Book picks similar to
Peace Work by Spike Milligan


biography
history
non-fiction
autobiography

Fighter Pilot


Paul Richey - 1941
    The author's personal journal takes us into the action of the air battles preceding the fall of France, recounting both the unnerving lull right before the violence--and the fatigue of the Blitzkrieg, with its non-stop combat.

Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy


Phyllis Diller - 2005
    Now the laughter continues with her uproarious autobiography. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse recounts how, against all odds, Phyllis Diller became America's first successful and best-loved female stand-up comic. She began her professional career at age thirty-seven, in spite of the fact that she was a housewife and mother of five, and was working at a radio station because of her husband's chronic unemployment. Now, fifty years later, after two traumatic marriages, extensive cosmetic surgery, numerous film, television, and stage appearances, and separate careers as an artist and piano soloist with symphony orchestras, Phyllis Diller finally tells her story. With her trademark laugh, self-deprecating humor, and incredible wit, Phyllis Diller has etched her way into comedic history. And while her wild hair and outrageous clothes may make her look like a lampshade in a whorehouse, her strength, self-belief, perseverance, and raucous sense of humor make her truly unforgettable.

Rickles' Book: A Memoir


Don Rickles - 2007
    (If your love life doesn't improve.)RICKLES' BOOK will make you laugh. (If your love life does improve.)RICKLES' BOOK will make you love one of the great Americans of our time, Don Rickles.RICKLES' BOOK will give you something to talk about at parties. (If you're ever invited to parties.)RICKLES' BOOK, along with the Bible and War and Peace, will grace your bookshelf and upgrade your literary status.RICKLES' BOOK will keep you up at night.RICKLES' BOOK will put you to sleep at night.RICKLES' BOOK will make you rich. (If you treasure great humor.)

Torpedo Squadron Four - A Cockpit View of World War II


Gerald W. Thomas - 2011
    Thomas served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters, and in some of the most important World War II battles.While on the RANGER, he participated in OPERATION LEADER, the most significant attack on Northern Europe by a US carrier during the war. During LEADER, while attacking a freight barge carrying 40 tons of ammunition, Thomas' plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Surprisingly, in spite of the considerable engine damage, the plane made it back to the RANGER, where Thomas crash-landed. That landing was his 13th official carrier landing.In the Pacific, Thomas participated in the numerous actions against Japanese targets in the Philippines, including strikes on Ormoc Bay, Cavite, Manilla, Santa Cruz, San Fernando, Lingayen, Mindoro, Clark Field and Aparri.Following these actions, Thomas' squadron made strikes on Formosa, French Indo-China, Saigon, Pescadores, Hainan, Amami O Shima, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan. The attack on Japan was the first attack on Japan from an aircraft carrier since the "Doolittle Raid."While on the ESSEX, just after Thomas had returned from a strike on Santa Cruz, the ship was hit by a Kamikaze piloted by Yoshinori Yamaguchi, Yoshino Special Attack Corps. Yamaguchi was flying a Yokosuba D4Y3 dive bomber. The Kamikaze attack killed 16 crewman and wounded 44.Returning from a strike on Hainan, off the Chinese coast, Thomas' plane ran out of fuel. After a harrowing water landing, Thomas and squadron photographer Montague succeeded in inflating and launching one rubber boat and his crewman Gress another. After a long day in pre-Typhoon weather with 40 foot swells, the three were rescued by the USS SULLIVANS.In recounting the events in this book, Thomas draws upon his daily journal, his letters home, and extensive interviews and research conducted over 40 years with fellow pilots and crewman. The book cites 20 interviews and 5 combat journals, and contains 209 photos documenting the ships, planes, men, and combat actions of Torpedo Squadron 4. Many of the photographs were collected by Thomas during the war and include gun photo shots, recon photos, and, remarkably, a picture of the tail of Thomas' Torpedo plane as it sinks in the China Sea following his water crash landing.

Wing Leader (Fighter Pilots)


J.E. Johnson - 1956
    From the moment the author joins his first operational Spitfire squadron in August 1940, the reader is taken on an epic journey through the great aerial fighter actions of the war including the Battle of Britain, sweeps across the Channel and over France, Dieppe and Normandy; and finally, operations across the Rhine and into Germany itself.

Thanks for Nothing


Jack Dee - 2009
    You don't just wake up jaundiced and bitter; it's taken Jack years of dedication and commitment to brew his unique cocktail of disillusionment and bile. What turned this once optimistic young man into a grumpy middle-aged git? Was it working in an artificial-leg factory? Or delivering incontinence pads for the NHS? Or was it the time when he was shunned by his peers for daring to thrash a one-armed man at tennis? In this hilariously frank account of his life, Jack finally answers the question, So how did you get started in comedy then? Along the way, he shares his blatantly unreasonable views on everything from personal trainers to boutique hotels, via the overrated moon landing and "people who hold their cutlery the wrong way." Once you've read this book, you'll never think of Jack Dee as a smiling, happy-go-lucky, friendly face again.

Airborne: The Combat Story of Ed Shames of Easy Company


Ian Gardner - 2015
    A member of Easy Company of Band of Brothers fame, Shames saw combat in some of the most ferocious battles of World War II. From jumping behind the lines of Normandy on D-Day with the 101st Airborne Division, to the near victory of Operation Market Garden, to the legendary stand at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, Shames fought his way across Europe and into Germany itself.In Airborne Shames and writer Ian Gardner (Tonight We Die As Men) tell the gripping true story of what it was like to be at the spear point of World War II in Europe. Neither the book nor TV series of Band of Brothers ever showed the real Ed Shames. Although he started as a private, combat soon forged Shames into a tough and inspired leader who would win a battlefield commission in Normandy. Seeming always to be where the fighting was, his two goals were to prevail in each fight against the Germans, and to keep his men alive. “Shames, you are the meanest, roughest son of a bitch I've ever had to deal with. But you brought us home,” was what he considered to be the highest compliment he received from one of his men.Even though he was wounded in the Ardennes, Ed Shames never stopped fighting until Germany surrendered and the war was won. He has never stopped being a warrior.

Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story


Bill Bellamy - 2005
    Bill Bellamy was a young officer in the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars from 1943 to 1955. He served in 7th Armored Division in the North West Europe campaign, landing in Normandy on D+3, fought throughout the Battle for Normandy and into the Low Countries as a troop leader in Cromwell tanks, and was latterly a member of the initial occupying force in Berlin in May 1945. Against the rules, Bill kept diaries and notes of his experiences. His account is fresh and open, and his descriptions of battle are vivid. He witnessed many of his contemporaries killed in action, and this life-altering experience clearly informs his narrative. The accounts of tank fighting in the leafy Normandy bocage in the height of summer, or in the iron hard fields of Holland in winter are graphic and compelling.

Escape From Corregidor


Edgar D. Whitcomb - 1958
     Whitcomb manages to evade the enemy on Bataan by travelling to Corregidor Island in a small boat. However, his efforts to escape eventually fail and he is captured but later manages to escape at night in an hours-long swim to safety. After weeks of struggle in a snake-infested jungle, he sailed by moonlight down the heavily patrolled coast, only to fall, once again, into the clutches of the enemy. Facing captors, Ed Whitcomb took a desperate chance for freedom. Clenching his fists, he said: “My name is Robert Fred Johnson, mining employee.” This is the story of a man who vowed never to give up. He assumed the identity of a civilian and lived another man’s life for almost two years. Neither hunger, nor beatings, nor the long gray hopelessness of prison life could shake Ed Whitcomb’s determination to escape the enemy and return home to Indiana. 'one of the most frank, and readable personal narratives of service in the Philippines, and escape from Japanese captivity' - Pacific Wrecks Edgar Doud Whitcomb (November 6, 1917 – February 4, 2016) was an American politician, who was the 43rd Governor of Indiana. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1940 and was deployed to the Pacific Theater. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1941 and made an aerial navigator. He served two tours of duty in the Philippines and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. During the Philippines Campaign, Whitcomb's base was overrun; he was captured by the Japanese and was beaten and tortured by his captors, but was able to escape. Recaptured a few days later, he escaped a second time and was hunted for several more days but was able to evade his pursuers. He escaped by swimming all night through shark-infested waters to an island unoccupied by the Japanese army. He was eventually able to secure passage to China under an assumed name where he made contact with the United States Army and was repatriated in December 1943. Escape from Corregidor, his memoir of war-time experiences, was first published in 1958. He was discharged from active duty in 1946, but he remained in the reserve military forces until 1977 holding the rank of colonel. In retirement Whitcomb still sought adventure, with a six-year, around-the-world sailing trip.

Shifty's War: The Authorized Biography of Sergeant Darrell "Shifty" Powers, the Legendary Sharpshooter from the Band of Brothers


Marcus Brotherton - 2011
     When he was a boy growing up in the remote mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, Shifty Powers's goal was to become the best rifle shot he could be. His father trained him to listen to the woods, to "see" without his eyes. Little did Shifty know his finely-tuned skills would one day save his life-and the lives of many of his friends. Shifty's War is a tale of a soldier's blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man's abilities as a sharpshooter, along with an engagingly unassuming personality, propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.

Carrier Pilot: One of the greatest pilot's memoirs of WWII - a true aviation classic.


Norman Hanson - 2016
    THE CORSAIR LOOKED TRULY VICIOUS …’ In 1942 Norman Hanson learnt to fly the Royal Navy’s newest fighter: the US-built Chance Vought Corsair. Fast, rugged and demanding to fly, it was an intimidating machine. But in the hands of its young Fleet Air Arm pilots it also proved to be a lethal weapon. Posted to the South Pacific aboard HMS Illustrious, Hanson and his squadron took the fight to the Japanese. Facing a desparate and determined enemy, Kamikaze attacks and the ever-present dangers of flying off a pitching carrier deck, death was never far away. Brought to life in vivid, visceral detail, Carrier Pilot is one of the finest aviator’s memoirs of the war; an awe-inspiring, thrilling, sometimes terrifying account of war in the air. PRAISE FOR CARRIER PILOT 'Just outstanding. Carrier Pilot is up there with First Light and The Big Show as one of the best pilot’s memoirs of WWII.’ ROWLAND WHITE, AUTHOR OF VULCAN 607 'Hanson's thrilling memoir takes you right into the cockpit in a way few writers have ever managed. The lethal world of the wartime Royal Navy carrier pilot, with its casual and shocking violence, horrific attrition, yet extraordinary camaraderie is so vividly brought to life that one can almost smell the smoke, oil and sweat. Real, adrenalin-charged, and ridiculously dangerous flying, Hanson's account is an aviation classic that has to be read.’ JAMES HOLLAND, AUTHOR OF DAM BUSTERS and THE WAR IN THE WEST

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 Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches


Harry Patch - 2007
    He left school in 1913 to become an apprentice plumber but three years later was conscripted, serving as a machine gunner in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Fighting in the mud and trenches during the Battle of Passchendaele, he saw a great many of his comrades die, and in one dreadful moment the shell that wounded him kill his three closest friends. In vivid detail he describes daily life in the trenches, the terror of being under intense artillery fire, and the fear of going over the top. Then, after the Armistice, the soldiers' frustration at not being quickly demobbed led to a mutiny in which Harry was soon caught up.The Second World War saw Harry in action on the home front as a fire-fighter during the bombing of Bath. He also warmly describes his friendship with American GIs preparing to go to France, and, years later, his tears when he saw their graves.Late in life Harry achieved fame, meeting the Queen and taking part in the BBC documentary The Last Tommies, finally shaking hands with a German veteran of the artillery and speaking out frankly to Prime Minister Tony Blair about the soldiers shot for cowardice in the First World War.The Last Fighting Tommy is the story of an ordinary man's extraordinary life. Please note eBook edition does not the contain the images included in original print edition.

Fatty Batter


Michael Simkins - 2007
    The hilarious story of one man’s cricket obsession: from his earliest days as a fat boy growing up in a Brighton sweetshop to his years running a team of dysfunctional inadequates, cricket has offered shelter from life’s irksome realities.

In the Service of the Sultan: A First Hand Account of the Dhofar Insurgency


Ian Gardiner - 2006
    In the 1960s and 70s, the Communists tried to seize this artery and, had they succeeded, the consequences for the West and for the Middle East would have been disastrous - and yet, few people have ever heard of this geo-political drama at the height of the Cold War.In the Service of the Sultan tells, first-hand, the largely unknown story of a small number of British officers who led Muslim soldiers in this hard-fought anti-insurgency war which has shaped today s Gulf. After outlining the historical, geographical and political background, the book describes military action in a stark and mountainous environment, including operations with irregular forces and the SAS as well as action in the air and at sea. The book gives a gripping, moving, funny account of all these and paints a powerful and illuminating picture of the realities of war.It will appeal to all who are interested in the Cold War and relationships between the Western and the Arab worlds. Politics, history, irregular warfare, religion, international affairs: all are ingredients in this absorbing, informative read. In the light of the current insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is also timely to be reminded how a rare victory was won over Communist guerrillas."