Mosquito Mayhem: de Havillands Wooden Wonder in Action in WWII


Martin W. Bowman - 2010
    Oboe entailed the pilot flying dead straight and level for ten minutes on the attack run. Suddenly a tremendous flash lit up the sky about 50 yards ahead of our nose and exactly at our altitude. Within a tenth of a second we were through the cloud of dirty yellowish-brown smoke and into the blackness beyond. I shall never forget the spontaneous reaction of both my pilot and myself. We turned our heads slowly and looked long and deep into one anothers eyes - no word was spoken - no words were needed.The Mosquito was probably World War IIs most versatile combat aircraft. This book contains hundreds of firsthand accounts from many of the twoman crews who flew in them; pilots and navigators. It portrays the dramatic experiences of flying in its many roles as pathfinder, night fighter, reconnaissance aircraft, precision bombing and low-level ground attack aircraft. It describes many of the RAFs most audacious raids on prime but difficult targets where carpet bombing by heavy bombers was likely to be ineffective and cause unnecessary casualties to civilians. It is a remarkable record of the aircraft and the men that flew them.

Spider Zero Seven


Mike Borlace - 2018
    Now he collates his experiences in this compelling wartime memoir set against the backdrop of the civil war fought in Rhodesia during the 1970s. Helicopters were a vital component of the small Rhodesian Defence Force and as part of special forces, Borlace and his fellow aircrew soon became key weapons in the counterinsurgency operations. Adopting new flexible tactics and blending stealth with courage, they carried the fight by air to the heart of the enemy, establishing a fearsome reputation. In this vivid history, Borlace chronicles the story of airmen, soldiers and leading figures such as Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe’s communist backed guerillas from the perspective of a professional officer at the sharp end. In Spider Zero Seven, Borlace humorously recounts the training, living conditions and hardships of his time in the forces. He also touchingly depicts the human side of the military through his portrayals of his fellow pilots, technicians, medics, nurses and flying with his dog Doris. Out of the 1096 days he served as a pilot in 7 Squadron, Borlace spent 739 days on combat operations. During his 149 contacts with the enemy he was shot down five times and wounded twice. He is one of only five recipients of the Silver Cross, the highest gallantry award given by the air force. With this authority he gives a powerful insight into the violent events of a brutal conflict, in a book that will appeal not only to those interested in military history, but also to a wider readership who enjoy a personal, true-life adventure.

Voices of the Waffen SS


Gerry Villani - 2019
    They were the forces that were feared by the enemy and praised by their allies. The two lightning bolts on the collar tabs and on their helmets were the mark of the soldiers of the New Order believing in the final victory of the Reich. The Waffen SS grew into a huge force of thirty-eight combat divisions comprising over 950,000 men. In the Nuremberg Trials, the Waffen SS was condemned as part of a criminal organisation, and therefore Waffen SS veterans were denied many of the rights afforded other German combat veterans. However the Nuremberg Trials exempted conscripts from that condemnation.On several occasions, the Waffen SS was criticised by Heer commanders for their reckless disregard for casualties while taking or holding objectives. However, the Waffen SS divisions eventually proved themselves to a skeptical Heer as capable soldiers.The poor initial performance of the Waffen SS units was mainly due to the emphasis on political indoctrination rather than proper military training before the war. This was largely due to the shortage of experienced NCOs, who preferred to stay with the regular army. Despite this, the experience gained from the Polish, French and Balkan campaigns and the peculiarly egalitarian form of training soon turned Waffen SS units into elite formations.These are the stories of the men that once were part of this elite force. In this book you get a bit of history about the SS and Waffen SS, the war crimes committed by them and against them, their training, but most important of all you'll get the stories from veterans of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, Totenkopf, Wiking, Hohenstaufen, Maria Theresia, Langemarck, SS-Fallschirmjägerbataillon 500 and Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger, Italien, Wallonie, Nederland, 1st Estonian, and the notorious Dirlewanger Brigade. Seven decades after the war they finally have a voice...

X Platoon


Steve Heaney - 2015
    The forty men in its elite number were specially selected from across the Armed Forces, at which point they simply ceased to exist. X Platoon had no budget, no weaponry, no vehicles and no kit - apart from what its men could beg, borrow or steal from other military units.For the first time a highly decorated veteran of this specialised force - otherwise known as the Pathfinders - reveals its unique story. Steve Heaney became one of the youngest ever to pass Selection, the gruelling trial of elite forces, and was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations - serving on anti-narcotics operations in the Central American jungles, on missions hunting war criminals in the Balkans, and being sent to spy on and wage war against the Russians.The first non-officer in the unit's history to be award the Military Cross, Steve Heaney reveals the extraordinary work undertaken by this secret band of brothers.

War Paint


Bill Goshen - 2001
    Their base was Lai Khe, within hailing distance of the Vietcong central headquarters, a mile inside Cambodia, with its vast stockpiles of weapons and thousands of transient VC and NVA soldiers.Recondo-qualified Bill Goshen was there, and has written the first account of these battle-hardened soldiers. As the eyes and ears of the Big Red One, the 1st Infantry, these hunter/killer teams of only six men instered deep inside enemy territory had to survive by their wits, or suffer the deadly consequences. Goshen himself barely escaped with his life in a virtual suicide mission that destroyed half his team.His gripping narrative recaptures the raw courage and sacrifice of American soldiers fighting a savage war of survival: men of all colors, from all walks of life, warriors bonded by triumph and tragedy, by life and death. They served proudly in Vietnam, and their stories need to be told.From the Paperback edition.

Special Boat Squadron


Barrie Pitt - 1983
     Only since the Falklands campaign have the initials SBS become known to the public. Yet this clandestine formation of Britain’s armed forces has been in existence since the Second World War. Barrie Pitt, who himself served with the SBS, describes how the it came into being in 1941. How they fought with distinction in the Aegean, where one of their exploits inspired The Guns of Navarone. How they earned rapport in the Adriatic, in Greece and in Italy. How the SBS was reorganised in 1946 as part of the Royal Marines and has since played a role in Korea, Borneo and the Falklands. Equally interesting is the author’s report of the training and specialized skills required by the boat units, and the essential tasks facing them — infiltration from the sea, reconnaissance, sabotage, survival, resistance to interrogation, escape from captivity — and the expertise and determination to complete them. As Barrie Pitt's superb account of the formative years of this elite force shows, these qualities have been present from the very beginning. Barrie Pitt (1918-2006) was well known as a military historian and editor of Purnell’s History of the Second World War and History of the First World War. His publications include 'Coronel and Falkland', 'Churchill and the Generals' and 'The Crucible of War', a trilogy covering the North African campaign of the Second World War. He was born in Galway and later lived near Ilminster in Somerset.

Afghan Heat: SAS Operations in Afghanistan


Steve Stone - 2013
    The book follows individual operations where special forces, aircraft, and the latest surveillance technology are fused together - in order to capture key figures or simply take out an enemy stronghold.The books account is both gritty and graphical as it follows the SAS, battling at times against overwhelming odds in a hostile country. Fighting a war hardened enemy with years of experience fighting occupying forces. Even these elite soldiers with advanced weaponry and immense fire support at their disposal are put to the ultimate test of skill and courage fighting in the 'Stan.'

Fire Strike 7/9


Paul 'Bommer' Grahame - 2010
    He's an elite army JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller- pronounced 'jay-tack') - a specially trained warrior responsible for directing Allied air power with high-tech precision. Commanding Apache gunships, A10 tank-busters, F15s and Harrier jets, he brings down devastating fire strikes against the attacking Taliban, often danger close to his own side. Due to his specialist role, Sergeant Grahame usually operates in the thick of the action, where it's at its most fearsome and deadly. Conjuring the seemingly impossible from apparently hopeless situations, soldiers in battle rely on the skill and bravery of their JTAC to enable them to win through in the heat of the danger zone. Fire Strike 7/9 tells the story of Bommer Grahame and his five-man Fire Support Team on their tour of Afghanistan. Patrolling deep into enemy territory, they were hunted and targeted by the Taliban, shot at, blown-up, mortared and hit by rockets on numerous occasions. Under these conditions Sergeant Grahame notched up 203 confirmed enemy kills, making him the difference between life and death both for his own troops and the Taliban.

White Water Red Hot Lead: On Board U.S. Navy Swift Boats in Vietnam


Dan Daly - 2015
    The boats patrolled the coast and rivers of South Vietnam, with the average age of the crew being twenty-four. Their days consisted of deadly combat, intense lightning firefights, storms and many hidden dangers.This action-packed story of combat written by Dan Daly, a Vietnam combat veteran who was the Officer in Charge of PCF 76 makes you part of the Swift Boat crew. The six man crew of PCF 76 were volunteers from all over the United States, eager to serve their country in a highly unique type of duty not seen since the PT boats of WWII. This inexperienced and disparate group of men would meld into a combat team - a team that formed an unbreakable, lifelong bond.After training they were plunged into a 12 month tour of duty. Combat took place in the closest confines imaginable, where the enemy were hidden behind a passing sand dune or a single sniper could be concealed in an onshore bunker, mines might be submerged at every fork in the river. The enemy was all around you, hiding, waiting, while your fifty-foot Swift Boat works its way upriver. In many cases the rivers became so narrow there was barely room to maneuver or turn around. The only way out might be into a deadly ambush. Humor and a touch of romance relieve the tension in this thrilling ride with America's finest.

SAS Operation Storm: Nine men against four hundred


Roger Cole - 2011
    The tipping point, Mirbat, South Oman, 19 July 1972 is one of the least-known yet most crucial battles of modern times. If the SAS had been defeated at Mirbat, the Russian and Chinese plan for a communist foothold in the Middle East would have succeeded, with catastrophic consequences for the oil-hungry West. OPERATION STORM is a page-turning account of courage and resilience. Mirbat was a battle fought and won by nine SAS soldiers and a similar number of brave local people - some as young as ten years old - outnumbered by at least twenty-five to one. Roger Cole, one of the SAS soldiers who took part, and writer Richard Belfield have interviewed every SAS survivor who fought in the battle from the beginning to the end - the first time every single one of them has revealed their experience. OPERATION STORM is a classic story of bravery against impossible odds, minute by minute, bullet by bullet.

To Do or Die


Max Adams - 2010
    His task completed, he anticipates an early return to Britain, but instead he's sent to the Saarland region, where the French have launched an ill-advised invasion into German territory. Dawson's demolition skills are needed to clear a way through a minefield. Within hours everything goes wrong and Dawson and a fellow sapper are caught on the wrong side of the front line. Their obvious escape route blocked, they head north, but their troubles have only just begun.

STUPID WAR STORIES: Tales from the Wonder War, Vietnam 1970-1971


Keith Pomeroy - 2015
    The Atomic Outhouse, Hot Extractions, Listening Out, and Best Vacation Ever, will have you enthralled. These stories and sixty more like them pull no punches to give you a genuine understanding of a war that was more bizarre than you ever imagined.

Codename Tricycle: The true story of the Second World War's most extraordinary double agent


Russell Miller - 2004
    In fact, he was one of Britain's most successful double agents, and, some say, the inspiration for James Bond. With full access to FBI and MI5 records, along with private family papers, his incredible adventures can now be told authoritatively for the first time. Recruited by the Abwehr in 1940, 27-year-old Popov immediately offered his services to the British. His code-name was Tricycle. Throughout the war he fed the Germans with a constant stream of military 'intelligence', all vetted by MI5, and came to be viewed as their most important and reliable agent in Britain. But when he was ordered by the Abwehr to the United States to report on the defences at Pearl Harbor, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, failed to heed his warnings, distrusting all spies and detesting Popov in particular, whom he considered to be 'a moral degenerate'. Facing the danger of exposure, arrest and execution on a daily basis, Tricycle went on to build up a network known as the Yugoslav Ring, which not only delivered a stream of false information to Berlin but also supplied vital intelligence to the Allies on German rocketry, strategy and security. After the war Dusko Popov was granted British citizenship and awarded an OBE. The presentation was made, appropriately, in the cocktail bar at the Ritz.

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?

Vietnam: A View from the Front Lines (General Military)


Andrew Wiest - 2009
    Vietnam features a grunt's-eye view of the conflict - from the steaming rice paddies and swamps of the Mekong Delta, to the triple-canopy rainforest of the Central Highlands, to the forlorn Marine bases that dotted the DMZ. Like Karl Marlantes' groundbreaking novel 2010, Mattherhorn, this book will change the way we think about Vietnam. Told in uncompromising, no-holds barred language of the soldiers themselves, the stories contained within this book detail everything from heroism to fragging, from helicopters hitting the LZs to rampant drug use. It is a true and grippingly accurate portrait of the American war in Vietnam through the eyes of the men and women who fought in that far away land while a few are drawn from medics, corpsmen, nurses and widows. The book is based on rich collections housed at the National Archive, the Center of Military History, and at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech.