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Gifted newspaperman Bogi Bjarnason fought in WWI, ran several prairie newspapers, flew airplanes and wrote poetry. His short story 'the Parson's Dream' was published in the company of literary work by renowned writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and W S Gilbert. This gem and a wide selection of other enduring pieces, including letters from the war, editorials, essays and poems, are brought together as an eloquent reminder of the events and issues that preoccupied a generation of Western Canadians whose dreams and sacrifices helped shape the nation's future. From 'shuddery' socialism to 'so-called' Christianity, Bogi always got to the heart of a story and had fun along the way.
An in-depth look at the T-6 Texan, its contributions to Allied victory in World War II, and its subsequent uses in air arms around the world.
This is the most comprehensive account of the Air Forces in Malta during Word War II. Malta was a vital base from which Allied aircraft could inflict serious damage on the crucial Axis supply route to Rommel in North Africa. In order to secure that route, the might of the Luftwaffe and Italian Air Forces were thrown together against the tiny island, affecting not just the defending servicemen and women, but the entire population. This book vividly describes how the fighters, bombers, torpedo, and reconnaissance aircraft of the RAF and FAA took the fight to the enemy and triumphantly succeeded with every odd stacked against them.
On a frigid afternoon in February 2003, Deanna Germain, a nurse practitioner and new grandmother living in Blaine, Minnesota, received the registered letter she had hoped would never arrive. In six days she was to report for active duty as war loomed in Iraq. The purpose of mobilisation: For Enduring Freedom. With startling detail, Lieutenant Colonel Germain offers a clear-eyed account of life as a nursing supervisor behind the fortified gates of Abu Ghraib. Her duty: To treat Iraqi prisoners, US soldiers, and Marines in need of medical attention. Shortly after she arrived, the notorious prison made headlines around the world for abuses that had stopped months before. Despite unbearable heat, frequent mortar attacks, medical supply shortages, substandard facilities, the relentless stench of war, and sleepless nights quartered in a tiny prison cell, Germain served the medical needs of each of her patients with remarkable humanity. In this crucible of wartime stress, workplace turmoil, and cultural uncertainty, Germain found herself forging powerful connections with colleagues and translators. She learned from translators about normal Iraqi families struggling to survive impossible conditions. And after vowing to avoid personal relationships with prisoners, she became a comfort to many. Duty and compassion, camaraderie and hope all helped to pull her through.
Reinhold Eggers one of the German staff who was Security Officer during the last years at Colditz. It is a compilation of the most spectacular escape attempts written by the escapers themselves. Eggers supports the stories with extracts from his Colditz diary which ran to 26 copybooks, with stories about the German staff and their characters, and a short account of the end of his war when he became a prisoner himself. It has some memorably funny moments (especially the tale of Max and Moritz, who filled in" on parades)
Deep in the Congo's Garamba National Park in the dead of night, Joseph Kony - the notorious warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court - made a shocking admission. Loosened by home-made wine, exposing a vulnerability he could never show the world, Kony looked George Omona in the eye, `You need to know that if I had a choice I would not be doing this ... I wish I could be a man of books, like you.' Three years earlier George was expelled from one of Uganda's best schools, just weeks before he was due to graduate with exemplary grades, destroying his dreams of becoming a teacher. In desperation, his uncle found him a role in Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). George's education and fluent command of English allowed him to rapidly rise through the ranks, eventually becoming one of Kony's bodyguards, before he finally made his escape. George's story - based on many hours of interviews with acknowledged LRA expert Ledio Cakaj - provides a vivid, personal and fascinating insight into the inner workings of the LRA, and the mind of Kony, its self-appointed prophet.
In August 1944, a drab convoy of raw recruits destined to join the 28th Division lumbered along a windy French road strewn with dead animals, shattered bodies, and burning equipment. One of those draftees was 24-year-old Eddie Slovik, a petty thief from Detroit who had spent his youth in and out of reform schools. Eddie's luck had recently changed, however, with a steady factory job and marriage to a beautiful girl who gave Eddie hope and security for the first time in his life. But their honeymoon - like that of many other wartime newlyweds - was interrupted by the call to service. The convoy came under intense artillery fire, and in the confusion Slovik became separated from his unit. He joined a Canadian outfit and travelled with them before finally reporting to the 28th Division. He carried a rifle but no ammunition. He was assigned to a platoon but walked away. Refusing to fight, Slovik was arrested, court marshalled, and condemned to death. Hundreds of soldiers were tried for desertion during World War II and sentenced to die, but only Eddie Slovik paid the price, supposedly as a deterrent. vet word of the nature of his death was never officially released.
Before Peter Waller died he gave a partial manuscript to the author, his half-brother. Here is Peter's story.
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.
"Another Man's Shoes" is a gripping first-hand account of a Norwegian scientist's escape from German custody during the Second World War after his arrest for spying. Written just after the war, Sven Somme vividly describes his 200-mile trek across the mountains, pursued by German soldiers, in a bid to reach Sweden and freedom in 1944. Sixty years later, his daughter Ellie set out on foot with her sister to retrace their father's flight from Nazi-occupied Norway, meeting some of the people who helped him along the way. She recounts the emotional moment when a pair of her father's shoes, exchanged for mountain boots, were returned to her by one family who sheltered him along the way and pays special tribute to her uncle Iacob who was also arrested and later executed.
Janina Fischler embarks on perhaps the most courageous of all her journeys to date. Forced to grow up quickly in a world which had no room for Jewish children certainly not orphans Janina displays a remarkable will to survive, a need to live, which shines through every one of her wartime experiences.
Mansur Abdulin fought in the front ranks of the Soviet infantry against the German invaders at Stalingrad, Kursk and on the banks of the Dnieper. This is his extraordinary story. His vivid inside view of a ruthless war on the Eastern Front gives a rare insight into the reality of the fighting and into the tactics and mentality of the Soviet army. In his own words, and with a remarkable clarity of recall, he describes what combat was like on the ground, face to face with a skilled, deadly and increasingly desperate enemy.
"With bayonet in hand, I cautiously approached the narrow opening..."These words begin a chilling first-hand account of a life endangering situation which confronted John "Jethro" Thompson in 1967, when he served as a Tunnel Rat in Vietnam . Jethro is just one of many Australian war heroes whose brave deeds in various war zones are highlighted in Ian Ferguson's latest book. Graphic details are provided about the combat achievements of every current Australian VC winner, along with other legendary Aussies such as Nancy Wake, "Weary" Dunlop and Reg Saunders. The political, economic and social situations which have motivated Australians to risk their lives, from the Boer War of 1899 until the present day conflict in Afghanistan, are comprehensively documented, while the performances of many military leaders, including Sir John Monash and General Sir Thomas Blamey, are carefully analysed. Brolga's bestselling non-fiction author has produced another compelling book which will become a must read for every lover of Australian social history.
This action packed military memoir tells of the exploits of a young Sapper officer during both the Second World War and in Korea. Tony Younger was in the thick of the action during the German Blitzkrieg of 1940 seeing desperate fighting as the beleaguered British Expeditionary Force struggled to escape at Dunkirk. He then became closely involved in anthrax experiments which still today render the Scottish island of Guinard uninhabitable before playing a full role in the Normandy Campaign and the conquest of Germany. After a period in Burma, he was sent to Korea, where in bitter fighting against hordes of Chinese and North Korean troops he was extremely lucky to escape with his life: many of his comrades tragically did not.
Even by SAS standards Mike Curtis has had a remarkable career. A former coal miner and likely Welsh international, he served with 2 Para in the Falklands before going on to join the SAS. In C.Q.B. he describes his gruelling experience in the Falklands and also focus on two more of his major SAS operations; the first in Iraq where he spent several weeks behind enemy lines; the second in Bosnia where he worked closely with all factions and latterly led a close protection team guarding visiting heads of State. Goose Green, the first land battle of the Falklands conflict, was the longest, hardest-fought, and most controversial. The outcome there was to set the tone for the remainder of the war, affect international opinion and the morale and determination of both armies. The SAS infiltrated Iraq in two guises - as road-watch patrols and mobile fighting columns. Constituting the biggest SAS overland fighting force since the Second World War, Mike Curtis's troop constituted a coherent, mobile weapon able to operate round the clock and defend itself against surprise attack. C.Q.B. is also the first published account of the SAS's activities in former Yugoslavia by a Close Quarter Battle Specialist and John Major's personal bodyguard.
The crew of the Norland were having a whale of a time in 1982, ferrying passengers between Rotterdam and Hull. Especially the 'girls' in the catering crew: Wendy, Frankie and Candy, all stewards and all gay men. So when their ferry was requisitioned by the government to transfer nine hundred paratroopers to Ascension Island for the war in the Falklands, the 'girls' jumped at the chance to be part of the crew. Shockingly, they were asked to carry on right into the heart of the Falklands, where they were to be the very first ship of the entire Task Force to make a landing. Untrained and unprepared, the crew faced heavy bombardment from the Argentinean air force. Miraculously, the Norland survived intact as many other ships were destroyed around it. And, just as miraculously, the paratroopers eventually looked on their camp catering staff as the heroes of their war. Written with the real-life protagonists, this book relates their incredible experiences in a war they never signed up for, while demonstrating how lasting bonds can be formed between the unlikeliest of people.
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.
Written just after the heat of battle and in the language of the time, this extraordinarily moving account expresses in a brutally honest and personal way the ordinary soldier's experience of one of the most horrific series of battles ever fought. Fleurbaix, Bapaume, Beaumetz, Lagnicourt, Bullecourt, The Menin Road, Villers-Bretonneux, Peronne and Mont St. Quentin. Downing describes the mud, the rats, the constant pounding of the guns, the deaths, the futility, but also the humour and heroism of one of the most compelling periods in world history. His writing is spare, beautiful in its clarity and heart-breakingly vivid. Quite simply the finest and most graphic description of these actions ever written. Anyone with an interest in war and the ordinary person's struggle to survive must read this book
"We tried to live with 120 percent intensity, rather than waiting
for death. We read and read, trying to understand why we had to die
in our early twenties. We felt the clock ticking away towards our
death, every sound of the clock shortening our lives." So wrote
Irokawa Daikichi, one of the many kamikaze pilots, or "tokkotai,"
who faced almost certain death in the futile military operations
conducted by Japan at the end of World War II.
This is the story of Joseph Freeman -- one of the few survivors of the infamous death marches that took place in the last months of World War II, when the Russians from the East and the other allies from the West were closing in. Panicked, and yet still ruthlessly attempting to bring about the Final Solution, the Nazis forced their prisoners out of their killing centers on Polish soil -- Auschwitz-Birkenau among them -- and marched them westward. Half-starved and weakened by the horrors they had endured in the camps, many more prisoners died in the grueling marches.
In March 1943 a team of expatriate Norwegian commandos sailed from the most northerly part of Britain for Nazi-occupied Norway. Their mission was to organise and support the Norwegian resistance. They were betrayed, and only one man survived the ambush by the Nazis. Crippled by frostbite, snow-blind and hunted by the Nazis, Jan Baalstrud managed to find a tiny arctic village. There - delirious, near death - he found villagers willing to risk their own lives to save him. David Howarth narrates his incredible escape in this gripping tale of courage and the resilience of the human spirit.
A second collection of incredible and heart-warming canine stories from around the world, from the bestselling author of The Dog That Saved My Life.
Animals have accompanied man into battle since war first waged. Since those times, many stories have been told of the bears, camels, cats, dolphins, monkeys, mules, rats and other creatures that have served with the Armed Forces during both world wars and beyond. The four stories in this book represent the devotion and unquestioning loyalty of the canine companion in the darkest days of war.
From the stub-tailed Bull Terrier that became a hero of the First World War, and the most decorated dog in history, after his bravery in the trenches of Flanders, to the remarkable loyalty of an Iraqi stray dog who attached himself to British troops in North Port and then patrolled their camp every night, protecting them from being attacked by the vicious packs of dogs living in the desert, each is an incredible tale of wartime bravery as well as an example of inspiring commitment and courage.
On Saturday 26 February, 1938, 17-year-old Georg Klaar took his girlfriend Lisl to his first ball. His family were proudly Austrian, but were also Jewish. This is his first-hand account of the persecution of the Jews during World War II.
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