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The author was born of a prosperous Yorkshire family and joined the Auxiliary Air Force on his eighteenth birthday in 1939. On the occasion of Chamberlain's speech to the British nation on September 3 the situation changed dramatically and from being a 'super weekend club', his squadron was assigned coastal patrol duties. In October he was posted to Peterborough to learn to fly with the regular RAF. There followed a period of convoy protection flying Blenheims and then flying with the meteorological flight based at Bircham Newington on the Norfolk coast. Here he flew a Gloster Gladiator with a flight that had the reputation of 'flying even when the birds wouldn't'. Now a Squadron Leader, Braithwaite became acquainted with the legendary de Havilland Mosquito and flew long-range weather reconnaissance flights (PAMPA) under the control of Coastal Command. These patrols involved a lone aircraft flying deep into enemy territory to observe the meteorological conditions in advance of bombing raids or naval action. PAMPA Flight 1409 moved to Oakington and transferred to Bomber Command and operated under the command of Air Commodore Donald Bennett and became one of the elite Pathfinder units. His lengthy and successful tour included many exciting episodes until after a blazing row with Bennett concerning his unit's use of above regulatory flight speed to the target and the removal of the aircraft's ice guards, Braithwaite found himself moved to Training command. There then followed a tour to the USA where he was the victim of a nearly fatal crash due to his aircraft being the victim of sabotage. The author was then posted to India to take command of a Mosquito squadron operating against the Japanese over the jungle beyond its Eastern border. His flying career was abruptly ended in 1944 when he contracted the violent tropical disease Sprue and he was repatriated to England.
British special forces lead the world. The Green Berets and Delta Force in the US and the special forces in other countries are based on the UK's SAS and SBS. In Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror, the special forces are in the front line. They are even called on by the Americans to help out when particularly dangerous or difficult jobs have to be done. The enemy who confront them admire their professionalism and fear meeting them face to face. Thre can only be one winner in such as encounter. Nigel Cawthorne looks into the activities of the British special forces since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The special forces have close ties with the American special forces which meant the SAS and SBS were itching to aid Britain's most important ally in her moment of need.
This book allows us to hear from the men and women who speak with a different kind of authority than the sort that ordered them into Iraq. The voices of these young Americans - former soldiers who have opted out of the war - draw their power from wrenching honesty about firsthand experiences. In the process, they help to fill a routine void in political discourse and media coverage that does not admit basic human realities of the Iraq War. Going far beyond the tabloid headlines and media reports this is a deep and direct account from soldiers that turned their back on what they viewed as an immoral and illegal mission, and who refused to sacrifice themselves and their humanity in the conflict in Iraq. "Mission Rejected" is a compelling blend of oral history and tenacious journalism.
"Du solst starben zwischem goyem!" A fellow Jew within the Warsaw Ghetto, offended by Zosia Goldberg's Polish of no Yiddish accent, spat at her in Yiddish: "May you die amongst the goyem!" Zosia took this 'curse' instead as a message from God. Her dramatic tale begins with her escaping the Warsaw Ghetto through the sewer, whereafter she survived the Holocaust posing as a Gentile. Zosia did not die amongst the goyem, and yet along her dangerous journey she should have died on numerous occasions. She was a 'debrouillarde', someone who could run through fire without getting burned. Hers is a story of resistance at every turn, of continual attempts at sabotage, of perpetually escaping and defeating the enemy. Her account is filled with unique energy and a wonder at the strangeness of human behaviour. For not only did she suffer bitter betrayals by fellow Jews, she also encountered the unexpected sympathies of Nazis, and was at many times aided by her very tormentors. This is not just a story of the Holocaust, but of a woman struggling to make sense of human folly and depravity.
Concentrating on the Ploegsteert and Neuve Eglise sectors in Belgium, this book features stories on such well known figures as sculptor Charles Sargent Jagger, ARA ; R Poulton Palmer and 'Tanky' Turner, great friends and rugby football captains of England and Scotland respectively; as well the discovery and eventual burial of a Lancashire Fuslier who was killed in action in 1914; the research leading to the erection in 2002 of a 'Believed to be buried' headstone in the Strand cemetery of an Australian killed in action at Messines in 1917; the action in 1914 that initiated the birth of the infamous 'Birdcage' on the western edge of Ploegsteert Wood and other stories of interest to enthusiasts of the Great War. Another in the Cameos of the Western Front series on men, minor actions and battlefield sites, this book, like its predecessors is an ideal 'companion' for the battlefield visitor.
Jesse Richard Pitts was a pilot for the B-17 Flying Fortress in World War Two. In this evocative memoir, Jesse Pitts relates his bombing history and personal experiences, as a B-17 co-pilot and member of 379th bomb group of the 8th air force. Second Lieutenant Pitts along with his crew, flew 25 missions over France and Germany from 1943-1944 in the Penny Ante. This moving book tells the fascinating story of the experiences of this 'band of brothers' in the Second World War.
This is a teenager's vivid account of his experiences as a conscript during the final desperate weeks of the Third Reich, during which he experienced training immediately behind the front line east of Berlin, was caught up in the massive Soviet assault on Berlin from the Oder, retreated successfully and then took part in the fight for the western suburb of Spandau, where he became one of the only two survivors of his company of seventeen year-olds.
'Combines elements of In Cold Blood and Black Hawk Down with Apocalypse Now as it builds towards its terrible climax...Extraordinary' New York Times Iraq's 'Triangle of Death', 2005. A platoon of young soldiers from a U.S. regiment known as 'the Black Heart Brigade' is deployed to a lawless and hyperviolent area just south of Baghdad. Almost immediately, the attacks begin: every day another roadside bomb, another colleague blown to pieces. As the daily violence chips away, and chips away at their sanity, the thirty-five young men of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company descend into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality -- with tragic results. Black Hearts is a timeless true story of how modern warfare can make or break a man's character. Told with severe compassion, balanced judgement and the magnetic pace of a thriller, it looks set to become one of the defining books about the Iraq War. 'Black Hearts is the obverse of Band of Brothers, a story not of combat unity but of disharmony and disarray' Chicago Sun-Times 'A riveting picture of life outside the wire in Iraq, where "you tell a guy to go across a bridge, and within five minutes he's dead."' Kirkus Reviews (starred)
As Len Deighton writes in the foreword to this haunting and thought-provoking book: 'This account of the men who took their small ships into the deepest and cruellest waters is clearly the result of years of research and hard work. These crews endured the most terrible conditions imaginable even without facing enemy fire...I think I shall never forget some of the stories. Here is a book that matches and complements that bestseller of the post-war years, The Cruel Sea. Surely no one will read this book without being deeply moved and inspired by the ungrudging sacrifice and the all-pervading cheerfulness. Some were professional sailors, some were peacetime naval men, but most of them were civilians who never truly adapted to a cold, cramped, wet, life in a bouncing tin can but did their duty nevertheless.' '...they have been where we have not. They have seen what we shall never see.' (Michael Watkins) There is no more vivid and poignant account than one at first hand, and Editor Ian Hawkins has drawn together numerous stories from those men who served on the B- and C-class destroyers, weaving them seamlessly together using excerpts from books, news articles, speeches, and his own authoritative notes. Accounts are arranged in chronological order and cover the mundanity of patrol, the strain of convoy escort, the heat of battle and loss of ships and lives. Among the more celebrated events, the accounts describe the evacuation of Dunkirk and Boulogne, the engagement of Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prince Eugen, and D-Day itself, as seen through the eyes of lieutenant commanders, captains, engineers, signalmen, telegraphists, surgeons, and crewmen. In some cases the Editor has often found eye witnesses to describe episodes from differing viewpoints and the result is a solid work that not only fills a gap in the recorded history of the War but can also be used as an overall view of it.
Twentieth-century Jewish history is embodied in this autobiography of a World War 2 Holocaust survivor who lives today in Argentina. Charles Papiernik was educated in a Polish stetl, a small town. Breaking away from his ultra-orthodox Hasidic teachers, he became active in socialist youth movements in Warsaw and moved to Paris to join his brothers. In spite of being deported and spending time in concentration camps, including Auschwitz, he survived the war and immigrated to Montevideo, Uruguay, where he opened a business and prospered. After twenty-five years in Uruguay, political and economic turmoil prompted him to immigrate once again, this time to Buenos Aires, where, once again, his business acumen led to financial success. He eventually retired, devoting his energies to telling the public about the horrors of the Holocaust. Papiernik's story is very different from the stereotypical image of Holocaust survivors in South America forced to live cheek by jowl with ex-Nazis. Papiernik took Uruguay and Argentina by storm and claims never to have encountered anti-Semitism.
Life is pretty dull for Ken Rees these days. At seventeen he craved danger and excitement; fast planes and cars; rugby, speed and women. Then war came and by the age of twenty-one he had already trained to be a pilot officer; flown fifty-six hair-raising bomber missions by night over Germany; taken part in the siege of Malta; got married; been shot down into a remote Norwegian lake; been captured, questioned by the Gestapo, then sent to Stalag Luft III, where he participated in and survived the Great Escape and terrible forced march to Bremen. Now he lives relatively peacefully in Anglesey and in finding time to research and write his memoirs with Karen Arrandale, has vividly recreated what it was like to be in charge of an air crew at such a tender age with responsibility for a large and expensive aircraft going 300 miles behind enemy lines, at the same time avoiding flak and enemy fighters and witnessing other comrades being shot down out of the sky. Moreover, he writes movingly about his experiences after capture in the prisoner of war camp, about the build-up to the Escape and the aftermath of it. Kens story has it all, excitement, accuracy, pace and drama and he describes events which have become legendary as the former Kriegies his friends and colleagues pass out of this world.
The Author's naval war experiences make the most exciting reading. After being mined on the battleship Nelson in 1939, he served on the Prince of Wales, during the Bismarck action, witnessing the sinking of the Hood and Churchill and Roosevelt's historic meeting.
He survived the disastrous sinking by Japanese dive-bombing in December 1941 but within two days of reaching Singapore, the Island fell. Evacuated in a coastal steamer, only to be sunk the next morning, he was stranded on a deserted island for a week before setting out for Ceylon in a native boat. His epic journey covered 1660 miles and took 37 days.
Thereafter his adventures continued, with the North African landings, Russian convoys and, returning to the Far East, he was in the carrier Formidable when she was hit twice by Japanese Kamikazes before VI Day August 1945.
As the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,
Aidan Delgado was in the process of enlisting in the U.S. Army
Reserve. Two years later, he arrived in Iraq with the 320th
Military Police Company. As he witnessed firsthand the brutality of
the occupation and the abuse of unarmed Iraqis, Delgado came to
believe that war was immoral and ran counter to his Buddhist
principles. He turned in his weapon and began the long process of
securing conscientious objector status. His book is urgent reading
for anyone who cares about American ideals overseas, and for all
those who understand why peace is patriotic.
Yvonne Pope Sintes only ever wanted to fly. But in the 1950s, very few women were allowed into the male dominated world of aviation. Whilst many women were consigned to the role of house-wife, Yvonne chose a different path. Her dream was to join the ranks of the Royal Air Force, crisscrossing international skies. Despite an awareness of the pitfalls that might await her, she embarked upon her mission. Her story, told here for the first time and in her own words, is one characterized by gritty determination against the odds, a startling level of achievement and a continually modest approach to life and her own accomplishments. A career trajectory marked by such landmark achievements as becoming the first female Air Traffic Controller with the Ministry of Aviation, the first female civil airline pilot in the UK, and the first female jet airline captain in Britain are relayed in this inspiring autobiography. Bomb scares, engine failures and other perilous episodes punctuated Yvonne's experience. All are enlivened during the course of the narrative. A raft of prestigious awards including the Brabazon Cup, the International Owner and Pilots Association award for best Air Traffic Controller in Europe, the Amelia Earhart memorial Scholarship for licensed pilots to advance in aviation, the Whitney Straight Award for courage and determination in pursuit of an aviation career (awarded by Princess Anne) and the British Airline Pilots Association Award for work towards air safety - all were awarded to Yvonne during the course of a spectacular career, the details of which make for a truly inspiring and engrossing read. Yvonne has taken this opportunity to record the pitfalls and landmark successes of her career for posterity. She does so in a style that is at once both humble and immensely celebratory of a profession that has meant so much to her. "I first met Yvonne and her husband Miguel in Mahon during September 1992 when I was researching my book on Dan-Air. It was immediately clear that she had a rare and fascinating story that deserved telling in its entirety to reach a much wider audience. I am pleased and proud to have played a small part in making that happen!" - Graham M. Simons, Editor
On 1 July 1916, after a five-day bombardment, 11 British and 5 French divisions launched their long-awaited 'Big Push' on German positions on high ground above the Rivers Ancre and Somme on the Western Front. Some ground was gained, but at a terrible cost. In killing-grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century memory, German machine-guns - manned by troops who had sat out the storm of shellfire in deep dugouts - inflicted terrible losses on the British infantry.
The Boys of Winter is the poignant true story of three young Depression-era American ski champions and their brutal, heroic, and ultimately tragic transformation from athletes to infantrymen with the fabled 10th Mountain Division. Rudy Konieczny, Jacob Nunnemacher, and Ralph Bromaghin - three skiers from disparate geographic and economic backgrounds - forged names for themselves in the burgeoning sport of snow skiing during the late 1930s. With the world suddenly at war, they found themselves drawn together with several of the world's greatest winter athletes in the US 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colorado, where they trained to fight Hitler's troops in the mountains of Europe. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive historical research, Charles J Sanders reveals the stories of these young men in a fast-paced and exhilarating narrative. Sanders traces their journeys from childhood to ski championships and from training at Mount Rainier and in the Colorado Rockies to bloody battles against the Nazis in the Apennine Mountains of Northern Italy. Ultimately, The Boys of Winter is the story of how some of America's best and brightest died in the war's last and most desperate battles under General Mark Clark, calling into question their sacrifices - and those of thousands of other troops - on the 'forgotten' Italian front in the spring of 1945.
The riveting true stories of the men of Britain's Special Forces revealing what it's really like being a member of one of the world's most elite military regiments. The SAS has played a vital role in innumerable military operations since World War II. Along the way the daring and bravery of it's men has produced incredible stories of courage and devotion to duty. Heroes of the SAS is packed with thrilling accounts of the events and men involved in some of the most dramatic incidents in the division's history, from covert operations to major campaigns. It shares numerous gripping tales of outstanding bravery and reveals just what it takes to make it as an SAS soldier.
During the Second World War, two young Irishmen served in the armed forces of Nazi Germany, swearing the oath of the Waffen-SS and wearing the organisation's uniform and even its distinctive blood group tattoo.Ironically these young men had originally joined an Irish regiment of the British army, and but for a twist of fate would have ended up fighting against the Germans. Instead, the pair were recruited to the German special forces after they were captured on the island of Jersey.Under the command of Otto Skorzeny, the man who rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from a mountain top prison, they were involved in some of the most ferocious fighting of the war in the last days of the Third Reich.This account, which also covers some of the other Irishmen who sided with Nazi Germany, draws heavily on their own accounts and on state papers which have been released in recent years.
'This is no longer a volunteer unit,' Gritz had said. 'You'll be issued a lightweight body bag. A number will be stencilled on the bag to correspond with your number on the roster. I want zippers on the inside and outside. You'll use the body bag to stay dry when you sleep at night. If you're shot you'll crawl into the bag and do your best to zip it up to make recovery of your corpse easier. There are only four ways you can get out. First, you die and we ship your remains out in the bag provided. Second, you're wounded and medivacked. Third, you DEROS (return home after tour of duty), or fourth, you provide me with a suitable replacement. Welcome to Project Rapid Fire and a life of sleep deprivation, bad rations and the forging of a brotherhood. For the Special Forces gathered together to conduct a daring series of covert, intelligence-gathering operations for the United States government, every day posed the threat of being killed-or worse, being taken prisoner. Under the command of Major Bo Gritz a select group of men lived life on the razor's edge-and in the middle of a war still managed to have more than a few laughs. This is the gripping true story of life and death in the jungle, and an enemy up close and personal.
The author served in two hard-fought campaigns in Asia. From 1943 to 1945 he was an officer in the British-led Indian Army. Shipster served with the 7/2nd Punjab Regiment in the Burma theater of World War II. The Punjabis fought in the fierce close-quarters actions at Arakan and Kohima, and the final advance to Mandalay and Rangoon.Soldiering had undergone many changes in the five short years before the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. India was now independent and the last British officers and advisors were gone. Shipster had become a company commander in the Middlesex Regiment, a British army unit with a reputation as skilled machine-gunners. The Middlesex were sent from Hong Kong to Korea on short notice to aid U.S. and South Korean forces. The steaming jungles of Shipster's past experience were now replaced by two years of fighting, often in bitter cold, over a series of bleak hills.
'What I thought I knew about the Viet Nam War didn't even come close to scratching the surface of what the Viet Nam experience really was all about for my father and his fellow veterans After going to Viet Nam with him, I felt I finally understood him a little better' - Kelly McKayGoing Back is a detailed and highly personal collection of the experiences of Australian Viet Nam War veterans as they journey back to the land where they once fought and lost their innocence. Veteran and author Gary McKay has travelled with and interviewed over thirty veterans, and their partners and families, who have returned to Viet Nam. Going Back records their strong and sometimes unexpected reactions to returning to a country that has in places changed beyond all recognition, and is elsewhere all too familiar. It also contains essential practical advice about travelling to Viet Nam.An infantryman who was wounded in action and who lost several comrades during his tour of duty, Gary McKay has since travelled to Viet Nam several times on research trips for his many books on Australia's longest war. His personal experiences of going back, and those of his daughter, bring the harsh reality of returning to former battlefields onto the page for all to share.
The journey that takes Mark Jacobson around the world began when a
friend bought a lamp at a rummage sale and was told that it was
made from the skins of Jews. While he didn't believe the story, he
sent it to Mark, saying, "You're a journalist, you figure out what
The English Electric Lightning was the only single-seat supersonic interceptor fighter designed and manufactured in the UK. It saw service with the RAF in the sixties and seventies and gained a worthy reputation for its speed ( in excess of Mach 2 ) and phenomenal rate of climb. It was, however, a not entirely reliable aeroplane and over fifty were lost during its operational career. In this book, the author has gathered together 16 personal accounts of what it was like to fly the Lightning, thrilling stories that convey the immense brute power of the machine and also its many pitfalls. It will enthrall the enormous following the aircraft still enjoys. Since the accident in 2009 there are currently no Lightnings in the air anywhere in the world but there is a two-seat Lightning T.5 under long-term rebuild to fly in the USA however.
A box with Love Letters From Vietnam etched on top holds letters written from a passionate yet deeply flawed soldier to his wife decades ago, but stays buried in a closet for years, until the Vietnam veteran is gunned down in the driveway of the home he rents for his mistress. As a way to work through her anger and sense of betrayal, his daughter, Jennifer, opens the box and sorts through the letters, answering four of them back in time to Vietnam . . . and then she writes to him in the heaven she hopes he has now found. After attending Alex Woodard's concert, Jennifer sends the singer-songwriter her package of letters, which launches Woodard on his own journey of exploring the dichotomy between dark and light as he imagines himself as Sergeant Fuller at war and begins to write songs sung from Fuller's heart. An album of songs included with the book propels this true story and features Woodard as Sergeant Fuller and Molly Jenson as Jennifer, singing songs based on the exchange of letters as a soundtrack that can hopefully lead to a final, redemptive father-daughter dance in Jennifer's heart.
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