Book picks similar to
General Jack's Diary: War on the Western Front 1914-1918 by John Terraine
Harry Drinkwater - 2013
I ran for about 70 yards carrying with me all the Lewis gun things I had brought up and dropped breathless into a shell hole headlong onto a German who had been dead for months.’Harold Drinkwater was not supposed to go to war. He was told he was half an inch too short. But, determined to fight for king and country, he found a battalion that would take him and was soon on his way to the trenches of the Somme. As the war dragged on, Harry saw most of the men he joined up with killed around him. But, somehow, he survived.Soldiers were forbidden from keeping a diary so Harry wrote his in secret, recording the horrendous conditions and constant fear, as well as his pleasure at receiving his officer's commission, the joy of his men when they escaped the trenches for the Italian Front and the trench raid for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Harry writes with such immediacy it is easy to forget that a hundred years have passed. He is by turns wry, exhausted, annoyed, resigned and often amazed to be alive. Never before published, Harry's War is a moving testament to one man's struggle to keep his humanity in the face of unimaginable violence.
Triple Sticks: Tales of a Few Young Men in the 1960s
Bernie Fipp - 2010
The author assures us it is not!Three years before they came together, four young American men left their fraternities and college campuses for an adventure exceeding their imaginations. Wanting something more than the draft and unknown to each other, they chose Naval Aviation as the next step in their lives. Generally, they were better than their navy peers, all qualifying for high performance aircraft to be flown from steel decks over foreign seas. They would become the pointy end of the stick in aerial battles over North Vietnam, the most heavily defended patch of real estate in the history of aerial warfare. They were to do this in 1967, the year in which Naval Aviation experienced its greatest losses.These four young men, now Lieutenants Junior Grade, United States Navy, were ordered to Attack Squadron 34 to fly A4 Skyhawks into combat. They were assigned Junior Officer's stateroom 0111 aboard USS Intrepid, a venerable aircraft carrier with a distinguished history. This "bunkroom" better known to them as Triple Sticks was the repository for a log (in navy terms) or journal written by these four young aviators. Forty years later this log was the genesis of this memoir.In the lethal environment over the northern reaches of North Vietnam or ashore in the Officer's clubs and bars of Asia, the writing brings to life wonderful humor, bizarre behavior, vivid aerial battles, uncommon loyalty, anger, frustration and respect. One survived or did not according to his skill and luck.
WWI: Tales from the Trenches
Daniel Wrinn - 2020
Uncover their mesmerizing, realistic stories of combat, courage, and distress in readable and balanced stories told from the front lines.Witness the creation of new technologies of destruction: tanks, planes, and submarines; machine guns and field artillery; poison gas and chemical warfare. It introduced U-boat packs and strategic bombing, unrestricted war on civilians and mistreatment of prisoners.World War I reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed twenty million people, and cracked the foundations of our modern world. In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, and whole populations lost their national identities.If you like gripping, authentic accounts of life and combat during WWI, then you won't want to miss WWI: Tales from the Trenches.
The First Casualty: The Untold Story of the Falklands War 2nd April 1982
Ricky D. Phillips - 2017
Just sixty Royal Marines stood in the way of an armada of thousands, 8,000 miles from home and with no support. The story that followed was one of a shameful defeat and ignominious surrender. A story which has lasted for 35 years. Now, with first-hand accounts from the Royal Marines themselves, from the Argentine Marines who fought against them and from the people of Stanley who watched the battle rage on their very doorsteps, a new history has emerged. It is the story of an epic and heroic defence on a scale with Rorke's Drift; a story which neither the British nor the Argentine governments wanted told. It is a battle denied; the battle of Stanley, a battle which - we are told - never happened.
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.
Sniper in Helmand: Six Months on the Frontline
James Cartwright - 2012
As a result, snipers are regarded as the elite of their units and their skills command the ungrudging respect of their fellows - and the enemy. The Author is one such man who recently served a full tour of duty with 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. James describes the highs and lows of almost daily front line action experienced by our soldiers deployed on active service in arguably the most dangerous area of the world. As part of the Battle Groups crack Mobile Operations Group, Jamess mission was to liquidate as many Taliban as possible. The reader experiences sniper tactics and actions, whether in ambush or quick pre-planned strikes, amid the ever present lethal danger of IEDs. His book, the first to be written by a trained sniper in Afghanistan, reveals the psychological pressures and awesome life-and-death responsibility of his role and, in particular, the deadly cat-and-mouse games with the enemy snipers intent on their own kills. These involved the clinical killing of targets at ranges of 1,000 meters or greater. Sniper in Helmand is a thrilling action-packed, yet very human, account of both front line service in the intense Afghanistan war and first-hand sniper action. Andy McNab inspired James to join the army and has written a moving foreword.
June 17, 1967: Battle of Xom Bo II
David J. Hearne - 2016
It was a battle that pitted Five hundred 1st Infantry Division soldiers against 800 to 2000 Viet Cong from the 271st Regiment. The bloody clash took the lives of 39 Americans and seriously wounded 150 more. It is the minute by minute story of what happened that day in the steamy jungle and the story of the men who fought so valiantly to survive the ambush. It is the story of the loved ones left behind and the wounded who struggled to become whole again. It's a story that is the result of talking to many of the survivors of the battle and the wives, brothers, sisters, or friends of those who were there when over 8000 artillery rounds rained down around LZ X-Ray to dislodge the entrenched Viet Cong. June 17, 1967 is a story of war, men, and the loved ones. It is the story of the youth, culture and happenings that made the battle of Xom Bo II such an enigma for the summer of love in 1967. It is an angry story and a healing story that will bring feelings to the surface and tear at your heart.
HMS Sheffield: The Life and Times of 'Old Shiny'
Ronald Bassett - 1988
Launched in 1936 by Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent, HMS Sheffield was the third of the Royal Navy’s ten Town-class cruisers. She marked a number of firsts: the first ship to be named for Sheffield, the first to have stainless steel fixtures instead of brass, and the first to carry operational RDF (Radio Direction Finding) equipment. Old Shiny, as she became affectionately known, was manufactured to the high standards of peacetime. Even hitting a mine was unable to render her inactive for long. Her crew simply manufactured a wooden patch, and saw her safely home. Achieving twelve honours over thirty years’ service, Old Shiny notably exchanged salvoes with the Bismarck, engaged Admiral Hipper and Lützow, and helped sink Scharnhorst. A more unusual deployment came in 1956, as HMS Sheffield was one of the ships loaned by the Admiralty for the Technicolor epic The Battle of the River Plate! Drawn from the experiences of the men who lived, fought and served on board, in HMS Sheffield Ronald Bassett paints an evocative and highly personal portrait of Old Shiny, and shows how she was more than just a warship. Praise for Ronald Bassett ‘One of the most impressive things I found about the book was that you got a real feel for the time and place. Scenes set in India or England felt different and I think that's a great achievement.’ – Library Thing ‘vividly described … the voyage as seen through the sleep-robbed eyes of matelots and officers alike’ – Daily Telegraph ‘A catalogue of horror’ – Eastern Daily Press ‘There is a degree of authenticity that makes the blood run cold’ – Cambridge News ‘Fast, vigorous action’ – Sheffield Morning Telegraph ‘Graphic tale of slave and convict ships… not for tender stomachs’ – Books and Bookmen 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.
Devil's Own Luck: Pegasus Bridge to the Baltic 1944-45
Denis Edwards - 1999
He brilliantly conveys what it was like to be facing death, day after day, night after night, with never a bed to sleep in nor a hot meal to go home to. This is warfare in the raw ' brutal, yet humorous, immensely tragic, but sadly, all true.
Hey Doc!: The Battle of Okinawa As Remembered by a Marine Corpsman
Ed Wells - 2017
This is the wartime memories of a Marine Corpsman who served in Company B, of the 6th Battalion of the 4th Regiment. He saw 100 days of continuous combat during the Battle of Okinawa, including the Battle for Sugar Loaf, and was part of the landing force that was headed to Japan when the atomic bomb dropped. These were recorded after 60 years of reflection, and are presented to honor all veterans.
Coronel and Falkland
Barrie Pitt - 1960
Britain’s Naval supremacy is being challenged for the first time since Trafalgar. At large in South American waters within reach of the convoy routes across the Atlantic and the Pacific was Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee with the East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron of the Imperial German Navy, including the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Graf von Spee’s belief that a cruiser squadron was of more strategic value than independent raiders seemed amply justified at Coronel on 1st November, when the powerful German unit inflicted a heavy defeat on four courageous but weaker British ships under Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock. Reaction in Britain was immediate and violent. The Royal Navy had been seen as invincible. Now, in the first major engagement in which battle had been offered since the days of Nelson, it had suffered a morale-shattering blow. Public bewilderment turned swiftly to anger: the Royal Navy thirsted for revenge. The Admiralty, in the persons of the First Lord, Mr. Winston Churchill, and the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, ordered the destruction of the East Asiatic Squadron; everything must be done to recapture command of the Southern Seas. A powerful force including the two battle-cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, was sent to the Falkland Islands, prepared for a long search and a battle of annihilation. The Battle of the Falkland Islands was fought on 8th December. The desperate gallantry of the Imperial German Navy challenged the vengeful pride of the Royal Navy in a struggle for control over the ocean trade-routes of the Southern Seas. Two of the major participants, Cradock and von Spee, died with their ships. Basing his text upon German and British records, Pitt has reconstructed the events of the two ‘missing periods’: the fatal hours during which Cradock decided to fling his puny force against von Spee’s squadron; and the days when von Spee was forced to risk his ships and men upon the information contained in an ill-considered telegram and an unfounded rumour. In Coronel and Falkland Barrie Pitt presents a vivid picture of these epic battles of the First World War. His description of the actions are precise and graphic, his judgement of the motives and decisions of those in command, scrupulous and detailed. Praise for Zeebrugge “Mr. Barrie Pitt has done a splendid job in pulling together all the details of this operation and presenting it in a lively way, with plenty of maps and diagrams.” — News Chronicle “A breathless and unforgettable narrative.” — Sphere “Mr. Pitt’s description of the desperate action on Zeebrugge Mole itself must be one of the most graphic accounts ever written in the annals of sea warfare. This in truth was a magnificent feat by the Royal Navy.” — Yorkshire Evening Post “A lively and detailed narrative, admirably illustrated, of a particularly gallant effort, which will serve to keep alive the fame of that band of heroes.” — Naval Review Praise for Special Boat Squadron ‘Barrie Pitt’s account of the exploits of these brave men in the Mediterranean is as much a thriller as a history book’ - The Daily Mail, Hull (less)
The Yanks Are Coming!: A Military History of the United States in World War I
H.W. Crocker III - 2014
W. Crocker III (The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War, Robert E. Lee on Leadership, etc.) now turns his guns on the epic story of America’s involvement in the First World War with his new book The Yanks Are Coming: A Military History of the United States in World War I. 2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of that war, and in Crocker’s sweeping, American-focused account, readers will learn: How George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall (of the Marshall Plan), "Wild Bill" Donovan (future founder of the OSS, the World War II precursor to the CIA), Harry S. Truman, and many other American heroes earned their military spurs in "The Great War"Why, despite the efforts of the almost absurdly pacifistic administration of Woodrow Wilson, American involvement in the war was inevitableHow the First World War was "the War that Made the Modern World"—sweeping away most of the crowned heads of Europe, redrawing the map of the Middle East, setting the stage for the rise of communism and fascismWhy the First World War marked America’s transition from a frontier power—some of our World War I generals had actually fought Indians—to a global superpower, with World War I generals like Douglas MacArthur living to see, and help shape, the nuclear age"The Young Lions of the War" -- heroes who should not be forgotten, like air ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Sergeant Alvin York (memorably portrayed by Gary Cooper in the Academy Award–winning movie Sergeant York), and all four of Theodore Roosevelt’s sons (one of whom was killed) Stirring, and full of brilliantly told stories of men at war, The Yanks Are Coming will be the essential book for readers interested in rediscovering America’s role in the First World War on its hundredth anniversary.
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)
Peter J. Azzole - 2019
Their mission is simply to provide a temporary Top Secret special intelligence communications center to support U.S. members of a high level Allied war planning meeting.An easy mission quickly goes awry. Only two months after the Allied assault and occupation of Casablanca (Operation TORCH), the city remains a hotbed of Vichy and German sympathizers and spies. One unexpected event leads to another. Things get dicey, with life threatening situations, shots fired and dead bodies. Tony is diverted from Casablanca on a brief classified fact-finding mission to a neutral country's island. That mission gets complicated and ultimately results in spy catching and another death. Returning to Casablanca, events result in Tony meeting Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.Between "Casablanca's" covers are communications intelligence, counter-intelligence, military politics, diplomatic tension, WWII history, family dynamics, and in the final analysis, a very exciting, twisting and fast moving story.