Brave Men Dark Waters


Orr Kelly - 1992
    A detailed history of this elite and enigmatic military unit discusses the origins of the SEALs, their operations in every war since World War II, and their role in today's world.

A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War


Williamson Murray - 2016
    It combined the projection of military might across a continent on a scale never before seen with an unprecedented mass mobilization of peoples. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. "A Savage War" sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox, Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh bring every aspect of the battlefield vividly to life. They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. Despite the Union's material superiority, a Union victory remained in doubt for most of the war. Murray and Hsieh paint indelible portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and other major figures whose leadership, judgment, and personal character played such decisive roles in the fate of a nation. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war's outcome.A military history of breathtaking sweep and scope, "A Savage War" reveals how the Civil War ushered in the age of modern warfare.

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War


David Detzer - 2001
     The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. With little help from Washington, D.C., Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy, almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight. Skillfully re-created from a decade of extensive research, Allegiance exposes the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and the individuals on both sides who changed American history forever.

Valor in Vietnam: Chronicles of Honor, Courage, and Sacrifice: 1963-1977


Allen B. Clark - 2012
    The Vietnam War lives on famously and infamously dependent on political points of view, but those who have “been there, done that” have a highly personalized window on their time of that history. Valor in Vietnam focuses on nineteen stories of Vietnam, stories of celebrated characters in the veteran community, compelling war narratives, vignettes of battles, and the emotional impact on the combatants. It is replete with leadership lessons as well as valuable insights that are just as applicable today as they were forty years ago.This is an anecdotal history of America’s war in Vietnam composed of firsthand narratives by Vietnam War veterans presented in chronological order. They are intense, emotional, and highly personal stories. Connecting each of them is a brief historical commentary of that period of the war, the geography of the story, and the contemporary strategy written by Lewis Sorley, West Point class of 1956, and author of A Better War and Westmoreland.With a foreword by Lt. Gen. Dave R. Palmer, U.S. Army (Ret.), Valor in Vietnam presents a historical overview of the war through the eyes of participants in each branch of service and throughout the entire course of the war. Simply put, their stories serve to reflect the commitment, honor, and dedication with which America’s veterans performed their service.

Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War


Eric Hammel - 1981
    He then plunges right into the action: the massing of Chinese forces in about ten-to-one strength; the Marines' command problems due to the climate and terrain and high-level over confidence; and the onset of the overwhelming Chinese assault.With a wealth of tactical detail and small-unit action Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War is the most complete book written to date on this iconic battle. Author Eric Hammel's masterful account offers invaluable perspective on war at the gut level.Praise for Chosin"Hammel's book is full of accounts of the stuff that legends are made from. It is a cliffhanger of a story, and he tells it master-fully. Readers should be warned: Just as in the campaign itself, where there was no rear echelon and everyone was a combatant, so too, if you go into Yudam-ni with the Marines you had better be prepared to be with them all the way on to Hungnam and freedom." —Sea Power Magazine"This is a view over the foxhole's rim. It concentrates on the superlative effort, suffering and courage of the young enlisted Marines, sailors and soldiers who glared at the quilted uniformed enemy and refused to be stared down ... a factual, revealing and penetrating look at war at its worst and men at their best." —The San Diego Union"The author's weaving of men, crises, and numbing cold leaves the reader in awe of this feat of arms in which soldiers and Marines fought an epic struggle to survive. . . . Hammel's book is highly recommended." —Infantry Magazine"Involves the reader emotionally in a kaleidoscope of different, individual perceptions—from officers in their headquarters to riflemen shivering in the foxholes ... to the small-unit actions that, in their totality, shaped the ultimate course of the battle." —Military History Magazine

A Sniper in the Arizona: 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in the Arizona Territory, 1967


John J. Culbertson - 1999
    The first was that we were still alive. . . ."In 1967, death was the constant companion of the Marines of Hotel Company, 2/5, as they patrolled the paddy dikes, mud, and mountains of the Arizona Territory southwest of Da Nang. But John Culbertson and most of the rest of Hotel Company were the same lean, fighting Marines who had survived the carnage of Operation Tuscaloosa. Hotel's grunts walked over the enemy, not around him. In graphic terms, John Culbertson describes the daily, dangerous life of a soldier fighting in a country where the enemy was frequently indistinguishable from the allies, fought tenaciously, and thought nothing of using civilians as a shield. Though he was one of the top marksmen in 1st Marine Division Sniper School in Da Nang in March 1967--a class of just eighteen, chosen from the division's twenty thousand Marines--Culbertson knew that against the VC and the NVA, good training and experience could carry you just so far. But his company's mission was to find and engage the enemy, whatever the price. This riveting, bloody first-person account offers a stark testimony to the stuff U.S. Marines are made of.

15 Months in SOG: A Warrior's Tour


Thom Nicholson - 1999
    Because SOG operations suffered extraordinary casualties, they required extraordinary soldiers. So when Capt. Thom Nicholson arrived at Command and Control North (CCN) in Da Nang, SOG's northernmost base camp, he knew he was going to be working with the cream of the crop. As commander of Company B, CCN's Raider Company, Nicholson commanded four platoons, comprising nearly two hundred men, in some of the war's most deadly missions, including ready-reaction missions for patrols in contact with the enemy, patrol extractions under fire, and top-secret expeditions "over the fence" into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Colonel Nicholson spares no one, including himself, as he provides a rare glimpse into the workings of one of the military's most carefully concealed reconnaissance campaigns.From the Paperback edition.

Stonewall Jackson: A Biography


Donald A. Davis - 2007
    Lee, Stonewall Jackson assumed his nickname during the Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War. It is said that The Army of Northern Virginia never fully recovered from the loss of Stonewall's leadership when he was accidentally shot by one of his own men and died in 1863. Davis highlights Stonewall Jackson as a general who emphasized the importance of reliable information and early preparedness (he so believed in information that he had a personal mapmaker with him at all times) and details Jackson's many lessons in strategy and leadership.

Intrepid: The Epic Story of America's Most Legendary Warship


Bill White - 2008
    Since her launching in 1943, the 27,000-ton, Essex-class aircraft carrier has sailed into harm’s way around the globe. During World War II, she fought her way across the Pacific—Kwajalein, Truk, Peleliu, Formosa, the Philippines, Okinawa—surviving kamikaze and torpedo attacks and covering herself with glory. The famous ship endured to become a Cold War attack carrier, recovery ship for America’s first astronauts, and a three-tour combatant in Vietnam. In a riveting narrative based on archival research and interviews with surviving crewmen, authors Bill White and Robert Gandt take us inside the war in the Pacific. We join Intrepid’s airmen at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in October 1944, as they gaze in awe at the apparitions beneath them: five Japanese battleships, including the dreadnoughts Yamato and Musashi, plus a fleet of heavily armored cruisers and destroyers. The sky fills with multihued bursts of anti-aircraft fire. The flak, a Helldiver pilot would write in his action report, “was so thick you could get out and walk on it.” Half a dozen Intrepid aircraft are blown from the sky, but they sink the Musashi. A few months later, off Okinawa, they again meet her sister ship, the mighty Yamato. In a two-hour tableau of hellfire and towering explosions, Intrepid’s warplanes help send the super-battleship and 3,000 Japanese crewmen to the bottom of the sea. We’re next to nineteen-year-old Alonzo Swann in Gun Tub 10 aboard Intrepid as he peers over the breech of a 20-mm anti-aircraft gun. He’s heard of kamikazes, but until today he’s never seen one. Swann and his fellow gunners are among the few African Americans assigned to combat duty in the U.S. Navy of 1944. Blazing away at the diving Japanese Zero, Swann realizes with a dreadful certainty where it will strike: directly into Gun Tub 10.The authors follow Intrepid’s journey to Vietnam. “MiG-21 high!” crackles the voice of Lt. Tony Nargi in his F-8 Crusader. It is 1968, and Intrepid is again at war. Launching from Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, Nargi and his wingman have intercepted a flight of Russian-built supersonic fighters. Minutes later, after a swirling dogfight over North Vietnam, Nargi—and Intrepid—have added another downed enemy airplane to their credit. Intrepid: The Epic Story of America’s Most Legendary Warship brings a renowned ship to life in a stirring tribute complete with the personal recollections of those who served aboard her, dramatic photographs, time lines, maps, and vivid descriptions of Intrepid’s deadly conflicts. More than a numbers-and-dates narrative, Intrepid is the story of people—those who sailed in her, fought to keep her alive, perished in her defense—and powerfully captures the human element in this saga of American heroism.

East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950


Roy Edgar Appleman - 1987
    Douglas MacArthur planned the last major offensive of what was to be a brief "conflict": the drive that would push the North Koreans across the Yalu River into Manchuria. In northern Korea, US forces assembled at Chosin Reservoir to cut behind the North Korean forces blocking the planned march to Manchuria. Roy E. Appleman, noted historian of the Korean conflict, describes the tragic fate of the troops of the 31st Regimental Combat Team which fought this engagement and presents a thorough analysis of the physical conditions, attitudes, and command decisions that doomed them.

The Bridge at Remagen: A Story of World War II


Ken Hechler - 1957
    On March 7, 1945, a small group of American infantrymen, engineers, and tank crews secured the Ludendorff Bridge that crossed the Rhine. The successful mission saved thousands of American lives and spearheaded the invasion of Nazi Germany.The Bridge at Remagen is the detailed narrative of this surprising but crucial military action, one that stunned the German army. It is also the moving story of men who did not consider themselves heroes, but who performed magnificently under fire. In this amazing true story, Ken Hechler gives you the hour-by-hour account of brilliant military daring, human courage, and almost incredible luck that profoundly changed the course of the war.

Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam


Michael Lee Lanning - 1998
    . . ."At the start of the war in Vietnam, the United States had no snipers; by the end of the war, Marine and army precision marksmen had killed more than 10,000 NVA and VC soldiers--the equivalent of an entire division--at the cost of under 20,000 bullets, proving that long-range shooters still had a place in the battlefield. Now noted military historian Michael Lee Lanning shows how U.S. snipers in Vietnam--combining modern technology in weapons, ammunition, and telescopes--used the experience and traditions of centuries of expert shooters to perfect their craft. To provide insight into the use of American snipers in Vietnam, Lanning interviewed men with combat trigger time, as well as their instructors, the founders of the Marine and U.S. Army sniper programs, and the generals to whom they reported. Backed by hard information and firsthand accounts, the author demonstrates how the skills these one-shot killers honed in the jungles of Vietnam provided an indelible legacy that helped save American lives in Grenada, the Gulf War, and Somalia and continues to this day with American troops in Bosnia.

The American Heritage New History of the Civil War


Bruce Catton - 2001
    Fascinating sidebars and contemporary documents tells the story of the war in the voices of those who experienced it. The interactive CD-ROM features a multimedia Civil War strategy game. 800+ photos, many in color. 3-D maps. Printed endpapers. Full-cloth case.

Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970


Keith William Nolan - 2000
    By July, the activities of the artillery and infantry of Ripcord had caught the attention of the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and a long and deadly siege ensued. Ripcord was the Screaming Eagles’ last chance to do significant damage to the NVA in the A Shau Valley before the division was withdrawn from Vietnam and returned to the United States. At Ripcord, the enemy counterattacked with ferocity, using mortar and antiaircraft fire to inflict heavy causalities on the units operating there. The battle lasted four and a half months and exemplified the ultimate frustration of the Vietnam War: the inability of the American military to bring to bear its enormous resources to win on the battlefield. In the end, the 101st evacuated Ripcord, leaving the NVA in control of the battlefield. Contrary to the mantra “We won every battle but lost the war,” the United States was defeated at Ripcord. Now, at last, the full story of this terrible battle can be told.

The Raid: The Son Tay Prison Rescue Mission


Benjamin F. Schemmer - 1976
    on November 21, 1970, more than one hundred U.S. war planes shattered the dark calm of the skies over Hanoi. Their mission: rescue sixty-one American POWs from Son Tay prison. Less than thirty minutes later, the raid was over, but no Americans had been rescued. The prisoners had been moved from Son Tay four and a half months earlier and that wasn’t all. Part of the raiding force landed at the wrong compound, a “school” bristling with enemy soldiers, but the soldiers weren’t Vietnamese . . . Replete with fascinating insights into the workings of high-level intelligence and military command, The Raid is Benjamin Schemmer’s unvarnished account of the courageous mission that was quickly labeled an intelligence failure by Congress and a Pentagon blunder by the world press. Determined to ferret out the truth, Schemmer uncovers one of the CIA’s most carefully guarded secrets. From the planning and live-fire rehearsals to the explosive reactions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff watching the drama unfold to the aftermath as the White House and Pentagon struggled for damage control, Schemmer tackles the tough questions. What really happened during the twenty-seven minutes the raiders spent on the ground? Did the CIA know the whole time that the Americans were gone? Had the Agency in fact been responsible for the POWs being moved? And perhaps most intriguing, why was the rescue—though it never freed a single prisoner—not a failure after all?