This definitive guide covers the entire history of weapons, from the earliest, most primitive instruments up to remarkable advances in modern defense and warfare, including:
A complete look at weapons--from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, from spears to swords.When did hunting weapons begin to be used against humans instead of animals? What is the difference between the Plains Indian War Club and the Fijian War Club? What weapon is common to peoples in every part of the world? The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weaponry is a comprehensive guide to arms and armaments throughout history. Beginning in the Stone Age, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weaponry travels through the Bronze Age to our present day, showing the tools humans have used to defend themselves all around the globe. There's the Japanese tanto, or dagger, which has become identified with gangs known as yakuza. There's the flaming arrow used when Swiss and Austrian forces clashed in the 14th century. And there's the revolver that Samuel Colt made practical for both military and civilian use in Hartford, Connecticut. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weaponry will help readers better understand how--and why--the battles of history were fought.
When South Vietnam was abandoned by its American allies and consequently defeated by the North Vietnamese in 1975, all its military records were lost to the enemy. This has led to a paucity of factually based analyses of the war by South Vietnamese authors. In a project lasting some ten years, and financed by his own hard-earned resources, Colonel Viet has researched, documented, and analyzed the Vietnam War from the perspective of South Vietnamese armor forces, elements in which he himself played an important role as leader, teacher, and innovator. His travels to interview hundreds of people with first-hand knowledge of these matters took him back and forth across the United States (and to Canada, France and Australia) and enabled him to piece together the story as recalled by virtually every senior South Vietnamese who was involved, along with many of lesser rank but important experience, and many Americans as well.The result is a unique and invaluable work, one recounting from the early days of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam its organization and development, its combat operations, and its interaction with American advisors and then later with deployed American units.
Viet tells this story as an historian would, not glossing over the shortcomings and failures of his fellow Vietnamese soldiers (or of the Americans), but also providing definitive accounts of their successes, their innovations, their courage and determination, and the hardships experienced and survived in the course of a long, difficult, and ultimately unsuccessful struggle. In Colonel Viet's words: In order to give the truth back to history, we did not hide anything, whether it be victory or defeat. Finally, in a very touching portion of the work, Colonel Viet memorializes his fallen comrades of the armored force and commemorates the service of all the American advisors to the armored force he was able to identify.
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.
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 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.