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It is the third of September 1939. It is just after half past eleven in the morning. I am fifteen years and sixteen days old. The radiogram at my home, the Woodman Hotel in Clent, has just been switched off, the silence resonates around the room, and a deathly hush has fallen. The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, has declared that, despite the best efforts of the politicians of the day to secure `peace in our time', the inevitable has befallen us; despite pledges to the contrary, Germany has invaded Poland, Hitler has ignored requests to back down and so, therefore, `Britain is now at war with Germany'. Minutes after the broadcast ends, my Father, Sidney Wheeler, goes quietly up to his room where he methodically loads three bullets into his First World War revolver. This is the true story of a fifteen-year-old girl's experience of the Second World War, based around her parent's hotel in a sleepy Worcestershire village. As war is declared, her father prepares three bullets for the invasion. He will shoot the family and himself when the Germans come. In their village, local Germans are imprisoned (guilty or not). The blackout is immediate and has tragic consequences. There is a court case over an alleged poker game. An abortion nearly results in tragedy. Handsome young airmen fly low over the hotel. Pamela has a premonition of death. The business fails. An air raid very nearly kills them all. She is called up first to factory work and then to the Land Army. She marries by special licence. As the war comes to an end she is living at home with her parents and a small baby, at which point she is just twenty-one years of age. Amusing and entertaining, surprising and often moving, Pamela's account vividly captures one family's life on the home front in Worcestershire.
This is a wartime escape memoir that ranks with the finest. Seriously wounded and captured at Calais, the author recovered to escape from his POW camp in a load of rubbish. He was on the run thanks to the Polish Underground for nine months and was recaptured within sight of the Swiss border. Interrogation by the Gestapo failed to break him - his greatest fear was that he would betray his friends. Sent to Colditz he again escaped only to be recaptured, due to a minor mis-spelling on his documents.
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.
The Writers' War is a collection of excerpts from outstanding accounts of the First World War, a terrifying conflict that would otherwise be beyond our ability to imagine. These extracts bring the human experience of war to life - from the terror of bombardment and the camaraderie of military service to those on the home front. The writing reflects a range of nationalities and personalities. It includes memorable poetry, fiction and journalism. Some great names of modern English literature appear, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, D. H. Lawrence and Rudyard Kipling. In addition, there are accounts by foreign authors such as novelists Edith Wharton and Henri Barbusse, and flying ace Manfred von Richthofen. The Writers' War offers essential insights to anyone interested in modern history or early twentieth-century literature and shows the human dimension to this world-changing event. FEATURING G.K. Chesterton * D.H. Lawrence * Edith Wharton John Galsworthy * Wilfred Owen * J. M. Barrie * Willa Cather John Buchan * Laurence Binyon * Rudyard Kipling * Henri Barbusse Arthur Conan Doyle * Saki * T. E. Lawrence
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.
The thrilling true story of John Goldsmith, one of the great unsung heroes of World War Two. An English racehorse trainer and horse dealer's son, he was born and brought up in Paris and spoke fluent French. In 1942 he was recruited in to the legendary Special Operations Executive and dropped three times behind enemy lines. On each of these missions he drew on the nerve and guile that he had acquired in the racing world. In 1943 he organised the escape of a French air force general across the Pyrenees but a few months later he was caught by the Gestapo in Paris only to engineer his own getaway from a locked third floor hotel room. By the end of the war he had been awarded the DSO, MC, Croix de Guerre and Legion d'Honneur. Resuming his peacetime occupation Goldsmith was sent numerous French racehorses to train and found uncanny similarities between the secret agent's life and the black market milieu of Britain's post war racetracks. In partnership with a high stakes Mayfair bookie he went on to orchestrate some of the most audacious betting coups in racing history.
"The Inside Story of America's Ultimate Warriors" When Osama bin
Laden was assassinated, the entire world was fascinated by the men
who had completed the seemingly impossible mission that had dogged
the U.S. government for over a decade. SEAL Team 6 became
synonymous with heroism, duty, and justice. Only a handful of the
elite men who make up the SEALs, the US Navy's best and bravest,
survive the legendary and grueling selection process that leads to
becoming a member of Team 6, a group so classified it technically
does not even exist. There are no better warriors on Earth.
'Bomb doors open!'It was the call that haunted airmen's dreams.This is the story of an ordinary young Australian whose ambition to fly took him halfway round the globe during World War II - and the fateful mission when his plane was hit three times.'Battle Order 204 is about the quality of courage.Christobel Mattingley has written this book with compassion and insight, its presentation is gripping and moving.' Max Fatchen AM'Brilliant.At once uplifting yet thought-provoking; enlightening yet, of necessity, sad. There is a commendable balance of hard fact and human emotion elements, and I found it almost impossible to put down.' Mike Garbett, author of The Lancaster at War
In these Red Cross memoirs, some 30 women tell their stories of volunteer work with the Canadian Red Cross Corps in overseas postings during World War Two and the Korean War. These dramatic narratives take us across oceans infested with enemy submarines to witness Canadian women on duty in the UK, in Europe and in Asia. The volunteers shouldered challenging and often dangerous jobs, working as nurse's aides, ambulance drivers, welfare officers, cooks, transport drivers and in the social clubs Canadian soldiers visited on leave. We learn how it feels to survive daily bombings and severe food shortages, to witness death and destruction all around, and to acquire the spirit and courage exhibited by so many 'ordinary' people during the war. Laced with humour and filled with grace, these stories are a testament to the vital yet often overlooked responsibilities that thousands of women gallantly accepted for the Allied war effort. The book contains many period photographs as well as an illuminating introduction to the Canadian Red Cross Corps.
Following the success of Nice One Centurion the second volume in the Centurion series, 'Are You Tittering Centurion?' chronicles the true, personal and hilarious antics of an RAF Regiment Gunner and his fellow Penguin counterparts. Featuring more illustrations from Tim Parker, this volume continues the tales of the nitty-gritty life of training, exercises, deployment, war, and the general mayhem that followed the RAF Regiment wherever it went.Born out of an idea to help fellow service members who suffer with PTSD, a percentage of proceeds is going to Help 4 Heroes, the RAF Regiment Museum and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The explosive sequel to the bestselling PATHFINDER. For the first time ever an elite British operator tells the gruelling story of his selection into the Pathfinders - Britain's secret soldiers. Pathfinder selection is a brutal physical and psychological trial lasting many weeks. It rivals that of the SAS and takes place over the same spine-crushing terrain, in the rain-and-snow-lashed wastes of the Welsh mountains. For two decades no one has been able to relate the extraordinary trials of British elite forces selection - until now. Captain David Blakeley goes on from completing selection to serve with the Pathfinders in Afghanistan post 9/11, where he had a gun held to his head by Al Qaeda fighters. From there he deploys to Iraq, on a series of dramatic behind-enemy-lines missions - wherein he and his tiny elite patrol are outnumbered, outgunned and trapped. MAVERICK ONE is unique and extraordinary, chronicling the making of a warrior. It culminates in Blakeley fighting back to full recovery from horrific injuries suffered whilst on operations in Iraq, to go on to face SAS selection.
Corporal Andy Reid was an ordinary soldier, serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. But his life changed for ever on Tuesday 13 October 2009, when he was blown up by a Taliban improved explosive device (IED). Evacuated to the UK, it was touch-and-go whether he would survive. He had lost both legs and his right arm, while the index finger of his left hand was almost completely removed. Yet survive he did and less than a month after being blown up, he was reunited with his patrol back in Warminster. From there he went on to have a pair of prosthetic legs fitted, and this allowed him to go on a cruise with his fiancee Claire in 2010. In the same year, he was nominated for and won the Sun's Military Award. In between he has cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats, skydived and made a number of appearances on behalf of service charities. Andy's story demonstrates how, with patience, courage and determination, hope can triumph over despair. He is not seeking pity or admiration. But he does want to make sure that we, the general public, know, as much as someone who has not been there or been through it themselves can ever know, what operations in Afghanistan are like, what happens to those who get injured and what future they might have. This is the incredible story of a truly inspirational man.
Amongst the veterans that Montgomery brought back with him from the Mediterranean to spearhead the D-day invasion, were West Country infantrymen of 231 Brigade. The Devons, Hampshires and Dorsets had already carried out assault landings in Sicily and in Italy and replaced another brigade that had been provisionally allocated to lead XXX Corps ashore on Jig sector of Gold Beach.Unknown to the Allies, a quality German Division had been moved forward to the coast. This was the same German Division that nearly halted the Americans at OMAHA and the West Countrymen had to fight extremely hard for their objectives. 231 Brigade faced the sternest test of all British troops on D-day.
Nice One Centurion tells the individual personal, funny stories of men who have served in the RAF & RAF Regiment. All the stories that have been compiled date from the very beginning of the formation of the RAF Regiment up to present-day operations. The reader of this book will be amused and highly entertained at some of the antics that occurred not only in war, but in peacetime as well. The fabulous illustrations by Tim Parker highlight what this book is all about: making a difference with humour. Nice One Centurion was born out of an idea to help fellow servicemen who suffer with PTSD. A percentage of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund, Help 4 Heroes, and the RAF Regiment Museum.
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