Next up in our Big Reveal is our New Vanguard series, which examines the machinery of warfare throughout history. With twelve new books scheduled for release in 2017 it is certainly going to be a good year for NVG fans.
Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers
Built to challenge Western navies on the high seas, guided missile cruisers formed the core of the Soviet Navy during the Cold War. These increasingly complex and formidable cruisers were deployed as the front rank of their navy, and were involved in tense stand-offs against NATO warships during times of crisis. Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers covers all classes of these impressive warships, from the early Sverdlov-class conversions through the purpose-built Kynda, Kresta, Kara and Slava classes to the enormous, nuclear-powered Kirov-class, which marked the apogee of Soviet warship technology and capability, and which remain the largest non-aircraft carrier warships built since 1945.
South African Armour of the Border War 1975–89
The Border War saw the biggest armoured battles in Africa since World War II. Starting as a counter-insurgency operation by the South African Defence Force against the SWAPO guerrillas, South Africa became embroiled in the complex Angolan Civil War, where they came up against enemies well supplied with equipment and armoured vehicles from the Soviet Union. Designed for the unique conditions of the region, South Africa’s armour was distinctive and innovative, and has influenced the design of counter-insurgency armoured vehicles around the world.
Imperial Roman Warships 193–565 AD
The period of relative peace enjoyed by the Roman Empire in its first two centuries ended with the Marcomannic Wars. The following centuries saw near-constant warfare, which brought new challenges for the Roman Navy. It was now not just patrolling the Mediterranean but also fighting against invaders with real naval skill such as Genseric and his Vandals.
With research from newly discovered shipwrecks and archaeological finds as well as the rich contemporary source material, this study examines the equipment and tactics used by the navy and the battles they fought in this tumultuous period, which includes the fall of Rome and the resurgence of the Eastern Empire under Justinian the Great.
Early US Armor: Tanks 1917–40
Having used French Renault FTs and British Mark Vs during World War I, the US contributed significantly to the development of the tank between the two world wars, with their designs including the M1 Cavalry Car and the M2 Light and Medium tanks, the precursors to the Stuart and Grant tanks of World War II. Tank designers in this period faced unique challenges, and so this story of America’s early tanks is littered with intriguing failures among the successes.
British Destroyers 1939–45: Pre-war classes
The Royal Navy entered World War II with a large but eclectic fleet of destroyers. Some of these were veterans of World War I, fit only for escort duties. Most though, had been built during the inter-war period, and were regarded as both reliable and versatile. But with new, larger and better-protected destroyers being built in Germany, Italy and Japan, the Royal Navy’s fleet of pre-war destroyers faced a tough battle in World War II. Used mainly to hunt submarines, protect convoys and capital ships from air attack, and sink other destroyers, these ships served across the globe during the war.
Soviet Lend-Lease Tanks of World War II
The Red Army suffered such catastrophic losses of armour in the summer of 1941 that they begged Britain and the United States to send tanks. The first batches arrived in late 1941, just in time to take part in the defence of Moscow. The supplies of British tanks encompassed a very wide range of types including the Matilda, Churchill, and Valentine and even a few Tetrarch airborne tanks. American tanks included the M3 (Stuart) light tank and M3 (Lee) medium tank and the M4 Sherman tank, which became so common in 1944–45 that entire Soviet tank corps were equipped with the type. This New Vanguard explains how these Western tanks performed on the Eastern Front, as well as the other significant British and American armoured vehicles that were supplied to the USSR.
Imperial Japanese Navy Antisubmarine Escorts 1941-45
In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) went to war with a marginal anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. This was a lamentable state of affairs for a nation dependent upon imports to sustain its war economy. There were only a few purpose-built ASW escorts available at the start of the war and these were augmented by a handful of second-class destroyers and a dozen torpedo boats. Once the magnitude of the threat to Japan’s shipping became fully apparent in 1943, the IJN made plans for mass production of ASW escorts. These arrived in 1944, but could not stop the massacre of Japanese shipping by increasingly bold and effective American submarines.
Railway Guns of World War I
World War I was the Golden Age of the railway gun. Even though at the start of the conflict none of the armies possessed any such artillery pieces, more railway guns were used during this war than in any other conflict. Designed to break the stalemate of trench warfare, the first railway guns were simple, improvised designs made by mounting surplus coastal defence, fortress, and naval guns onto existing commercial railway carriages. As the war dragged on, railway artillery development shifted to longer-range guns that could shell targets deep behind enemy lines. This change of role brought much larger and more sophisticated guns often manufactured by mounting long-barrel naval guns onto specially-designed railway carriages.
Maginot Line Gun Turrets and French Gun Turret Development 1880-1940
The Maginot Line was one of the most advanced fortification systems in history. Built in the aftermath of World War I, and stretching along the French eastern border from Belgium to Switzerland, it was designed to prevent German troops from ever setting foot on French soil again.
The Maginot Line’s real capability lay in its advanced gun turrets. Deadly accurate, formidably protected and well organised, they caused havoc among the German units that attacked the line during their invasion of France in 1940. German officers who visited the forts after the armistice remarked at the exceptional performance of the crews and accuracy of the guns. This New Vanguard examines these, the teeth of the Maginot Line, and how France developed these advanced artillery systems – from the first rotatable Mougin turrets of the 1880s, through the invention of the retractable armoured turret, to their peak of perfection on the French frontier.
US Navy Escort Carriers 1942-45
The role played by the US Navy’s escort carriers was enormous, and yet they have largely been overlooked. Smaller and slower than the fleet carriers, it was their sheer numbers (the Casablanca-class was the most numerous class of carriers in history) that made them so effective. In the Atlantic, they provided the backbone of the Allied anti-submarine warfare efforts which finally and irrevocably turned the tide of the war against the U-boats in 1943, and in the Pacific they provided the air cover for the series of landings that led to the doorstep of Japan by 1945 – in the face of submarine, air, kamikaze, and even surface attacks.
British Destroyers 1939-45: Wartime-built classes
With the clouds of war looming, the British Admiralty commissioned the first of a series of powerful new destroyers, designed to take on her potential enemies. The formidable destroyers of the Tribal-class were followed by the first of slightly smaller ships, which carried fewer guns than the Tribals, but were armed with a greatly enlarged suite of torpedoes. The first of these, the ‘J/K/M class’ was followed by a number of wartime variants, with slight changes to their weaponry to suit different wartime roles. Effectively the British were building destroyers capable of facing a whole range of threats – enemy surface warships, aircraft and U-boats. These little warships saw action in defence of the Arctic Convoys, in the furious battles fought in the Mediterranean, and in the closing campaigns of the war in the Pacific.
M113 APC 1960-75: US, ARVN, and Australian variants in Vietnam
The M113 is the most widely used and versatile armoured vehicle in the world. First fielded in 1960 as an innovative, lightweight ‘battlefield taxi’, over 80,000 M113s would see service in 50 nations around the world, in an incredible range of roles. This New Vanguard concentrates on the early story of the M113, from its initial fielding through to the end of the Vietnam War, focusing on the history, design, and specifications of the M113 and M113A1, and the many distinctive US, South Vietnamese, and Australian variants that saw service and action in Southeast Asia. This 15-year period saw not only the introduction into service of all the important variants of the series, but also its most notable and exciting combat actions.
Plenty there for New Vanguard fans to get excited about. Let us know which titles you are most looking forward to in the comments section below!