The Rhine River represented the last natural defensive barrier for the Third Reich in the autumn of 1944. Although Hitler had been reluctant to allow the construction of tactical defence lines in France, the final defense of the Reich was another matter. As a result, construction of a Rhine defence line began in September 1944. Steven J. Zaloga examines the multiple phases of construction undertaken to strengthen the Westwall (Siegfried Line), to fortify many of the border villages, and finally to prepare for the demolition of the Rhine bridges. Using detailed maps, colour artwork, and expert analysis, this book takes a detailed look at Germany's last line of defence.
Snow and Steel will be a huge reassessment of Hitler's last great throw of the dice: 'The Battle of the Bulge', the battle for the Ardennes 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945. This is an utterly fascinating five weeks when for a time it looked like Hitler had outflanked the allied armies pushing toward the Rhine and might just throw them back to the Normandy beaches. It is also the context for the catastrophic events at Bastogne depicted so graphically in Band of Brothers. For military history fans this is one of those touchstone battles of the second world war, written by an author with a fast growing, world-wide reputation. Peter will use primary archival material and personal interviews to write a controversial, commercial, landmark book.
Scholars and military practitioners alike have long sought to understand why some country's militaries fight hard when facing defeat while others collapse. In Endurance and War, Jasen Castillo presents a new unifying theory—cohesion theory—to explain why national militaries differ in their staying power. His argument builds on insights from the literatures on group solidarity in general and military effectiveness in particular, which argue that the stronger the ties binding together individuals in a group of any kind, the higher the degree of cohesion that a group will exhibit when taking collective action, including fighting in war. Specifically, he argues that two types of ties determine the cohesion, and therefore the resilience, of a nation's armed forces during war: the degree of control a regime holds over its citizens and the amount of autonomy the armed forces possess to focus on training for warfighting. Understanding why armed forces differ in their cohesion should help U.S. military planners better assess the military capabilities of potential adversaries, like Iran and North Korea. For scholars of international politics, cohesion theory can help provide insights into how countries create military power and how they win wars.