Africa Lost: Rhodesia's COIN Killing Machine (SOFREP)


Dan Tharp - 2013
    Everyone knows about Navy SEALs and Green Berets but nobody knows about the deep recce, sabotage, and direct action missions conducted by the Rhodesian SAS. The Rhodesian Light Infantry was a killing machine, participating in combat jumps every night during the heat of the Bush War. The Selous Scouts were perhaps the most innovative and daring unconventional warfare unit in history which would pair white soldiers with turncoat black “former” terrorists who would then infiltrate enemy camps.US military veteran and historian Dan Tharp covers each of these three units in depth.(18,000 words)

D-Day


Martin Gilbert - 1995
    For the troops who landed, it was a hard struggle as German defenders tried, and failed, to drive them back into the sea. The intricate planning and many individual acts of valor that made the Normandy landings a success ultimately paid off: less than a year later, Hitler was dead, and Germany had surrendered. In this incisive and dramatic account, historian Martin Gilbert brings this epic invasion to life. Drawing on an incredible range of materials and with the help of 28 maps prepared especially for this book, he provides new information on the intricate preparations for Operation Overlord, especially the setbacks, squabbles, and the high level of secrecy surrounding elaborate deceptions designed to convince the Germans that the landings would be somewhere far from Normandy. He provides new details of how the Allies penetrated German planning to defend against the invasion. For D-Day itself, he captures the confusion, horror, and heroism through new vivid firsthand accounts. Takin

The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting


Mike Guardia - 2015
    But once the Cold War between the superpowers waned, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein provided that chance with his invasion of Kuwait. Finally the new US M1A1 tank would see how it fared against the vaunted Soviet-built T-72.On the morning of August 2, 1990, Iraqi armored divisions invaded the tiny emirate of Kuwait. The Iraqi Army, after its long war with Iran, had more combat experience than the U.S. Army. Who knew if America’s untested forces could be shipped across the world and thence contest the battle-hardened Iraqis on their home ground? The Kuwaitis had collapsed easily enough, but the invasion drew fierce condemnation from the UN, which demanded Saddam’s withdrawal. Undeterred by the rhetoric, the Iraqi dictator massed his forces along the Saudi Arabian border and dared the world to stop him. In response, the U.S. led the world community in a coalition of 34 nations in what became known as Operation Desert Storm – a violent air and ground campaign to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. Leading this charge into Iraq were the men of Eagle Troop in the US Army’s 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment.Commanded by then-Captain HR McMaster, Eagle Troop was the lead element of the US VII Corps’ advance into Iraq. On February 26, 1991, Eagle Troop encountered the Tawakalna Brigade of Iraq’s elite Republican Guard. By any calculation, the 12 American tanks didn’t stand a chance. Yet within a mere 23 minutes, the M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed more than 50 enemy vehicles and plowed a hole through the Iraqi front. History would call it the Battle of 73 Easting.Based on hours of interviews and archival research by renowned author Mike Guardia, this minute-by-minute account of the U.S. breakthrough reveals an intimate, no-holds-barred account of modern warfare.

Mission to Tokyo: The American Airmen Who Took the War to the Heart of Japan


Robert F. Dorr - 2012
    Told in the veterans' words, Mission to Tokyo is a narrative of every aspect of long range bombing, including pilots and other aircrew, groundcrew, and escort fighters that accompanied the heavy bombers on their perilous mission. Several thousand men on the small Mariana Islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian were trying to take the war to the Empire—Imperial Japan—in B-29 Superfortresses flying at 28,000 feet, but the high-altitude bombing wasn't very accurate. The decision was made to take the planes down to around 8,000 feet, even as low as 5,000 feet. Eliminating the long climb up would save fuel, and allow the aircraft to take heavier bomb loads. The lower altitude would also increase accuracy substantially. The trade-off was the increased danger of anti-aircraft fire. This was deemed worth the risk, and the devastation brought to the industry and population of the capital city was catastrophic. Unfortunately for all involved, the bombing did not bring on the quick surrender some had hoped for. That would take six more months of bombing, culminating in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As with Mission to Berlin (Spring 2011), Mission to Tokyo focuses on a specific mission from spring 1945 and provides a history of the strategic air war against Japan in alternating chapters.

Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History


Max Arthur - 2008
    The raiders would have to fly across occupied Europe at a perilously low level and drop their bombs at a mere 60 feet above the water to destroy the dam walls. Eight planes never returned.Bestselling author Max Arthur has collected together first-hand accounts of the preparation, practise, organisation and the raid itself, and the sense of emptiness and loss at RAF Scampton when 52 men failed to return. From RAF personnel and civilians to Germans who witnessed the raid, this landmark oral history collection paints a moving and personal picture of one of the most famous operations of the Second World War.

Alpha One Sixteen: A Combat Infantryman's Year in Vietnam


Peter Clark - 2018
    Clark was assigned to the Alpha Company. Clark gives a visceral, vivid and immediate account of life in the platoon, as he progresses from green recruit to seasoned soldier over the course of a year in the complexities of the Vietnamese conflict.Clark gradually learns the techniques developed by US troops to cope with the daily horrors they encountered, the technical skills needed to fight and survive, and how to deal with the awful reality of civilian casualties. Fighting aside, it rained almost every day and insect bites constantly plagued the soldiers as they moved through dense jungle, muddy rice paddy and sandy roads. From the food they ate (largely canned meatballs, beans and potatoes) to the inventive ways they managed to shower, every aspect of the platoon's lives is explored in this revealing book. The troops even managed to fit in some R&R whilst off-duty in the bars of Tokyo.Alpha One Sixteen follows Clark as he discovers how to cope with the vagaries of the enemy and the daily confusion the troops faced in distinguishing combatants from civilians. The Viet Cong were a largely unseen enemy who fought a guerrilla war, setting traps and landmines everywhere. Clark's vigilance develops as he gets used to 'living in mortal terror, ' which a brush with death in a particularly terrifying fire fight does nothing to dispel. As he continues his journey, he chronicles those less fortunate; the heavy toll being taken all round him is powerfully described at the end of each chapter.

Six Silent Men, Book Two


Kenn Miller - 1997
    It was a bitter pill. After working on their own in Vietnam for more than two years, the Brigade LRRPs were ordered to join forces with the division once again.But even as these formidable hunters and killers were themselves swallowed up by the Screaming Eagles' Division LRPs to eventually become F Co., 58th Infantry, they continued the deadly, daring LRRP tradition. From saturation patrols along the Laotian border to near-suicide missions and compromised positions in the always dangerous A Shau valley, the F/58th unflinchingly faced death every day and became one of the most highly decorated companies in the history of the 101st.

The Six Day War


Randolph S. Churchill - 1967
     Randolph Spencer-Churchill was the son of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. He was a Member of Parliament between 1940 to 1945. He served with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars during the Second World War and later worked as a journalist. He was the author of several works of non-fiction, including the first two volumes of the official biography of his father. Winston Spencer-Churchill was the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. He served as a member of British Parliament between 1970 and 1997. He was the author of five works of non-fiction, while he also compiled and edited Never Give In!, a collection of the Best of Sir Winston Churchill's speeches.

Run to the Sound of the Guns: The True Story of an American Ranger at War in Afghanistan and Iraq


Nicholas Moore - 2018
    He served for over a decade with the US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq, Nicholas participated in the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, hunted Iraq's Most Wanted and experienced brutal street combat, including 160 night-time missions over one 90-day deployment in the insurgent stronghold of Mosul. While serving in Afghanistan, he was also part of the search and rescue operation for Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (author of Lone Survivor), and was on the ground again when a Chinook helicopter was shot down resulting in the death of 38 men and one military working dog. It was the single greatest loss of special operations personnel to date.

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?

War Beneath The Sea


Peter Padfield - 1995
    The canvas is broad and deep, from the strategic perspective at the top to the cramped and claustrophobic life of the crews in their submersible steel tubes; from the feats of ‘ace’ commanders to the terrifying experiences of men under attack in this most pitiless form of warfare. Peter Padfield describes the technical and tactical measures by which the Western Allies countered Admiral Karl Dönitz’s U-boat ‘pack’ attacks in the all-important North Atlantic battle; the fanatical zeal with which, even after defeat, Dönitz continued sacrificing his young crews in outmoded boats, dubbed by one veteran ‘iron coffins’; while in the Pacific the superiority of American fleet submarines and radar allowed the U.S. to isolate Japan from her overseas sources of supply. Padfield argues that if this strategic potential had been realised earlier it could have saved thousands of lives in the bloody Pacific island campaigns, and even rendered the use of atomic bombs unnecessary. ‘Peter Padfield is the best British naval historian of his generation…His book…will now become the standard work on the subject.’ John Keegan, The Daily Telegraph‘This looks set to become the definitive work on submarine warfare in the Second World War…’ Paul Hoxton, Military Illustrated‘By far the best and most complete critical history of the submarine operations of all the combatants in the Second World War, at the same time providing vivid narrative accounts of particular actions…’Alan Cameron, Lloyd’s List‘Peter Padfield has written a superb history of a complex and controversial subject. It is a valuable addition to our body of history of World War II, and I recommend it highly.’Vice Admiral James F. Calvert USN Rtd., U.S.N.I Proceedings‘This monument to the submarine arms of the major belligerents tells the story of their triumphs and tragedies and comes from one of our ablest naval historians…’Graham Rhys-Jones, R.U.S.I.Journal‘…the book is very well written and enjoyable to read. The facts and statistics are mixed with well penned character studies and fast-moving descriptive narrative in a way that confirms the author’s stature as a leading military historian…’The Naval Review‘…a near flawless work of history that can be recommended both as a serious study and a compelling read.’The Officer Magazine‘Probably one of the most valuable books ever written on submarine operations and countermeasures for World War II history…in the ‘Bravo’ category.’Canadian Military History Book Review Supplement‘Padfield keeps an unwavering balance between providing the depth of history and maintaining an exciting narrative.’The Times

Battle of Midway - World War II: A History From Beginning to End (World War 2 Battles Book 7)


Hourly History - 2018
     The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 had dealt a catastrophic blow to the United States Navy, but it had not knocked out all of the U.S. carriers. That was an omission that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Japan’s fleet commander, intended to rectify by invading a site close to Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor had worked out well for the Japanese—why not try another one on Midway Island? The plan was to destroy the Americans when they launched a counterattack. Japan, then, would rule the Pacific and continue the expansion of its empire. What Yamamoto didn’t know was that Japanese fleet codes had been broken and Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz, privy to what the Japanese planned to do, was able to place the American carriers where they would catch the Japanese off guard as they prepared to launch air strikes on Midway Island. Inside you will read about... ✓ Not Ready for War ✓ The Crucial Codebreaker ✓ Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief ✓ Preparing for Battle ✓ The Battle that Changed the Tide of War ✓ The Legacy of the Battle of Midway And much more! After the Battle of Midway, the Japanese were forced into the position of trying to defend the territory that they had previously taken; their dreams of expanding their acquisitions and becoming the dominant power in the Pacific were gone. The tide of war in the Pacific had shifted.

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.

Diary of an Airborne Ranger: A LRRP's Year in the Combat Zone


Frank Johnson - 2001
    Johnson served in I Corps, in northern Vietnam, where combat was furious and the events he recounts emerge, stark and compelling: walking point in the A Shau Valley, braving enemy fire to rescue a downed comrade, surviving days and nights of relentless tension that suddenly exploded in the blinding fury of an NVA attack.Undimmed and unmuddied by the passing of years, Johnson's account is unique in the annals of Vietnam literature. Moreover, it is a timeless testimony to the sacrifice and heroism of the LRRPs who dared to risk it all.

Battle-Cruisers: A History 1908-48


Ronald Bassett - 1981
     Fast and heavy-gunned, the battle-cruiser could overhaul and destroy anything at sea except the battleship. The brain child of Admiral Jacky Fisher, the battle-cruiser was intended to be light, fast, and able to avoid action with ships-of-the-line. However, the battle-cruisers came to be treated as fast battleships …And expected to fight as a battleship. But their design rendered them vulnerable and left them outmatched. This weakness was cruelly exposed at the battle of Jutland in 1916, where three of the battle-cruisers exploded. Known as the ‘Splendid Cats’ for their speed and viciousness, battle cruisers fought at Heligoland Bight, the Falkland’s Islands, Dogger Bank and Jutland. Following the First World War the battle-cruisers biggest enemy was the scrapyard. Once more the world was plunged into war, and four battle-cruisers would be lost during the Second World War. The most famous is perhaps the Hood, following the action against the Bismark. Only the Renown survived both world wars, yet she was condemned to the breaker’s yard in the summer of 1948. From the far side of the world to home waters, the battle-cruisers played a vital part in the British war effort. Combining meticulous research with a novelist’s flair for storytelling, Battle-Cruisers vividly describes the life and times of the sixteen battle-cruisers built for the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. Yet ships do not fight on their own. This is also the story of the men who served, lived, fought and faced adversity in these floating worlds. Ronald Bassett (1924-1996) was born in Chelsea. During the Munich crisis, at age fourteen, he falsified enlistment papers to become a Rifleman of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles). Following active service, he was exposed and discharged. In his records, his colonel noted, ‘A good soldier. I am sorry to lose him.' Undismayed, he immediately entered the Royal Navy, in which he remained for fourteen years, serving in the Arctic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, the Far East and, later, Korea. He died in Surrey.