Osprey

Three New Books from Osprey

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Our friends at Osprey have recently released three new titles of interest to history buffs and/or wargamers. One is a fantasy book on Wizards From Merlin to Faust which is lavishly illustrated. This is part of Osprey’s “Myths and Legends” series. Wizardry has been a popular topic for several years, with the Harry Potter series of books and movies, as well as several other similar media series. Fantasy wargaming continues to enjoy a large following globally.

The other two new books are historical books. Continuing the “Combat” series, Osprey’s editors bring you Roman Soldier Versus Germanic Warrior. When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading about the Gauls, Franks, and other similar bands as they battled the Roman legions in what is now central Europe.  This book offers a concise look at the training and combat tactics of the Romans, as well as their armament and weapons. Information on the defending Germanic tribes is less precisely known, but the author gives us the best available details on their combat abilities.

The final of the new titles was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Overland Campaign, which began with two deadly battles in Northern Virginia. Wilderness and Spotsylvania 1864: Grant versus Lee in the East gives a broad overview of the strategic situation, the opposing commanders and the organization of their respective armies, the tactical fighting, and the aftermath. As usual, the maps, custom illustrations, and other graphics are up to Osprey’s usual high standards.

Here are a few photos from randomly selected pages in these three books.

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Four new titles from Osprey Publishing

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Among Osprey Publishing’s recent releases in the autumn of 2013 are these four new titles of interest not only to wargamers, but also to general military history buffs. All contain Osprey’s usual excellent custom-drawn graphics, as we have become used to seeing over the years, as well as an excellent selection of vintage and period photographs and drawings. Each paperback book is printed on high quality, coated-two-sides enamel paper using fine offset lithography printing.

The two books at the top of the photograph are both part of Osprey’s popular “Combat” series, which examine opposing warriors across a wide variety of periods and armies.

David Greentree has written an interesting account of the opponents in the Mediterranean 1942-43 theater: British Paratrooper Versus Fallschirmjager. His book details three key encounters between the airborne forces in Tunisia and Sicily. The new book contrasts their organization, training, tactics used on the battlefield, experience, and weaponry. Greentree has drawn from first-person accounts, military records, old photographs, and contemporary strategic and tactical maps to give a useful look at the opposing units. Tennessee freelance artist Johnny Shumate nicely drew the modern illustrations. Chapters include The Opposing Sides; Pont du Fahs, Depiene, and Oudna; Green Hill, Primosole Bridge, and an analysis and conclusion. He also includes a useful look at unit organizations and a selected bibliography. $18.95. ISBN:  978170969244.

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Two new Civil War books from Osprey

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The good folks at Osprey continue to pump out new books with regularity, including titles focused on the American Civil War. Clayton James Donnell is the author of a new book entitled Shenandoah Valley 1862, an excellent entry-level treatise on Stonewall Jackson’s brilliant operations in the Valley in the spring of 1862. Other than a loss to Nathan Kimball early in the campaign at Kernstown, Jackson confounded a myriad of Union commanders and eventually cleared most of the Valley for the Confederate cause. Connell gives a sweeping overview of the movements, the battles, and the strategic and tactical implications of the fighting. Augmented with Adam Hook’s usual fine illustrations and maps and an array of period photographs and illustrations, this book is a useful addition to the Osprey lineup.

Long-time author and historian Ron Field is back with his latest work for Osprey, Lincoln’s 90-day Volunteers 1861.  This is a concise account of how the states responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers for three months to put down the rebellion, a seemingly easy task at the time. Field uses period newspapers, letters, diaries, and other first-person accounts to describe the response, the numbers of men, their armament and uniforms, and their early days as soldiers. As with Donnell’s book, Adam Hook has provided original graphics with some excellent plates of the early war uniforms (often gray for many of the Union fledgling regiments, which created some confusion at Manassas/Bull Run).

Here are a few photos of selected pages from the two new books, which are great additions to the ever growing Osprey lineup.

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Two new WWII books from Osprey Publishing

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Osprey Publishing has issued two new books that may be of interest to wargamers and WWII history buffs. The first is Sicily 1943: The Debut of Allied Joint Operations, which examines the Allied attack on the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, an operation code-named “Operation Husky.”  Lavishly illustrated with Osprey’s normal high quality full color, custom paintings, this book is a sweeping overview of the initial Allied landings, the drive inward, and the patterns developed and tested in Sicily which later bore fruit in similar operations on the Italian mainland at places such as Salerno and Anzio Beach.

Written by American aerospace analyst Steven J. Zaloga with illustrations by British artist Howard Gerrard, this is a worthy addition to the line-up of Osprey’s Campaign Series (this is Volume 251 in this popular series). Several easy-to-comprehend maps spice up the text and provide a useful reference to the events being described in the text. Zaloga’s writing style is informative and interesting, and he covers the most important aspect of the Allied invasion in sufficient depth so as to give the reader a solid understanding of the basic movements, the strategy, leaders, equipment, and terrain involved with the attack and defense of Sicily. Gerrard’s slick and well composed paintings and selection of other illustrations and photographs are among the major highlights of the book. The reader will come away with a broad understanding of Operation Husky and its importance in the overall Allied strategy in the Mediterranean.

Sicily 1943 went on sale in January 2013, with a suggested price of $24.95. It is paperback, with 96 pages including the index.

The second book is a rules supplement for wargamers who use the Bolt Action rules set. Armies of the United States is more than just a book of army lists, far more. Almost every page features several full-color photographs of some excellent WWII miniatures — figures, armament, vehicles, tanks, etc. are all here. There are also several excellent dioramas and vignettes which give the gamers some interesting “eye candy” to help them with setting up their own gaming tables.

Author Massimo Torriani and a team of gamers, painters, historians, researchers, playtesters, and other support staff have collaborated in creating a book that has much wider appeal than just the folks who use the Bolt Action rules. General WWII gamers will appreciate the army lists and composition and the background information on the equipment, artillery, tanks, and vehicles. WWII buffs will find much of value in here as well.

 

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Two new ACW books from Osprey

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Our friends at Osprey Publishing have issued two new Civil War-related titles which may be of interest to the wargaming community. The first of these, Avenging Angel, another title by long-time Osprey writer Ron Field, covers the infamous 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry by abolitionist firebrand John Brown and his misguided followers. The attack culminated in the deaths of several townspeople, as well as most of the raiders (either on site or later via execution). This is  Number 36 of Osprey’s “Raid” series, and like the rest it is lavishly illustrated. In this case, the artists are Allan Gilliland, Johnny Schumate, and Mark Stacey. Their work is up to the normal high standards of Osprey publications.

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Three new wargaming titles from Osprey

Osprey has launched a new series of books in August 2012 which are self-contained wargame rules, replete with typically impressive Osprey artwork for which the company is famed, as well as well-designed scenarios and playing aids. The first two of these small books, 64 pages in length, are the works of veteran gamers Daniel Mersey and Paul Eaglestone, and are sure to provide a popular foundation for expanding the series further.

Eaglestone”s A World Aflame: Interwar Wargame Rules 1918-39 offers the gamer a chance to use a single, cohesive set of rules for those series of conflicts set between World War I and World War II. Players can wargame the bloody Irish War of Independence, the many civil wars in China, the Spanish Civil War (no special rules for Ernest Hemingway!), and other confrontations of note.

To read more about the game mechanisms, click here. To order a deeply discounted copy from amazon.com, click here.

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New Osprey Civil War book – Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863

Osprey Publishing has issued Volume 25 of their “Raid” series, this one entitled Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863. Written by former archaeologist and now full-time writer Sean McLachlan, the book covers a daring raid into Missouri by the Confederate Iron Brigade cavalry under famed leader Jo Shelby. Shelby, a devout pro-secessionist, had fought and killed Kansas “Jayhawkers” before the Civil War, and had served in some of the earliest battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. He had never forgot his passion for Missouri, however, and itched at a chance to lead a raid into the state to liberate it from Yankee rule. Governor-in-exile Thomas Reynolds and other Confederate officials were titular only, because the state had never seceded from the Union, and Federal troops maintained firm control over most of the state. Shelby hoped to change that.

In July 1863, the war news was discouraging for most Southerners — Vicksburg had surrendered; the Mississippi River was under Federal control; Robert E. Lee had lost a major battle in Pennsylvania at Gettysburg; and none of the border states had joined the Confederacy. Federals pushed deep in Arkansas and seized Little Rock. Shelby launched his raid to disrupt the oncoming Yankees. After several small engagements, Shelby managed to break through pursuing Federals and ride back into the Confederacy.

McLachlan gives a thorough overview of the strategic situation, the troops involved in the raid, some insight into Jo Shelby’s personality and previous experience, and the Northern (and Southern) reaction to the daring incursion. Lavishly illustrated, like all Osprey books, Ride Around Missouri includes an array of vintage period photographs, original maps commissioned for the book, bird’s-eye views, first-person accounts drawn from primary sources, and the usual excellent color illustrations of men, uniforms, equipment, and events.

The book is 80 pages, including the index and bibliography. It’s a useful addition to your wargaming or Civil War library. It is available at leading hobby retailers, book dealers, and on the Internet direct from Osprey or via amazon.com.

Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863

Sean McLachlan

Osprey Publishing, October 2011

ISBN 978-1-84908-429-1

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New Osprey ACW title released – Roughshod Through Dixie: Grierson’s Raid 1863

The good folks at Osprey Press have released their latest Civil War book, this one nicely outlining Benjamin Grierson‘s lengthy cavalry raid in April and early May 1863. Grierson, commanding a force of about 1,700 cavalrymen, departed Union lines in LaGrange, Tennessee, and headed south. Six hundred miles later, they arrived at Union-held Baton Rouge, to the astonishment of the troops there who had no clue such a daring raid was in progress. Along the way, the Yankees destroyed 50 to 60 miles of railroad track (at a time Confederate resources to repair them was declining).  Grierson’s raiders also burned several railroad bridges and culverts, and wrecked the telegraph system along their path. At times traveling as much as 36 hours straight without significant sleep, the weary command completed one of the most daring raids in U.S. military history after 17 days in the saddle. They triumphantly paraded through the streets of Baton Rouge to the cheers of the local garrison and pro-Union civilians.

The raid formed the background to the old John Wayne classic  film, The Horse Soldiers, which was a staple for me growing up. I loved the movie, perhaps more than any other Civil War movie of my youth. I used to recreate the raid in my sandbox using my 54mm toy soldiers.

Now, Osprey has produced a slick, colorful book that adequately describes the basics of this mounted incursion into the Cotton States. The text, written by Texan Mark Lardas, flows easily and is well written. He believes Grierson’s Raid demonstrated that by then the Confederacy was a “hollow shell,” incapable of adequately protecting its citizens or significantly impairing Union movements. Grierson forced the Rebels to reposition thousands of troops away from the front lines at Vicksburg in a futile effort to stop him. The Pittsburgh native would repeat his success a year later with another long raid, and Union armies would follow up with strikes into the Deep South that essentially ended the war in the Western Theater for all practical purposes.

Available from amazon.com and many leading military and hobby retailers, Roughshod Through Dixie should be on your summer reading list. The twelfth in Osprey’s RAID series, this book is perhaps their best effort to date. The digitally produced artwork is at their normal high standards, and the narrative is crisp and informative.

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New titles from Osprey Press

Osprey Publishing has just released three new books that might interest the wargamer, military modeler, and dioramist. They kindly sent me review copies of the new titles. Here are my quick takes on each.

Painting and Finishing Techniques: Typical of Osprey’s books for military miniature enthusiasts and wargaming hobbyists, this book offers several full color plates and illustrations, and is chock full of tips, advice, and lessons learned from some of the finest painters of military miniatures, model airplanes & tanks, vehicles, etc. It goes through set-up, tools, work spaces, painting tips, weathering, dry brushing, detailing, highlighting, shading and various other tips that are of great value to the novice painter, and even can help more experienced veteran painters and modelers. Well worth a look if you are into model military machines.

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Specialty manufacturers to organize new kind of military history event

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New York, NY— On October 19, 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the American Revolutionaries at Yorktown, VA, effectively ending the American War of Independence. To commemorate this event and celebrate America’s rich military heritage, W. Britain has teamed with Osprey Publishing and Casemate Publishing to organize the first-annual Military History Weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. It will be a two-day affair, October 17-18, at the Hospitality House in downtown Williamsburg.

“We have felt for a long time that fans of military history need an event that bridges the different segments of the hobby, notes W. Britain general manager, Richard Walker. “In the one corner you have ‘metal heads’ like me who paint and collect toy soldiers. In the other you have Ph.D. historians who chase down things like the names of General Washington’s body guard. And in between you have reenactors, wargamers, and armchair historians. There are plenty of shows that serve each of these groups separately. We hope that our event will be the kind of ‘big tent’ under which everyone can come together.”

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