This month we're looking at our newest series, Air Campaign, which sees its first book published in 2018, but what would you like to see added to the series? September's book vote asks you just that, so have a read of the descriptions below and make your voice heard!  

  ACM: Austria 1915-18: Italy’s air campaign from the Adriatic to Vienna 

  ACM: The Ruhr 1943: The campaign against Germany’s industrial heartland   

  ACM: Operation Strangle 1943-44: Pioneering air interdiction in Italy                            

  ACM: Japan 1945: Carrier raids against the Home Islands

  ACM: Operation Black Buck 1982: Vulcans over Port Stanley

Austria 1915-18: Italy’s air campaign from the Adriatic to Vienna

In 1915 Italy entered the war with a collection of old French-made biplanes, and in the first duel with a Austrian biplane the Italian observer had to defend his aircraft with a rifle. But despite the reluctance of some senior officers the Italian air arm developed rapidly, with airships soon flying raids against Austrian provinces south of the Alps and across the Adriatic. When the famous Caproni heavy bombers joined the Italian air corps, Italy had one of the most modern bombers flying, and eventually fielded 15 squadrons of them. In the closing months of the war the Corpo Aeronautico Militare flew over Vienna dropping propaganda leaflets. Italy ended the war filled with pride in its aviation, and in the 1920s would be one of the most forward-looking aviation powers.

The Ruhr 1943: The campaign against Germany’s industrial heartland

During World War II, the Ruhr valley’s oil plants, steelworks and weapons factories were among the most important targets for Bomber Command – but almost among the best-defended. By 1943, navigation equipment and techniques had been developed, including the Pathfinder squadrons, the bomber stream, and electronics such as Oboe, that gave night bombers a fighting chance of hitting vital targets. Although the campaign is now most famous for the Dambuster raids, this book would focus on the conventional bombers’ fierce battle to get to and hit their targets, and the Germans’ deadly efforts to defend their industrial heartland.

Operation Strangle 1943-44: Pioneering air interdiction in Italy

With air superiority achieved over Italy in 1943, but with German troops dug in and blocking the road to Rome, Allied air commanders began an innovative campaign to cut German supply routes and try to force their withdrawal. Conditions seemed ideal, with a long supply chain, and rugged terrain channelling supplies along a limited number of routes. Heavy bombers would hit targets in northern Italy, while tactical aircraft flew missions further south. This book would explain how Strangle was conceived and fought, and how although it failed to cut the supply line, it unexpectedly reduced German troops’ mobility, making the Allies’ ground offensive, Operation Diadem, much easier.

Japan 1945: Carrier raids against the Home Islands                                                                                    

By 1945 the US Navy and British Pacific Fleet were confident enough to venture carrier-borne airstrikes against Japan’s Home Islands. Although it was still heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns and the shallow water did not allow the use of torpedoes, US carrier aircraft launched a determined attack on Kure, the naval base harbouring the last major Japanese warships, while Royal Navy carriers attacked Osaka. Partly revenge for Pearl Harbor, partly to allow Soviet naval operations to go undisturbed, and partly to destroy Japan’s potential bargaining chips, the raids sank three battleships, an aircraft carrier, several other warships and hundreds of aircraft, at the cost of 102 Allied aviators’ lives.

Operation Black Buck 1982: Vulcans over Port Stanley

Until the Gulf War, the longest-range bombing missions in history were a series of improvised raids by elderly RAF Vulcans, flown over several thousand miles of the desolate South Atlantic and supported by a complex relay of Victor aerial tankers, and meant to land just one or two unguided bombs on key parts of Port Stanley airfield. With navigation aids and ECM pods scavenged from other aircraft, and hastily refitted to allow conventional bombing and aerial refuelling, the first Black Buck managed to score a single hit in the middle of the Port Stanley runway, denying it to Argentine fast jets. Six follow-up raids, equally complex, used Shrike anti-radar missiles as well as bombs in missions against Argentinean air defences.

Make your vote by clicking here!

Now it's time to reveal the results of August's New Vanguard book vote, though it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to most of you who have been keeping up-to-date with it, as The Russian Navy of the Russo-Japanese War steered its way to a clear victory with a whopping 41.33% of the vote. Second place went to Torpedo Motorboats 1915-1919: Britain’s Coastal Motor Boats and Italy’s MAS, though that was quite behind with 19.99%. Thanks to everyone who cast their vote, and don't forget to have your say in this month's Book Vote. 


NVG: Naval Shell Guns 1815-1866     12.65%
NVG: British Amphibious Assault Ships 1956-present      13.31%
NVG: Torpedo Motorboats 1915-1919 19.99%
NVG: The Russian Navy of the Russo-Japanese War 41.33%
NVG: Modern Stealth Warships 12.72%



Post Comments

Mark Lardas posted on 6 Sep 2017 12:33:45
Sorry I am late to the party. I had meant to comment back when the Air Campaign reveal was posted, but I was a bit busy. I live in the Houston area and a big white rabbit named Harvey came to visit. (No, there was no serious damage to my house - 90% of the houses in the Greater Houston Metro Area were undamaged.)

I have written both Air Campaign and Campaign titles. I like the Air Campaign structure for its purpose - describing a largely aerial campaign. I like the Campaign structure for describing land campaigns. (I almost wish there were a separate structure for naval campaigns.)

Air Campaign devotes a lot more time to the weapons systems used than does Campaign. That is because the aircraft define the campaign more than the weapons used by ground armies.

Two examples: In the Battle of Britain the capabilities of the German bombers and fighters pretty much defined the campaign. Spending a section describing the capabilities of the HE-111, ME-109 and ME-110, etc. makes a lot of sense. In the Battle of France, the Allies had better tanks than the Germans, but German armor doctrine had a greater influence than the tanks. So a section detailing the capabilities of the Somua tank and Panzer Mk-1 and Mk-2 would be words better spent on describing the doctrine and strategy.

Plus Air Campaign has a section for analysis of the campaign, something Campaign does not. Somehow describing the Siege of Rabaul without putting in an analysis of why things went the way they did seems incomplete. On the other hand, Sheridan's Shenandoah campaign really did not need a lengthy analysis.

As an author I really what the two series give me for the intended purpose. I do admit, my major concern is how many titles really fit into Air Campaign. That is something a lot of other commenters have mentioned. I think you will burn out the series too quickly doing more than four titles a year, but that issue is above my pay grade.
PAUL W posted on 6 Sep 2017 10:07:51
I disagree, whilst it's difficult to comment without seeing the serries "in the flesh", I think Mark Lardas' blog in November last year showed the different chapter headings and how the serries would differ from "normal" campaigns. Also from a business point of view the launching of a new serries would create more publicity than just another title in a ongoing serries. I voted for Austria 1915-18: Italy’s air campaign from the Adriatic to Vienna. It's doing well at the moment!
GI Gene posted on 6 Sep 2017 02:08:02
I voted for "Operation Strangle 1943-44: Pioneering air interdiction in Italy" because one of the P-47 pilots in the documentary "Thunderbolt" is from my hometown:
Paintybeard posted on 2 Sep 2017 19:38:16
I agree with Tarawa90, all these could be perfectly adequately covered in the existing Campaign format. And none of them are interesting enough to tempt me to vote this month.
Tarawa90 posted on 2 Sep 2017 01:25:57
I think this vote unfortunately demonstrates why spinning off Air campaigns as a separate series is a bad idea. After about 20 books you'll be out of decent ideas. It'll sell, but I don't think it's necessary to have air battles as a separate series.

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