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The Silver Spitfire: The Legendary WWII RAF Fighter Pilot in His Own Words by Tom Neil
Bob Carruthers - 2010
Like old soldiers everywhere, they are fading away. But these soldiers have an incredible and sometimes shocking story to tell. It certainly does not make for comfortable reading. Secrets which have been bottled up for a lifetime are revealed, stories are told at last and memories which have been hidden away for 60 years finally resurface. These are facets of history's most dreadful war being revealed for the very first time. "The Wehrmacht" is a remarkable personal record of the Third Reich's rise and fall from the inside: of how those responsible for the maelstrom sent their armies to conquer only to see them crushed as the world united against them; of men who were seduced by the siren call of Hitler, only to pay a terribly heavy price. It allows the human stories to unfold within the bigger picture behind the major campaigns of the Second World War - from the early Blitzkrieg successes through the submarine warfare of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the brutal hardships of the Russian Front, to the last days of the Reich and the fall of Berlin. "The Wehrmacht" is a brilliantly researched and thought-provoking book that reveals unique human dimensions of the world's greatest military conflict.
Can Do!: The Story of the Seabees
William Bradford Huie - 1944
— Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations. Three hundred and twenty five thousand men served as Seabees through the course of World War Two. During those years they constructed over four hundred advanced bases in both the Atlantic and the Pacific theaters. Their bravery and determination enabled the Allied Forces to gain the upper hand over the enemy by quickly reconstructing harbors, repairing airstrips and laying thousands of miles of roads. Can Do! The Story of the Seabees by William Bradford Huie is a fascinating examination one the most interesting forces in the Second World War. The impact that they made upon the war can be seen from the following statements from leaders from across the military: “. . . the Seabees are the find of this war.” — Major General H. M. Smith, USMC “. . . It had been a constant source of wonder to me how one unit — the Seabees — could possess so many skills and accomplish such a huge amount and variety of work.” — Major General A. M. Patch, USA, Commanding General, the Seventh Army “. . . The Navy will remember this war by its Seabees.” — Vice-Admiral W. L. Calhoun, USN “. . . the Seabees are proving themselves one of our most important military units in this life-and-death struggle throughout the world.” — Captain Edward V. Rickenbacker “. . . no obstacle was ever too great for the Seabees.” — Brigadier General Henry L. Larsen, USMC This book should be essential reading for anyone interested in the military history of World War Two and finding out more about one of the United States’ most effective forces William Bradford Huie was an American journalist and novelist. During the Second world War Huie served in the United States Navy, for a time as aide to Vice Admiral Ben Moreell of the Seabees, and it was during this time that he chronicled the wartime activity of these battalions. This book was first published in 1944 and Huie passed away in 1986.
No Moon Tonight
Don Charlwood - 1956
Accepted as a RAF navigator in 1940, he was posted to 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds in the winter of 1942. There he crewed up with a pilot from Western Australia and a British crew to fly a Lancaster bomber. In No Moon Tonight he gives a profound insight into the inner lives of the men of Bomber Command and their hopes and fears in the face of mounting losses. He depicts the appalling human cost of the air war in an account which has been favorably compared to other enduring memoirs of the 1st World War, namely Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. A memorable first hand account of the air war over Germany.
44 Days: 75 Squadron and the Fight for Australia
Michael Veitch - 2016
This group of raw young recruits scrambled ceaselessly in their Kittyhawk fighters to an extraordinary and heroic battle, the story of which has been left largely untold.The recruits had almost nothing going for them against the Japanese war machine, except for one extraordinary leader named John Jackson, a balding, tubby Queenslander - at 35 possibly the oldest fighter pilot in the world - who said little, led from the front, and who had absolutely no sense of physical fear.Time and time again this brave group were hurled into battle, against all odds and logic, and succeeded in mauling a far superior enemy - whilst also fighting against the air force hierarchy. After relentless attack, the squadron was almost wiped out by the time relief came, having succeeded in their mission - but also paying a terrible price.Michael Veitch, actor, presenter and critically acclaimed author, brings to life the incredible exploits and tragic sacrifices of this courageous squadron of Australian heroes.
The Black Sheep: The Definitive History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II
Bruce Gamble - 1998
The popular television series Baa Baa Black Sheep added to their legend—while obscuring the truly remarkable combat record of the Black Sheep and Boyington. A retired naval flight officer and former historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Bruce Gamble provides a highly readable account that serves to both correct and extend the record of this premier fighting force. From the Paperback edition.
The Last British Dambuster: One Man's Extraordinary Life and the Raid that Changed History
George Johnny Johnson - 2014
Johnny Johnson is 92 years old and one of very few men who can recall first-hand the most daring and ingenious air raid of all time. He can also vividly remember his childhood spent working on a farm with his controlling father, the series of events that led him to the RAF and the rigorous training that followed. But it was his decision to join 617 Squadron, and the consequences, that have truly stayed etched in his mind. On May 16, 1943, Johnny, alongside 132 specially selected comrades, took off from Scampton airbase in Lincolnshire. For six weeks they had been trained to fulfil one mission that was near impossible: to destroy three dams deep within Germany's Ruhr Valley. It was a daring task but, against the odds, Johnny and his crew survived. Sadly, 53 comrades did not. For the first time, Johnny relives every moment of that fatal night -- and the devastating aftermath. He recalls with unique wit and insight the difficult training conducted in secrecy, the race against time to release the bombs, and the sheer strength and bravery shown by a small unit faced with great adversity and uncertainty. Embodying a whole squadron, and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come, Johnny's story is like no other.
The Mighty Hood
Ernle Bradford - 1977
Launched in 1918, she spent the interwar years cruising the oceans of the world, the largest vessel afloat and a proud symbol of the Royal Navy. ‘The greatest and most graceful ship of her time, perhaps of any time, she was the last of the Leviathans — those mighty ships, whose movement upon the high seas had determined policy since the last quarter of the 19th century. A generation of British seamen had been trained in her. To millions of people she had represented British sea power and imperial might. With her passed not only a ship, but a whole era swept away on the winds of the world.’ Bradford tells the fascinating story of two ships coming out — the new Prince of Wales, and the old, world-famous Hood, whose history remained in the memories of all those who sailed on her. Their silhouettes visible now against the lines of the sea and the islands: the long sweep of their foredecks, the banked ramparts of their guns, and the hunched shoulders of bridges and control towers. We shall never see their like again, but no one who has ever watched them go by will forget the shudder that they raised along the spine. The big ships were somehow as moving as the pipes heard a long way off in the hills. There was always a kind of mist about them, a mist of sentiment and of power. Unlike aircraft, rockets, or nuclear bombs, they were a visible symbol of power allied with beauty — a rare combination. The thrilling history of a ship who battled the infamous Bismarck, inspired alliances and revenge in a time of great uncertainty and went out with a bang when her one fatal flaw was exploited... Ernle Bradford (1922-1986) was an historian who wrote books on naval battles and historical figures. Among his subjects were Lord Nelson, the Mary Rose, Christopher Columbus, Julius Caesar and Hannibal. He also documented his own voyages on the Mediterranean Sea.
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
Ben Macintyre - 2007
He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless, and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service who at one time volunteered to assassinate Hitler for his countrymen. Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded. Both countries provided for the mother of his child and his mistress. Sixty years after the end of the war, and ten years after Chapman’s death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman’s files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time.A gripping story of loyalty, love, and treachery, Agent Zigzag offers a unique glimpse into the psychology of espionage, with its thin and shifting line between fidelity and betrayal.
The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Robert M. Edsel - 2009
The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised.In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.
Russell Braddon - 1956
But when her husband was called up for military service, Nancy felt she had just as much of a duty to fight for freedom. By 1943, her fearless undercover work even in the face of personal tragedy had earned her a place on the Gestapo’s ‘most wanted’ list.Mixing armed combat with a taste for high living, Nancy frustrated the Nazis at every turn—whether she was smuggling food and messages as part of the underground Resistance or being parachuted into the heart of the war to lead a 7,000-strong band of Resistance fighters.The extraordinary courage of this unequalled woman changed the course of the war, and Russell Braddon’s vividly realised biography brings her incredible story to life.Revised edition: This edition of Nancy Wake includes editorial revisions.
Anzac Sniper: The Extraordinary Story of Stan Savige, One of Australia's Greatest Soldiers
Roland Perry - 2018
But Sniper's Ridge was a different proposition. Killing took on another dimension. In the flurry of trench warfare, a soldier would rarely be certain he had hit an enemy. On this ridge of death, however, Savige's job was to make sure he struck as many of the opposition as possible.' The son of a country butcher, Stan Savige left school at twelve to become a blacksmith's striker. But in 1915, a passage in the bible inspired the devout scout leader and Sunday school teacher to enlist. Soon his abilities as a crack marksman attracted the attention of the officers and he was put in charge of Sniper's Ridge, his job to eliminate the enemy assassins in Anzac Cove. Savige succeeded and survived Gallipoli, only to be sent to the Western Front then Iran as part of the crack squad Dunsterforce. It was the beginning of a long, dangerous and distinguished military career spanning both world wars, with Savige commanding and fighting in Europe, Iran, North Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific in World War II, initially as Major-General then Lieutenant General. In this gripping biography, Roland Perry paints a fascinating and complex portrait of Lieutenant General Sir Stanley George Savige, KBE, CB, DSO, MC, ED, a man of character and compassion, a quiet outsider who founded the war veterans' support charity Legacy, who still has few peers in courage, skill and achievement and whose record is second to none in Australian military history, in the scope of his combat over two world wars.
The Dam Busters
Paul Brickhill - 1951
The Dam Busters tells the story of the raid and the squadron of fearless airmen who carried it through. Again and again, the crews of 617 Squadron Bomber Command used their flying skills, their tremendous courage and Barnes Wallis’ highly accurate bouncing bombs to deal devastating blows to Nazi Germany.One of the most daring true stories to emerge from the Second World War, Paul Brickhill’s The Dam Busters inspired the famous 1955 film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd.