Tank Commander: From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany: The Memoirs of Bill Close


Bill Close - 2013
    He was wounded three times. He finished the war as one of the most experienced and resourceful of British tank commanders, and in later life, he set down his wartime experiences in graphic detail. His book is not only an extraordinary memoir; it is also a compelling account of the exploits of the Royal Tank Regiment throughout the conflict. As a record of the day-to-day experience of the tank crew of seventy-five years ago--of the conditions they faced and the battles they fought--it has rarely been equaled.

Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam: My Year as a Black Scarf


Douglas Beed - 2017
    After two years of college he couldn't afford to continue so he was forced to relinquish his student deferment and enter the draft. He tried various strategies to get a non-combat job; nevertheless he ended up in the infantry and was assigned to Vietnam. The stories in this book depict the year Doug spent in Alpha Company where he spent days on patrols finding and killing North Vietnamese soldiers along the hundreds of miles of trails heading for the Saigon. These stories range from funny to tragic, from uplifting to extremely frustrating and from touching to horrifying. This book gives the reader a sense of life in the infantry in 1968 and 1969.

Hard Corps: from Thug Zero to Marine Hero


Marco Martinez - 2007
    At the age of twenty-two, he was a hero—the recipient of the Navy Cross, the second-highest honor a U.S. Marine can receive, for extraordinary heroism under fire in the Iraq War. Hard Corps tells the story of his incredible transformation and of his experiences on the front lines of the War on Terror.Writing with passion and candor, Martinez brings us back to his gang days, detailing experiences that make him “shudder in shame” to remember. And he recalls the moment that changed everything for him, when he spotted a barrel-chested U.S. Marine Corps recruiter at his high school. Immediately, he saw an opportunity to alter the course of his aimless life. Martinez takes us with him through the grueling ordeal of Marine boot camp and the even-more-punishing training at the School of Infantry to show just how warriors are made. He reveals how he and his fellow grunts prepared tirelessly for battle, seeing combat not as a burden but as a privilege, the ultimate baptism by fire.For Martinez, that baptism came in Iraq. In Hard Corps, he unfolds a warrior’s tale as riveting, harrowing, and immediate as any ever written. He takes us onto the narrow, treacherous streets of Baghdad, where enemy fire rains down from all directions; alongside his Marine squad as they patrol through the most dangerous war zone imaginable; and into a brutal terrorist ambush that calls upon reserves of ferocity and courage none of the Marines could ever be certain they possessed and that proves the value of every moment of their torturous training. Martinez also recounts stunning reminders of why we fight: the Iraqi man he met whose tongue had been chopped off for speaking out against Saddam Hussein’s regime, the ghastly evidence of human experimentation that Martinez’s squad discovered at an abandoned Iraqi military barracks, and the horrifying mass graves the Marines unearthed in the Iraqi desert.Hard Corps gives us a visceral sense of what it means to know that you are ready to die for your brother Marines and that they would do the same for you. It tells us how it feels when words like duty, honor, and country are not an empty slogan. And, ultimately, it captures the traditions and ooh-rah spirit of the U.S. Marine Corps and the valor of all the Marines, sailors, soldiers,From the Hardcover edition.

Xin Loi, Viet Nam: Thirty-one Months of War: A Soldier's Memoir


Al Sever - 2005
    He volunteered for the job well aware that hanging out of slow-moving choppers over hot LZs blazing with enemy fire was not conducive to a long life. But that wasn’t going to stop Specialist Sever.From Da Nang to Cu Chi and the Mekong Delta, Sever spent thirty-one months in Vietnam, fighting in eleven of the war’s sixteen campaigns. Every morning when his gunship lifted off, often to the clacking and muzzle flashes of AK-47s hidden in the dawn fog, Sever knew he might not return. This raw, gritty, gut-wrenching firsthand account of American boys fighting and dying in Vietnam captures all the hell, horror, and heroism of that tragic war.

When the Killer Man Comes: Eliminating Terrorists as a Special Operations Sniper


Paul Martinez - 2018
    That force is the 75th Ranger Regiment. Staff Sergeant Paul Martinez was a Ranger Sniper with the 75th Rangers during the desperate fighting in Afghanistan in 2011 when the United States made the decision to try to withdraw from Afghanistan. It was never going to be easy. There were still a large number of senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders and other terrorists in secure locations throughout that country. If the United States withdrew from Afghanistan with these terrorists and their networks still intact, they could quickly take over the country and undo all the gains that we made.These terrorists needed to be eliminated, and there was only one force to do it—the Rangers. The mission was to capture or kill as many of these terrorists as possible. Paul Martinez was one of the deadliest snipers assigned to this unit, dubbed “Team Merrill,” after the Marauders of World War II fame. Martinez and his fellow Rangers faced near-impossible odds taking on an enemy who knew they were coming and who employed every conceivable tactic to kill these Rangers. In When the Killer Man Comes, Martinez tells the harrowing true story of how he and his team hunted America's enemies in an operation that would have repercussions that are still felt today.

Commando


Chris Terrill - 2007
    He's 55 years old. He is not a soldier. He is being trained by the Royal Marines and he is going to Afghanistan. The only difference is that instead of a gun, Chris will be holding a camera and filming the whole ordeal for a major TV series.The Royal Marines Commando training base in Lympstone Devon, has a famous motto: '99.9% need not apply'. Of those who start training, after a very tough selection process, nearly 50% fail to make it through the most gruelling physical tests of any armed forces in the world in an eight month training regime. The elite who do eventually pass out are generally eighteen years old and at the peak of physical condition. But Chris Terrill is the exception: this book will tell of his heroic struggle to become the oldest man to win the coveted Royal Marines Commando Green Beret and enter the record books.And after six months of hell, what next? Chris will follow the raw recruits on a tour to Southern Afghanistan. He will tell the story in book and film of the fears and hopes of the youngsters as they are plunged into one of the planet's most dangerous wars in the outlaw mountain terrain of Helmand Province. He will tell of ferocious battles against the Taliban, of firefights, of jaw-dropping heroism, British sang froid and humour and tragedy as causalities are suffered -- all from the unique perspective of a civilian who has achieved the ultimate accolade: to be accepted as an honorary Royal Marines Commando. Commando is a brilliant account of modern war on the front line.

Flying Low


B.K. Bryans - 2012
    Navy fighter/attack pilot from 1956 to 1980. (What it was like to fly jets off aircraft carriers in the days before smart bombs, GPS, and automated carrier landing systems.) After two years at the University of Arizona, the author entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in Pensacola, Florida, and became a carrier-qualified jet pilot at age twenty. As a naval aviator, he flew 3,669 hours in thirteen different types of aircraft, made 652 carrier landings (163 of them at night), and flew 183 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and thirteen Air Medals. He went on to command Attack Squadron 35 aboard USS Nimitz.This is the story.

The Kill Switch (Kindle Single)


Phil Zabriskie - 2014
    The killing that has been done and is being done is a crucial aspect of war and an integral part of the memories servicemen bring home with them. And yet, with few exceptions, it’s only rarely discussed in public and largely left to the veterans themselves to process, wrestle with, and carry.This is unfortunate because to understand what war is and what war does, it is necessary to understand what killing is and what killing does. In “The Kill Switch,” writer Phil Zabriskie, who covered both Iraq and Afghanistan for Time and other magazines, reconnects with two Marines and other veterans he met in Iraq and finds them ready to talk about it and willing to examine soberly and honestly what they’ve done and were asked to do. From boot camp through the initial invasion to the crucible of Ramadi, the siege of Fallujah, and beyond, they recount firefights, ambushes, suicide car bombers, hand-to-hand combat, and the life and death decisions they made about Saddam’s soldiers, battle-hardened insurgents, and people, even children, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unflinching and as important today as it was at the height of these wars, “The Kill Switch” will stay with you long after you’re finished, just as the wars these men fought—and the killing they did—have stayed with them. Phil Zabriskie is a New York-based writer who spent many years working across Asia and the Middle East. He reported extensively on America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for Time magazine and has also written about conflict and its impact on the people who live through it for National Geographic, Fortune, the Washington Post Magazine, and other publications. Cover design by Kristen Radtke.

Until the Eyes Shut: Memories of a machine gunner on the Eastern Front, 1943-45


Andreas Hartinger - 2019
    I had had enough. Enough of the killing. Enough of the dying. In the eyes of the Alsatian I saw a question I was also asking myself. When would this terrible war come to an end, the cannons fall silent, the armories shut down? When would we finally be able to return to life instead of crawling, slaying, and destroying?” “He lived through the whole day and finally died the following night. During this time, he kept calling for help. Just before he died, he thought he saw his mother and calmed down a bit. I rested my hand on his shoulder. I did not want him to die alone. He finally left our world with his eyes wide open and his hands pressed over his intestines.” “My baptism of fire was the most incisive event of my life. Nothing was ever going to be the same. My youthful carefreeness had vanished under the impact of dread and orchestrated mass destruction.” Synopsis The rulers’ mistakes are paid for with the blood of the people. This is shown in history both recent and ancient, time and time again. It was no different for an Austrian mountain farmer’s son who was thrown into the carnage of the Eastern Front. He was in the prime of his youth, and the German Reich was already close to losing the war.In ripe old age, he remembers those dark hours that have haunted him throughout his life. Manning his machine gun in merciless struggles with a superior enemy, or fighting for survival in brutal close combat, reduced to basest instincts. He also remembers the rock-solid comradeship with his mountain troop, the unexpected gestures of humanity, and an insane destructiveness at a time when the world was out of joint.This ruthless, honest, and touching real-life account of a simple frontline soldier serves as a reminder to stand up for peace at all times, and to despise war. Until the eyes shut … About the author Andreas Hartinger had a profound interest in contemporary history from a young age. During his professional assignments in various crises around the world, he has seen with his own eyes how war takes humanity hostage. He and his grandfather Hans Kahr wrote down the elder’s war memories together. It was painstaking work and it involved innumerable unsettling conversations. What started off as a family project is now available for the world to witness.

Bounty Hunter 4/3: My Life in Combat from Marine Scout Sniper to MARSOC


Jason Delgado - 2017
    He ultimately escaped the death and drugs of a crime-riddled Bronx by way of the United States Marine Corps. However, after earning his way into the esteemed ranks of the service's famed Scout Snipers, Delgado saw that old struggle reignited when he was dumped into the hell of war in Iraq.There Delgado proved not only a participant, but a warrior capable of turning the tide in several of the most harrowing and historically important battles of the evolving war. He took all the hard lessons learned in combat and, as MARSOC's original lead sniper instructor, made himself a pivotal figure in revolutionizing the way special operations snipers trained and operated. But even after accomplishing his mission in the military, Delgado still faced that original fight, struggling to understand and accept the man his experiences had transformed him into. Bounty Hunter 4/3 is Jason Delgado's captivating first-hand account of these powerful and life-changing experiences.

Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper


Jody Mitic - 2015
    While on patrol with the 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment deep within enemy territory, sniper Jody Mitic stepped on a land mine and lost both legs below the knee. Though Jody was a dedicated serviceman who had dreamed of a military life since he was a child, it seemed that his fighting days were done. Ever a soldier at heart, Jody was determined to still be of service to his country, and he refused to let his injury hold him back. After only a few short months of rehab, Jody was up and walking again on two prosthetic legs, and only a year later, he was running his first road race. But despite his success in physically recovering from his injury, Jody still struggled to mentally adapt to his new reality. As he experienced first-hand the controversial treatment of Canadian veterans, Jody turned his efforts towards developing programs for wounded veterans and publicly advocating on their behalf. With a renewed purpose to guide him, Jody came to find a new lease on life. An inspirational memoir of resilience and courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, Unflinching is a unique portrait of a man who exemplifies the perseverance, strength, and optimism needed to overcome seemingly unconquerable barriers.

Shadow of the Sword: A Marine's Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption


Jeremiah Workman - 2009
    In this searing and inspiring memoir, he tells an unforgettable story of his service overseas–and of the emotional wars that continue to rage long after our fighting men come home.Raised in a tiny blue-collar town in Ohio, Jeremiah Workman was a handsome and athletic high achiever. Having excelled on the sporting field, he believed that the Marine Corps would be the perfect way to harness his physical and professional drives.In the Iraqi city of Fallujah in December 2004, Workman faced the challenge that would change his life. He and his platoon were searching for hidden caches of weapons and mopping up die-hard insurgent cells when they came upon a building in which a team of fanatical insurgents had their fellow Marines trapped. Leading repeated assaults on that building, Workman killed more than twenty of the enemy in a ferocious firefight that left three of his own men dead.But Workman’s most difficult fight lay ahead of him–in the battlefield of his mind. Burying his guilt about the deaths of his men, he returned stateside, where he was decorated for valor and then found himself assigned to the Marine base at Parris Island as a “Kill Hat”: a drill instructor with the least seniority and the most brutal responsibilities. He was instructed, only half in jest, to push his untested recruits to the brink of suicide. Haunted by the thought that he had failed his men overseas, Workman cracked, suffering a psychological breakdown in front of the men he was charged with leading and preparing for war.In Shadow of the Sword, a memoir that brilliantly captures both wartime courage and its lifelong consequences, Workman candidly reveals the ordeal of post-traumatic stress disorder: the therapy and drug treatments that deadened his mind even as they eased his pain, the overwhelming stress that pushed his marriage to the brink, and the confrontations with anger and self-blame that he had internalized for years. Having fought through the worst of his trials–and now the father of a young son–Workman has found not perfection or a panacea but a way to accommodate his traumas and to move forward toward hope, love, and reconciliation.

The Shake 'n Bake Sergeant: True Story of Infantry Sergeants in Vietnam


Jerry Horton - 2010
    Horton's experiences being thrown into heavy combat after just a few months of training. Recommended reading for all. Survival against all odds - in the trenches of Vietnam - I still can't believe they get out of there alive - couldn't put it down. This first person narrative of hand-to-hand combat in the trenches of Vietnam left me scared, glad to be alive and eternally grateful to those who died for my freedom Could not put it down - A friend had mentioned this book to me. Once I received it I could not put it down. Jerry Horton joined the army to simply be able to afford to go to college. 40 years later he has a PHD and multiple degrees but they were earned at a heavy price for this patriot. Jerry shares his experiences in Vietnam in an articulate, honest and direct assessment of his time in Vietnam, the men he served with and the horrors of war. Incredible story of leadership and survival. Shake N Bake Sergeant aka Instant NCO - Jerry Horton absolutely nailed the life of a "Shake 'n Bake" Sergeant when he tells the story of dedicated soldiers trained at Fort Benning, GA and then follows them to Vietnam. This book is not only absolutely dead on accurate but gives the reader every aspect of what it was like to experience the war as a Shake 'n Bake Sergeant. Instant NCO's were trained for only one reason - to lead United States soldiers into combat and they did it with heroic efficiency and effectiveness with limited resources. This book is not just a home run - it is a Grand Slam. Interesting, accurate, full of suspense and you can't put it down. This book should be required reading for everyone so they can understand that Freedom is not Free. There is a cost and sometimes that cost is heavy. Horton brings it all across in a nonstop action format. It is a great read! If you really want to know what it was like...This has to be the most realistic 'must read' book to come out of the VN war. If you ever read any book about this war - this is the one to read. You won't put it down and you won't ever forget it! From the book's review by the late COL(R) David Hackworth (most-decorated Vietnam veteran): "In 1968, the U.S. Army was running out of sergeants in Vietnam. Throughout military history, as least as far back as the Revolutionary War, sergeants were the backbone of the Army. This shortage of sergeants meant disaster in Vietnam. The NCO candidate school was created to solve this serious problem by doing one thing - train soldiers to lead men in combat. It was modeled after the Officer's candidate school but streamlined to meet this critical need for leaders in half the time. Graduates were known by most as "Shake 'n Bake Sergeants" or "Instant NCOs" since they got their rank fast from going to school. This book is the first time this important part of American history has ever been published. It is the first time anyone has given credit to Shake 'n Bake Sergeants - a credit that they so greatly deserved. At the time there were many who said they would fail. It seemed many did not respect them even though all were destined for front line positions. The book documents how they proved their worth over and over again as front line infantry leaders even though for thirty some years their sacrifices have been unknown." An unforgettable mixture of vivid realism, poignant sadness and unexpected humor. Once you begin reading The Shake 'n Bake Sergeant, you will find it hard to put it down. See www.shakenbakesergeant.com.

The Ground You Stand Upon: Life of a Skytrooper in Vietnam


Joshua Bowe - 2018
    Wilbur E. Bowe was living on his family’s farm when he was drafted in 1965 and assigned to Alpha Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Calvary. The 5/7th Cavalry was formed as a brand-new battalion in order to fill out the 1st Air Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade. The young men of the battalion were largely drafted together in 1965 as the build-up of regular Army forces in Vietnam had just begun. Together, these impossibly young men would be trained in the airmobile infantry and become what were known as “skytroopers”. They would then be sent deep into the jungles of Vietnam, where together they would learn what “search and destroy” meant and face the reality of this new war.The story features many of the letters and photographs my dad sent home from the war zone. His dispatches were sent from some of the most remote valleys and outposts in Vietnam, written under the most austere of conditions, often scribbled in haste before another mission, or by flashlight, under a poncho in the rain. They would travel over 8,000 miles across the ocean, to be placed in a mailbox that stood across from a farmhouse, along a rural county road in Wisconsin.Many former skytroopers of Alpha Company were interviewed for this story, and their personal accounts recall much of the humor and friendship they shared, along with the sadness and tragedy that would accompany a year spent in the jungles of Vietnam. The story also draws upon the 5/7th Cavalry’s daily staff journals and situation reports for every day of the battalion’s first year in Vietnam.This is their story, told in great detail from their time spent training together at Fort Carson – through their historic journey across the ocean aboard the USNS Gaffey, where they would encounter a massive typhoon – through their many battles fought together in Vietnam – and eventually, their final patrol.

STUPID WAR STORIES: Tales from the Wonder War, Vietnam 1970-1971


Keith Pomeroy - 2015
    The Atomic Outhouse, Hot Extractions, Listening Out, and Best Vacation Ever, will have you enthralled. These stories and sixty more like them pull no punches to give you a genuine understanding of a war that was more bizarre than you ever imagined.