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World War 2 Hitler's Paratroopers the Assault on Crete By Ronald Ledwell
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The Germans were among the first to raise a parachute force and they used them with tactical success in Belgium and Holland at the outbreak of World War II. The isolated island of Crete seemed to be... More > the perfect place to use them in a large scale operation. The British forces were in disarray on Crete, having just escaped a Dunkirk-like evacuation from Greece. The Germans committed their entire Fallschrimjager Force to take the island quickly. After a brief period where the battle could have gone either way, the Germans were victorious and occupied the island for the duration of World War II. But the victory was truly a “pyrrhic” one; with huge losses in men and equipment.< Less
Desert Storm By Ronald Ledwell
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Desert Storm: Desert Storm demonstrated that a technologically advanced military, able to choose the time and place of the attack, has an enormous advantage over an entrenched, but militarily... More > backwards, enemy. This is especially true when the battlefield does not offer an environment suited to guerrilla hit and run tactics. Add to the equation a massive edge in intelligence, overwhelming air superiority, and disinformation schemes which worked flawlessly, and the result is one of the most complete military victories in world history.< Less
World War 2: Waffen Grenadiers By Ronald Ledwell
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WAFFEN GRENADIERS: The Waffen SS, the fighting arm of the notorious SS was employed in every bitter battle on the Eastern and Western fronts in World War 2. They were used as “Fire... More > Brigades” to bolster and hold the line when it appeared that all else was lost, and many times they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Because they were some of the finest battle hardened soldiers at the time, they were able to accomplish these feats: but their soldierly merits will be forever tainted by the battlefield atrocities that they committed for the advancement of the criminal state for which they fought.< Less
World War 2: The Falaise Pocket By Ronald Ledwell
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FALAISE POCKET: It could be said that the Battle of the Falaise Pocket was actually the culmination of many preceding battles: The German Generals and the Allied Commanders together could never have... More > guessed the outcome of this epic battle, a turning point of World War II. The Allied encirclement of several German Armies occurred so quickly the Germans were caught without a strategy to cope, nor with any reserves to break open the relatively weak Allied encirclement. The Allies were so surprised by the magnitude of their success they were unprepared to exploit it, except for General George Patton who, if given a free hand could have ended the war in 1944.< Less
World War 2: The Flying Tigers By Ronald Ledwell
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The Flying Tigers: The dark days at the beginning of World War 2 saw the Japanese victorious across the Pacific. Clair Chennault was called to China by Chiang Kai-shek to help his failing Chinese Air... More > Force combat the Japanese Imperial Army. Chennault recruited one hundred American pilots as volunteers for the American Volunteer Group and they were secretly sent to China by ship. With one hundred and twenty P-40 fighters the “AVG” confronted the Japanese armed forces, decisively helping to stem the rising Japanese tide.< Less
World War 2: Rommel By Ronald Ledwell
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Rommel: When Hitler sent Rommel to Libya to command the Africa Korps, his purpose was to help the Italians contain and “hold the line” defensively, but Hitler underestimated... More > Rommel’s ability and his resourcefulness. Outwitting his British opponents at every turn he pushed them back to the Egyptian border, but in the process he stretched his long and tenuous supply lines, which went all the way back across the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian mainland. With the Mediterranean Sea controlled by the British Navy it was a forgone conclusion that Rommel’s forces would wither for lack of supplies and be defeated at the battle of El Alamein.< Less
World War 2: The Turkey Shoot By Ronald Ledwell
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The Great Turkey Shoot: After their defeat at the Battle of Midway the Japanese lost the elite of their carrier forces, and were facing a new threat... the loss of the Philippines. When Admiral... More > Spruance laid siege to the islands of Guam, Rota and Saipan, the Japanese high command had to commit its remaining carriers in a vain effort to stop him. So, as powerful as the Japanese Navy was, it was unknowingly about to engage a vastly superior American Carrier Fleet in the Battle Of Midway, nicknamed “The Great Turkey Shoot,” for reasons about to be made apparent.< Less
World War 2 Eastern Front By Ronald Ledwell
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EASTERN FRONT: The strategic movement into the Crimea and the battle of Sevastopol was another one of Hitler’s grand schemes into which he bullied the German General Staff. At its center were... More > the oil fields in the Caucasus, but it was a plan that should have waited until the Russian Forces were soundly defeated. The Germans were coming up against better Russian Equipment as the war ground slowly on. The appearance of the superb Russian T-34 tank and newer field guns should have tipped the Germans off. Sound war management dictated the destruction of the Russian Army first: then the new industrial facilities beyond the Ural Mountains. To do this effectively, the Germans would have needed a bigger and more powerful Luftwaffe, with true strategic capabilities, including four engine bombers and long range fighters.< Less
World War 2 War in the Air By Ronald Ledwell
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In the first weeks of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Russian Air Force was nearly wiped out on the ground by the Luftwaffe, leaving Stalin with very few aircraft to fend off the German... More > onslaught. The American and British allies rapidly sent fighters to help the Russians. British Hurricanes and American Airacobras were rushed into service defending Soviet airspace over the broad Russian steppe. Even a squadron of Free French pilots fought alongside their Soviet allies.< Less
World War 2 Into the Balkans By Ronald Ledwell
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Into the Balkans: On the eve of Hitler's invasion of Russia, Mussolini, the Italian Dictator, decided to invade Albania, fearful that the Germans were conquering all of Europe and that there would... More > nothing left for him to conquer. So, he launched his "eight million bayonets" across the Adriatic into Albania, with an eye towards claiming all of the Balkans for Italy. The small Albanian army fought his forces to a standstill, eventually bringing the Greeks into the war against him. Hitler, furious at him, came to his rescue by subduing all of the Balkans, but this operation caused the Germans to delay the invasion of Russia and and forced them to station garrison troops in the conquered areas. A decision that would come back to haunt the Germans on the frozen stepps of Russia.< Less