Osprey's Big Reveal: Duel

In Military History, Featured

Today the Big Reveal is looking at the Duel series, which pits some of history's most powerful machines of war against one another.

Spitfire II/V vs Bf 109F: Channel Front 1940-42

As the Battle of Britain approached its conclusion, two new versions of the famous Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109 arrived on the scene. The RAF could see that the Luftwaffe were stepping down their incursions into British airspace, and went on to the offensive. The Spitfire Mark II, and increasingly the Mark V, would fly over the picturesque English channel in fighter sweeps, or to escort vulnerable Blenheim bombers; waiting for them was the Bf 109F ‘Friedrich’. Yet despite the reversal of offensive and defensive dispositions, and despite the Luftwaffe deploying the bulk of their fighter strength to the Eastern Front in 1941, the Jagdflieger were able to inflict severe losses on their RAF counterparts.

Panzer 38(t) vs BT-7: Barbarossa 1941

The tank battles in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1941 were the largest in World War II, exceeding even the more famous Prokhorovka encounter during the Kursk campaign. Indeed, they were the largest tank battles ever fought.
This book examines two evenly matched competitors in this conflict, the German Panzer 38(t) and the Soviet BT-7. Both were of similar size, armed with guns of comparable firepower, and had foreign roots – the Panzer 38(t) was a Czechoslovak design and the BT-7 was an evolution of the American Christie tank. With full-colour artwork and archive and present-day photography, this absorbing study assesses the strengths and limitations of these two types against the wider background of armoured doctrine in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.

USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes

The most critical naval fighting during the War of 1812 took place, not on the high seas, but on the inland lakes of North America: the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Carrying between 12 and 22 cannon, the British and American sloops-of-war were ship-rigged, brig-rigged or schooner-rigged vessels. Lakes actions often involved two ships facing each other broadside to broadside, the best example of which was the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 where HMS Detroit led a Royal Navy squadron against the USS Lawrence-led US Navy.

This lively study investigates the prolonged struggle between British and US sloops-of-war, highlighting the differences between the war on the lakes and the war on the oceans during the Age of Fighting Sail. It reveals the circumstances under which these ships were built, how they were armed, and the human story behind their construction and use in battle.

Sea Harrier FSR 1 vs Mirage III/Dagger: Falklands / Malvinas 1982

Following Argentina’s military occupation of the Falkland Islands / Malvinas, the British government launched a major naval operation to return them to British rule. Defending the RN task force against AAF attacks were two small squadrons totalling 22 SHARs. The question of air superiority over the islands was settled – in the SHAR’s favour – with two engagements against FAA Mirages and Daggers on 1 May 1982, after which FAA fighter-bombers used daring and courageous ultra-low level attacks, frequently escaping the SHAR’s limited capabilities to inflict serious damage to task force elements, destroying one destroyer, two frigates, and a landing ship. On three occasions, however, SHARs successfully intercepted inbound attackers, destroying seven Daggers prior to the them reaching RN vessels. This book will present the battle between the RN SHAR and Argentine Mirage/Dagger in a balanced and objective fashion, highlighting the attributes of both and the skills and courage of the pilots flying them.

Pershing vs Tiger: Germany 1945

During the final battles of World War II’s Western Front the legendary German Tiger I heavy tank clashed with the brand-new Pershing fielded by the United States. This book looks to examine the encounters between the Tigers of Gruppe Fuhrmann and the Pershings of the 9th Armored Division during March 1945, notably at Elsdorf in Germany. It also assesses the clashes between the sole M26A1E2 ‘Super Pershing’ deployed to Europe and Tigers during the final weeks of the conflict.

B-29 Superfortress vs Ki-44 ‘Tojo’: Pacific 1944–45

The Japanese knew that the B-29 was coming, but they had no idea how massive the B-29 production and training program was, or that the bomber would be armed with the world’s most sophisticated computer-guided remote controlled turret system. US Bomber crews were convinced they had their ‘ace in hole’, but the Japanese had an answer; the Ki-44 ‘Tojo’. The single-seat fighter interceptor boasted two deadly 40 mm cannon capable of destroying a B-29 with just one burst. Japanese pilots were fighting a desperate battle, but with the firepower at their disposal they would prove a worthy adversary for one of the most advanced bombers of World War II.

USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship: The Pacific 1942–44

In the build up to World War II both the United States and Japan believed their battleships would play a central role in battle, but after the Pacific War began in December 1941, the role of the battleship proved to be much more limited than either side expected. There would only be two battleship vs battleship actions in the Pacific in World War II, the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Surigao Strait, both of which are assessed in this book.

Will all seven find a place on your bookshelf in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below!

Post Comments

Pete @ Osprey posted on 6 Sep 2016 12:13:12
Hi AdamC,

Thanks for pointing out the missing comments - a glitch was causing only the top 10 comments to show up, with any additional comments being bumped off the list. We've fixed it now so all the comments are back as they should be!

Thanks, and apologies for the confusion,
AdamC posted on 1 Sep 2016 17:35:27
How come my post has been deleted????
OspreyRich posted on 31 Aug 2016 09:47:39
Yes it is! present! :-)
KenA posted on 31 Aug 2016 07:42:25
Aw Painty. There are times I just love typos. I got quite a chuckle out of that.
Paintybeard posted on 31 Aug 2016 07:35:11
OspreyRich: I hope that is a spelling mistake in your last sentence.
Hobbe62 posted on 30 Aug 2016 21:41:21
Thanks for the explanation about DUEL 68. Under those circumstances it is perfectly understandable with a delay. Let’s hope everything ends well and the finished book arrives soon. I have now regained some of my patience and will seriously consider ordering again.
And the point about the Falklands/Malvinas makes the title even more interesting.
OspreyRich posted on 30 Aug 2016 16:55:28
A quick update on a few of these points:
Duel 68 is delayed because of illness in the author's family and we'll do everything to get it out when we can.

Pershing vs Tiger is by Steve Zaloga. It wasn't a common event but Steve always has something interesting to say.

As to Falklands (Malvinas) we have an Argentinan co-author who will be providing invaluable insight into their forces, so we'll probably be using the UN designation Falklands(Malvinas). We've always strived to prevent an objective view of the conflicts we cover and this will reflect that.
Hobbe62 posted on 27 Aug 2016 16:58:22
The list is OK and I am even quite happy with the Falklands book, but why Mirage III again and not the Skyhawk?). On the downside is of course the complete disappearance of RAF Fighters vs Luftwaffe Bombers (DUEL68). With the recent release info update on Amazon UK, I was really expecting a 2017 release confirmation in this blog, but no - instead I have to wait another 1,5-2 years (or more?). This is especially annoying since I pre-ordered it in September 2015 (and even pre-paid it before the end of the year. In the end I will probably buy some book(s), but avoid all pre-orders and it will take a long time (even years) before I finally buy them. at the moment I am actually not in the mood to order anything. 3 months that become 6 months that become one year that might become no release at all is too much for me.
GI Gene posted on 26 Aug 2016 22:51:27
I normally do not buy Duel books, but B-29 Superfortress vs Ki-44 ‘Tojo’ sounds intriguing. I always thought the computer-guided remote controlled turret system was one of the most fascinating if not underrated innovations of the B-29. One veteran tail gunner once told me that they had to switch it off during the Korean War because it was too slow for the MiG-15s.
Tarawa90 posted on 26 Aug 2016 17:54:18
Chalk me up as another one a bit disappointed. Aside from Lawrence vs. Detroit and the B-29 book I think I'll pass on the rest (though I admit I'm not much of fan of tanks in general).
Hessy Field posted on 26 Aug 2016 16:17:12
Not one of my favourite series from Osprey - a little too much repetition and sometimes stretching the subject-matter (Pershing...) for my liking. Panzer 38(t) vs. BT7 is the only one I'm really interested in.
Paintybeard posted on 26 Aug 2016 15:35:05
Not many I shall bother with here: As other members have noted there are is hardly enough to justify a book on Pershing vs Tiger and all US and Japanese battleship encounters have been well covered in other series.

I'll be getting "Lawrence" vs "Detroit", but the others have only marginal appeal.
AdamC posted on 26 Aug 2016 12:24:56
Well that's not a bad list at all!!! I'm particulalry looking forward to Spitfire II/V vs Bf 109F: Channel Front 1940-42 and B-29 Superfortress vs Ki-44 ‘Tojo’: Pacific 1944–45 - I'm hoping for some lovely Adam Tooby artwork in both of those!!! The real star of the show and a big gap filler for me is Sea Harrier FSR 1 vs Mirage III/Dagger: Falklands 1982 (Malvinas!? Really Osprey???) - again, another opportunity to Mr Tooby shine (seriously folks, if you are Adam Tooby fans and havent yet done so then check out his book Warbirds - its fantastic!!!). The M26 Vs Tiger I title sounds a bit contrived to me. As far as I know there was only one recorded engagement between the too and as far as I know the accounts of the M26A1E2 ‘Super Pershing’ encounter is a bit foggy at best with sources variously describing its opponent as a Tiger I, King Tiger, Panther or even Panzer IV. All in all a good list though. Roll on the next one!
KenA - A fair point, where is RAF Fighters Vs Luftwaffe Bombers"???
KenA posted on 26 Aug 2016 11:25:39
Oh dear. What has happened to Duel 68: “RAF Fighters vs Luftwaffe Bombers: Battle of Britain”, which was due to come out in May 2017 after having been delayed at least two years?

I’m looking forward to Duel 67 Spitfire vs Bf 109: Channel Front finally making it into print after some delays. I’m a sucker for battleships so the USN vs IJN duel in the Pacific will, I guess, end up on my shelves.

The most interesting one here for me though is Mark Lardas’s one on the 1812 ship duel on the Great Lakes. This for me is something rather different so I think I might give it a try.
Carl(Sweden) posted on 26 Aug 2016 10:15:20
Two highlights in Pz38 vs BT7 and Ki-44 vs B-29, both "must buy" for me.
I´ll probably aquire Spitfire vs Bf109 Channel front and IJN BB vs US BB as well.
Bring on Campaign!
Daitengu posted on 26 Aug 2016 09:54:28
Pershing vs Tiger is interesting, but it was hardly a common event.
The Falklands one will also be one I get.
I've just read the JAAF vs B-29 Combat Units so i am looking forward to the Ki-44 vs B-29.

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