Top Military History Ebook Best Sellers

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Killing the Killers - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing the Killers

Killing the Killers The Secret War Against Terrorists by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller! In the eleventh book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard reveal the startling, dramatic story of the global war against terrorists. In Killing The Killers , #1 bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard take readers deep inside the global war on terror, which began more than twenty years ago on September 11, 2001. As the World Trade Center buildings collapsed, the Pentagon burned, and a small group of passengers fought desperately to stop a third plane from completing its deadly flight plan, America went on war footing. Killing The Killers narrates America's intense global war against extremists who planned and executed not only the 9/11 attacks, but hundreds of others in America and around the world, and who eventually destroyed entire nations in their relentless quest for power. Killing The Killers moves from Afghanistan to Iraq, Iran to Yemen, Syria, and Libya, and elsewhere, as the United States fought Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as individually targeting the most notorious leaders of these groups. With fresh detail and deeply-sourced information, O'Reilly and Dugard create an unstoppable account of the most important war of our era. Killing The Killers is the most thrilling and suspenseful book in the #1 bestselling series of popular history books (over 18 million sold) in the world.

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Code Girls - Liza Mundy Cover Art

Code Girls

Code Girls The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

The award-winning New York Times 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.

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The Monuments Men - Robert M. Edsel & Bret Witter Cover Art

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert 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.

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The Comanche Code Talkers of World War II - William C. Meadows Cover Art

The Comanche Code Talkers of World War II

The Comanche Code Talkers of World War II by William C. Meadows

The true story of the US Army’s Comanche Code Talkers, from their recruitment and training to active duty in World War II and postwar life. Among the allied troops that came ashore in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, were thirteen Comanches in the 4th Infantry Division, 4th Signal Company. Under German fire they laid communications lines and began sending messages in a form never before heard in Europe?coded Comanche. For the rest of World War II, the Comanche Code Talkers played a vital role in transmitting orders and messages in a code that was never broken by the Germans. This book tells the full story of the Comanche Code Talkers for the first time. Drawing on interviews with all surviving members of the unit, their original training officer, and fellow soldiers, as well as military records and news accounts, William C. Meadows follows the group from their recruitment and training to their active duty in World War II and on through their postwar lives up to the present. He also provides the first comparison of Native American code talking programs, comparing the Comanche Code Talkers with their better-known Navajo counterparts in the Pacific and with other Native Americans who used their languages, coded or not, for secret communication. Meadows sets this history in a larger discussion of the development of Native American code talking in World Wars I and II, identifying two distinct forms of Native American code talking, examining the attitudes of the American military toward Native American code talkers, and assessing the complex cultural factors that led Comanche and other Native Americans to serve their country in this way. “Of all the books on Native American service in the U.S. armed forces, this is the best. . . . Readers will find the story of the Comanche Code Talkers compelling, humorous, thought-provoking, and inspiring.” —Tom Holm, author of Strong Hearts, Wounded Souls: Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War

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Sisters in Resistance - Tilar J. Mazzeo Cover Art

Sisters in Resistance

Sisters in Resistance How a German Spy, a Banker's Wife, and Mussolini's Daughter Outwitted the Nazis by Tilar J. Mazzeo

In a tale as twisted as any spy thriller, discover how three women delivered critical evidence of Axis war crimes to Allied forces during World War II: “A tantalizingly novelistic history lesson" ( Kirkus ).   In 1944, news of secret diaries kept by Italy's Foreign Minister, Galeazzo Ciano, had permeated public consciousness. What wasn't reported, however, was how three women—a Fascist's daughter, a German spy, and an American banker’s wife—risked their lives to ensure the diaries would reach the Allies, who would later use them as evidence against the Nazis at Nuremberg. In 1944, Benito Mussolini's daughter, Edda, gave Hitler and her father an ultimatum: release her husband, Galeazzo Ciano, from prison, or risk her leaking her husband's journals to the press. To avoid the peril of exposing Nazi lies, Hitler and Mussolini hunted for the diaries for months, determined to destroy them. Hilde Beetz, a German spy, was deployed to seduce Ciano to learn the diaries' location and take them from Edda. As the seducer became the seduced, Hilde converted as a double agent, joining forces with Edda to save Ciano from execution. When this failed, Edda fled to Switzerland with Hilde’s daring assistance to keep Ciano's final wish: to see the diaries published for use by the Allies. When American spymaster Allen Dulles learned of Edda's escape, he sent in Frances De Chollet, an “accidental” spy, telling her to find Edda, gain her trust, and, crucially, hand the diaries over to the Americans. Together, they succeeded in preserving one of the most important documents of WWII.           Drawing from in‑depth research and first-person interviews with people who witnessed these events, Mazzeo gives readers a riveting look into this little‑known moment in history and shows how, without Edda, Hilde, and Frances's involvement, certain convictions at Nuremberg would never have been possible. Includes a Reading Group Guide.

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Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson Cover Art

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson

Follow along a Navy SEAL's firsthand account of American heroism during a secret military operation in Afghanistan in this true story of survival and difficult choices. 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.

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The Longest Winter - Alex Kershaw Cover Art

The Longest Winter

The Longest Winter The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon by Alex Kershaw

The epic story of the vastly outnumbered platoon that stopped Germany's leading assault in the Ardennes forest and prevented Hitler's most fearsome tanks from overtaking American positions On a cold morning in December, 1944, deep in the Ardennes forest, a platoon of eighteen men under the command of twenty-year-old lieutenant Lyle Bouck were huddled in their foxholes trying desperately to keep warm. Suddenly, the early morning silence was broken by the roar of a huge artillery bombardment and the dreadful sound of approaching tanks. Hitler had launched his bold and risky offensive against the Allies-his "last gamble"-and the small American platoon was facing the main thrust of the entire German assault. Vastly outnumbered, they repulsed three German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing over five hundred German soldiers and defending a strategically vital hill. Only when Bouck's men had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. As POWs, Bouck's platoon began an ordeal far worse than combat-survive in captivity under trigger-happy German guards, Allied bombing raids, and a daily ration of only thin soup. In German POW camps, hundreds of captured Americans were either killed or died of disease, and most lost all hope. But the men of Bouck's platoon survived-miraculously, all of them. Once again in vivid, dramatic prose, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of some of America's little-known heroes-the story of America's most decorated small unit, an epic story of courage and survival in World War II, and one of the most inspiring stories in American history.

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The Bomber Mafia - Malcolm Gladwell Cover Art

The Bomber Mafia

The Bomber Mafia A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell

A “truly compelling” ( Good Morning America ) New York Times bestseller that explores how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war—from the creator and host of the podcast Revisionist History. In The Bomber Mafia , Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.   Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?     In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”   Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.

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Presidents of War - Michael Beschloss Cover Art

Presidents of War

Presidents of War The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times by Michael Beschloss

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • From a preeminent presidential historian comes a “superb and important” ( The New York Times Book Review ) saga of America’s wartime chief executives   “Fascinating and heartbreaking . . . timely . . . Beschloss’s broad scope lets you draw important crosscutting lessons about presidential leadership.”—Bill Gates   Widely acclaimed and ten years in the making, Michael Beschloss’s  Presidents of War  is an intimate and irresistibly readable chronicle of the Chief Executives who took the United States into conflict and mobilized it for victory. From the War of 1812 to Vietnam, we see these leaders considering the difficult decision to send hundreds of thousands of Americans to their deaths; struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. Through Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants and findings in original letters and once-classified national security documents, we come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—or were broken by them.   Presidents of War  combines this sense of immediacy with the overarching context of two centuries of American history, traveling 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. Praise for  Presidents of War "A marvelous narrative. . . . As Beschloss explains, the greatest wartime presidents successfully leaven military action with moral concerns. . . . Beschloss’s writing is clean and concise, and he admirably draws upon new documents. Some of the more titillating tidbits in the book are in the footnotes. . . . There are fascinating nuggets on virtually every page of  Presidents of War . It is a superb and important book, superbly rendered.” —Jay Winik,  The New York Times Book Review "Sparkle and bite. . . . Valuable and engrossing study of how our chief executives have discharged the most significant of all their duties. . . . Excellent. . . . A fluent narrative that covers two centuries of national conflict.”   —Richard Snow,  The Wall Street Journal

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The Splendid and the Vile - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Splendid and the Vile

The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

#1  NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • The author of  The Devil in the White City  and  Dead Wake  delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis   “One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”— Time  •  “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR     NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR •  The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe & Mail • Fortune • Bloomberg • New York Post •  The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews  • LibraryReads • PopMatters On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile , Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.   The Splendid and the Vile  takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

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The Art of War - Tzu Sun & Ralph D. Sawyer Cover Art

The Art of War

The Art of War by Tzu Sun & Ralph D. Sawyer

The definitive translation of Sun-tzu's timeless classic of military strategy, Art of War Sun-tzu's Art of War is almost certainly the most famous study of strategy ever written. This treatise has been credited with influencing some of the most legendary military operations. Beyond the battlefield, people far and wide have long turned to Art of War for advice on how to succeed in various competitive situations, and companies around the world now make this book required reading for their executives.     In this translation, Chinese warfare scholar Ralph D. Sawyer places Art of War in its proper historical context, outlining several battles that Sun-tzu either conducted or that may have influenced him, and offers an edition that is uniquely accurate and accessible.  

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Fierce Valor - Jared Frederick & Erik Dorr Cover Art

Fierce Valor

Fierce Valor The True Story of Ronald Speirs and his Band of Brothers by Jared Frederick & Erik Dorr

Fans of Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers will be drawn to this complex portrait of the controversial Ronald Speirs, an iconic commander of Easy Company during World War II, whose ferocious courage in three foreign conflicts was matched by his devotion to duty and the bittersweet passions of wartime romance.   His comrades called him “Killer.” Of the elite paratroopers who served in the venerated “Band of Brothers” during World War II, none were more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, Speirs’ became a foxhole legend amongst his troops. But who was the real Lieutenant Speirs?  In Fierce Valor, historians Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr unveil the full story of Easy Company’s longest-serving commander for the first time. Tested by trials of extreme training, military rivalry, and lost love, Speirs’s international odyssey begins as an immigrant child in Prohibition-era Boston, continues through the bloody campaigns in France, Holland, and Germany, and sheds light on his lesser known exploits in Korea, the Cold War, and embattled Laos. Packed with groundbreaking research,  Fierce Valor  unveils a compelling portrait of an officer defined by boldness on the battlefield and a telling reminder that few soldiers escape the power of their own pasts.

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Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose’s classic New York Times bestseller and inspiration for the acclaimed HBO series about Easy Company, the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers at the frontlines of the war's most critical moments. Featuring a foreword from Tom Hanks. 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.

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Facing the Mountain - Daniel James Brown Cover Art

Facing the Mountain

Facing the Mountain An Inspiring Story of Japanese American Patriots in World War II by Daniel James Brown

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of NPR's "Books We Love" of 2021 Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography  Winner of the Christopher Award    “Masterly. An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism… Propulsive and gripping, in part because of Mr. Brown’s ability to make us care deeply about the fates of these individual soldiers...a page-turner.” – Wall Street Journal From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat , a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on four Japanese American men and their families, and the contributions and sacrifices that they made for the sake of the nation. In the days and months after Pearl Harbor, the lives of Japanese Americans across the continent and Hawaii were changed forever. In this unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe, Daniel James Brown portrays the journey of Rudy Tokiwa, Fred Shiosaki, and Kats Miho, who volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers' parents, immigrants who were forced to submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of Gordon Hirabayashi, one of a cadre of patriotic resisters who stood up against their government in defense of their own rights. Whether fighting on battlefields or in courtrooms, these were Americans under unprecedented strain, doing what Americans do best—striving, resisting, pushing back, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, and enduring.

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The Fifth Act - Elliot Ackerman Cover Art

The Fifth Act

The Fifth Act America's End in Afghanistan by Elliot Ackerman

A powerful and revelatory eyewitness account of the American collapse in Afghanistan, its desperate endgame, and the war’s echoing legacy Elliot Ackerman left the American military ten years ago, but his time in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Marines and later as a CIA paramilitary officer marked him indelibly. When the Taliban began to close in on Kabul in August 2021 and the Afghan regime began its death spiral, he found himself pulled back into the conflict. Afghan nationals who had worked closely with the American military and intelligence communities for years now faced brutal reprisal and sought frantically to flee the country with their families. The official US government evacuation effort was a bureaucratic failure that led to a humanitarian catastrophe. With former colleagues and friends protecting the airport in Kabul, Ackerman joined an impromptu effort by a group of journalists and other veterans to arrange flights and negotiate with both Taliban and American forces to secure the safe evacuation of hundreds. These were desperate measures taken during a desperate end to America's longest war. For Ackerman, it also became a chance to reconcile his past with his present.   The Fifth Act is an astonishing human document that brings the weight of twenty years of war to bear on a single week, the week the war ended. Using the dramatic rescue efforts in Kabul as his lattice, Ackerman weaves a personal history of the war's long progression, beginning with the initial invasion in the months after 9/11. It is a play in five acts, the fifth act being the story’s tragic denouement, a prelude to Afghanistan's dark future. Any reader who wants to understand what went wrong with the war’s trajectory will find a trenchant account here. But The Fifth Act also brings readers into close contact with a remarkable group of characters, American and Afghan, who fought the war with courage and dedication, and at great personal cost. Ackerman's story is a first draft of history that feels like a timeless classic.   

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The Operator - Robert O'Neill Cover Art

The Operator

The Operator Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Robert 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).

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Red Platoon - Clinton Romesha Cover Art

Red Platoon

Red Platoon A True Story of American Valor by Clinton Romesha

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The only comprehensive, firsthand account of the fourteen-hour firefight at the Battle of Keating in Afghanistan 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.

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The Pope at War - David I. Kertzer Cover Art

The Pope at War

The Pope at War The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler by David I. Kertzer

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The most important book ever written about the Catholic Church and its conduct during World War II. . . . The best nonfiction book of the summer.”—Daniel Silva on the Today show Based on newly opened Vatican archives, a groundbreaking, explosive, and riveting book about Pope Pius XII and his actions during World War II, including how he responded to the Holocaust, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Pope and Mussolini When Pope Pius XII died in 1958, his papers were sealed in the Vatican Secret Archives, leaving unanswered questions about what he knew and did during World War II. Those questions have only grown and festered, making Pius XII one of the most controversial popes in Church history, especially now as the Vatican prepares to canonize him. In 2020, Pius XII’s archives were finally opened, and David I. Kertzer—widely recognized as one of the world’s leading Vatican scholars—has been mining this new material ever since, revealing how the pope came to set aside moral leadership in order to preserve his church’s power. Based on thousands of never-before-seen documents not only from the Vatican, but from archives in Italy, Germany, France, Britain, and the United States, The Pope at War paints a new, dramatic portrait of what the pope did and did not do as war enveloped the continent and as the Nazis began their systematic mass murder of Europe’s Jews. The book clears away the myths and sheer falsehoods surrounding the pope’s actions from 1939 to 1945, showing why the pope repeatedly bent to the wills of Hitler and Mussolini. Just as Kertzer’s Pulitzer Prize–winning The Pope and Mussolini became the definitive book on Pope Pius XI and the Fascist regime, The Pope at War is destined to become the most influential account of his successor, Pius XII, and his relations with Mussolini and Hitler. Kertzer shows why no full understanding of the course of World War II is complete without knowledge of the dramatic, behind-the-scenes role played by the pope. “This remarkably researched book is replete with revelations that deserve the adjective ‘explosive,’” says Kevin Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University. “ The Pope at War is a masterpiece.”

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The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Richard Rhodes Cover Art

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

The definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book details the science, the people, and the sociopolitical realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb. This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence. From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bom b provides a panoramic backdrop for that story. Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.

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Ghost Soldiers - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Ghost Soldiers

Ghost Soldiers The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “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.

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First Casualty - Toby Harnden Cover Art

First Casualty

First Casualty The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11 by Toby Harnden

An award-winning journalist reveals the dramatic true story of the CIA's Team Alpha, the first Americans to be dropped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan after 9/11. America is reeling; Al-Qaeda has struck and thousands are dead. The country scrambles to respond, but the Pentagon has no plan for Afghanistan—where Osama bin Laden masterminded the attack and is protected by the Taliban. Instead, the CIA steps forward to spearhead the war. Eight CIA officers are dropped into the mountains of northern Afghanistan on October 17, 2001. They are Team Alpha, an eclectic band of linguists, tribal experts, and elite warriors: the first Americans to operate inside Taliban territory. Their covert mission is to track down Al- Qaeda and stop the terrorists from infiltrating the United States again.   First Casualty places you with Team Alpha as the CIA rides into battle on horseback alongside the warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum. In Washington, DC, few trust that the CIA men, the Green Berets, and the Americans’ outnumbered Afghan allies can prevail before winter sets in. On the ground, Team Alpha is undeterred. The Taliban is routed but hatches a plot with Al-Qaeda to hit back. Hundreds of suicidal fighters, many hiding weapons, fake a surrender and are transported to Qala-i Jangi—the “Fort of War.”   Team Alpha’s Mike Spann, an ex-Marine, and David Tyson, a polyglot former Central Asian studies academic, seize America’s initial opportunity to extract intelligence from men trained by bin Laden—among them a young Muslim convert from California. The prisoners revolt and one CIA officer falls—the first casualty in America’s longest war, which will last two decades. The other CIA man shoots dead the Al-Qaeda jihadists attacking his comrade. To survive, he must fight his way out against overwhelming odds.   Award-winning author Toby Harnden gained unprecedented access to all living Team Alpha members and every level of the CIA. Superbly researched, First Casualty draws on extensive interviews, secret documents, and deep reporting inside Afghanistan. As gripping as any adventure novel, yet intimate and profoundly moving, it tells how America found a winning strategy only to abandon it. Harnden reveals that the lessons of early victory and the haunting foretelling it contained—unreliable allies, ethnic rivalries, suicide attacks, and errant US bombs—were ignored, tragically fueling a twenty-year conflict. "Masterful, complex, and heartfelt, from the deeply personal to the critically strategic. Captures many lessons on many levels." —Ambassador Hank Crumpton, former senior CIA officer

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Spearhead - Adam Makos Cover Art

Spearhead

Spearhead An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II by Adam Makos

THE  NEW YORK TIMES,   WALL STREET JOURNAL, LOS ANGELES TIMES,  AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER  “A band of brothers in an American tank . . . Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury .” — The Wall Street Journal From the author of the international bestseller A Higher Call  comes the riveting World War II story of an American tank gunner’s journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel—and forge an enduring bond with his enemy. When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner’s seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He’s a natural-born shooter. At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division—“Spearhead”—thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit. After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art “super tank,” one of twenty in the European theater. But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That’s how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the U.S. Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the “Fortress City” of Germany. Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans. As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time. Praise for Spearhead “A detailed, gripping account . . . the remarkable story of two tank crewmen, from opposite sides of the conflict, who endure the grisly nature of tank warfare.” — USA Today (four out of four stars) “Strong and dramatic . . . Makos established himself as a meticulous researcher who’s equally adept at spinning a good old-fashioned yarn. . . . For a World War II aficionado, it will read like a dream.” —Associated Press  

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Sea Stories - Admiral William H. McRaven Cover Art

Sea Stories

Sea Stories My Life in Special Operations by Admiral William H. McRaven

Following the success of his #1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed , which has sold over one million copies, Admiral William H. McRaven is back with amazing stories of bravery and heroism during his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America's Special Operations Forces. Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Sea Stories begins in 1963 at a French Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II-the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages. Action-packed, humorous, and full of valuable life lessons like those exemplified in McRaven's bestselling Make Your Bed , Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders.

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The Daughters Of Yalta - Catherine Grace Katz Cover Art

The Daughters Of Yalta

The Daughters Of Yalta The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War by Catherine Grace Katz

The untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and of the conference’s fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II.   Tensions during the Yalta Conference in February 1945 threatened to tear apart the wartime alliance among Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin just as victory was close at hand. Catherine Grace Katz uncovers the dramatic story of the three young women who were chosen by their fathers to travel with them to Yalta, each bound by fierce family loyalty, political savvy, and intertwined romances that powerfully colored these crucial days. Kathleen Harriman was a champion skier, war correspondent, and daughter of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Averell Harriman. Sarah Churchill, an actress-turned-RAF officer, was devoted to her brilliant father, who depended on her astute political mind. Roosevelt’s only daughter, Anna, chosen instead of her mother Eleanor to accompany the president to Yalta, arrived there as keeper of her father’s most damaging secrets. Situated in the political maelstrom that marked the transition to a post- war world, The Daughters of Yalta is a remarkable story of fathers and daughters whose relationships were tested and strengthened by the history they witnessed and the future they crafted together.

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Killing the SS - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing the SS

Killing the SS The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2018) Confronting Nazi evil is the subject of the next installment in the mega-bestselling Killing series As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler’s brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel "Butcher of Lyon"; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann. Killing the SS is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled "Nazi hunters." This determined and disparate group included a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, Israeli Mossad agents, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death. Written in the fast-paced style of the Killing series, Killing the SS will educate and stun the reader. The final chapter is truly shocking.

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Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War - David Fisher Cover Art

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War by David Fisher

The next installment in the New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies ; The Civil War is a pulse-quickening account of the deadliest war in American history. From the birth of the Republican Party to the Confederacy’s first convention, the Underground Railroad to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War reveals the amazing and often little known stories behind the battle lines of America’s bloodiest war and debunks the myths that surround its greatest figures, including Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Stonewall Jackson, John Singleton Mosby, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, William Tecumseh Sherman, and more. An epic struggle between the past and future, the Civil War sought to fulfill the promise that “all men are created equal.” It freed an enslaved race, decimated a generation of young men, ushered in a new era of brutality in war, and created modern America. Featuring archival images, eyewitness accounts, and beautiful artwork that further brings the history to life, The Civil War is the action-packed and ultimate follow-up to the #1 bestsellers The Patriots and The Real West .

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Killing Patton - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing Patton

Killing Patton The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

Readers around the world have thrilled to Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy , and Killing Jesus --riveting works of nonfiction that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now from Bill O'Reilly, iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor , comes the most epic book of all in this multimillion-selling series: Killing Patton . General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident--and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.

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Islands of the Damned - R.V. Burgin & Bill Marvel Cover Art

Islands of the Damned

Islands of the Damned A Marine at War in the Pacific by R.V. Burgin & Bill Marvel

A remarkable eyewitness account of the most brutal combat of the Pacific War, from Peleliu to Okinawa, this is the true story of R.V. Burgin, the real-life World War II Marine Corps hero featured in HBO®'s The Pacific . “Read his story and marvel at the man...and those like him.”—Tom Hanks When a young Texan named R.V. Burgin joined the Marines 1942, he never imagined what was waiting for him a world away in the Pacific. There, amid steamy jungles, he encountered a ferocious and desperate enemy in the Japanese, engaging them in some of the most grueling and deadly fights of the war.   In this remarkable memoir, Burgin reveals his life as a special breed of Marine. Schooled by veterans who had endured the cauldron of Guadalcanal, Burgin’s company soon confronted snipers, repulsed jungle ambushes, encountered abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, and warded off howling banzai attacks as they island-hopped from one bloody battle to the next. In his two years at war, Burgin rose from a green private to a seasoned sergeant, fighting from New Britain through Peleliu and on to Okinawa, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor.   With unforgettable drama and an understated elegance, Burgin’s gripping narrative stands alongside those of classic Pacific chroniclers like Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge—indeed, Burgin was even Sledge’s platoon sergeant. Here is a deeply moving account of World War II, bringing to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

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The American Way of War - Tom Engelhardt Cover Art

The American Way of War

The American Way of War How Bush's Wars Became Obama's by Tom Engelhardt

The creator of TomDispatch.com “tackles our military fetish . . . He takes on our war-possessed world with clear-eyed, penetrating precision” ( Mother Jones ). Tom Engelhardt, creator of the website TomDispatch.com, takes a scalpel to the American urge to dominate the globe. Tracing developments from 9/11 to present day, this is an unforgettable anatomy of a disaster that is yet to end. Since 2001, Tom Englehardt has written regular reports for his popular site TomDispatch that have provided badly needed insight into US militarism and its effects, both at home and abroad. When others were celebrating the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, he warned of the enormous dangers of both occupations. In The American Way of War , Engelhardt documents Washington’s ongoing commitment to military bases to preserve—and extend—its empire; reveals damning information about the American reliance on air power, at great cost to civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan; and shows that the US empire has deep historical roots that precede the Bush administration—and continued through the presidency of Barack Obama. Praise for Tom Engelhardt and The American Way of War “Engelhardt is absorbing and provocative. Everything he writes is of a satisfyingly congruent piece.” — The New York Times “Tom Engelhardt provides a clear-eyed examination of U.S. foreign policy in the Bush and Obama years, and details unsparingly how Obama has inherited—and in many cases exacerbated—the ills of the Bush era.” —Daniel Luban, Inter Press Service “Tom Engelhardt is a national treasure and always worth reading.” —Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan

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Dead Center - Ed Kugler Cover Art

Dead Center

Dead Center A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War by Ed Kugler

WHEN YOU'RE IN THE DEATH BUSINESS, EACH DAWN COULD BE YOUR LAST. Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there--the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at seventeen, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966. As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts. To take advantage of that experience, he formed the Rogues, a five-sniper team that hunted in the Co Bi-Than Tan Valley for VC and NVA. His descriptions of long, tense waits, sudden deadly action, and NVA countersniper ambushes are fascinating. In DEAD CENTER, Kugler demonstrates the importance to a sniper of patience, marksmanship, bush skills, and guts--while underscoring exactly what a country demands of its youth when it sends them to war.

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The Pentagon's Brain - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

The Pentagon's Brain

The Pentagon's Brain An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen

Discover the definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, in this Pulitzer Prize finalist from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 . No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present. This is the book on DARPA -- a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

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We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young - Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore & Joseph L. Galloway Cover Art

We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young

We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young Ia Drang—The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Lt. Gen. Harold 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.

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A Few Bad Men: The True Story of U.S. Marines Ambushed in Afghanistan and Betrayed in America - Major Fred Galvin USMC (Ret.) & Sal Manna Cover Art

A Few Bad Men: The True Story of U.S. Marines Ambushed in Afghanistan and Betrayed in America

A Few Bad Men: The True Story of U.S. Marines Ambushed in Afghanistan and Betrayed in America by Major Fred Galvin USMC (Ret.) & Sal Manna

Ambushed in Afghanistan and betrayed by their own leaders—these elite Marines fought for their lives again, back home. A cross between A Few Good Men and American Sniper, this is the true story of an elite Marine special operations unit bombed by an IED and shot at during an Afghanistan ambush. The Marine Commandos were falsely accused of gunning down innocent Afghan civilians following the ambush. The unit’s leader, Maj. Fred Galvin, was summarily relieved of duty and his unit was booted from the combat zone. They were condemned by everyone, from the Afghan president to American generals. When Fox Company returned to America, Galvin and his captain were the targets of the first Court of Inquiry in the Marines in fifty years. “Fred Galvin is the real deal. His dramatic retelling of his experience as commander of Fox Company reads like a thriller, full of twists and turns, filled with unassuming heroes and deceitful villains.” — Rob Lorenz, Producer/Director, American Sniper, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Mystic River, The Marksman “Fred Galvin has written a real ‘page turner’ that demonstrates how politics permeates The Pentagon and posts abroad…I highly recommend this book.” — J.D. Hayworth, U.S. House of Representatives (Arizona), TV/Radio Host “This book is a must-read for every American who wants to know why, after twenty long years in Afghanistan, we did not win.” — Jessie Jane Duff, USMC, Analyst, CNN and FOX “A Few Bad Men is a must-read story of valor, betrayal, and keeping the Marines’ honor clean.” — Jed Babbin, USAF Judge Advocate, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Journalist, National Review, Washington Post “An incredible account and history of the fighting spirit of the ‘Marine Raiders’ under fire and the relentless fourteen-year campaign by their leader to clear their names.” — Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.), Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command

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Surprise, Kill, Vanish - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Surprise, Kill, Vanish

Surprise, Kill, Vanish The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins by Annie Jacobsen

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen, the untold USA Today bestselling story of the CIA's secret paramilitary units. Surprise . . . your target. Kill . . . your enemy. Vanish . . . without a trace. When diplomacy fails, and war is unwise, the president calls on the CIA's Special Activities Division, a highly-classified branch of the CIA and the most effective, black operations force in the world. Originally known as the president's guerrilla warfare corps, SAD conducts risky and ruthless operations that have evolved over time to defend America from its enemies. Almost every American president since World War II has asked the CIA to conduct sabotage, subversion and, yes, assassination. With unprecedented access to forty-two men and women who proudly and secretly worked on CIA covert operations from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day, along with declassified documents and deep historical research, Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen unveils -- like never before -- a complex world of individuals working in treacherous environments populated with killers, connivers, and saboteurs. Despite Hollywood notions of off-book operations and external secret hires, covert action is actually one piece in a colossal foreign policy machine. Written with the pacing of a thriller, Surprise, Kill, Vanish brings to vivid life the sheer pandemonium and chaos, as well as the unforgettable human will to survive and the intellectual challenge of not giving up hope that define paramilitary and intelligence work. Jacobsen's exclusive interviews -- with members of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service (equivalent to the Pentagon's generals), its counterterrorism chiefs, targeting officers, and Special Activities Division's Ground Branch operators who conduct today's close-quarters killing operations around the world -- reveal, for the first time, the enormity of this shocking, controversial, and morally complex terrain. Is the CIA's paramilitary army America's weaponized strength, or a liability to its principled standing in the world? Every operation reported in this book, however unsettling, is legal.

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Against All Odds - Alex Kershaw Cover Art

Against All Odds

Against All Odds A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II by Alex Kershaw

**The instant New York Times bestseller** The untold story of four of the most decorated soldiers of World War II—all Medal of Honor recipients—from the beaches of French Morocco to Hitler’s own mountaintop fortress, by the national bestselling author of The First Wave “Pitch-perfect.”— The Wall Street Journal • “Riveting.”— World War II magazine • “Alex Kershaw is the master of putting the reader in the heat of the action.”—Martin Dugard As the Allies raced to defeat Hitler, four men, all in the same unit, earned medal after medal for battlefield heroism. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, a former professional football player, became the very first American to receive every award for valor in a single war. Michael Daly was a West Point dropout who risked his neck over and over to keep his men alive. Keith Ware would one day become the first and only draftee in history to attain the rank of general before serving in Vietnam. In WWII, Ware owed his life to the finest soldier he ever commanded, a baby-faced Texan named Audie Murphy. In the campaign to liberate Europe, each would gain the ultimate accolade, the Congressional Medal of Honor.   Tapping into personal interviews and a wealth of primary source material, Alex Kershaw has delivered his most gripping account yet of American courage, spanning more than six hundred days of increasingly merciless combat, from the deserts of North Africa to the dark heart of Nazi Germany. Once the guns fell silent, these four exceptional warriors would discover just how heavy the Medal of Honor could be—and how great the expectations associated with it. Having survived against all odds, who among them would finally find peace?

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15 Months in SOG - Thom Nicholson Cover Art

15 Months in SOG

15 Months in SOG A Warrior's Tour by Thom Nicholson

"When we cross the border: no ID, and it's kiss yourself good-bye if Charlie gets ahold of you." In Vietnam, the Military Assistance Command's Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) fielded small recon teams in areas infested with VC and NVA. Because SOG operations suffered extraordinary casualties, they required extraordinary soldiers. So when Capt. Thom Nicholson arrived at Command and Control North (CCN) in Da Nang, SOG's northernmost base camp, he knew he was going to be working with the cream of the crop. As commander of Company B, CCN's Raider Company, Nicholson commanded four platoons, comprising nearly two hundred men, in some of the war's most deadly missions, including ready-reaction missions for patrols in contact with the enemy, patrol extractions under fire, and top-secret expeditions "over the fence" into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Colonel Nicholson spares no one, including himself, as he provides a rare glimpse into the workings of one of the military's most carefully concealed reconnaissance campaigns.

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SAS Ghost Patrol - Damien Lewis Cover Art

SAS Ghost Patrol

SAS Ghost Patrol The Ultra-Secret Unit That Posed as Nazi Stormtroopers by Damien Lewis

An “amazing” account of Britain’s most audacious act of subterfuge in WWII: an undercover raid of Rommel’s stronghold in Tobruk ( The Daily Mirror ). On a scorching September day in 1942, the Special Air Service (SAS), a special forces unit of the British Army, pulled off one of the most daring, top-secret ruses of the Second World War. The plan (sanctioned by Churchill): cover a grueling two thousand miles of the Sahara desert to attack German general Erwin Rommel’s seemingly impregnable port fortress in North Africa from the rear to break free and arm more than thirty thousand Allied POWs. Led by Capt. Herbert Buck and posing as Afrika Korps soldiers complete with German uniforms and weaponry, the crew broke into the enemy stronghold Trojan Horse–style as part of the coordinated attack on Tobruk.   “Intensively researched . . . powerfully written,” and culled from the private diaries of the do-or-die maverick heroes, this extraordinary story of the sneak attack on the notorious Desert Fox is more thrilling than any fiction. A bold, outrageous, and rule-shattering mission impossible, SAS Ghost Patrol is “one of the great untold stories of WWII” (Bear Grylls).

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Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 - Halik Kochanski Cover Art

Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945

Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 by Halik Kochanski

“This is the most comprehensive and best account of resistance I have read. It addresses the story with scholarly objectivity and an absolute lack of sentimentality. So much romantic twaddle is still published . . . it is marvelous to read a study of such breadth and depth, which reaches balanced judgments.” —Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK) Resistance is the first book of its kind: a monumental history that finally integrates the many resistance movements against Nazi hegemony in Europe into a single, sweeping narrative of defiance. “To resist, therefore. But how, when and where? There were no laws, no guidelines, no precedents to show the way . . .” —Dutch resister Herman Friedhoff In every country that fell to the Third Reich during the Second World War, from France in the west to parts of the Soviet Union in the east, a resistance movement against Nazi domination emerged. And every country that endured occupation created its own fiercely nationalist account of the role of homegrown resistance in its eventual liberation. Halik Kochanski’s panoramic, prodigiously researched work is a monumental achievement: the first book to strip these disparate national histories of myth and nostalgia and to integrate them into a definitive chronicle of the underground war against the Nazis. Bringing to light many powerful and often little-known stories, Resistance shows how small bands of individuals took actions that could lead not merely to their own deaths, but to the liquidation of their families and their entire communities. As Kochanski demonstrates, most who joined up were not supermen and superwomen, but ordinary people drawn from all walks of life who would not have been expected—least of all by themselves—to become heroes of any kind. Kochanski also covers the sheer variety of resistance activities, from the clandestine press, assistance to Allied servicemen evading capture, and the provision of intelligence to the Allies to the more violent manifestations of resistance through sabotage and armed insurrection. For many people, resistance was not an occupation or an identity, but an activity: a person would deliver a cache of stolen documents to armed partisans and then seamlessly return to their normal life. For Jews under Nazi rule, meanwhile, the stakes at every point were life and death; resistance was less about national restoration than about mere survival. Why resist at all? Who is the real enemy? What kind of future are we risking our lives for? These and other questions animated those who resisted. With penetrating insight, Kochanski reveals that the single quality that defined resistance across borders was resilience: despite the constant arrests and executions, resistance movements rebuilt themselves time and time again. A landmark history that will endure for decades to come, Resistance forces every reader to ask themselves yet another question, this distinct to our own times: “What would I have done?”

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Operation Mincemeat - Ben Macintyre Cover Art

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM STARRING COLIN FIRTH • The “brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker ) true story of the most successful—and certainly the strangest—deception carried out in World War II, from the acclaimed author of The Spy and the Traitor “Pure catnip to fans of World War II thrillers and a lot of fun for everyone else.”—Joseph Kanon, The Washington Post Book World Near the end of World War II, two British naval officers came up with a brilliant and slightly mad scheme to mislead the Nazi armies about where the Allies would attack southern Europe. To carry out the plan, they would have to rely on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man. Ben Macintyre’s dazzling, critically acclaimed bestseller chronicles the extraordinary story of what happened after British officials planted this dead body—outfitted in a British military uniform with a briefcase containing false intelligence documents—in Nazi territory, and how this secret mission fooled Hitler into changing military positioning, paving the way for the Allies’ drive to victory. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

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The Confidence Men - Margalit Fox Cover Art

The Confidence Men

The Confidence Men How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The Great Escape for the Great War: the astonishing true story of two World War I prisoners who pulled off one of the most ingenious escapes of all time. FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR ® AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR • “Fox unspools Jones and Hill’s delightfully elaborate scheme in nail-biting episodes that advance like a narrative Rube Goldberg machine.”— The New York Times Book Review Imprisoned in a remote Turkish POW camp during World War I, having survived a two-month forced march and a terrifying shootout in the desert, two British officers, Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, join forces to bamboozle their iron-fisted captors. To stave off despair and boredom, Jones takes a handmade Ouija board and fakes elaborate séances for his fellow prisoners. Word gets around, and one day an Ottoman official approaches Jones with a query: Could Jones contact the spirit world to find a vast treasure rumored to be buried nearby? Jones, a trained lawyer, and Hill, a brilliant magician, use the Ouija board—and their keen understanding of the psychology of deception—to build a trap for their captors that will ultimately lead them to freedom.  A gripping nonfiction thriller, The Confidence Men is the story of one of the only known con games played for a good cause—and of a profound but unlikely friendship. Had it not been for “the Great War,” Jones, the Oxford-educated son of a British lord, and Hill, a mechanic on an Australian sheep ranch, would never have met. But in pain, loneliness, hunger, and isolation, they formed a powerful emotional and intellectual alliance that saved both of their lives.  Margalit Fox brings her “nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality” (Kathryn Schulz, New York ) to this tale of psychological strategy that is rife with cunning, danger, and moments of high farce that rival anything in Catch-22 .

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Skunk Works - Leo Janos & Ben R. Rich Cover Art

Skunk Works

Skunk Works A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed by Leo Janos & Ben R. Rich

This classic history of America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies is "a gripping technothriller in which the technology is real" ( New York Times Book Review ). From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of Cold War confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century. "Thoroughly engrossing." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Code Talker - Chester Nez & Judith Schiess Avila Cover Art

Code Talker

Code Talker The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez & Judith Schiess Avila

The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII. His name wasn’t Chester Nez. That was the English name he was assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding school at Fort Defiance, he was punished for speaking his native language, as the teachers sought to rid him of his culture and traditions. But discrimination didn’t stop Chester from answering the call to defend his country after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have always been warriors, and his upbringing on a New Mexico reservation gave him the strength—both physical and mental—to excel as a marine. During World War II, the Japanese had managed to crack every code the United States used. But when the Marines turned to its Navajo recruits to develop and implement a secret military language, they created the only unbroken code in modern warfare—and helped assure victory for the United States over Japan in the South Pacific. INCLUDES THE ACTUAL NAVAJO CODE AND RARE PICTURES

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Neptune's Inferno - James D. Hornfischer Cover Art

Neptune's Inferno

Neptune's Inferno The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer

“A literary tour de force that is destined to become one of the . . . definitive works about the battle for Guadalcanal . . . [James D.] Hornfischer deftly captures the essence of the most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war.”— San Antonio Express-News The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives. Praise for Neptune’s Inferno “Vivid and engaging . . . extremely readable, comprehensive and thoroughly researched.” —Ronald Spector, The Wall Street Journal “Superlative storytelling . . . the masterwork on the long-neglected topic of World War II’s surface ship combat.” —Richard B. Frank, World War II “The author’s two previous World War II books . . . thrust him into the major leagues of American military history writers. Neptune’s Inferno is solid proof he deserves to be there.” — The Dallas Morning News “Outstanding . . . The author’s narrative gifts and excellent choice of detail give an almost Homeric quality to the men who met on the sea in steel titans.” — Booklist (starred review) “Brilliant . . . a compelling narrative of naval combat . . . simply superb.” — The Washington Times

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The First Wave - Alex Kershaw Cover Art

The First Wave

The First Wave The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II by Alex Kershaw

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of Against All Odds, returns with an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven account of D-Day combat.   “Meet the assaulters: pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock . . . Fast-paced and up close, this is history’s greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can.” —Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day’s most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond. Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler’s fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century.   The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw’s remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II's longest day. Praise for The First Wave : “Masterful... readers will feel the sting of the cold surf, smell the acrid cordite that hung in the air, and duck the zing of machine-gun bullets whizzing overhead. The First Wave is an absolute triumph.” —James M. Scott, bestselling author of Target Tokyo “These pages ooze with the unforgettable human drama of history's most consequential invasion.” —John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die

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Unsinkable - James Sullivan Cover Art

Unsinkable

Unsinkable Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett by James Sullivan

In the bestselling tradition of Indianapolis and In Harm’s Way comes a “captivating…gripping” ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) account of the USS Plunkett —a US Navy destroyer that sustained the most harrowing attack on any Navy ship by the Germans during World War II, later made famous by John Ford and Herman Wouk. “A reflection on the nature of storytelling itself” ( The Wall Street Journal ), Unsinkable traces the individual journeys of five men on one ship from Casablanca in North Africa, to Sicily and Salerno in Italy and then on to Plunkett’s defining moment at Anzio, where a dozen-odd German bombers bore down on the ship in an assault so savage, so prolonged, and so deadly that one Navy commander was hard-pressed to think of another destroyer that had endured what Plunkett had. After a three-month overhaul and with a reputation rising as the “fightin’est ship” in the Navy, Plunkett (DD-431) plunged back into the war at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and again into battle during the invasion of Southern France—perhaps the only Navy ship to participate in every Allied invasion in the European theatre. Featuring five incredibly brave men—the indomitable skipper, who will receive the Navy Cross; the gunnery officer, who bucks the captain every step of the way to Anzio; a first lieutenant, who’s desperate to get off the ship and into the Pacific; a seventeen-year-old water tender, who’s trying to hold onto his hometown girl against all odds, and another water tender, who mans a 20mm gun when under aerial assault—the dramatic story of each plays out on the decks of the Plunkett as the ship’s story escalates on the stage of the Mediterranean. Based on Navy logs, war diaries, action reports, letters, journals, memoirs, and dozens of interviews with the men who were on the ship and their families, Unsinkable is a timeless evocation of young men stepping up to the defining experience of their lives. “If you were moved by Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It , by William Kent Krueger’s This Tender Land …by the values we hold dear, decency, sacrifice, steadfastness , then Unsinkable will take you to a place long dead in your soul, and flood it with light” (Doug Stanton, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers ).

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Always Faithful, Always Forward - Dick Couch Cover Art

Always Faithful, Always Forward

Always Faithful, Always Forward The Forging of a Special Operations Marine by Dick Couch

Established in 1986, the U.S. Special Operations Command was set up to bring the special operational disciplines of all branches of the military under a single, unified command to act on missions involving unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, and direct action… The Marine Special Operations Command (“MARSOC”) is the newest component of the military’s shift toward a fully integrated Special Operations Command structure. At first, the Marines were strongly against any Marines serving under anyone other than another Marine. Then 9/11 happened. In the years following, Marine forces found themselves growing more agreeable to inter-branch operational command, finally forming the Marine Special Operations Command in 2006. Always Faithful, Always Forward follows the journey of a class of Marine candidates from their recruitment, through assessment and selection, to their qualification as Marines Special Operators. The assessment, selection, and training regimes are a combination of psychological testing and intense military training as well as being a physical and professional rite of passage. MARSOC Marines must be efficient, agile, independent, and prepared to live hard in the field. They are warriors trained in the full range of military skills, as well as teachers who can train locals to defend their communities and lead them in battle. But above all, they are Marines. Their ability to leverage their numbers by embedding with the locals and to live in remote locations has, in their short history, made them a valuable force and one with great utility in remote reaches of the world. Retired Navy Captain Dick Couch has been given unprecedented access to this new command and to the individual Marines of this exceptional special-operations unit, allowing him to chronicle the history and development of the Marine Special Operations Command and how they find, recruit, and train their special operators. INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS

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D-Day - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

D-Day

D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen 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.

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Masters of the Air - Donald L. Miller Cover Art

Masters of the Air

Masters of the Air America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller

Soon to be a major television event from Apple TV, Masters of the Air is the riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War II, the story of the young men who flew the bombers that helped bring Nazi Germany to its knees, brilliantly told by historian and World War II expert Donald Miller. The Masters of the Air miniseries will be the companion to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people. Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured US air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America—white America, anyway. The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland. Masters of the Air is a story of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed. Drawn from recent interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, Masters of the Air is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.

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B-29 Superfortress - Graham M Simons Cover Art

B-29 Superfortress

B-29 Superfortress Giant Bomber of World War Two and Korea by Graham M Simons

“A well written history of a history-changing aircraft,” the bomber that carried the two atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII ( Aeromilitaria ). The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a four-engined heavy bomber flown primarily by the United States in World War Two and the Korean War. The name “Superfortress” was derived from that of its well-known predecessor, the B–17 Flying Fortress. The B-29 was the progenitor of a series of Boeing-built bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, trainers and tankers including the variant, B-50 Superfortress. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War Two. A very advanced bomber for its time, it included features such as pressurized cabins, an electronic fire-control system and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. Though it was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, in practice it actually flew more low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft in the American firebombing campaign against Japan in the final months of World War Two. Unlike many other World War Two-era bombers, the B-29 remained in service long after the war ended, with a few even being employed as flying television transmitters. The type was finally retired in the early 1960s, with 3,960 aircraft in all built. Without doubt there is a clear, strong requirement to “put the record straight” using primary source documentation to record the undoubted achievements alongside and in context with the shortcomings to the type’s design and operation that have otherwise received scant attention. The book covers all variants and is profusely illustrated.

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Dead Wake - Erik Larson Cover Art

Dead Wake

Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania “Both terrifying and enthralling.”— Entertainment Weekly “ Thrilling, dramatic and powerful. ” —NPR “ Thoroughly engrossing. ” —George R.R. Martin On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, 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 surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—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.  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 and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow 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 whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history. Finalist for the Washington State Book Award • One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, Indigo

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