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'Highly readable . . . an intimate and varied account of fascinating stories of people at war' History of War War Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are the stories - many untold until now - of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seager who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skullduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare.
This memoir, written as fiction, but based on fact, describes the fear-filled efforts of a pair of Polish adolescents, brother and sister, to survive in secrecy and constant anxiety in Lvov at a time when Jews were being rounded up and sent to the Ghetto - or worse. They have only their false identity papers, their few trusted contacts and their own wits to help them conceal their Jewish background and keep one step ahead of the German authorities. Miriam Akavia, who experienced at first hand similar terrors and anxieties, skillfully conveys the fluctuations in mood from the natural optimism and high spirits of youth to the painfully learned caution and dissembling forced upon them by their situation.
In January 1991, eight members of the SAS regiment embarked upon a top secret mission that was to infiltrate them deep behind enemy lines. Under the command of Sergeant Andy McNab, they were to sever the underground communication link between Baghdad and north-west Iraq, and to seek and destroy mobile Scud launchers. Their call sign: BRAVO TWO ZERO. Each man laden with 15 stone of equipment, they patrolled 20km across flat desert to reach their objective. Within days, their location was compromised. After a fierce fire fight, they were forced to escape and evade on foot to the Syrian border. In the desperate action that followed, though stricken by hypothermia and other injuries, the patrol 'went ballistic'. Four men were captured. Three died. Only one escaped. For the survivors, however, the worst ordeals were to come. Delivered to Baghdad, they were tortured with a savagery for which not even their intensive SAS training had prepared them. Bravo Two Zero is a breathtaking account of Special Forces soldiering: a chronicle of superhuman courage, endurance and dark humour in the face of overwhelming odds.
Among the fiercest opponents of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was journalist James "Jimmie" Matsumoto Omura. In his sharp-penned columns, Omura fearlessly called out leaders in the Nikkei community for what he saw as their complicity with the U.S. government's unjust and unconstitutional policies-particularly the federal decision to draft imprisoned Nisei into the military without first restoring their lost citizenship rights. In 1944, Omura was pushed out of his editorship of the Japanese American newspaper Rocky Shimpo, indicted, arrested, jailed, and forced to stand trial for unlawful conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violations of the military draft. He was among the first Nikkei to seek governmental redress and reparations for wartime violations of civil liberties and human rights. In this memoir, which he began writing towards the end of his life, Omura provides a vivid account of his early years: his boyhood on Bainbridge Island; summers spent working in the salmon canneries of Alaska; riding the rails in search of work during the Great Depression; honing his skills as a journalist in Los Angeles and San Francisco. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Omura had already developed a reputation as one of the Japanese American Citizens League's most adamant critics, and when the JACL leadership acquiesced to the mass incarceration of American-born Japanese, he refused to remain silent, at great personal and professional cost. Shunned by the Nikkei community and excluded from the standard narrative of Japanese American wartime incarceration until later in life, Omura seeks in this memoir to correct the "cockeyed history to which Japanese America has been exposed." Edited and with an introduction by historian Arthur A. Hansen, and with contributions from Asian American activists and writers Frank Chin, Yosh Kuromiya, and Frank Abe, Nisei Naysayer provides an essential, firsthand account of Japanese American wartime resistance.
Praise for Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author Damien Lewis' SAS mission series: 'One of the great untold stories of WWII' - Bear Grylls on SAS Ghost Patrol 'The untold story' - Daily Mail on SAS Nazi Hunters 'A tale of bravery against desperate odds' - Sunday Times on Churchill's Secret Warriors 'True adventures laced with staggering bravery and sacrifice' - Sun on Hunting the Nazi Bomb The Ultra-Secret Unit That Posed As Nazi Stormtroopers The Most Daring Mission Ever Undertaken SAS Ghost Patrol is the explosive true story of the day in 1942 when the SAS donned Nazi uniforms to perpetrate the most audacious and daring mission of the war. Beyond top secret, deniable in the extreme (and of course enjoying Churchill's enthusiastic blessing),this is one of the most remarkable stories of wartime lawlessness, eccentricity and raw courage in the face of impossible odds - a thoroughly British undertaking. What unfolded - the longest mission ever undertaken by Allied special forces - was an epic of daring, courage, tragedy and survival that remains unrivalled to this day, and which rightly became a foundation stone of Special Forces legend. Written with Lewis's signature authenticity and dramatic verve, SAS Ghost Patrol is peopled by a cast of the utterly maverick and the extraordinary. In its quirky eccentricities and outrageous rule-breaking,this is a story that only the British could have authored, and with such panache and aplomb. It may read like the stuff of impossible myth or folklore, but every single word is true.
Carve Her Name With Pride is the inspiring story of the half-French Violette Szabo who was born in Paris Iin 1921 to an English motor-car dealer, and a French Mother. She met and married Etienne Szabo, a Captain in the French Foreign Legion in 1940. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Tania, her husband died at El Alamein. She became a FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) and was recruited into the SOE and underwent secret agent training. Her first trip to France was completed successfully even though she was arrested and then released by the French Police. On June 7th, 1944, Szabo was parachuted into Limoges. Her task was to co-ordinate the work of the French Resistance in the area in the first days after D-Day. She was captured by the SS 'Das Reich' Panzer Division and handed over to the Gestapo in Paris for interrogation. From Paris, Violette Szabo was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp where she was executed in January 1945. She was only 23 and for her courage was posthumously awarded The George Cross and the Croix de Guerre.
The story of one of the most successful and decorated tank commanders of all time Contains maps, official documents, newspaper clippings, and orders of battle
German Panzer ace Michael Wittmann was by far the most famous tank commander on any side in World War II, destroying 138 enemy tanks and 132 anti-tank guns with his Tiger. This classic of armored warfare is both combat biography and unit history, as Patrick Agte focuses on the life and career of Wittmann but also includes his fellow Tiger commanders in the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Volume One covers the Eastern Front, where Wittmann racked up more than 100 kills and participated in the Battle of Kursk in 1943.
For three decades one of the most secretive units in the British military has been a mystery force known as X Platoon. Officially there was no X Platoon. The forty men in its elite number were specially selected from across the Armed Forces, at which point they simply ceased to exist. X Platoon had no budget, no weaponry, no vehicles and no kit - apart from what its men could beg, borrow or steal from other military units. For the first time a highly decorated veteran of this specialised force - otherwise known as the Pathfinders - reveals its unique story. Steve Heaney became one of the youngest ever to pass Selection, the gruelling trial of elite forces, and was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations - serving on anti-narcotics operations in the Central American jungles, on missions hunting war criminals in the Balkans, and being sent to spy on and wage war against the Russians. The first non-officer in the unit's history to be award the Military Cross, Steve Heaney reveals the extraordinary work undertaken by this secret band of brothers.
An inspiring and gritty real life adventure, similar to 'Soldier Spy' and 'A Captain's Duty' by Captain Phillips. Jordan Wylie, a young man from a tough area of Blackpool where kids like him often went off the rails, chose a life in the army. He saw service in Iraq and learned to cope with the horrors he'd witnessed, then suffered an injury that blocked any chance of climbing up the military ladder. But an old army colleague suggested he join a security team on a tanker in Yemen. Ex-servicemen were offered dazzling salaries and `James Bond' lifestyles between jobs protecting the super-tankers carrying consumer goods to Europe and the US. However, for the men tempted to go, the price they paid was the claustrophobia and isolation of life on board and the ever-present possibility of death skimming towards them across the vast, lonely blue sea. Jordan was one of these men. In Citadel, he writes the first account of these dangerous years from someone `at the front'. A young soldier from the backstreets of Blackpool, he was determined to make the most of his life, but unsure of the way forward. To his surprise, he found his answers in the perilous waters of `Pirate Alley'.
This book describes nine transplanted Poles who participated in the Civil War. They span three generations and are connected by culture, nationality and adherence to their principles and ideals. The common thread that runs through their lives-the Polish White Eagle-is that they came from a country that had basically disintegrated at the end of the previous century, yet they carried the concepts of freedom they inherited from their forefathers to the New World to which they immigrated. Once in America the pre-war political feuds, ferocious ensuing battles, captures, prison camp escapes and privations of war-often in the words of the soldiers themselves-are fully described. More highly trained in warfare than their American brethren-and certainly more inured to struggles for nationhood- the Poles made a more significant contribution to Civil war combat than is usually described. The first group had fought in the 1830 war for freedom from the Russian Empire. The European revolutionary struggles of the 1840's molded the next generation. The two of the youngest generation came of age just as the Civil War began, entered military service as enlisted men and finished as officers. Of the group, four sided with the North and four with the South, and the other began in the Confederate cavalry and finished fighting for the Union side. All but one came from aristocratic backgrounds. In a war commonly categorized as a "brother against brother," a struggle between two American regions, history has not devoted a great deal of attention to the participation of Poles, and foreigners in general. These men fought with a belief in European democratic liberalism. Whether for the North to keep a Union together or to form a new nation from the Southern states, they held to their ideals, and in America's own greatest conflict continued to fight for their beliefs.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have served in the Middle East, putting their lives on the line and fighting for not only the future of our nation, but the future of the countries they helped free from tyranny. Regardless of one's political views or otherwise about these wars, Americans overwhelmingly support the men and women serving their country. Many of us, however, are curious about what these soldiers have seen, felt, and done while fighting in the epicenter of fundamental Islamists and terrorists.Letters From The Front Lines is a moving collection of letters, e-mails, and blog entries from those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was put together by Rear Admiral Stuart F. Platt (retired), who served under President Ronald Reagan as the Navy's first Competition Advocate General.
They were American and British air force officers in a German prison camp. With only their bare hands and the crudest of homemade tools, they sank shafts, forged passports, faked weapons, and tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes. They developed a fantastic security system to protect themselves from German surveillance. It was a split-second operation as delicate and as deadly as a time bomb. It demanded the concentrated devotion and vigilance of more than six hundred men every one of them, every minute, every hour, every day and night for more than a year. Made into the classic movie starring Steve McQueen."
Told through the eyes of current and former Navy SEALs, EYES ON TARGET is an inside account of some of the most harrowing missions in American history-including the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the mission that wasn't, the deadly attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi where a retired SEAL sniper with a small team held off one hundred terrorists while his repeated radio calls for help went unheeded. The book contains incredible accounts of major SEAL operations - from the violent birth of SEAL Team Six and the aborted Operation Eagle Claw meant to save the hostages in Iran, to key missions in Iraq and Afganistan where the SEALs suffered their worst losses in their fifty year history-and every chapter illustrates why this elite military special operations unit remains the most feared anti-terrorist force in the world. We hear reports on the record from retired SEAL officers including Lt. Cmdr. Richard Marcinko, the founder of SEAL Team Six, and a former Commander at SEAL team Six, Ryan Zinke, and we come away understanding the deep commitment of these military men who put themselves in danger to protect our country and save American lives. In the face of insurmountable odds and the imminent threat of death, they give all to protect those who cannot protect themselves. No matter the situation, on duty or at ease, SEALs never, ever give up. One powerful chapter in the book tells the story of how one Medal of Honour winner saved another, the only time this has been done in US military history. EYES ON TARGET includes these special features: - A detailed timeline of events during the Benghazi attack - Sample rescue scenarios from a military expert who believes that help could have reached the Benghazi compound in time - The US House Republican Conference Interim Progress Report on the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi Through their many interviews and unique access, Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter pull back the veil that has so often concealed the heroism of these patriots. They live by a stringent and demanding code of their own creation, keeping them ready to ignore politics, bureaucracy and-if necessary-direct orders. They share a unique combination of character, intelligence, courage, love of country and what can only be called true grit. They are the Navy SEALs, and they keep their Eyes on Target.
In the course of the Second World War, more than a quarter of a million European and American soldiers were taken prisoner by the Japanese in Malaysia, the Dutch East Indies and the Pacific. They went on to suffer years of deprivation and brutality, most of them failing to survive at all. Harold Atcherley was fortunate enough to be one of the survivors. Throughout his time as a prisoner, from the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942 until 14th September 1945, he kept a diary, which he was able to bring home with him. This book is based on that diary, along with other diaries and official documents. The original diary can now be viewed at The Imperial War Museum, London. He was fortunate enough to count among his friends and comrades the celebrated artist Ronald Searle, whose drawings have been used to illustrate his text; they give a far better impression of what life was like for a POW of the Japanese than mere words can, though neither words nor pictures could ever convey the appalling stench of disease and death on such a massive scale.
When the Royal Marines Commandos returned to a chaotic Helmand in the winter of 2008, they realised that to stand any chance of success they would need to pursue an increasingly determined Taliban harder than ever before. This time they were going to hunt them down from the air. With the support of Chinooks, Apaches, Lynx, Sea Kings and Harriers, the Commandos became a deadly mobile unit, able to swoop at a moments notice into the most hostile territory. From huge operations like the gruelling Red Dagger, when 3 Commando Brigade fought in Somme-like mud to successfully clear the area around the capital of Helmand, Lashkar Gar, of encroaching enemy forces, to the daily acts of unsupported, close-quarters 360-degree combat and the breath-taking, rapid helicopter night assaults behind enemy lines - this was kind of battle that brought Commando qualities to the fore. As with the Sunday Times bestselling 3 Commando Brigade, ex-Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour brings unparalleled access to the troops, a soldier's understanding of the conflict and a visceral sense of the combat experience. This is the real war in Afghanistan as told to him by a hand-picked band of young fellow marines as they encounter the daily rigours of life on the ground in the world's most intense war zone.
This engaging study pits the volunteers of Kitchener's 'New Armies'
against the German veterans who defended the Somme sector in the
bloody battles of July-November 1916. The mighty struggle for the
Somme sector of the Western Front in the second half of 1916 has
come to be remembered for the dreadful toll of casualties inflicted
on Britain's 'New Armies' by the German defenders on the first day
of the offensive, 1 July. The battle continued, however, throughout
the autumn and only came to a close in the bitter cold of
mid-November. The British plan relied on the power of artillery to
suppress and destroy the German defences; the infantry were tasked
with taking and holding the German trenches, but minimal resistance
was anticipated. In the event the defences were damaged but not
destroyed, and small numbers of defenders, many of whom had
garrisoned the Somme sector for many months and knew the ground
well, inflicted appalling casualties on the British attackers. Both
sides incurred major losses, however; German doctrine emphasised
that the first line had to be held or retaken at all costs, a rigid
defensive policy that led to very high casualties as the Germans
threw survivors into ad hoc, piecemeal counterattacks all along the
The World's Smallest Dog with the World's Biggest Heart Smoky the Brave is the extraordinary, touching and true story of a heroic dog and her adoptive masters in the jungles of the Pacific War. In February 1944, as Japanese military advances threatened to engulf Australasia, a tiny, four-pound Yorkshire terrier was discovered hiding in a Japanese shell scrape amidst the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea. The GIs who discovered her presumed she had been some kind of Japanese army mascot, but it soon turned out that she understood neither commands rendered in Japanese nor English. A mystery, she was adopted by Corporal William 'Bill' Wynne, an air-crewman with the US 5th Air Force's 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron. Living in Bill Wynne's tent, sleeping on a piece of green felt salvaged from a card table, and sharing his rations, Smoky became the de facto mascot of the regiment. She went on to fly numerous photo-recce and air-sea rescue missions, cocooned in a soldier's pack hanging next to the machine-guns used to repel marauding Japanese fighters. She was awarded eight battle stars, surviving dozens of Japanese combat raids on Papua New Guinea, and braving a typhoon that ravaged Okinawa. After saving Wynne's life by warning of a falling shell, as their landing craft approached an enemy-held beach - a shell that killed the eight men that Wynne was standing beside - he nicknamed her the 'angel from a foxhole'. In one of her most famous exploits Smoky parachuted using a special rig designed to fit one of the world's smallest but toughest dogs. In perhaps her most heroic exploit of all, Smoky ran a cable through a seventy-foot pipe no wider in places than four inches, to enable telephone lines to be run across the recently occupied airbase of Luzon. Her efforts saved hundreds of ground-crew from being exposed to enemy bombing, preventing injury and loss of life. Amongst her many other awards, she was given the PDSA's Certificate for Animal Bravery or Devotion in 2011, a relatively new class of PDSA award.
Dragan was a Yugoslav peasant who flirted with the ideals of Communism and aspired to become a teacher. Instead, he became a slave in a German labour camp. Galina was an only child growing up in the harsh reality of Stalinist Russia. She survived the siege of Leningrad only to be exiled and enslaved in her turn. Chance is the true story of two ordinary people who lived in extraordinary times. Displaced by war and the vagaries of politics, Dragan and Galina met and married in the chaos that followed the conflict. For them, survival was not a question of heroes and victims but simply a matter of chance.
Valor in Vietnam focuses on 19 stories of Vietnam, stories of celebrated characters in the veteran community, compelling war narratives, vignettes of battles, and the emotional impact on the combatants. It is replete with leadership lessons as well as valuable insights that are just as applicable today as they were 40 years ago. This is an anecdotal history of America's war in Vietnam composed of firsthand narratives by Vietnam War veterans presented in chronological order. They are intense, emotional, and highly personal stories. Connecting each of them is a brief historical commentary of that period of the war, the geography of the story, and the contemporary strategy written by Dr. Lewis"Bob" Sorley, West Point class of 1956, and author of A Better War. Valor in Vietnam presents an historical overview of the war through the eyes of participants in each branch of service and throughout the entire course of the war. Simply put, their stories serve to reflect the commitment, honour and dedication with which America's veterans performed their service. About the Author Allen B. Clark graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1963. Two years later, in 1965, he volunteered for service in Vietnam and was assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group. He was wounded in an early-morning mortar attack on the Dak To Special Forces camp on June 17, 1967, that necessitated the amputation of both legs below his knees. He lives outside Dallas in Plano, Texas, and is the author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior.
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