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Putin’s Wars Reconsidered

It is worth remembering that Putin has no real military experience. He did the bare-bones officer reserve training at university back in the 1970s, but there is no evidence that he took it especially seriously, and as soon as he joined the KGB on graduating, he used that to get out of any further reserve commitments. Instead of a military genius, he is arguably more of a military fanboy, always happy for a photo opportunity in camouflage, in a cockpit, or on a firing range, but with little real conception of the realities of warfare.

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Machine of the Month: Tiger Tank

German military leaders faced with the challenge of the size and technical proficiency of the Red Army sought the annihilation of the enemy and thought they had the weapon to achieve this with the Tiger. Two firms produced prototypes in 1942: Porsche and Henschel. The Army General Staff realized not enough Tigers could be produced to allocate one Tiger company per panzer battalion. The decision to concentrate them into independent heavy battalions was made; dispersing Tigers in penny packets to support other panzer units was not thought to be a good idea because maintenance resources needed to be centralized.

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Medieval Indian Armies (1): Hindu, Buddhist and Jain and Medieval Indian Armies (2), Indo-Islamic Forces: 7th–Early 16th Centuries

Here are two Osprey publications which, rather unusually, sprang to mind during a wedding reception. Having written Mughul India 1504–1761 (MAA 263, 1993) before visiting the Indian subcontinent, I found myself winging my way to Kolkata in the spring of 2012. There I and my family would attend my son’s wedding reception, surrounded by more garlands of flowers than we could have imaged assembled in one location

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Extract from The Union Army 1861–65 (1)

On the eve of the beginning of the Civil War in April 1861 the total paper strength of the United States Regular Army was 16,402 officers and men, of whom 14,657 were present for duty scattered over a large continent (Eicher & Eicher 2001: 46). Within this number there were four general officers – Winfield Scott as major general, and William S. Harney, David E. Twiggs, and John E. Wool as brigadier generals – plus about 1,104 commissioned officers.

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Harrier GR 7/9 Units in Combat

I have to admit that, when I was approached to write a book about the Harrier GR7 ‘in action’, it made me face all my prejudices as an ex-Tornado pilot. Firstly, I thought that the Harrier had done very little real operational work and, secondly, I suspected that the ‘Harrier Mafia’ would be unwilling to help a non-Harrier pilot write their history.

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Gilberts and Marshals

In the post-1918 era the United States faced the prospect of a war with the Japanese Empire in the western Pacific, specifically the problem of defending the Philippine Islands. With the bulk of the US Navy located in home waters, a fleet would have to traverse the Pacific to defend the Philippines and establish naval control of the Western Pacific. This fleet required anchorages and facilities across the Pacific to enable refueling, resupplying, maintenance, and light repairs.

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