SAS Operation Storm: Nine men against four hundred


Roger Cole - 2011
    The tipping point, Mirbat, South Oman, 19 July 1972 is one of the least-known yet most crucial battles of modern times. If the SAS had been defeated at Mirbat, the Russian and Chinese plan for a communist foothold in the Middle East would have succeeded, with catastrophic consequences for the oil-hungry West. OPERATION STORM is a page-turning account of courage and resilience. Mirbat was a battle fought and won by nine SAS soldiers and a similar number of brave local people - some as young as ten years old - outnumbered by at least twenty-five to one. Roger Cole, one of the SAS soldiers who took part, and writer Richard Belfield have interviewed every SAS survivor who fought in the battle from the beginning to the end - the first time every single one of them has revealed their experience. OPERATION STORM is a classic story of bravery against impossible odds, minute by minute, bullet by bullet.

So Few Got Through: Gordon Highlanders with the 51st Division From Normandy to the Baltic


Martin Lindsay - 2000
    The original 51st had gotten separated from the main British army before Dunkirk in 1940 and had been captured at St. Vale'ry, the surrender being taken by Irwin Rome in person. The reconstituted 51st had fought Rome in the desert and knew that 10,000 Scotsmen were now entering their fourth year in German prison camps.The original edition of So Few Got Through appeared just after the war and chronicles the campaigns of the 1st Gordon Highlanders from Normandy to V-E Day. Martin Lindsay was the Gordons' commander and his book has long been considered the best account of a British battalion in the war.

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.

Vietnam: A View from the Front Lines (General Military)


Andrew Wiest - 2009
    Vietnam features a grunt's-eye view of the conflict - from the steaming rice paddies and swamps of the Mekong Delta, to the triple-canopy rainforest of the Central Highlands, to the forlorn Marine bases that dotted the DMZ. Like Karl Marlantes' groundbreaking novel 2010, Mattherhorn, this book will change the way we think about Vietnam. Told in uncompromising, no-holds barred language of the soldiers themselves, the stories contained within this book detail everything from heroism to fragging, from helicopters hitting the LZs to rampant drug use. It is a true and grippingly accurate portrait of the American war in Vietnam through the eyes of the men and women who fought in that far away land while a few are drawn from medics, corpsmen, nurses and widows. The book is based on rich collections housed at the National Archive, the Center of Military History, and at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech.

War Paint


Bill Goshen - 2001
    Their base was Lai Khe, within hailing distance of the Vietcong central headquarters, a mile inside Cambodia, with its vast stockpiles of weapons and thousands of transient VC and NVA soldiers.Recondo-qualified Bill Goshen was there, and has written the first account of these battle-hardened soldiers. As the eyes and ears of the Big Red One, the 1st Infantry, these hunter/killer teams of only six men instered deep inside enemy territory had to survive by their wits, or suffer the deadly consequences. Goshen himself barely escaped with his life in a virtual suicide mission that destroyed half his team.His gripping narrative recaptures the raw courage and sacrifice of American soldiers fighting a savage war of survival: men of all colors, from all walks of life, warriors bonded by triumph and tragedy, by life and death. They served proudly in Vietnam, and their stories need to be told.From the Paperback edition.

Afghan Heat: SAS Operations in Afghanistan


Steve Stone - 2013
    The book follows individual operations where special forces, aircraft, and the latest surveillance technology are fused together - in order to capture key figures or simply take out an enemy stronghold.The books account is both gritty and graphical as it follows the SAS, battling at times against overwhelming odds in a hostile country. Fighting a war hardened enemy with years of experience fighting occupying forces. Even these elite soldiers with advanced weaponry and immense fire support at their disposal are put to the ultimate test of skill and courage fighting in the 'Stan.'

Mosquito Mayhem: de Havillands Wooden Wonder in Action in WWII


Martin W. Bowman - 2010
    Oboe entailed the pilot flying dead straight and level for ten minutes on the attack run. Suddenly a tremendous flash lit up the sky about 50 yards ahead of our nose and exactly at our altitude. Within a tenth of a second we were through the cloud of dirty yellowish-brown smoke and into the blackness beyond. I shall never forget the spontaneous reaction of both my pilot and myself. We turned our heads slowly and looked long and deep into one anothers eyes - no word was spoken - no words were needed.The Mosquito was probably World War IIs most versatile combat aircraft. This book contains hundreds of firsthand accounts from many of the twoman crews who flew in them; pilots and navigators. It portrays the dramatic experiences of flying in its many roles as pathfinder, night fighter, reconnaissance aircraft, precision bombing and low-level ground attack aircraft. It describes many of the RAFs most audacious raids on prime but difficult targets where carpet bombing by heavy bombers was likely to be ineffective and cause unnecessary casualties to civilians. It is a remarkable record of the aircraft and the men that flew them.

Eyewitness to History: World War II


Stephen W. Sears - 2015
    . . the greatest war of all time told as it is best told - by the people who lived it." - The Washington Post All first-person accounts of great events have their own fascination, but the editors of American Heritage have discovered that people writing about World War II seem to tell their own story with particular passion and eloquence. That is one reason American Heritage has published so many of them - and why noted military historian Stephen W. Sears has selected the most compelling. The result of his search is a uniquely moving and valuable anthology - a series of personal histories that, marshaled together, become an intimate history of the Second World War. Here is Edward Beach, the highly decorated submarine skipper and author of Run Silent, Run Deep, recalling what it was like to be sent into hostile waters with torpedoes that didn't work; Charles Cawthon recounts the landing at Normandy Beach in a restrained and poetic narrative whose quiet humor does nothing to blunt the savagery of the experience; General James Gavin tells of the jump into Sicily and of a battle fought that never should have been fought; Hughes Rudd watched the war from overhead in a flimsy spotter plane, his "Maytag Messerschmitt; and William Manchester remembers a particularly audacious and hilarious scam that a reckless Marine buddy played on the entire army. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some amusing, some horrifying, but every one of them - whether told by the women who hammered fighter planes together or the men who flew them - glows with hard-won experience.

The Battle of the River Plate: The Hunt for the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee


Dudley Pope - 1956
    Through clever subterfuge and daring, the Graf Spee takes ship after ship, ultimately forcing the British Navy to send twenty ships in search of the elusive Spee.

On the Bottom


Edward Ellsberg - 1978
    Navy Submarine S-51 sank in 132 feet of water, taking 33 sailors to the ocean floor. This is the story of the men charged with doing the impossible—raising the thousand ton sub from the bottom of the sea. Added to this modern classic of true adventure are a foreword and afterword giving specifics of the accident and the aftermath, additional photographs, a publisher’s preface, and appendices.

Hunter Killers


Iain Ballantyne - 2013
    Their experiences encompass the span of the Cold War, from voyages in WW2-era submarines under Arctic ice to nuclear-powered espionage missions in Soviet-dominated seas. There are dangerous encounters with Russian spy ships in UK waters and, finally as the communist facade begins to crack, they hold the line against the Kremlin's oceanic might, playing a leading role in bringing down the Berlin Wall. It is the first time they have spoken out about their covert lives in the submarine service.This is the dramatic untold story of Britain's most secret service.

Horatio Nelson


Tom Pocock - 1987
     "Tom Pocock presents a complete and completely believable Nelson... It is unlikely that another could have handled Nelson with the confidence and fluency,the combination of detachment and intimacy/which make this book so attractive and distinguished." N.A.M. Rodqer, The Times Literary Supplement "Tom Pocock understands the Admiral. He is not frightened to say what Nelson thought, or felt. In consequence he has written a remarkably fine biography.... In Pocock's hands, Nelson re-emerges as a whole character. At last we can see why people loved him." Andrew Wheatcroft, Evening Standard "A moving and absorbing story, here told with distinction." J.W.M. Thompson, The Literary Review "So here we find the real man....a great read." Ronald Blythe, Country Life This biography of Horatio Nelson juxtaposes details of his daily life, loves, friendships and opinions with the great events which make him one of the most memorable figures in British history. This is the story of the man who saved Britain from invasion and gave it maritime supremacy.

White Water Red Hot Lead: On Board U.S. Navy Swift Boats in Vietnam


Dan Daly - 2015
    The boats patrolled the coast and rivers of South Vietnam, with the average age of the crew being twenty-four. Their days consisted of deadly combat, intense lightning firefights, storms and many hidden dangers.This action-packed story of combat written by Dan Daly, a Vietnam combat veteran who was the Officer in Charge of PCF 76 makes you part of the Swift Boat crew. The six man crew of PCF 76 were volunteers from all over the United States, eager to serve their country in a highly unique type of duty not seen since the PT boats of WWII. This inexperienced and disparate group of men would meld into a combat team - a team that formed an unbreakable, lifelong bond.After training they were plunged into a 12 month tour of duty. Combat took place in the closest confines imaginable, where the enemy were hidden behind a passing sand dune or a single sniper could be concealed in an onshore bunker, mines might be submerged at every fork in the river. The enemy was all around you, hiding, waiting, while your fifty-foot Swift Boat works its way upriver. In many cases the rivers became so narrow there was barely room to maneuver or turn around. The only way out might be into a deadly ambush. Humor and a touch of romance relieve the tension in this thrilling ride with America's finest.

A Million Bullets: The real story of the British Army in Afghanistan


James Fergusson - 2008
    Within weeks they were cut off and besieged by some of the world's toughest fighters: the infamous Taliban, who were determined to send the foreigners home again. Defence Secretary John Reid had hoped that Operation Herrick 4 could be accomplished without a shot being fired; instead, the Army was drawn into the fiercest fighting it had seen for fifty years. Millions of bullets and thousands of lives have been expended since then in an under-publicized but bitter conflict whose end is still not in sight. Some people consider it the fourth Anglo-Afghan War since Victorian times. How on earth did this happen? And what is it like for the troops on the front line of the 'War on Terror'?James Fergusson takes us to the dark heart of the battle zone. Here, in their own words and for the first time, are the young veterans of Herrick 4. Here, unmasked, are the civilian and military officials responsible for planning and executing the operation. Here, too, are the Taliban themselves, to whom Fergusson gained unique and extraordinary access. Controversial, fascinating and occasionally downright terrifying, A Million Bullets analyses the sorry slide into war in Helmand and asks this most troubling question: could Britain perhaps have avoided the violence altogether?

Very Crazy, G.I.!: Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War


Kregg P.J. Jorgenson - 1994
    soldiers reveal fantastic, almost unbelievable events that occurred in places ranging from the deadly Central Highlands to the Cong-infested Mekong Delta."Finders Keepers" became the sacred byword for one exhausted recon team who stumbled upon a fortune worth more than $500,000--and managed, with a little American ingenuity, to relocate the bounty to the States. Jorgenson also chronicles Marine Sergeant James Henderson's incredible journey back from the dead, shares a surreal chopper rescue, and recounts some heart-stopping details of the life--and death--of one of America's greatest unsung heroes, a soldier who won more medals than Audie Murphy and Sergeant York. Whether occurring in the bloody, fiery chaos of sudden ambushes or during the endless nights of silent, gnawing menace spent behind enemy lines, these stories of war are truly beaucoup dinky dau . . . and ultimately unforgettable.