The Fall of the DynastiesEdmond Taylor
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: Thursday, September 20 2018, 8:00 pm
The Fall of the DynastiesEdmond Taylor
Popular history of the finest sort . . . an excellent book worthy to rank with Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August and Alan Moorehead’s Gallipoli.” The New York Times On June 28, 1914, in the dusty Balkan town of Sarajevo, an assassin fired two shots. In the next five minutes, as the stout middle-aged Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Habsburg, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife bled to death, a dynasty and with it, a whole way of life began to topple. In the ages before World War I, four dynasties the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, Ottoman, and Romanov dominated much of civilization. Outwardly different, they were at bottom somewhat alike: opulent, grandiose, suffocating in tradition, ostentatiously gilded on the surface and rotting at the core. Worse still, they were tragically out of step with the forces shaping the modern world. The Fall of the Dynasties covers the period from 1905 to 1922, when these four ruling houses crumbled and fell, destroying old alliances and obliterating old boundaries. World War I was precipitated by their decay and their splintered baroque rubble proved to be a treacherous base for the new nations that emerged from the war. All convulsions of the last half-century,” Taylor writes, stem back to Sarajevo: the two World Wars, the Bolshevik revolution, the rise and fall of Hitler, and the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East. Millions upon millions of deaths can be traced to one or another of these upheavals; all of us who survive have been scarred at least emotionally by them.” In this classic volume, Taylor traces the origins of the dynasties whose collapse brought the old order crashing down and the events leading to their astonishingly swift downfall. 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.
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.
The Winter FortressNeal Bascomb
“Riveting and poignant . . . The Winter Fortress metamorphoses from engrossing history into a smashing thriller . . . Mr. Bascomb’s research and, especially, his storytelling skills are first-rate.”— The Wall Street Journal “Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” — Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and co-author of the Killing series In 1942, the Nazis were racing to complete the first atomic bomb. All they needed was a single, incredibly rare ingredient: heavy water, which was produced solely at Norway’s Vemork plant. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers pushed production into overdrive. If the Allies could not destroy the plant, they feared the Nazis would soon be in possession of the most dangerous weapon the world had ever seen. But how would the Allied forces reach the castle fortress, set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth? Based on a trove of top-secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skis, perilous survival in the wild, Gestapo manhunts, and a last-minute operation that would alter the course of the war. “A taut and peerlessly told adventure story full of thrills, derring-do and heart-stopping tension.” — Seattle Times “Told with both historical and scientific accuracy . . . this book has rocketed into my pantheon of the top suspense-filled stories about [World War II], along with The 900 Days and The Colditz Story .” — Ethan Siegel, Forbes
Code GirlsLiza Mundy
The award-winning national bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" ( New York Times ) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" ( Denver Post). 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.
Victims of YaltaNikolai Tolstoy
One of the most tragic episodes of World War II—the forced repatriation of two million Russian POWs to certain doom. At the end of the Second World War, a secret Moscow agreement that was confirmed at the 1945 Yalta Conference ordered the forcible repatriation of millions of Soviet citizens that had fallen into German hands, including prisoners of war, refugees, and forced laborers. For many, the order was a death sentence, as citizens returned to find themselves executed or placed back in forced-labor camps. Tolstoy condemns the complicity of the British, who “ardently followed” the repatriation orders.
The OperatorRobert O'Neill
This instant New York Times bestseller—“a jaw-dropping, fast-paced account” ( New York Post ) recounts SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s incredible four-hundred-mission career, including the attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips, and which culminated in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist—Osama bin Laden. In The Operator , Robert 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. “Impossible to put down… The Operator is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations…In the larger sense, this book is about…how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat” (Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author). O’Neill describes the nonstop action of his 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 details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history. This is “a riveting, unvarnished, and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war” (Joby Warrick).
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.
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.
IndianapolisLynn Vincent & Sara Vladic
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” — USA Today * “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” — Christian Science Monitor * “ENTHRALLING.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * “A MUST-READ.” — Booklist (starred review) A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive. For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own. It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as the ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive. Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis ’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains—McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis , who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain. A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.
Eyewitness to History: World War IIStephen W. Sears
". . . the greatest war of all time told as it is best told - by the people who lived it." - The Washington Post All first-person accounts of great events have their own fascination, but the editors of American Heritage have discovered that people writing about World War II seem to tell their own story with particular passion and eloquence. That is one reason American Heritage has published so many of them - and why noted military historian Stephen W. Sears has selected the most compelling. The result of his search is a uniquely moving and valuable anthology - a series of personal histories that, marshaled together, become an intimate history of the Second World War. Here is Edward Beach, the highly decorated submarine skipper and author of Run Silent, Run Deep, recalling what it was like to be sent into hostile waters with torpedoes that didn't work; Charles Cawthon recounts the landing at Normandy Beach in a restrained and poetic narrative whose quiet humor does nothing to blunt the savagery of the experience; General James Gavin tells of the jump into Sicily and of a battle fought that never should have been fought; Hughes Rudd watched the war from overhead in a flimsy spotter plane, his "Maytag Messerschmitt; and William Manchester remembers a particularly audacious and hilarious scam that a reckless Marine buddy played on the entire army. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some amusing, some horrifying, but every one of them - whether told by the women who hammered fighter planes together or the men who flew them - glows with hard-won experience.
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.
The Escape ArtistsNeal Bascomb
“Bascomb has unearthed a remarkable piece of hidden history, and told it perfectly. The story brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism.” —David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon Neal Bascomb, New York Times best-selling author, delivers the spellbinding story of the downed Allied airmen who masterminded the remarkably courageous—and ingenious—breakout from Germany’s most devilish POW camp In the winter trenches and flak-filled skies of World War I, soldiers and pilots alike might avoid death, only to find themselves imprisoned in Germany’s archipelago of POW camps, often in abominable conditions. The most infamous was Holzminden, a land-locked Alcatraz of sorts that housed the most troublesome, escape-prone prisoners. Its commandant was a boorish, hate-filled tyrant named Karl Niemeyer who swore that none should ever leave. Desperate to break out of “Hellminden” and return to the fight, a group of Allied prisoners led by ace pilot (and former Army sapper) David Gray hatch an elaborate escape plan. Their plot demands a risky feat of engineering as well as a bevy of disguises, forged documents, fake walls, and steely resolve. Once beyond the watch towers and round-the-clock patrols, Gray and almost a dozen of his half-starved fellow prisoners must then make a heroic 150 mile dash through enemy-occupied territory towards free Holland. Drawing on never-before-seen memoirs and letters, Neal Bascomb brings this narrative to cinematic life, amid the twilight of the British Empire and the darkest, most savage hours of the fight against Germany. At turns tragic, funny, inspirational, and nail-biting suspenseful, this is the little-known story of the biggest POW breakout of the Great War.
Hiroshima is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey. It tells the stories of six survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, covering a period of time immediately prior to and one year after the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. It was originally published in The New Yorker . Although the story was originally scheduled to be published over four issues, the entire edition of August 31, 1946 was dedicated to the article. The article and subsequent book are regarded as one of the earliest examples of the New Journalism, in which the story-telling techniques of fiction are adapted to non-fiction reporting.
Lone SurvivorMarcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson
A Navy SEAL's firsthand account of American heroism during a secret military operation in Afghanistan. Inspiration for a major motion picture by Mark Wahlberg. 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.
The Battle of ArnhemAntony Beevor
The prizewinning historian and internationally bestselling author of D-Day reconstructs the devastating airborne battle of Arnhem in this gripping new account. On September 17, 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the groaning roar of airplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders, carrying the legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept, but could it have ever worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, American, British, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student called "The Last German Victory." Yet The Battle of Arnhem , written with Beevor's inimitable style and gripping narrative, is about much more than a single dramatic battle--it looks into the very heart of war.
The FightersC. J. Chivers
“A classic of war reporting...The author’s stories give heart-rending meaning to the lives and deaths of these men and women, even if policymakers generally have not.”— The New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner C.J. Chivers’ unvarnished account of modern combat, told through the eyes of the fighters who have waged America’s longest wars. More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. Chivers captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which American forces were often not prepared. The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of World War II and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam. Told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran, The Fighters presents the long arc of two wars.
Belly of the BeastJudith L. Pearson
“A searing tribute . . . [to] America in its bleakest hour” (Senator John McCain, New York Times– bestselling author of Faith of My Fathers ). On December 13, 1944, POW Estel Myers was herded aboard the Japanese prison ship, the Oryoku Maru, with more than 1,600 other American captives. More than 1,100 of them would be dead by journey’s end . . . The son of a Kentucky sharecropper and an enlistee in the Navy’s medical corps, Myers arrived in Manila shortly before the bombings of Pearl Harbor and the other six targets of the Imperial Japanese military. While he and his fellow corpsmen tended to the bloody tide of soldiers pouring into their once peaceful Naval hospital, the Japanese overwhelmed the Pacific islands, capturing 78,000 POWs by April 1942. Myers was one of the first captured. After a brutal three-year encampment, Myers and his fellow POWs were forced onto an enemy hell ship bound for Japan. Suffocation, malnutrition, disease, dehydration, infestation, madness, and simple despair claimed the lives of nearly three quarters of those who boarded “the beast.” Myers survived. A compelling account of a rarely recorded event in military history, this is more than Estel Myers’ true story—this is an homage to the unfailing courage of men at war, an inspiring chronicle of self-sacrifice and endurance, and a tribute to the power of faith, the strength of the soul, and the triumph of the human spirit. “An inspiring look at one of World War II’s darkest hours.” —James Bradley, #1 New York Times –bestselling author of Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys “A searing chronicle.” — Kirkus Reviews
Into the Lion's MouthLarry Loftis
International bestseller! James Bond has nothing on Dusko Popov. a double agent for the Abwehr, MI5 and MI6, and the FBI during World War II, Popov seduced numerous women, spoke five languages, and was a crack shot, all while maintaining his cover as a Yugoslavian diplomat… On a cool August evening in 1941, a Serbian playboy created a stir at Casino Estoril in Portugal by throwing down an outrageously large baccarat bet to humiliate his opponent. The Serbian was a British double agent, and the money―which he had just stolen from the Germans―belonged to the British. From the sideline, watching with intent interest was none other than Ian Fleming… The Serbian was Dusko Popov. As a youngster, he was expelled from his London prep school. Years later he would be arrested and banished from Germany for making derogatory statements about the Third Reich. When World War II ensued, the playboy became a spy, eventually serving three dangerous masters: the Abwehr, MI5 and MI6, and the FBI. On August 10, 1941, the Germans sent Popov to the United States to construct a spy network and gather information on Pearl Harbor. The FBI ignored his German questionnaire, but J. Edgar Hoover succeeded in blowing his cover. While MI5 desperately needed Popov to deceive the Abwehr about the D-Day invasion, they assured him that a return to the German Secret Service Headquarters in Lisbon would result in torture and execution. He went anyway... Into the Lion’s Mouth is a globe-trotting account of a man’s entanglement with espionage, murder, assassins, and lovers―including enemy spies and a Hollywood starlet. It is a story of subterfuge and seduction, patriotism, and cold-blooded courage. It is the story of Dusko Popov―the inspiration for James Bond. INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS
The Knights Templar at War 1120–1312Paul Hill
There are many books about the Knights Templar, the medieval military order which played a key role in the crusades against the Muslims in the Holy Land, the Iberian peninsula and elsewhere in Europe. What is seldom explored is the military context in which they operated, and that is why Paul Hill’s highly illustrated study is so timely, for he focuses on how this military order prosecuted its wars. The order was founded as a response to attacks on pilgrims in the Holy Land, and it was involved in countless battles and sieges, always at the forefront of crusading warfare. This absorbing study examines why they were such an important aspect of medieval warfare on the frontiers of Christendom for nearly two hundred years. Paul Hill shows how they were funded and supplied, how they organized their forces on campaign and on the battlefield and the strategies and tactics they employed in the various theaters of warfare in which they fought. Templar leadership, command and control are examined, and sections cover their battles and campaigns, fortifications and castles.
D-DayStephen E. Ambrose
Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, a day that changed the course of history. D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged.Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be. The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, it moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant. Ambrose’s D-Day is the finest account of one of our history’s most important days.
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
12 StrongDoug Stanton
“A thrilling action ride of a book” ( The New York Times Book Review )—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11. Previously published as Horse Soldiers , 12 Strong 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. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. 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. “A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account 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. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” ( USA TODAY ).
The Last Stand of Fox CompanyBob Drury
November 1950, the Korean Peninsula: After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge that will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 234 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass, where they will endure four days and five nights of nearly continuous Chinese attempts to take Fox Hill. Amid the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox’s Marines are killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looks like they will be overrun, Lt. Colonel Raymond Davis, a fearless Marine officer who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a daring mission that will seek to cut a hole in the Chinese lines and relieve the men of Fox. This is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism in the face of impossible odds.
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.
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.
Relentless StrikeSean Naylor
The New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2015 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Unit History Since the attacks of September 11, one organization has been at the forefront of America's military response. Its efforts turned the tide against al-Qaida in Iraq, killed Bin Laden and Zarqawi, rescued Captain Phillips and captured Saddam Hussein. Its commander can direct cruise missile strikes from nuclear submarines and conduct special operations raids anywhere in the world. Relentless Strike tells the inside story of Joint Special Operations Command, the secret military organization that during the past decade has revolutionized counterterrorism, seamlessly fusing intelligence and operational skills to conduct missions that hit the headlines, and those that have remained in the shadows-until now. Because JSOC includes the military's most storied special operations units-Delta Force, SEAL Team 6, the 75th Ranger Regiment-as well as America's most secret aviation and intelligence units, this is their story, too. Relentless Strike reveals tension-drenched meetings in war rooms from the Pentagon to Iraq and special operations battles from the cabin of an MH-60 Black Hawk to the driver's seat of Delta Force's Pinzgauer vehicles as they approach their targets. Through exclusive interviews, reporter Sean Naylor uses his unique access to reveal how an organization designed in the 1980s for a very limited mission set transformed itself after 9/11 to become the military's premier weapon in the war against terrorism and how it continues to evolve today.
Marine SniperCharles Henderson
The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War. There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock. He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines—on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills. This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines. They are exciting, powerful, chilling—and all true. INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS
Road to DisasterBrian VanDeMark
"The most thoughtful and judicious one-volume history of the war and the American political leaders who presided over the difficult and painful decisions that shaped this history. The book will stand for the foreseeable future as the best study of the tragic mistakes that led to so much suffering."—Robert Dallek Many books have been written on the tragic decisions regarding Vietnam made by the young stars of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Yet despite millions of words of analysis and reflection, no historian has been able to explain why such decent, brilliant, and previously successful men stumbled so badly. That changes with Road to Disaster. Historian Brian VanDeMark draws upon decades of archival research, his own interviews with many of those involved, and a wealth of previously unheard recordings by Robert McNamara and Clark Clifford, who served as Defense Secretaries for Kennedy and Johnson. Yet beyond that, Road to Disaster is also the first history of the war to look at the cataclysmic decisions of those in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations through the prism of recent research in cognitive science, psychology, and organizational theory to explain why the "Best and the Brightest" became trapped in situations that suffocated creative thinking and willingness to dissent, why they found change so hard, and why they were so blind to their own errors. An epic history of America’s march to quagmire, Road to Disaster is a landmark in scholarship and a book of immense importance.
SEAL Target GeronimoChuck Pfarrer
The true story of the killing of bin Laden by author and former U.S. Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrer On May 2, 2011, at 1:03 a.m. a satellite uplink was sent from Pakistan crackling into the situation room of the White House: "Geronimo, Echo, KIA." These words, spoken by a Navy SEAL, ended Osama bin Laden's reign of terror. SEAL Target Geronimo is the story of Neptune's Spear from the men who were there. After talking to members of the SEAL team involved in the raid, Pfarrer shares never-before-revealed details in an exclusive account of what happened as he takes readers inside the walls of Bin Laden's compound penetrating deep into the terrorist's lair to reach the exact spot where the Al Qaeda leader was cowering when the bullet entered his head. SEAL Target Geronimo is an explosive story of unparalleled valor and clockwork military precision carried out by the most elite fighting force in the world—the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team Six.
They Fought AloneCharles Glass
“Highly detailed and fast-paced, Charles Glass’s They Fought Alone is a must-read for those whose passion is the Resistance literature of World War II.” —Alan Furst, author of A Hero of France From the bestselling author of Americans in Paris and The Deserters , the astounding story of Britain's Special Operations Executive, one of World War II's most important secret fighting forces As far as the public knew, Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) did not exist. After the defeat of the French Army and Britain's retreat from the Continent in June 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the top-secret espionage operation to "set Europe ablaze." The agents infiltrated Nazi-occupied territory, parachuting behind enemy lines and hiding in plain sight, quietly but forcefully recruiting, training, and arming local French résistants to attack the German war machine. SOE would not only change the course of the war, but the nature of combat itself. Of the many brave men and women conscripted, two Anglo-American recruits, the Starr brothers, stood out to become legendary figures to the guerillas, assassins, and saboteurs they led. While both brothers were sent across the channel to organize against the Germans, their fates in war could hardly have been more different. Captain George Starr commanded networks of résistants in southwest France, cutting German communications, destroying weapons factories, and delaying the arrival of Nazi troops to Normandy by seventeen days after D-Day. Younger brother Lieutenant John Starr laid groundwork for resistance in the Burgundy countryside until he was betrayed, captured, tortured, and imprisoned by the Nazis in France and sent to a series of concentration camps in Germany and Austria. Feats of boldness and bravado were many, but appalling scandals, including George's supposed torture and execution of Nazis prisoners, and John's alleged collaboration with his German captors, overshadowed them all. At the war's end, Britain, France, and the United States awarded both brothers medals for heroism, and George would become one of only three among thousands of SOE operatives to achieve the rank of colonel. Yet, their battle honors did little to allay postwar allegations against them, and when they returned to England, their government accused both brothers of heinous war crimes. Here, for the first time, is the story of one of the great clandestine organizations of World War II, and of two heroic brothers whose ordeals during and after the war challenged the accepted myths of Britain's wartime resistance in occupied France. Written with complete and unrivaled access to only recently declassified documents from Britain's SOE files, French archives, family letters, diaries, and court records, along with interviews from surviving wartime Resistance fighters, They Fought Alone is a real-life thriller. Renowned journalist and war correspondent Charles Glass exposes a dramatic tale of spies, sabotage, and the daring men and women who risked everything to change the course of World War II.
Presidents of WarMichael Beschloss
From a preeminent presidential historian comes a groundbreaking and often surprising saga of America’s wartime chief executives Ten years in the research and writing, Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, at times sending hundreds of thousands of American men and women to their deaths. From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times, we see them struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses, families and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. We come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—both physically and emotionally—or were broken by them. Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants in the drama and his findings in original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources help him to tell this story in a way it has not been told before. Presidents of War combines the sense of being there with the overarching context of two centuries of American history. This important book shows how far we have traveled from the time of our Founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to our modern day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons that can destroy much of the human race.
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.
The Hinge of FateWinston Churchill
At the onset of the fourth volume of Churchill's masterful eyewitness history of World War II, prospects are bleak for the Allies. The Japanese have captured Singapore and Burma in a series of bold offensives; meanwhile, aggressive U-boat attacks in the Atlantic were preventing American, British, and Dutch shipping vessels from supplying the war effort. Rommel was turning the tide toward Axis forces in North Africa. Meanwhile, Hitler was pushing inexorably toward Stalingrad. Churchill faced challenges in the field--and considerable criticism at home. The Hinge of Fate details his success in regaining the upper hand in military endeavors--while bolstering the mood of a pessimistic British public. In addition to broad and deep insight into historical events, this volume documents Churchill's personal relationships with other wartime leaders, including FDR and Stalin, in fascinating detail.
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?
Kill Bin LadenDalton Fury
The mission was to kill the most wanted man in the world--an operation of such magnitude that it couldn't be handled by just any military or intelligence force. The best America had to offer was needed. As such, the task was handed to roughly forty members of America's supersecret counterterrorist unit formerly known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta; more popularly, the elite and mysterious unit Delta Force. The American generals were flexible. A swatch of hair, a drop of blood, or simply a severed finger wrapped in plastic would be sufficient. Delta's orders were to go into harm's way and prove to the world bin Laden had been terminated. These Delta warriors had help: a dozen of the British Queen's elite commandos, another dozen or so Army Green Berets, and six intelligence operatives from the CIA who laid the groundwork by providing cash, guns, bullets, intelligence, and interrogation skills to this clandestine military force. Together, this team waged modern siege of epic proportions against bin Laden and his seemingly impenetrable cave sanctuary burrowed deep inside the Spin Ghar Mountain range in eastern Afghanistan. Over the years, since the battle ended, scores of news stories have surfaced offering tidbits of information about what actually happened in Tora Bora. Most of it is conjecture and speculation. This is the real story of the operation, the first eyewitness account of the Battle of Tora Bora, and the first book to detail just how close Delta Force came to capturing bin Laden, how close U.S. bombers and fighter aircraft came to killing him, and exactly why he slipped through our fingers. Lastly, this is an extremely rare inside look at the shadowy world of Delta Force and a detailed account of these warriors in battle.
In The Company Of HeroesMichael J. Durant & Steven Hartov
Piloting a U.S. Army Special Operations Blackhawk over Somalia, Michael Durant was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade on October 3, 1993. With devastating injuries, he was taken prisoner by a Somali warlord. With revealing insight and emotion, he tells the story of what he saw, how he survived, and the courage and heroism that only soldiers under fire could ever know.
That Field of BloodDaniel Vermilya
September 17, 1862—one of the most consequential days in the history of the United States—was a moment in time when the future of the country could have veered in two starkly different directions. Confederates under General Robert E. Lee had embarked upon an invasion of Maryland, threatening to achieve a victory on Union soil that could potentially end the Civil War in Southern Independence. Lee’s opponent, Major General George McClellan, led the Army of the Potomac to stop Lee’s campaign. In Washington D.C., President Lincoln eagerly awaited news from the field, knowing that the future of freedom for millions was at stake. Lincoln had resolved that, should Union forces win in Maryland, he would issue his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. All this hung in the balance on September 17: the day of the battle of Antietam. The fighting near Sharpsburg, Maryland, that day would change the course of American history, but in the process, it became the costliest day this nation has ever known, with more than 23,000 men falling as casualties. Join historian Daniel J. Vermilya to learn more about America’s bloodiest day, and how it changed the United States forever in That Field of Blood.
Catastrophe 1914Max Hastings
From the acclaimed military historian, a history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles—the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg—that marked the frenzied first year before the war bogged down in the trenches. In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings gives us a conflict different from the familiar one of barbed wire, mud and futility. He traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West, where the French army marched into action in uniforms of red and blue with flags flying and bands playing. In August, four days after the French suffered 27,000 men dead in a single day, the British fought an extraordinary holding action against oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost the British held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. Hastings also re-creates the lesser-known battles on the Eastern Front, brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs inflicted three million casualties upon one another by Christmas. As he has done in his celebrated, award-winning works on World War II, Hastings gives us frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. He argues passionately against the contention that the war was not worth the cost, maintaining that Germany’s defeat was vital to the freedom of Europe. Throughout we encounter statesmen, generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations in Hastings’s accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts: generals dismounting to lead troops in bayonet charges over 1,500 feet of open ground; farmers who at first decried the requisition of their horses; infantry men engaged in a haggard retreat, sleeping four hours a night in their haste. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.
Long Way Back to the River KwaiLoet Velmans
Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans invaded Holland. He and his family fled to London on the Dutch Coast Guard cutter Seaman’s Hope and then sailed to the Dutch East Indies now Indonesia where he joined the Dutch army. In March 1942, the Japanese invaded the archipelago and made prisoners of the Dutch soldiers. For the next three and a half years Velmans and his fellow POWs toiled in slave labor camps, building a railroad through the dense jungle on the Burmese-Thailand border so the Japanese could invade India. Some 200,000 POWs and slave laborers died building this Death Railway. Velmans, though suffering from malaria, dysentery, malnutrition, and unspeakable mistreatment, never gave up hope. Fifty-seven years later he returned to revisit the place where he should have died and where he had buried his closest friend. From that emotional visit sprung this stunning memoir. Long Way Back to the River Kwai is a simply told but searing memoir of World War II a testimonial to one man’s indomitable will to live that will take its place beside the Diary of Ann Frank , Bridge over the River Kwai , and Edith’s Story .
Horses Don't FlyFrederick Libby
From breaking wild horses in Colorado to fighting the Red Baron's squadrons in the skies over France, here in his own words is the true story of a forgotten American hero: the cowboy who became our first ace and the first pilot to fly the American colors over enemy lines. Growing up on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado, Frederick Libby mastered the cowboy arts of roping, punching cattle, and taming horses. As a young man he exercised his skills in the mountains and on the ranges of Arizona and New Mexico as well as the Colorado prairie. When World War I broke out, he found himself in Calgary, Alberta, and joined the Canadian army. In France, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an "observer," the gunner in a two-person biplane. Libby shot down an enemy plane on his first day in battle over the Somme, which was also the first day he flew in a plane or fired a machine gun. He went on to become a pilot. He fought against the legendary German aces Oswald Boelcke and Manfred von Richthofen, and became the first American to down five enemy planes. He won the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action. Libby's memoir of his cowboy days in the last years of the Old West evokes a real-life Cormac McCarthy novel. His description of World War I combines a rattling good account of the air war over France with captivating and sometimes poignant depictions of wartime London, the sorrow for friends lost in combat, and the courage and camaraderie of the Royal Flying Corps. Told in charming, straightforward vernacular, Horses Don't Fly is an unforgettable piece of Americana.
Pearl Harbor: Final JudgementBruce Lee & Henry C. Clausen
This account of the top secret investigation is “essential history . . . the authoritative appraisal of why American armed forces met the Japanese attack asleep” ( The Christian Science Monitor ). On December 6, 1941, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, assured his staff that the Japanese would not attack Pearl Harbor. The next morning, Japanese carriers steamed toward Hawaii to launch one of the most devastating surprise attacks in the history of war, proving the admiral disastrously wrong. Immediately, an investigation began into how the American military could have been caught so unaware. The results of the initial investigation failed to implicate who was responsible for this intelligence debacle. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, realizing that high-ranking members of the military had provided false testimony, decided to reopen the investigation by bringing in an unknown major by the name of Henry C. Clausen. Over the course of ten months, from November 1944 to September 1945, Clausen led an exhaustive investigation. He logged more than fifty-five thousand miles and interviewed over one hundred military and civilian personnel, ultimately producing an eight-hundred-page report that brought new evidence to light. Clausen left no stone unturned in his dogged effort to determine who was truly responsible for the disaster at Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement reveals all of the eye-opening details of Clausen’s investigation and is a damning account of massive intelligence failure. To this day, the story surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor stokes controversy and conspiracy theories. This book provides conclusive evidence that shows how the US military missed so many signals and how it could have avoided the events of that fateful day.
The Battle of MogadishuMatt Eversmann & Dan Schilling
“No matter how skilled the writer of nonfiction, you are always getting the story secondhand. Here’s a chance to go right to the source. . . . These men were there.” –MARK BOWDEN (from the Foreword) It started as a mission to capture a Somali warlord. It turned into a disastrous urban firefight and death-defying rescue operation that shocked the world and rattled a great nation. Now the 1993 battle for Mogadishu, Somalia–the incident that was the basis of the book and film Black Hawk Down –is remembered by the men who fought and survived it. Six of the best in our military recall their brutal experiences and brave contributions in these never-before-published, firstperson accounts. “Operation Gothic Serpent,” by Matt Eversmann: As a “chalk” leader, Eversmann was part of the first group of Rangers to “fast rope” from the Black Hawk helicopters. It was his chalk that suffered the first casualty of the battle. “Sua Sponte: Of Their Own Accord,” by Raleigh Cash: Responsible for controlling and directing fire support for the platoon, Cash entered the raging battle in the ground convoy sent to rescue his besieged brothers in arms. “Through My Eyes,” by Mike Kurth: One of only two African Americans in the battle, Kurth confronted his buddies’ deaths, realizing that “the only people whom I had let get anywhere near me since I was a child were gone.” “What Was Left Behind,” by John Belman: He roped into the biggest firefight of the battle and considers some of the mistakes that were made, such as using Black Hawk helicopters to provide sniper cover. “Be Careful What You Wish For,” by Tim Wilkinson: He was one of the Air Force pararescuemen or PJs–the highly trained specialists for whom “That Others May Live” is no catchphrase but a credo–and sums up his incomprehensible courage as “just holding up my end of the deal on a bad day.” “On Friendship and Firefights,” by Dan Schilling: As a combat controller, he was one of the original planners for the deployment of SOF forces to Mogadishu in the spring of 1993. During the battle, he survived the initial assault and carnage of the vehicle convoys only to return to the city to rescue his two closest friends, becoming, literally, “Last Out.” With America’s withdrawal from Somalia an oft-cited incitement to Osama bin Laden, it is imperative to revisit this seminal military mission and learn its lessons from the men who were there and, amazingly, are still here. From the Hardcover edition.
The Art of WarSun Tzu
Preserved in China for more than 2,000 years before it was brought to the West by the French, this compact little book is widely regarded as the oldest military treatise in the world. Rumored to have been used by Napoleon in his campaigns to conquer Europe, it today retains much of its original merit. American officers read it closely during World War II. The Japanese army studied the work for decades, and many 20th-century Chinese officers are said to have known the book by heart. More recently, it has also been viewed as a valuable guide to competing successfully in business. Stressing the importance of attacking your enemy when he is unprepared and scheming to discover his plans, the author advises avoiding the strong and striking at the weak, and using spies for every kind of business. Principles of strategy, tactics, maneuvering, and communications, the treatment of soldiers, the importance of strong troops and well-trained officers, and the administration of rewards and punishments all have a modern ring to them. A valuable guide to the conduct of war, this classic of military strategy is indispensable to military personnel, history enthusiasts, and anyone intrigued by competition and rivalry.
A Matter of HonorAnthony Summers & Robbyn Swan
On the seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor—and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming. The Japanese onslaught on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 devastated Americans and precipitated entry into World War II. In the aftermath, Admiral Husband Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command, accused of negligence and dereliction of duty—publicly disgraced. But the Admiral defended his actions through eight investigations and for the rest of his long life. The evidence against him was less than solid. High military and political officials had failed to provide Kimmel and his Army counterpart with vital intelligence. Later, to hide the biggest U.S. intelligence secret of the day, they covered it up. Following the Admiral’s death, his sons—both Navy veterans—fought on to clear his name. Now that they in turn are dead, Kimmel’s grandsons continue the struggle. For them, 2016 is a pivotal year. With unprecedented access to documents, diaries and letters, and the family’s cooperation, Summers’ and Swan’s search for the truth has taken them far beyond the Kimmel story—to explore claims of duplicity and betrayal in high places in Washington. A Matter of Honor is a provocative story of politics and war, of a man willing to sacrifice himself for his country only to be sacrificed himself. Revelatory and definitive, it is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this pivotal event. The book includes forty black-and-white photos throughout the text.
Danger CloseSteve Call
“America had a secret weapon,” writes Steve Call of the period immediately following September 11, 2001, as planners contemplated the invasion of Afghanistan. This weapon consisted of small teams of Special Forces operatives trained in close air support (CAS) who, in cooperation with the loose federation of Afghan rebels opposed to the Taliban regime, soon began achieving impressive—and unexpected—military victories over Taliban forces and the al-Qaeda terrorists they had sponsored. The astounding success of CAS tactics coupled with ground operations in Afghanistan soon drew the attention of military decision makers and would eventually factor into the planning for another campaign: Operation Iraqi Freedom. But who, exactly, are these air power experts and what is the function of the TACPs (Tactical Air Control Parties) in which they operate? Danger Close provides a fascinating look at a dedicated, courageous, innovative, and often misunderstood and misused group of military professionals. Drawing on the gripping first-hand accounts of their battlefield experiences, Steve Call allows the TACPs to speak for themselves. He accompanies their narratives with informed analysis of the development of CAS strategy, including potentially controversial aspects of the interservice rivalries between the air force and the army which have at times complicated and even obstructed the optimal employment of TACP assets. Danger Close makes clear, however, that the systematic coordination of air power and ground forces played an invaluable supporting role in the initial military victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This first-ever examination of the intense, life-and-death world of the close air support specialist will introduce readers to a crucial but little-known aspect of contemporary warfare and add a needed chapter in American military history studies.
The Gallic WarJulius Caesar
The only chronicle by an ancient general of his own campaigns, this historical treasure is also a work of profound literary merit. Julius Caesar's fascinating account of his conquests offers a trove of priceless details about the cultures of Gaul, Germany, and Britain during the First century B.C.—and of the great man himself. Despite his extensive background in politics, Caesar expresses himself without hiding behind rhetoric, in an uncluttered, factual style. Vigorous, direct, and eloquent, his accounts resemble memoirs or historical outlines rather than a formal histories. His notes on cultural matters, although secondary to his attention to military affairs, offer the era's most complete picture of the settings and personalities among Celtic and German tribes. This excellent translation offers several helpful features.
At Hitler's SideNicolaus von Below
This is the personal account of a Luftwaffe aide always at Hitler’s side from 1937 until the last days in Berlin, now published for the first time in English. Nicolaus von Below was a 29-year-old pilot when Goering selected him for the position of Hitler’s Luftwaffe adjutant. He was with Hitler at every stage as the Second World War unfolded. His observations tell of Hitler’s responses to momentous events as well as military decisions and policy-making at Führer Headquarters. This is a superb source describing life in Hitler’s inner circle, relied upon on by Gitta Sereny in her biography of Albert Speer. He provides fascinating insight into how Hitler planned the invasions of Poland and Russia, what he thought of Britain and America, why he placed his faith in the V-1 and V-2 projects, how others dealt with him, and much more. Von Below was present at the assassination attempt in July 1944, and records the effect on Hitler and his followers. Von Below was the last of Hitler’s close military entourage to emerge from the bunker alive. His frank memoir will appeal to anyone interested in how Hitler ran his war. He was denounced to the British in 1946 and imprisoned as a material witness at Nuremberg, until being discharged in 1947.
Olga Greenlaw kept the War Diary of the American Volunteer Group--the Flying Tigers--while those gallant mercenaries defended Burma and China from Japanese aggression during the opening months of the Pacific War. Returning to the United States in 1942, she wrote The Lady and the Tigers , which war correspondent Leland Stowe hailed as "an authoritative, gutsy and true to life story of the AVG." Out of print for more than half a century, her book was brought up to date by Daniel Ford, author of the prize-winning history, Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942 . What's more, Ford explained for the first time where Olga and Harvey Greenlaw came from, how they became caught up in the saga of the Flying Tigers, and what became of them after their tumultuous year with the AVG. With photographs from the print edition.
Grumman F4F Wildcat - Grumman F6F Hellcat - F4U CorsairMantelli - Brown - Kittel - Graf
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was a single-engine fighter embarked to media wing developed by the US Air Force Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in the late thirties; produced between the end of the decade to the early forties was the main fighter, usually embarked on aircraft carriers, the United States Navy during 1941 and 1942, ie in the first year of participation in the Second World War and successor, as well as downward, the F3F, last of the US fighter biplanes Navy and Air Force of the entire United States of America. The Grumman F6F Hellcat was quickly developed as a standard fighter of the US Navy in World War II, he went into service in 1943 and remains the most important aircraft of the US Navy until the end of the conflict. Was the direct descendant of the F4F Wildcat of which, according to forecasts, it had to be a valid replacement for the Navy aircraft carrier in order to better combat the way to the Japanese fighters. According to statistics gathered by the Defense, 75% of enemy planes shot down by American aircraft operating from aircraft carriers in all theaters of war is to be credited all'Hellcat. In addition to the 4,947 Japanese and German equipment culled from F6F operating from aircraft carriers, the Hellcat which started from bases on land destroyed 209 enemy aircraft, bringing the total number of victories in all the world the military sector in 5156.
US Airborne Soldier vs German SoldierDavid Campbell
The US Airborne force fielded some of the toughest, best-trained and most resourceful troops of World War II – all necessary qualities in a force that was lightly armed and which would in most operational circumstances be surrounded from the moment it landed on the battlefield. The German Wehrmacht grew to rely on a series of defensive measures to combat the airborne threat, including fortifications, localized reserves, and special training to help intercept and disrupt airborne troops both in the air and on the ground. Despite such methods it was cool-headed command and control that would prove to be the real key to blunting the Airborne's edge. Using specially commissioned artwork, this book examines the development of the American airborne forces that spearheaded the Allied effort in Sicily, Normandy and Operation Market Garden , and the German countermeasures that evolved in response to the threat of Allied airborne landings.
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