World War II Winter and Mountain Warfare Tactics

World War II Winter and Mountain Warfare Tactics

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Overview

World War II Winter and Mountain Warfare Tactics by Stephen Bull, Steve Noon

Although prolonged warfare in subzero temperatures and/or at high altitude had occurred from time to time before 1900, the twentieth century saw an unprecedented emphasis on fighting in all terrains, seasons and weather conditions. Such conditions made even basic survival difficult as subzero temperatures caused weapons to jam, engines to seize up and soldiers to suffer frostbite, snow blindness and hypothermia; even the hardiest, best-equipped troops found defending their positions very difficult, let alone conducting offensive operations. The conditions often favoured small groups of mobile, lightly armed soldiers, rather than the armoured forces or air power that dominated other combat environments.

Some European armies developed small numbers of specialist alpine troops before and during World War I, but these proved to be insufficient as nearly all the major combatants of World War II found themselves fighting for extended periods in extremely hostile cold-weather and/or alpine environments. Some, like the German forces invading the USSR in 1941, were - apart from a few specialist formations - poorly equipped and trained for the unique difficulties imposed by such conditions, and were initially forced to improvise. Others, such as the Finns in the Winter War of 1939-40, outclassed their Soviet opponents with their mobility (many soldiers were already competent skiers at the outbreak of war), marksmanship, bold initiative and decisive leadership.

Drawing upon manuals, memoirs and unit histories and illustrated with period tactical diagrams and specially commissioned full-colour artwork, this study sheds new light on the winter-warfare tactics and techniques of the US, British, German, Soviet and Finnish armies of World War II.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849087124
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Series: Elite Series
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,003,735
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Dr Stephen Bull is Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, with particular responsibility for local regimental collections. Currently he is engaged in the redisplay of the Museum of Lancashire, including a new gallery on World War I. He has previously worked at the National Army Museum and BBC in London. A Member of the Institute of Archaeologists, he has also appeared in the TV series Battlefield Detectives. He has written numerous articles for specialist journals, including a number on the weapons and tactics of World War I. His other books include six Osprey titles, two on World War I, and four on World War II.

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