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This memoir is Peter Dickens' account of his experiences as the young commander of the 21st MTB Flotilla during 1942-43, mainly in the North Sea and the Channel. In all the annals of the war at sea, comparatively little has been written about the role of the torpedo boat, and yet these small and vulnerable boats, travelling at high speed amid storms and gunfire, and usually under the cover of darkness, managed to closely engage enemy convoys and escorts in high-speed attacks and wreak havoc among the German supply lines. Like the sailors who fought against the U-boats in the battle of the Atlantic, Dickens and his comrades were experiencing a new kind of warfare and had to hit upon the techniques and tactics as they went along; their kind of action called for great courage, spilt-second timing and complete understanding between captain and crew. Night Action is a lively and thrilling account, but also one which is frank and carefully considered; there is humour but the horror of war is never far away and the author conveys to the reader a sharp sense of the reality of those operations in a way that no history book can do.
Lurps is the memoir of a juvenile delinquent who drops out of ninth grade to pursue a dream of military service, eventually becoming a member of the elite U.S. Army LRRP / Rangers in Vietnam. Set in 1968, during some of the war's major campaigns and battles including Tet, Khe Sanh, and A Shau Valley, Lurps considers war through the eyes of a green young warrior.
Since 1941 a Polish brigade has been training in Scotland under the command of the able General Stanislav Sosabowski. They are patiently waiting for the chance to help liberate their stricken homeland. However, events take a different course. On 21st September the Poles are parachuted into the Gelderse village of Driel which up to that point had little to do with the war. By this time the British have more or less lost the Battle of Arnhem. The Germans have rendered the Rhine an unassailable barrier and the crossing to Oosterbeek is nigh impossible. The Polish Eagle and British Pegasus are now left to salvage what they can. This is based on the real story of Arnhem and her lost battle. In this final volume the story of those who fought at Arnhem reaches its conclusion. During the night of the 25th to 26th of September 1944, resistance is abandoned and, due to the efforts of the Polish regiment under the command of General Sosabowski, many British manage to escape the hellhole north of the Rhine. Those left behind are either taken to hospital or into captivity. For the allied troops the Battle of Arnhem has turned into a tragedy. The question is: who takes the blame?
The most personal account of World War II ever recorded, not by a colonel or a general, but by a field artillery gunner, for his grandchildren...and for grandchildren everywhere. Preface by the Publisher: At first glance Battlefield of Life is just another account of one man's experiences during World War II. Nothing more and nothing less. It is a straight forward account of one man's life from shortly before the war to a time shortly after. It is Raymond A Yeatts' account. So why has his story affected me to the degree that it has? Because on reading his story I found that I held within me memories of similar stories that came from my father and my uncles. I am the same age as Raymond A Yeatts' son, Garland Ray. Reading Mr Yeatts' account it is easy to believe that he was relating from much the same perspective as my own relations. One of the things that strikes me is how much the war shaped and influenced the life of men like Raymond A Yeatts and my father. The war was not just a chapter in their lives with a beginning and an end. It became the basis for a central theme that would transcend the rest of their existence. No matter what they would do with the rest of their lives the marks and impressions of the war would permeate all aspects of that life. Now some fifty years later the war still makes it mark. That mark is not just on the men who fought it. It is also on their sons and daughters. Each of us born during the war years knows something of the atrocities of that war. Not by our own first hand experiences but rather from those that were there and who lived to tell about it. Our lives are marked and shaped by the war experience that we all shared in some degree or another. It is useful and meaningful to contemplate our existence and the impact which World War II had on each of us. For this reason Yeatts' story is not just another account but rather an opportunity for each of us to re-examine ourselves and the aspects of our existence that stem from that conflict. In one way or another stories like Yeatts' have not only influenced Garland Ray and his children but have impacted each of us and our children as well.
Operation Mincemeat retells the story of the classic World War Two intelligence plan to pass misleading strategic information to Hitler and his Generals that was immortalized in the 1956 Hollywood film The Man Who Never Was. Drawing on a wealth of recently available documentation, Denis Smyth shows how British deceptioneers solved a multitude of medical, technical, and logistical problems to implement their deceptive design. The aim of their covert plan was to persuade the German High Command that the Allies were going to attack Greece, rather than Sicily in the summer of 1943. To achieve this, they equipped a dead body with a new military identity as a Royal Marine Major, a new private personality as the fiance of an attractive young woman named 'Pam', and a government briefcase containing deceptive documents. They then planted the corpse in south-western Spanish coastal waters via a stealthy submarine operation, and carefully monitored (through their codebreakers and spies) how the Nazi intelligence services and their warlords proceeded to 'swallow Mincemeat whole'. The result was a stunning success. The German mis-deployment of their forces to meet the notional Anglo-American threat to Greece materially contributed to the Allied victory in Sicily - which, in its turn, drove Mussolini from power in Italy and inflicted irreparable damage on the German war effort.
This is one of those rare love stories from World War II, a spell-binding tale that arises out of the Holocaust but ends happily. It begins in October 1938 when a 17-year-old German girl receives a letter from a German refugee, a young doctor living in the Belgian Congo, in the heart of Africa. As months pass, a world war looms, and the Nazis place increasing restrictions on Jews. This young girl must choose whether to follow her heart to her pen pal in Africa, or wait with her parents for visas to America.
In March 1944, eleven divisions of German troops marched into Hungary. Thousands of Jews were rounded up and deported to death camps. Desperately, they sought foreign diplomatic relations, false identity papers, and hiding places. Vali R cz was a successful singer and film actress, the darling of the Hungarian public. Since she was young, beautiful, and safely Aryan, the Nazis represented no particular threat to her, but she was horrified by the persecution of the Jews, many of whom were friends and mentors. Risking her own life, she turned her villa in Buda into a secret refuge. Monica Porter traces both the life of her remarkable and courageous mother and a fascinating period in Hungarian history. In September 1991, the Jewish people's highest expression of gratitude was conferred upon Vali R cz in Jerusalem: the title of 'Righteous among the Nations .
Out of Action is the sequel to the best-selling Fireforce: One Man's War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry . Part 1, "War," chronicles Chris Cocks' final 16 months of combat in the Rhodesian bush war, as a stick leader in PATU, the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit. It is a time of unbelievable cruelty as the part-time white reservists battle overwhelming odds, without air support and without a future. Part 2,"Peace," recounts the author's painful adjustment to life as a civilian; a 15-year odyssey in the embryonic state of Zimbabwe. It is an intensely personal journey in which the author pulls no punches as he describes his clumsy attempts to come to terms with the new dispensation of black Africa and himself. It is a cri de couer , the story of a young man, brutalised by war, who seeks escape in alcohol and drugs, in the process causing immeasurable pain and suffering to those around him. These too are the casualties of war. Ultimately, though, it is a story of hope and of a man's triumph over his own demons. About the Author Chris Cocks served with the Rhodesian Light Infantry from 1976-1979 in continuous combat situations. He drifted for the next 20 years before becoming a full-time writer and publisher in Johannesburg.
In August 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his army to occupy the oil-rich state of Kuwait - an event that triggered the First Gulf War to liberate Kuwait using military force. Although this campaign was successfully completed by 1991, tensions between Iraq and the West remained. When two hijacked airliners slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001, the world was changed irrevocably. US President George W. Bush declared a 'War on Terror' and American vengeance was swift. The Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan was swiftly overthrown in an operation that marked the start of a long and bloody military campaign in Afghanistan. This also signalled the end of Saddam Hussein's rule and the start of a new war in Iraq, as US-led forces invaded in March 2003. In "Blood, Sweat and Steel", author Peter Darman records the personal accounts of servicemen and women who have participated in these three conflicts over the past ten years. With detailed analysis of crucial military operations, "Blood, Sweat and Steel" gives firsthand descriptions of the complexities, hardship and bravery of 20th and 21st century warfare. Presenting a broad cross-section of experiences from a variety of nationalities and from different services, "Blood, Sweat and Steel" serves as a testimony to the bravery of those who have served in these campaigns and examines how the legacy of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will affect those who took part and indeed the world for many years to come.
In the early 1950s, Britain's empire was in rapid decline. Many countries had gained independence, but some still remained in the Empire as the infrastructure was put in place for them to gain their independence. Although not at war, Britain was fighting freedom fighters and terrorists in countries as diverse as Cyprus and Malaya. National Service was still in force and many young British men found themselves in far-flung lands, fighting against EOKA terrorists and Communist rebels. Hunting Terrorists in the Jungle is the dramatic story of just one young Lieutenant who had been transplanted from his home in England and trained to kill the Communist rebels in Malaya. These self-same rebels had been trained during the Second World War by the British to attack the Japanese occupiers, but were now using the skills learned to disrupt the British and Malay authorities.
Taken prisoner in 1942 at the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese, Captain Horner kept a diary for the next three years of his experiences in the India Lines, the infamous Changi Gaol and on the Burma Railroad. Its discovery would mean certain death. This remarkable journal, with its lovely and amusing cartoons and drawings, is as life-affirming a document as you can find.
In the winter of 1875, a young British officer set out across central Asia on a strictly unofficial mission to investigate the latest secret Russian moves in the Great Game. His goal was the mysterious caravan city of Khiva, his aim to discover whether this remote and dangerous oasis was about to be used as a springboard for an invasion of India. He rode for over a thousand miles across steppe and desert, struggling through blizzards and snowdrifts, to reach forbidden Khiva. Ordered home by an alarmed government, Burnaby immediately sat down and wrote this best-selling account of his adventures, which has become a Great Game classic.
Drawn from engagements ranging from World War I through to operations in East Timor and Iraq, the stories are taken from the Australians at War Film Archive, a collection of the memories of over two thousand Australians who have served, both on the front line and at home. Some are unbelievably, unbearably tragic, even after sixty or seventy years, others are the golden memories of happy, albeit unusual, times. And, more often than not, they are stories which have never been shared with others, even family members. There are stories from winners of the Victoria Cross; stories from the POW camps of Asia and Europe; from the patrols of Vietnam, through to those who served as peacekeepers in Rwanda and Somalia. There are stories from nurses, from those who have volunteered to serve with aid agencies. They are stories of ordinary Australians caught up by circumstances and by duty, in wartime. Here are their words.
In the tradition of Andy McNab's Bravo Two Zero comes an explosive insider's account of life as a private soldier in Iraq. In September 2003, James 'Ash' Ashcroft, a former British Infantry captain who served in West Belfast and Bosnia, landed in Iraq as a 'gun for hire'. It was the beginning of an 18-month journey into blood and chaos. In Making a Killing, Ashcroft provides a first-hand view of the secret world of private security where ex-soldiers employed to protect US and British interests can make up to $1000 a day. But he also reveals a new kind of warfare where the rules are still being written. Although hostilities are officially over, the fighting goes on. Scores of US soldiers are dying every day and Coalition Forces are struggling to defend their own bases, let alone bring order. And the death of every insurgent killed only recruits a dozen more to fight Western forces.
AMERICAN HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS begins with the Vietnam War as the ultimate proving ground that first utilized helicopter gunships and saw the development of other rotary-wing weapons systems as well. This book also explores fascinating post-war programs like the experimental Comanche, Blackhawk, and Apache. Through in-depth research and exclusive high-quality photos, noted author and helicopter expert Wayne Mutza examines in vivid detail the numerous weapon systems mated with a surprisingly wide variety of helicopters. Attention is also given to helicopter gunships developed by other Free World countries and Communist nations.
This is the story of a young medical student's coming-of-age as he watched the defeated British Expeditionary Force shuffling through Oxford in May 1940, and his decision to forego a privileged life that would have led to the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream of becoming a surgeon.After answering the call-to-arms, the reader learns of the author's development from a young, ambitious army officer, through his training in the Indian Army and commissions in Burma and Korea until his sudden resignation 14 years later. Pulling no punches, the author tells of his journeys to many Eastern countries providing vivid descriptions of the people and conditions encountered.An expert storyteller, Bob relates numerous experiences from overseas. Details of his assignments in the Burmese Pegu Yomas display his sense of strict and fair discipline and the stirring narrative of 18 months in the Korean Sami-ch'on Valley demonstrates how Major Maslen-Jones was an officer whose emotions ran deep and were not always easy to conceal. He conveys a rich account of his numerous appointments both abroad and at home, of his successes and failures when the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' found their mark.This is both an absorbing and inspiring story of great human interest. There is no doubt that the author was a career officer with high ambitions, but the reader is also left with the certainty that he was also a man of understanding. Perhaps the wrong man resigned his post.
Since the United States Army's inception by an act of Congress on June 14, 1775, its remarkable service members have engaged in almost every one of the most important turning points in our nation's history. In The Greatest U.S. Army Stories Ever Told, editor Iain Martin gathers the amazing experiences of America's fighting men and women into one unforgettable collection. Each story recounts the sights, sounds, and significance of such hallowed battlefields as Yorktown, Shiloh, and the Argonne. Watch row after row of redcoats attack during the Battle of Monmouth with eyewitness Joseph Plumb Martin. Ride a rickety boat with Washington in his famous night crossing over the Potomac. Triumph with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain as he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat on Gettysburg's Little Round Top. Charge San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt, as told by the era's most famous war correspondent, Richard Harding Davis.This collection includes the most significant stories of the highest generals, from famous actions such as D-Day, Guadalcanal, and Inchon, as well as the most memorable experiences of the citizen soldier far from home, in such places as Landing Zone X-Ray, 73 Easting, and a spider hole somewhere north of Baghdad. Whether fighting at home or abroad, in victory or defeat, The Greatest U.S. Army Stories Ever Told shares the stories and singular experiences of these amazing individuals, and sheds new light on their courage and sacrifice.
The book also includes sidebars and information boxes of factual detail that both anchor the stories to the chronological history of the day and bring the events into pin-point clarity.
The gripping true story of James Ashcroft's audacious return to war-torn Iraq to save his friend In James Ashcroft's first book, "Making a Killing," his escape from death at the hands of insurgents in Iraq was thanks to the bravery of his interpreter and friend Sammy, a Sunni ex-Iraqi air force pilot. Now, a call for help means Ash must take a break from chasing pirates in West Africa and return to the chaos of war-torn Baghdad. Abandoned by the occupying Coalition Forces and at the mercy of the Shia-dominated Iraqi police, Sammy and his family face certain death unless Ash and his crack team can get in and quickly rescue them. From secretly acquiring weapons on the black market to dodging the fearsome death squads that roam the streets and the suicide bombers that wreak havoc on a daily basis, this is the story of a vulnerable family adrift in the chaos of war, where the only thing that can be relied upon is the bond between former brothers-in-arms. And this time, these guns-for-hire who come with a hefty price tag aren't even being paid--this time, it's personal.
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.
"This is an inspiring story of courage and sacrifice--one hell of
an exciting true war story!"
'Boldness Be My Friend' is a gripping first-hand account of wartime bravey by Richard Pape, a Royal Air Force Warrant Officer Manager from Bomber Command. His memoirs here cover the three-year period in which time he was made a PoW having been shot down and captured in Germany in 1941.
In the tradition of Band of Brothers and Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad, Donovan Webster's The Burma Road vividly recreates one of the astonishing and important events of the Second World War - and the basis for the film The Bridge over the River Kwai. With gripping prose, Webster follows the breathtaking adventures of the Allied `Hump' pilots who flew hair-raising missions over the Himalayas delivering food and supplies to the 200,000 Chinese labourers charged with creating an overland link with the outside world. For the first time, we learn of the war in Burma from the perspective of the of the soldiers who fought and died there - the bravery, hardships and fears that motivated them to risk everything to avoid a full Japanese occupancy of China. Touching, moving and riveting, Webster's account of this gruelling and arduous campaign is a brilliant and important history, as well as an epic adventure story. `A compelling narrative . . . The opposing armies pursue one another through tiger-infested jungles, plagued by leeches as they slog miserably from firefight to firefight. This is great material and Webster handles it well' Los Angeles Times
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