2022's Big Reveal continues in today's blog post with all the upcoming titles for the first half of the year from our General Military and Aviation list, Commissioning Editor, Kate Moore, and Editorial Director, Marcus Cowper tell us what we can expect from January to June!
The first half of 2023 sees a wide range of different books published across the Generals list, from highly illustrated studies of Combat Divers, Ancient Assyrians, and the nuclear submarine fleet of the US Navy, through to sweeping monographs covering the Pacific Theatre of World War II and intimate histories of units involved in the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Highlights include Brotherhood of the Flying Coffin, publishing in March by New York Times bestselling author Scott McGaugh, which is the first full-length history of the American glider pilots who were involved in every major operation to liberate Europe, from landing ahead of the troops who stormed the beaches of Omaha to flying in vital supplies during Bastogne and bearing paratroopers across the Rhine. In May we are also publishing The Panzers of Prokhorovka by Ben Wheatley which tackles the many myths that have built up over the years around this titanic clash of German and Soviet tanks. Based on ground-breaking new research, it presents a new analysis of this infamous battle.
Let us know what you think in the comments and please see below for full descriptions of each title.
Combat Divers: An illustrated history of special forces divers
By Michael G. Welham
The full visual history of the special forces combat diver from World War II to the present day.
Combat divers are an elite within an elite. Every special forces combat diver is required to pass selection twice – first into the elite military unit and then a combat diving qualification. The combat dive units themselves are tiny and the operations highly classified. The role of a military diver is inevitably a lonely and a dangerous one, whether clearing mines or striking from the sea against enemy-held targets. Fully illustrated with rare and unusual images, Combat Divers reveals their little-known yet fascinating operations, from Dutch Special Forces combat divers covertly operating against Somali pirates to the actions of Soviet Spetsnaz divers in Swedish territorial waters during the Cold War. It also examines how the most famous units, such as the US Navy SEALs and the Royal Navy's SBS, are currently operating and adapting to threats in a multitude of theatres.
Combat Divers gives an insight into specialist kit and vehicles presently used and equipment that is being developed and trialed throughout the world. Covering a variety of kit, from dry deck shelters to mini-submarines and swimmer delivery vehicles, former Royal Marines Commando Michael G. Welham draws on his own extensive diving experience to reveal exactly how this equipment is used by special forces dive teams. As their kit and equipment constantly evolve, so does the nature of their work and even the team element. Combat Divers also details the first female combat divers and includes their own first-hand accounts about their groundbreaking roles within their respective units to create a fascinating history of these elite special forces operatives.
Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968
By Ian Gardner
A hard-hitting history of the U.S. airborne unit who made a name for themselves in the unforgiving jungles of South Vietnam.
“It was easier killing than living.” Third Battalion 506th Airborne veteran
Drawing on interviews with veterans, many of whom have never gone on the record before, Ian Gardner follows up his epic trilogy about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II with the story of the unit's reactivation at the height of the Vietnam War. This is the dramatic history of a band of brothers who served together in Vietnam and who against the odds lived up to the reputation of their World War II forefathers.
Brigadier General Salve Matheson's idea was to create an 800-strong battalion of airborne volunteers in the same legendary “Currahee” spirit that had defined the volunteers of 1942. The man he chose to lead them was John Geraci, who would mold this young brotherhood into a highly cohesive and motivated force.
In December 1967, the battalion was sent into the Central Highlands of Lam Dong Province. Geraci and his men began their Search and Destroy patrols, which coincided with the North Vietnamese build-up to the Tet Offensive and was a brutal introduction to the reality of a dirty, bloody war. Gardner reveals how it was here that the tenacious volunteers made their mark, just like their predecessors had done in Normandy, and the battalion was ultimately awarded a Valorous Unit Citation. This book shows how and why this unit was deserving of that award, recounting their daily sanguinary struggle in the face of a hostile environment and a determined enemy.
Through countless interviews and rare personal photographs, Sign Here for Sacrifice shows the action, leadership, humor and bravery displayed by these airborne warriors.
By Robert Forczyk
Robert Forczyk covers the development of armoured warfare in North Africa from the earliest Anglo-Italian engagements in 1940 to the British victory over the German Afrikakorps in Operation Crusader in 1941.
The war in the North African desert was pure mechanized warfare, and in many respects the most technologically advanced theatre of World War II. It was also the only theatre where for three years British and Commonwealth, and later US, troops were in constant contact with Axis forces.
World War II best-selling author Robert Forczyk explores the first half of the history of the campaign, from the initial Italian offensive and the arrival of Rommel’s Panzergruppe Afrika to the British Operation Crusader offensive that led to the relief of Tobruk. He examines the armoured forces, equipment, doctrine, training, logistics and operations employed by both Allied and Axis forces throughout the period, focusing especially on the brigade and regimental level of operations.
Fully illustrated throughout with photographs, profile artwork and maps, and featuring tactical-level vignettes and appendices analysing tank data, tank deliveries in-theatre and orders of battle, this book goes back to the sources to provide a new study of armoured warfare in the desert.
The Brotherhood of the Flying Coffin: The Glider Pilots of World War II
By Scott McGaugh
The first major history of the American glider pilots, the forgotten heroes of World War II, by New York Times bestselling author Scott McGaugh. A story of no guns, no engines and no second chances.
This book distills war down to individual young men climbing into defenseless gliders made of plywood, ready to trust the towing aircraft that would pull them into enemy territory by a single cable wrapped with a telephone wire. Based on their after-action reports, journals, oral histories, photos and letters home, The Brotherhood of the Flying Coffin reveals every terrifying minute of their missions.
They were all volunteers, for a specialized duty that their own government projected would have a 50 percent casualty rate. None faltered. In every major European invasion of the war they led the way. They landed their gliders ahead of the troops who stormed Omaha Beach, and sometimes miles ahead of the paratroopers bound for the far side of the Rhine River in Germany itself. From there, they had to hold their positions. They delivered medical teams, supplies and gasoline to troops surrounded in the Battle of the Bulge, ahead even of Patton's famous supply truck convoy. These all-volunteer glider pilots played a pivotal role in liberating the West from tyranny, from the day the Allies invaded Occupied Europe to the day Germany finally surrendered. Yet the story of these anonymous heroes is virtually unknown. Here their story is told in full – a story which epitomizes courage, dedication and sacrifice.
Dark Waters, Starry Skies: The Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World War II, March 1943–October 1943
By Jeffrey Cox
A fast-paced and absorbing read of the final months of the vital Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign during the Pacific War.
Thousands of miles from friendly ports, the US Navy fought to turn the tide of World War II. Jeffrey Cox turns his razor-sharp focus to these final months of the Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign. This is the central plotline running through this page-turning history beginning with the Japanese Operation I and the American ambush of Admiral Yamamoto; continuing with the Allied invasions of New Georgia, Bougainville, and the central and upper Solomons; and ending with the isolation of the Japanese base at Rabaul.
While the ambush of Yamamoto has received considerable attention in the intervening years, the remainder of this campaign, surprisingly, has not. Using first-hand accounts from both sides, this book vividly recreates all the terror and drama of these nighttime naval battles fought to secure the Allied landings. The reader can easily imagine the steely determination of Captain Arleigh Burke with his five destroyers intercepting a Japanese destroyer force at the Battle of Cape St. George, or the fear of an eighteen-year-old ensign as eight-inch naval shells wreak havoc on his cruiser.
Increasingly Allied dominance of the skies was the crucial factor in the campaign. Yet even with Japanese power in its twilight, victory was by no means assured. This book illustrates how formidable an enemy the Imperial Japanese Navy truly was and how victory here would ultimately ensure victory in the Pacific War.
21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War
By Heather Marie Stur
An authoritative military history of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom, describing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the siege and fall of Baghdad, and the nation-building mission that followed.
In 21 Days to Baghdad, historian Dr. Heather Stur describes the commitment of the division to Kuwait, the invasion of Iraq and the three weeks of violent desert conflicts on the way to Baghdad before the siege and battle for the city itself, and the “thunder runs” that saw its fall to U.S. forces. She then details the complex security mission that required the soldiers and their commanders to convince Iraqi citizens that the U.S. was there to help them, while at the same time they continued fighting Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guard, paramilitary forces, and terrorists.
This new history is based on exclusive, extensive interviews with General Buford “Buff” Blount, the U.S. Army two-star general who led the 3rd Infantry Division. His years of experience in the Middle East led him to question the recall of his division from Iraq at the end of 2003 and its replacement by a less experienced unit. President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not believe that peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance were worthwhile uses of a conventional combat force like the 3rd Infantry Division. The division had destroyed Hussein’s government. Mission accomplished, or so Bush and Rumsfeld thought.
21 Days to Baghdad illustrates the long reach of the U.S. military, the limitations of nation building in the wake of war, and the tensions between policymakers in Washington, DC, and troops on the ground over the purpose and conduct of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The Ancient Assyrians
By Mark Healy
For the greater part of the period from the end of the 10th century to the 7th century BC, the Ancient Near East was dominated by the dynamic military power of Assyria. At the zenith of its rule Assyria could lay claim to an empire that encompassed the whole of the 'Fertile Crescent'. Yet within fifty years of its maximum expansion this empire had collapsed with remarkable rapidity. This volume, written by Mark Healy, covers the history of the Assyrians from their ancient beginnings to the eventual fall of the city of Nineveh.
Elizabeth’s Navy: Seventy Years of the Post War Royal Navy
By Paul Brown
With over 250 images, this is a highly illustrated history of the ships and operations of the Royal Navy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
During the 70 years spanned by the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Navy has changed out of all recognition. Its status as a superpower navy with worldwide bases and operations has been eclipsed, but it remains a powerful force because of its potency if not its size. Maritime history author Paul Brown takes us through each decade in turn, outlining the key events and developments, and charting the changes to the size, structure and capabilities of the Navy.
Fully illustrated with over 250 colour and black and white images, this book also provides a stunning visual record of the ships and operations that featured most prominently in each decade.
Clean Sweep: VIII Fighter Command against the Luftwaffe, 1942–45
By Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Clean Sweep is a vivid narrative history, packed with first-hand accounts, of the US Eighth Air Force's VIII Fighter Command from its foundation in 1942 through to its victory in the skies over Nazi Germany.
On August 7, 1942, two events of major military importance occurred on separate sides of the planet. In the South Pacific, the United States went on the offensive, landing the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal. In England, 12 B-17 bombers of the new Eighth Air Force’s 97th Bombardment Group bombed the Rouen–Sotteville railroad marshalling yards in France. While the mission was small, the aerial struggle that began that day would ultimately cost the United States more men killed and wounded by the end of the war in Europe than the Marines would lose in the Pacific War.
Clean Sweep is the story of the creation, development and operation of the Eighth Air Force Fighter Command and the battle to establish daylight air superiority over the Luftwaffe so that the invasion of Europe could be successful.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has had a lifelong interest in the history of the fighter force that defeated the Luftwaffe over Germany. He has collected many first-hand accounts from participants over the past 50 years, getting to know pilots such as the legendary “Hub” Zemke, Don Blakeslee and Chuck Yeager, as well as meeting and interviewing leading Luftwaffe pilots Adolf Galland, Gunther Rall and Walter “Count Punski” Krupinski. This story is told through accounts gathered from both sides.
The Panzers of Prokhorovka: The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat
By Ben Wheatley
This ground-breaking new study of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka will transform our understanding of one of the most famous battles of World War II, widely mythologized as the largest tank battle in history.
Today in Russia there are three official sacred battlefields: Kulikovo, where the Mongols were defeated in 1380; Borodino, where Russian troops slowed Napoleon’s Grande Armée before Moscow in 1812; the third is Prokhorovka. This is widely described as the most critical tank battle of World War II, which saw the annihilation of Hitler’s elite Panzer force in the largest armoured clash in history and left Hitler with no alternative but to halt Germany’s offensive against the Kursk salient. Victory, on 12 July 1943, at Prokhorovka over Hitler’s vaunted SS troops has traditionally been described as a turning point in World War II.
The Panzers of Prokhorovka challenges this narrative. The battle was indeed an important Soviet victory, but a very different one to that described above. Based on ground-breaking archival research and supported by hitherto unpublished images of the battlefield, Ben Wheatley argues that German armoured losses were in fact negligible and a fresh approach is required to understand Prokhorovka. As we reach the 80th anniversary of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka in 2023, The Panzers of Prokhorovka tackles the many myths that have built up over the years, and presents a new analysis of this famous engagement.
By Thomas Anderson
Using first-hand accounts and rare and unpublished images, this highly illustrated title tells the full story of the German reconnaissance troops in World War II.
When the Wehrmacht was first formed in 1935, tactical reconnaissance was carried out by motorcycle rifle units (Kradschützen). However, with the development and large-scale introduction of wheeled armoured vehicles in the late 1930s, motorized reconnaissance battalions (Aufklärungs-Abteilungen) were introduced. Equipped with a mixture of armoured cars and motorcycles, they often operated far ahead of battlefront to survey the terrain, observe enemy positions and identify enemy forces – key information required ahead of any armoured assault. In the second half of the war, with Germany on the strategic defensive, armoured reconnaissance troops found themselves increasingly drawn into combat operations, and even holding sectors of the line. At the same time, more modern equipment was introduced with motorcycles phased out and purpose-built armoured personnel carriers (Schützenpanzerwagen) introduced.
Renowned armour expert Thomas Anderson draws on first-hand accounts and rare and previously unseen photographs in this comprehensive and fully illustrated study of the Panzer reconnaissance troops, the crucial eyes and ears of the German armoured forces of World War II.
Edited by John Jordan
The latest edition of Warship, the celebrated annual publication featuring the latest research on the history, development, and service of the world's warships.
For over 45 years, Warship has been the leading annual resource on the design, development, and deployment of the world's combat ships. Featuring a broad range of articles from a select panel of distinguished international contributors, this latest volume combines original research, new book reviews, warship notes, an image gallery, and much more, maintaining the impressive standards of scholarship and research for which Warship has become synonymous. Detailed and accurate information is the keynote of all the articles, which are fully supported by plans, data tables, and stunning photographs.
This year's Warship includes features on the secret battleship design that Mussolini's Fascist Italy sold to Stalin's USSR, the little-known German flak ships of World War II, the French aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch, and the development of electronic warfare in the Royal Navy.
Nautilus to Columbia: 70 years of the US Navy's Nuclear Submarines
By James C. Goodall
A highly illustrated history of the US Navy's nuclear submarine program, from the postwar years to the 2020 Columbia-class SSBNs.
James C. Goodall covers the origins, design and development of the US Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. This program was developed under the command of Hiram G. Rickover, the “Father of the Nuclear Navy” who oversaw the commissioning of the very first nuclear-powered attack submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) in 1952. This was a truly revolutionary design. Until the advent of nuclear power, the world’s submarine fleets traveled on the surface at night to charge their batteries, and only dove below the surface when enemy ships or planes were spotted. With the development of the USS Nautilus, the US Navy now had the ability to stay submerged for not just hours or days, but to hide out of harm’s way for weeks or months at a time
This highly illustrated book covers all of the 220+ submarine hulls built and delivered to the US Navy from the USS Nautilus through to the Navy’s newest class of submarine, the Columbia class SSBNs. The story of the Nuclear Navy from its origins up to the present day is told through more than 1,300 images from official and archive sources, as well as the author’s own personal collection, some of which have never been published before.
By Mark Stille
A fascinating re-examination of the battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval encounter in history and a defining moment in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Leyte Gulf is the largest naval battle of all time. It resulted in a decisive defeat for the Imperial Japanese Navy, which suffered its greatest ever loss of men and ships and largely ceased to exist as a surface combatant. As with all battles, especially those as complex as Leyte Gulf, mythology abounds – and the mythology surrounding this battle has only become more firmly established over time.
Pacific War expert Mark Stille examines all the aspects of this complex battle: the initial US landings; the Japanese air attacks; the engagements with the Japanese Center and Southern forces; and Admiral “Bull” Halsey’s pursuit of the Japanese Northern Force. Leyte Gulf details and analyzes the course of events from October 20 to 26, 1944, and assesses the impact of the battle on the remainder of the war as well its place in the canon of naval history.