Other books bySteven Zaloga
US Flamethrower Tanks of World War II
American experience, from D-Day to dug-in Japanese defenders, went from British Crocodile to E4-7, USMC Satan, and the many POA-CWS (Pacific Area Operation-Chemical Warfare Section) flamethrower tank variants chronicled in this book. The US Army and Marine Corps experimented with a wide range of flame-thrower tanks through World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters. This book will examine early efforts in the US, the ill-fated attempt to adopted the British Crocodile for D-Day in Normandy, the adoption of the auxiliary E4-7 in the European Theater, and the use of British Crocodile flamethrower units in the ETO. Although the US Army deployment of flame-thrower tanks in the ETO was problematic at best, flamethrowers were much more widely used in the Pacific theater and became ubiquitous by 1945, including an entire Army flamethrower tank battalion on Okinawa in 1945, the largest single use of flamethrower tanks in World War II. This will cover the initial attempts at the use of auxiliary flamethrowers by both the US Army and Marine Corps in 1943, the standardized adoption of the Satan flamethrower tank by the Marines in 1944, the development of main gun flamethrowers by the Marines and US Army based on the POA-CWS (Pacific Area Operation-Chemical Warfare Section) designs, and the myriad other types tested in combat including the powerful LVT-4 design using Navy flamethrowers at Peleliu in 1944. Due to the extensive Japanese use of fortifications in the final year of the Pacific war, Flamethrower tanks became one of the most important solutions in American tactics.
M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun
Although tanks like the Sherman and Panther captured the headlines, the Allies' M10 tank destroyer and the Germans' Sturmgeschütz (StuG) III were the unsung workhorses of the northwest European battlefields of 1944-45. While their mission was not principally fighting one another, their widespread use ensured their frequent encounters, from the Normandy bocage to the rubble-strewn streets of Aachen. The StuG III was the quintessential assault gun: a low-slung, heavily armored, turretless vehicle intended to provide direct-fire support for infantry formations. It was a jack of all trades, being used both for the traditional direct-fire role, but also increasingly for antitank defense; when its armament was improved from a short 75mm gun to the better-known long 75mm gun, it reached its pinnacle and remained largely unchanged from 1943 to 1945. It proved exceptionally valuable in Normandy as its low profile and excellent armament made it a useful infantry support weapon while at the same time it had more than adequate firepower to destroy standard Allied tanks such as the Sherman. The M10 3in Gun Motor Carriage was originally developed as a tank destroyer. It was based on the Sherman tank chassis but with less armor and a more powerful gun. By 1944, however, its 3in gun proved ineffectual against the most thickly armored German tanks such as the Panther and Tiger. As a result, by 1944, the US Army's M10 battalions were usually deployed in support of US infantry divisions to conduct direct-fire support. Essentially, the M10 became the US Army's principal assault gun in the 1944-45 ETO campaign, whether intended for this role or not. Widely deployed in roles their designers had not envisaged, these two armored fighting vehicles clashed repeatedly during the 11-month campaign that saw the Allies advance from Normandy to the heart of the Reich. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork, this is the story of their confrontation at the height of World War II.
Operation Cobra 1944
Breakout from Normandy
One of the most decisive months of World War II (1939-1945) was the 30 days between 25 July and 25 August 1944. After the success of the D-Day landings, the Allied forces found themselves bogged down in a bloody stalemate in Normandy. On 25 July General Bradley launched Operation Cobra to break the deadlock. US forces punched a hole in the German frontline and began a spectacular advance. As Patton’s Third Army poured into Brittany and raced south to the Loire, the German army was threatened with encirclement. By the end of August German forces in Normandy were utterly destroyed, and the remaining German units in central and southern France were in headlong retreat to the German frontier. In this title Steve Zaloga explains how the breakout from Normandy came about.
The Beleaguered Beachhead
In January 1944, the Allies decided to land at Anzio in order to overcome the stalemate at Cassino.This amphibious landing has become one of the most controversial campaigns of World War II (1939-1945). Questionable decisions by the Allied leadership led to three months of World War I-style trench warfare, and the entire beachhead suffered from continuous German observation and bombardment. Vividly describing each thrust and counter-thrust, this book takes us through the agonizing struggle as each side sought to retain or regain mastery. It shows how Anzio proved to be a stepping stone not only to Rome but also to the liberation of Italy.