Horse SoldiersDoug Stanton
Chart of the most popular and best selling Military History ebooks at the Apple iBookstore.
Chart list of the top Militry History ebook ebook best sellers was last updated: Friday, October 20 2017, 4:34 pm
Horse SoldiersDoug Stanton
From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory. Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrown. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton’s account of the Americans’ quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.
Red PlatoonClinton Romesha
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The only comprehensive, firsthand account of the fourteen-hour firefight at the Battle of Keating by Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha, for readers of Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. “‘It doesn't get better.’ To us, that phrase nailed one of the essential truths, maybe even the essential truth, about being stuck at an outpost whose strategic and tactical vulnerabilities were so glaringly obvious to every soldier who had ever set foot in that place that the name itself—Keating—had become a kind of backhanded joke.” In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend. On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing fourteen-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost eight men their lives. Red Platoon is the riveting firsthand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counterattack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire and received the Medal of Honor for his actions. “A vitally important story that needs to be understood by the public, and I cannot imagine an account that does it better justice that Romesha’s.”—Sebastian Junger, journalist and author of The Perfect Storm “ Red Platoon is sure to become a classic of the genre.”—Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
The OperatorRobert O'Neill
New York Times Bestseller A stirringly evocative, thought-provoking, and often jaw-dropping account, The Operator ranges across SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s awe-inspiring four-hundred-mission career, which included his involvement in attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips and which culminated in those famous three shots that dispatched the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden. In these pages, O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs’ most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods , not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home. The Operator describes the nonstop action of O’Neill’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals firsthand details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history.
This Kind of WarT. R. Fehrenbach
THIS KIND OF WAR is the most comprehensive single-volume history of the Korean-American conflict that began in 1950 and is still affecting United States' foreign policy. Fifty years later, not only does this enlightening account give details of the tactics, infantrymen and equipment, but also chronicles the story of military and political unpreparedness that led to a profligate loss of American lives in Korea. The author, T.R. Fehrenbach, an officer in the conflict, provides us with accounts of the combat situation that could only have been written by an eyewitness in the thick of the action. But what truly sets this book apart from other military memoirs is the piercing analysis of the global political maneuverings behind the brutal ground warfare that marked this bloody period of history, one which has been all but forgotten. Hailed as "a must for all soldiers and former soldiers" by an Amazon.com reviewer, THIS KIND OF WAR restores the Korean War to its rightful place in American history--as a touchstone for United States foreign engagement and a lesson for politicians ready to shed American blood on far-away soil. During World War II, the late Fehrenbach served with the U.S. Infantry and Engineers as Platoon Sergeant with an engineer battalion. He continued his military career in the Korean War, rising from Platoon Leader to Company Commander and then to Battalion Staff Officer of the 72nd Tank battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Previous to his military involvement, a young T.R. Fehrenbach, born in San Benito Texas, worked as a farmer and the owner of an insurance company. His most enduring work is LONE STAR, a one-volume history of Texas. In retirement he wrote a political column for a San Antonio newspaper. He sold numerous pieces to publications such as the Saturday Evening Post and Argosy. He is author of several E-Reads books, including U.S. MARINES IN ACTION, THE BATTLE OF ANZIO, and THIS KIND OF WAR.
Killing the Rising SunBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln , Killing Kennedy , Killing Jesus , Killing Patton , and Killing Reagan , this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.
Lone SurvivorMarcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson
On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive. This is the story of fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing, and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of his teammates, who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left-blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and still breathing. Over the next four days, badly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell fought off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe, who risked everything to protect him from the encircling Taliban killers. A six-foot-five-inch Texan, Leading Petty Officer Luttrell takes us, blow-by-blow, through the brutal training of America's warrior elite and the relentless rites of passage required by the Navy SEALs. He transports us to a monstrous battle fought in the desolate peaks of Afghanistan, where the beleaguered American team plummeted headlong a thousand feet down a mountain as they fought back through flying shale and rocks. In this rich , moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare-and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Outlaw PlatoonSean Parnell & John Bruning
A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan. Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.
Code GirlsLiza Mundy
" Code Girls reveals a hidden army of female cryptographers, whose work played a crucial role in ending World War II.... Mundy has rescued a piece of forgotten history, and given these American heroes the recognition they deserve."---Nathalia Holt, bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
The Second World WarsVictor Davis Hanson
A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya. The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory. An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.
Behind Japanese LinesRichard Dunlop
In early 1942, with World War II going badly, President Roosevelt turned to General William Wild Bill” Donovan, now known historically as the Father of Central Intelligence,” with orders to form a special unit whose primary mission was to prepare for the eventual reopening of the Burma Road linking Burma and China by performing guerilla operations behind the Japanese lines. Thus was born OSS Detachment 101, the first clandestine special force formed by Donovan and one that would play a highly dangerous but vital role in the reconquest of Burma by the Allies. Behind Japanese Lines , originally published in 1979, is the exciting story of the men of Detachment 101, who, with their loyal native allies the Kachin headhunters fought a guerilla war for almost three years. It was a war not only against a tough and unyielding enemy, but against the jungle itself, one of the most difficult and dangerous patches of terrain in the world. Exposed to blistering heat and threatened by loathsome tropical diseases, the Western-raised OSS men also found themselves beset by unfriendly tribesmen and surrounded by the jungle’s unique perils giant leeches, cobras, and rogue tigers. Not merely a war narrative, Behind Japanese Lines is an adventure story, the story of unconventional men with an almost impossible mission fighting an irregular war in supremely hostile territory. Drawing upon the author’s own experiences as a member of Detachment 101, interviews with surviving 101 members, and classified documents, Dunlop’s tale unfolds with cinematic intensity, detailing the danger, tension, and drama of secret warfare. Never before have the activities of the OSS been recorded in such authentic firsthand detail. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Colors & Markings of the F-102 Delta DaggerRock Roszak
Colors & Markings of the F-102 Delta Dagger is the second book in Detail & Scale’s Digital Colors & Markings Series covering iconic military aircraft of the 20th Century. Between 1984 and 1994, Detail & Scale produced 24 titles in our Colors & Markings Series of books, but the series was discontinued because of limitations then existing in the printing business. With the advent of digital publications, this acclaimed series has returned, and this second volume in the series shows the benefits of digital publishing at its best. The book covers the three primary color schemes used on the F-102 Delta Dagger in detail, and provides coverage of every operational squadron that flew the famed Deuce. Sixty-five fighter interceptor squadrons are covered spanning the five major commands that operated the F-102: Air Defense Command (ADC), Alaskan Air Command (AAC), United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), and the Air National Guard. Colors & Markings of the F-102 Delta Dagger comprehensively covers this iconic member of the Century Series of fighters with over 370 pages, 520 photographs, 352 of which are in color, 48 full color aircraft profiles, and additional illustrations including paint diagrams. Along with the first volume in the series, Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy F-14 Tomcats, Part 1: Atlantic Coast Squadrons , this series sets the standard for covering squadron usage of iconic military aircraft.
With the Old BreedE.B. Sledge
“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed . He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In The Wall Street Journal , Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War . Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation. An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic. Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man. “In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns From the Trade Paperback edition.
The TemplarsDan Jones
An instant bestseller, this major new history of the knights Templar is “ a fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger" – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem A faltering war in the middle east. A band of elite warriors determined to fight to the death to protect Christianity’s holiest sites. A global financial network unaccountable to any government. A sinister plot founded on a web of lies. Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next two hundred years, the Templars would become the most powerful religious order of the medieval world. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Dan Jones tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation, drawing on extensive original sources to build a gripping account of these Christian holy warriors whose heroism and alleged depravity have been shrouded in myth. The Templars were protected by the pope and sworn to strict vows of celibacy. They fought the forces of Islam in hand-to-hand combat on the sun-baked hills where Jesus lived and died, finding their nemesis in Saladin, who vowed to drive all Christians from the lands of Islam. Experts at channeling money across borders, they established the medieval world’s largest and most innovative banking network and waged private wars against anyone who threatened their interests. A vindictive King of France set his sights on their fortune. He instructed his lawyers to mount a damning case against them, built on deliberate lies and false testimony. Then on Friday October 13, 1307, hundreds of brothers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured, and the order was disbanded amid lurid accusations of sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Pope in secret proceedings and publicly humiliated. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources tobring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, in a book that is at once authoritative and compulsively readable.
The Vietnam WarGeoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns
From the award-winning historian and filmmakers of The Civil War, Baseball, The War, The Roosevelts, and others: a vivid, uniquely powerful history of the conflict that tore America apart--the companion volume to the major, multipart PBS film to be aired in September 2017. More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Beautifully written and richly illustrated, this is a tour de force that is certain to launch a new national conversation.
Dead WakeErik Larson
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania , published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.
13 HoursMitchell Zuckoff & The Annex Security Team
The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi. 13 HOURS presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack. 13 HOURS sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country. 13 HOURS is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book--but most importantly, it is the truth. The story of what happened to these men--and what they accomplished--is unforgettable.
Hero of the EmpireCandice Millard
From New York Times bestselling author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt , a thrilling narrative of Winston Churchill's extraordinary and little-known exploits during the Boer War At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament. He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him. Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape--but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him. The story of his escape is incredible enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles, and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned. Churchill would later remark that this period, "could I have seen my future, was to lay the foundations of my later life." Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom he would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect 20th century history. From the Hardcover edition.
The Warrior EthosSteven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne
Wars Change, Warriors Don't We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity. Do we fight by a code? What is the Warrior Ethos? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives?
Thank You for Your ServiceDavid Finkel
Now a Major Motion Picture Directed by American Sniper Writer Jason Hall and Starring Miles Teller The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers , his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous "surge," a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkel's hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war. In Thank You for Your Service , Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for? One of Publishers Weekly 's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013 One of The Washington Post 's Top 10 Books of the Year A New York Times Notable Book of 2013 An NPR Best Book of 2013 A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
Hue 1968Mark Bowden
New York Times Bestseller "An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color."—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down , Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam?s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front?s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II. With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
Last Hope IslandLynne Olson
A groundbreaking account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe in their desperate struggle to reclaim their continent from Hitler, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days When the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe in the early days of World War II, the city of London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of six occupied nations who escaped there to continue the fight. So, too, did General Charles de Gaulle, the self-appointed representative of free France. As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to occupied countries as “Last Hope Island.” Getting there, one young emigré declared, was “like getting to heaven.” In this epic, character-driven narrative, acclaimed historian Lynne Olson takes us back to those perilous days when the British and their European guests joined forces to combat the mightiest military force in history. Here we meet the courageous King Haakon of Norway, whose distinctive “H7” monogram became a symbol of his country’s resistance to Nazi rule, and his fiery Dutch counterpart, Queen Wilhelmina, whose antifascist radio broadcasts rallied the spirits of her defeated people. Here, too, is the Earl of Suffolk, a swashbuckling British aristocrat whose rescue of two nuclear physicists from France helped make the Manhattan Project possible. Last Hope Island also recounts some of the Europeans’ heretofore unsung exploits that helped tilt the balance against the Axis: the crucial efforts of Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain; the vital role played by French and Polish code breakers in cracking the Germans’ reputedly indecipherable Enigma code; and the flood of top-secret intelligence about German operations—gathered by spies throughout occupied Europe—that helped ensure the success of the 1944 Allied invasion. A fascinating companion to Citizens of London, Olson’s bestselling chronicle of the Anglo-American alliance, Last Hope Island recalls with vivid humanity that brief moment in time when the peoples of Europe stood together in their effort to roll back the tide of conquest and restore order to a broken continent. Praise for Last Hope Island “In Last Hope Island [Lynne Olson] argues an arresting new thesis: that the people of occupied Europe and the expatriate leaders did far more for their own liberation than historians and the public alike recognize. . . . The scale of the organization she describes is breathtaking.” —The New York Times Book Review “ Last Hope Island is a book to be welcomed, both for the past it recovers and also, quite simply, for being such a pleasant tome to read.” — The Washington Post “[A] pointed volume . . . [Olson] tells a great story and has a fine eye for character.” — The Boston Globe
The Odyssey of Echo CompanyDoug Stanton
A powerful work of literary military history from the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers , the harrowing, redemptive, and utterly unforgettable account of an American army reconnaissance platoon’s fight for survival during the Vietnam War—whose searing experiences reverberate today among the millions of American families touched by this war. On a single night, January 31, 1968, as many as 100,000 soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army attacked thirty-six cities throughout South Vietnam, hoping to topple the government and dislodge American forces. Forty young American soldiers of an army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division and hailing from small farms, beach towns, and such big cities as Chicago and Los Angeles are suddenly thrust into savage combat, having been in-country only a few weeks. Their battles against both North Vietnamese Army soldiers and toughened Viet Cong guerillas are relentless, often hand-to-hand, and waged night and day across landing zones, rice paddies, hamlets, and dense jungle. The exhausting day-to-day existence, which involves ambushes on both sides, grueling gun battles, and heroic rescues of wounded comrades, forges the group into a lifelong brotherhood. The Odyssey of Echo Company is about the young men who survived this epic span, and centers on the searing experiences of one of them, Stanley Parker, who is wounded three times during the fighting. When the young men come home, some encounter a country that doesn’t understand what they have suffered and survived. Many of them fall silent, knowing that few of their countrymen want to hear the remarkable story they have lived to tell—until now. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, dozens of personal letters written in the combat zone, Pentagon after-action reports, and travel to the battle sites with some of the soldiers (who meet their Vietnamese counterpart), and augmented by detailed maps and remarkable combat zone photographs, The Odyssey of Echo Company breaks through the wall of time to recount ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time in America and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.
Blind Man's BluffSherry Sontag, Christopher Drew & Annette Lawrence Drew
Over the course of five years, investigative reporters Sherry Sontag and Chris Drew interviewed hundreds of men who had never spoken about their underwater lives not even to their wives and children. They uncovered a wealth of classified information: the tapping of undersea Soviet telephone cables, the stealing of Soviet weapons, the tragic collisions of enemy submarines. They tell of medals awarded in secret and deaths disguised with disinformation. Blind Man's Bluff is a critical work of history that reads with all the excitement of a Tom Clancy novel and all the tragedy of Das Boot.
The Guns of AugustBarbara W. Tuchman
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages. Praise for The Guns of August “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’” — Newsweek “More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.” — Chicago Tribune “A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.” — The New York Times “[ The Guns of August ] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.” — The Wall Street Journal From the Trade Paperback edition.
We Were Soldiers Once . . . and YoungHarold G. Moore & Joseph L. Galloway
New York Times Bestseller: A “powerful and epic story . . . the best account of infantry combat I have ever read” (Col. David Hackworth, author of About Face ) . In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam. How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor. “A gut-wrenching account of what war is really all about, which should be ‘must’ reading for all Americans, especially those who have been led to believe that war is some kind of Nintendo game.” —General H. Norman Schwarzkopf “Hal Moore and Joe Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war.” —Neil Sheehan, author of A Bright Shining Lie “A stunning achievement—paper and words with the permanence of marble. I read it and thought of The Red Badge of Courage , the highest compliment I can think of.” —David Halberstam Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) was a master parachutist and Army aviator who commanded two infantry companies in the Korean War and was a battalion and brigade commander in Vietnam. He retired from the Army in 1977 with thirty-two years’ service. Joseph L. Galloway is the author of a weekly syndicated column on military and national security affairs. He recently retired as senior military correspondent of Knight-Ridder newspapers. Galloway spent twenty-two years as a foreign and war correspondent and bureau chief for United Press International, and nearly twenty years as a senior editor for U.S. News & World Report .
Ghost SoldiersHampton Sides
“The greatest World War II story never told” ( Esquire )—an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March. On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation. In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.
Left of BangPatrick Van Horne, Jason A. Riley & Shawn Coyne
"At a time when we must adapt to the changing character of conflict, this is a serious book on a serious issue that can give us the edge we need.” —General James Mattis, USMC, Ret. " Left of Bang offers a crisp lesson in survival in which Van Horne and Riley affirm a compelling truth: It's better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late. Left of Bang helps readers avoid the bang." —Gavin de Becker, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear "Rare is the book that is immediately practical and interesting. Left of Bang accomplishes this from start to finish. There is something here for everyone in the people business and we are all in the people business." —Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY is Saying. " Left of Bang is a highly important and innovative book that offers a substantial contribution to answering the challenge of Fourth Generation war (4GW)." —William S. Lind, author of Maneuver Warfare Handbook "Like Sun Tzu's The Art of War , Left of Bang isn't just for the military. It's a must read for anyone who has ever had a gut feeling that something's not quite right...be it walking down the street, sitting in a corporate boardroom, or even entering an empty home." --Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The Lion's Gate, The Warrior Ethos and Gates of Fire “An amazing book! Applying the lessons learned during the longest war in American history, and building on seminal works like The Gift of Fear and On Combat , this book provides a framework of knowledge that will bring military, law enforcement, and individual citizens to new levels of survival mindset and performance in life-and-death situations. Left of Bang is an instant classic.” --Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army Ret., author of On Combat and On Killing -- You walk into a restaurant and get an immediate sense that you should leave. -- You are about to step onto an elevator with a stranger and something stops you. -- You interview a potential new employee who has the resume to do the job, but something tells you not to offer a position. These scenarios all represent LEFT OF BANG, the moments before something bad happens. But how many times have you talked yourself out of leaving the restaurant, getting off the elevator, or getting over your silly “gut” feeling about someone? Is there a way to not just listen to your inner protector more, but to actually increase your sensitivity to threats before they happen? Legendary Marine General James Mattis asked the same question and issued a directive to operationalize the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program. A comprehensive and no-nonsense approach to heightening each and every one of our gifts of fear, LEFT OF BANG is the result.
Rogue HeroesBen Macintyre
The incredible untold story of WWII’s greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue Britain’s Special Air Service—or SAS—was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II’s African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel’s desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS’s remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow. Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.
No Way OutMitch Weiss & Kevin Maurer
In a remote, enemy-held valley in Afghanistan, a Special Forces team planned to scale a steep mountain to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them… The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam. Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.
JawbreakerGary Berntsen & Ralph Pezzullo
In Jawbreaker Gary Berntsen, until recently one of the CIA’s most decorated officers, comes out from under cover for the first time to describe his no-holds-barred pursuit of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. With his unique mix of clandestine knowledge and paramilitary training, Berntsen represents the new face of counterterrorism. Recognized within the agency for his aggressiveness, Berntsen, when dispatched to Afghanistan, made annihilating the enemy his job description. As the CIA’s key commander coordinating the fight against the Taliban forces around Kabul, and the drive toward Tora Bora, Berntsen not only led dozens of CIA and Special Operations Forces, he also raised 2,000 Afghan fighters to aid in the hunt for bin Laden. In this first-person account of that incredible pursuit, which actually began years earlier in an East Africa bombing investigation, Berntsen describes being ferried by rickety helicopter over the towering peaks of Afghanistan, sitting by General Tommy Franks’s side as heated negotiations were conducted with Northern Alliance generals, bargaining relentlessly with treacherous Afghan warlords and Taliban traitors, plotting to save hostages about to be used as pawns, calling in B-52 strikes on dug-in enemy units, and deploying a dizzying array of Special Forces teams in the pursuit of the world’s most wanted terrorist. Most crucially, Berntsen tells of cornering bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountains—and what happened when Berntsen begged Washington to block the al-Qaeda leader’s last avenue of escape. As disturbingly eye-opening as it is adrenaline-charged, Jawbreaker races from CIA war rooms to diplomatic offices to mountaintop redoubts to paint a vivid portrait of a new kind of warfare, showing what can and should be done to deal a death blow to freedom’s enemies. CIA Commander Gary Berntsen on… His eyebrow-raising style: “Most CIA Case Officers advanced their careers by recruiting sources and producing intelligence, I took a more grab-them-by-the-neck approach…I operated on the principle that it was easier to seek forgiveness than ask for approval. Take risks, but make sure you’re successful. Success, not good intentions, would determine my fate.” Doing whatever it took: “I didn’t just want to survive: I wanted to annihilate the enemy. And I didn’t want to end up like one of my favorite historical characters—Alexander Burns…He was one of the first of more than 14,000 British soldiers to be wiped out by the Afghans in the First Afghan War. Like Burns before me, I was also an intelligence officer and spoke Persian. This was my second trip into Afghanistan, too. The difference, I told myself, was that Burns had been a gentleman and I would do whatever it took to win.” Dealing with a Taliban official who controlled American hostages: “Tell him that if he betrays me or loses the hostages I’ll spend every waking moment of my life hunting him down to kill him. Tell him I’m not like any American he has ever met.” The capabilities of his Tora Bora spotter team: “Working nonstop, the four men directed strike after strike by B-1s, B-2s, and F-14s onto the al-Qaeda encampment with incredible precision. Somehow through the massive bureaucracy, thousands of miles of distance [and] reams of red tape…the U.S. had managed to place four of the most skilled men in the world above the motherlode of al-Qaeda, with a laser designator and communications system linked to the most potent air power in history…As I listened over our encrypted radio network, one word kept pounding in my head: revenge.” Also available as a Random House AudioBook From the Hardcover edition.
Sons and SoldiersBruce Henderson
Joining the ranks of Unbroken, Band of Brothers, and Boys in the Boat, the little-known saga of young German Jews, dubbed The Ritchie Boys, who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, came of age in America, and returned to Europe at enormous personal risk as members of the U.S. Army to play a key role in the Allied victory. In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war. Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys. Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.
Worth Dying ForRorke Denver
In a fast-paced and action-packed narrative, Navy SEAL commander Rorke Denver tackles the questions that have emerged about America’s past decade at war—from what makes a hero to why we fight and what it does to us. Heroes are not always the guys who jump on grenades. Sometimes, they are the snipers who decide to hold their fire, the wounded operators who find fresh ways to contribute, or the wives who keep the families together back home. Even a SEAL commander—especially a SEAL commander—knows that. But what’s a hero, really? What do we have a right to expect from our heroes? How should we hold them accountable? Amid all the loose talk of heroes, these questions are seldom asked. As a SEAL commander, Rorke Denver is uniquely qualified to answer questions about what makes a hero or a leader, why men kill, how best to serve your country, how battlefield experiences can elevate us, and most important, why we fight and what it does for and to us. And in Worth Dying For , Denver shares his personal experiences from the forefront of war today. Denver applies some of his SEAL sense to nine big-picture, news-driven questions of war and peace, in a way that appeals to all sides of the public conversation. By broadening the issues, sharing his insights, and achieving what civilian political leaders have been utterly unable to, Denver eloquently shares answers to America’s most burning questions about war, heroism, and what it all means for America’s future.
The Last Fighter PilotDon Brown
*A NATIONAL BESTSELLER!* The New York Post calls The Last Fighter Pilot a "must-read" book. From April to August of 1945, Captain Jerry Yellin and a small group of fellow fighter pilots flew dangerous bombing and strafe missions out of Iwo Jima over Japan. Even days after America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, the pilots continued to fly. Though Japan had suffered unimaginable devastation, the emperor still refused to surrender. Bestselling author Don Brown ( Treason ) sits down with Yelllin, now ninety-three years old, to tell the incredible true story of the final combat mission of World War II. Nine days after Hiroshima, on the morning of August 14th, Yellin and his wingman 1st Lieutenant Phillip Schlamberg took off from Iwo Jima to bomb Tokyo. By the time Yellin returned to Iwo Jima, the war was officially over—but his young friend Schlamberg would never get to hear the news. The Last Fighter Pilot is a harrowing first-person account of war from one of America's last living World War II veterans.
Hitler's Last SecretaryTraudl Junge
A firsthand account of Adolf Hitler from the woman who worked at his side, stayed with him in the bunker, and was featured in the film Downfall . In 1942 Germany, Gertraud “Traudl” Junge was a young woman with dreams of becoming a ballerina when she was offered the chance of a lifetime. At the age of twenty-two, she became private secretary to Adolf Hitler and served him for two and a half years, right up to the very end. Junge observed the intimate workings of Hitler’s administration: She typed his correspondence and speeches—including Hitler’s public and private last will and testament—and ate her meals and spent evenings with him. She was close enough to hear the bomb intended to assassinate Hitler in the Wolf’s Lair—and to smell the bitter almond odor of Eva Braun’s cyanide pill in Hitler’s bunker and ultimate tomb. In this intimate, detailed, and chilling memoir, Junge explains what it was like to spend everyday life with a human monster. Traudl Junge was born in Munich in 1920. From the end of 1942 until April 1945 she was Hitler’s private secretary. After the war she was sent to a Russian prison camp and later returned to Germany. She died on February 10, 2002, shortly after the publication of the German edition of her book.
The Tunnels of Cu ChiTom Mangold
At the height of the Vietnam conflict, a complex system of secret underground tunnels sprawled from Cu Chi Province to the edge of Saigon. In these burrows, the Viet Cong cached their weapons, tended their wounded, and prepared to strike. They had only one enemy: U.S. soldiers small and wiry enough to maneuver through the guerrillas’ narrow domain. The brave souls who descended into these hellholes were known as “tunnel rats.” Armed with only pistols and K-bar knives, these men inched their way through the steamy darkness where any number of horrors could be awaiting them–bullets, booby traps, a tossed grenade. Using firsthand accounts from men and women on both sides who fought and killed in these underground battles, authors Tom Mangold and John Penycate provide a gripping inside look at this fearsome combat. The Tunnels of Cu Chi is a war classic of unbearable tension and unforgettable heroes.
Prompt and Utter Destruction, Third EditionJ. Samuel Walker
In this concise account of why America used atomic bombs against Japan in 1945, J. Samuel Walker analyzes the reasons behind President Truman's most controversial decision. Delineating what was known and not known by American leaders at the time, Walker evaluates the options available for ending the war with Japan. In this new edition, Walker incorporates a decade of new research--mostly from Japanese archives only recently made available--that provides fresh insight on the strategic considerations that led to dropping the bomb. From the debate about whether to invade or continue the conventional bombing of Japan to Tokyo's agonizing deliberations over surrender and the effects of both low- and high-level radiation exposure, Walker continues to shed light on one of the most earthshaking moments in history. Rising above an often polemical debate, the third edition presents an accessible synthesis of previous work and new research to help make sense of the events that ushered in the atomic age.
Lost in Shangri-LaMitchell Zuckoff
A New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Winship/PEN New England Award, Lost in Shangri-La is “a truly incredible adventure” ( New York Times Book Review ) about three brave survivors of a WWII plane crash in the jungle. On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon , this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings, barefoot and burned, had no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes. John McCollom, grieving the death of his twin brother also aboard the plane, masked his grief with stoicism. Kenneth Decker, too, was severely burned and suffered a gaping head wound. Emotionally devastated, badly injured, and vulnerable to the hidden dangers of the jungle, the trio faced certain death unless they left the crash site. Caught between man-eating headhunters and enemy Japanese, the wounded passengers endured a harrowing hike down the mountainside—a journey into the unknown that would lead them straight into a primitive tribe of superstitious natives who had never before seen a white man—or woman. Drawn from interviews, declassified U.S. Army documents, personal photos and mementos, a survivor’s diary, a rescuer’s journal, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the determined trio—dehydrated, sick, and in pain—traversed the dense jungle to find help; how a brave band of paratroopers risked their own lives to save the survivors; and how a cowboy colonel attempted a previously untested rescue mission to get them out. By trekking into the New Guinea jungle, visiting remote villages, and rediscovering the crash site, Zuckoff also captures the contemporary natives’ remembrances of the long-ago day when strange creatures fell from the sky. A riveting work of narrative nonfiction that vividly brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end. This ebook also includes an excerpt from Mitchell Zuckoff’s New York Times bestseller Frozen in Time . About the Author: Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II , Robert Altman: An Oral Biography , Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend , J udgment Ridge: The True Story of the Dartmouth Murders , with Dick Lehr, Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey , and 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi . He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting, and the winner of numerous national awards as a reporter for The Boston Globe . He lives outside Boston.
SEAL Team SixHoward E. Wasdin & Stephen Templin
The New York Times best selling book that takes you inside SEAL Team Six – the covert squad that killed Osama Bin Laden SEAL Team Six is a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes readers deep inside the world of Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world. After graduating, Wasdin faced new challenges. First there was combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. Then the Green Course: the selection process to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, with a curriculum that included practiced land warfare to unarmed combat. More than learning how to pick a lock, they learned how to blow the door off its hinges. Finally as a member of SEAL Team Six he graduated from the most storied and challenging sniper program in the country: The Marine's Scout Sniper School. Eventually, of the 18 snipers in SEAL Team Six, Wasdin became the best—which meant one of the best snipers on the planet. Less than half a year after sniper school, he was fighting for his life. The mission: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid and killed his men whenever possible. But everything went quickly to hell when his small band of soldiers found themselves fighting for their lives, cut off from help, and desperately trying to rescue downed comrades during a routine mission. The Battle of Mogadishu, as it become known, left 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Howard Wasdin had both of his legs nearly blown off while engaging the enemy. His dramatic combat tales combined with inside details of becoming one of the world's deadliest snipers make this one of the most explosive military memoirs in years.
The Monuments MenRobert M. Edsel & Bret Witter
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.
A Higher CallAdam Makos & Larry Alexander
THE NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger... What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.” The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever. INCLUDES PHOTOS
Band of BrothersStephen E. Ambrose
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
The Guns at Last LightRick Atkinson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The magnificent conclusion to Rick Atkinson's acclaimed Liberation Trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II It is the twentieth century's unrivaled epic: at a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now, in The Guns at Last Light , he tells the most dramatic story of all—the titanic battle for Western Europe. D-Day marked the commencement of the final campaign of the European war, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Operation Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich—all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters. Atkinson tells the tale from the perspective of participants at every level, from presidents and generals to war-weary lieutenants and terrified teenage riflemen. When Germany at last surrenders, we understand anew both the devastating cost of this global conflagration and the enormous effort required to win the Allied victory. With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Atkinson's accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West. One of The Washington Post 's Top 10 Books of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
An Army at DawnRick Atkinson
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.
Inside Delta ForceEric Haney
Now the inspiration for the CBS Television drama, "The Unit." Delta Force. They are the U.S. Army's most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won't hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action-to reveal the never-before-told story of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force). Inside Delta Forece The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit He is a master of espionage, trained to take on hijackers, terrorists, hostage takers, and enemy armies. He can deploy by parachute or arrive by commercial aircraft. Survive alone in hostile cities. Speak foreign languages fluently. Strike at enemy targets with stunning swiftness and extraordinary teamwork. He is the ultimate modern warrior: the Delta Force Operator. In this dramatic behind-the-scenes chronicle, Eric Haney, one of the founding members of Delta Force, takes us inside this legendary counterterrorist unit. Here, for the first time, are details of the grueling selection process—designed to break the strongest of men—that singles out the best of the best: the Delta Force Operator. With heart-stopping immediacy, Haney tells what it's really like to enter a hostage-held airplane. And from his days in Beirut, Haney tells an unforgettable tale of bodyguards and bombs, of a day-to-day life of madness and beauty, and of how he and a teammate are called on to kill two gunmen targeting U.S. Marines at the Beirut airport. As part of the team sent to rescue American hostages in Tehran, Haney offers a first-person description of that failed mission that is a chilling, compelling account of a bold maneuver undone by chance—and a few fatal mistakes. From fighting guerrilla warfare in Honduras to rescuing missionaries in Sudan and leading the way onto the island of Grenada, Eric Haney captures the daring and discipline that distinguish the men of Delta Force. Inside Delta Force brings honor to these singular men while it puts us in the middle of action that is sudden, frightening, and nonstop around the world. From the Hardcover edition.
Lions of KandaharRusty Bradley & Kevin Maurer
Includes a new Afterword by the authors One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat there. Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come. Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters—from whom they seized an impossible victory. Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan’s infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike—the “shaky” medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon’s hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism. Praise for Lions of Kandahar “A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.” —Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden “A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.” —Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War “One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.” — The Seattle Times “Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar .” — San Antonio Express-News “Bradley takes the reader into battle.” —Time From the Trade Paperback edition.
SEAL of HonorGary Williams
Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy, commander of Navy SEAL Team 10, posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 28 June 2005 during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Michael was the first recipient of the nation’s highest military honor as a result of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. He was also the first naval officer to earn the medal since the Vietnam War, and the first SEAL to be honored posthumously. A young man of great character, he is the subject of Naval Special Warfare courses on leadership, and an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, naval base, school, post office, ball park, and hospital emergency room have all been named in his honor. In his bestselling book, Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of Operation Red Wings, called Michael the best officer I ever knew, an iron-souled warrior of colossal, almost unbelievable courage in the face of the enemy.” SEAL of Honor tells the story of Michael’s life and how he came to be that man of selfless courage and honor. This biography argues that his heroic action during the deadly firefight with the Taliban revealed his true character and attempts to answer why Michael readily sacrificed his life for his comrades. SEAL of Honor is the story of a valiant young man who was recognized by his peers for his compassion and leadership, because he was guided by an extraordinary sense of duty and responsibility. Tracing Michael’s journey from a seemingly ordinary life on New York’s Long Island to that remote mountainside in Afghanistan, SEAL of Honor portrays how he came to the moment of extraordinary heroism that made him the most celebrated Medal of Honor recipient since WWII. Moreover, the book brings the Afghan war back to the home front, focusing on the tight-knit Murphy family and the devastating effect his death had on them as they watched the story of Operation Red Wings unfold in the news. The book attempts to answer why Michael’s service to his country and his comrades was a calling faithfully answered, a duty justly upheld, and a life, while all too short, well lived.
The Only Thing Worth Dying ForEric Blehm
Eric Blehm, author of the award-winning The Last Season, is back with another true adventure story, The Only Thing Worth Dying For. Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilson's War), "the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan."
Civilian WarriorsErik Prince
No company in our time has been as mysterious or as controversial as Blackwater. Founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince in 1997, it recruited special forces veterans and others with the skills and courage to take on the riskiest security jobs in the world. As its reputation grew, government demand for its services escalated, and Blackwater's men eventually completed nearly one hundred thousand missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both the Bush and Obama administrations found the company indispensible. It sounds like a classic startup success story, except for one problem: Blackwater has been demonized around the world. From uninformed news coverage to grossly distorted fictional portrayals, Blackwater employees have been smeared as mercenaries, profiteers, jackbooted thugs, and worse. Because of the secrecy requirements of Blackwater's contracts with the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA, Prince was unable to speak out when his company's opponents spread false information. But now he's able to tell the full and often shocking story of Blackwater's rise and fall. In Civilian Warriors, Prince pulls no punches and spares no details. He explains his original goal of building an elite center for military and law enforcement training. He recounts how the company shifted gears after 9/11. He honors our troops while challenging the Pentagon's top leadership. And he reveals why highly efficient private military contractors have been essential to running our armed forces, since long before Blackwater came along. Above all, Prince debunks myths about Blackwater that spread while he was forced to remain silent-myths that tarnished the memory of men who gave their lives for their country but never got the recognition they deserved. He reveals new information about some of the biggest controversies of the War on Terror, including: • The true story of the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad. • The actual details of Blackwater's so-called impunity in Iraq. • The events leading up to the televised deaths of Blackwater contractors in Fallujah. Prince doesn't pretend to be perfect, and he doesn't hide the sometimes painful details of his private life. But he has done a great public service by setting the record straight. His book reads like a thriller but is too improbable to be fiction. From the Hardcover edition.
American GunChris Kyle & William Doyle
Chris Kyle—fallen hero and #1 bestselling author of American Sniper—reveals how ten legendary guns forever changed U.S. history. At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the top sniper in U.S. military history, was finishing one of the most exciting missions of his life: a remarkable book that retold American history through the lens of a hand-selected list of firearms. Kyle masterfully shows how guns have played a fascinating, indispensable, and often underappreciated role in our national story. "Perhaps more than any other nation in the world," Kyle writes, "the history of the United States has been shaped by the gun. Firearms secured the first Europeans' hold on the continent, opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world." Drawing on his unmatched firearms knowledge and combat experience, Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, Springfield 1903 rifle, Thompson sub-machine gun, 1911 pistol, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. Through them, he revisits thrilling turning points in American history, including the single sniper shot that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War, the firearms designs that proved decisive at Gettysburg, the "gun that won the West," and the weapons that gave U.S. soldiers an edge in the world wars and beyond. This is also the story of how firearms innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed American history—and power—forward. Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, Chris Kyle's American Gun is a sweeping epic of bravery, adventure, invention, and sacrifice.
Sun Tzu's ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War: Audio Edition . This selection includes the full audio to Tzu's 13 chapter masterpiece. Its importance has impacted the global military world current and past, and helped pave the way in business and legal strategy education. Now you can listen and follow along with the full audio book.
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