Osprey's Big Reveal: New Vanguard

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We're halfway through our Big Reveal, and we have so many more series to share. Today's reveal looks at our New Vanguard series, coming in 2022. Which title are you looking forward to the most?
 
Have a read of the book descriptions below, and join in the conversation in the comments!

 

NVG: British Gunboats of Victoria's Empire

First created during the Crimean War, the Royal Navy’s ocean-going gunboats initially saw action in China. However, these small ships were also used to hunt down pirates in the coasts and rivers of Borneo and Malaya,  to quell insurrections and revolts in the Caribbean and hunt slavers off the African coast. During the 1860s, a new generation of ships entered the service - vessels designed specifically to fulfill this global policing role. Better-designed gunboats followed, but by the 1880s the need for them was waning. The axe finally fell in 1904 when Admiral 'Jackie' Fisher brought the era of the gunboat to an end to help fund the new age of the dreadnought.

This exciting New Vanguard title describes the rise and fall of the British gunboat,  their appearance and capability, and highlights some of the key actions they were involved in.

 

NVG: Essex-Class Aircraft Carriers 1945–1991 

The Essex class was the USN’s war-winning ship class from the Pacific War.  Of the 24 ships completed, 14 saw action, making the Essex class the largest class of fleet aircraft carriers ever built. The ships had a fine balance of striking power, protection, and speed. They were modernized during the war, and still had more room for modernization after the war. There were five distinct modernization programs carried out on the class, adding not only angled flight decks for jet operations, but repeated upgrades to sensors, weapons, and equipment.

These carriers were used in a number of roles and provided the vast majority of USN air power in the Korean War and a sizeable proportion of air power in the Vietnam conflict.  As the “super carriers” entered service  in the early 1960s, the Essex class was relegated to secondary roles – a single Essex carrier served until 1991 as the USN’s training carrier, for example. This title provides an in-depth portrait of the class, its development and modifications with the actions it undertook.

 

NVG: Foreign Panthers 

The Panther was arguably the most successful medium tank design of World War II, demonstrated by the number of Germany's enemies who used them after, and even during the war.

 While some were appropriated by Western Allies, the greatest number of Panthers captured was by the Russians, but, surprisingly, they were not favoured due to their mechanical unreliability and the difficulty in acquiring spare parts.                                                                                             

After the war, Panthers were mostly passed on to satellite states such as Bulgaria and Romania, and also the French army who used them in significant numbers with approximately 50 in service between 1946 and 1950. They were a significant influence on future French tank design.

Using detailed artwork and contemporary photographs, this fascinating book tells the little-known story of the Panther tank in foreign hands during World War II and beyond.

 

NVG: Graf Zeppelin-class Aircraft Carriers

The quest for a modern aircraft carrier was the ultimate symbol of the Axis powers’ challenge to Allied naval might, but fully-fledged carriers proved either too difficult, expensive or politically unpopular for either to make operational. After the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, Hitler publicly stated his intention to build an aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, which was launched in 1938. A year later, the ambitious fleet-expansion Z-Plan, was unveiled with two additional aircraft carriers earmarked for production. However, by the beginning of World War II, Graf Zeppelin was not yet completed and work was halted. Further aircraft carrier designs and conversion projects were considered but in January 1943, all construction work on surface vessels ceased and naval resources were diverted to the U-boat Campaign.

This book explains not only the history of Germany’s famous Graf Zeppelin fleet carrier and German carrier conversion projects but also Italy’s belated attempt to convert two of her ocean liners into carriers. It considers the role of naval aviation in the two countries’ rearmament programmes, and describes how ultimately it was only Italian seaplane carriers and German ocean-going, catapult-equipped flying boat carriers that both Axis powers did eventually send into combat.

 

NVG: Super-Battleships of World War II     

At the start of World War II, the battleship was still king, and all the major powers were planning and developing the classes that would replace their most modern and powerful battleships. These would have been the most powerful surface combatants ever built, mounting guns up to a monstrous 20in calibre, however none were ever completed. When war broke out, big-gun battleships were rendered obsolete by the advent of the aircraft carrier.

This book will trace the design, development, and eventual fates of these uncompleted superbattleships during the period immediately before and during the Second World War. None of these ships were actually completed and their designs were in various stages of maturity, but the stories of these never-completed leviathans are compelling.

 

NVG: Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1960–75 

From the 1960s onwards, there was a generational shift in tank design and warfare with the advent of CBR (chemical, biological, radiological) protection and a move away from HEAT ammunition to APFSDS. This shift confronted the growing threat of guided anti-tank missiles and saw the introduction of composite armor. Soviet heavy tanks and tank destroyer/assault guns became obsolete, giving way to the technological might of the T-62 and T-64, while NATO forces employed the Chieftain, AMX-30, Leopard I, and M60, plus the initial attempt at a common US-German tank, the MBT-70. Using detailed illustrations and contemporary photographs, this companion volume to NVG 301, Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1946-60 focuses on key battle tanks and their technology to give a comprehensive overall picture of how tanks developed during modern times.

 

NVG: Tanks in the Battle of Germany 1945: Western Front       

The crossing of the river Rhine marked the beginning of the end of the Third Reich, but the Wehrmacht would fight ferociously on its home soil until the fall of Berlin. The Battle of Germany saw the most advanced tanks of the Allies pitted against the remnants of the once-formidable Panzerwaffe, now exhausted and lacking many of the essentials of armored warfare, but equipped with the biggest and most powerful tanks they would ever field.

During these last months the Allies were equipped with the most advanced Shermans such as the M4A3E8, as well as some of the types that would go on to have successful postwar careers such as the Pershing, Comet, and Chaffee. In contrast, the Panzer forces had pinned their hopes on small numbers of monstrous types such as the Jagdtiger and Tiger II, as well as the workhorse Sturmgeschütz and Panzer IVs and Vs. But with German forces crumbling, the Panzerwaffe lacked trained crews, replacement vehicles and fuel, while the Allies’ well-supported tank forces advanced through Germany in spectacular combined-arms fashion.

Packed with information on tank numbers, types, and comparative performance, this book sheds new light on the tanks, organization, and doctrine of the two sides, and explains how the ultimate tank battles of World War II were really fought.

 

NVG: Tanks in the Battle of Germany 1945: Eastern Front       

The final months of World War II on the Eastern Front saw the Wehrmacht fighting with exhausted armoured divisions, albeit now armed with the most advanced and heaviest tanks of the war, to slow the Soviet advance. The Red Army meanwhile was rolling relentlessly westwards, with its own highly developed tank forces now equipped with T-34/85s and the huge IS-2 heavy tanks, intent on taking Berlin and as much German territory as possible.

This book is a history and analysis of the state of these two mighty armoured forces, as their battles decided the fate of Germany. It covers their initial encounters on the German frontier in 1944 (East Prussia), the fighting of the Oder-Vistula offensive in January 1945 and considers the impact of significant Allied forces such as those from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania on the outcome of the war.

 

NVG: Tanks in the Easter Offensive 1972         

Wearied by years of fighting against Viet Cong guerillas and North Vietnamese regulars, the United States had almost completely withdrawn its forces from Vietnam by early 1972. Determined to halt the expansion and improvement of South Vietnamese forces under the U.S. “Vietnamization” program, North Vietnam launched a major fourteen-division attack in March 1972 against the South that became known as the “Easter Offensive.” Hanoi’s assault was spearheaded by 1,200 tanks and was counteracted on the opposite side by Saigon’s newly equipped armored force using U.S. medium tanks. The result was ferocious fighting between major Cold War-era U.S. and Soviet tanks and mechanized equipment.

This volume examines the tanks, armored forces and weapons that clashed in this little-known campaign in detail, using after-action reports from the battlefield and other primary sources to analyze the technical and organizational factors that shaped the outcome. Despite the ARVN’s defensive success in October 1972, North Vietnam massively expanded its armor forces over the next two years while U.S. support waned. This imbalance together with key strategic misjudgments by the South Vietnamese President led to the stunning defeat of the South in 1975 when T54 tanks crashed through the fence surrounding the Presidential palace and took Saigon on 30 April 1975.

 

NVG: The HAWK Air Defense Missile System   

The HAWK surface-to-air missile system was the world’s first mobile missile system and one of the most advanced air defense weapons deployed during the Cold War. Designed to counteract the threat posed by advanced 1950s Soviet-built aircraft, the first HAWK unit became operational in 1959. At its peak, it saw frontline service in the Far East, Panama, Europe, and in the Middle East.

Credited with shooting down more than 100 aircraft during its combat career, the HAWK system was respected for its lethality. Such was Soviet concern, that it developed electronic jammers, anti-radiation missiles, and other countermeasures specifically to degrade its effectiveness. The US retired its HAWK systems soon after the Cold War ended in 1991 when air defense priorities shifted from aircraft to ballistic missile defense, yet, a modernized version of the system remains in service to this day in many nations.

Packed with archive photos and original artwork, this is the first book about the HAWK system. Featuring research from HAWK system technical and field manuals, interviews with HAWK veterans, and detailing the authors’ personal experiences with HAWK missile units, it provides a comprehensive study of one of the most lethal and effective air missile systems of all time.

 

NVG: The Polish Navy in World War II

Newly independent Poland’s naval force was created in 1920. However, after German-Soviet exercises off the Polish coast in 1924, funding for warships was hastily allocated. Two destroyers and three submarines were built in France but, disappointed with their quality. Poland ordered new ships, mostly from British and Dutch shipyards.

By summer 1939, the Polish Navy comprised four destroyers, five submarines, one minelayer, six minesweepers and a handful of lesser ships. Although the Grom-class destroyers were two of the fastest and best-armed destroyers of the war, the tiny Polish fleet would stand little chance against the Kriegsmarine, and on 30 August three destroyers were dispatched to Britain, followed by two submarines that had escaped internment. The remaining Polish surface fleet was sunk by 3 September.

In exile, the Polish Navy operated not only their own ships, but also Royal Navy warships, including a cruiser, destroyers, submarines and motor torpedo boats which fought alongside the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic Convoys, and at the Normandy landings. This detailed account not only describes the Polish Navy’s contribution to the Allied war effort but also the episode of the Polish destroyer Piorun which took on the Bismarck in a lone gun duel leading to the sinking of the great German battleship.

 

NVG: US Navy Armored Cruisers 1893–1931 

At the dawn of the "Steel Navy" era, the rapidly expanding US Navy's fleet of capital ships consisted not only of battleships but also armoured cruisers, the forerunner of the battlecruiser. Armored cruisers differed from battleships by sacrificing the battleship’s superlative firepower and protection for superior speed and range. A total of twelve US armored cruisers in four classes were commissioned between 1893 and 1908, plus the three so-called “semi-armored” cruisers of the 1905–1906 St. Louis-class. The first two US armored cruisers saw heavy action off Cuba in 1898. The other 13 cruisers often engaged in gunboat-type operations overseas and had diverse careers, which were often marked by strange and unfortunate luck.

This fascinating new history tells the story of the large, fast and long-ranged armored cruisers of the US Navy, and the roles that these warships played in the fleet as America developed into a great naval power.

 

NVG: Warships in the Baltic Campaign 1918–20       

Following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Baltic states became a battleground between Russian Reds and Whites, German troops, and emerging Baltic independence forces. In November 1918, the British government decided to intervene, to protect British interests and to support the emerging Baltic states.

The initial small British force of cruisers and destroyers was eventually augmented by other British ships. Opposing them was the far more powerful Russian Baltic Fleet, now controlled by the Bolsheviks. The campaign that followed involved naval clashes between the two sides, the most spectacular of which was an attack on the Soviet naval base of Kronstadt in June 1919 by a force of small British torpedo boats. Finally, in early 1920, the British squadron was withdrawn, following Soviet recognition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

This New Vanguard explores the naval side of this little-known but strategically crucial campaign, fought by the war-weary navies of Britain and Russia, and by warships of the emerging Baltic states. Describing the political background to the conflict, and the key points of the naval campaign as well as the warships involved, this is a concise and fascinating account of an overlooked naval campaign that helped reshape the map of Europe.

 

Post Comments

Miko posted on 8 Sep 2021 13:08:30
Very happy to see Warships of the Baltic Campaign! The Polish Navy title is also a welcome addition.
PAUL W posted on 29 Aug 2021 13:17:32
I agree it's a mixed bag but for different reasons than the other bloggers.

I personally like the "tanks of the battle of" additions to the series. I feel it puts the actual vehicles into historical context. But each to their own.

I also have no issue with any of the naval authors, as I feel they bring their own strengths to the books.

I'm not so keen on the two ww2 naval titles on ships that weren't actually completed.

Warships in the baltic, is my highlight.

Finally some great possible titles from Hessy and Adam.
Paintybeard posted on 13 Aug 2021 16:36:10
Hi AdamC, good to hear from you again.
AdamC posted on 13 Aug 2021 14:51:19
Hi Painty,

Trust me, I have done many, many times. Lol!
Paintybeard posted on 13 Aug 2021 12:17:07
Put them all in the "Books I'd like to Read" thread AdamC!
AdamC posted on 13 Aug 2021 10:07:50
Oh well if that's what we are doing.... how about; Italian Submarines of WWII, The Military Land Rover 1950-2020, Flak Panzers: German WWII SPAAG, AMX-13 1953-2015, A9 & A10 Cruiser Tanks 1934-41, Soviet Submarines of WWII, M270 MRLS 1983-2020, A13 Cruiser Tank 1936-43, Chinese Armour 1924-49, M-107 & M-110 SPG & Howitzer 1962-2010, British Medium & Heavy Artillery 1939-45, British anti-aircraft artillery (I) 1914-18, British anti-aircraft artillery (II) 1939-1945, M50 & M51 Super Sherman 1953-1982, Medieval European Warships (possible two volume work), L118 105mm Light Gun 1975-2020, British Medium Tank Designs 1918-1930, T-28 & T-35 1933-44, French Ship of the Line 1792-1815
Peter the Great’s Navy 1682-1721, Humber Armoured Cars 1940-62, Daimler Armoured Cars 1939-62, Armour in Korea 1950-53, M-40 155mm GMC 1945-60, British Army Sherman Tanks 1942-46, British Armoured Cars 1919-39, Soviet Light Tanks 1939-45: T-37, T-40, T-60 & T-70, Conqueror Heavy Tank 1955-1966, Military Motorbikes 1939-45, Russian & Soviet Battleships 1905-1956, Spanish Navy of the Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, British Nuclear Attack Submarines 1960-2020, Post War British Aircraft Carriers, British Armed Merchant Cruisers (I) 1914-18, British Armed Merchant Cruisers (II) 1939-45, Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars 1938-74, Swedish Armour 1922-2020, Soviet/Russian Diesel-Electric Attack Submarines 1952-2015, Nebelwerfer: German Rocket Launching Systems 1939-45,
Mountain and Air Portable Artillery of WWII.

Paintybeard posted on 12 Aug 2021 16:26:36
I'll add one more to your excellent list of titles, Hessy Field: Post World War 2 British Combat Engineer Vehicles.
Hessy Field posted on 12 Aug 2021 13:47:08
I am going to agree with Painty - overall a pretty weak list, possibly the weakest NVG list I've yet seen. It does seem to me like desperation with some titles - particularly in extending the number of WWII-related books (the Baltic campaign is a welcome change). There are plenty of other options available - French tanks post-WWII (which would need at least three titles to cover adequately); British armoured cars, APCs and self-propelled artillery post-WWII (again around another three titles), armour of the 1948 and 1956 Arab-Israeli Wars (two titles); more left-field - Medieval War Wagons... There simply doesn't need to be so much repetition.
KenA posted on 11 Aug 2021 13:00:47
A mixed bag, I think. Some of the naval titles are of interest though I have reservations about author Angus Konstam - he could pick up some useful tips (to make his books much more interesting) from some of Osprey’s US-based naval authors.

Question: is a catastrophe going to happen soon whereby Steven Zaloga runs out of battles about which to write books about “Tanks in the Battle of …..”?
Paintybeard posted on 11 Aug 2021 11:26:47
Frankly most of these are pretty desperate attempts to wring more mileage out of well-worn subjects. More Panthers and gunboats? Not for me, thank you.

Tanks at the Iron Curtain and Warships in the Baltic on the other hand are praiseworthy explorations of less well known subjects and I look forward to buying them.

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