The Mammoth Book of Modern Battles (The Mammoth Book)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From the start of the 20th century to the most recent major offensives, here are fifty accounts of the battles that made the modern world, described in superb detail by historians and writers including John Keegan, Alan Clark, John Strawson, Charles Mey, John Pimlott, and John Laffin.
All the major conflicts are covered, from two world wars, through Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Chechnya, to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Among the battles featured are: the Somme, Passchendaele, Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, El Alamein, Monte Cassino, Omaha Beach, Iwa Jima, Dien Bien Phu, Ia Drang, Hamburger Hill, Desert Storm, Kabul, Baghdad, and Basra.
The Russian admiral had at least to inflict some damage on the enemy, so the squadron’s speed was adjusted so that it would enter the zone of maximum danger at daylight on 27 May 1905. A Japanese armed merchant cruiser, the Shinano Maru, made the first contact at 0330. The wireless message reached Togo in the Mikasa – “The enemy sighted in section 203, he seems to be heading for the eastern channel. ” Ninety minutes later Togo led the battleships of the First Division out of Masan, the Mikasa, Shikishima, Fuji, and Asahi, the armoured cruisers Kasuga and Nisshin.
His patching and plugging had given him two new forces, Maunoury’s Sixth Army north of Paris and Foch’s Ninth Army in the centre. A visit from the British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, had also slowed Sir John’s withdrawal and Joffre further appeased the British commander by relieving Lanrezac in favour of the dashing Franchet d’Esperey. Trusting that his right and centre armies could hold, Joffre decided to send the Sixth Army against Kluck’s right while the BEF and Fifth Army attacked north.
The Turks had themselves suffered heavily. Further reinforcements were slow in arriving, co-ordination was difficult and the situation no clearer to them than to their enemy. The front started to stabilize. Shell scrapes became trenches, outposts became firm strongpoints, the firing was incessant. But it became possible for the troops to snatch a few moments of sleep, eat and adjust to their condition. However immediately welcome this stabilization of the front may have been to Birdwood and his senior commanders after their earlier anxieties, it represented the first small step towards reproducing the stalemate of Western Front trench warfare which the Dardanelles expedition had been intended to break.
The Japanese still had two carriers left in the battle, but had lost over 100 aircraft. Zuikaku and Junyo collected the mixed assortment of aircraft and sent them off in penny packets. Kondo and Abe also increased the speed of their battleship squadrons, hoping to finish off the crippled American ships after nightfall. The cruiser Northampton was inching Hornet to safety when they were spotted at 1515 by Japanese aircraft. Northampton cut her tow, leaving the stationary carrier an easy target for the approaching torpedo planes.
Seven battleships, six cruisers, and 25 destroyers lay anchored in the harbour, their lights blazing and their defences woefully ill-prepared. Only three torpedoes found their mark, but they crippled three battleships. The Tsarevitch, Retzivan and Pallada settled on the shallow bottom, stranded without dry-dock facilities, and for a vital month the Japanese controlled the Yellow Sea and began the transfer of their armies to the mainland. When the dynamic Admiral Makarov arrived in March to take command of the dispirited Russian fleet, the squadron was roused from its somnolence and the damaged battleships were raised in coffer-dams.