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We've reached the end of the Big Reveal for another year, and whilst it may be over, we're ending with a big one! Find out what New Vanguard books are hitting the shelves in 2021 and let us know in the comments which ones you are interested in.
NVG: Allied Tanks in Normandy 1944
When Allied tanks began to roll off the landing craft on D-Day, it marked the start of one of the great periods of tank warfare in World War II. Often outgunned by the German Panzers, and fighting in the close confines of bocage country, they nevertheless managed to break out of Normandy and begin the liberation of Europe. It was a battle that was dominated by the Americans' legendary Sherman, but also saw a wide and complex range of armour committed to battle across the many armies involved, from British Churchills and special-purpose 'Funnies' to the Canadians' Ram tank.
This book explains the qualities, strengths and weakness of the major British and US tank types as well as associated Allied units in Normandy including the Canadians, Poles, and French, and how they really fought. It will discuss the organization and equipment of the units, providing thumbnail sketches of organization and doctrine as well as statistical data on the types and categories of AFVs that saw action, providing a handy and concise guide for military historians, wargamers and military modelers.
NVG: British Battleships 1890–1905
The term 'pre-dreadnought' was applied in retrospect, to describe the capital ships built during the decade and a half before the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906. At that moment these once great warships were rendered obsolete. However, until then, they were simply called 'battleships’ and were unquestionably the most powerful warships of their day. These mighty warships represented the cutting edge of naval technology.
In Britain, this period was dominated by Sir William White, the Navy's Chief Constructor. Under his guidance the mastless battleships of the 1880s gave way to an altogether more elegant type of capital ship. The period of trial and error which marked the ironclad era ushered in a more scientific style of naval architecture. As a result, these battleships were among the most powerful warships in the world during the late Victorian era, and set a benchmark for the new battle fleets produced by navies such as Japan, Russia and the United States.
This fascinating study offers a detailed and definitive guide to the design, development and legacy of the Royal Navy’s battleships at the turn of the 20th century as they paved the way for the coming of the dreadnought.
NVG: German Tanks in Normandy 1944
The German tank forces in Normandy in June–August 1944 had the advantage of fighting on the defensive side, as well as comprising of some of the most powerful and advanced tanks used by any side in the war. Yet success in tank warfare depends on many things beyond technological superiority. This book describes the types of tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns used by the Panzer units in Normandy, how they fought on the Normandy battlefield, and why they were overwhelmed by the advancing Allies. It discusses the organization and equipment of the units, providing thumbnail sketches of basic organization and doctrine as well as statistical data on the types and categories of AFVs in German service.
NVG: Italian Destroyers of World War II
The Italian Royal Navy began the Second World War with one of the largest fleets in the world. Included in this was a total of 59 fleet destroyers, with others added during the war. These were a diverse collection of ships dating back to the First World War: large destroyers built to counter ships of similar size being introduced in the French Navy (the RM's historical enemy), and medium-sized ships which constituted the bulk of the destroyer force. RM destroyers were built for high speed, not endurance since they were only expected to operate inside the Mediterranean. They were also well-armed, but lacked radar.
Apart from a small force based in Abyssinia which fought a series of battles in the Red Sea against the British, RM destroyers were usually active in the Mediterranean. Their primary mission during the war was to keep the supply lines to North Africa open. The Italians were largely successful in this objective, and destroyers were key. RM destroyers were present during every fleet action with the British Mediterranean Fleet. The intensity of these actions is shown by the fact that the RM lost 51 destroyers during the war.
NVG: Kurdish Armour Against ISIS
The emergence of the armoured force of the YPG (People’s Protection Units), later renamed the Syrian Democratic Forces is one of the major developments of the Syrian Civil War. The YPG/SDF employed a range of vehicles against ‘Daesh’ during 2014-19 and this study identifies, as far as possible which vehicles took part in major battles, such as Kobane, Manbij and Raqqa. While the YPG was frequently outgunned by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), after 2015, it was able to rely on United States air support. Nonetheless, AFVs formed a key part of the fighting units and were important in both the combat and propaganda war.
While accurate and verifiable information is a challenge in writing accounts of the Syrian Civil War, this book – authored by a veteran of the war and an international expert on the history of armoured warfare – attempts to separate the facts from the propaganda to provide a clear and insightful account of the vehicles used within the conflict.
NVG: SAS Combat Vehicles 1942–1991
The SAS, the world’s most famous special operations unit, made its name in the desert of North Africa, shooting up Axis airfields from specially modified Willys jeeps. Following the start of the El Alamein offensive in October 1942, the SAS used jeeps effectively in reconnoitring and ambushing the retreating Afrika Korps. After the conclusion of the North African campaign, the Willys underwent several small but significant changes.
Between June and October 1944, the SAS brigade operated deep inside Occupied France, harassing Germans reinforcements heading to Normandy, calling up air strikes on installations, and carrying out reconnaissance missions. Jeeps were also used in the push into Germany in the spring of 1945.
In 1952, 22SAS regiment adopted the Series 1 Land Rover - introduced in 1948 - as the successor to the Willys jeep. A decade later the Regiment updated to the Series IIA 90 Land Rover which saw service in the Oman and Aden. In the 1970s, the SAS begin using Range Rovers for covert operations while the Land Rover 110 HCPU became the SAS's new Desert Patrol Vehicle (DPV) in the 1991 Gulf War. This book describes the successful deployment of these combat vehicles in SAS operations from the Second World War to the present day and gives a rare insight into one of the most prestigious and secret forces of modern times.
NVG: Tanks at the Iron Curtain 1946–60
For 45 years, the most disputed point in the world was the dividing line between the East and West in Europe, and the use and development of tanks was key to upholding this balance of power. In this fully illustrated study, the author describes how Soviet and NATO tanks faced each other off in the early years of the Cold War, and how the generation of tanks such as the Soviet T-44/T-54 and IS-3, British Centurion, US Army M26/M46 Pershing, developed during World War II, saw extensive service after the war had ended. Initial post-war generation tanks including the Soviet T-54A, T-10 heavy tank, British late-model Centurions, Conqueror, US Army M41, M47, M48 and the French AMX-13, are analyzed alongside the most important technical trends during the era: the development of shaped-charge anti-tank projectiles, the influence of anti-tank missiles, and the introduction of chemical/nuclear protection and night fighting equipment. The volume also looks at the influence of post-war doctrine and tactics on tank technology and the influence of regional conflicts such as the 1950 Korean War, the war in Indo-China and the 1956 Mid East War on tank warfare.
NVG: Tanks of D-Day 1944
Allied success in invading Fortress Europe (the area of Continental Europe occupied by Nazi Germany) depended on getting armour onto the beaches as quickly as possible. This book explains how the Allies developed the specialist tanks they needed, their qualities, deployment and numbers, and how they performed on the two crucial days when France was invaded, firstly in Normandy and then in Provence.
The volume focuses on the specialized tanks developed for the Operation Neptune amphibious landings including the Duplex Drive amphibious Sherman tanks used on both the US and British/Canadian beaches. It also covers the specialized engineer tanks called ' Armoured Funnies' used by the British 79th Armoured Division, and addresses the popular myth that US Army refusal to employ the Armoured Funnies was the principal cause for the high casualties at Omaha Beach. There is also coverage of Operation Overlord’s 'Forgotten D-Day', the amphibious landings of Operation Dragoon. The book addresses why there were so few Panzers opposing the landings as well as detailing the extent of German tank/assault gun activity on D-Day.
NVG: US Navy Frigates of the Cold War
Although they were never the most glamorous of warships, US Navy frigates were frequently found on the frontlines of the Cold War at sea. These warships were the descendants of World War II's destroyer escorts, designed primarily to escort convoys. They specialized in anti-submarine warfare, but were intended to be numerous, tough, versatile, and well-armed enough to demonstrate US naval power around the world, performing roles that varied from intercepting drug-smugglers to defending aircraft carriers.
When the Cold War turned hot, frigates were often there. It was a US Navy frigate, Harold E. Holt, that conducted the US Navy's first hostile boarding action since 1826 during the SS Mayaguez incident. Frigates were at the forefront of operations in the Persian Gulf during the Tanker War, with the frigate USS Stark suffering a notorious Exocet attack by Iraqi warplanes, and proving the Oliver Hazard Perry-class's legendary toughness.
This book explains how the technology and design of frigates changed during the Cold War, how the classes were modified to keep up to date, and explores the many varied missions they performed during the Cold War and since.
NVG: US Navy Gunboats 1885–1945
For more than half a century, American gunboats were the ships often responsible for policing small crises and provided deterrence and fast-response capabilities around the world. Many US gunboats were built, purchased, or reassembled overseas, where they usually served out their entire careers, never coming within 7,000 miles of the national homeland which they served. Numerous gunboats were captured from the Spanish during the 1898 war, many being raised from shallow graves, refurbished, and commissioned into USN service.
The classic haunt of US gunboats was the Asiatic Station of China and the Philippines. The major operational theaters associated with the US gunboats were the pre-1898 cruises and patrols of the earliest steel gunboats, the Spanish-American War of 1898 (both the Philippines and the Caribbean), the guerilla wars of the early 20th century Philippines and Latin America, the Asiatic Fleet and Yangtze Patrol of the 1890s-1930s, and finally World War II, which largely entailed operations in China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Alaska, and on convoy routes. It was Japan’s sudden 1941-1942 'Centrifugal Offensive' that effectively spelled the beginning of the end not just of most American gunboats, but also the century-old world order in Asia that had provided US gunboats with their primary mission.
NVG: Vehicles of the Long-Range Desert Group 1940–45
The Long Range Desert Group was one of the most famous special units of World War II, operating heavily modified vehicles deep behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and support the raids of David Stirling's new Special Air Service.
When war broke out, a pre-war explorer and army officer, Ralph Bagnold, convinced Middle East Command of the need for a reconnaissance force to penetrate into Italian-held desert. Bagnold tested four types of vehicles over rocks and through soft sand to find the best one for his new unit. He selected the Chevrolet WB (30 CWT) as the signature vehicle of the Long Range Desert Group because it is 'fast, simple and easy to handle'. With left-hand steering, horizontal grill and round fenders on the rear wheels, these trucks proved themselves popular and effective. The durability of the Chevrolets was demonstrated in January 1941 with an audacious raid on the Italian fort/air strip at Murzuk, hundreds of miles behind enemy lines.
This book explains the detail of all the vehicles of the LRDG, as well as their modifications, driving techniques, and special kit for surviving behind enemy lines in one of the most hostile environments on earth.
NVG: Warships in the Spanish Civil War
In July 1936, a pro-fascist coup orchestrated by General Franco tore Spain apart and plunged the country into a bitter civil war. Like Spain itself, the Spanish Navy was torn in two: the crews and most ships remained loyal to the Republican government while most of the Navy’s officers joined Franco's rebels. Warships under repair or 'mothballed' in southern ports soon fell to the rebel advance and formed the basis of Franco’s 'Nationalist fleet' that with both Italian and German help, was able to contest the Republic's control of Spanish waters.
This New Vanguard title looks at the composition and organization of the two rival fleets, examining the capabilities of their ships and submarines, and the performance and motivation of their crews. It also takes a brief look at how both sides fared in action and, in addition, examines the warships of the Basque Auxiliary Navy - an offshoot of the Republican Fleet - and other navies who played a part in the conflict, most notably the Italian Regia Marina. The composition and capability of Spain’s Aeronática Naval (naval air force) and its Infantería de la Marina (marines) is also examined and how they contributed to the outcome of the coup.
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