200,000 Miles Aboard the Destroyer Cotten


C. Snelling Robinson - 1999
    Naval Reserve, joined the pre-commissioning crew of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Cotten. The new crew trained for the remainder of the summer and then sailed to Pearl Harbor in time to join the newly established Fifth Fleet. Under t he command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet was given orders to invade Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. This offensive, along with naval battles in the Philippine Sea, the Leyte Gulf, and the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945, is chronicled from the perspective of a young deck officer and is integrated with the background of the larger conflict, including the politics of command. After Japan's surrender, the Cotten became a part of the Occupation Force anchored in Tokyo Bay. Robinson deftly narrates how he and his friends took advantage of their good luck and brought their roles in the war to a fitting conclusion.

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.

We Were Warriors


Johnny Mercer - 2017
    They were kicking up the dirt around me. Then all hell broke loose as the gunship's Gatling vomited ammo right over my head. The sound was deafening. It was now or never. I got up and ran.A captain in 29 Commando, Johnny Mercer served in the army for twelve years. On his third tour of Afghanistan he was a Joint Fires Controller, with the pressurized job of bringing down artillery and air strikes in close proximity to his own troops. Based in an area of northern Helmand that was riddled with Taliban leaders, he walked into danger with every patrol, determined to protect them. Then one morning, in brutal close quarter combat, everything changed...In We Were Warriors Johnny takes us from his commando training to the heat, blood and chaos of battle. With brutal honesty, he describes what it is like to risk your life every day, pushing through the fear that follows watching your friends die. He took the fight back to the enemy with a relentless efficiency that came at a high personal cost. Back in the UK, seeing the inadequate care available for veterans and their families, he was inspired to run for Parliament in the hope he could improve their plight. Unflinching, action-packed and laced with wry humour, We Were Warriors is a compelling read.

Across The Fence: The Secret War In Vietnam


John Stryker Meyer - 2003
    Witness a Green Beret, shot in the back four times and left for dead, who survives to fight savagely against incredible odds to complete his missions. Shudder as an enemy soldier touches a Green Beret’s boot in the dark of night. Cringe as a Sergeant on SOG Spike Team Louisiana calls in an air strike on his team to break an enemy’s wave attack. A team member dies instantly, and a Green Beret has an out-of-body experience as he watches his leg get blown off. “As the commander of SOG, I can say that “Across the Fence” accurately reflects why the secret war was hazardous for our troops and so deadly for the enemy. – Major General John K. Singlaub (U. S. Army Ret.)Black Ops told with the terrifying clarity that only one who was there can tell it.– W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

American Commander: Serving a Country Worth Fighting For and Training the Brave Soldiers Who Lead the Way


Ryan Zinke - 2016
    Now, for the first time, we hear from their commander.For more than half a decade, Ryan Zinke was a Commander at the elite unit Navy SEAL Team Six.  A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs,  Zinke is a decorated officer and earned two Bronze Stars as the acting Commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq.  Zinke trained and commanded many of the men who would one day run the covert operations to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and save Captain Phillips (Maersk Alabama). He also served as mentor to now famous SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor) and Chris Kyle (American Sniper).Written with #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper, Scott McEwen, American Commander will offer readers the hard-hitting, no nonsense style the SEALs are known for.When Zinke signs with the U.S. Navy, he turns his sights on joining the ranks of the most elite fighting force, the SEALs. He eventually reaches the top of the SEAL Teams as an assault team commander at SEAL Team Six. Zinke shares what it takes to train and motivate the most celebrated group of warriors on earth and then send them into harm’s way. Through it, he shares his proven problem-solving approach: Situation, Mission, Execution, Command and Control, Logistics.American Commander also covers Zinke’s experience in running for Montana’s sole seat in the United States Congress. Zinke’s passion for his country shines as he conveys his vision to revitalize American exceptionalism. Scott McEwen and Ryan Zinke take readers behind the scenes and into the heart of America’s most-feared fighting force. American Commander will inspire a new generation of leaders charged with restoring a bright future for our children’s children.

Panzer Destroyer: Memoirs of a Red Army Tank Commander


Vasiliy Krysov - 2010
    For the next three years, as a tank commander, Krysov fought against the German panzers in some of the most intense and destructive armored engagements in history-including those at Stalingrad, Kursk and K�nigsberg.This is the remarkable story of his war. As the commander of a heavy tank, a self-propelled gun -a tank destroyer-and a T-34, he fought his way westward across Russia, the Ukraine and Poland against a skillful and determined enemy which had previously never known defeat. Krysov repeatedly faced tough SS panzer divisions, like the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Panzer Division in the Bruilov-Fastov area in 1943, and the SS Das Wiking Panzer Division in Poland in 1944. . Krysov was at Kursk and participated in a counterattack at Ponyri. The ruthlessness of this long and bitter campaign is vividly depicted in his narrative, as is the enormous scale and complexity of the fighting.Honestly, and with an extraordinary clarity of recall, he describes confrontations with German Tiger and Panther tanks and deadly anti-tank guns. He was wounded four times, his crewmen and his commanding officers were killed, but he was fated to survive and record his experience of combat. His memoirs give a compelling insight into the reality of tank warfare on the Eastern Front.

Reflections of a Warrior: Six Years as a Green Beret in Vietnam


Franklin D. Miller - 1991
    So began an odyssey that would make him into one of the most feared and respected men in the Special Forces elite, who made their own rules in the chaos of war. In the exclusive world of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, Miller ran missions deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence, snatch prisoners, and to kill. Leading small bands of battle-hardened Montagnard and Meo tribesmen, he was fierce and fearless -- fighting army policy to stay in combat for six tours. On a top-secret mission in 1970, Miller and a handful of men, all critically injured, held off the NVA in an incredible Alamo-like stand -- for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When his time in Southeast Asia ended, he had also received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and six Purple Hearts. This is his incredible story.

We Few: U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam


Nick Brokhausen - 2005
      In 1970, on his second tour to Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. Officially, it was known as the Studies and Observations group. In fact, this Special Forces squad, which Brokhausen calls “an unwashed, profane, ribald, joyously alive fraternity,” undertook some of the most dangerous and suicidal reconnaissance missions ever in the enemy-controlled territory of Cambodia and Laos. But they didn’t infiltrate the jungles alone. They fought alongside the Montagnards—oppressed minorities from the mountain highlands, trained by the US military in guerilla tactics, armed, accustomed to the wild, and fully engaged in a war against the North Vietnamese. Together this small unit formed the backbone of ground reconnaissance in the Republic of Vietnam, racking up medals for valor—but at a terrible cost.   “In colorful, military-jargon-laced prose leavened by gallows humor, Brokhausen pulls few punches describing what it was like to navigate remote jungle terrain under the constant threat of enemy fire. A smartly written, insider’s view of one rarely seen Vietnam War battleground.” —Booklist

The Secrets of Inchon


Eugene Franklin Clark - 2002
     According to his colleagues, Commander Eugene Franklin Clark had "the nerves of a burglar and the flair of a Barbary Coast Pirate." And in August 1950, when General MacArthur made the unpopular decision to invade Inchon-a move considered by many to be tactical suicide-he sent in Clark to find out what they needed to know.

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington


Jack Broughton - 1987
    Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington

Typhoon Pilot


Desmond Scott - 1982
    His story includes conflict in the air over Normandy, Belgium, Holland and Germany, where the Typhoons fought their last actions and where Desmond Scott earned major decorations from Belgium, France and Holland.

Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story


Bill Bellamy - 2005
    Bill Bellamy was a young officer in the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars from 1943 to 1955. He served in 7th Armored Division in the North West Europe campaign, landing in Normandy on D+3, fought throughout the Battle for Normandy and into the Low Countries as a troop leader in Cromwell tanks, and was latterly a member of the initial occupying force in Berlin in May 1945. Against the rules, Bill kept diaries and notes of his experiences. His account is fresh and open, and his descriptions of battle are vivid. He witnessed many of his contemporaries killed in action, and this life-altering experience clearly informs his narrative. The accounts of tank fighting in the leafy Normandy bocage in the height of summer, or in the iron hard fields of Holland in winter are graphic and compelling.

Wing Leader (Fighter Pilots)


J.E. Johnson - 1956
    From the moment the author joins his first operational Spitfire squadron in August 1940, the reader is taken on an epic journey through the great aerial fighter actions of the war including the Battle of Britain, sweeps across the Channel and over France, Dieppe and Normandy; and finally, operations across the Rhine and into Germany itself.

Death in the A Shau Valley: L Company LRRPs in Vietnam, 1969-70


Larry Chambers - 1998
    But his unit's mission stayed the same: act as the eyes and ears of the 101st deep in the dreaded A Shau Valley--where the NVA ruled.Relentless thick fog frequently made fighter bombers useless in the A Shau, and the enemy had furnished the nearby mountaintops with antiaircraft machine guns to protect the massive trail network that snaked through it. So, outgunned, outmanned, and unsupported, the teams of L Company executed hundreds of courageous missions. Now, in this powerful personal record, Larry Chambers recaptures the experience of the war's most brutal on-the-job training, where the slightest noise or smallest error could bring sudden--and certain--death. . . .

A Lonely Kind of War: Forward Air Controller, Vietnam


Marshall Harrison - 1989
    It was a dangerous life as they flew low and slow, always a prime target for enemy small arms fire.