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Next up in the Big Reveal is our New Vanguard series, which examines the design, development, operation and history of the machinery of warfare. Check out the 2020 releases below and let us know in the comments which ones you are interested in.
NVG: American Privateers of the Revolutionary War
NVG: US Navy Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers
Faced with an increasingly formidable anti-ship cruise missile threat from the Soviet Union in the early days of the Cold War, and with the recent memory of the kamikaze threat from World War II, the USN placed a great priority on developing air defence cruise missiles and getting them to sea to protect the fleet. The first of these missiles were sizable, necessitating large ships to carry them and their sensors, which resulted in the conversion of a mix of heavy and light cruisers.
The cruisers served in the front lines of the Cold War and many saw combat service, engaging in surface actions from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf. Complementing the conventionally-powered missile cruisers was a much smaller number of expensive nuclear-powered cruisers, including the Long Beach, the USN’s largest-ever missile cruiser. Until replaced by the Ticonderoga and Burke classes of Aegis ships, the USN’s 38 missile cruisers were the most capable and important surface combatants in the fleet and served all over the globe during the Cold War.
NVG: World War II German Super-Heavy Siege Guns
NVG: Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge
NVG: Combat Vehicles of Russia's Special Forces
Traditionally, the elite Spetsnaz commandos had to make do with regular vehicles or civilian-based ‘technicals’, not least to conceal their presence (or, indeed, very existence). Now, increasingly at the forefront of Russian power projection, the Spetsnaz are acquiring more capable, versatile vehicles, such as the paratroopers’ BTR-D personnel carrier, and also experimenting with exotic, specialist new acquisitions, such as the Chaborz M-3 buggy and Yamaha Grizzly all-terrain vehicle.
NVG: American Guided Missiles of World War II
World War II was a significant period of development for American missile programs, during which time the US built pioneering examples of guided weapons systems. However, whilst the German missiles of World War II are famous around the world, their American counterparts have remained shrouded in secrecy, despite the fact that they formed the basis for the later revolutions in precision warfare.
Among the most sophisticated missiles of World War II was the US Navy’s radar-guided Bat anti-ship missile, which was on the verge of deployment in the final months of the war. The war also saw the first use of guided assault drones, including the US Army Air Force’s Aphrodite program of 1944, and the US Navy’s Project Anvil and TDR-1.
NVG: The Royal Netherlands Navy of World War II
In the late 19th and early 20th century, a combination of coastal defence for the homeland and fleet defence for the East Indies became the established naval strategy for the Royal Dutch Navy and set the template for the world wars. Battleships were too expensive to build and maintain, so after World War I, there was significant investment in submarine development and construction. A handful of modern light cruisers and a new class of destroyers were also constructed during the interwar years to serve as a small Fleet-in-Being in the East Indies and to support the actions of the navy’s submarines. This beautifully illustrated book from a leading scholar on Dutch military history provides a comprehensive guide to the Royal Netherlands Navy of the World War II period, complete with detailed cutaways and battleplates of the fleet in action.
NVG: Soviet Armoured Cars 1936–45
The armoured car has an important place in the early history of Soviet armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) – they were the most important AFV during the Russian Civil War and figured prominently in the mechanization of the Red Army that began in late 1929. The 1930s saw the development and production of a wide variety of armoured cars, which were used extensively in Soviet conflicts from then on. They saw service in the Spanish Civil War, in the 1939 Manchurian conflict with Japan, and in the occupation of the Baltic states and the invasion of Poland and Finland. Although many of its armoured cars were lost in the early months following the German invasion in June 1941, Russia continued with its armoured car development program, and the final model, the BA-64, was accepted for service in 1942 with over 9,000 built before production ended in 1946.
NVG: Soviet Cold War Attack Submarines
This book will cover nuclear-powered attack submarines built and operated by the Soviet Union in the Cold War. This includes the November class, which were the Soviet Union’s first nuclear submarines. The Alfa class were perhaps the most remarkable submarines of the Cold War: titanium-hulled, crewed with only thirty men due to considerable automation, 30% faster than any US submarines, and radically used a liquid lead-bismuth alloy in the reactor plant. The Victor class formed the backbone of the Soviet nuclear submarine fleet in the 1970s and 1980s, as hunter-killer submarines began to focus on tracking and potentially destroying NATO ballistic missile submarines. The Sierra classes were further titanium-hulled submarines and the single Mike class submarine was an experimental type containing a number of innovations. This submarine, the Komsolomets, was tragically lost at sea in 1989 due to an accidental fire, killing 42 of her crew. The Akula class were being constructed as the Cold War ended, and these boats form the mainstay of the Russian nuclear attack submarine fleet today.
NVG: French 75mm Gun
The “Soixante-quinze”, France’s legendary 75mm Modele 1897, was the first modern field gun. It pioneered several critical innovations in field artillery designs include a fast action breech and a soft recoil system. Although some of these features had been incorporated into earlier guns, the 75mm M1897 integrated them into a superior, lightweight field gun. The 75mm M1897 earned its reputation in the Great War, forming the backbone of French field artillery. It was widely exported after World War I around the globe. Due to its modernity and sound design, the 75mm remained in service well into World War II. It was used by the French, Polish, US and other armies during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The German army captured thousands of these in 1940 and used them for coastal defense. Surprisingly, many were converted into a very effective anti-tank gun, the PaK 97/38. These weapons lingered in service after World ar II, though by this time, they were largely obsolete.
NVG: US Navy Destroyer Escorts of World War II