The Story of World War II: Revised, expanded, and updated from the original text by Henry Steele Commager


Donald L. Miller - 1991
    Miller has written what critics are calling one of the most powerful accounts of warfare ever published.Here are the horror and heroism of World War II in the words of the men who fought it, the journalists who covered it, and the civilians who were caught in its fury. Miller gives us an up-close, deeply personal view of a war that was more savagely fought—and whose outcome was in greater doubt—than readers might imagine. This is the war that Americans at the home front would have read about had they had access to the previously censored testimony of the soldiers on which Miller builds his gripping narrative. Miller covers the entire war—on land, at sea, and in the air—and provides new coverage of the brutal island fighting in the Pacific, the bomber war over Europe, the liberation of the death camps, and the contributions of African Americans and other minorities. He concludes with a suspenseful, never-before-told story of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, based on interviews with the men who flew the mission that ended the war.

The Afghan Wars In An Hour


Rupert Colley - 2011
    American, British and coalition forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001, a month following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. By the end of the year the war seemed won. But a decade on the ongoing conflict seems far from over.Today's conflict has historical parallels - in the nineteenth century Great Britain twice invaded Afghanistan, in 1839 and 1878. Both times they had seemingly defeated the Afghan forces only to find that the Afghan soldier, not knowing the meaning of defeat, fought back inflicting on the mighty British Empire humiliating retreats. A century later, the Soviet Union, technologically and militarily superior, also discovered to its cost that the Afghan was a tenacious foe and impossible to defeat. After a decade of conflict the Soviet Union withdrew, its military reputation in tatters. Today, Afghanistan has been in a state of constant conflict for almost four decades. When not fighting external enemies its people have fought against each other. The Civil War of 1990 to 1996, during which the Taliban emerged, was ferocious in its intensity.The coalition forces of today are embroiled in an equally unending war. But why are we still fighting in Afghanistan? What are the lessons of history? Who are the Taliban; who are the Mujahedeen, and why was Osama bin Laden so significant? These, in an hour, are the Afghan Wars.

Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History


Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius - 2011
    While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes. Filled with stories and insights that will change the way you think about world history's most defining events, this course lets you peer inside a subject whose truths most people are unaware of. Professor Liulevicius introduces you to the inner workings of covert organizations, including the Oprichnina, a feared secret service established by tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 1500s in an effort to cleanse Russia of treasonous activities; the CIA, established in 1947 by President Truman to replace the Office of Secret Services to be in charge of all intelligence collection - and which had an embarrassing early history; and Mossad, Israel's version of the CIA, which won a series of key intelligence victories during the cold war and over terror attacks and hostage crises in the second half of the 20th century. You'll also meet famous - and infamous - spies, including Sir Francis Walsingham, Mata Hari, and Kim Philby. In this stirring series of lectures, you'll study the psychological motives behind spies, the ethics of cyber warfare and corporate espionage, the question of whether we now live in a surveillance society, and more.

The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II


Alex Kershaw - 2019
    "Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock... Fast-paced and up-close, this is history's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can."--Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day's most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond. Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe--and the very history of the twentieth century.The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II's longest day.

The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid--America's First World War II Vict Ory


Craig Nelson - 2002
    Roosevelt sought to restore the honor of the United States with a dramatic act of vengeance: a retaliatory bombing raid on Tokyo. On April 18, 1942, eighty brave young men, led by the famous daredevil Jimmy Doolittle, took off from a navy carrier in the mid-Pacific on what everyone regarded as a suicide mission but instead became a resounding American victory and helped turn the tide of the war. The First Heroes is the story of that mission. Meticulously researched and based on interviews with twenty of the surviving Tokyo Raiders, this is a true account that almost defies belief, a tremendous human drama of great personal courage, and a powerful reminder that ordinary people, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, can rise to the challenge of history.

The Elite: The Story of Special Forces – From Ancient Sparta to the War on Terror


Ranulph Fiennes - 2019
    The best of the best, these elite units have frequently been immortalised on the big screen, and in computer games, for their daring deeds. Whether it be fighting on the battlefield, storming forts and castles, rescuing hostages, high stakes reconnaissance missions or the dramatic assassination of enemy leaders, these are the men who are relied upon to undertake dangerous missions of the highest stakes. While celebrating the heroics of groups such as the SAS and Navy Seals, Sir Ranulph also reveals the true stories of infamous organisations such as The Assassins and Templar Knights. Uncovering their origins, and examining their weapons and tactics, Sir Ranulph showcases these units most famous missions, and reveals the men behind them. Showing incredible courage, often in the face of impossible odds, these units have also changed the course of history along the way. Sir Ranulph discusses the reasons behind their success and failures, with many notorious conflicts often being decided by these elite units facing off against each other, with the victor not only evolving warfare, but also consigning their opponent to history. While these units traditionally prefer to operate in the shadows, Sir Ranulph brings their remarkable histories to the fore, told with his trademark ability to weave a story which has seen him become one of Britain’s most beloved bestselling authors.

Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942-April 1943


Bruce Gamble - 2010
    Some called it “Fortress Rabaul,” an apt name for the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific. Author Bruce Gamble chronicles Rabaul’s crucial role in Japanese operations in the Southwest Pacific. Millions of square feet of housing and storage facilities supported a hundred thousand soldiers and naval personnel. Simpson Harbor and the airfields were the focus of hundreds of missions by American air forces.Winner of the "Gold Medal" (Military Writers Society of America) and "Editor's Choice Award" (Stone & Stone Second World War Books), Fortress Rabaul details a critical and, until now, little understood chapter in the history of World War II.

The Vietnam War: A Very Brief History


Mark Black - 2012
    For many, it defined a generation.The Very Brief History series is intended to give the reader a short, concise account of the most important events in world history. Each book provides the reader with the essential facts concerning a particular event or person; no distractions, just the essential facts, allowing the reader to master the subject in the shortest time possible. With The Very Brief History series, anyone can become a history expert!

American Heritage History of the American Revolution


Bruce Lancaster - 2014
    . . . Bruce Lancaster's text is terse, rapid, lucid, and dramatic . . . filled with the color and excitement of a grim and bloody war." – The New York Times The American Heritage History of the American Revolution is the complete chronicle of the Revolutionary War told in full detail. Lancaster starts his story with an examination of colonial society and the origins of the quarrel with England. He details the ensuing battles and military campaigns from Lexington and Concord to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, as well as the tense political and social situation of the new nation. The American Heritage History of the American Revolution details the birth of America with insight and depth.

Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It


Larrie D. Ferreiro - 2016
     In this groundbreaking, revisionist history, Larrie Ferreiro shows that at the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord the colonists had little chance, if any, of militarily defeating the British. The nascent American nation had no navy, little in the way of artillery, and a militia bereft even of gunpowder. In his detailed accounts Ferreiro shows that without the extensive military and financial support of the French and Spanish, the American cause would never have succeeded. France and Spain provided close to the equivalent of $400 billion and 90 percent of all guns used by the Americans, and they sent soldiers and sailors by the thousands to fight and die alongside the Americans. Ferreiro adds to the historical records the names of French and Spanish diplomats, merchants, soldiers, and sailors whose contribution is at last given recognition. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals its global implications.

The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919


James Carl Nelson - 2019
    Army—roughly 5,000 soldiers, most hailing from Michigan—sailed for Europe to fight in World War I. But instead of the Western Front, these troops were headed to Archangel, Russia, a vital port city 1,000 miles northeast of Moscow. There, in the frozen subarctic, amid the chaos of the Russian Civil War, one of the most extraordinary episodes of American history unfolded. The American North Russia Expeditionary Force—self-dubbed “The Polar Bear Expedition”—was sent to fight the Red Army and aid anti-Bolshevik forces in hopes of re-opening the Eastern Front against Germany. On the 100th anniversary of the campaign, award-winning historian James Carl Nelson recreates this harrowing, dramatic military operation in which Americans and Bolsheviks fought a series of pitched battles throughout a punishing fall and winter. As the Great War officially ended in November 1918, American troops continued to battle the Red Army and an equally formidable enemy, “General Winter.” Subzero temperatures made machine guns and light artillery inoperable. In the blinding ice and snow, sentries suffered from frostbite while guarding against nearly invisible Bolos camouflaged by their white uniforms. Before the Polar Bears’ withdrawal in July 1919, more than 200 perished from battle, accidents, and the Spanish flu.But the Polar Bears’ story does not end there. Ten years later, a contingent of veterans returned to Russia to recover the remains of more than 100 of their fallen comrades and lay them to rest in Michigan, where a monument honoring their service still stands: a massive marble polar bear guarding a cross that marks the grave of a fallen soldier.The Polar Bear Expedition includes 25 black-and-white images throughout.

Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc--The Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way Across Europe


Patrick K. O'Donnell - 2012
    This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company”— who made that difference, time and again.From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog Company scaled the sheer ninety-foot cliffs to destroy them; to the slopes of Hill 400, in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest, where the Rangers launched a desperate bayonet charge across an open field; to a “quiet” section of the Ardennes, where Dog Company suddenly found itself on the tip of the spear at the Battle of the Bulge; the men of Dog Company made the difference.America had many heroes in World War II, however, few can say that, but for them, the course of the war would have been very different. The right men, the right place, at the right time—Dog Company.

The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas


John Buchanan - 1997
    "Buchanan makes the subject come alive like few others I have seen." --Dennis Conrad, Editor, The Nathanael Greene Papers."John Buchanan offers us a lively, accurate account of a critical period in the War of Independence in the South. Based on numerous printed primary and secondary sources, it deserves a large reading audience." --Don Higginbotham, Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The Hidden History of America at War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah


Kenneth C. Davis - 2015
    Davis sets his sights on war stories in The Hidden History of America at War. In prose that will remind you of "the best teacher you ever had" (People Magazine), Davis brings to life six emblematic battles, revealing untold tales that span our nation's history, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. Along the way, he illuminates why we go to war, who fights, the grunt's-eye view of combat, and how these conflicts reshaped our military and national identity. From the Battle of Yorktown (1781), where a fledgling America learned hard lessons about what kind of military it would need to survive, to Fallujah (2004), which epitomized the dawn of the privatization of war, Hidden History of America at War takes readers inside the battlefield, introducing them to key characters and events that will shatter myths, misconceptions, and romanticism, replacing them with rich insight.

The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution


John Oller - 2016
    A popular, comprehensive biography of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," covering his famous engagements as well as a private side of him that has rarely been explored