2020 YIR


As 2020 draws to a close we are looking back at some of this year's publishing highlights, from book votes and artwork to some of the lovely reviews of our books that we've received. For the first of this three-part series, let’s cast our minds back to the beginning of the year and look at some of our favourite moments from January to April.



 Be PARA Fit

D-Day The Master Shipwright's Secrets  
Operation Eagle Claw 1980 Battle of the Atlantic 1939–41 The Battleship USS Iowa


What people said about our books

Flying Tiger Ace

'A fitting tribute to an otherwise little-known American hero [...] Highly recommended reading for anyone, but a "must have" addition to the library of military aviation history enthusiasts!' ― Col. J. Ward Boyce, Jr., USAF (Ret), Former Executive Director, American Fighter Aces Association

Sisters in Arms

'A long overdue assertion on the role of women on the battlefield. This book is going straight on my daughter's bookshelf.'  ― Dan Snow, historian, TV presenter and broadcaster

British Battle Tanks: Post-war Tanks 1946–2016

'Almost a completely new book from one of the most respected authors on post WW2 British tanks, this is the best and a fitting conclusion to this Osprey series.' ― John Ham, Tankette

Lawrence of Arabia on War

'An innovative study of Lawrence that carefully and intelligently examines his campaigns and thinking on irregular warfare, and in doing so produces an accessible and intellectually stimulating work of military history.' ― James Kitchen, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst


Awe-inspiring Artwork

It's so hard every month to pick out just three pieces of artwork from all of those publishing, so picking out the best of them was a real challenge - but we've had a go nonetheless. Which is your favourite?



Weapon 72: The Spatha by M.C. Bishop
Artwork by Peter Dennis

This piece of artwork depicts Roman troops breaking into the Parthian-held city of Dura-Europos during the Parthian Wars of Lucius Verus in the middle of the 2nd century AD. The legionaries are equipped with spathae, with both Lauriacum/Hromówka and Straubing/Nydam types in use.


Campaign 346: Yalu River 1950– 51 by Clayton K. S. Chun
Artwork by Johnny Shumate

This piece of artwork, requested by AdamC, depicts troops from Task Force Faith returning fire on Chinese troops in the hillsides on 1 December 1950. They are supported by an M19 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage, armed with two Bofors 40mm guns and a Browning .50-cal. machine gun. The M19’s twin 40mm guns’ high rate of fire was especially effective against Chinese massed infantry attacks.


Combat 47: French Soldier vs German Soldier by David Campbell
Artwork by Adam Hook

This next image, requested by KAL9000, shows a flamethrower assault at Mort-Homme from the German point of view. The assault is initiated by the Pioniere team carrying a Kleif M1915 flamethrower, the Strahlrohrführer (‘lance operator’) launching a thick jet of fire out towards the Frenchmen, engulfing a section of the trench in broad splashes of flame and billowing black smoke. At the same time scattered groups of supporting assault troops open fire with their rifles and hurl showers of Stielhandgranaten to suppress any defenders who have not been consumed by the initial inferno. Once the resistance falters, the assault troops, supported by the oncoming waves of infantry, will attack in a Schwarmlinie (‘swarm line’) and seize the position.



New Vanguard 281: Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge by Steven J. Zaloga
Artwork by Felipe Rodríguez

This last piece of artwork depicts the final Hitlerjugend assault on the Dom Bütgenbach manor farm on 21 December 1944. On that day, a few tanks from the I./SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 penetrated through the initial US infantry defenses. They reached as far as the manor farm itself, where the regiment’s headquarters was located. The HQ was defended by C Company, 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, which had 12 M36 90mm GMCs in the vicinity, a few like this one, within the farmyard. By the afternoon, the tank destroyers had repulsed the attack, knocking out several German vehicles, including this PzKpfw IV commanded by Sturmmann Heinz Müller of 5.Kompanie, SS-Pz.Rgt.12.


Best of the Blog

Our authors not only produce fascinating books for us; they also pull out the stops to create fantastic blog posts. Here are a few you may have missed at the start of this year.


British Battleships vs Italian Battleships by Mark Stille 

Climax of the Aircraft CarrierPosted by Brian Lane Herder

Japanese Armies 1868–1877 by Gabriele Esposito

Constantinople AD 717–18 by Si Sheppard



Book Vote Winners

January: Air Campaign

We started this year’s voting with an Air Campaign vote, with Lorraine 1918 winning with 24%, a close victory over Berlin Airlift 1948, which took 21% of the votes.

February: Weapon

February's Weapon vote saw a clear winner. Weapons of the Trench Raider 1914–18 raced to victory with 36% of the final vote, beating The Dreyse Rifle which achieved 18%.

March: Duel

March's aerial Duel vote resulted in a tie between Mi-24 ‘Hind’ vs FIM-92 Stinger (Afghanistan 1980-89) and Ju 87 Stuka vs T-34 (Eastern Front 1941-45), with both taking 29% each.

April: Elite

April's vote was much closer with World War I Tunnelling Tactics: The war beneath the trenches winning out with 26%, a close victory over 7th Armoured Division 1939–45, which had 24%