An American Biography
Hardcover ISBN: 0674073010
Napalm, incendiary gel that sticks to skin and burns to the bone, came into the world on Valentine’s Day 1942 at a secret Harvard war research laboratory. On March 9, 1945, it created an inferno that killed over 87,500 people in Tokyo—more than died in the atomic explosions at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. It went on to incinerate sixty-four of Japan’s largest cities. The Bomb got the press, but napalm did the work. After World War II, the incendiary held the line against communism in Greece and Korea—Napalm Day led the 1950 counter-attack from Inchon—and fought elsewhere under many flags. Americans generally applauded, until the Vietnam War. Today, napalm lives on as a pariah: a symbol of American cruelty and the misguided use of power, according to anti-war protesters in the 1960s and popular culture from Apocalypse Now to the punk band Napalm Death and British street artist Banksy. Its use by Serbia in 1994 and by the United States in Iraq in 2003 drew condemnation. United Nations delegates judged deployment against concentrations of civilians a war crime in 1980. After thirty-one years, America joined the global consensus, in 2011. Robert Neer has written the first history of napalm, from its inaugural test on the Harvard College soccer field, to a Marine Corps plan to attack Japan with millions of bats armed with tiny napalm time bombs, to the reflections of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, a girl who knew firsthand about its power and its morality.
From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today
Paperback ISBN: 178478026x
"The story of how a chemical weapon went from the battlefield to the streets. One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of "less-lethal" police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy WallStreet, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with "Made in USA" printed on them, while Britain continues to sell tear gas to countries on its own human-rights blacklist. An engrossing century-spanning narrative, Tear Gas is the first history of this weapon, and takes us from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and witness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be"--
An Illustrated Encyclopedia 1825-2016
Hardcover ISBN: 1591146070
Completely revised and expanded since its French publication, Armoured Trains: An Illustrated Encyclopedia 1825-2016 is the first English-language edition of the authoritative work on the subject. Military forces around the world were quick to see the advantages of railways in warfare, whether for the rapid deployment of men or the movement of heavy equipment like artillery. From this realization, it was a short step to making the train a potent weapon in its own right--a mobile fort or a battleship on rails. Armed and armored, they became the first practical self-propelled war machines. As demonstrated in the American Civil War, these trains were able to make a significant contribution to battlefield success. Thereafter, almost every belligerent nation with a railway system made some use of armored rolling stock, ranging from low-intensity colonial policing to the massive employment of armored trains during the Russian Civil War. Although they were somewhat eclipsed as frontline weapons by the development of the tank and other armored fighting vehicles, armored trains retained a role as late as the civil wars in the former republic of Yugoslavia. This truly encyclopedic book covers, country by country, the range of fighting equipment that rode the rails over nearly two centuries. While this book outlines the place of armored trains in the evolution of warfare, it concentrates on details of their design through a vast array of photographs and the author's meticulous drawings.
Cruise Missile Proliferation and the Threat to International Securiity
Paperback ISBN: 1591143322
Mixing detailed analysis with policy prescription, the author explains why an epidemic of cruise missile proliferation, long forecasted by analysts, has only recently begun to occur, offering insight into this development's consequences and recommendations for adjusting policy to stifle its effects. Reprint.
Germany's East Wall in World War II
Paperback ISBN: 1472805860
The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the Eastern Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine. Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.
M103 Heavy Tank 1950-74
Paperback ISBN: 1849089817
The T43 design represented the pinnacle of U.S. Army tank engineering of the late 1940s, with its cast elliptical hull and turret, Continental AV-1790 engine, cross-drive transmission, and torsion bar suspension. A range-finder and mechanical computer directed a powerful 120mm main gun in a novel electro-hydraulic turret, among other features. The heavy tank proved fairly popular with its crews, who above all respected the powerful armament it carried. Many challenges to the crewmen were taken on with a sense of pride. Typical was the job of the second loader to hand-ram both the projectile (positioned by the first loader at the breech) and the propellant cartridge into the chamber in a single movement, all within the confines of a narrow turret. The outbreak of war in Korea brought a rush order in December 1950 which led to a complete production run of 300 vehicles, considered sufficient for Army and Marine Corps requirements. As might have been expected from the rush to production, the T43E1 failed its initial trials at Ft. Knox, mostly for erratic gun controls and poor ballistic performance of the projectiles. A modification program (of over 100 discrepancies) resulted in the standardization of the T43E1 as the 120mm gun combat tank, M103 in 1956. After 1951, the Marine Corps alone retained confidence in the heavy tank program, investing its scarce funds in the improvements necessary to bring about its fielding after a hurried production run in midst of the 'tank crisis' of the year 1950-51. Without the Marine Corps' determination to bring the M103 to operational status, it seems clear that the 300 vehicles would have languished in storage before their eventual disposal. The correctness of the Marine Corps support of the M103 tank was in no small way acknowledged by the Army's borrowing of 72 M103A1 improved USMC tanks necessary for its single heavy tank battalion in Germany. No other weapon system, before the era of antitank missiles, could guarantee the destruction of the Russian heavies, which continued their service through the late 1960s. The eventual retirement of the M103 in 1972, over 20 years after manufacture and after 14 years of operational service, demonstrated the soundness of its engineering and fulfillment of its designed role. It may have been the unwanted 'ugly duckling' of the Army, which refrained from naming the M103 alone of all its postwar tanks. For the Marine Corps, it served the purpose defined for it in 1949 until the automotive and weapons technology of the United States could produce viable alternatives.
The Identification of Firearms
From Ammunition Fired Therein With an Analysis of Legal Authorities
Paperback ISBN: 163220276x
The 1930s was a decade that provided impressive breakthroughs in the field of forensic ballistics, or firearms identification. Following the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, where ballistic expert Calvin Goddard’s testimony brought attention to the relatively new field, several forensic ballistic books were published. Among these were Burrard’s The Identification of Firearms and Forensic Ballistics and Hatcher’s Textbook of Firearms Investigations, Identification, and Evidence. Burrard introduced forensic examination to the British judicial system; Hatcher applied his considerable knowledge of firearms and ammunition to weapons’ design, manufacture, and testing. Gunthers’ The Identification of Firearms combined the approaches of these volumes into a new book that emphasized both the painstaking scientific methodology vital to firearms identification, complete with ballistics photographs, and its practical use by analyses of several legal cases where firearms identification was used. These include the infamous Sacco-Vanzetti case, the first in American legal history where forensic ballistics played a very prominent role in courtroom proceedings. The Gunther brothers utilized their respective legal and military experience to provide a comprehensive reference volume that is noteworthy for those interested in law enforcement or ballistics as well as gun enthusiasts.
Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns and Gunnery
Hardcover ISBN: 1591146046
This book does for naval anti-aircraft defense what Friedman's Naval Firepower did for surface gunnery - it makes a highly complex but historically crucial subject accessible to the layman. It traces the growing aerial threat from its inception in WWI and the response of each of the major navies down to the end of WWII, highlighting in particular the underestimated danger from dive-bombing. The work considers what effective AA fire-control required, and how well each navy's systems actually worked, analyzing the weapons, how they were placed on ships, and how this reflected the tactical concepts of naval AA defense. All important guns, directors and electronics are represented in close-up photos and drawings, and lengthy appendices detail their technical data. It is, simply, another superb contribution to naval technical history by its leading exponent.