Book picks similar to
Breakdown: The Crisis of Shell Shock on the Somme, 1916 by Taylor Downing
Argentine Fight for the Falklands
Martin Middlebrook - 1989
Martin Middlebrook has produced a genuine 'first' with this unique work.Martin Middlebrook is the only British historian to have been granted open access to the Argentines who planned and fought the Falklands War. It ranks with Liddel Hart's The Other side of the Hill in analyzing and understanding the military thinking and strategies of Britain's sometime enemy, and is essential reading for all who wish to understand the workings of military minds.The book provides new light on the way Argentine forces were organized for war, the plans and reactions of the commanders, the sufferings of the soldiers and the shame and disillusionment of defeat.
Forgotten Voices of Burma: The Second World War's Forgotten Conflict
Julian Thompson - 2009
Yet in 1944, following key battles at Kohima and Imphal, and daring operations behind enemy lines by the Chindits, the Commonwealth army were back, retaking lost ground one bloody battle at a time.Fighting in dense jungle and open paddy field, this brutal campaign was the longest fought by the British Commonwealth in the Second World War. But the troops taking part were a forgotten army, and the story of their remarkable feats and their courage remains largely untold to this day.The Fourteenth Army in Burma became one of the largest and most diverse armies of the Second World War. British, West African, Ghurkha and Indian regiments fought alongside one another and became comrades. In Forgotten Voices of Burma - a remarkable new oral history taken from Imperial War Museum's Sound Archive - soldiers from both sides tell their stories of this epic conflict.
Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History, Told From All Sides
Christian G. Appy - 2006
Appy has created a staggering and monumental oral history of the type that is created only once in a generation. The vivid accounts of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975.The testimony in this book, sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, allows us to see and feel what this war meant to people on all sides - Americans and Vietnamese, generals and guerillas, policy makers and protesters, CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people.A remarkable, eye-opening and essential read for anyone with even a passing interest in one of the 20th century's defining conflicts.
Forgotten Victory - The First World War: Myths and Reality
Gary D. Sheffield - 2001
In a radical new interpretation, leading military historian Gary Sheffield argues that while the war was tragic, it was not futile; and, although condemned as 'lions led by donkeys', in reality the British citizen army became the most effective fighting force in the world, which in 1918 won the greatest series of battles in British history.A challenging and controversial book, FORGOTTEN VICTORY is based on twenty years of research and draws on the work of major scholars. Without underestimating the scale of the human tragedy or playing down the disasters, it explodes many myths about the First World War, placing it in its true historical context.
Peter Hart - 2007
Author Peter Hart, the Oral Historian at Britain’s Imperial War Museum, was granted unprecedented access to the museum’s archives; through these rare manuscripts and firsthand accounts, he provides a riveting perspective on the first true “air war.” From the swirling dogfights to the bombing missions that became ever more deadly, the book reveals the terrible scope of aerial combat and commemorates the men who fought, killed, and died in the clouds above.
Spitfire: A Very British Love Story
John Nichol - 2018
‘A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service’ Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 606 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous – just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. 'This is not just a tale of heroism in the skies . . . This is a tale of victory . . . Magnificently told in lip-biting detail’ – Daily Mail (The Red Line) The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum – First Light. Achtung , Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition.
Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost
Michael Walsh - 2020
A survival instinct that’s part of the human condition, the drive to wage war is natural. Without war, the United States would not exist. The technology that has eased manual labor, extended lifespans, and become an integral part of our lives and culture has often evolved from wartime scientific advancements. War is necessary to defend the social and political principles that define the virtues and freedoms of America and other Western nations. We should not be ashamed of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to build a better world. We should be honoring them.The son of a Korean War veteran of the Inchon landing and the battle of the Chosin Reservoir with the U.S. Marine Corps, Michael Walsh knows all about heroism, valor, and the call of duty that requires men to fight for something greater than themselves to protect their families, fellow countrymen, and most of all their fellow soldiers. In Last Stands, Walsh reveals the causes and outcomes of more than a dozen battles in which a small fighting force refused to surrender to a far larger force, often dying to the last man.From the Spartans’ defiance at Thermopylae and Roland’s epic defense of Charlemagne’s rear guard at Ronceveaux Pass, through Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo defended by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie to the skirmish at Little Big Horn between Crazy Horse’s Sioux nation and George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Calvary, to the Soviets’ titanic struggle against the German Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, and more, Walsh reminds us all of the debt we owe to heroes willing to risk their lives against overwhelming odds—and how these sacrifices and battles are not only a part of military history but our common civilizational heritage.
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
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.
One Day in August: The Remarkable True Story Behind the Greatest Raid of World War II
David O'Keefe - 2013
For seven decades, the objective for the raid has been one of the most perplexing mysteries of WWII. In less than six hours on August 19, 1942, nearly one thousand Canadians—as well as British and Americans—lay dead or dying on the beaches around the French seaside town, with over two thousand other Canadians wounded or captured. These awful losses have left a legacy of bitterness, recrimination and controversy. In the absence of concrete reasons for the raid, myriad theories ranging from incompetence to conspiracy developed. Over almost two decades of research, sifting through countless recently declassified Intelligence documents, David O’Keefe skillfully pieces together the story like a jigsaw puzzle to reveal the prime reason behind the raid: a highly secret mission designed, in one of Britain’s darkest times, to redress the balance of the war. One Day in August provides a thrilling, multi-layered story that fundamentally changes our understanding of this most tragic and pivotal chapter in Canada’s history.
Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
Belton Y. Cooper - 1998
. . I have never before been able to learn so much about maintenance methods of an armored division, with precise details that underline the importance of the work, along with descriptions of how the job was done."--Russell F. Weigley, author of Eisenhower's Lieutenants"Cooper saw more of the war than most junior officers, and he writes about it better than almost anyone. . . . His stories are vivid, enlightening, full of life--and of pain, sorrow, horror, and triumph."--Stephen E. Ambrose, from his Foreword "In a down-to-earth style, Death Traps tells the compelling story of one man's assignment to the famous 3rd Armored Division that spearheaded the American advance from Normandy into Germany. Cooper served as an ordnance officer with the forward elements and was responsible for coordinating the recovery and repair of damaged American tanks. This was a dangerous job that often required him to travel alone through enemy territory, and the author recalls his service with pride, downplaying his role in the vast effort that kept the American forces well equipped and supplied. . . . [Readers] will be left with an indelible impression of the importance of the support troops and how dependent combat forces were on them."--Library Journal "As an alumnus of the 3rd, I eagerly awaited this book's coming out since I heard of its release . . . and the wait and the book have both been worth it. . . . Cooper is a very polished writer, and the book is very readable. But there is a certain quality of 'you are there' many other memoirs do not seem to have. . . . Nothing in recent times--ridgerunning in Korea, firebases in Vietnam, or even the one hundred hours of Desert Storm--pressed the ingenuity and resolve of American troops . . . like WWII. This book lays it out better than any other recent effort, and should be part of the library of any contemporary warrior."--Stephen Sewell, Armor Magazine "Cooper's writing and recall of harrowing events is superb and engrossing. Highly recommended."--Robert A. Lynn, The Stars and Stripes "This detailed story will become a classic of WWII history and required reading for anyone interested in armored warfare."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"[Death Traps] fills a critical gap in WWII literature. . . . It's a truly unique and valuable work."--G.I. Journal
Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II
Nicholas Best - 2012
Mussolini's capture and execution by Italian partisans, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four-year war in the European Theater. In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills readers with the first-person accounts of those who lived through this dramatic time.In this valuable work of history, the author's special achievement is weaving together the reports of famous and soon-to-be-famous individuals who experienced the war up close. We follow a young Walter Cronkite as he parachutes into Holland with a Canadian troop; photographer Lee Miller capturing the evidence of Nazi atrocities; the future Pope Benedict returning home and hoping not to get caught and shot after deserting his infantry unit; Audrey Hepburn no longer having to fear conscription into a Wehrmacht brothel; and even an SS doctor's descriptions of a decadent sex orgy in Hitler's bunker.In skillfully synthesizing these personal narratives, Best creates a compelling chronicle of the five earth-shaking days when Fascism lost it death grip on Europe. With this vivid and fast-paced narrative, the author reaffirms his reputation as an expert on the final days of great wars.
The War of the Running Dogs: How Malaya Defeated the Communist Guerrillas 1948-1960
Noel Barber - 1971
The Chinese-backed guerrillas called it the War of the Running Dogs—their contemptuous term for those in Malaya who remained loyal to the British. The British Government referred to this bloody and costly struggle as the "Malayan Emergency." Yet it was a war that lasted 12 years and cost thousands of lives. By the time it was over Malaya had obtained its independence—but on British, not on Chinese or Communist, terms. Here is the war as it was. Here are the planters and their wives on their remote rubber estates, the policemen, the generals and the soldiers, the Malays, Chinese and Indians of a polyglot country, all fighting an astute, ruthless, and well organized enemy.
Shooting At The Moon: The Story of America's Clandestine War in Laos
Roger Warner - 1995
For a few years in the early 1960s the CIA seemed to be running a perfect covert war in Laos - quiet, inexpensive, just enough arms to help Meo tribesmen defend their home territory from the Communist Pathet Lao. Then the big American war next door in Vietnam spilled across the border. How the perfect covert war ballooned into sorrow and disaster is the story Roger Warner tell in Shooting at the Moon, awarded the Cornelius Ryan Award for 1995's Best Book on Foreign Affairs by the Overseas Press Club.Warner describes his characters with a novelist's touch - soldiers and diplomats busy with war-making; CIA field officers from bareknuckle warriors to the quiet men pulling strings in the shadows; and above all the Meo as they realized they had been led down the garden path.This is a book about war, about secrecy, and its illusions, about the cruel sacrifice of small countries for the convenience of large ones. Nothing better has been written about the CIA in the years when it thought a handful of Americans in sunglasses could do anything with planeloads of arms and money to burn.
The Germans in Normandy
Richard Hargreaves - 2006
Up until now it has been recorded from the attackers’ point of view whereas the defenders’ angle has been largely ignored.While the Germans knew an invasion was inevitable, no-one knew where or when it would fall. Those manning Hitler’s mighty Atlantic Wall may have felt secure in their bunkers but they had no conception of the fury and fire that was about to break.After the initial assaults of June established an Allied bridgehead, a state of stale-mate prevailed. The Germans fought with great courage hindered by lack of supplies and overwhelming Allied control of the air.When the Allies finally broke out the collapse was catastrophic with Patton’s army in the East sweeping round and Monty’s in the West putting remorseless pressure on the hard pressed defenders. The Falaise Gap became a graveyard of German men and equipment.To read the war from the losing side is a sobering and informative experience."