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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.
Tony Nott retired from the Dorset Police in 2002 at the rank of superintendent. He had spent most of his service as a detective, and had been involved in the investigation of a number of murder cases and other serious crimes. In 2000 he led the British forensic team on exhumations in Kosovo and describes the horror and brutality carried out by Serb paramilitaries. He then worked in Bosnia for the UN, where he was the commander of the eighty-strong UK police contingent. He describes in detail the investigation of human trafficking for the sex trade and illustrates some conflicting rivalries between the UN and the European Union police mission. He served a year in Iraq between 2004 and 2005 and gives insights into the Shia takeover of the police and other institutions; plus, some unsettling accounts of human rights abuses. He was involved in the investigation into the murder of British aid worker, Margaret Hassan, and is deeply critical about the role played by the UK government.He describes the difficulties he had in dealing with some senior members of the Iraqi Police; in particular, the refusal of a Deputy Minister of Interior, who declined to reopen an investigation into the murder of a British security contractor and four Iraqi citizens. The killers were suspected to be the local police. He then went onto serve two years in Israel and Palestine, where he worked with a US-led team to reform the Palestinian security services in cooperation with a European effort. Whilst this book covers the worst of human behaviour, it also highlights the bravery and triumph of the human spirit, by those ordinary people who were caught up in these events.
The best-selling classic of the power of love and forgiveness in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
A former senior mujahidin figure and an ex-counter-terrorism analyst cooperating to write a book on the history and legacy of Arab-Afghan fighters in Afghanistan is a remarkable and improbable undertaking. Yet this is what Mustafa Hamid, aka Abu Walid al-Masri, and Leah Farrall have achieved with the publication of their ground-breaking work. The result of thousands of hours of discussions over several years, The Arabs at War in Afghanistan offers significant new insights into the history of many of today's militant Salafi groups and movements. By revealing the real origins of the Taliban and al-Qaeda and the jostling among the various jihadi groups, this account not only challenges conventional wisdom, but also raises uncomfortable questions as to how events from this important period have been so badly misconstrued.
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.
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.
A rare and forgotten first-hand account of the first day of the Battle of the Somme by a British infantry soldier who went `over the top' and survived. There are many accounts of the Battle of the Somme by surviving British soldiers. However, the Somme was not a single battle, but a series of offensives and small localised attacks fought over four and a half months. What is etched into the British psyche is the huge loss of life suffered by the `poor bloody infantry' on the first day of the Somme, 1 July 1916. The carnage was such that few survived to tell the tale of that first horrific day, and the existing published memoirs are either about later in the battle or were written by non-infantry troops who, while involved in the offensive, didn't actually go `over the top'. What is unique about Edward Liveing's vivid and detailed account is that it is entirely focused on the first day of the Somme, beginning the evening before the attack and ending close to twenty-four hours later. A young junior officer in the London Regiment on the battlefield that infamous day, he was in command of a platoon of about fifty men when he scaled the crest of his trench into no-man's land. Edward Liveing's account is known and has been quoted from, but unbelievably this is the first time since its publication in the USA in 1918 that it has been republished in its full, horrific, unexpunged glory. Newly illustrated and endorsed by Lieutenant Liveing's family, 24 Hours on the Somme is the ideal book to commemorate the sacrifice made a century ago.
Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, these gripping true stories capture the astonishing bravery of the fliers who helped win World War II. American pilots fought fierce and often deadly battles in every theatre of war and many overcame incredible obstacles to survive. Meet some of these courageous aviators, including: George McGovern, who survived enemy fire that left 110 holes in his aircraft; George H. W. Bush, shot down in the Pacific; Jim Landis, a naval flyer stationed in Pearl Harbour who returned fire even after sustaining a bullet through his hand; Alex Jefferson, a Tuskegee airman shot down over France and taken prisoner; and Betty Blake, one of the little-known women pilots who aided the war effort. Clifton Truman Daniel, a grandson of President Truman, provides the foreword to this collection of carefully researched and vividly told profiles in courage that will transport you to the bullet-ridden, bomb-laden skies of the early 1940s.
13 HOURS is the true account of the events of 11 September 2012, when terrorists attacked a US State Compound and a nearby CIA station in Libya, one of the most dangerous corners of the globe. On that fateful day, a team of six American security operators stationed in Benghazi fought to repel mounting enemy forces and escalating firepower, to protect the Americans stationed there, including the US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Going beyond the call of duty, the team ignored orders to stand down and instead choked back smoke, fought wave after wave of machine-gun fire and retook the Compound, averting tragedy on a much larger scale - although four Americans would not make it out alive. Recounting the 13 hours of the now infamous attack, this personal account is both blistering and compelling, and sets the story straight about what really happened on the ground, in the streets and on the rooftops.
Teddy Hudleston was a pilot of immense skill and talent whose wisdom and resourcefulness in both war and peace carried him up through the ranks of the RAF; a Squadron Leader at 28, he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal at the age of only 35 and finally retired, after 40 years' service, as Air Chief Marshal. He won the Croix de Guerre for his role in the Suez campaign and at the height of the Cold War he was made Commander of Allied Air Forces Central Europe, serving in the front line of the defence against the Soviets. He was knighted in 1963. This very private Edwardian was dubbed by the newspaper obituaries 'the Quiet Australian' for his unassuming manner. His home life was more complicated, as author Eric Grounds knows well; for forty years Hudleston treated Grounds as his son. He has now paid tribute to him by writing this affectionate biography.
Trunk Monkeys: The Life of a Contract Soldier in Iraq tells the true story of operators from a private military contractor working in Iraq shortly after the Gulf War. From the perspective of grizzled veteran Lewis Steiner who had left the British Army to join the gold rush in the living hell that was war-torn Iraq, Steiner grew disillusioned about the declining situation in the country as he believed that the joint US and UK invasion had made things far worse. This fascinating and often extremely violent book encompasses the highs and lows of operating throughout the country from Basra in the south up to Mosul in the north. Steiner recounts of friends lost due to negligence and poor planning to the realities of conducting a private war surrounded by civilians who might be the enemy. Ultimately injured in an incident that left two dead, Steiner decides to soldier on due to a misguided sense of duty. Armed with his belt-fed SAW machine gun, Steiner accepted a contract located near Tikrit. The missions rapidly become a death sentence to many of the contract soldiers and dogs of war. In some cases, these missions were pointless, costing men, vehicles and the sanity of brothers in arms. Steiner was in the thick of it from dodging enemy ambushes to taking out a suicide bomber and narrowly escaping death in 'Sniper Alley' collecting cranberry sauce for the US forces on Thanksgiving Day. With the pedal to the metal, his Humvee attracted the unwelcome attention of insurgents who tried to blow him up with RPGs. Forget the fictionalised works of Andy McNab, Tom Clancy and Chris Ryan: this is the real deal. This is a firsthand account of the men who decide to pay the ultimate price, but be warned, this tells the real story that the Government does not want you to know.
Stumbling from a university anarchist meeting into a career in the army, Chip Chapman is aware of how consciously incompetent he is. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst confirms his worst fears. He is eventually let loose on 6 Platoon of 2 PARA and, via the Falklands War, manages to elevate himself to a position of conscious competence and save his career. Snapshots on all aspects of military life, and government decision making, show the military at work and play. This hilarious, touching, informative and thought-provoking insight into a generation of soldiering in the late 20th century and beyond is set against the drumbeat of the social, cultural, legal and educational rhythms of the age, and the change from the certainties of the Cold War to the nihilism of 9/11. Chip Chapman eventually manages to somehow climb the greasy pole to become a General. With echoes of David Niven's The Moon's a Balloon, Lesley Thomas' Virgin Soldiers and the travelogues of Bill Bryson, Chapman captures the rawness, spirit and fortitude of the soldier and soldiering in both peace and war.
2,000 blood-crazed rebels. 26 elite British soldiers. One man's explosive true story. Airlifted into the heart of the Sierra Leone jungle in the midst of the bloody civil war in 2000, 26 elite operators from the secret British elite unit X Platoon were sent into combat against thousands of Sierra Leonean rebels. Notorious for their brutality, the rebels were manned with captured UN armour, machine-guns and grenade-launchers, while the men of X Platoon were kitted with pitiful supplies of ammunition, malfunctioning rifles, and no body armour, grenades or heavy weapons. Intended to last only 48 hours, the mission mutated into a 16-day siege against the rebels, as X Platoon were denied the back-up and air support they had been promised, and were forced to make their stand alone. The half-starved soldiers, surviving on bush tucker, fought with grenades made from old food-tins and defended themselves with barricades made of sharpened bamboo-sticks, tipped in poison given to them by local villagers. Sergeant Steve Heaney won the Military Cross for his initiative in taking command after the platoon lost their commanding officer. OPERATION MAYHEM recounts his amazing untold true story, full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely fortitude with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.
The story of one woman's journey from a cultured life in pre-war Europe, through the devastation of Hitler's regime, to her commitment of helping the world understand the Holocaust.
When Singapore fell so ignominiously to the Japanese in February 1942 many tens of thousands of men, women and children were left to their own devices. It was truly 'every man for himself'. To stay in Singapore meant certain captivity and every probability of barbarity at the hands of the Japanese that so many tried to escape. This book tells of some of the remarkable and shocking experiences that lay in store for those who chose this option. The only way out was by sea and every sort of craft was pressed into service. Ahead lay terrible dangers; storm, shipwreck, piracy, capture by a merciless enemy, starvation and death through lack of water to name but some. This is a shocking and inspiring book that embraces great courage, extraordinary endurance, appalling atrocities and even cannibalism.
"The boat was eerily quiet and hot as an oven. Shirts came off and men were either in skivvy shirts or bare from the waist up. Every body glistened with sweat—some from the heat and some from just raw fear. Click . . . BANG! Click . . . BANG! Two more [depth charges], still very close. A couple of lightbulbs shattered. . . ."
In this riveting personal account, an authentic American hero relives the perils and triumphs of eight harrowing patrols aboard one of America's most successful World War II submarines. Courageous deeds and terror-filled moments—as well as the endless hard work of maintaining and operating a combat sub—are vividly recalled in James Calvert's candid portrait. From rigorous training and shakedown cruises off the coast of New England, to tense patrols within shouting distance of Japan's major cities, the progress of the newly commissioned USS Jack parallels Calvert's own growth from callow ensign to charter member of one of the sharpest attack teams in the fleet.
In June 1943, the Jack made its first patrol into Japanese waters, and Calvert began to build a reputation as a crack TDC operator—the crew member who set the torpedo's course based on the approach officer's readings. With Calvert at the TDC and his much admired skipper Tommy Dykers at the periscope, the Jack had five hits and four confirmed kills on its first patrol. The Jack's fame grew. Despite recurring engine trouble, and the notorious failure of American torpedo detonators early in the war, the sub continued to take its toll on enemy shipping. At one point, Calvert hit an enemy vessel at 5,000 yards, roughly three times the maximum distance recommended for accurate torpedo shooting. The ship earned its nickname, "Jack the Pack," when a besieged Japanese admiral radioed for help, saying that he was under attack by a "wolf pack."
Telling his story with sensitivity and great affection for his shipmates, Calvert combines an intimate knowledge of the nitty-gritty technical details of submarine warfare with the fast-paced action and nail-biting tension of a Tom Clancy novel. He relives long and terrifying hours spent hundreds of feet beneath the ocean's surface, punctuated by the relentless click-BANG of exploding depth charges. He recounts the perilous nighttime cat-and-mouse games that Dykers played with convoy escorts, accompanied on the bridge by a crewman renowned for his night vision—and the disconcerting habit of singing "Nearer My God to Thee" whenever the situation got tense. And a lively account of a completely unauthorized tour of Tokyo before the official surrender recalls an escapade that nearly cost Calvert his career.
Advance praise for Jim Calvert's Silent Running
"I am just one of many who experienced life on a submarine during World War II. Silent Running is a story sincerely told—free of any revisionism or cynicism—and I commend Vice Admiral Calvert for sharing this dramatic personal account of that difficult and exciting time." —President George Bush
"Hardened old sub vet that I am, I still felt the need for two weeks R&R after reliving Jim's only too realistic war patrolling adventures." —C. W. Nimitz, Jr., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
"I believe it is the best personal account yet written on U.S. submarine operations in the Second World War. . . . [Calvert] writes with lucidity and a rare candor. We get an extraordinary sense of what it was like, feeling the tensions and emotions, sharing the successes and disappointments.
. . . This is a true story with real people, always gripping and sometimes tender. It is exciting to read and hard to put down. —J. L. Holloway, Admiral, USN (Ret.) President, Naval Historical Society Chief of Naval Operations, 1974-1978
"I knew Jim Calvert throughout the war, and in this book he has told the submarine story in a way that catches the flavor and tang of the real thing. This is the way it really was." —Frederick B. Warder, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) Legendary WWII skipper of the Seawolf
This title tells the compelling untold story of a group of stranded US Army nurses and medics fighting to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. When 26 Army nurses and medics - part of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron - boarded a cargo plane for transport in November 1943, they never anticipated the crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania that would lead to their months-long struggle for survival. A drama that captured the attention of the American public, the group and its flight crew dodged bullets and battled blinding winter storms as they climbed mountains and fought to survive, aided by courageous villagers who risked death at Nazi hands to help them.
Lynda Van Devanter was the girl next door, the cheerleader who went to Catholic schools, enjoyed sports, and got along well with her four sisters and parents. After high school she attended nursing school and then did something that would shatter her secure world for the rest of her life: in 1969, she joined the army and was shipped to Vietnam. When she arrived in Vietnam her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long and arduous hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. Witnessing a war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose injuries were catastrophic, she found the very foundations of her thinking changing daily. After one traumatic year, she came home, a Vietnam veteran. Coming home was nearly as devastating as the time she spent in Asia. Nothing was the same -- including Lynda herself. Viewed by many as a murderer instead of a healer, she felt isolated and angry. The anger turned to depression; like many other Vietnam veterans she suffered from delayed stress syndrome. Working in hospitals brought back chilling scenes of hopelessly wounded soldiers. A marriage ended in divorce. The war that was fought physically halfway around the world had become a personal, internal battle.Home before Morning is the story of a woman whose courage, stamina, and personal history make this a compelling autobiography. It is also the saga of others who went to war to aid the wounded and came back wounded -- physically and emotionally -- themselves. And, it is the true story of one person's triumphs: her understanding of, and coming to terms with, her destiny.
One of the most gifted and influential American journalists of the 20th century, Liebling found his greatest subject in the dramatic events and myriad individual stories of World War II. This volume brings together his three books on the war along with 29 "New Yorker" pieces.
Lancaster pilot Victor Wood's aircraft arrived too early over
Gelsenkirchen when the target was shrouded in darkness and the Main
Force miles behind.
"No one bore witness better than Don Whitehead . . . this volume, deftly combining his diary and a previously unpublished memoir, brings Whitehead and his reporting back to life, and 21st-century readers are the richer for it."-from the Foreword, by Rick Atkinson Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Don Whitehead is one of the legendary reporters of World War II. For the Associated Press he covered almost every important Allied invasion and campaign in Europe-from North Africa to landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and Normandy, and to the drive into Germany. His dispatches, published in the recent Beachhead Don, are treasures of wartime journalism. From the fall of September 1942, as a freshly minted A.P. journalist in New York, to the spring of 1943 as Allied tanks closed in on the Germans in Tunisia, Whitehead kept a diary of his experiences as a rookie combat reporter. The diary stops in 1943, and it has remained unpublished until now. Back home later, Whitehead started, but never finished, a memoir of his extraordinary life in combat. John Romeiser has woven both the North African diary and Whitehead's memoir of the subsequent landings in Sicily into a vivid, unvarnished, and completely riveting story of eight months during some of the most brutal combat of the war. Here, Whitehead captures the fierce fighting in the African desert and Sicilian mountains, as well as rare insights into the daily grind of reporting from a war zone, where tedium alternated with terror. In the tradition of cartoonist Bill Mauldin's memoir Up Front, Don Whitehead's powerful self-portrait is destined to become an American classic.
This is the author's personal account of how the 22 pilots of No 258 Squadron RAF left Scotland in late October 1941 until 120 days later when all those who had not been killed became prisoners of the Japanese. The story takes us to the final defence of Singapore and then on to Sumatra and Java where the author recaptures the atmosphere of the bitter aerial engagements with the Japanese enemy and the hostile jungle terrain over which they fought.
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