This month's book vote focuses on our Campaign series, as 4 potential titles battle it out for your vote:

 CAM: New Market 1864 

 CAM: Battle of the Yalu River 1894                 

 CAM: Warsaw 1920

 CAM: Suez 1956 

New Market 1864

Part of the Valley Campaign of 1864, the battle of New Market was a Confederate victory over the invading Union forces. Its main point of interest is the involvement of the Cadet Corps of the Virginia Military Institute, who provided an infantry battalion and an artillery section who would go on to play an important role in the battle.The battle is today commemorated at VMI and the Virginia Civil War Museum and New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.

Battle of the Yalu River 1894

The Yalu River is the largest and most important battle of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), a war that saw the end of 4000 years of Imperial China. On 17 September 1794 the US and Royal Navy trained Beiyang Chinese Fleet was utterly destroyed by the Japanese fleet changing the balance of power in the region. An absolutely vital battle in Chinese history, and one that is a key topic in Chinese schools, this is a battle and war that is largely ignored or misunderstood in the dier world and this study will help to redress the balance.

Warsaw 1920

A decisive Polish victory over the Russians during the Polish–Soviet War. The battle secured the existence of an independent Poland, at least until 1939, and was viewed at the time as decisive in stopping the spread of Soviet Communism westwards. 

Suez 1956

The Israeli, French and British assault on Nasser’s Egypt following the nationalization of the Suez Canal. While many histories focus on the political aspects, this study will examine the military side of things in the usual Campaign level of detail. A major post-war military event whose ramifications extend to the present day

Make your vote by clicking here!

Now it's time to announce the results of April's book vote. April's vote looked at some prospective Men-at-Arms titles, and was a very close race between two titles. The winner with 30.79% of the vote is Roman Army Units in the Western Provinces (2) 3rd Century AD, which was a mere 0.37% ahead of Armies of the Great Northern War 1700 - 1729. See the full results below: 

MAA: Roman Army Units in the Western Provinces (2) 3rd Century AD   30.79%
MAA: Armies of the Italian Wars 1125 - 1325 23.09%
MAA: Armies of the Great Northern War 1700 - 1729 30.42%
MAA: Australian Bushrangers 1820 - 1880 15.7%


Post Comments

C-Bone posted on 11 May 2017 12:25:18
At the time, Gettysburg was seen more as a setback on the Southern side, and a missed opportunity for a decisive victory on the Northern side.
Paintybeard posted on 11 May 2017 11:42:18
Does a delay in the fall of Atlanta really make Lincoln losing the 1864 election that likely? By that time Gettysberg and Vicksberg have been won, the South is blockaded and no other nation has recognized the Confederacy. There may be plenty of fight left in the South, but economically and militarily the writing is plainly on the wall.

Lincoln wins the 1864 election by 212 electoral college votes to 21. Surely it would take more than a delay in the fall of Atlanta to reverse a landslide like that? (And it’s interesting to note that the Union army votes largely for Lincoln: They seem ready to go on with the war.)

And even if McClellan is elected, why assume that there is an immediate ceasefire? His motivation for being a candidate is his quarrel with Lincoln. I understand that McClellan was personally inclined to continue the war, and has the ceasefire plank in his election campaign foisted on him by the “copperhead” faction of his party. He might well open negotiations, but only on terms punitive to the South. (And we can all think of politicians who get elected on various promises and then start wriggling out of them as soon as they achieve office!)

In fact considering McClellan’s vain, self-important character I think it very likely he would hate to be known as the president who lost the war and would like to boast that he wins a war that Lincoln was losing.

This is all highly conjectural, and as I’ve said before, a good coverage of actual history is what I always hope to see from Osprey.
C-Bone posted on 10 May 2017 19:03:56
What Mark said!
Also, sounds like an interesting alt-history novel.
Mark Lardas posted on 9 May 2017 12:22:37
The South actually came closer to winning than most realize. Had Davis not replaced Joe Johnson with John Bell Hood Sherman's capture of Atlanta could have been delayed until very late October or early November. In that event, Sheridan's Valley Campaign would likely have been delayed, because Sheridan did not get permission to move aggressively until after Atlanta fell.

The two factors leading to Lincoln's re-election were the capture of Atlanta and the victory at Cedar Creek. Had Lincoln lost McClellan was running on a platform of recognizing Southern independence. Assuming Lincoln and his generals pushed to defeat the South militarily before March 20, it is likely the job would have been incomplete when McClellan was sworn in.

At which point, at least the Deep South would have been granted independence, to satisfy McClellan's constituency.

I suspect much of the Upper South (Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, northern Missouri and possibly northwestern Arkansas) would have remained in the United States. (There would have been new elections on secession "supervised" by the United States Army in states under Union control. Also secession was unpopular in those states even in 1860-61.) I also suspect the possibility the North would have kept the sea islands off the Carolinas for both strategic reasons and to provided a place for Blacks who served in the US Army to settle. There would not have been much the South could do about either of those, because they would have been defeated militarily and only won politically.

Somewhere in my computer files I have an outline of an Alt-History SF novel based on that scenario. It picks up in 1869 with the United Kingdom offering the United States an alliance against the CSA, because the CSA is attempting to reopen the transatlantic slave trade, and planning invasions of the Caribbean and Central America to expand slavery - with the assistance of France, which controls Mexico.

One of these days I will finish the outline and write the book.
Paintybeard posted on 8 May 2017 18:00:45
C-Bone: Once again I have to say that how far-fetched or not a Confederate victory might be is not the point: It didn't happen so it isn't a part of history.

But for the record I think the South DOES need a military victory. With its large advantage in manpower and production capacity the North can just grid the South down. The South has very few resources in war materials and is effectively blockaded by the North. If the South do not win a crushing victory (and they don't) the North will gradually starve them into submission.
C-Bone posted on 6 May 2017 04:56:39
I don't think it was all that far-fetched that the Confederacy might have won, even into 1864. They didn't need to win outright on the battlefield, they just had to make it too expensive for the Union to want to carry on. Had Atlanta not been captured in the fall of '64, Lincoln might not have been reelected. Until that point, the campaigns for that year--at least to the wider public--didn't seem to be producing results, just long casualty lists.
As for the Mexican War, I've requested--multiple times--Campaigns on Buena Vista and Scott's advance to Mexico City.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 5 May 2017 19:26:36
Osprey also did an "Essential Histories" ESS25 on the Mexican-American War(remember them?)
Hessy Field posted on 5 May 2017 10:46:38
To put in my tupenny worth of input to the ACW Campaign debate ironically one of the 19th Century wars that has been neglected in comparison has been the Mexican-American War of 1846. This is arguably a far more formative and important conflict than the War of 1812 - which has received coverage - and resulted in a war of conquest which saw Mexico lose a third of its territory and confirmed the position of the US as the pre-eminent power in the Americas - so did have a substantial impact outside the US. The only Osprey series book published directly about the war was an MAA back in the mid-seventies and is it certainly worthy of two or three Campaign titles.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 5 May 2017 07:41:45
"One war at a time"
Paintybeard posted on 5 May 2017 06:48:31
C-Bone: You are talking about counter-factuals, and while they are entertaining we should really deal with the history we actually have. (But incidentally I think it takes a truly exceptional set of circumstances for the Confederates to win.)

And the history we have shows that the American Civil War has almost no effect outside the combatants. There are storm-in-a-teacup incidents like the Trent Affair, but in the end all other powers sensibly sit back and don't interfere. Great Britain has problems with imports of cotton, but creates her own alternatives in Egypt and India. Even inside North America it is arguable if the civil war does much to slow (or speed up) her expansion "from sea to shining sea" and rapid emergence as a world power. So really, while it is a seminal point in AMERICAN history, it's impact on the rest of the world is tiny.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 4 May 2017 20:35:10
One can make a case that the ACW could have turned into a "World War" if UK and France had intervened on the Confederate side and Russia had come in on the Union side(The Crimean War was not long over).Russian ships had been in San Francisco and New York during the ACW.So it could have been important to more than just the Yanks,but anyway there are tons more 19th century campaigns that Osprey can do that AIN'T about the US,LOL.
C-Bone posted on 4 May 2017 18:44:40
Hi Paintybeard,

I don't like to toot the horn of American exceptionalism; indeed, it makes me uncomfortable. But if the Confederacy had gone their own way, would the United States have become a major world power? Sure, you might argue that there would have been an eventual reunification, but I do believe a Southern victory in the ACW would have had global consequences.
Paintybeard posted on 4 May 2017 07:41:27
First of all, apologies to you Mr Lardas and other authors I might have seemed to slight with my remark about ACW Campaigns. To be very clear I have bought most of Ospreys ACW campaigns as I am interested in the period and the conflict. They are useful and informative books.

However, it does seem to me that KenA's remark about over-saturation is justified. A gap of 13 books between titles isn't a lot, especially when compared with the rest of the coverage of 19th. Century history. We recently had the very welcome book on the First Afghan War. I think that the previous 19th. Century campaign to that was "Solferino", I believe that's a gap of nearly 100 titles. So frankly, Osprey do skew this period (and 18th. century) towards their very large American readership.

Also I'm mildly inclined to take issue with C-bone's statement that ACW is important..."and not just to us Yanks...". What impact does the conflict really have on the Europe? Or anywhere else outside North America?
Mark Lardas posted on 4 May 2017 03:15:28
I have no objection to titles other than ACW topics. (You should see what Campaign I am working on now. It isn't even set in the same hemisphere.) I have an Air Campaign coming out on Rabaul in January of next year.

However the last ACW Campaign that appeared was 295 and the next one will be 313 (I believe). Which means 18 books between ACW topics - hardly what I would call oversaturation.

KenA posted on 4 May 2017 02:25:45
I think I see why Osprey put in the New Market option - Americans just can’t get enough of the ACW. Indeed Mark, it would seem that they would be quite content to fill up the whole Shenandoah Valley, and more besides, with any sort of copy relating to the ACW.

I don’t doubt for a minute that Americans think that the ACW was one of the most important wars in history but the fact is that people from other nations don’t necessarily see it that way. There have been many other civil wars in other countries - wars that have lasted a long time and/or resulted in momentous changes - for example, Britain, Spain, Greece and Russia. Yet none of these other civil wars have received much, if any, coverage by Osprey, let alone approaching the coverage the ACW has received.

Frankly, I think it is time to get a sense of perspective here. We need to put aside any personal prejudice and take a wider view. We need to get a greater balance of coverage by Osprey titles and that is not going to be done by keeping on producing ACW titles. Sorry my American colleagues but there it is.
ChrisW posted on 4 May 2017 01:02:51
On the face of it, Suez 1956 would make a great Campaign book. Although I agree with Hessy Field that it would have been better timed if it were published last year. More importantly, there would be considerable overlap with Essential Histories #49 on the Suez Crisis, which is a good book in its own right. To be done right, a Suez 1956 Campaign book would have to give preeminence to the Israeli operations, and the section on British/French operations could improve upon the Essential Histories book by including more descriptions of the actual battles, including maps and orders of battle, and coverage of the various Egyptian police, militia and civilian resistance groups involved.
C-Bone posted on 3 May 2017 23:36:34
Go Warsaw go!
Paintybeard, I have to go with Mark on this one. The Civil War is pretty darned important, and not just to us Yanks. But I would rather see a Campaign on Stones River before New Market, and I say that as a guy living in Virginia.
Mark Lardas posted on 3 May 2017 15:53:55
I don't think you could describe Chattanooga, Sheridan's Valley Campaign, or Nashville as exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel for ACW Campaigns. Admittedly I am prejudiced, having written all three.

Still, <i>why</i> no one had previously written a Campaign on Chattanooga was a real puzzle to me. It had everything a Campaign could want - an important campaign, isolated enough to treat as a separate issue and an importance beyond the actual battle. (It was Gran't first effort as a theater commander, and the first where he went outside he Army of the Tennessee.) I was just glad no one had, because it gave me an opportunity to do it.

I did Sheridan's Valley Campaign separately from the rest of the 1864 Valley campaigns, because it was different enough to merit a separate study. I suspect New Market is intended to fill the rest of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley action.
kuvaszsleepybear posted on 3 May 2017 07:58:40
Well of course there had to be a US title which automatically goes to the bottom of my list,LOL,I really wish Osprey would go to a graded system of voting as the other 3 titles are all outstanding although "Suez" has had the Osprey treatment before.
Paintybeard posted on 3 May 2017 07:16:28
Osprey seem to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel a bit in their determination to always churn out just one more ACW campaign title. However the other three suggested titles are excellent ideas and as other forum members have said, it isn't easy to choose between them. In the end I have voted for Warsaw 1920 and hope that Mr. Buttar might be persuaded to be the author.
KenA posted on 3 May 2017 02:07:40
There are times in these book votes when I don’t want to vote for any of the options given (so I don’t) and then there are other times when I think that Osprey has come up such good suggested titles that it makes voting for just one extremely difficult. This month is an example of the latter. In the finish I narrowed it down to two: Yalu River 1894 and Warsaw 1920. I’ve read Piotr Olender’s book on the “Sino-Japanese Naval War 1894-95” and Adam Zamoyski’s “Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe”. I would really like to see both suggested titles published but seeing that I can only vote for one I have opted in the end for Warsaw. What I think would be great for Warsaw would be the maps that come with Osprey Campaign titles.
Hessy Field posted on 2 May 2017 18:22:21
A good selection - although I don't know anything about the New Market battle! I voted for the Yalu - simply because there is a dearth of material in English about this and it is deserving of a wider audience particularly with the increasing importance of China in the world today. As far as Warsaw 1920 is concerned there is an excellent history written by Adam Zamoyski some 9 years ago - although an Osprey format title would be most welcome. If Suez 1956 is published - a title I felt should have made it back in 2016 for the 50th anniversary - I think it best if it comes out in two parts (like the previous titles on the 1967 and 1973 wars) - one for British/French operations and another for the Israeli operations in the Sinai. Personally, I would like to see all the above titles see the light of day.

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