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Twenty-five US Marine Corps squadrons flew versions of the Phantom II and 11 of them used the aircraft in South-East Asia from May 1965 through to early 1973. Rather than the air-to-air missiles that were the main component in the original F-4 armament, these aircraft carried an ever-expanding range of weaponry. Some toted 24,500-lb bombs and others strafed with up to three 20 mm gun pods, while most flew daily sorties delivering napalm, Snakeye bombs and big Zuni rockets. Many US Marines holding small outpost positions in Laos and South Vietnam against heavy Viet Cong attack owed their lives to the Phantom II pilots who repeatedly drove off the enemy. The book will examine these missions in the context of US Marine Corps close-support doctrine, using the direct experience of a selection of the aircrew who flew and organised those missions.
Ground-breaking, thrilling and revealing, The Reaper is the astonishing memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving, the 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper with 33 confirmed kills, though his remarkable career total, including probable, is unknown. In the bestselling tradition of American Sniper and Shooter, Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labelled him "The Reaper," and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian. Irving's astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare View of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of a sniper on point.
On June 25, 1950, as he was flying back to Washington D.C. to deal with the outbreak of war in Korea, US President Harry Truman thought, "In my generation, this was not the first occasion when the strong had attacked the weak. I recalled some earlier instances: Manchuria, Ethiopia, Austria. I remembered how each time that the democracies failed to act it had encouraged the aggressor to keep going ahead. Communism was acting in Korea just as Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese had acted, ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier... If this was allowed to go unchallenged it would mean a third world war." In response to North Korea's invasion of South Korea, the United Nations sent an urgent plea to its members for military assistance. Sixteen nations answered the call by contributing combat troops. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, a stalwart advocate of collective security, dispatched an infantry battalion composed of his Imperial Bodyguard to affirm this principle which had been abandoned in favour of appeasement when the League of Nations (the predecessor to the United Nations) gave Fascist Italy a free-hand to invade Ethiopia in 1935. The unit designated "Kagnew Battalion" was actually successive battalions which rotated yearly and fought as part of the US 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. When they arrived, these warriors from an ancient empire were viewed with suspicion by their American allies as they were untested in modern warfare. Their arrival in Korea also coincided with the de-segregation of the US Army. However, the Ethiopians eventually earned the respect of their comrades after countless bloody, often hand-to hand battles, with all three battalions which served during the war earning US Presidential Unit Citations. Remarkably, Kagnew was the only UN contingent which did not lose a single man as prisoner of war or missing in action. Until now, few have heard the story of their stand for collective security and against aggression. The Emperor's Own provides insight into who these men and women were as well as what became of them after the war.
In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans' understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation's collective memory of the war and its aftermath. Instead, veterans' accounts are mined for colorful quotes and then dropped from public discourse; are accepted as factual sources with little attention to how memory, no matter how authentic, can diverge from events; or are not contextualized in terms of the race, gender, or class of the narrators. Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War is a landmark study of the cultural heritage of the war in Vietnam as presented through the experience of its American participants. Crossing disciplinary borders in ways rarely attempted by historians, John A. Wood unearths truths embedded in the memoirists' treatments of combat, the Vietnamese people, race relations in the United States military, male-female relationships in the war zone, and veterans' postwar troubles. He also examines the publishing industry's influence on collective memory, discussing, for example, the tendency of publishers and reviewers to privilege memoirs critical of the war. Veteran Narratives is a significant and original addition to the literature on Vietnam veterans and the conflict as a whole.
When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she'd fly to the Middle East under an alias identity. The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder's tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists - men who swore they'd never speak to a woman - until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks. Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped taking down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn't a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate - and thus change the world.
"An important work." -John Prados, author of President's Secret Wars "This definitive account of the Phoenix program, the US attempt to destroy the Viet Cong through torture and summary execution, remains sobering reading for all those trying to understand the Vietnam War and the moral ambiguities of America's Cold War victory. Though carefully documented, the book is written in an accessible style that makes it ideal for readers at all levels, from undergraduates to professional historians." -Alfred W. McCoy, author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
Inside the Pentagon Papers addresses legal and moral issues that resonate today as debates continue over government secrecy and democracy's requisite demand for truthfully informed citizens. In the process, it also shows how a closer study of this signal event can illuminate questions of government responsibility in any era. When Daniel Ellsberg leaked a secret government study about the Vietnam War to the press in 1971, he set off a chain of events that culminated in one of the most important First Amendment decisions in American legal history. That affair is now part of history, but the story behind the case has much to tell us about government secrecy and the public's right to know. Commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, ""the Pentagon Papers"" were assembled by a team of analysts who investigated every aspect of the war. Ellsberg, a member of the team, was horrified by the government's public lies about the war - discrepancies with reality that were revealed by the report's secret findings. His leak of the report to the New York Times and Washington Post triggered the Nixon administration's heavy-handed attempt to halt publication of their stories, which in turn led to the Supreme Court's ruling that Nixon's actions violated the Constitution's free speech guarantees. Inside the Pentagon Papers reexamines what happened, why it mattered, and why it still has relevance today. Focusing on the ""back story"" of the Pentagon Papers and the resulting court cases, it draws upon a wealth of oral history and previously classified documents to show the consequences of leak and litigation both for the Vietnam War and for American history. Included here for the first time are transcripts of previously secret White House telephone tapes revealing the Nixon administration's repressive strategies, as well as the government's formal charges against the newspapers presented by Solicitor General Erwin Griswold to the Supreme Court. Coeditor John Prados's point-by-point analysis of these charges demonstrates just how weak the government's case was - and how they reflected Nixon's paranoia more than legitimate national security issues.
THE GRIPPING FIRST-PERSON ACCOUNT OF BIN LADEN'S EXECUTION For the first time, read the first-hand account of the planning and execution of the extraordinary mission to kill the terrorist mastermind. No Easy Day puts readers inside the elite, handpicked twenty-four-man team known as SEAL Team Six as they train for the most important mission of their lives. From the crash of the Black Hawk helicopter that threatened the mission with disaster, to the radio call confirming their target was dead, the SEAL team raid on bin Laden's secret HQ is recounted in nail-biting second-by-second detail. Team leader Mark Owen takes readers behind enemy lines with one of the world's most astonishing fighting forces, in the only insider's account of their most spectacular mission. 'No Easy Day amounts to a cinematic account of the raid to kill Bin Laden: you feel as if you're sitting in the Black Hawk as it swoops in' NY Times 'A blistering first-hand account' The Sun
The first book to give equal weight to the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam war.
Throughout the Vietnam War, one focal point persisted where the Viet Cong guerrillas and ARVN were not a major factor, but where the trained professionals of the North Vietnamese and United States armies repeatedly fought head-to-head. A Shau Valor is a thoroughly documented study of nine years of American combat operations encompassing the crucial frontier valley and a 15-mile radius around it-the most deadly killing ground of the entire Vietnam War. Beginning in 1963 Special Forces A-teams established camps along the valley floor, followed by a number of top-secret Project Delta reconnaissance missions through 1967. Then, U.S. Army and Marine Corps maneuver battalions engaged in a series of sometimes controversial thrusts into the A Shau designed to disrupt NVA infiltrations and to kill enemy soldiers, part of what came to be known as Westmoreland's "war of attrition." The various campaigns included Operation Pirous in 1967, 1968's Operations Delaware and Somerset Plain, 1969's Operations Dewey Canyon, Massachusetts Striker, and Apache Snow-which included the infamous battle for Hamburger Hill-culminating with Operation Texas Star and the vicious fight for and humiliating evacuation of Fire Support Base Ripcord in the summer of 1970, the last major U.S. battle of the war. By 1971 the fighting had once again shifted to the realm of small Special Forces reconnaissance teams assigned to the ultra-secret Studies and Observations Group-SOG. Other works have focused on individual battles or units, but A Shau Valor is the first to study the nine-year campaign-for all its courage, sacrifice and valor-chronologically and within the context of other historical, political, and cultural events. In addition to covering the strictly military aspects of the various campaigns in the A Shau, Tom Yarborough, author of the renowned Da Nang Diary, shows how events in both Vietnam and the United States became inexorably linked, as domestic dissent and a lack of realistic military strategy ultimately led to America's first lost war.
This memoir of the Vietnam War is structured as a series of short stories that convey the emotional and physical landscape of the Vietnam War. It is a window into the war from the perspective of the author, who served in a rapid response assault force, as 'the Marine'. The reader shares the Marine's experience through a year of combat that tested his character and shaped his destiny. Small joined the Marine Corps in 1969 at 19 years old, coming from a small Vermont farming community. After boot camp and speciality training he landed in Da Nang as a private first class. With three battlefield promotions in 8 months, he soon became a platoon sergeant. Small did not talk of his experiences in Vietnam over the next forty years, but has now written this book, for veterans' families, including his own, to understand what their loved ones experienced. It is a unique and powerful text that is that it is written in such a way it brings you inside the marine; you see what he sees, feel what he feels. You know him; his back story; what he is thinking; why he made the decisions he needed to make. No names are mentioned throughout the book. Memories Unleashed is an assemblage of memories, consisting of stories that stand alone to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It addresses the warrior, the lives of innocent people caught up in the war, and the American and Vietnamese families impacted by those who fought.
"A classic of war reporting...The author's stories give heart-rending meaning to the lives and deaths of these men and women, even if policymakers generally have not." -The New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner C.J. Chivers's unvarnished account of modern combat, told through the eyes of the fighters who have waged America's longest wars. More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. Chivers captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which American forces were often not prepared. The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of World War II and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam. Told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran, The Fighters presents the long arc of two wars.
The Saigon Sisters offers the narratives of a group of privileged women who were immersed in a French lycee and later rebelled and fought for independence, starting with France's occupation of Vietnam and continuing through US involvement and life after war ends in 1975. Tracing the lives of nine women, The Saigon Sisters reveals these women's stories as they forsook safety and comfort to struggle for independence, and describes how they adapted to life in the jungle, whether facing bombing raids, malaria, deadly snakes, or other trials. How did they juggle double lives working for the resistance in Saigon? How could they endure having to rely on family members to raise their own children? Why, after being sent to study abroad by anxious parents, did several women choose to return to serve their country? How could they bear open-ended separation from their husbands? How did they cope with sending their children to villages to escape the bombings of Hanoi? In spite of the maelstrom of war, how did they forge careers? And how, in spite of dislocation and distrust following the end of the war in 1975, did these women find each other and rekindle their friendships? Patricia D. Norland answers these questions and more in this powerful and personal approach to history.
A Portal in Space, set in Basra, Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), follows the lives of Anwar, a newly minted architect, and the other members of his affluent family as they attempt to maintain a sense of normality during the frequent bombing attacks from Iran. When Anwar joins the Iraqi army and then goes missing in action, his family struggles to cope with uncertainty over his fate. His mother falls into depression and secludes herself in the family home, while his father shifts his attention from his duties as a judge to the weekly pilgrimage to Baghdad seeking information on his son-and to Zahra, the young widow he meets there. Emotionally engaging, A Portal in Space is a wry, wise tale of human beings striving to retain their humanity during a war that is anything but humane. Mahmoud Saeed succeeds brilliantly in bringing the sights and sounds of Iraq to life on the page-whether in a bunker on the front lines of the Iran-Iraq War or in the parlor of a fortune-teller in Baghdad. As Zahra says of the novel she is writing: "It is a normal novel that contains love, war, life, deceit, and death."
On Sunday morning, July 9, 1950, the U.S. 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division received orders to deploy to Korea, where the North Koreans had crossed the 38th Parallel just two weeks earlier. In service in various forms since 1861, the 23rd Infantry Regiment - nicknamed the "Tomahawks" - was, like other army units following the downsizing of the military after World War II, short on radios, weapons, and men. Nevertheless, the regiment amassed volunteers to fill out its ranks and mobilised for the Far East. By the time the 23rd Infantry arrived in South Korea, American forces and their U.N. allies had been driven more than 100 miles down the Korean Penninsula by the communist Chinese. In February 1951, with his Eighth Army understrength and low on morale after weeks of retreat, Lt. Gen. Matthew Ridgway ordered the 23rd Infantry, under the command of Col. Paul Freeman, to hold the small town of Chipyong-ni, a vital road hub east of Seoul. Faced with several Chinese divisions totaling nearly 25,000 men, the 23rrd Infantry's 4,500 soldiers were outnumbered five to one. Trapped behind enemy lines, the 23rd Infantry's last stand of February 12-15 could have been one of the worst defeats in I.S. military history. Instead, the regiment's victory has been called the "Gettysburg of the Korean War" and altered the course of the remainder of the war. In High Tide in the Korean War, Leo Barron retells the Battle of Chipyong-ni from the point of view of thje commanders faced with a do-or-die defense and the soldiers fighting from the foxholes, outnumbered in unfamiliar territory in winter. Drawn from memoirs, interviews iuntelligence summaries, unit reports and personal research in South Kore, Barron's narrative is a gripping, page-turning history of one of the most important battles of the Korean War.
Inherent in "A Navy Flyer's Creed" is the power of inspiration: "My country built the best airplane in the world and entrusted it to me. They trained me to fly it. I will use it to the absolute limit of my power. With my fellow pilots, aircrew and deck crews, my plane and I will do anything necessary to carry out our tremendous responsibilities. When the going is fast and rough, I will not falter. I will be uncompromising in every blow I strike. I will be humble in victory. I am a United States Navy Flyer." In Vietnam, barely a month after the start of the Tet Offensive in 1968, one such proud United States Navy flyer applied the fundamental but sometimes forgotten maxims expressed in this creed. And he dared to risk not only his naval career, but the lives of his fellow aircrewmen in rescuing a wounded U.S. Army advisor whose time had nearly run out and whose loss of blood meant that he was only moments away from certain battlefield death. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander Allen E. "Wes" Weseleskey, had been assigned to the Navy's Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three, the "Seawolves" at the Vinh Long Army Airfield. His controversial mission took place on March 9, 1968 on the outskirts of Sadec, in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Two ARVN companies were being overwhelmed and despite coming under heavy fire, Weseleskey decided to go in and rescue as many survivors as possible. The accompanying Seawolf is forced to turn back after taking hits, but Weseleskey with the agreement of his crew persisted in the attempt, flying so low under the treeline that the VC rocket launchers were unable to reach it. On reaching base, it was observed that the overladen helicopter "looked like it had been used as a battering ram." Allen Weseleskey was awarded the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy Cross during his service. This is his story, from early assignments, clashes with superior officers, missions and rescues during the Tet Offensive, to homecoming. It is the story of a quintessential flyer, an American hero who was prepared to speak his mind and take risks. It also encapsulates the vital role of the Seawolves in the Vietnam War.
When the Viet Nam War ended, with the United States of America defeated, many wondered how a military powerhouse lost to a "raggedy-ass, little fourth-rate country," as President Lyndon Johnson called North Viet Nam. Frank Scotton knew why. A young Foreign Service Officer assigned to Viet Nam in 1962, Scotton drove roads others avoided, walked trails alone and spent nights in remote hamlets. Learning the Vietnamese language, carrying a carbine and living out of a rucksack, he proved that small teams, correctly trained and led, could compete with communist units. In 1964, Scotton organised mobile platoons to emphasise political aspects of the conflict. Those special teams, adopted by the CIA, became models for the national pacification programme. He prepared units in some provinces at the request of General Westmoreland, and in 1965 and 1966 worked with Special Forces. While organisational assistant and trouble shooter for Robert Komer in 1967, and subsequently with William Colby in the military headquarters (MACV), Scotton reluctantly concluded that improved counter insurgency techniques could not beat back the challenges posed by North Viet Nam resolve, lack of political energy in South Viet Nam, and the dissolving American commitment. For the first time Scotton shares his important observations and reasoned conclusions about the United States's involvement in the Viet Nam War.
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