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Although not as well-known as the V-1 buzz bomb and the V-2 missile, the first German missiles to see combat were anti-ship missiles, the Henschel Hs.293 guided missile and the Fritz-X guided bomb. These began to see extensive combat in the Mediterranean in 1943. In their most famous use, the Italian battleship Roma was sunk by a Fritz-X attack in September 1943 when Italy attempted to switch sides. The serious threat posed by these missiles led to a vigorous but little known `Wizard War' by the Allies to develop electronic counter-measures, the first effort of its kind. Besides the anti-ship missiles, the other major category of German missiles were the air-defence missiles. Germany suffered extremely heavy losses from Allied strategic bombing attacks, and German fighter and flak defences proved increasingly unsuccessful. As a result, the Luftwaffe began an extensive programme to deploy several families of new air defence missiles to counter the bomber threat, including the Wasserfall, Schmetterling, and others. This book traces the origins of these missile programmes and examines their development and use in combat. With full-colour illustrations and detailed explorations of the stories behind the missiles, this study offers a comprehensive overview of German guided missiles in the World War II era.
Executive Outcomes was already well known to several governments and private corporations before it exploded into controversy in 1993 after entering into a contract with Angola's FAA to train a brigade-level force to decisively end their decades-old conflict with UNITA. It was also well known to those involved in fermenting conflicts in order to topple African governments with a view to controlling resources for personal gain. The role Executive Outcomes played in bringing an end to the conflicts in Angola and Sierra Leone threatened numerous duplicitous foreign entities. To protect their economic and other interests, a media frenzy was generated to discredit the company, and false media and intelligence reporting became the norm upon which Executive Outcomes was judged. Despite attempts to bribe the company's founder and massive pressure from several international governments-including the South African government-Executive Outcomes continued to provide assistance and support to African and other governments under siege. In honoring its contracts, several of its employees made the ultimate sacrifice. Executive Outcomes is still regarded as the gold standard by which similar companies are judged, and it is the only private military company that never failed in a contract or abandoned a client government. During the years that it was active, the men of Executive Outcomes saved many thousands of lives. In this revised edition, the author presents a no-holds-barred account of the company's activities and the numerous threats it had to deal with, including attempts to assassinate its founder and chairman.
This is the story of modern Britain, focusing on twelve formative days in the history of the United Kingdom over the last five decades. By describing what happened on those days and what happened because of those days, Andrew Hindmoor paints a suggestive - and to some perhaps provocative - portrait of what we have become and how we became it. Everyone will have their own list of the truly formative moments in British history over the last five decades. The twelve days selected for this book are: - The 28th of September 1976. The day Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan renounced Keynesian economics. - The 4th of May 1979. The day Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister. - The 3th of March 1985. The day the miners' strike ended. - The 20th of September 1988. The day of Margaret Thatcher's 'Bruges speech'. - The 18th of May 1992. The day the television rights for the Premier League were sold to BskyB. - The 22nd of April 1993. The day that young black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered by racist thugs. - The 10th April 1998. The day of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. - The 11th of September 2001. The day of the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States. - The 5th of December 2004. The day Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche became the first gay couple in the UK to become civil partners under the Civil Partnership Act. - The 13th of September 2007. The day the BBC reported that the Northern Rock bank was in trouble. - The 8th of May 2009. The day The Daily Telegraph began to publish details of MPs' expense claims. - The 1st of February 2017. The day the House of Commons voted to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
Eggs or Anarchy is one of the great, British stories of the Second World War yet to be told in full. It reveals the heroic tale of how Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, really fed Britain. As a nation at war, with supply routes under attack from the Axis powers and resources scarce, it was Woolton's job to fulfil his promise to the British people, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in particular, that there would be food on the shelves each week. Persuading the public to not resort to the black market and to manage on the very limited ration was one thing, but Woolton had to fulfil his side of the bargain and maintain supplies in time of crisis. A grammar school-educated genius, he was a fish out of water in Churchill's cabinet and the PM himself doubted Woolton would survive due to the unstinting criticism he faced from colleagues, the press and public. This is the story of how he battled to save his own career while using every trick in his entrepreneurial book to secure supplies. He battled to outwit unscrupulous dealers on the black market streets of cities within the British Empire - such as Alexandria in Eygpt - persuading customs authorities to turn a blind eye to his import schemes. If Britain had gone hungry the outcome of the war could have been very different. This book, for the first time, finds out the real story of how Lord Woolton provided food for Britain and her colonies and discovers that for him there were days when it was literally a choice of 'eggs or anarchy'.
A National Jewish Book Award Winner Prepared and selected by Marie Rut Krizkova, Kurt Jiri Kotouc, and Zdenek Ornest. Translated from the Czech by R. Elizabeth Novak From 1942 to 1944 Jewish boys imprisoned at the model concentration camp Theresienstad secretly produced a weekly magazine called Vedem (In the Lead). It contained essays, interviews, poems, and artwork written behind the blackout shades of their cellblock. The material was saved by one boy who survived the Holocaust but was suppressed for 50 years in Czechoslovakia. It provides a poignant glimpse at the world of boys whose lives were turned upside down: separated from their families and ultimately, for the majority, killed. Includes black and white photographs, and color and black and white illustrations.
In this viscerally exciting account, a paratrooper-turned-historian reveals the details of World War II's largest airborne operation-one that dropped 17,000 Allied paratroopers deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. On the morning of March 24, 1945, more than two thousand Allied aircraft droned through a cloudless sky toward Germany. Escorted by swarms of darting fighters, the armada of transport planes carried 17,000 troops to be dropped, via parachute and glider, on the far banks of the Rhine River. Four hours later, after what was the war's largest airdrop, all major objectives had been seized. The invasion smashed Germany's last line of defense and gutted Hitler's war machine; the war in Europe ended less than two months later. Four Hours of Fury follows the 17th Airborne Division as they prepare for Operation Varsity, a campaign that would rival Normandy in scale and become one of the most successful and important of the war. Even as the Third Reich began to implode, it was vital for Allied troops to have direct access into Germany to guarantee victory-the 17th Airborne secured that bridgehead over the River Rhine. And yet their story has until now been relegated to history's footnotes. Reminiscent of A Bridge Too Far and Masters of the Air, Four Hours of Fury does for the 17th Airborne what Band of Brothers did for the 101st. It is a captivating, action-packed tale of heroism and triumph spotlighting one of World War II's most under-chronicled and dangerous operations.
`Napoleon is an out-and-out masterpiece and a joy to read' Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad A landmark new biography that presents the man behind the many myths. The first writer in English to go back to the original European sources, Adam Zamoyski's portrait of Napoleon is historical biography at its finest. Napoleon inspires passionately held and often conflicting visions. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster, compulsive warmonger or just a nasty little dictator? While he displayed elements of these traits at certain times, Napoleon was none of these things. He was a man and, as Adam Zamoyski presents him in this landmark biography, a rather ordinary one at that. He exhibited some extraordinary qualities during some phases of his life but it is hard to credit genius to a general who presided over the worst (and self-inflicted) disaster in military history and who single-handedly destroyed the great enterprise he and others had toiled so hard to construct. A brilliant tactician, he was no strategist. But nor was Napoleon an evil monster. He could be selfish and violent but there is no evidence of him wishing to inflict suffering gratuitously. His motives were mostly praiseworthy and his ambition no greater than that of contemporaries such as Alexander I of Russia, Wellington, Nelson and many more. What made his ambition exceptional was the scope it was accorded by circumstance. Adam Zamoyski strips away the lacquer of prejudice and places Napoleon the man within the context of his times. In the 1790s, a young Napoleon entered a world at war, a bitter struggle for supremacy and survival with leaders motivated by a quest for power and by self-interest. He did not start this war but it dominated his life and continued, with one brief interruption, until his final defeat in 1815. Based on primary sources in many European languages, and beautifully illustrated with portraits done only from life, this magnificent book examines how Napoleone Buonaparte, the boy from Corsica, became `Napoleon'; how he achieved what he did, and how it came about that he undid it. It does not justify or condemn but seeks instead to understand Napoleon's extraordinary trajectory.
This is a fascinating collection of stories exploring the less well-trodden byways of Britain's long history of conflicts. From the Romans vs Britons to the war on terror, "Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: the British at War" uncovers the heroic, tragic and often peculiar facts behind some of the best-known battles in British history. Brief, accessible and entertaining pieces on a wide variety of subjects makes it is the perfect book to dip in to. The amazing and extraordinary facts series presents interesting, surprising and little-known facts and stories about a wide range of topics which are guaranteed to inform, absorb and entertain in equal measure.
'Stands in the absolute first rank of books about the resistance in World War II. If you wish to read about a man more courageous and honourable than Jan Karski, I would have no idea who to recommend' Alan Furst It is 1939. Jan Karski, a brilliant young Polish student, enjoys a life of parties and pleasure. Then war breaks out and his familiar world is destroyed. Now he must live under a new identity, in the resistance. And, in a secret mission that could change the course of the war, he must risk his own life to try and save those of millions. 'Insistently asks the question: What would you do? Would you fight, or acquiesce, or collaborate? ... Karski was deeply patriotic and ludicrously brave ... an astonishing testament of survival' Ben Macintyre 'Karski's adventures are worthy of the wildest spy thriller' Daily Telegraph 'This eye-witness testimony is imbued with a passion that subsequent memoirs can rarely match' Financial Times 'Deeply moving' Daily Mail 'Reads like the screenplay to an incredibly exciting war movie - but it is all true' Andrew Roberts
Barbara Tuchman's The Zimmerman Telegram is one of the greatest spy stories of all time. Nothing can stop an enemy from picking wireless messages out of the free air - and nothing did. In England, Room 40 was born . . . In January 1917, with the First World War locked in terrible stalemate and America still neutral, German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman gambled the future of the conflict on a single telegram. But this message was intercepted and decoded in Whitehall's legendary Room 40 - and Zimmerman's audacious scheme for world domination was exposed, bringing America into the war and changing the course of history. The story of how this happened and the incalculable consequences are thrillingly told in Barbara Tuchman's brilliant exploration.
Women in the Second World War explores the varied roles taken up by women in both military and civilian services during the conflict from the Women's Land Army, Civil Defence and Fire Service to uniformed services such as the Women's Transport Service, F.A.N.Y., Auxiliary Territorial Service, Women's Auxiliary Air Force and Women's Royal Naval Service 'Wrens.' The story of women on the Home Front 'doing their bit' in shipyards and factories is also included. Their powerful moving stories are told in an authoritative and fact-packed text, accompanied by a wealth of evocative contemporary photographs, many of which have not been seen before or widely published since the war. These are accompanied by numerous full colour images of original badges, insignia, ephemera and memorabilia from the authors' remarkable collections assembled over the last thirty years. This book provides a great starting point for anyone approaching the subject for the first time be they students, teachers, family historians, collectors or re-enactors and would be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in this period of history.
Two sisters. One extraordinary true story. Germany, 1945. Trapped between advancing armies, stranded hundreds of miles from their mother, and with their father missing in action, sisters Barbie and Eva were confronted with an impossible choice. Should they stay and face invasion or risk their lives to find their mother? Together, they set out on a perilous three-hundred mile journey on foot across a country ravaged by war. Fuelled by courage and love, Eva and seven-year-old Barbie encounter incredible hardship, extraordinary bravery, and overwhelming generosity. Against all odds, they both survived. But neither sister came out of the journey unscathed . . . This is the powerful true story of their escape.
*NOW UPDATED WITH EXTRA MATERIAL* The boy who fled Afghanistan and endured a terrifying journey in the hands of people smugglers is now a young man intent on changing the world. His story is a deeply harrowing and incredibly inspiring tale of our times. Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of twelve, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US Army. He made a twelve-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, making a terrifying journey across the Mediterranean in a tiny boat, and enduring a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived, and made it to Britain, where he was fostered, sent to school, and won a place at a top university. He was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. One boy's experience is the central story of our times. This powerful memoir celebrates the triumph of courage over adversity.
The Battle of Waterloo marks an event that changed the fate of Europe irrevocably. Beautifully illustrated, it includes reproductions of contemporary letters and documents, printed on the page, and offers a beautifully written telling of the battle and compelling new treatment of the Hundred Days campaign that finally ended the career of Napoleon. Each stage of the build-up to this decisive battle is carefully described, from the escape to the preparations for war. A topography of the battlefield complements a description of the fighting, which culminated in the rout of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, an elite unit that had never experienced defeat. Concluding with an examination of the consequences for the politics of Europe, The Battle of Waterloo is a detailed and visually stunning companion to one of history's most decisive battles.
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER 'The best new narrative of the battle thus far, reflecting his gifts for fluent prose and moving quotations.' Max Hastings, Sunday Times No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front during World War I than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image - but this critically-acclaimed bestseller, on the four months of battle, shows the extent to which the Allied armies were in fact able to break through the German front lines again and again. In eight years of research, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore -- the author of Dunkirk -- has found extraordinary new material from Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and the British - from heartbreaking diaries and letters to hitherto unseen Red Cross files - recounting their experiences amid the horror of war. It has been hailed as the best book about the battle, which, though not an Allied victory, was the beginning of the slide towards German defeat.
Drawing on the War Cabinet papers, other government documents, private diaries, newspaper accounts, and memoirs,Never Surrender tells the story of summer of 1940, the summer of the 'Supreme Question' of whether or not the British were to surrender to the impending threat of Hitler's invasion. The events, individuals, and institutions that influenced the War Cabinet's deliberations offer a panoramic view of the summer of 1940. Impressive in scope but attentive to detail, Kelly takes readers from the battlefield to Parliament, to the government ministries, to the British high command, to the desperate Anglo-French conference in Paris and London, to the American embassy in London, and to life with the ordinary Britons. Bringing vividly to life one of the most heroic moments of the twentieth century and intimately portraying some of its largest players - Churchill, Lord Halifax, FDR, Joe Kennedy, Hitler, Stalin and others - Never Surrenderis a character-driven narrative of a crucial period in World War II history and the men and women who shaped it.
The Great War is an immense, confusing and overwhelming historical conflict - the ideal case study for teaching game theory and international relations. Using thirteen historical puzzles, from the outbreak of the war and the stability of attrition, to unrestricted submarine warfare and American entry into the war, this book provides students with a rigorous yet accessible training in game theory. Each chapter shows, through guided exercises, how game theoretical models can explain otherwise challenging strategic puzzles, shedding light on the role of individual leaders in world politics, cooperation between coalitions partners, the effectiveness of international law, the termination of conflict, and the challenges of making peace. Its analytical history of World War I also surveys cutting edge political science research on international relations and the causes of war. Written by a leading game theorist known for his expertise of the war, this textbook includes useful student features such as chapter key terms, contemporary maps, a timeline of events, a list of key characters and additional end-of-chapter game-theoretic exercises.
The true story of the toughest bicycle race ever staged, the Circuit des Champs de Bataille (the Tour of the Battlefields) The Circuit des Champs de Bataille (the Tour of the Battlefields) was held in 1919, less than six months after the end of the First World War. It covered 2,000 kilometres and was raced in appalling conditions across the battlefields of the Western Front, otherwise known as the Zone Rouge. The race was so tough that only 21 riders finished, and it was never staged again. With one of the most demanding routes ever to feature in a bicycle race, and plagued by appalling weather conditions, the Circuit des Champs de Bataille was beyond gruelling, but today its extraordinary story is largely forgotten. Many of the riders came to the event straight from the army and had to ride 18-hour stages through sleet and snow across the battlefields on which they had fought, and lost friends and family, only a few months before. But in addition to the hellish conditions there were moments of high comedy, even farce. The rediscovered story of the Circuit des Champs de Bataille is an epic tale of human endurance, suffering and triumph over extreme adversity.
Rick Jolly was the Senior Medical Officer in the Falklands, setting up and running the field hospital at Ajax Bay, where he and his Royal Marine and Parachute Regiment medical teams treated a total of 580 casualties, of which only 3 died of wounds. The building itself was a derelict meat-packing factory, hastily converted to treat incoming wounded - both British and Argentine - even though two unexploded bombs lay at the back of the building. Rick's diary of the campaign and its aftermath is a fast-paced and gripping account of war experience that covers the entire conflict from initial preparations and passage to the South Atlantic on the requisitioned liner Canberra to daily action reports, and observations and interaction with the key players of the conflict - Col. H. Jones, Brian Hanrahan, Julian Thompson and Max Hastings. Incredible human stories abound, as Rick, a trained commando, dangles from the rescue winch of a Sea King helicopter, saving lives on a daily basis. Yet he also confronts death in a thoughtful, reflective and considered way, helping others to deal with the trauma of war. Now revised and brought fully up to date, this book is a unique first-hand narrative of a conflict that inspired individual and collective heroism among British armed forces, inspiring great pride in 'our boys' by the public back at home, but which also provoked - and continues to provoke - fierce debate.
As part of the massive Allied invasion of Normandy, three airborne divisions were dropped behind enemy lines to sow confusion in the German rear and prevent panzer reinforcements from reaching the beaches. In the dark early hours of D-Day, this confusion was achieved well enough, as nearly every airborne unit missed its drop zone, creating a kaleidoscope of small-unit combat. Fortunately for the Allies, the 505th Regimental Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division hit on or near its drop zone. Its task was to seize the vital crossroads of Ste Mere Eglise, and to hold the bridge over the Merderet River at nearby La Fiere. Benefiting from dynamic battlefield leadership, the paratroopers reached the bridge, only to be met by wave after wave of German tanks and infantry desperate to force the crossing. Reinforced by glider troops, who suffered terribly in their landings from the now-alert Germans, the 505th not only held the vital bridge for three days but launched a counterattack in the teeth of enemy fire to secure their objective once and for all, albeit at gruesome cost. In No Better Place to Die, Robert M. Murphy provides an objective narrative of countless acts of heroism, almost breathtaking in its 'you are there' detail. Robert M. (Bob) Murphy, a Pathfinder and member of A Company, 505th PIR, was wounded three times in action, and made all four combat jumps with his regiment, fighting in Sicily, Normandy, and Holland. He was decorated for valor for his role at La Fiere, and is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. After the war, he was instrumental in establishing the 505th RCT Association.
In September 1943, under the cover of darkness, six British midget submarines crept into the heart of enemy territory, penetrating a heavily guarded Norwegian fjord in an attempt to eliminate the threat of the powerful German battleship, the Tirpitz. Numerous previous attempts to attack the ship from both air and sea had failed, and this mission was carefully strategized, and undertaken by skilled operatives who had undergone extensive training in an isolated sea loch. Though five of the six X-Craft submarines were either lost or captured, two crews had just enough time to lay their explosive charges, which detonated after they were forced to the surface, putting the Tirpitz out of action for a crucial six-month period. Masterminded from a top-secret naval headquarters on the east coast of Scotland, Operation Source has been memorialised as one of the most daring naval raids of World War II. This new study tells the complete story of this epic operation in unparalleled detail, supported by full-colour illustrations and contemporary photography.
Following the disastrous Java Sea campaign, the Allies went on the offensive in the Pacific in a desperate attempt to halt the Japanese forces that were rampaging across the region. With the conquest of Australia a very real possibility, the stakes were high. Their target: the Japanese-held Soloman Islands, in particular the southern island of Guadalcanal.
Hamstrung by arcane pre-war thinking and a bureaucratic mind-set, the US Navy had to adapt on the fly in order to compete with the mighty Imperial Japanese Navy, whose ingenuity and creativity thus far had fostered the creation of its Pacific empire. Starting with the amphibious assault on Savo Island, the campaign turned into an attritional struggle where the evenly matched foes sought to grind out a victory.
Following on from his hugely successful book Rising Sun, Falling Skies, Jeffrey R. Cox tells the gripping story of the first Allied offensive of the Pacific War, as they sought to prevent Japan from cutting off Australia and regaining dominance in the Pacific.
Attracting over one and a half million people every year, Omaha beach is the most visited Second World War battlefield site in Europe. The site of over a thousand deaths, it was also one of the bloodiest - hence its grim title, 'Bloody Omaha'. This narrow strip of Normandy coastline was crucial to the successful outcome of Overlord, eight divisions of American and British soldiers landing with the aim to secure key towns for the Allies. What was to be the largest amphibious operation in history, however, crucial to the war itself, also came with a high cost. 1,225 men were killed in action on Omaha, more than half within the first day. This fascinating guide provides a thorough account of the operation on Omaha, supported by maps, contemporary and modern photographs. William Jordan's well-written text tells the story from the initial assessments of Omaha through to the thousands of tons of material troops were afterwards safe to land. Look out for more Pitkin Guides on the very best of British history, heritage and travel.
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