Today the Big Reveal is looking at the Duel series, which pits some of history's most powerful machines of war against one another.

Spitfire II/V vs Bf 109F: Channel Front 1940-42

As the Battle of Britain approached its conclusion, two new versions of the famous Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109 arrived on the scene. The RAF could see that the Luftwaffe were stepping down their incursions into British airspace, and went on to the offensive. The Spitfire Mark II, and increasingly the Mark V, would fly over the picturesque English channel in fighter sweeps, or to escort vulnerable Blenheim bombers; waiting for them was the Bf 109F ‘Friedrich’. Yet despite the reversal of offensive and defensive dispositions, and despite the Luftwaffe deploying the bulk of their fighter strength to the Eastern Front in 1941, the Jagdflieger were able to inflict severe losses on their RAF counterparts.

Panzer 38(t) vs BT-7: Barbarossa 1941

The tank battles in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1941 were the largest in World War II, exceeding even the more famous Prokhorovka encounter during the Kursk campaign. Indeed, they were the largest tank battles ever fought.
This book examines two evenly matched competitors in this conflict, the German Panzer 38(t) and the Soviet BT-7. Both were of similar size, armed with guns of comparable firepower, and had foreign roots – the Panzer 38(t) was a Czechoslovak design and the BT-7 was an evolution of the American Christie tank. With full-colour artwork and archive and present-day photography, this absorbing study assesses the strengths and limitations of these two types against the wider background of armoured doctrine in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.

USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes

The most critical naval fighting during the War of 1812 took place, not on the high seas, but on the inland lakes of North America: the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Carrying between 12 and 22 cannon, the British and American sloops-of-war were ship-rigged, brig-rigged or schooner-rigged vessels. Lakes actions often involved two ships facing each other broadside to broadside, the best example of which was the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 where HMS Detroit led a Royal Navy squadron against the USS Lawrence-led US Navy.

This lively study investigates the prolonged struggle between British and US sloops-of-war, highlighting the differences between the war on the lakes and the war on the oceans during the Age of Fighting Sail. It reveals the circumstances under which these ships were built, how they were armed, and the human story behind their construction and use in battle.

Sea Harrier FSR 1 vs Mirage III/Dagger: Falklands / Malvinas 1982

Following Argentina’s military occupation of the Falkland Islands / Malvinas, the British government launched a major naval operation to return them to British rule. Defending the RN task force against AAF attacks were two small squadrons totalling 22 SHARs. The question of air superiority over the islands was settled – in the SHAR’s favour – with two engagements against FAA Mirages and Daggers on 1 May 1982, after which FAA fighter-bombers used daring and courageous ultra-low level attacks, frequently escaping the SHAR’s limited capabilities to inflict serious damage to task force elements, destroying one destroyer, two frigates, and a landing ship. On three occasions, however, SHARs successfully intercepted inbound attackers, destroying seven Daggers prior to the them reaching RN vessels. This book will present the battle between the RN SHAR and Argentine Mirage/Dagger in a balanced and objective fashion, highlighting the attributes of both and the skills and courage of the pilots flying them.

Pershing vs Tiger: Germany 1945

During the final battles of World War II’s Western Front the legendary German Tiger I heavy tank clashed with the brand-new Pershing fielded by the United States. This book looks to examine the encounters between the Tigers of Gruppe Fuhrmann and the Pershings of the 9th Armored Division during March 1945, notably at Elsdorf in Germany. It also assesses the clashes between the sole M26A1E2 ‘Super Pershing’ deployed to Europe and Tigers during the final weeks of the conflict.

B-29 Superfortress vs Ki-44 ‘Tojo’: Pacific 1944–45

The Japanese knew that the B-29 was coming, but they had no idea how massive the B-29 production and training program was, or that the bomber would be armed with the world’s most sophisticated computer-guided remote controlled turret system. US Bomber crews were convinced they had their ‘ace in hole’, but the Japanese had an answer; the Ki-44 ‘Tojo’. The single-seat fighter interceptor boasted two deadly 40 mm cannon capable of destroying a B-29 with just one burst. Japanese pilots were fighting a desperate battle, but with the firepower at their disposal they would prove a worthy adversary for one of the most advanced bombers of World War II.

USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship: The Pacific 1942–44

In the build up to World War II both the United States and Japan believed their battleships would play a central role in battle, but after the Pacific War began in December 1941, the role of the battleship proved to be much more limited than either side expected. There would only be two battleship vs battleship actions in the Pacific in World War II, the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Surigao Strait, both of which are assessed in this book.

Will all seven find a place on your bookshelf in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below!