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A unique, literary account of the disastrous occupation of Iraq by a coalition insider. This is a powerful follow up to a remarkable debut. Following his walk across Asia, Rory served as Senior British Representative in Maysan, a province in the Marsh region of southern Iraq until the handover of power to the provisional government in June 2004. Rory kept a journal of his experiences while constantly under fire and desperately trying to negotiate some form of settlement between the rival factions of a conquered, angry people. This is an astonishing narrative of what it was actually like to try and piece together a country after invasion. Soon disillusioned with the coalition's grasp of the situation and haunted by his previous experiences of Iraq and Arab peoples, this is a moving story of danger and disappointment, of opportunities missed and ideals squandered.
The first fully illustrated book to combine operational and design information with first-hand accounts of combat missions More than 200 photographs Newly researched oral histories featured throughout The B-17 Flying Fortress is, along with the British Avro-Lancaster, the most famed heavy bomber of World War II. More than 12,000 B-17s were built and the planes were the mainstay of the Eighth Air Force's campaign of daylight precision-bombing raids on targets in Germany and the occupied territories. Unsurprisingly, given the B-17s pre-eminent role in the war, many books have been published on the aircraft and the men who flew in them. These fall into two categories. On one hand there are the largely text-only books recounting the experiences of the airmen who flew B-17 missions (most famously, Brian D. O'Neill's Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer, and John Comer's Combat Crew); on the other are the many illustrated books that focus mainly on the plane's technical development and capabilities. Uniquely, B-17: Combat Missions combines the two approaches, describing in detail both the technical role of each crew-member, and following this up with extensive first-hand reports, many drawn from previously unpublished oral histories, showing what it was like to be, for example, a ball-turret gunner or a co-pilot. Equipment is described in detail, as is what it was like to use it. Throughout the book, the text is accompanied by newly commissioned and archive photos. In the introductory and final chapters, daily life is described for the airmen when not flying on missions. Photos of magazines, posters and other items of memorabilia evoke the atmosphere of the time, complementing the vivid picture drawn of the brave men of the US Eighth in action in the 'wide blue yonder'. Martin Bowman is the author of eighty-six books on USAF/USN and RN/RAF operations. For many years he has been a frequent contributor of photographic and written articles to Flight International, Rolls-Royce Magazine, and Aeroplane Monthly. Major General Lewis E. Lyle (USAF Retd) led the 379th bomb group in World War II.
Author royalties to The Soldiers Charity (ABF) and MPSC Association. Foreword by General Mike Jackson From a German POW camp to HM Forces only remaining detention centre, the mere mention of 'Colly' struck fear into the hearts of thousands of servicemen over the years. But what was it really like behind the forbidding barbed wire in those ancient Nissan Huts? How much has it changed since 1947? Written in the words of those who were there, from the 1940s through to the present day, Commandants, Members of Staff, Detainees, Military Escorts, Padres and visitors have shared their own experiences to create a unique history that sheds light on an almost unknown area of military life. At turns funny, sad and sometimes surprising, the accounts show how much the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) and the idea of military detention has evolved.
This is not a book about eating bugs and mushrooms. There are plenty of those around if you want to become a boy scout. If you are, or want to be, a soldier - particularly a Special Forces soldier - then this is the book you need. It is about survival in rough conditions - when you have been taken hostage or prisoner of war; when you have crawled out of a downed helicopter behind enemy lines and the enemy are coming at you; or when your mates have been killed in a fire-fight in bandit country. This ultimate survival guide is for those who choose to go into harm's way. Soldiers, undercover operatives, security services and even those backpacking or exporting goods into some parts of the world could find themselves in serious trouble. In this book, you will learn how to: avoid being killed or captured when things go wrong; escape if you are caught; steal food; steal transport; find your way home and fight to kill in the dirtiest ways you can imagine. The scenarios detailed in this book include how to: *Escape when your chopper comes down and the enemy are closing in *Escape when an ambush has killed all your mates *Escape from a POW camp or third-world prison *Escape from a hostage situation *Escape from a mob when they want to hang you from a lamp-post Some of what you will read in this book will shock you - it is about how to survive in the real world where power comes from the barrel of a gun. There are no prizes for making staying alive hard work - if someone is after you, and it's you or them, let it be them.
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.
The setting is northern Iraq, 2004--a lawless region of rock, sand, scrub, and warring factions; so dangerous the regular coalition armies were reluctant to put their soldiers in harm's way up there. Enter the civilian contractors--private armies in all but name, with state of the art funding, equipment, and training, packing immense firepower and staffed by veterans of the world's elite forces. Working in small groups alongside the U.S. Army, men from all corners of the globe volunteered to risk their lives day after day fighting someone else's war--and all for a few bucks and a suntan. One of these mercenaries was Peter Mercer. An ex-Royal Marine and former member of the navy's elite SBS, Peter's been to some pretty hot places before but even he didn't know what to expect. A warm welcome was extended when within minutes of his arrival into northern Iraq he came under intense mortar and small-arms fire. That was just the start of 9 months of high-tempo missions putting him literally right on the firing line. Scouting for roadside bombs; safeguarding the Iraqi elections; taking down hit-and-run insurgent forces--the frenetic life of the mercenary changed from one week to the next, but the constants remained--dirt, danger, excitement, and the ever-present gallows humor in the face of huge casualty rates. But the story does not end with tales of intense fire-fights and silent night patrols. It goes much deeper. Sent on suicidal runs designed to draw out the enemy insurgents, Peter's team were going into places even the U.S. Army didn't care to send its troops. They were expendable men, charged with making the hard yards on behalf of the most sophisticated army in the world. And when the orders started coming right from the CIA itself, things really started to heat up. Sprinkling his story with incredibly candid anecdotes encompassing the adrenaline of battle, and reflecting on the humor and absurdity of life on the frontline, Peter Mercer takes us on an unforgettable journey through the dangerous backstreets of 21st-century Iraq, and reveals that the realities of the ongoing War on Terror are not all that they seem.
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.
The SAS mission conducted behind Iraqi lines is one of the most famous stories of courage and survival in modern warfare. Of the eight members of the SAS regiment who set off, only one escaped capture. This is his story. Late on the evening of 24 January 1991 the patrol was compromised deep behind enemy lines in Iraq. A fierce fire-fight left the eight men miraculously unscathed, but they were forced to run for their lives. Their aim was to reach the Syrian border, 120 kilometres to the north-west, but during the first night the patrol accidentally broke into two groups, five and three. Chris Ryan found himself left with two companions. Nothing had prepared them for the vicious cold of the desert winter, and they began to suffer from hypothermia. During the night one of the men was to disappear in a blinding blizzard. The next day a goat-herd came across the two survivors. Chris's remaining partner, went with him in search of food and was never to return. Left on his own, Chris Ryan beat off an Iraqi attack and set out alone. His greatest adventure was only just beginning. This is the story of courage under fire, of hairbreadth escapes, of the best trained soldiers in the world fighting against adverse conditions, and of one man's courageous refusal to lie down and die.
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.
The men and women of Bradford, along with their cousins in other British towns and cities, made a distinguished if unhappy contribution to the First World War, as war memorials all around the city make clear. This book weaves together many personal accounts to tell the story of Bradford at war.
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.
The Crimean War is famous for four key engagements: Inkerman, Alma, Balaclava and the seige of Sebastopol. All typified the incompetence of the British High Command redeemed by the indomitable courage of the British soldier. "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre," remarked the French general Bosquet as the Light Brigade suicidally charged the Russian guns at Balaclava. This book is based on unpublished material, from single letters by barely literate private soliders to the voluminous correspondence of commander-in-chief Lord Raglan. The whole experience of fighting in the Crimea is captured here: the thrill of combat, the men's impressions of their allies - French, Turkish and Sardinian, the horors of their first winter in the Crimea, the scandalously inadequate medical arrangements and the impact made by Florence Nightingale.
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)
For a nation with a long and proud military tradition, one token stands above all others as a mark of recognition for the ultimate acts of individual feats of arms: the Victoria Cross. Awarded for one reason alone - to mark extreme acts of great heroism by British and Commonwealth servicemen in the face of the enemy - it is unquestionably the hardest club in the world to gain entrance to. Its holders - ordinary soldiers, sailors and airmen - are linked by an uncommon bond of exceptional bravery, displayed often at great personal risk and against impossible odds. The VC has been awarded only thirteen times since the end of the Second World War in 1945. Three of these awards were made to recipients who had paid the ultimate sacrifice while demonstrating gallantry beyond the call of duty. Forged in battle, from the shell-scarred hills of Korea, to the windswept marshland of East Falkland and today's counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, each one of these VCs has a uniquely inspiring tale to tell. This is their incredible story.
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.
In the spring of 1861, a 22-year-old Alabamian did what many of his friends and colleagues were doing - he joined the Confederate Army as a volunteer. The first of his family to enlist, William Cowan McClellan, who served as a private in the 9th Alabama Infantry regiment, wrote hundreds of letters throughout the war, often penning for friends who could not write home for themselves. In the letters collected in John C. Carter's volume, this young soldier comments on his feelings toward his commanding officers, his attitude toward military discipline and camp life, his disdain for the western Confederate armies, and his hopes and fears for the future of the Confederacy. McClellan's letters also contain vivid descriptions of camp life, battles, marches, picket duty, and sickness and disease in the army. The correspondence between McClellan and his family dealt with separation due to war as well as with other wartime difficulties such as food shortages, invasion, and occupation. The letters also show the rise and fall of morale on both the home front and on the battlefield, and how they were closely intertwined. Remarkable for their humor, literacy, and matter-of-fact banter, the letters reveal the attitude a common soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia had toward the day-to-day activity and progression of the war. John C. Carter includes helpful appendixes that list the letters chronologically and offer the regimental roster, casualty/enlistment totals, assignments, and McClellan's personal military record.
The author was part of Patton's Third Army in World War II in a unit chosen to spearhead the first assault on the impenetrable fortifications of Metz, France, held by the Germans. This is his dramatic account of a single week in mid-November 1944 - a retrieval of his personal past.
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.
As an 18-year-old, John Urwin was posted to Cyprus, where he was recruited into a top-secret unit called the Sixteen, whose task was to assassinate key figures throughout the Middle East. Now he breaks his silence to tell their story. Their training was said to have surpassed that of the SAS in unarmed combat and weaponry. His description of their four key missions is explosive and a riveting account of the turbulent 1950s in the Middle East. The Cold War was approaching its height and when there was a mission to be undertaken that no government could be seen to endorse, the Sixteen would do the job. No previous depiction of a military group, in book or movie, has remotely compared to the secrecy, skills and sheer professionalism of the Sixteen.
'A fast-paced, thrilling account of British heroism, brave men surrounded and fighting against overwhelming odds. This is the real, sometimes shocking, and deeply personal story of modern warfare and PTSD.' Andy McNab Trapped in an isolated outpost on the edge of the Helmand desert, a small force of British and Afghan soldiers is holding out against hundreds of Taliban fighters. Under brutal siege conditions, running low on food and ammunition, he experiences the full horror of combat. As the casualties begin to mount and the enemy closes in, Evans finds both his leadership and his belief in the war severely tested. Returning home, he is haunted by the memories of Afghanistan. He can't move on and his life begins to spin out of control.
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