Big Reveal 2022: Campaign

In Military History, Featured

 

This summer we're unveiling all the titles we're publishing in 2023! Today we're getting things started with the Campaign series. Commissioning Editor Nikolai Bogdanovic takes us through what we can expect. 

The Campaign series offerings for 2023 continue to span military history from the ancient world to modern battles, bringing history to life with full colour 3-D ‘bird’s-eye-views’, battle scenes and maps as well as colour and black and white photographs.

In Ancient Warfare, we have a fascinating exploration of the often-overlooked Cimbrian War 113–101 BC between Roman and German, as well as Hydaspes 326 BC, which explores Alexander the Great’s famous victory on the banks of the Jhelum River in the Indian subcontinent.

Timothy J. Orr continues his superbly engaging trilogy exploring the Battle of Gettysburg 1863, with volume 2 covering the second day of battle.

A fascinating range of naval- and land-warfare titles from World War II is also lined up, including the Naval Battle of Crete 1941, Cape Matapan 1941, Early Pacific Raids 1942, Operation Pedestal 1942, Japan’s Indian Ocean Raid 1942, the Winter Campaign in Italy 1943, Assault on the Gothic Line 1944, the Reconquest of Burma 1944–45, and Corregidor 1945.

Let us know which of these books you are most intrigued by in the comments. 

 

CAM 387 Assault on the Gothic Line 1944: The Allied Attempted Breakthrough into Northern Italy

By Pier Paolo Battistelli

Enjoy a detailed examination of Operation Olive as US, British, Commonwealth and Allied forces seek to smash through the last German defensive line in Italy.

The Italian theatre of operations post-summer 1944 was often (and incorrectly) surmised at the time as a quiet sector of World War II, populated with troops who were relieved not to find themselves fighting in North-West Europe. Yet the true nature of the hard fighting that took place here was soon revealed when the Allies began their assault on the Axis Gothic Line defences, known as Operation Olive.

In this book, Italian military historian Pier Paolo Battistelli documents the dual Allied offensive spearheaded by American and British units to smash through what was supposed to be the final Axis defensive line in Italy before the Alps. The overall strategic aims of both the Axis and Allied leaders are explored, together with the organization of the forces committed.

The expertly researched maps and 3D diagrams guide the reader through the progress of the phased battles in challenging terrain. Photographs and specially commissioned artworks show the soldiers that fought on both sides, including American, Canadian, Indian, Brazilian, Polish, New Zealander, British, German and Italian troops, as well as the materiel they employed. The result is an essential illustrated guide to a fascinating and complex late-war campaign.

 

CAM 389 The Hydaspes 326 BC: The Limit of Alexander the Great’s Conquests

By Nic Fields

The first dedicated examination of Alexander the Great’s final battle and acknowledged tactical masterpiece.

In the years that followed Alexander the Great’s victory at Gaugamela on 1 October 331 BC, his Macedonian and Greek army fought a truly ‘Herculean’ series of campaigns in what is today Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. But it was in the Indus Valley, on the banks of the Hydaspes River (known today as the Jhelum) in 326 BC that Alexander would fight his last major battle against King Poros.

Using detailed maps and 3D diagrams, this beautifully illustrated work shows how Alexander used feints and deception to transport the bulk of his army across the swollen River Hydaspes without attracting the enemy’s attention, allowing his troops the crucial element of surprise. Battlescene artworks and photographs reveal the fascinating array of forces that clashed in the battle, including Indian war elephants and chariots, and horse archers and phalanx formations. Also examined are the differences in weaponry and armour between the opposing sides, which would prove crucial to the outcome. Although a tactical masterpiece, the Hydaspes was the closest that Alexander the Great came to defeat, and was one of the costliest battles fought by his near-exhausted army.

 

CAM 388 Naval Battle of Crete 1941: The Royal Navy at Breaking Point

By Angus Konstam

A fascinating account of an often overlooked naval action of World War II, and one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of the Royal Navy.

In April 1941, following the Axis invasion of Greece, the British Mediterranean Fleet was ordered to evacuate Allied survivors, many of which were taken to Crete. The Luftwaffe established itself in airfields on the Greek mainland, and formed plans to invade Crete by air and sea, under the cover of 500 fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe’s Fliegerkorps VIII. Facing them were a small and scattered garrison on the island, a handful of under-strength RAF squadrons and the hard-pressed warships of the Mediterranean Fleet. What happened next was a costly, but ultimately inspiring, naval battle, in which Royal Navy crews were placed under intense strain.

Using period photographs, stunning battlescene artworks, detailed maps and an authoritative narrative, world-leading maritime historian Angus Konstam tells the fascinating story of how Allied ships failed to repulse the Axis invasion convoys bound for Crete, before successfully evacuating troops from the island, all the while under relentless Luftwaffe attack. Offering a fresh insight into this strategically important battle, this work shows how it marked a turning point in the naval war for the Mediterranean, and also witnessed the first use of new elements in naval warfare: the mass use of aircraft to contest control of the sea, and the use of Ultra intelligence to forestall the Axis invasion of Crete. Despite a heavy butcher’s bill of dozens of Royal Navy ships lost and damaged, and hundreds Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed, the Royal Navy Mediterranean Fleet would live to fight another day.

 

CAM 390 The Reconquest of Burma 1944–45: From Operation Capital to the Sittang Bend

By Robert Lyman

A fascinating exploration of the dramatic battles and Allied operations to wrest back control of Burma (Myanmar) from the Japanese.

The Allied campaign to recapture Burma from Japanese control between late 1944 and August 1945 was one of the longest campaigns of World War II. It comprised 11 distinct battles and offensives that were part of the overall continuum of operations that resulted in the Allied victory.

Written by a foremost expert on the British Army in World War II, the superbly illustrated work covers the Allied operations to retake Burma from Japanese control. Covering Operation Capital, the aftermath of Myitkyina, the final Chindit battle at Mogaung, the operations of 81st West African Division, Operation Extended Capital, the Irrawaddy River crossings and the Battle of the Sittang Bend, the Allied advance is explained using easy to follow 2d maps and 3D diagrams. Among the events brought to life in superb battlescene artwork are an SOE-led ambush in Operation Character, and the famous Defence of Hill 170 in the Arakan.

 

Japan’s Indian Ocean Raid 1942: The Allies' Lowest Ebb

By Mark Stille

A detailed exploration of the Japanese raid into the Indian Ocean in April 1942 – one of the largest operations conducted by the Imperial Navy during the war.

In the wake of Japan’s conquest of Burma in early 1942, plans were formed by the Imperial high command to capture Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) to consolidate Japan’s defensive perimeter and disrupt British shipping lanes to India, Australia, and the Middle East. The Imperial Japanese Army, however, could not release sufficient troops for an invasion, and so in response the Japanese Navy developed Operation C, an aggressive raid by the Combined Fleet into the Indian Ocean under Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. The key objective was to destroy Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Eastern Fleet in port. Though the operations failed to find and neutralize the Royal Navy’s Eastern Fleet, the Japanese destroyed a large number of British naval and merchant ships.

In this book, expert naval author Mark Stille documents the high point of Japanese naval air power as its carriers struck Ceylon – the heart of British naval power in the East – sinking several Allied ships (including the carrier HMS Hermes). Also covered are the Allied air attempts to destroy Nagumo’s force, and the separate Japanese attacks against British shipping and the cities along the Indian coast conducted by Malay Force, which was not part of Operation C.

 

CAM 391 The Battle of Gettysburg 1863 (2): The Second Day

By Timothy J. Orr

This work provides an authoritative examination of the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, analyzing both grand strategy, and the tactical decisions of Day Two and the ensuing combat.

July 2, 1863 comprised the bloodiest and most complicated of the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. On this day, the clash involved five divisions of Confederate infantry and their accompanying artillery battalions, as well as a cavalry skirmish at nearby Hunterstown. The bulk of the Union army engaged on the second day of fighting, including men from the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 11th and 12th Corps.

Much of the narrative of this fascinating work describes the tactical play-by-play, the customary “who did what” of the battle, but it also emphasizes the critical decisions of July 2 and explains why the commanders committed to them. It also explores the experience of combat as witnessed by the rank and file, and features primary accounts from common soldiers. Gettysburg was—first and foremost—a soldier’s battle, full of raw emotion and high drama, brought vividly to life here in stunning battlescene artworks.

 

CAM 325 Corregidor 1945: Repossessing the Rock

By Mark Lardas

A detailed and fascinating exploration of the 1945 US combined land, naval and air operation to retake Corregidor and the other Japanese-held islands in Manila Bay from a determined and well-entrenched enemy.

Corregidor Island, America’s last bastion in the Pacific which guarded the entry to Manila Bay, had been seized by the Japanese on May 8, 1942. In February 1945, US forces were back, and closed in on Manila from the north and south against heavy Japanese resistance. A joint parachute and amphibious assault was planned to employ the much reinforced 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team and elements of the 24th Infantry Division and 2nd Engineer Special Brigade. Facing them were over 6,000 Japanese troops who had been only recently been evacuated from Bataan 2 miles away where they had been cut off by advancing US forces. MacArthur desired the island, once a symbol of American defiance, to be liberated with a flourish.

This fully illustrated study examines the ambitious US assault on Corregidor, which included the most dangerous and risky parachute drop in airborne history, and vicious, desperate fighting by the defenders as they sought to prevent American troops from taking the island. It also covers the recapture of the other islands defending Manila Bay, such as El Fraile and Fort Drum.

 

CAM 392 Early Pacific Raids 1942: The American Carriers Strike Back

By Brian Lane Herder

A fascinating exploration of how between February 1 and March 10, 1942, three small US task forces launched several unexpected raids throughout the Japanese defensive perimeter in the Central and South Pacific.

After the devastating Japanese blows of December 1941, the Allies found themselves reeling with defeat everywhere in the Pacific. Although stripped of his battleships and outnumbered 10:3 in carriers, the US Navy commander-in-chief Admiral Ernest J. King decided to hit back at Japan’s rapidly expanding Pacific empire immediately, in an effort to keep the Japanese off-balance.

On February 1, 1942, Vice Admiral Bill Halsey led the US Pacific Fleet carriers on their first raid, using high-speed hit-and-run tactics to strike at the Japanese, at a time when most of the Japanese carrier fleet was in the Indian Ocean. Halsey’s aggressive commitment inspired its American participants to invent the mythical “Haul Ass With Halsey” club. The last of the 1942 US carrier raids in March 1942 would form a defining moment in the Pacific War, prior to a new phase of high seas battles between large the opposing fleets.

This superbly illustrated book documents for the first time in a single volume this little-known but important World War II naval campaign. The fabulous illustrations, including maps and colour artworks, bring to life the US air and naval raids on the Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Rabaul, Wake Island, Marcus Island, and Lae and Salamaua in northern New Guinea.

 

CAM 393 The Cimbrian War 113–101 BC: The Rise of Caius Marius

By Nic Fields

A gripping narrative of the Cimbrian (or Cimbric) War, in which the armies of the Roman Republic finally defeated the Germanic tribes of the Cimbri, Teutons, Ambrons and Tigurini.

Rome's victory in the Cimbrian War was born of several huge and devastating defeats at the hands of the Germanic tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutones, who had left their home territory on the Jutland Peninsula and migrated en masse southwards in the late 2nd century BC. In 113 BC, the consul Cnaeus Papirius Carbo was the first to be sent to deal with this potent threat, at the head of some 30,000 troops, but the Germans soundly defeated his forces at Noreia. Joined now by the Tigurini, the Cimbri-Teutones ventured westward into Gaul and in 109 BC the three tribes smashed a consular army under Marcus Iunius Silanus. In 107 BC the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus advanced to recover the situation, but again was humiliatingly defeated near Burdigala (Bordeaux). A further, a much larger humiliation lay in store for Republican Rome in 105 BC, when a Cimbrian host, moving down the Rhône, wiped out two consular armies totaling 80,00 men at Arausio (Orange): the defeat that day was one of the worst in Roman history, and the Italic peninsula was now open to invasion.

This work explores how, in the autumn of 105 BC, Gaius Marius managed to contain the Germanic threat in the north, before crushing the Germanic threat to Rome in two successful battles, at Aquae Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence) in Gallia Transalpina in 102 BC and at Vercellae (Vercelli) in Gallia Cisalpina in 101 BC.

Packed with stunning illustrations covering all the major clashes of this epic and drawn-out war of the late Republic, this work brings to life for the first time Rome's vital quoshing of the Germanic threat to her very existence, and documents the rise of one of the most important martial figures in her history, Gaius Marius, who was also highly significant in Rome's transformation from Republic to Empire.

 

CAM 394 Operation Pedestal 1942: The Battle for Malta’s Lifeline

By Angus Konstam

A fascinating story of a key turning point in the War in the Mediterranean, as the island of Malta was thrown a vital lifeline.

Since 1940, the island of Malta had been a thorn in the Axis side. It sat astride the direct sea route between Italy and its North African colonies, and from 1941 the Royal Navy had used the island as a base for its attacks on Axis convoys. The island, though, relied on convoys to survive, and from early 1941 these came under increasingly heavy air and submarine attack. As the situation became critical in 1942, the decision was made to send through a heavily protected convoy in an effort to save the island. This mission was codenamed Operation Pedestal.

This fascinating work describes how, after leaving Britain on 2 August, the convoy was repeatedly pummeled by Axis air and submarine attacks as it ground its way towards Malta, with most of the merchant ships sunk during the passage, along with an aircraft carrier and two cruisers. It also explores how despite this grim toll, the sacrifice was worth it.

The specially commissioned illustrations in this work cover the progress of the convoy step by step, the submarine and surface naval actions during Pedestals voyage, the Stuka attack on the carrier Indomitable and the air attacks against the convoy, and the broader strategic situation in the Western Mediterranean.

 

The Winter Campaign in Italy 1943: Orsogna, San Pietro and Ortona

By Pier Paolo Battistelli

A gripping tale of three crucial battles fought at the end of 1943 as the combined American, British, Canadian, New Zealand and other Allied forces approached the Gustav Line in Italy: Ortona, Orsogna, and Mignano/San Pietro.

After repulsing the German counter-attack at Salerno in September 1943, the US Fifth Army and British Eighth Army advanced up the Italian Peninsula. By October, the Allied armies had reached the Volturno Line, forcing a critical decision in German strategy: a prolonged defence would be conducted in southern Italy, contesting the Allied advance using the complex terrain features. By mid-November, the two Allied armies were approaching the German defensive lines along the Garigliano and the Sangro rivers. Here, US 5th Army would attack through the Mignano gap towards San Pietro Infine, while British Eighth Army would seize Ortona on the Adriatic coast and Orsogna. A brutal struggle ensued, with the German defenders attempting to hold their positions. The fighting at Ortona in particular (labelled a 'mini Stalingrad') would be particularly grueling for the Canadian forces involved.

This fascinating work focuses on several little-known battles fought in Italy following the German withdrawal from the Salerno bridgehead and from Taranto, providing a summary overview of the operations that helps the reader understand the development of this complex campaign, and explores how the three decisive battles fought at the end of 1943 shaped the future battle for Monte Cassino. The specially commissioned artworks illustrate the wide array of forces involved, including American, German, Canadian, New Zealand and British troops, and superbly detailed maps and 3D diagrams guide the reader step-by-step through the advance on both sides of the Italian Peninsula and the progress of the three key battles.

 

Cape Matapan 1941: Cunningham’s Mediterranean Triumph

By Angus Konstam 

The first ever illustrated study of the largest and most significant clash between the Royal Navy and the Italian Regia Marina.

The Battle of Matapan witnessed the first use of decisive new technologies to bring about a stunning British victory over the Italian Navy. The Allies had tapped into the Ultra coded messages sent by the Axis powers. Matapan also witnessed the use of carrier-based air strikes and radar to bring about a critical night action, and the most decisive engagement of the Mediterranean naval war.

Containing a mixture of illustrations exploring the cruiser clashes, Fleet Air Arm attacks on the Italian fleet, and detailed coverage of the 28-29 March night action, among many other aspects, this book brings to life the Battle of Matapan in unrivalled visual detail. Written by one of the world's leading naval authors with an intimate subject knowledge of the events, it follows the action from the initial Operation Gaudo (a sweep by Italy’s powerful battle fleet as far east as Crete, aimed at disrupting Allied convoys) to the climactic battle itself. It also examines why, despite the emphatic and decisive Royal Navy victory, the Allies failed to capitalize on the strategic advantage earned in the months that followed.

 

Post Comments

PAUL W posted on 26 Aug 2022 19:05:59
Highlights for me are The Cimbrian War and Op Pedastal. I do agree it is very ww2 heavy but may this have something to do with the "regular" authors Osprey seem to have on board. Hopefully there are some other authors who can cover titles pre 1939.
Molly @ Osprey posted on 28 Jul 2022 17:28:11
Hello everyone,
Thank you for your feedback. I'll pass your thoughts over to the editors.
With best wishes,
Molly
(Marketing Assistant)
KenA posted on 20 Jul 2022 10:09:33
Hi AdamC

Question re. Gettysburg referred to last line of your first post. Maybe a typo there.

Malta CAM title does indeed include Pedestal along with a lot of other stuff that had a bearing on the Battle of Malta. It would be a bit much to expect more than the briefest summary of Pedestal in the Malta title. I would expect what coverage there is of Pedestal to examine the affect that it had on the Maltese people and the battle for the island. This would still leave the full story of Pedestal to be covered in a separate CAM.

Cheers
AdamC posted on 20 Jul 2022 09:02:51
Hi KenA

I'd say Gettysburg was in the American Civil War obvs. Why do you ask?

Also Pedestal is covered in the upcoming Malta CAM title. It's listed in the contents.

Cheers
David Hale posted on 19 Jul 2022 22:13:06
There are some fantastic titles in there, pretty everything except the ACW title will end up on my shelves. I will agree with the other comments as it would be good to have a greater spread of eras. I’ve just finished reading David Smiths “East Africa Campaign 1914-18” which was fabulous. More of that next year please!
Gavin Brown posted on 19 Jul 2022 20:57:09
Too WW2 focused. But even sticking with that, this is the first time in a while I think there's been no Eastern Front titles. Also very focused on naval operations. Still, good to see there will be TWO books on the Italian campaign.
Tarawa90 posted on 19 Jul 2022 18:36:51
While the subjects themselves are fine, I'm going to join the chorus here. The lack of variety this year is shocking! We can only hope that the deluge of WW2 titles will finance a good spread of books next year. My hopes for a Mexican War CAM are dashed once again...
Aetius453 posted on 19 Jul 2022 18:04:24
I agree with Ken/EDave/AdamC, too many WWII titles. All of them are interesting and I will put them on my purchasing list, but diversity is the life blood of any historical endeavor. I understand that Osprey is a publishing company and needs to show a profit, but there are many people, including myself, who are interested in other periods of history. PLEASE, what about campaigns centered around the Mongols, i.e., Leignica or Ain Jalut or the campaign culminating in the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, which would make for a fascinating book? And others have brought up the lack of titles focusing on Chinese/Persian/Southeast Asian campaigns. I strongly believe that if you make the effort to show historical love to these eras, you will garner a larger audience which will strengthen your readership beyond military history buffs.

Ok, I'm stepping off my soap box...
KenA posted on 19 Jul 2022 15:54:08
Great that Osprey has advised the authors of the upcoming titles.

I think there are some great titles included here - both Italian campaign titles, Cape Matapan, Crete naval battles, the Reconquest of Burma.

Also pleased to see Japan’s 1942 naval Indian Ocean foray on the list. This little known operation took in more than just Ceylon and the east coast of India, but also the Andaman Islands and Christmas Island. During the raid some famous RN ships were sunk while the majority of British Eastern Fleet were at the Maldives. This is well deserving of a CAM title.

I tend to agree with AdamC about Operation Pedestal though not because I think Pedestal will be covered in the upcoming Battle for Malta book (which I don’t believe it will be). Rather, I think two books in one year on WWII Mediterranean naval conflict is enough and Pedestal could be deferred to another year, especially given that there have been other books on Pedestal published by other publishers in recent years.

Osprey’s description of author Angus Konstam is interesting. In one place they say he is “one of the world's leading naval authors” and in another that he is a “world-leading maritime historian”. I have had my differences with Angus Konstam’s work and I have aired them in the past on the Forum though not recently as Osprey seem to think he’s ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. However, I find that I’m in good company when it comes to views of Mr Konstam’s work. In Warship 2022 (published by Osprey) there is a review of one of Angus Konstam’s hardback books on a naval subject (also published by Osprey). Not only did the review point out multiple errors of fact but it (and I put this politely) questioned Konstam’s technical understanding. In essence, the review was scathing.

Errors and omissions in Angus Konstam’s books do not surprise me. I’m getting used to them now. But please Osprey, if you are going to persist with him as an author don’t sell him to potential buyers as something that he isn’t. I only buy his books because of the subject and because there is no alternative - something is better than nothing.

AdamC What war would you say Gettysburg took place in?
EDave posted on 19 Jul 2022 15:23:24
Some good titles. Definitely picking up Burma and the Early Pacific Raids.

But next year, can we PLEASE get some FIRST World War Campaign titles? I'm very interested in World War II, probably a little more so than other people, but even for me this feels excessive. It's kind of annoying we still haven't received any campaign titles for major WW1 battles like the Brusilov Offensive, Caporetto or Passchendaele.

If you're going to do more WWII titles, at least do the late war Eastern Front or especially the Chinese Front, parts of the war that haven't gotten much coverage from the Campaign series.
AdamC posted on 19 Jul 2022 11:36:54
My initial thoughts are; “Wow! That’s a lot of World War II!” Seriously 9/12???

Also, while there are some great topics here I can’t help but think that RAID would have been more appropriate - Early Pacific Raids 1942, Japan’s Indian Ocean Raid 1942, maybe even Pedestal and Corregidor (although I’m glad to see this last one hasn’t been lost completely)?

That being said there are some great titles here - The Reconquest of Burma 1944–45, The Cimbrian War 113–101 BC, The Winter Campaign in Italy 1943, Assault on the Gothic Line 1944, Cape Matapan (massive gap filled there!). Do we really need another Op Pedestal book though, coming so soon after the up coming Battle for Malta book (which covers Pedestal)?

All in all a mixed bag – some cracking titles for sure but also a few eyebrow raisers and a definite over kill on World War Two – No Medieval, no 16th-17th-18th century, no Napoleonic, no none ACW 19th century, no WWI and no Modern Warfare. That’s a bit disappointing folks.

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