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Osprey Publishing is an Oxford-based publishing company specializing in military history. Predominantly an illustrated publisher, many of their books contain full-colour artwork plates, maps and photographs, and the company produces over a dozen ongoing series, each focusing on a specific aspect of the history of warfare. Osprey has published over 2,300 books (as Sept,2012). They are best known for their Men-at-Arms series, running to nearly 500 titles, with each book dedicated to a specific historical army or military unit. Majority ownership is held by the private equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners LLP.
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In the 1960s, the Brooke Bond Tea Company began including a series of military aircraft cards with packages of their tea. The cards proved popular, and the artist Dick Ward proposed the idea of publishing illustrated books about military aircraft. The idea was approved and a small subsidiary company called Osprey was formed. The company’s first book, North American P-51D Mustang in USAAF-USAF Service, was published in 1969. Soon after, Ward proposed trying the same idea with famous military units, and in 1971 the first Men-at-Arms title appeared.
Over the next 20 years, the firm grew steadily, adding new titles and new series to their catalogue. Although they have produced books of all types, the main focus remains on military history, particularly the military history of Britain. Osprey Publishing now has over 30 employees and publishes an average of 10-12 books a month.
Shire Books was acquired in 2007, and the science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint Angry Robot Books was purchased from HarperCollins in 2010.
- New Vanguard - approx 200 books on military equipment such as vehicles, artillery and ships
- Duel - comparing contemporary opponents, such as French and British frigates in the age of sail.
- Campaign - individual battles or campaigns in military history
- Air Vanguard - as New Vanguard but for aircraft
- Battle Orders
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