Between 1966 and 1980, the War History Office of the National Defense College of Japan (now the Center for Military History of the National Institute for Defense Studies) published the 102-volume Senshi Sōsho (War History Series). These volumes give a detailed account of the operations of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War.
The present volume, The Operations of the Navy in the Dutch East Indies and the Bay of Bengal, volume 26 of the series, describes the Japanese Navy’s role in the campaign to gain control over the Indonesian archipelago—at that time the largest transoceanic landing operation in the military history of the world. It includes, among others, the first complete Japanese analysis of the Battle of the Java Sea, a much-debated battle that ended disastrously for the Allies and opened the way to Java for the Japanese.
One was a father who worried about his fellow soldiers' swearing. Another hoped to enter Harvard College. The third was a farmer whose letters home depict the later stages of the war. The fourth had turned to boot making when he did not inherit land. Based on the letters, diaries, and memoirs of four members of the First Company Massachusetts Sharpshooters, known as Andrew's Sharpshooters, this book provides a rare glimpse into the experiences of Union Army snipers. The company was one of the first units in American military history to be equipped with telescope-sighted rifles to enable long-distance targeting. Despite complaints that snipers violated codes of honorable combat, the members of Andrew's Sharpshooters generally expressed quiet pride in being an elite unit of highly skilled soldiers—"cool blooded sharpshooters," as one of them said.
Introduced and edited by Roberta Senechal de la Roche, these primary accounts include new details about the equipment, training, and deployment of snipers in the Army of the Potomac. They also reveal the challenges of covert warfare and include rich detail on the everyday problems of Civil War soldiers, including bad food, disease, punishing marches, and homesickness. The collected documents also convey the trials of those left on the home front.
Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story
Jack R. Siewert, with a foreword by Paul M Edwards University of Alabama Press, 2006 Library of Congress DS919.S5 2006 | Dewey Decimal 951.904242
In the second year of the Korean War, Jack Siewert commanded a platoon of five M-46 tanks. Temporarily assigned to provide fire support for an infantry battalion on the front, he eventually found himself in the midst of intense fighting for a relatively unknown and unimportant hill, code named Outpost Kelly.
Those four days of battle against Chinese forces form the heart of this memoir, which is unique in its focus on the hill fighting that dominated two thirds of the Korean War. Trained to take advantage of his tanks’ mobility, his orders—to provide direct fire support for advancing infantry—along with the mountainous terrain and the torrential monsoon rains that created shin-deep fields of impenetrable mud, forced him to abandon doctrine and improvise.
At the height of the fighting, Siewert was able to bring to bear the guns from only one of his five tanks against the enemy. Nevertheless, his platoon played a key role in allowing members of the 15th Infantry to retake Outpost Kelly, and he offers an excellent analysis of how theory and experience come together in a point-of-the-spear military situation.
Siewert's platoon played a key role in allowing members of the 15th Infantry to retake Outpost Kelly, and he offers an excellent analysis of how theory and experience come together in a point-of-the-spear military situation. Outpost Kelly also paints a fascinating picture of the type of fighting, often overlooked, that characterized the second and third years of the Korean War. With truce talks proceeding in Panmunjom, both sides fought to claim incremental pieces of real estate along the demarcation line between North and South.
In the grand scheme of the war, the battle for Outpost Kelly might not ahce meant much. But for 3rd Infantry Division, and the men, like Jack Siewert, who fought there, it was the entire focal point of the war during the last four days of July, 1952.