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An eye-opening account of Australian combat history, untold . . . until now. 'thoroughly researched and compelling . . . a chilling account' - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH In 1969 a ragtag unit of 39 men were thrown together at Nui Dat, Vietnam. It was so slapdash a group it didn't even have an officer or a sergeant in charge. A rugged ex-Royal Marine stepped forward to take the lead. Jim Riddle was only an acting corporal, but he knew enough of war to keep these young diggers alive. When the platoon was involved in a high-risk ambush Riddle proved his leadership skills, bringing his men through unscathed and leaving the battlefield littered with enemy bodies. Despite their success, immediately afterwards the platoon was disbanded. According to the army they'd never existed - theirs was a ghost platoon. Frank Walker details what happened at that ambush and why the army buried their existence, and the secrets that went with it. His findings are a shocking indictment of the long-term effects of war. The men of the platoon - who'd fought so hard for their country - had to fight again to reveal the truth. But the price they all paid was far too high. GHOST PLATOON is a gripping story of the soldiers who should never be forgotten . . . or denied. Now part of the HACHETTE MILITARY COLLECTION.
Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War incorporates new research expands its coverage of the experiences of average soldiers.
On July 31, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731) began a reconnaissance cruise off the coast of North Vietnam. On August 2, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the ship. On the night of August 4, the Maddox and another destroyer, the USS Turner Joy (DD-951), expecting to be attacked, saw what they interpreted as hostile torpedo boats on their radars and reported themselves under attack. The following day, the United States bombed North Vietnam in retaliation. Congress promptly passed, almost unanimously and with little debate, a resolution granting President Lyndon Johnson authority to take "all necessary measures" to deal with aggression in Vietnam. The incident of August 4, 1964, is at the heart of this book. The author interviewed numerous Americans who were present. Most believed in the moment that an attack was occurring. By the time they were interviewed, there were more doubters than believers, but the ones who still believed were more confident in their opinions. Factoring in degree of assurance, one could say that the witnesses were split right down the middle on this fundamental question. A careful and rigorous examination of the other forms of evidence, including intercepted North Vietnamese naval communications, interrogations of North Vietnamese torpedo boat personnel captured later in the war, and the destroyers' detailed records of the location and duration of radar contacts, lead the author to conclude that no attack occurred that night.
Through the Valley is the captivating memoir of the last U.S. Army soldier taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. A narrative of courage, hope, and survival, Through the Valley is more than just a war story. It also portrays the thrill and horror of combat, the fear and anxiety of captivity, and the stories of friendships forged and friends lost In 1971 William Reeder was a senior captain on his second tour in Vietnam. He had flown armed, fixed-wing OV-1 Mohawks on secret missions deep into enemy territory in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam on his first tour. He returned as a helicopter pilot eager to experience a whole new perspective as a Cobra gunship pilot. Believing that Nixon's Vietnamization would soon end the war, Reeder was anxious to see combat action. To him, it appeared that the Americans had prevailed, beaten the Viet Cong, and were passing everything over to the South Vietnamese Army so that Americans could leave.
In this vibrant and dynamic book-length study drawing on a broad tapestry of research, Terence McSweeney offers an exploration of The Hurt Locker (2009), its stylistic and narrative devices, its cultural impact, its reception, and its relationship to the genre of the war film. McSweeney places the film in a richly textured historical, political, and industrial context, arguing that The Hurt Locker is part of a long tradition of films about American wars that play a considerable role in how audiences come to understand the conflicts that they depict. Thus, films about a nation's wars are never "only a movie" but rather should be considered a cultural battleground themselves on which a war of representation is waged.
Eric Blehm, author of the award-winning The Last Season, is back with another true adventure story, The Only Thing Worth Dying For. Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilson's War), "the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan."
When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, triggering the First Gulf War, a coalition of thirty-five countries led by the United States responded with Operation Desert Storm, which culminated in a onehundred- hour coordinated air strike and ground assault that repelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Though largely forgotten in descriptions of the war, an eight-day barrage of artillery fire made this seemingly rapid offensive possible. At the forefront of this offensive were the brave field artillerymen known as "redlegs." In Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War, veteran and former redleg of the First Infantry Division Artillery (otherwise known as the "Big Red One") Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter recounts the logistical and strategic decisions that led to a coalition victory. Drawing on original battle maps, official reports, and his and his comrades' personal journals, Lingamfelter describes the experience of the First Gulf War through a soldier's eyes and attempts to answer the question of whether the United States "got the job done" in its first sustained Middle Eastern conflict. Part military history, part personal memoir, this book provides a boots-on-theground perspective on the largest US artillery bombardment since World War II.
Beginning with the Communist Saur Revolution of 1978 and continuing through Gen. David Petraeus's 2010 appointment replacing Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, this book is an inside account of one of the most vicious conflicts fought between the two Cold War superpowers: the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-89). Analyzing the behind-the-scenes decisions made in Moscow, Washington, and Kabul, former BBC correspondent Deepak Tripathi shows how that conflict transformed Afghanistan into a sanctuary for terrorism. Explaining how Afghanistan descended into a civil war from which the Taliban emerged, Tripathi explores the ways in which the country ultimately became a grotesque mirror image of the anticommunist alliance of U.S. forces and radical Islamists in the Cold War's final phase. Calling for a departure from the current pursuit of military strong-arm tactics, he advocates an approach that is centered on development, internal reconciliation, and societal reconstruction in Afghanistan.
In 2012, Specialist E.E. Summerfield and the 2-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment were deployed to the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. A Special Forces dropout, Summerfield was given a second chance at leadership as the head of an infantry team in one of the most IED-ridden areas in Afghanistan. With zero training and little intel, his squad navigated IED belts, leadership conflict and enemy ambushes. This book provides a thought-provoking and often humorous account of life on the front in a frontless war, all from the perspective of a low-ranking enlisted soldier.
The M551 Sheridan is often referred to as a light tank, but in actuality it was an armored reconnaissance/airborne assault vehicle. The M551 was designed to be a lightweight, amphibious, air-droppable vehicle armed with a massive 152 mm gun that doubled as a rocket launcher. The gun launcher was designed to fire the MGM-51 Shillelagh antitank missile, or 152 mm conventional rounds with a combustible cartridge case. The vehicles saw extensive use in Vietnam, Operation Just Cause in Panama (where they saw their only combat air drop), and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Sheridan ended its service with the US Army masquerading as Soviet Bloc vehicles at the National Training Center. Through dozens of archival as well as detailed photographs of some of the finest extant examples of these vehicles, the Sheridan is explored, and its history explained. Part of the Legends of Warfare series.
In the decades after World War II, tens of thousands of soldiers and civilian contractors across Asia and the Pacific found work through the U.S. military. Recently liberated from colonial rule, these workers were drawn to the opportunities the military offered and became active participants of the U.S. empire, most centrally during the U.S. war in Vietnam. Simeon Man uncovers the little-known histories of Filipinos, South Koreans, and Asian Americans who fought in Vietnam, revealing how U.S. empire was sustained through overlapping projects of colonialism and race making. Through their military deployments, Man argues, these soldiers took part in the making of a new Pacific world-a decolonizing Pacific-in which the imperatives of U.S. empire collided with insurgent calls for decolonization, producing often surprising political alliances, imperial tactics of suppression, and new visions of radical democracy.
On 12 May 2009 Margaret Evison's son Lieutenant Mark Evison of 1st Battalion, The Welsh Guards, died of wounds sustained whilst leading a patrol in Helmand Province. Hailed a hero, Mark's death was a national sacrifice, his grave to be one of many in the identical, ordered rows in a military cemetery. But to his mother Margaret it was the most intimate of griefs. In Death of a Soldier, she attempts to reconcile her own unanswerable sense of loss with the idea that her son died for a good cause. With her, we confront the horror of his death and witness her struggle to see epithets such as 'heroic' and 'noble' as more than a mask to hide that ugliness. Included in the book is Mark's diary, kept while he was in Afghanistan and delivered to Margaret at home some weeks later. Widely quoted since its discovery, it contains the thoughts of a sensitive young officer and serves as a poignant reminder of the terrible human cost of the war in Afghanistan. Death of a Soldier is an extraordinarily powerful tribute to Mark and a testament to Margaret's great love for him. It paints a portrait of Mark's short but accomplished life, bringing his extraordinary character into relief and underlining the loss suffered by all who knew him. Whilst this is a book about the nature of grief, it is also the story of a mother's struggle to understand how and why her son came to die, and as such it touches on issues of public interest. As Margaret eloquently demonstrates, that mixture of the personal and political is what uniquely characterises the death of a soldier. Articulate, revealing and at times almost unbearably moving, this is an important reflection on loss, war and our responsibilites to those we send to fight.
This book is a comprehensive collector's guide to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) civilian contractors' private-purchase and service-issue clothing, equipment, and weapons as they were worn and used in the field between 2002 and 2014. A host of detailed photographs show what civilian contractors both in combat and in non-combat roles looked like in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is the first militaria book that presents actual configurations of clothing, equipment, as well as weapons of civilian contractors in as near to realistic configurations as is practically possible. The majority of items presented in this book are bringbacks from Iraq and Afghanistan, where the author worked in different capacities as a civilian contractor. Items shown in the book used to be the author's own work clothes, equipment and tools, or they belonged to fellow contractors who worked with him in different places at different times.
The first full insider account of the troop surge in Iraq, told by a member of General David Petraeus's personal staff Surge is an insider's view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. After exploring the dynamics of the war during its first three years, the book takes the reader on a journey to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the controversial new U.S. Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine was developed; to Washington, D.C., and the halls of the Pentagon, where the Joint Chiefs of Staff struggled to understand the conflict; to the streets of Baghdad, where soldiers worked to implement the surge and reenergize the flagging war effort before the Iraqi state splintered; and to the halls of Congress, where Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus testified in some of the most contentious hearings in recent memory. Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, Surge explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.
For 50 years, civilians have avoided hearing about the controversial experiences of Vietnam veterans, many of whom suffer through post-traumatic stress alone. Through interviews conducted with 17 soldiers, this book shares the stories of those who have been silenced. These men and women tell us about life before and after the war. They candidly share stories of 40 plus years lived on the "edge of the knife" and many wonder what their lives would be like if they had come home to praise and parades. They offer their tragedies and successes to newer veterans as choices to be made or rejected.
This guide showcases knives used by America's clandestine military in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It provides the collector and others interested in the period a way of identifying honest SOG (Studies and Observations Group) specimens and separating them from counterfeits. With beautiful color photographs that show a high level of detail, the book identifies all known SOG specimens (over 165 knives) and includes rare personalized knives and custom combat knives made in the United States. Sections of the book focus on Randalls, Eks, Gerbers, and the knives made by tribal artisans in Southeast Asia. This is the eighth in Mike Silvey's series on military knives.
Bringing together both contemporary and historical just war concepts, Peter Lee shows that Blair's illusion of morality evaporated quickly and irretrievably after the 2003 Iraqinvasion because the ideas Blair relied upon were taken out of their historical context and applied in a global political system where they no longer hold sway.
For American children raised exclusively in wartime-that is, a Cold War containing monolithic communism turned hot in the jungles of Southeast Asia-and the first to grow up with televised combat, Vietnam was predominately a mediated experience. Walter Cronkite was the voice of the conflict, and grim, nightly statistics the most recognizable feature. But as involvement grew, Vietnam affected numerous changes in child life, comparable to the childhood impact of previous conflicts-chiefly the Civil War and World War II-whose intensity and duration also dominated American culture. In this protracted struggle that took on the look of permanence from a child's perspective, adult lives were increasingly militarized, leaving few preadolescents totally insulated. Over the years 1965 to 1973, the vast majority of American children integrated at least some elements of the war into their own routines. Parents, in turn, shaped their children's perspectives on Vietnam, while the more politicized mothers and fathers exposed them to the bitter polarization the war engendered. The fighting only became truly real insomuch as service in Vietnam called away older community members or was driven home literally when families shared hardships surrounding separation from cousins, brothers, and fathers.In seeing the Vietnam War through the eyes of preadolescent Americans, Joel P. Rhodes suggests broader developmental implications from being socialized to the political and ethical ambiguity of Vietnam. Youth during World War II retained with clarity into adulthood many of the proscriptive patriotic messages about U.S. rightness, why we fight, heroism, or sacrifice. In contrast, Vietnam tended to breed childhood ambivalence, but not necessarily of the hawk and dove kind. This unique perspective on Vietnam continues to complicate adult notions of militarism and warfare, while generally lowering expectations of American leadership and the presidency.
Lt.Michael Patrick Murphy, a Navy SEAL, earned the Medal of Honor
on 28 June 2005 for his bravery during a fierce fight with the
Taliban in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. The first
to receive the nation's highest military honor for service in
Afghanistan, Lt. Murphy was also the first naval officer to earn
the medal since the Vietnam War, and the first SEAL to be honored
posthumously. A young man of great character, he is the subject of
Naval Special Warfare courses on character and leadership, and an
Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, naval base, school,
post office, ball park, and hospital emergency room have been named
in his honor.
A riveting collection of thirty-eight narratives by American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, "Outside the Wire" offers a powerful evocation of everyday life in a war zone. Christine Dumaine Leche--a writing instructor who left her home and family to teach at Bagram Air Base and a forward operating base near the volatile Afghan-Pakistani border--encouraged these deeply personal reflections, which demonstrate the power of writing to battle the most traumatic of experiences.
The soldiers whose words fill this book often met for class with Leche under extreme circumstances and in challenging conditions, some having just returned from dangerous combat missions, others having spent the day in firefights, endured hours in the bitter cold of an open guard tower, or suffered a difficult phone conversation with a spouse back home. Some choose to record momentous events from childhood or civilian life--events that motivated them to join the military or that haunt them as adults. Others capture the immediacy of the battlefield and the emotional and psychological explosions that followed. These soldiers write through the senses and from the soul, grappling with the impact of moral complexity, fear, homesickness, boredom, and despair.
We each, writes Leche, require witnesses to the narratives of our lives. "Outside the Wire" creates that opportunity for us as readers to bear witness to the men and women who carry the weight of war for us all.
Tess Johnston has spent her life seeking adventure and excitement and she had plenty of that in Germany before the Wall came down and in China for more than thirty years. But the pinnacle of her experiences was seven years in Vietnam, 1967-74, during the war, where she found even Saigon too tame and snared a job with one of the most famous (or infamous) American wartime leaders, John Paul Vann. In her latest book, Tess recounts stories of her Vietnam years, including her eye-witness account of the Tet Offensive, and what it was like to be one the few American women there during those harrowing years.
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