Book picks similar to
RAF: An Illustrated History from 1918 by Roy Conyers Nesbit
Ours to Hold It High: The History of the 77th Infantry Division in World War II
Max Myers - 2002
The soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division saw some of the bloodiest action of the Second World War. Ours to Hold It High is brilliant history of the division’s actions through the course of World War Two as it island-hopped its way towards victory in the face of ferocious Japanese resistance. The story begins in America in 1942 when the division was re-activated and the units were formed and given training before they sailed west to fight. Part one of the book covers these initial two years and the various forms of rigorous training that the men went through to prepare them for the amphibious warfare that they would meet in the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Parts two, three, four, and five of the book provides brilliant insight into the combat history of the unit from Guam to Okinawa. The actions of each unit of the division are uncovered to give a thorough overview of the tumultuous and chaotic action that the men saw. This is account is not written by a historian sitting at a desk in the United States, instead it was written by the soldiers who were there on the frontlines. Max Myers, the unit historian, has compiled their accounts to form this fascinating book. The actions of the 77th have become famous throughout the globe, particularly with the assistance of films such as Hacksaw Ridge that have immortalized the division. Almost every member of the 77th contributed in one way or another to this history. The Commanding General and members of his staff, the commanders and staff members from the organizations, and many other individuals devoted some of their time to revision and correction of preliminary manuscripts. Ours to Hold It High was initially published in 1947 and Max Myers, the main editor, passed away in 2011.
Carrier! (Annotated): Life Aboard a World War II Aircraft Carrier
Max Miller - 2015
Author Max Miller spent many weeks at sea gathering material for his book, and presents his observations in an easy-to read fashion. Carrier! is intended to provide civilians with a glimpse into what life aboard these massive ships was like during World War 2.*New 2019 edition includes footnotes and images.
St Nazaire Raid: Operation Chariot - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports
James Dorrian - 2006
In addition to the U-Boat menace, there was real concern that the mighty German battleship Tirpitz be unleashed against the vital Allied convoys. Yet only the 'Normandie' Dock at St Nazaire could take her vast size in the event of repairs being required. Destroy that and the Tirpitz would be neutralized.Thus was born Operation CHARIOT, the daring Commando raid that, while ultimately successful, proved hugely costly. Using personal accounts, James Dorrian describes the background and thrilling action that resulted in the award of five Victoria Crosses.In a dramatic final twist of events, once the battle was over, the converted former US warship Campelton blew up wrecking the dock gates and killing many Germans who thought the battle was won.
Mutiny at Salerno, 1943: An Injustice Exposed
Saul David - 1995
Within six weeks, all but one had been found guilty of mutiny, their sentences ranging from five years’ penal servitude to death. Fifty years on, Saul David became the first military historian to gain access to the court martial papers – normally restricted for 75 years. In addition to crucial defence documents and the testimony of eye-witnesses, these papers have enabled Saul David to expose: •How poorly-equipped Eighth Army veterans, some still recovering from wounds and illness, were needlessly sent as reinforcements to Salerno when Fifth Army men were available.•How transit camp authorities deliberately deceived the reinforcements as to their destination.•How the defence team at the trial was forced, by lack of time, lack of witnesses and the hostility of the court, to offer a case based on no evidence and doomed to fail.•How, after the humane intervention of the adjutant-general and the suspension of the sentences, insensitive staff officers and victimization in their new units caused many mutineers to desert.•How, as a result of their convictions, the former war heroes were stripped of their campaign and gallantry medals and branded as cowards. Concluding that the men were victims of a terrible injustice, Mutiny at Salerno provides a compelling case for a free pardon. It is a book that no one interested in World War Two will want to miss. 'Mutiny' has been critically acclaimed: 'An important book' (Military Illustrated) 'Mr David has added considerably to the knowledge of the Salerno mutiny. This book should be read by anyone with an interest in the episode.' (Prof. Peter Rowe,RUSI Journal)'A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book and the author makes his case well' (Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) 'A detailed account... David is right to stress that the mutiny stemmed from the men's reluctance to fight amongst strangers rather than their reluctance to fight at all, and that many of the mutineers preserved a dignified and soldierly attitude throughout the proceedings.' (Richard Holmes, TLS)Saul David is Professor of War Studies at the University of Buckingham and the author of several critically acclaimed history books, including The Indian Mutiny: 1857 (short-listed for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature), Prince of Pleasure: The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency, Zulu: The Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879 (a Waterstones Military History Book of the Year) and, most recently, Victoria's Wars: The Rise of Empire.He has also written two best-selling historical novels set in the wars of the late 19th Century, Zulu Hart and Hart of Empire. An experienced broadcaster, he has presented and appeared in history programmes for all the major TV channels and is a regular contributor to Radio 4.Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent digital publisher.
Hornets over Kuwait
Jay A. Stout - 1997
Impetuosity aside, Stout's account has stood up to challenges from within and outside the Marine Corps. Controversy aside, Stout provides plenty of action and accurate descriptions of tactics and combat that have stood the test of time. At the same time he provides a self-effacing picture of his own performance, a factor that makes this work that much more credible and readable. A "must read" for anyone interested in air combat.
Tail-End Charlies: The Last Battles of the Bomber War, 1944--45
John Nichol - 2003
The airmen of the United States 8th Army Air Force and British Bomber Command were among the greatest heroes of the Second World War, defying Hitler in the darkest early days of the war and taking the battle to the German homeland when no one else would.Toward the end of the conflict, too, they continued to sacrifice their lives to shatter an enemy sworn never to surrender. Blasted out of the sky in an instant or bailing out from burning aircraft to drop helplessly into hostile hands, they would die in their tens of thousands to ensure the enemy's defeat. Especially vulnerable were the "tail-end Charlies"---for the Americans, which meant two things: the gunners who flew countless missions in a plexiglass bubble at the back of the bomber, and the last bomber in the formation who ended up flying through the most hell, and for the British, the rear-gunners who flew operations in a Plexiglas bubble at the back of the bomber.Following their groundbreaking revelations about the ordeals suffered by Allied prisoners of war in their bestselling book, The Last Escape, John Nichol and Tony Rennell tell the astonishing and deeply moving story of the controversial last battles in the skies of Germany through the eyes of the forgotten heroes who fought them."This is the best account that has been written of the heroic American and British bomber crews . . . the best of its kind." ---George McGovern"Rivaling the best of Stephen Ambrose's work, Tail-End Charlies gives a breathtakingly intimate look at the lives, loves, and deaths of the brave airmen of the greatest generation. This fascinating book is as valuable for its stories of joyous life on the ground as it is for its sobering tales of death in the air. You see the whole picture of the war here from the eyes of the strong young men who fought it." ---Walter J. Boyne, bestselling author of Beyond the Wild Blue"Adds new dimensions to the saga of the air war in Europe. The eyewitness accounts, reported within the context of the battle against Nazi Germany, provide a sense of the ordeals, the terror, the gore, and the heroism of ordinary men thrust into the savagery of aerial combat." ---Gerald Astor, author of The Mighty Eighth
SEALs: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force
Mir Bahmanyar - 2008
SEALs have taken part in numerous conflicts ranging from Grenada in 1983, the invasion of Panama and operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and Liberia. Most recently, SEAL units have participated in the ongoing missions of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. This book focuses primarily on modern combat operations between 1983 and 2006, as Mir Bahmanyar and Chris Osman examine various combat operations, the SEALs' intense training regimes, and the development of tactics and weapons. It includes first-hand accounts from SEALs on the ground - including revealing accounts from those currently involved in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an eye-opening insight into the shadowy world of the SEALs.
LRRP Team Leader: A Memoir of Vietnam
John Burford - 1994
All of Sergeant John Burford's missions with F Company, 58th Infantry were deep in hostile territory. As leader of a six-man LRRP team, he found the enemy, staged ambushes, called in precision strikes, and rescued downed pilots. The lives of the entire team depended on his leadership and their combined skill and guts. A single mistake--a moment of panic--could mean death for everyone.
Don Ericson - 1988
For eighteen months, John L. Rotundo and Don Ericson braved the test of war at its most bloody and most raw, specializing in ambushing the enemy and fighting jungle guerillas using their own tactics. From the undiluted high of a "contact" with the enemy to the anguished mourning of a fallen comrade, they experienced nearly every emotion known to man--most of all, the power and the pride of being the finest on America's front lines.From the Paperback edition.
Ground Truth: 3 Para: Return To Afghanistan
Patrick Bishop - 2009
After their eighteen-month epic tour of Helmand Province, the troops of 3 Para are back. This time, the weight of experience weighs heavily on their shoulders.In April 2006 the elite 3 Para Battle Group was despatched to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on a tour that has become a legend. All that summer the Paras were subjected to relentless Taliban attacks in one of the most gruelling campaigns fought by British troops in modern times.Two years later the Paras are back in the pounding heat of the Afghanistan front lines. The conflict has changed. The enemy has been forced to adopt new weaponry and tactics. But how much progress are we really making in the war against the insurgents? And is there an end in sight?In this searing account of 3 Para’s return, bestselling author Patrick Bishop combines gripping, first-person accounts of front line action with an unflinching look at the hard realities of our involvement in Afghanistan. Writing from a position of exclusive access alongside the Paras, he reveals the ‘ground truth’ of the mission our soldiers have been given. It’s a sombre picture. But shining out from it are stories of courage, comradeship and humour, as well as a gripping account of an epic humanitarian operation through Taliban-infested country to deliver a vitally needed turbine to the Kajaki Dam.Frank, action-packed and absorbing, “Ground Truth” is a timely and important book that will set the agenda for discussion of the Afghan conflict for years to come.
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?
The Fighting 30th Division: They Called Them Roosevelt's SS
Martin King - 2015
In World War II it spent more consecutive days in combat than almost any other outfit. Recruited mainly from the Carolinas and Georgia and Tennessee, they were one of the hardest-fighting units the U.S. ever fielded in Europe. What was it about these men that made them so indomitable? They were tough and resilient for a start, but this division had something else. They possessed intrinsic zeal to engage the enemy that often left their adversaries in awe. Their U.S. Army nickname was the “Old Hickory” Division. But after encountering them on the battlefield, the Germans themselves came to call them “Roosevelt’s SS.”This book is a combat chronicle of this illustrious division that takes the reader right to the heart of the fighting through the eyes of those who were actually there. It goes from the hedgerows of Normandy to the 30th’s gallant stand against panzers at Mortain, to the brutal slugs around Aachen and the Westwall, and then to the Battle of the Bulge. Each chapter is meticulously researched and assembled with accurate timelines and after-action reports. The last remaining veterans of the 30th Division and attached units who saw the action firsthand relate their remarkable experiences here for the first, and probably the last time. This is precisely what military historians mean when they write about “fighting spirit.” There have been only a few books written about the 30th Division and none contained direct interviews with the veterans. This work follows their story from Normandy to the final victory in Germany, packed with previously untold accounts from the survivors. These are the men whose incredible stories epitomize what it was to be a GI in one of the toughest divisions in WWII.
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.