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In the dust and blazing heat of Helmand, the young men of 16 Air Assault Brigade find themselves in the most relentless battles faced by British troops in recent history. As the only writer to have obtained unprecedented, unrestricted access to the front line, Sam Kiley is with them to bear witness to the most intense challenges of their lives. "Desperate Glory" is an unflinching portrait of the reality of war - the bombs, the shooting and the daily struggles that push them to the very limit of human endurance.
From its early beginnings in World War II, the Special Air Service (SAS) has won renown in some of the most dramatic, dangerous and controversial military special operations of the 20th century. It is a secretive and mysterious unit, whose operations and internal structures are hidden from the public eye. Now, one of its longest-serving veterans offers a glimpse into the shadowy world of the SAS. Rusty Firmin spent an incredible 15 years with `The Regiment' and was a key figure in the assault of the Iranian Embassy in London in May 1980. Newly revised and available in paperback, this is the unforgettable chronicle of Rusty's combat experiences - a fascinating and intimate portrayal of what it was like to be part of the world's most respected Special Operations Force.
In Minefield six Falklands/Malvinas war veterans who once faced each other across a battlefield now face each other across a stage. Together they share memories, films, songs and photos as they recall their collective war and embody the political figures that led them into it. Soldier, veteran, human - these men have stories to share as they take us from the horrors of war to today's uncertainties, with brutal honesty and startling humour.
In "Colditz: The Full Story," Major Pat Reid brings together the many dramatic discoveries resulting from researh that has covered the five continents. From all walks of life, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, French, German and Polish prisoners - as well as those from the British Commonwealth and USA - were incarcerated in suffocating intimacy for five years in an alien and hostile land. Under these conditions, they proved that men could live together and that loyalty and generosity could thrive, transcending the natural prejudices of race, creed, language and intellecual diversity. There were more than 300 escape attempts at Colditz and in this fascinating portrayal, Reid vividly describes this unique period in Second World War history. Furthermore, he reveals the code systems between the War Ofiice and Colditz; shows how he obtained information on Germany's secret weapons; and investigates the existence of traitors and the situation of non-collaborators in the castle. This is a true story, which nonetheless possesses the mythical qualities that cause a legend to live forever.
In these eleven stories of courage in the Second World War, Prime Minister Gordon Brown marks the unforgettable heroism of British men and women who fought to overcome tyranny. Some are accounts of decisive action taken in the searing heat of battle while others are of innovative, strategic thought and endurance in the face of dangers met day after day. Tribute is paid to heroes such as John Bridge, a physics teacher turned mine- and bomb-disposal officer, and to the bravery of clandestine operatives like Major Hugh Seagrim in occupied Burma and Violette Szabo in France. Simply and directly told, these inspiring stories celebrate the extraordinary courage of an exceptional generation.
From WWII to Iraq the SAS has been at the forefront of armed
conflict, though most people wouldn't realise it was even there.
Universally acknowledged as the best special forces in the world,
every member of the Regiment is a hero in his own right. However,
even amongst these remarkable soldiers there are those who stand
On the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, this is a story that so far has never been told. The 18th Battalion Middlesex Regiment were not infantry men whose primary job was to go `over the top' at the start or during battle. Nor were they deployed behind the lines away from the action with the generals and base camp workers. They had a different job - to build the infrastructure necessary to prosecute the war. These `miners pals' played a vital role in the war. They dug and drained trenches, wired No Man's Land, mined under enemy lines, made and repaired roads, filled in craters, constructed dug-outs, stock piled ammunition, built and improved billets, fetched and carried, kept open communications with the front, made and repaired railways, built and demolished bridges, gased the enemy, picquetted rods and held the front line. If a job needed doing, they did it - no matter where, when or how dangerous. At times they fought back the Germans with only their picks and shovels, and in High Wood, at the height of the Battle of the Somme, they were deployed to fight the enemy at bayonet point. By this, amongst other events, the 18th Battalion earned the right to use the Middlesex Regiment nickname `die-hards'. A Miners Pals Battalion at War is written in diary form, based on the 18th Middlesex Battalion War Diary and the 33rd Division War Diary. Volume 1 covers August 1914 - June 1917, with Volume 2 continuing the entries from July 1917 to January 1919. There are many accounts of the bravery of members of the battalion, recording biographical details of each soldier, including the cemetery where they are buried or memorial where they are honoured. The book is a goldmine of information, laden with incidents from the war and facts that have been cross-checked and verified. It is a fascinating read for anyone looking for an untold aspect of WWI.
As a little girl Gladys Lunn was thrilled at the prospect of moving to the seaside resort of Skegness, but when she ran down to the beach she found her way blocked by a barricade of barbed wire. That was when she realised that her country was at war. This book is her memoir of those long-ago years when she and her sister, the daughters of a fireman who worked long hours to deal with bombs and explosions, were often uncomfortably close to the action - on one occasion Gladys found herself running for home with bullets from a dogfight overhead hitting the pavement beside her.
-16 DegreesC, sunlight, silence. I drove the children to school, then went to see the revolution. I walked between the tents. Talked with rev-olutionaries. They were weary today. The air was thick with the smell of old campfires. Ukraine Diaries is acclaimed writer Andrey Kurkov's first-hand account of the ongoing crisis in his country. From his flat in Kiev, just five hundred yards from Independence Square, Kurkov can smell the burning barricades and hear the sounds of grenades and gunshot. Kurkov's diaries begin on the first day of the pro-European protests in November, and describe the violent clashes in the Maidan, the impeachment of Yanukovcyh, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the separatist uprisings in the east of Ukraine. Going beyond the headlines, they give vivid insight into what it's like to live through - and try to make sense of - times of intense political unrest.
Official histories of the First World War are accounts of strategy and tactics, political and logistical considerations. After reading them many might ask why soldiers are rarely mentioned except in terms of military units. Even regimental histories devote more space to the plans and concepts than to the men used to implement the plans. This book was the first serious attempt to illustrate the humanity of the soldier on the Western Front, reflecting the war as they saw it from first shot to last. These tales, told to fellow men in the trenches, behind the lines, at base hospitals and at the estaminets and billets during rest periods, have been recorded here.
In 1941-44, Nazi Germany's Gebirgsjager - elite mountain troops - clashed repeatedly with land-based units of the Soviet Navy during the mighty struggle on World War II's Eastern Front. Formed into naval infantry and naval rifle brigades, some 350,000 of Stalin's sailors would serve the Motherland on land, playing a key role in the defence of Moscow, Leningrad, and Sevastopol. The Gebirgsjager, many among them veterans of victories in Norway and then Crete, would find their specialist skills to be at a premium in the harsh terrain and bitter weather encountered at the northern end of the front line. Operating many hundreds of miles north of Moscow, the two sides endured savage conditions as they fought one another inside the Arctic Circle. Featuring archive photographs, specially commissioned artwork and expert analysis, this is the absorbing story of the men who fought and died in the struggle for the Soviet Union's northern flank at the height of World War II.
Often overlooked in accounts of World War II is the Soviet Union's
quiet yet brutal campaign against Polish citizens, a campaign that
included, we now know, war crimes for which the Soviet and Russian
governments only recently admitted culpability. Standing in the
shadow of the Holocaust, this episode of European history is often
overlooked. Wesley Adamczyk's gripping memoir, "When God Looked the
Other Way," now gives voice to the hundreds of thousands of victims
of Soviet barbarism.
Darling, I never wanted to gow home as bad in my life as I doo now and if they don't give mee a furlow I am going any how. Written in December 1862 by Private Wright Vinson in Tennessee to his wife, Christiana, in Georgia, these lines go to the heart of why Scott Walker wrote this history of the Fifty-seventh Georgia Infantry, a unit of the famed Mercer's Brigade. All but a few members of the Fifty-seventh lived within a close radius of eighty miles from one another. More than just an account of their military engagements, this is a collective biography of a close-knit group. Relatives and neighbors served and died side by side in the Fifty-seventh, and Walker excels at showing how family ties, friendships, and other intimate dynamics played out wartime settings. Walker follows the soldiers of the Fifty-seventh as they push far into Unionist Kentucky, starve at the siege of Vicksburg, guard Union prisoners at the Andersonville stockade, defend Atlanta from Sherman, and more. Hardened fighters who would wish hell on an incompetent superior but break down at the sight of a dying Yankee, these are real people, as rarely seen in other Civil War histories.
Winchester lever-action repeating rifles are an integral part of the folklore of the American West. Introduced after the American Civil War, the first Winchester, the M1866, would go on to see military service as far afield as Bulgaria, but it was in the hands of civilians that it would become known as `The gun that won the west'. Offering a lethal combination of portability, ruggedness and ammunition interchangeability with pistol sidearms, the Winchesters and their innovative and elegant breech-loading system represented a revolutionary design. They were used by a staggering variety of military and civilian groups - gold-miners, trappers, hunters, farmers, lawmen, professional gunmen and Native Americans. It equipped a whole generation of settlers and as such left an imprint on American culture that continues to resonate today. This book explores the Winchesters' unique place in history, revealing the technical secrets of their success with a full array of colour artwork, period illustrations and close-up photographs.
This is the remarkable story of one of the Second World War's most unusual animal heroes - a 14-stone St Bernard dog who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe. From a happy and carefree puppyhood spent as a family pet in the Norwegian fishing town of Honningsvag, the gentle giant Bamse followed his master at the outbreak of the war to become a registered crew member of the mine-sweeper Thorodd. Often donning his own steel helmet as he took his place in the Torodd's bow gun turret, Bamse cut an impressive figure and made a huge contribution to the morale of the crew, and he gallantly saved the lives of two of them. After Norway fell to the Germans in 1940, the Thorodd operated from Dundee and Montrose, where Bamse became a well-known and much-loved figure, shepherding the Thorodd's crew-members back to the boat at pub closing time, travelling on the local buses, breaking up fights and even taking part in football matches. Mourned both by locals and Norwegians when he died in 1944, Bamse's memory has been kept alive both in Norway, where he is still regarded as a national hero, and in Montrose, where a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled in 2006 by HRH Prince Andrew. Written from extensive source material and eyewitness accounts, "Sea Dog Bamse" is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary life of an extraordinary dog.
Foreword by Dan Snow. Ten holders of the Victoria Cross, the highest British military honour - for 'valour in the face of the enemy' - are associated with the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK. They include the very first VC to be awarded (in the Crimea, 1856).
The nearly half-million American airmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories. In Unsung Eagles, award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay Stout has saved an exciting collection of those accounts from oblivion. These are not rehashed tales from the hoary icons of the war. Rather, they are stories from the masses of largely unrecognized men who-in the aggregate-actually won it. These are "everyman" accounts that are important but fast disappearing. Ray Crandall describes how he was nearly knocked into the Pacific by a heavy cruiser's main battery during the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. Jesse Barker-a displaced dive-bomber pilot-tells of dodging naval bombardments in the stinking mud of Guadalcanal. Bob Popeney relates how his friend and fellow A-20 pilot was blown out of formation by German antiaircraft fire: "I could see the inside of the airplane-and I could see Nordstrom's eyes. He looked confused...and then immediately he flipped up and went tumbling down."
James Bond meets Michael Schumacher The idea of racing drivers working as secret agents is at best far-fetched but The Grand Prix Saboteurs tells the amazing TRUE story of how three top Grand Prix drivers from the 1920s and 1930s worked for a clandestine British secret service in occupied France, during World War II. The product of 18 years of research, The Grand Prix Saboteurs tells a story that remained top secret until the British Government finally agreed to release them in 2003. The book dazzles with swashbuckling escapes, shocking betrayals and a story you will never forget.
In 1916, a three-masted windjammer bearing Norwegian colours sailed out of a quiet anchorage in Germany, loaded with cargo and apparently bound for Australia. Her true mission was quite different. The ship was, in fact, the SMS Seeadler, commanded by swashbuckling German aristocrat Felix von Luckner. Over an epic voyage, he used cunning and deception to destroy fourteen merchant ships, all the while evading the utterly foxed and infuriated British Admiralty in a daring game of cat and mouse. This rip-roaring World War I story depicts a life of espionage, counterespionage and piracy of the most gentlemanly kind.
This is the true story of a young American missionary woman courage and triump of faith in the jungles of New Guinea and her four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp. Never to see her husband again, she was forced to sign a confession to a crime she did not commit and face the executioner's sword, only to be miraculously spared.
300 million cubic miles of ocean. Stealthy, and deadly, the nuclear submarines of the Royal Navy lie in wait in the depths of the world's oceans, ready to listen, intercept, and attack wherever they may be needed - from the coastline of Libya to the ice caps of the Arctic. If the UK is hit by a devastating nuclear strike, they'll be the last military force standing. 200 million pounds of hardware. Award-winning journalist Danny Danziger has been allowed unprecedented access to the elite crew of one of the UK's attack class submarines, joining them on operations and hearing their stories. Unrestricted, and uncompromising, Sub paints a vivid picture of this fascinating, little-known branch of our armed forces. One incredible hunter-killer. In an increasingly unstable world, these are the people who keep us safe. It is time for the silent service to be heard.
On April 30, 1975, for twenty-four straight harrowing hours, a
small band of U.S. Marines exhibited exceptional bravery to
evacuate thousands from Saigon as North Vietnamese forces surged
toward the city. Based on a wealth of recently declassified
documents and in-depth, firsthand accounts, "Last Men Out" is the
pulse-pounding story of that day, told primarily through the
courageous actions of the eleven men who were the last to be flown
off the U.S. embassy roof, rescued from certain death just moments
before capture. Among them: Marine Captain Gerry Berry, who piloted
his helicopter for eighteen hours straight and had to forcibly
carry off the American ambassador, and General Richard Carey, who
insisted that he would arrest any officer who ordered choppers
grounded while there were still Marines in Saigon.
The journey that takes Mark Jacobson around the world began when a
friend bought a lamp at a rummage sale and was told that it was
made from the skins of Jews. While he didn't believe the story, he
sent it to Mark, saying, "You're a journalist, you figure out what
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