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On 18 August 1965, regiment fought regiment on the Van Tuong Peninsula near the new Marine base at Chu Lai - the first major clash of the Vietnam War. On the American side were three battalions of Marines under the command of Colonel Oscar Peatross, a hero of two previous wars. His opponent was the 1st Viet Cong Regiment commanded by Nguyen Dinh Trong, a veteran of many fights against the French and the South Vietnamese. Codenamed Operation Starlite, this action was a resounding success for the Marines and its result was cause for great optimism about America's future in Vietnam. Starlite catapulted the Vietnam War into the headlines across America and into the minds of Americans, where it took up residence for more than a decade. Starlite was the first step in Vietnam's becoming America's tar baby. The phrase "han tu" - "blood debt," came into Vietnamese usage early in the war with the United States. With this battle, the Johnson Administration began compiling its own blood debt, this one to the American people This unique account of the battle is based not only on interviews with the Marines involved, from private to colonel, but also on interviews and battlefield walks with men who fought with the 1st Viet Cong Regiment, all of them accomplished combat veterans years before the U.S. entry into the war. The result is a detailed narrative of the battle from the mud level, by those who were at the point of the spear. The book also examines the ongoing conflict between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines about the methodology of the Vietnam War. With decades of experience with insurrection and rebellion, the Marines were institutionally oriented to base the struggle on pacification of the population. The Army, on the other hand, having largely trained to meet the Soviet Army on the plains of Germany, opted for search-and-destroy missions against Communist main force units. The history of the Vietnam War is littered with many 'what ifs'. This may be the biggest of them.
Personal revelations include: * The Vietnam War and Peace Talks * Jeremy Thorpe and the criminal cover up * Campaign for Gurkha justice and Peace Foundation * Joanna Lumley said: 'This book sets out the extraordinary life experiences of a man who is so modest. And those experiences and achievements are truly splendid in their breadth and depth. In his early life, they range from flying as a reporter on a combat mission over Vietnam and being blown out of bed by a rocket to playing a key role in the eventual peace process in that beautiful country. And later in life through to helping our Gurkha heroes and dedicating his life to national and community politics. This is both a testament to a remarkable life and an inspiration to the reader.' * 'I read the book from start to finish in a day, and found it absolutely fascinating.' - Dr Seth Thevoz of Oxford University.
The combatants in the three Vietnam wars from 1945 to 1975 employed widely contrasting supply methods. This fascinating book reveals that basic traditional techniques proved superior to expensive state of the art systems. During the Indochina or French' war, France's initial use of wheeled transport and finally air supply proved vulnerable given the terrain, climate and communist adaptability . The colonial power gave up the unequal struggle after the catastrophic defeat at Dien Bien Phu. To stem the advance of Communism throughout the region, the Americans stepped in to support the pro-Western South Vietnam regime and threw vast quantities of manpower and money at the problem. The cost became increasingly unpopular at home. General Giap's and Ho Chi Minh's ruthless use of coolies most famously on the Ho Chi Minh Trail proved resistant to carpet-bombing and Agent Orange defoliation. The outcome of the final war between the Communist North Vietnam and the corrupt Southern leadership, now with minimal US support, was almost a forgone conclusion. The Author is superbly qualified to examine these three wars from the logistic perspective. His conclusions make for compelling reading and will be instructive to acting practitioners and enquiring minds.
Darkly funny, shockingly honest, Brothers in Arms is an unforgettable account of the brutal reality of war – every scary, exciting moment – and the bonds of friendship that can never be destroyed.
‘If you could choose which two limbs got blown off, what would you go for?’ Danny said. ‘Your arms or your legs?’
In July 2009, Geraint (Gez) Jones was sitting in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan with the rest of The Firm – Danny, Jay, Toby and Jake, his four closest friends, all junior NCOs and combat-hardened infantrymen. Thanks to the mangled remains of a Jackal vehicle left tactlessly outside their tent, IEDs were never far from their mind. Within days they’d be on the ground in Musa Qala with the rest of 3 Platoon – a mixed bunch of men Gez would die for.
As they fight furiously, are pushed to their limits, hemmed in by IEDs and hampered by the chain of command, Gez starts to wonder what is the point of it all. The bombs they uncover on patrol, on their stomachs brushing the sand away, are replaced the next day. Firefights are a momentary victory in a war they can see is unwinnable. Gez is a warrior – he wants more than this. But then death and injury start to take their toll on The Firm, leaving Gez with PTSD and a new battle just beginning.
When Gerald Hickey went to Vietnam in 1956 to complete his Ph.D. in anthropology, he didn't realize he would be there for most of the next eighteen years--through the entire Vietnam War. After working with the country folk of the Mekong Delta for several years, in 1963 Hickey was recruited by the Rand Corporation, which was contracted by the U.S. government to study and report on the highland tribes. From the buildup to war, when mountain tribespeople still lived in longhouses and cut and burned brush to clear fields for nice, to near the end of the conflict, when he sailed away from Vietnam on the S.S. Idaho, Gerald Hickey experienced it all. He lived through the horrible Viet Cong night attack on the Nam Dong Special Forces Camp in July 1964, and he survived the full-scale battle at Ban Me Thuot during Tet, 1968. Worst, he witnessed the decline of the mountain people from proud highlanders to refugees from a war none of them wanted and few understood. Hickey became respected by all parties as a fair intermediary between the highlanders, the American mission, and to some extent the Saigon government. His understanding of the montagnards, and his representation of their interests, helped to resolve their conflict with Saigon in 1965 and assured their alliance with U.S. forces through the rest of the war. These are his experiences, told with the calm yet deep emotion of a man who invested a major portion of his life and career in the events of the war and with the people among whom he lived and worked. His is a unique viewpoint and one to which we should attend. " Hickey's] studies of these independent, brave, and misunderstood people provide the scholarly record; this fine book expresses his devotion and his despair at their inevitable and often cruel assimilation." --Douglas Pike
U.S. Marine Sergeant Tim Fortner survived 14 months in Vietnam as a door gunner in a CH-46 helicopter. Completing 27 strike flight missions, he was awarded the Air Medal and Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat. Like many veterans, his real battle didn't begin until he returned home, where he struggled to adjust to the "new normal" of American life in 1969, still haunted by his experiences during the nation's most unpopular war. His memoir describes his military training, his unit's harrying missions inserting and extracting troops over landing zones under enemy fire, and his four-decade struggle with service-connected PTSD.
Twenty-eight years have passed since the fall of Saigon. We still seek answers to the era's pressing issues. And those who were responsible for planning the Vietnam War, those who fought in it, those who fought against it, and those who reported it have had ample time to reflect on its meaning and on their personal involvement. In "Legacy of Discord," skilled interviewer Gil Dorland discusses serious, unresolved issues with Peter Arnett, Mike Davison, Daniel Ellsberg, Gloria Emerson, Alexander Haig, David Halberstam, Tom Hayden, Le Ly Hayslip, Roger Hilsman, John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, Cau Le, Barry McCaffrey, John McCain, H. R. McMaster, Tom Polgar, Norman Schwarzkopf, Jim Webb, and William C. Westmoreland. For the many veterans, students, and others still seeking to understand this great national tragedy, "Legacy of Discord" will be a book of historic importance.
Throughout American history, Christianity has shaped public opinion, guided leaders in their decision making, and stood at the center of countless issues. To gain complete knowledge of an era, historians must investigate the religious context of what transpired, why it happened, and how. Yet too little is known about American Christianity's foreign policy opinions during the Cold and Vietnam Wars. To gain a deeper understanding of this period (1964-75), David E. Settje explores the diversity of American Christian responses to the Cold and Vietnam Wars to determine how Americans engaged in debates about foreign policy based on their theological convictions.
Settje uncovers how specific Christian theologies and histories influenced American religious responses to international affairs, which varied considerably. Scrutinizing such sources as the evangelical "Christianity Today," the mainline Protestant, "Christian Century," a sampling of Catholic periodicals, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Church of Christ, "Faith and War" explores these entities' commingling of religion, politics, and foreign policy, illuminating the roles that Christianity attempted to play in both reflecting and shaping American foreign policy opinions during a decade in which global matters affected Americans daily and profoundly.
When Neil Reynolds was first asked to work as a private military contractor in Iraq, he didn’t even know where it was on the map. But the Border War veteran and former SANDF officer would quickly learn the ins and outs of working and surviving in that war-torn country. It was 2003 and the US-led coalition that had toppled Saddam Hussein was confronted with a savage insurgency.
His candid, unvarnished account tells of the numerous challenges faced by private military contractors in Iraq: from avoiding ambushes on the highways in and around Baghdad to buying guns on the black market and dodging bullets on several hair-raising protection missions. He describes how his team’s low-profile approach allowed them to blend in with the local population and mostly kept them and their clients safe.
Reynolds also tells the tragic story of four South African colleagues who were kidnapped and killed outside Baghdad in 2006.
In March 2003, the United States and Great Britain invaded Iraq to put an end to the regime of Saddam Hussein. The war was launched without a United Nations mandate and was based on the erroneous claim that Iraq had retained weapons of mass destruction. France, under President Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, spectacularly opposed the United States and British invasion, leading a global coalition against the war that also included Germany and Russia. The diplomatic crisis leading up to the war shook both French and American perceptions of each other and revealed cracks in the transatlantic relationship that had been building since the end of the Cold War. Based on exclusive French archival sources and numerous interviews with former officials in both France and the United States, A History of the Iraq Crisis retraces the international exchange that culminated in the 2003 Iraq conflict. It shows how and why the Iraq crisis led to a confrontation between two longtime allies unprecedented since the time of Charles de Gaulle, and it exposes the deep and ongoing divisions within Europe, the Atlantic alliance, and the international community as a whole. The Franco-American narrative offers a unique prism through which the American road to war can be better understood.
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE The heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of the deadliest battles of the Afghanistan war, acclaimed by critics as a classic. 'A mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice' Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 soldiers stationed there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war that year. Four months after the battle, a review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place. In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families. This modern classic of military history is an indictment of the management of the war in Afghanistan, and a thrilling tale of true courage in the face of impossible odds.
The book assesses the strains within the 'Special Relationship' between London and Washington and offers a new perspective on the limits and successes of British influence. The interaction between the main personalities on the British side - Attlee, Bevan, Morrison, Churchill and Eden - and their American counterparts - Truman, Acheson, Eisenhower and Dulles - are chronicled. By the end of the war the British were concerned that it was the Americans, rather than the Soviets, who were the greater threat to world peace. British fears concerning the Korean War were not limited to the diplomatic and military fronts - these extended to the 'Manchurian Candidate' threat posed by returning prisoners of war who had been exposed to communist indoctrination. The book is essential reading for those interested in British and US foreign policy and military strategy during the Cold War. -- .
Going beyond the dominant orthodox narrative to incorporate insight from revisionist scholarship on the Vietnam War, Michael G. Kort presents the case that the United States should have been able to win the war, and at a much lower cost than it suffered in defeat. Presenting a study that is both historiographic and a narrative history, Kort analyzes important factors such as the strong nationalist credentials and leadership qualities of South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem; the flawed military strategy of 'graduated response' developed by Robert McNamara; and the real reasons South Vietnam collapsed in the face of a massive North Vietnamese invasion in 1975. Kort shows how the US commitment to defend South Vietnam was not a strategic error but a policy consistent with US security interests during the Cold War, and that there were potentially viable strategic approaches to the war that might have saved South Vietnam.
In the fall of 1965, Army cadet Tom Carhart and five others at West Point Academy pulled off a feat of precision and ingenuity that made them famous: the theft of the Navy's Billy-Goat mascot from their rival academy, Annapolis, just before the biggest game of the year. With U.S. forces in Vietnam swollen to nearly 200,000 and American casualties steadily growing, it was an unnerving time to join the military. At West Point, the young men preparing to graduate the following June were well aware that they would be called upon to serve, and quite possibly die, in that far-off country where war raged. That November would be the last Army-Navy football game any of the six cadets would ever participate in, so they had to make it count. After an embarrassing theft of their mascot ten years earlier, the Navy went to extraordinary lengths to make sure it could never happen again. Formal agreements were made between the two superintendents, who subsequently threatened fire and brimstone to any of their charges who dared go near the other Academy. To reinforce those orders, during the week before The Big Game, the Navy placed their goat in an effectively impregnable lockup under 24/7 guard by U.S. Marines at an intimidating Naval Security Station--a modern day Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece by Tom Carhart is the incredible true story, told by one of the participants, of how six West Point cadets in the Class of 1966 set out to steal that Golden Fleece, and how they succeeded against all odds. The Golden Fleece is a rollicking non-fiction military caper about a famous prank conducted by these cadets as their one last hurrah before shipping off to a war they might not come back from.
In June 2011, the hallways of the district government center in rural Dand District, Afghanistan hummed with activity, with scores of local village elders visiting offices to appeal for assistance and handouts. Outside, insurgents had been pushed out of the district and were confined to sporadic attacks along its fringes. Farmers sold their produce, thousands of children attended school and people voted in district elections. At the very heart of the Taliban insurgency, the government had won the war. However, the district faced a crisis that threatened its future. Resources were shrinking and the new government had concerns about remaining relevant to the people once America left. Within 12 months, Americans pulled out of Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan government to fail, undermining the achievements of thousands of soldiers and civilians. How We Won and Lost the War in Afghanistan: Two Years in the Pashtun Homeland by Douglas Grindle tells the never-been-told, first person account of how the war in Afghanistan was won, and how the newly created peace started to slip away when vital resources failed to materialize and the American military headed home. By placing the reader at the heart of the American counter-insurgency effort, Grindle reveals little-known incidents that include the failure of expensive aid programs to target local needs, the slow throttling of local government as official funds failed to reach the districts, and our inexplicable failure to empower the Afghan local officials even after they succeeded in bringing the people onto their side. How We Won and Lost the War in Afghanistan presents the side of the hard-working, competent Afghans who won the war and what they really thought of the U.S. military and their decisions. Written by a former field officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, this book tells of how America's desire to leave the Middle East ultimately overwhelmed our need to sustain victory.
Rarely has a foreign policy event spawned such interest in international public opinion as has the Iraq War. What does this war indicate about the extent to which public opinion influences foreign policy leaders? Have leaders decisions about participating in the Iraq Coalition reflected the willingness of their citizens to do so? Are leaders of some countries more responsive to public opinion than others?The editors address these questions using select case studies that explore the extent to which leaders and people in democracies that are capable of participating in the Iraq War Coalition have willingly done so. Each chapter is based on the premise that democracies are most responsive to public opinion and that the wealthiest democracies would be most capable, though not necessarily most willing, to participate in the Iraq War.The editors have assembled contributions that build on the successful model of Richard Sobel s "International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis." In this Iraq volume, leading scholars debate the role of public opinion in particular countries decisions to participate or not in an international conflict, making it an essential text for any foreign policy course.
In Helmand province in July 2006, Major Adam Jowett was given command of Easy Company, a hastily assembled and under-strength unit of Paras and Royal Irish rangers. Their mission was to hold the District Centre of Musa Qala at any cost. Easy Company found themselves in a ramshackle compound, cut off and heavily outnumbered by the Taliban in the town.
In No Way Out, Adam evokes the heat and chaos of battle as the Taliban hit Easy Company with wave after wave of brutal attack. He describes what it was like to have responsibility for the lives of his men as they fought back heroically over twenty-one days and nights of relentless, nerve-shredding combat. Finally, as they came down to their last rounds and death stared Easy Company in the face, the siege took an extraordinary turn . . .
Powerful, highly-charged and moving, No Way Out is Adam’s tribute to the men of Easy Company who paid a heavy price for serving their country.
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aThis riveting account of racial turmoil in the U.S. Navy will
be of immense interest to any student of the Navy, the Vietnam War,
the All-Volunteer Force, or race relations in the United
It is hard to determine what dominated more newspaper headlines in America during the 1960s and early 70s: the Vietnam War or Americaas turbulent racial climate. Oddly, however, these two pivotal moments are rarely examined in tandem.
John Darrell Sherwood has mined the archives of the U.S. Navy and conducted scores of interviews with Vietnam veterans -- both black and white -- and other military personnel to reveal the full extent of racial unrest in the Navy during the Vietnam War era, as well as the Navyas attempts to control it. During the second half of the Vietnam War, the Navy witnessed some of the worst incidents of racial strife ever experienced by the American military. Sherwood introduces us to fierce encounters on American warships and bases, ranging from sit-down strikes to major race riots.
The Navyas journey from a state of racial polarization to one of relative harmony was not an easy one, and Black Sailor, White Navy focuses on the most turbulent point in this road: the Vietnam War era.
For a Kentucky rifleman who spent his tour trudging through Vietnam's Central Highlands, it was Nancy Sinatra's ""These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."" For a ""tunnel rat"" who blew smoke into the Viet Cong's underground tunnels, it was Jimi Hendrix's ""Purple Haze."" For a black marine distraught over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., it was Aretha Franklin's ""Chain of Fools."" And for countless other Vietnam vets, it was ""I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die,"" ""Who'll Stop the Rain,"" or the song that gives this book its title. In We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner place popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. They explore how and why U.S. troops turned to music as a way of connecting to each other and the World back home and of coping with the complexities of the war they had been sent to fight. They also demonstrate that music was important for every group of Vietnam veterans -- black and white, Latino and Native American, men and women, officers and ""grunts"" -- whose personal reflections drive the book's narrative. Many of the voices are those of ordinary soldiers, airmen, seamen, and marines. But there are also ""solo"" pieces by veterans whose writings have shaped our understanding of the war -- Karl Marlantes, Alfredo Vea, Yusef Komunyakaa, Bill Ehrhart, Arthur Flowers -- as well as songwriters and performers whose music influenced soldiers' lives, including Eric Burdon, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Country Joe McDonald, and John Fogerty. Together their testimony taps into memories -- individual and cultural -- that capture a central if often overlooked component of the American war in Vietnam.
In the years immediately following the 2006 "Surge" of American troops in Iraq, observers of America's counterinsurgency war there regarded the defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Anbar Province as one of the strategy's signature victories. With the assistance of American troops, the fractious tribal sheiks in that province united in an "Awakening" that ultimately led to the defeat of the legendarily brutal AQI. The success of the Awakening convinced many that smart, properly resourced counterinsurgency strategies could in fact work. Even more, the episode showed that victory could be snatched from the jaws of defeat. A decade later, the situation in Anbar Province is dramatically different. Beginning in 2014, much of the province fell to the AQI's successor organization, ISIS, which swept through the region with shocking ease. ISIS quickly took Ramadi, the province's main city and the locus of the 2006 Awakening. In The Shadow of Anbar, Carter Malkasian looks at the wreckage to explain why Americans' initial optimism was misplaced and why victory was not sustainable. Malkasian begins by tracing the origins of the Awakening of the sheiks against AQI, which by 2005 dominated the province. Capitalizing on the feuding among traditional sheik leaders, AQI used Islam as a unifying ideology and initiated a reign of terror that cowed opponents into submission. With some help from the US, the sheiks rebounded by unifying against AQI through the Awakening movement. That, coupled with an increased American troop presence beginning in 2006, ultimately led to the defeat of AQI. After chronicling how this transpired, Malkasian turns his attention to what happened in its wake. The US left, and in a naked power play the Shiite government in Baghdad sidelined Sunni leaders throughout the country. AQI, brought back to life by the Syrian civil war as ISIS, expanded into northern and western Iraq in 2014 and quickly found a receptive audience among marginalized Sunnis. In short order, all of the progress that resulted from the Awakening evaporated. Malkasian draws many lessons from what is clearly now a failed experiment at nation building, but a few stand out. US counterinsurgency techniques, no matter how adept, cannot substantially change foreign societies and cultures, particularly ones that have existed for centuries. The American people will not tolerate a long-term US military presence in foreign lands, and what the US builds while there is likely to be temporary. Finally, the debacle reminds us that US military intervention always has a strong potential to generate instability and harm. Ultimately, the US invasion upended society and let sectarian, tribal, and religious dynamics run their course. As The Shadow of Anbar shows, the people of Anbar Province would have been better off if the United States had never invaded Iraq in the first place. Sadly, the residents there are living with the terrible fallout of the 2003 invasion to this day.
For centuries war has come with a hefty price, costing many their lives or freedom. Here, Terry Treadwell explores true stories of daring escapes and the incredible lengths people will go to get back home; from the courageous people who organised secret escape lines across several countries, and the desperate soldiers who were guided along them, to the enterprising prisoners who plotted their way out of fortresses using tunnels and disguises. While exploring the events of Stalag Luft III and the Great Escape, Freedom Trails also looks at lesser known escapes from the First and Second World Wars as well as the Korean War, revealing bravery and ingenuity that far surpasses the plot of any film.
Winner of the 2019 Gold Medal Award, Best Military History Memoir, Military Writers Society of America Ranked in the "Top 10 Military Books of 2018" by Military Times. "In war, destruction is everywhere. It eats everything around you. Sometimes it eats at you." -Major Scott Huesing, Echo Company Commander From the winter of 2006 through the spring of 2007, two-hundred-fifty Marines from Echo Company, Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment fought daily in the dangerous, dense city streets of Ramadi, Iraq during the Multi-National Forces Surge ordered by President George W. Bush. The Marines' mission: to kill or capture anti-Iraqi forces. Their experience: like being in Hell. Now Major Scott A. Huesing, the commander who led Echo Company through Ramadi, takes readers back to the streets of Ramadi in a visceral, gripping portrayal of modern urban combat. Bound together by brotherhood, honor, and the horror they faced, Echo's Marines battled day-to-day on the frontline of a totally different kind of war, without rules, built on chaos. In Echo in Ramadi, Huesing brings these resilient, resolute young men to life and shows how the savagery of urban combat left indelible scars on their bodies, psyches, and souls. Like war classics We Were Soldiers, The Yellow Birds, and Generation Kill, Echo in Ramadi is an unforgettable capsule of one company's experience of war that will leave readers stunned.
In Reencounters,Crystal Mun-hye Baik examines what it means to live with and remember an ongoing war when its manifestations-hypervisible and deeply sensed-become everyday formations delinked from militarization. Contemplating beyond notions of inherited trauma and post memory, Baik offers the concept of reencounters to better track the Korean War's illegible entanglements through an interdisciplinary archive of diasporic memory works that includes oral history projects, performances, and video installations rarely examined by Asian American studies scholars. Baik shows how Korean refugee migrations are repackaged into celebrated immigration narratives, how transnational adoptees are reclaimed by the South Korean state as welcomed "returnees," and how militarized colonial outposts such as Jeju Island are recalibrated into desirable tourist destinations. Baik argues that as the works by Korean and Korean/American artists depict this Cold War historiography, they also offer opportunities to remember otherwise the continuing war. Ultimately, Reencounters wrestles with questions of the nature of war, racial and sexual violence, and neoliberal surveillance in the twenty-first century.
An incredible tale of one man's adversity and defiance, for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Horace Greasley escaped over 200 times from a notorious German prison camp to see the girl he loved. This is his incredible true story. A Sunday Times Bestseller - over 60,000 copies sold. Even in the most horrifying places on earth, hope still lingers in the darkness, waiting for the opportunity to take flight. When war was declared Horace Greasley was just twenty-years old. After seven weeks' training with the 2/5th Battalion, the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, Horace found himself facing the might of the German Army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in northern France, with just thirty rounds in his ammunition pouch. Horace's war didn't last long. . . On 25 May 1940 he was taken prisoner and so began the harrowing journey to a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland. Those who survived the gruelling ten-week march to the camp were left broken and exhausted, all chance of escape seemingly extinguished. But when Horace met Rosa, the daughter of one of his captors, his story changed; fate, it seemed, had thrown him a lifeline. Horace risked everything in order to steal out of the camp to see his love, bringing back supplies for his fellow prisoners. In doing so he offered hope to his comrades, and defiance to one of the most brutal regimes in history.
"Part memoir, part investigative journalism, and completely engrossing, What We Inherit is not a book you'll be forgetting anytime soon." -Oprah Magazine In the wake of her mother's death, Jessica Pearce Rotondi uncovers boxes of letters, declassified CIA reports, and newspaper clippings that bring to light a family ghost: her uncle Jack, who disappeared during the CIA-led "Secret War" in Laos in 1972. The letters lead her across Southeast Asia in search of the truth that has eluded her family for decades. What she discovers takes her closer to the mother she lost and the mysteries of a secret war that changed the rules of engagement forever. In 1943, 19-year-old Edwin Pearce jumps from a burning B-17 bomber over Germany. Missing in action for months, his parents finally learn he is a prisoner of war in Stalag 17. Ed survives nearly three years in prison camp and a march across the Alps before returning home. Ed's eldest son and namesake, Edwin "Jack," follows his father into the Air Force. But on the night of March 29, 1972, Jack's plane vanishes over the mountains bordering Vietnam and Ed's past comes roaring into the present. In 2009, Ed's granddaughter, Jessica Pearce Rotondi, is grieving her mother's death when she stumbles across declassified CIA documents, letters, and maps that reveal her family's decades-long search for Jack. What We Inherit is Rotondi's story of her own hunt for answers as she retraces her grandfather's 1973 path across Southeast Asia in search of his son. An excavation of inherited trauma on a personal and national scale, What We Inherit reveals the power of a father's refusal to be silenced and a daughter's quest to rediscover her voice in the wake of loss. As Rotondi nears the last known place Jack was seen alive, she grows closer to understanding the mystery that has haunted her family for generations-and the destructive impact of a family secret so big it encompassed an entire war.
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