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Critical acclaim for William B. Breuer "A first-class historian." —The Wall Street Journal Vendetta! "A wealth of insights."—Los Angeles Times Book Review Unexplained Mysteries of World War II "Anyone interested in twists of fate should find this book fascinating." —Library Journal Feuding Allies "A valuable resource … highly recommended."—Booklist
"As combat veterans and high commanders know, logic is often a stranger in wartime." —William B. Breuer, in
The annals of World War II are mined with captivating cases of strange coincidences, ominous premonitions, and baffling mysteries. Now, William Breuer's painstaking research has yielded over 100 fascinating historical accounts, including:
The mysterious fire on the Normandie . . . Who really was behind the eerily efficient destruction of the famed ocean liner?
The ominous "Deadly Double" advertisement in The New Yorker . . . Was it a coded leak to Japanese and German spies announcing the upcoming bombing of Pearl Harbor?
The botched Nazi kidnapping of the Duke of Windsor . . . How did a serendipitous series of events save the duke from Hitler's grasp (and the Allied forces from a crippling strategic setback)?
The curious sinking of the Tang
. . . How did this deadliest of U.S. submarines come to meet such an unexpected and mysterious end?
"Anyone interested in twists of fate should find this book fascinating." —Library Journal
"While away a few hours or spend a few minutes at a time enjoying this collection of inexplicable, mysterious, and strange tales." —Nashville Banner
As World War II in Europe reached its end, armour development and doctrine had experienced several years of massively accelerated change, especially within the crucible of the Eastern Front. The German Jagdpanther and Soviet SU-100, both turretless tank-destroyer designs based on a `traditional' turret-tank chassis, were the culminating examples of how the progression of experience, resources and time constraints produced vehicles that were well suited for roles of defence and offence, respectively. The Jagdpanther represented a well-balanced solution and an excellent use of limited resources, while the SU-100 was a natural progression of the SU-85, where numbers produced compensated for rudimentary construction, poor crew comfort and limited optics.
The gritty and engaging story of two brothers, Chuck and Tom Hagel, who went to war in Vietnam, fought in the same unit, and saved each other's life. One supported the war, the other detested it, but they fought it together. 1968. It was the worst year of America's most divisive war. Flag-draped caskets came home by the thousands. Riots ravaged our cities. Assassins shot our political leaders. Black fought white, young fought old, fathers fought sons. And it was the year that two brothers from Nebraska went to war. In Vietnam, Chuck and Tom Hagel served side by side in the same rifle platoon. Together they fought in the Tet Offensive, battled snipers in Saigon, chased the enemy through the jungle, and each saved the other's life under fire. Yet, like so many American families, one brother supported the war while the other detested it. Tom and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel never set out to be heroes, but they epitomized the best, and lived through the worst, of the most tumultuous, amazing, and consequential year in the last half century. Following the brothers' paths from the prairie heartland through a war on the far side of the world and back to a divided America, Our Year of War tells the story of two brothers at war, serving their divided country. It is a story that resonates to this day, an American story.
'Train To Nowhere is the most gripping piece of war reportage I have ever read: particularly affecting is Anita Leslie's account of the Battle of Colmar, where her descriptions are almost too unbearable to take in. What a writer! Her observations, mixed with dry humour and compassion, place her at the heart of the conflict and somehow apart from it, as a good historian should be. Remarkable.' Joanna Lumley Train to Nowhere is a war memoir seen through the sardonic eyes of Anita Leslie, a funny and vivacious young woman who reports on her experiences with a dry humour, finding the absurd alongside the tragic. Daughter of a Baronet and first cousin once removed of Winston Churchill, she joined the Mechanized Transport Corps as a fully trained mechanic and ambulance driver during WWII, serving in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Italy, France and Germany. Ahead of her time, Anita bemoans `first-rate women subordinate to second-rate men,' and, as the British Army forbade women from serving at the front, joined the Free French Forces in order to do what she felt was her duty. Writing letters in Hitler's recently vacated office and marching in the Berlin Victory parade contrast with observations of seeing friends murdered and a mother avenging her son by coldly shooting a prisoner of war. Unflinching and unsentimental, Train to Nowhere is a remarkable memoir of World War II. For fans of To War With Whitaker: Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly, 1939-45 by Hermione Ranfurly, who features in Train To Nowhere.
In this starkly candid account of one boy's indoctrination into the Hitler Youth, we see a side of Nazism that has been little recorded. This autobiographical account is a rare glimpse at World War II from a German boy's viewpoint.
The book that inspired the international film of the same name. "I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did," writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott. The 12th Man is the true story of Jan Baalsrud, whose struggle to escape the Gestapo and survive in Nazi-occupied Norway has inspired the international film of the same name. In late March 1943, in the midst of WWII, four Norwegian saboteurs arrived in northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in Toftefjord to establish a base for their operations. However, they were betrayed, and a German boat attacked the cutter, creating a battlefield and spiraling Jan Baalsrud into the adventure of his life. The only survivor and wounded, Baalsrud begins a perilous journey to freedom, swimming icy fjords, climbing snow-covered peaks, enduring snowstorms, and getting caught in a monstrous avalanche. Suffering from snowblindness and frostbite, more than sixty people of the Troms District risk their lives to help Baalsrud to freedom. Meticulously researched for more than five years, Karlsen Scott and Haug bring forth the truth behind this captivating, edge-of-your-seat, real-life survival story.
Over 100 years ago Harry Harbord Morant (the Breaker) was shot by a firing squad in Pretoria. Thus began his ascension to national hero: over the years, some Australians have managed to turn his disgrace into distinction, to the point where some are now seeking a British pardon for Morant. Workhouse-born Edwin Murrant, educated by the Freemasons, emigrated on a GBP1 passage to Australia at the age of nineteen and found work on a cattle station in Queensland. Murrant spent the next sixteen years in Australia as a bushman, balladeer and all-round chancer renowned for his riding skills. Changing his name to Harry Harbord Morant, he claimed to be the son of an admiral. At the start of the Anglo-Boer war he joined the army and went to South Africa, eventually becoming a lieutenant in the Bushveldt Carbineers, an irregular unit fighting in Northern Transvaal. Enraged by the death of a friend in battle, he instigated the murder of prisoners by way of revenge. A missionary who knew too much was also killed under suspicious circumstances. Arrested and tried, he was sentenced to death and shot. Australians suggest he did not have a `fair go' and was martyred by Lord Kitchener. Others remain fixed in their opinions: he took the law into his own hands and paid the ultimate price for his crimes. This intensively researched book, featuring a wealth of new information, reveals the truth behind the legend of Breaker Morant.
Based on Captain Matt Gallagher's controversial and popular blog, which the U.S. Army shut down in June 2008, Kaboom is a sardonic, unnerving, one-of-a-kind Iraq war memoir. "At turns hilarious, maddening and terrifying," providing "raw and insightful snapshots of conflict" ( Washington Post ), Kaboom resonates with stoical detachment from and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.
Set in the poorest Jewish ghettos of Lublin and Warsaw from 1912 to
1928, this is the story of lives scarred by desperate poverty yet
abundantly rich in the wisdom of survival, as well as in love,
courage, and humor.
One Soldier's War is a visceral and unflinching memoir of a young Russian soldier's experience in the Chechen wars that brilliantly captures the fear, drudgery, chaos, and brutality of modern combat. An excerpt of the book was hailed by Tibor Fisher in the Guardian as "right up there with Catch-22 and Michael Herr's Dispatches" and the book won Russia's inaugural Debut Prize, which recognizes authors who write "despite, not because of, their life circumstances." In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an eighteen-year-old law student in Moscow when he was drafted into the Russian army and sent to Chechnya. It was the beginning of a torturous journey from naive conscript to hardened soldier that took Babchenko from the front lines of the first Chechen War in 1995 to the second in 1999. He fought in major cities and tiny hamlets, from the bombed-out streets of Grozny to anonymous mountain villages. Babchenko takes the raw and mundane realities of war--the constant cold, hunger, exhaustion, filth, and terror--and twists it into compelling, haunting, and eerily elegant prose. Acclaimed by reviewers around the world, this is a devastating first-person account of war by an extraordinary storyteller.
A classic account of one man's experiences on the Western Front,
now republished in a revised and expanded edition in anticipation
of the centenary of the First World War.
In the bestselling tradition of American Sniper and Shooter, Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labelled him "The Reaper," and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian. Irving's astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare view of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of a sniper on point.
"Trident K9 Warriors" gave readers an inside look at the SEAL teams' elite K9 warriors--who they are, how they are trained, and the extreme missions they undertake to save lives. From detecting explosives to eliminating the bad guys, these powerful dogs are also some of the smartest and highest skilled working animals on the planet. Mike Ritland's job is to train them.
This special edition re-telling presents the dramatic tale of how Ritland discovered his passion and grew up to become the trainer of the nation's most elite military working dogs. Ritland was a smaller-than-average kid who was often picked-on at school--which led him to spend more time with dogs at a young age. After graduating BUD/S training--the toughest military training in the world--to become a SEAL, he was on combat deployment in Iraq when he saw a military working dog in action and instantly knew he'd found his true calling.
Ritland started his own company to train and supply working and protection dogs for the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and other clients. He also started the Warrior Dog Foundation to help retired Special Operations dogs live long and happy lives after their service.
This is the true story of how Mike Ritland grew from a skinny, bullied child, to a member of our nation's most elite SEAL Teams, to the trainer of the world's most highly skilled K9 warriors.
"No matter how skilled the writer of nonfiction, you are always
getting the story secondhand. Here's a chance to go right to the
source. . . . These men were there."
"From the Hardcover edition.
Submarine duty in World War Two took the lives of more than twenty per cent of American submariners. As a young ensign, William J. Ruhe kept a journal on eight action-filled patrols in the South Pacific. His colourful memoir has earned a place alongside the best naval fiction, with such classics as Run Silent, Run Deep and The Hunt For Red October.
In April 1941 eighteen-year-old Joan Snelling, or 'Pop' to her friends, volunteered for work in the Women's Land Army. Within weeks she was duly employed as a land girl at Hoveton Fruit Farm, Norfolk. Here she undertook all sorts of farm work including learning how to drive a tractor. Joan's engaging and witty account shows that as land girls she and her friends found time amidst the hard toil to attend wartime dances and have romances with fighter pilots. Whilst Joan's memoirs detail the perils of wartime life they also provide a humorous insight into farm work, where animals are unpredictable and falling asleep at the wheel of a tractor is an occupational hazard.
How can stories and legends, written and oral, help people suffering from severe traumas or harsh conditions, now or in the past? Can storytelling help us sort out our innermost feelings and troubles? This deeply human subject is relevant not only to practitioners of psychotherapy, but to all of us, as we sometimes go through difficult times in life. In this book a cross-disciplinary group of researchers examine the ways in which narrative might aid in coping with difficult situations in life, and with the emotions that these situations engender. Starting with an introduction to basic narrative theories and the therapeutic effects of storytelling, the book then moves on to a series of lucid case studies. The authors present a diversity of material such as blogs, poetry, magazines, memoirs, and oral accounts from Antiquity to the present. Authors from several different disciplines make for a diversity of perspectives. The authors specialise in folkloristics, psychology, writing studies, poetry therapy, and classical studies. Psychologists, social workers, researchers, therapists -- all can benefit from this book, including everyone interested in the possibility of inner exploration through stories.
A riveting collection of thirty-eight narratives by American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, "Outside the Wire" offers a powerful evocation of everyday life in a war zone. Christine Dumaine Leche--a writing instructor who left her home and family to teach at Bagram Air Base and a forward operating base near the volatile Afghan-Pakistani border--encouraged these deeply personal reflections, which demonstrate the power of writing to battle the most traumatic of experiences.
The soldiers whose words fill this book often met for class with Leche under extreme circumstances and in challenging conditions, some having just returned from dangerous combat missions, others having spent the day in firefights, endured hours in the bitter cold of an open guard tower, or suffered a difficult phone conversation with a spouse back home. Some choose to record momentous events from childhood or civilian life--events that motivated them to join the military or that haunt them as adults. Others capture the immediacy of the battlefield and the emotional and psychological explosions that followed. These soldiers write through the senses and from the soul, grappling with the impact of moral complexity, fear, homesickness, boredom, and despair.
We each, writes Leche, require witnesses to the narratives of our lives. "Outside the Wire" creates that opportunity for us as readers to bear witness to the men and women who carry the weight of war for us all.
The testimony of survivors is the ultimate refutation of claims that the Holocaust did not occur. In this profoundly honest Holocaust memoir, Michel Mielnicki takes us from the pleasures and charms of pre-war Polish Jewry (now entirely lost) into some of the darkest places of the twentieth century. One of the few survivors of Birkenau -- not a concentration camp but an actual death camp -- Mielnicki tells his story with great courage and attention to truthful detail. In his home town of Wasilkow, Poland, he describes how pogroms, which began as small acts of anti-Semitism, led to mass murders and expulsions. Mielnicki also adds new material to the neglected history of Soviet rule in Poland from September 1939 to June 1941. Mielnicki's account of life in the camps of Birkenau, Buna, Mittelbau-Dora and Belsen is at times harrowing, but the personal qualities that helped him to survive when all human dignity had apparently been erased creates a powerfully redeeming human drama.
The Boys of Winter, new in paperback, tells the true story of three young American ski champions and their brutal, heroic, and fateful transformation from athletes to infantrymen with the 10th Mountain Division. Sanders's fast-paced narrative draws on dozens of interviews and extensive research to trace these boys' lives from childhood to championships and from training at Mount Rainier and in the Colorado Rockies to battles against the Nazis. Ullr Award-winner, International Ski History Association. "Sanders . . . puts a personal face on the 10th Mountain Division and connects the reader more intimately to their story. It was, and is, a compelling story, and Sanders tells it well." --Tom Miller, www.Military.com "Perfectly captures the spirit of the men who made the division what it was." --John Imbrie, 10th Mountain Division Historian "A great companion for any [ski] trip." --Powder, Editor's Choice "Immensely valuable and substantial" --International Ski History Assoc.
When Pakistan first attacked in September 1965, the main objective of the GOC-in-C of the Western Command, Lieutenant General Harbakhsh Singh, was not to cede a single square inch of Indian land to the enemy. And despite the valour and strategic brilliance of the Pakistan Army and Air Force, the Indian Armed Forces, through sheer strength of will, emerged triumphant - sometimes even in battles where it first seemed that all was lost. The Monsoon War is an honest and gritty eye-witness account of the 1965 war, as it happened, retold by two men who fought it. Amarinder Singh, who served as ADC to the man of the moment, Lieutenant General Harbakhsh Singh; and Lieutenant General Tajindar Shergill, who was then Troop Leader, 1 Troop C Squadron Deccan Horse, and was taken prisoner of war after a forlorn hope tank attack. Their no-holds-barred narrative brings to life the various battles fought, and the human stories of the many brave soldiers who fought for both countries. A landmark war that witnessed one of world history's most noteworthy tank battles (the Battle of Phillora), the events of 1965 are remembered as among the most significant victories of the modern Indian Armed Forces. The victory not only served as a morale booster to the nation as a whole, but is also a testament to the leadership of Harbakhsh Singh, who had over the course of the War even implemented an effective solution to the Kashmir territorial dispute. However, over the course of peace talks between the then Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan, many of Harbakhsh Singh's tactical solutions were waylaid - which is perhaps one of the many reasons why the Kashmir dispute still has the potential to sour the relationship between the two great nations.
Derived by the author from interviews and oral histories, these eighty-nine original Hasidic tales about the Holocaust provide unprecedented witness, in a traditional idiom, to the victims' inner experience of "unspeakable" suffering. This volume constitutes the first collection of original Hasidic tales to be published in a century.
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