vs North Vietnamese soldier as per Big Reveal, but they swapped it out with a lesser known action to the book's benefit.
AdamC posted on 13 Aug 2021 13:23:15
Not a bad selection for me. Id also like to see;
French Soldier Vs Prussian Soldier: Franco-Prussian War 1870–71
Parliamentarian Cavalryman Vs Royalist Cavalryman: English Civil War 1642-51
British Soldier Vs Highland Clansman: The ’45 Rising 1745-46
British Infantryman Vs Russian Infantryman: Crimea 1854-56
British Infantryman Vs French Infantryman: Peninsular 1808-14
PAUL W posted on 7 Aug 2021 10:08:19
I agree some very good possible titles mentioned in the blog. Combat is definitely going from strength to strength next year, and with some of the possible titles mentioned here, could do for years to come.
EDave posted on 5 Aug 2021 23:59:55
Paintybeard, the Stalingrad Combat title is also a favorite of mine. For me, I feel the series especially shines when discussing under-appreciated conflicts or campaigns. Two more of my favorites are French Foreign Legionnaire vs Viet Minh Guerrilla and King's African Rifles Soldier vs Schutzetruppe Soldier.

Tank Crewman vs Tank Crewman sounds like a really cool idea! The split-view pieces would be amazing. But how would those differ from the Duel books, considering they also discuss crew training and background? I fear there would be a lot of overlap.
Paintybeard posted on 4 Aug 2021 07:25:20
EDave: I've got both those titles and they are among the best in the series IMHO. I would like more in a similar vein Tankcrew vs Tankcrew in the Western Desert or at Kursk seem like obvious choices.
EDave posted on 4 Aug 2021 02:27:32
To respond to Paintybeard, the German Soldier vs Soviet Soldier Stalingrad title focuses on German engineers, as 2020's US Soldier vs German Soldier focused on American engineers. Why those titles weren't billed as "German Pioneer vs Soviet Soldier" and "US Engineer vs German Soldier" is beyond me.
Paintybeard posted on 2 Aug 2021 18:29:24
That's true Tarawa90, But I was hoping for something more on the process of serving the guns than just the tactics. Also I hope that at some stage "Combat" will do more books that are about other branches than just infantry, so Tank crew, Combat Engineers and others I hope will all get books.
Tarawa90 posted on 2 Aug 2021 15:41:59
Don't we already have that in ELI WWI Artillery Tactics?
Paintybeard posted on 2 Aug 2021 06:44:46
How about this as a long-shot idea: "World War One, British vs German Artilleyrman". This could explore how the techniques of indirect fire, sound-ranging and so forth were developed between 1914 and 1918.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 1 Aug 2021 22:55:27
RE:Paul W Would love to see a Turks vs North Korean/Chicom Title as well as other UN units.
Paintybeard posted on 1 Aug 2021 19:13:09
Nothing anti-American from me: I lived, worked and holidayed there for several years and wouldn't hear a word against the country or people. I just wonder why the repugnance at being called Rebels? Is it a (slightly) ignorant fear for sounding like "the bad guys"? Also; how is it possible to be a patriot... to a country that does not yet exist?

For the record I think that if Britain had managed to quash the AWI, even at a very early stage, it would only lead to a much bloodier revolt a generation later when Britain makes the slave trade illegal in 1807.
PAUL W posted on 1 Aug 2021 18:43:41
A great selection of books, 2 very good ww1 and roman titles. The rest are very good, even the Korean War, personally would of preferred un or commonwealth but anything on this "forgotten war" is very welcome. This is not me being anti-american, just less written about other forces. Hopefully this will sell well and more titles will be forthcoming.

Definitely would be up for English civil war and Teutonic titles.

Not want to cause issues but we have friends in the usa and they feel the worse thing that happened to America was that they won the war of independence. Would have been very interesting to world history if the result went the other way. The more I think about it, it really could of had a major effect.
Hessy Field posted on 1 Aug 2021 13:38:36
Personally, this is the best Combat list to date - good range of periods, interesting titles and I echo the views expressed about the WWI volumes (and with not a WWII title in sight - that must be a first!). I would also support the earlier comments about an Ironside vs Royalist and Polish Lithuanian Warrior vs Teutonic Knight as additions to the series. For me, the standout Reveal so far.
KenA posted on 1 Aug 2021 12:24:01
In retrospect, bearing in mind subsequent events in the US, wouldn’t GB have few regrets about the outcome of the Revolutionary War?

An interesting selection of titles. Pleased to see two WWI titles that aren’t trench-warfare Western Front (i.e. covering something different from the common fare). While the Australian Light Horse Regiments have received the plaudits for the victory at the Battle of Beersheba, the contribution of other units shouldn’t be ignored. For example, the heaviest Allied losses were suffered by the British infantry of XX Corps. Australian folk-lore places things in an interesting perspective: “Gallipoli was a British-led defeat, Beersheba was an Australian-led victory”. Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble.
Paintybeard posted on 1 Aug 2021 06:18:19
You rebelled. Why are so many Americans ashamed/scared of that fact?

Very pleased to see 2 more useful WW1 titles, especially ones that cover units/nations that don't always get much coverage.

Viking vs Frank is also intriguing. I'm assuming that this will be by the same author who is doing the Viking "Raid" title next year as well.

Ironside vs Royalist cavalry in 2023, please!
Tarawa90 posted on 1 Aug 2021 04:39:45
We won. Therefore, it's 'Patriot'.

Aside from the Seminole War title, kinda meh for me.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 1 Aug 2021 00:33:42
Looking forward to "Patriot vs Loyalist" although it really should be titled "Rebels vs Loyalist" LOL.The Yanks always forget that 1/3 of the population stayed loyal to the Crown and formed units to fight for King and Country.It was a mark of distinction for families in Canada after the war to be able to have the letters UEL(United Empire Loyalist) after there names to recognize their service after they had been exiled from The Land of the Free.
EDave posted on 31 Jul 2021 14:00:55
Great selection of titles for 2022, better than 2021!

First off, TWO WWI titles? Mashallah! Praise be!

I'm hyped about the ANZAC Soldier vs Ottoman Soldier title, although I'm surprised they aren't focusing that title entirely on Gallipoli; I would have swapped out Beersheba for either the landing or the Ottoman counterattack on May 19. But still, great choice, especially considering it's not Western Front.

Definitely grabbing the British Cavalryman vs German Cavalryman title; that looks interesting. Perhaps in the future we could have some other WWI Combat titles for cavalry actions on the Eastern Front and Near East.

US Marine vs North Korean Soldier's another go for me, although I'm hoping the next post-1945 Combat title isn't US centric.

I'm not as big on ancient or medievals, but I might grab the Hunnic Warrior vs Late Roman Cavalryman. Will probably grab the Viking Warrior vs Frankish Warrior. But weren't we supposed to get a Polish-Lithuanian Warrior vs Teutonic Knight title?

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