The War of 1812 is etched into American memory with the burning of the Capitol and the White House by British forces, The Star-Spangled Banner, and the decisive naval battle of New Orleans. Now a respected British military historian offers an international perspective on the conflict to better gauge its significance.
In The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon, Jeremy Black provides a dramatic account of the war framed within a wider political and economic context than most American historians have previously considered. In his examination of events both diplomatic and military, Black especially focuses on the actions of the British, for whom the conflict was, he argues, a mere distraction from the Napoleonic War in Europe.
Black describes parallels and contrasts to other military operations throughout the world. He stresses the domestic and international links between politics and military conflict; in particular, he describes how American political unease about a powerful executive and strong army undermined U.S. military efforts. He also offers new insights into the war in the West, amphibious operations, the effects of the British blockade, and how the conflict fit into British global strategy.
For those who think the War of 1812 is a closed book, this volume brims with observations and insights that better situate this "American" war on the international stage.
As long as there have been wars, victors have written the prevailing histories of the world's conflicts. An army that loses -- and especially one that is destroyed or disbanded -- is often forgotten. Nevertheless, the experiences of defeated forces can provide important insights, lessons, and perspectives not always apparent to the winning side.
In Wars of Modern Babylon, Pesach Malovany provides a comprehensive and detailed history of the Iraqi military from its formation in 1921 to its collapse in 2003. Malovany analyzes Iraqi participation in the 1948, 1967, and 1973 Arab wars against Israel as well as Iraq's wars with the Kurds during the twentieth century. His primary focus, however, is the era of Saddam Hussein (1979--2003), who implemented rapid and significant military growth and fought three major wars: against Iran from 1980 to 1988, and against coalition forces led by the United States in 1991 and 2003. He examines the Iraqi military at the strategic, operative, and tactical levels; explains its forces and branches; and investigates its use of both conventional and unconventional weapons.
The first study to offer a portrait of an Arab army from its own point of view, Wars of Modern Babylon features interviews with and personal accounts from officers at various levels, as well as press accounts covering the politics and conflicts of the period. Malovany also analyzes books written by key figures in the Iraqi government and the army high command. His definitive chronicle offers English speakers new and overlooked perspectives on critical developments in twentieth-century history. The book won the Israel Yitzhak Sade Award for Military Literature in 2010.
A valentine for one of the ugliest, albeit most lethally effective, warplanes ever built--as well as for the men who flew them during the Desert Storm campaign. Drawing on interviews with over one hundred A-10 pilots who served in the Persian Gulf during the 1990-91 hostilities, Smallwood (himself an aviator and Korean War vet) offers riveting perspectives on aerial combat. Setting the stage with an informative briefing on how, in the 70's, the Air Force developed the A-10 (a.k.a. Warthog'') as a means of supporting ground troops with massive firepower, he moves into anecdotal vignettes detailing the ways in which so-called hog drivers'' and their commanders whiled away the weary hours of the calm before the storm in Saudi Arabia's inhospitable clime. At the heart of his narrative, however, are vivid accounts of how A-10s accomplished their tank-busting missions and then some once the battle was joined. Tasked, among other objectives, to take out missile launchers and artillery emplacements far behind the front lines (assignments normally reserved for jet fighters), the slow-moving, heavily armed Warthogs were credited with over half the bomb damage inflicted on Iraqi forces and installations. Employing improvisational tactics, A-10s also flew reconnaissance and assisted in rescues of coalition pilots; they even scored air-to- air kills, downing a couple of enemy choppers. Indeed, the plane's ungainly Gatling-gun platform performed so well that pilots demanded their craft be redesignated RFOA-10'' (for reconnaissance/fighter/observation/attack'').
Amid a great collection of scholarship and narrative history on the Revolutionary War and the American struggle for independence, there is a gaping hole; one that John Ferling's latest book, Whirlwind, will fill. Books chronicling the Revolution have largely ranged from multivolume tomes that appeal to scholars and the most serious general readers to microhistories that necessarily gloss over swaths of Independence-era history with only cursory treatment.Written in Ferling's engaging and narrative-driven style that made books like Independence and The Ascent of George Washington critical and commercial successes, Whirlwind is a fast-paced and scrupulously told one-volume history of this epochal time. Balancing social and political concerns of the period and perspectives of the average American revolutionary with a careful examination of the war itself, Ferling has crafted the ideal book for armchair military history buffs, a book about the causes of the American Revolution, the war that won it, and the meaning of the Revolution overall. Combining careful scholarship, arresting detail, and illustrative storytelling, Whirlwind is a unique and compelling addition to any collection of books on the American Revolution.