The Osprey Sale is running until the end of February, so it's the perfect opportunity to get great deals on a wide range of our books, e-books and games. On the blog today, we're looking at some fantastic naval books covering multiple historical periods, from the ancient to the present.
NVG 196: Warships of the Ancient World: 3000–500 BC by Adrian K. Wood
The world's first war machines were ships built two millennia before the dawn of the Classical world. Their influence on the course of history cannot be overstated. A wide variety of galleys and other types of warships were built by successive civilisations, each with their own distinctive appearance, capability and utility. In this detailed study, Adrian K. Wood looks at the earliest warships, from Egyptian vessels to the forebears of the trireme.
CAM 222: Salamis 480 BC by William Shepherd
In 480 BC, the Greek and Persian fleets met in a battle in the strait between Attica and the island of Salamis. Although outnumbered, the Greeks delivered a crushing victory that ended the Persian threat to Greece. This book draws on the findings of archaeological, technological and naval research, as well as on original historical sources to vividly recreate one of the most important naval campaigns in world history.
CAM 211: Actium 31 BC: Downfall of Antony and Cleopatra by Si Sheppard
In 32 BC, the Roman Republic descended into civil war between the forces of the Octavian in the west and the famous lovers Cleopatra and Marc Antony in the East. Acting quickly, Octavian managed to trap his foes in the Gulf of Actium. In the ensuing battle, Anthony and Cleopatra manage to escape, but their military forces and their hopes for victory in the war were crushed. Soon afterward, the lovers committed suicide, and Octavian dissolved the republic and declared himself Emperor. Actium has remained one of the most famous battles of the ancient world thanks to Shakespeare and Hollywood. This new book tells the true story of the decisive and bloody battle that would once and for all seal the fate of the Roman Republic.
Byzantine Empire: 7th – 15th Centuries
DUE 64: Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship: 7th–11th centuries by Angus Konstam
For four hundred years the Byzantine Empire's naval forces vied with the warships of the Islamic world for mastery of the Mediterranean. At the heart of this confrontation were the fighting vessels of the two powers, the Byzantine dromon and the Arabic shalandi, both oared warships. In those four centuries of warfare between two major maritime powers, both the Byzantines and the Arabs left us records of their doctrine and tactics, as well as of how their ships were built. Featuring full-colour artwork and rigorous analysis from an authority on naval warfare, this enthralling book offers a glimpse of the long-lost world of war at sea in the age of Byzantium.
MAA 502: Byzantine Naval Forces 1261–1461: The Roman Empire's Last Marines by Raffaele D’Amato
After the recapture of Constantinople, Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos was determined to bring glory back to the Byzantine Empire. To achieve this, he established an Imperial Fleet and raised new regiments of elite marine troops. This work provides a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the unit history and appearance of these men, who were at the cutting edge of the last great flourish of Byzantine naval power.
15th – 19th Centuries
NVG 62: Renaissance War Galley 1470–1590 by Angus Konstam
For most of the Renaissance period, naval warfare in the Mediterranean was dominated by the war galley, a unique naval vessel for a momentous age. This book examines the development of the war galley from its classically inspired resurrection in the 15th century until its demise in the early 17th century, providing the first ever in-depth study of this remarkable war machine.
NVG 263: Dutch Navies of the 80 Years' War 1568–1648 by Bouko de Groot
The tiny new state of the United Provinces of the Netherlands won its independence from the mighty Spanish empire by fighting and winning the Eighty Years' War, from 1568 and 1648. In this long conflict, warfare on water played a much bigger role in determining the ultimate victor. Using detailed full colour artwork, this book shows how the Dutch navies fought worldwide in their war of independence, from Brazil to Indonesia, and from the Low Countries to Angola.
NVG 161: Ships of the American Revolutionary Navy by Mark Lardas
Mark Lardas explores the origins of American warships, primarily light and medium frigates, built for the Continental Navy during the years 1776-1783. With a close look at how these ships performed in key battles, as well as the exploits of John Paul Jones - the founding father of the United States Navy - this is a complete, illustrated overview of the ships' service and development until France's entry into the war and the subsequent decline in importance of the Continental Navy.
Mapping Naval Warfare: A Visual History of Conflict At Sea by Jeremy Black
Naval operations and warfare were, and remain, a key element for mapping. Maps were vital for commanders in drawing up plans of attack, and their detail and usefulness have increased over the centuries as the science of mapping has developed.
This beautiful book examines stunning original maps from a series of key conflicts from the Spanish Armada, the American Wars of Independence, and the Napoleonic wars to twentieth-century conflicts from the First World War to Vietnam, and explains how they were represented through mapping and how the maps produced helped naval commanders to plan their strategy.
DUE 40: CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge: Cherbourg 1864 by Mark Lardas
The most successful commerce raider of the Civil War, the CSS Alabama almost single-handedly drove United States merchant shipping from the seas. Her illustrious career saw the capture of 60 merchant ships and two duels with ships of the US Navy. This book gives the complete story of the development of the Confederacy's commerce raiding force and the ships the Union set against them.
After the American Civil War, the US Navy had been allowed to decay into complete insignificance, yet the commissioning of the modern Brazilian battleship Riachuelo and poor performance against the contemporary Spanish fleet, forced the US out of its isolationist posture towards battleships.
This fully illustrated study examines the first six US battleships, a story of political compromises, clean sheet designs, operational experience, and experimental improvements. These ships directly inspired the creation of an embryonic American military-industrial complex, enabled a permanent outward-looking shift in American foreign policy and laid the foundations of the modern US Navy.
DUE 92: Chinese Battleship vs Japanese Cruiser: Yalu River 1894 by Benjamin Lai
The 1894-95 war between China and Japan, known in the West as the First Sino-Japanese War, lasted only nine months, but its impact resonates today.
The Chinese Beiyang (Northern) Fleet was led by her flagship, Dingyuan, and her sister ship, Zhenyuan, which were the biggest in Asia; German-built armoured turret ships, they were armed with four 12in guns and two 6in guns, plus six smaller guns and three torpedo tubes. For their part the Japanese fleet, including the Matsushima and her sister ships Itsukushima and Hashidate, were each armed with a single 12.6in Canet gun and 11 or 12 4.7in guns, plus smaller guns and four torpedo tubes. The scene was set for a bloody confrontation that would stun the world and transform the relationship between China and Japan.
Fully illustrated with stunning artwork, this is the engrossing story of the Yalu River campaign, where Chinese and Japanese ironclads fought for control of Korea
World War I
NVG 238: World War I Seaplane and Aircraft Carriers by Mark Lardas
In 1910 the first aircraft was successfully launched from a small wooden platform on a stationary ship. Just four years later, seaplane-carrying warships were being used to launch the first naval air raids, and by 1918 the first aircraft carrier to feature a full-length flight deck was in service. High quality artwork and historical photographs help author Mark Lardas tell the fascinating story of the pioneering years of naval aviation, covering such historic clashes as the Japanese siege of Tsingtao, the British raid against German Zeppelin bases at Cuxhaven and the Battle of Jutland, which saw the first airplane take part in a naval battle. Through detailed analysis he explores their development from hastily adapted merchant ships to the launch of HMS Argus, the first aircraft carrier to have a full-length flight deck, and shows how they paved the way for the aircraft carriers of the future.
NVG 228: German Commerce Raiders 1914–18 by Ryan K. Noppen
This is the story of Germany's commerce raiders of World War I, the surface ships that were supposed to starve the British Isles of the vast cargoes of vital resources being shipped from the furthest reaches of the Empire. To that end pre-war German naval strategists allocated a number of cruisers and armed, fast ocean liners, as well as a complex and globe-spanning supply network to support them - known as the Etappe network. This book, drawing on technical illustrations and the author's exhaustive research, explains the often overlooked role that the commerce raiders played in World War I. Whilst exploring the design and development of the ships, it also describes their operational history, how they tied up a disproportionate amount of the British fleet on lengthy pursuits, and how certain raiders such as the SMS Emden were able to wreak havoc across the oceans.
The rival battlecruisers first clashed in January 1915 at Dogger Bank in the North Sea and although the battle was a British tactical victory with neither side losing any of its battlecruisers, the differences in the designs of the British and German ships were already apparent. The two sides responded very differently to this first clash; while the Germans improved their ammunition-handling procedures to lessen the risk of disabling explosions, the British drew the opposite lesson and stockpiled ammunition in an effort to improve their rate of fire, rendering their battlecruisers more vulnerable. These differences were highlighted more starkly during the battle of Jutland in May 1916. Of the nine British battlecruisers committed, three were destroyed, all by their German counterparts. Five German battlecruisers were present, and of these, only one was sunk and the remainder damaged. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork, this is the gripping story of the clash between the rival battlecruisers of the Royal Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine at the height of World War I.
Scapa 1919: The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet by Innes McCartney
In June 1919, the German High Seas Fleet attempted to sink itself in Scapa Flow to prevent it being broken up as war prizes. Of the 74 ships present, 52 sank and 22 were prevented from doing so by circumstance and British intervention.
Marine archaeologist and historian Dr Innes McCartney reveals for the first time what became of the warships that were scuttled, examining the circumstances behind the loss of each ship and reconciling what was known at the time to what the archaeology is telling us today. This fascinating study reveals a fleet lost for nearly a century beneath the waves.
World War II
Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
The United States Navy won such overwhelming victories in 1944 that, had the navy faced a different enemy, the war would have been over at the conclusion of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
However, in the moment of victory on 25 October 1944, the US Navy found itself confronting an enemy that had been inconceivable until it appeared. The kamikaze, 'divine wind' in Japanese, was something Americans were totally unprepared for; a violation of every belief held in the West. The attacks were terrifying: regardless of the damage inflicted on an attacking airplane, there was no certainty of safety aboard the ship until that airplane was completely destroyed.
Based on first-person accounts, Tidal Wave is the story of the naval campaigns in the Pacific from the victory at Leyte Gulf to the end of the war, in which the US Navy would fight harder for survival than ever before.
Following the disastrous Java Sea campaign, the Allies stopped the Japanese advance at Coral Sea and Midway. But the Japanese still threatened to build a network of bases in the South Pacific and threatened to cut off Australia. In response, Allies made a desperate move by starting their first offensive of the Pacific War. Their first target: a new Japanese airfield in a relatively unknown place in the Solomon Islands called Guadalcanal.
Hamstrung by obsolete pre-war thinking and a bureaucratic mind-set, the US Navy had to adapt on the fly in order to compete with the mighty Imperial Japanese Navy. Starting with the amphibious assaults on Guadalcanal and Tulagi and continuing with the worst defeat in US Navy history, the campaign quickly turned into a see-saw struggle where the evenly matched foes struggled to gain the upper hand and grind out a victory. In this book, Jeffrey R. Cox tells the gripping story of the first Allied offensive of the Pacific War, as they sought to regain dominance in the Pacific.
NVG 253: British Destroyers 1939–45: Wartime-built classes by Angus Konstam