Osprey's Big Reveal: Combat

In Military History, Featured
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In today's instalment of the Big Reveal we are charging into the thick of battle, with eight new Combat titles scheduled for release in 2017.

Panzergrenadier vs US Armored Infantryman

During World War II, the two pre-eminent mechanized infantry forces of the conflict, the German Panzergrenadier arm and the US Army’s armoured infantrymen, clashed in France and Belgium after the Normandy landings.  These engagements went on to profoundly influence the use of mechanized infantry in the post-war world.  Drawing upon a variety of sources, this book focuses on three key encounters between July and December 1944 including during Operation Cobra and the Battle of the Bulge, and examines the origins, equipment, doctrine and combat record of both forces.

New Zealand Infantryman vs German Motorcycle Soldier

In April 1941, as Churchill strove to counter the German threat to the Balkans, New Zealand troops were hastily committed to combat in the wake of the German invasion of Greece where they would face off against the German Kradschützen – motorcycle troops. Examining three major encounters in detail with the help of maps and contemporary photographs, this lively study shows how the New Zealanders used all their courage and ingenuity to counter the mobile and well-trained motorcycle forces opposing them in the mountains and plains of Greece and Crete.

Longbowman vs Crossbowman

For centuries, the crossbow had dominated the battlefields of continental Europe, with mercenaries from Genoa and Brabant in particular filling the ranks of the French army, yet on the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War they came up against a formidable foe. To master the English longbow was a labour of years, requiring far greater skill to use than the crossbow, but it was much more flexible and formidable, striking fear into French men-at-arms and cavalry.

Canadian Corps Soldier vs Royal Bavarian Soldier

In 1917 the soldiers of the Canadian Corps would prove themselves the equal of any fighting on the Western Front, while on the other side of the wire, the men of the Royal Bavarian Army won a distinguished reputation in combat. Employing the latest weapons and pioneering tactics, these two forces would clash in three notable encounters: the Canadian storming of Vimy Ridge, the back-and-forth engagement at Fresnoy and at the sodden, bloody battle of Passchendaele.
 
Boer Guerrilla vs British Mounted Soldier

Waged across an inhospitable terrain which varied from open African savannah to broken mountain country and arid semi-desert, the Anglo-Boer wars of 1880–81 and 1899–1902 pitted the British Army and its allies against the Boers’ commandos.

The nature of warfare across these campaigns was shaped by the realities of the terrain and by Boer fighting techniques. Independent and individualistic, the Boers were not professional soldiers but a civilian militia who were bound by the terms of the ‘Commando system’ to come together to protect their community against an outside threat. By contrast the British Army was a full-time professional body with an established military ethos, but its over-dependence on conventional infantry tactics led to a string of Boer victories.

Viking Warrior vs Anglo-Saxon Warrior

In the two centuries before the Norman invasion of England, Anglo-Saxon and Viking forces clashed repeatedly in bloody battles across the country. Repeated Viking victories in the 9th century led to their settlement in the north of the country, but the tide of war ebbed and flowed until the final Anglo-Saxon victory before the Norman Conquest. Using stunning artwork, this book examines in detail three battles between the two deadly foes: Ashdown in 871 which involved the future Alfred the Great; Maldon in 991 where an Anglo-Saxon army sought to prevent a renewed Viking invasion; and Stamford Bridge in 1066 which forced King Harold Godwinson to abandon his preparations to repel the expected Norman invasion to fight off Harald Hard-Counsel of Norway.

German Soldier vs Soviet Soldier

By the end of the first week of November 1942, the German Sixth Army held about 90 per cent of the city of Stalingrad. Yet the Soviets stubbornly held on to the remaining parts of the city, and German casualties were reaching catastrophic levels. In an attempt to break the deadlock, on 2 November Hitler decided to send additional German pioneer battalions to act as an urban warfare spearhead. These combat engineers were skilled in all aspects of city fighting, especially in the use of demolitions and small arms to overcome defended positions and in the destruction of armoured vehicles. Facing them were Soviet troops hardened by months of fighting experience. They had perfected the use of urban camouflage, concealed and interlocking firing positions, the application of submachine guns and grenades at close quarters, and sniper support.

Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter

In 1979 the Soviet Union moved from military ‘help’ to active intervention in its neighbour Afghanistan, with Soviet paratroopers seizing Kabul at the end of December 1979 and motor-rifle divisions crossing the border to reinforce them. Four-fifths of the Afghan National Army deserted in the first year of the war, which, compounded with the spread and intensification of the rebellion throughout the provinces – led by the Mujahideen, formidable guerrilla fighters – forced the Soviets to intensify their involvement. The Mujahideen were never a singular force, though they shared tactics and behaviours that spoke to a common cultural and military experience. They understood the value of surprise, fighting on one’s own terms and the intelligent use of terrain, behaving in a manner that was oftentimes not so different from that of their ancestors fighting the British over a century before.

Eight new releases battling it out for a place on your bookshelf. Which ones will you pick up? Let us know in the comments section below.

Post Comments

Daitengu posted on 20 Aug 2016 14:04:52
Kiwi vs Motorcycle sounds great. The Boer one I am sure certainly wont be boering. The Soviet/Mujahideen one should be interesting too. I was a bit disappointed that you didn't follow up on my suggestion for Battle of Tanga 1914: British Indian Infantryman vs Killer Bees, as I believe that would be a very popular title. Particularly for apiarists.
C-Bone posted on 19 Aug 2016 23:50:52
Good stuff! I'm especially eager to get my hands on Canadians vs. Bavarians and Boer vs. Briton, but I would like to read all of these titles.
GI Gene posted on 19 Aug 2016 16:09:54
Now its a party!
Nice balance of history here.
Half of the list for me: Panzergrenadier vs US Armored Infantryman, New Zealand Infantryman vs German Motorcycle Soldier, German Soldier vs Soviet Soldier, and Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter. Really happy with the last one there.
Carl(Sweden) posted on 19 Aug 2016 14:46:10
I´ll agree with Painty, KenA and AdamC that NZ vs Kradschützen and Boer commando vs British soldier are the most interersting of the bunch. However my hope will still be in 2018 for a book "Italian Bersaglieri vs Austalian,French or British soldier"
AdamC posted on 19 Aug 2016 12:18:44
Hi folks,
Now that's a cracking list chaps! Some really interesting topics from some corners of military history that Osprey hasn't looked at for a while! There are no bad ones there for me but I particularly like the sound of New Zealand Infantryman vs German Motorcycle Soldier, Boer Guerilla vs British Mounted Soldier, Viking Warrior vs Anglo-Saxon Warrior and Soviet Paratrooper vs Mujahideen Fighter. Great work folks, bring on the next list!
KenA posted on 19 Aug 2016 09:35:25
I’ve really been looking forward to NZ Infantryman vs German Motorcycle Soldier for a long time now so I hope it doesn’t disappoint. Aside from examining the two protagonists the book might go a little way towards redressing the gap in Osprey coverage of WWII in Greece.
Paintybeard posted on 19 Aug 2016 09:33:34
Several very interesting titles here. As always I shall keep my powder dry until the authors are revealed, but NZ Infantry vs German Motorcyclist, Boer vs British MI and Canadian vs Bavarian have very good potential.

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