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Following the Text Offensive, a shift in U.S. naval strategy in 1967-1968 saw young men fresh out of high school policing the canals and tributaries of South Vietnam aboard PBRs (patrol boat, riverine)--unarmored yet heavily armed and highly maneuverable vessels designed to operate in shallow, weedy waterways. This memoir recounts the experiences of the author and his shipmates as they cruised the Viet Cong-occupied backwaters of the Mekong Delta, and their emotional metamorphosis as wartime events shaped the men they would be for the remainder of their lives.
Winner of The Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Writing Award for Excellence in U.S. Army History Writing - Journals, memoirs and letters, June 2008 Shortly after the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the war in Iraq became the most confusing in U.S. history, the high command not knowing who to fight, who was attacking Coalition troops, and who among the different Iraqi groups were fighting each other. Yet there were a few astute officers like Lt. Col. Christopher Hughes, commanding the 2d Battalion of the 327th Inf. Regiment, 101st Airborne, who sensed the complexity of the task from the beginning. In War on Two Fronts Col. Hughes writes movingly of his No-Slack battalion at war in Iraq. The war got off to a bang for Hughes, when his brigade command tent was fragged by a Muslim sergeant in the 101st, leaving him briefly in charge of the brigade. Amid the nighttime confusion of 14 casualties, a nearby Patriot missile blasted off, panicking nearly everyone while mistakenly bringing down a British Tornado fighter-bomber. As Hughes' battalion forged into Iraq they successfully liberated the city of Najaf, securing the safety of Grand Ayatollah Sistani and the Mosque of Ali, while showing an acute cultural awareness in doing so that caught the world's attention. It was a feat that landed Hughes within the pages of Time, Newsweek and other publications. The "Screaming Eagles" of the 101st Airborne then implemented creative programs in the initial postwar occupation, including harvesting the national wheat and barley crops, while combating nearly invisible insurgents. Conscious that an army battalion is a community of some 700-plus households, and that when a unit goes off to war the families are intimately connected in our internet age, Hughes makes clear the strength of those connections and how morale is best supported at both ends. Transferred to Washington after his tour in Iraq, Hughes then writes an illuminating account of the herculean efforts of many in the Pentagon to work around the corporatist elements of its bureaucracy, in order to better understand counterinsurgency and national reconstruction, which Lawrence of Arabia characterized as "like learning to eat soup with a knife." To read this book will help understand the sources of mistakes made-and still being made-and the process needed to chart a successful strategy. Written with candor and no shortage of humor, intermixed with brutal scenes of combat and frank analysis, this book is a must-read for all those who seek insight into the current war in the Mideast.
Having learned their trade on the subsonic MiG-17, pilots of the Vietnamese People's Air Force (VPAF) received their first examples of the legendary MiG-21 supersonic fighter in 1966. Soon thrown into combat over North Vietnam, the guided-missile equipped MiG-21 proved a deadly opponent for the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps crews striking at targets deep in communist territory. Although the communist pilots initially struggled to come to terms with the fighter's air-search radar and weapons systems, the ceaseless cycle of combat operations quickly honed their skills. Indeed, by the time the last US aircraft (a B-52) was claimed by the VPAF on 28 December 1972, no fewer than 13 pilots had become aces flying the MiG-21. Fully illustrated with wartime photographs and detailed colour artwork plates, and including enthralling combat reports, this book examines the many variants of the MiG-21 that fought in the conflict, the schemes they wore and the pilots that flew them.
Richard Moser uses interviews and personal stories of Vietnam veterans to offer a fundamentally new interpretation of the Vietnam War and the antiwar movement. Although the Vietnam War was the most important conflict of recent American history, its decisive battle was not fought in the jungles of Vietnam, or even in the streets of the United States, but rather in the hearts and minds of American soldiers. To a degree unprecedented in American history, soldiers and veterans acted to oppose the very war they waged. Tens of thousands of soldiers and veterans engaged in desperate conflicts with their superiors and opposed the war through peaceful protest, creating a mass movement of dissident organizations and underground newspapers.
Moser shows how the antiwar soldiers lived out the long tradition of the citizen soldier first created in the American Revolution and Civil War. Unlike those great upheavals of the past, the Vietnam War offered no way to fulfill the citizen-soldier's struggle for freedom and justice. Rather than abandoning such ideals, however, tens of thousands abandoned the war effort and instead fulfilled their heroic expectations in the movements for peace and justice. According to Moser, this transformation of warriors into peacemakers is the most important recent development of our military culture.
The struggle for peace took these new winter soldiers into America rather than away from it. Collectively these men and women discovered the continuing potential of American culture to advance the values of freedom, equality, and justice on which the nation was founded.
A BRACING ACCOUNT OF A WAR THAT IS EITHER MISUNDERSTOOD,
FORGOTTEN, OR WILLFULLY IGNORED
During his 2009-2010 combat tour in Afghanistan, battalion commander Lt. Col. Michael J. Forsyth kept a daily journal. In it he candidly writes about his daily interactions with the Afghan government, citizens, security forces, and his intermittent conflict with the enemy. As the deployment progresses, the journal reveals that his initial expectations for peace in Afghanistan were tempered by his experiences and encounters. In the process, Col. Forsyth learned critical lessons in leadership and changed his thinking about realistic goals that can be accomplished in Afghanistan. The journal, and its subsequent annotations, also provides a glimpse into how the U.S. Army functions at the unit level and what America's Soldiers do on a daily basis to prepare for and engage in combat.
Isolated Command Post Keating - one of the most vulnerable US army bases in Afghanistan. Located at the bottom of a deep valley, soliders are exposed. The Taliban can see every move and attack is imminent. Outnumbered Just before sunrise on 3 October 2009, hundreds of Taliban insurgents open fire from all angles. Red Platoon and the Black Knight Troop are pinned down. They hear the message over the radio: Enemy in the Wire. The Taliban are inside the camp. But never outgunned. This is the heart-stopping, awe-inspiring true story of the platoon's brutal struggle for survival, told by the man who fought to defend his men, and who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary bravery.
Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having orchestrated some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. SEA STORIES begins in 1963 at a French Officer's Club in Paris, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young William McRaven learned the value of a good story. SEA STORIES is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security nuclear sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages. Action-packed, humorous, and full of valuable life lessons like those exemplified in McRaven's bestselling book, Make Your Bed, SEA STORIES is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders.
The incredible story of denial, deceit, and deception that ultimately cost Navy pilot Captain Michael Scott Speicher his life is exposed in this military tell-all. Asserting that years of information has been intentionally kept from an American public, the book reveals that, contrary to reports, Speicher survived after he ejected from his stricken F/A-18 Hornet on the first night of the Persian Gulf War. Protected by a Bedouin tribal group, he evaded Saddam's capture for nearly four years. In that time he was repeatedly promised by an American intelligence asset that a deal for his repatriation would be worked out but it never was. Speicher was left behind. After Saddam Hussein captured him, Speicher spent the next eight years in a secret Baghdad prison and being moved around in secret to avoid an American task force looking for him, and before he was killed after the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003. Author Amy Waters Yarsinske, a former naval intelligence officer and a veteran investigator and author, presents her fascinating case after years of research.
Over the eight years of the Vietnam War, US forces used three major types of equipment sets, with numerous modifications for particular circumstances. Different equipments were also used by Special Forces, the South Vietnamese, and other allied ground troops. Vietnam War US & Allied Combat Equipments offers a comprehensive examination of the gear that US and allied soldiers had strapped around their bodies, what they contained, and what those items were used for. Fully illustrated with photographs and artwork detailing how each piece of equipment was used and written by a Special Forces veteran of the conflict, this book will fascinate enthusiasts of military equipment and will be an ideal reference guide for re-enactors, modellers and collectors of Vietnam War memorabilia.
In March 2004, Caleb S. Cage and Gregory M. Tomlin deployed to Baquba, Iraq, on a mission that would redefine how conventional U.S. military forces fight an urban war. Having led artillery units through a transition into anti-insurgent rifle companies and carrying out daily combat patrols in one of the region's most notorious hotspots, Cage and Tomlin chronicle Task Force 1-6 Field Artillery's year on the ground in Iraq and its response to the insurgency that threatened to engulf their corner of the Sunni Triangle.Rather than presenting a snapshot dominated by battle scenes, ""The Gods of Diyala"" presents a wide-angled view of the experiences of Cage and Tomlin and their comrades-in-arms. They assess the implications of their experiences, starting with their pre-deployment training in Germany and ending with the handing over of duties to their replacement brigade at the close of their tour of duty. They discuss frankly their impressions of the benefits and liabilities of working with embedded journalists and relate both their frustrations with and their admiration for the fledgling Iraqi security forces. From chaotic security planning to personal debates on the principles of democracy, both authors discuss how Iraqis perceived the value of their first post-Saddam elections and the political future of their country as it tries to reinvent itself in the wake of a dictator's fall.""The Gods of Diyala"" gives a new and personal perspective on the second stage of the ongoing war in Iraq. Students and scholars of military history will find its insights meaningful and informative, and general readers will enjoy its thoughtful, well-measured narratives of a year spent trying to protect a fragile nation as it struggled toward democracy.
The Tet Offensive of January 1968 was the most important military campaign of the Vietnam War. The ancient capital city of Hue, once considered the jewel of Indochina's cities, was a key objective of a surprise Communist offensive launched on Vietnam's most important holiday. But when the North Vietnamese launched their massive invasion of the city, instead of the general civilian uprising and easy victory they had hoped for, they faced a devastating battle of attrition with enormous casualties on both sides. In the end, the battle for Hue was an unambiguous military and political victory for South Vietnam and the United States. In Fire in the Streets, the dramatic narrative of the battle unfolds on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis. The focus is on the U.S. and South Vietnamese soldiers and Marines-from the top commanders down to the frontline infantrymen-and on the men and women who supported them. With access to rare documents from both North and South Vietnam and hundreds of hours of interviews, Eric Hammel, a renowned military historian, expertly draws on first-hand accounts from the battle participants in this engrossing mixture of action and commentary. In addition, Hammel examines the tremendous strain the surprise attack put on the South Vietnamese-U.S. alliance, the shocking brutality of the Communist "liberators," and the lessons gained by U.S. Marines forced to wage battle in a city-a task for which they were utterly unprepared and which remains highly relevant today. Re-issued in the fiftieth anniversary year of the battle, with an updated photo section and maps this is the only complete and authoritative account of this crucial landmark battle.
This publication covers the chronological evolution of uniforms, equipment and armament issued to the American soldier during the second half of the conflict, which saw the 1968 Tet Offensive; 1969, when American forces saw their maximum commitment,; the Cambodian incursions of 1970, the de-escalation between 1970 and 1972 and, finally, the tragic end to the war in 1975. All of the uniforms and equipment shown are period, some of the weapons are replicas. In order to depict characteristic servicemen at given periods, a great deal of research was undertaken in order to guarantee coherence between the units, dates and geographical situations. Differing from other publications, the author has deliberately chosen to illustrate all types of service personnel rather than solely combatants in order to give an exact presentation of the American military during this period. Indeed, it should be remembered that 85% of service personnel in Vietnam were support troops and advisors.
It wasn't rockets or artillery that came through the skies one week during the war. It was the horrific force of nature that suddenly put both sides in awe. As an unofficial truce began, questions and emotions battled inside every air crewman's mind as they faced masses of Vietnamese civilians outside their protective base perimeters for the first time. Could we trust them not to shoot? Could they trust us not to drop them off in a detention camp? Truces never last, but life changes a bit for all the people involved while they are happening. Sometimes wars are suspended and fighting stops for a while. A holiday that both sides recognize might do it, as happened in the Christmas truce during World War I. Weather might do it, too, as it did in Vietnam in October 1970. The "typhoon truce" was just as real, and the war stopped for three days in northern I Corps--that area bordering the demilitarized zone separating South Vietnam from the North. The unofficial "typhoon truce" came because first, Super Typhoon Joan arrived, devastating all the coastal lowlands in I Corps and further up into North Vietnam. Then, less than a week later came Super Typhoon Kate. Kate hit the same area with renewed fury, leaving the entire countryside under water and the people there faced with both war and natural disaster at the same time. No one but the Americans, the foreign warriors fighting throughout the country, had the resources to help the people who lived in the lowlands, and so they did. For the men who took their helicopters out into the unending rain it really made little difference. Perhaps no one would shoot at them for a while, but the everyday dangers they faced remained, magnified by the low clouds and poor visibility. The crews got just as tired, maybe more so, than on normal missions. None of that really mattered. The aircrews of the 101st Airborne went out to help anyway, because rescuing people was now their mission. In this book we see how for a brief period during an otherwise vicious war, saving life took precedence over bloody conflict.
Beginning in 1950, the Korean War was a defining moment for the UN and the entirety of the early Cold War, widening the already monumental gulf between the east and west, capitalist and communist. This supplement for Bolt Action expands the rules-set from its World War II roots to this new, and truly modern, conflict. Bolt Action: Korea contains all the rules, Theatre Lists, scenarios, and new and exciting units, never seen in Bolt Action before, to wargame this turbulent period of world history.
In late 2002, over 1500 audiotapes were discovered in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in a house once occupied by Osama bin Laden. The Audacious Ascetic is the first book to explore this extraordinary archive. It details how Islamic cultural, legal, theological and linguistic vocabularies shaped militants' understandings of al-Qa'ida, and, more controversially, challenges the notion that the group's original adversary was America and the 'far enemy'. Miller argues that Western security agencies' 'management' of Bin Laden's growing reputation went awry. When magnified through global media coverage, narratives of al-Qa'ida's coherence were exploited by Osama and his militant supporters for their own ends. Focusing on over a dozen previously unpublished speeches by Bin Laden as well as on discussions by top al-Qa'ida leaders and Arab- Afghans, Miller chronicles the Saudi radical's evolving relationship with a host of Muslim insurgencies that found his stripe of asceticism (zuhd) tactically useful, especially when circulated via audiotape.These recordings also reveal militants' disenchantment when Bin Laden, marginalised through the '90s, began pandering to Western television networks in his attempt to direct hetero- dox Islamist armed struggles against America. Such audio evidence exposes al-Qa'ida's lack of coordination before 9-11 and invites scrutiny of dominant narratives of Western law enforcement, intelligence and terrorism analysts.
In 1967-68, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was on the front line of the defence of South Vietnam's Quang Tri province, which was at the very heart of the Vietnam conflict. Facing them were the soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), men whose organization and equipment made them a very different opponent from the famous, irregular Viet Cong forces. From the 'Hill Battles' in April 1967 to the struggle for the city of Hue (January-March 1968) this bloody campaign forced the two sides into a gruelling trial of strength. The USMC held a general technological and logistical advantage - including close air support and airborne transport, technology, and supplies - but could not always utilize these resources effectively in mountainous, jungle, or urban environments better known by their Vietnamese opponents. In this arresting account of small-unit combat, David R. Higgins steps into the tropical terrain of Vietnam to assess the performance and experience of USMC and NVA forces in three savage battles that stretched both sides to the limit.
Fighting an elusive and dangerous enemy far from home, the British army in Afghanistan has been involved in asymmetric warfare for the best part of a decade. The eight-year series of deployments jointly known as Operation Herrick, alongside US and other NATO contingents within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, have been the longest continuous combat commitment of the British Army since World War II. Together with Operation 'Telic' in Iraq, which immediately preceded and overlapped with it, this conflict has shaped the British Army for a generation. Enemy threats have diversified and evolved, with a consequent evolution of British doctrine, tactics and equipment. This book provides a detailed analysis of those specifics within a clear, connected account of the course of the war in Helmand, operation by operation.
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