Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill


Richard M. Ketchum - 1963
    Besieged for two months by a rabble in arms, the British decided to break out of town. American spies discovered their plans, and on the night of June 16, 1775, a thousand rebels marched out onto Charlestown peninsula and began digging a redoubt (not on Bunker Hill, which they had been ordered to fortify, but on Breeds Hill, well within cannon shot of the British batteries and ships). At daybreak, HMS Lively began firing. It was the opening round of a battle that saw unbelievable heroism and tragic blunders on both sides (a battle that marked a point of no return for England and her colonies), the beginning of all-out war.

Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, America's Forgotten Heroes


David Helvarg - 2009
    On any given day, Coasties respond to 125 distress calls and save over a dozen lives. Yet despite having more than 50,000 active-duty and reserve members on every ocean and on our nation's coasts, great lakes, and rivers, most of us know very little about this often neglected but crucial branch of the military.In Rescue Warriors, award-winning journalist David Helvarg brings us into the daily lives of Coasties, filled with a salty maritime mix of altruism and adrenaline, as well as dozens of death-defying rescues at sea and on hurricane-ravaged shores.Helvarg spent two years with the men and women of the Coast Guard, from the halls of their academy in New London, Connecticut, to the frigid, storm-tossed waters of Alaska's Bering Sea, to the northern Persian Gulf, where they currently guard Iraqi oil terminals. The result is a masterpiece of adventure reporting---the definitive book on America's forgotten heroes.

Coral Sea 1942


Richard Freeman - 2013
     In May 1942, the Japanese were poised to take Port Moresby in New Guinea. At all costs the Americans had to stop them. Admiral Frank Fletcher was dispatched with two aircraft carriers - Yorktown and Lexington - with orders to destroy the Japanese invasion force. The fate of the Pacific was in the balance. 'Coral Sea 1942' tells the dramatic story of that conflict. The battle spread over five days as each side desperately searched for the other. At first, all Fletcher could find were side shows. He smashed a secondary invasion at Tulagi. He sank the light carrier Shōhō protecting the invasion fleet. But only on the fifth day did he find his real prey: the carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku. The Zuikaku fled to hide under thick cloud, while the Shōkaku was pounded by American bombers and torpedo planes. Crippled, she too fled. Meanwhile the Japanese carrier planes mounted attack after attack on the Yorktown and Lexington. The latter was mortally damaged by volcanic-sized explosions in her fuel tanks. But the great Coral Sea victory came at a price. Pilots died in dog-fights; crippled planes fell into the sea; damaged planes crashed onto carrier flight decks; and pilots found themselves stranded on remote islands. But the battle was an American triumph. Japan entered it as an aggressor at the peak of her imperial power. She left the battle with her dominance shattered. The tide had turned. 'Coral Sea 1942' is a brilliantly concise and insightful guide to one of the greatest naval battles of the 20th-century. Richard Freeman graduated in mathematics before following a career in distance education. He now writes on naval history. His other books include ‘Britain’s Greatest Naval Battle’ and ‘A Close Run Thing: The Navy and the Falkland War’. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

What They Did There: Profiles from the Battle of Gettysburg


Steve Hedgpeth - 2014
    "What They Did There: Profiles From the Battle of Gettysburg" offers a unique view of its subject, telling the story of the battle not through convention narrative but via 170 mini-bios of not only combatants blue and gray, but of civilians, doctors, nurses, artists, photographers, Samaritans; saints, sinners and the moral terrain in-between.

Military Blunders: The How and Why of Military Failure


Saul David - 1997
    Written by a professional military historian, it both vividly describes some of the worst military blunders perpetrated since the birth of Christ and analyses the psychological and tactical factors at play to show why they happened.

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.

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.

The Book of War: 25 Centuries of Great War Writing


John Keegan - 1999
    Keegan gathers more than eighty selections, including Caesar’s Commentaries on the Roman invasion of Britain; the French Knight Jehan de Wavrin at the battle of Agincourt; Davy Crockett in the war against the Creek; Wellington’s dispatch on Waterloo; Hemingway after Caporetto; and Ernie Pyle at Normandy.“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy “A monumental piece of literary military history.” –Chicago TribuneA brilliantly edited and comprehensive anthology."—The New York Times Book Review.

The End of the Line: The Siege of Khe Sanh


Robert Pisor - 1982
    It was the most spectacular battle of the entire war. For 6,000 trapped marines, it was a nightmare; for President Lyndon Johnson, an obsession. For General Westmoreland, it was to be the final vindication of technological weaponry; and for General Giap, the architect of the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, it was a spectacular ruse masking troops moving south for the Tet offensive. In a compelling narrative, Robert Pisor sets forth the history, the politics, the strategies, and, above all, the desperate reality of the battle that became the turning point of the United States's involvement in Vietnam.

Black Ops: The Rise of Special Forces in the CIA, the SAS, and Mossad


Tony Geraghty - 2010
    strategy, aimed at winning hearts and minds rather than search-and-destroy, refocuses the conflict on Special Forces: unorthodox soldiers who work outside of traditional military forces to combine secret military operations with nation building. Tony Geraghty, an expert author in this field for almost thirty years, unveils the extraordinary evolution of this refined style of war-making from its roots in anti-guerrilla warfare in Ireland and Palestine, by way of the creation of the C.I.A., the S.A.S., the Green Berets, and America Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.), and many others. Israel's Special Forces, including Mossad, are an organic part of the same coherent history, and their story is narrated here for the first time.This history is more than a tale of derring-do, although James Bond-like characters stalk every page. it is a sweeping examination of Black Ops at a time when they represent the future of an open-ended global war against terrorism.

The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle


Mark Adkin - 2001
    The text, based upon extensive research, describes both the battle and the campaign that preceded it in detail, drawing upon the first-hand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid feeling for the experiences of those who fought upon this most celebrated of all battlefields. The many full-color maps, all specially commissioned for the book, and the numerous diagrams and photographs, the majority in color, as well as sixteen pages of original paintings, make the book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream.

The Hill Fights: The First Battle of Khe Sanh


Edward F. Murphy - 2002
    For more than thirty years, virtually the only people who knew about the Hill Fights were the Marines who fought them. Now, for the first time, the full story has been pieced together by acclaimed Vietnam War historian Edward F. Murphy, whose definitive analysis admirably fills this significant gap in Vietnam War literature. Based on first-hand interviews and documentary research, Murphy’s deeply informed narrative history is the only complete account of the battles, their origins, and their aftermath.The Marines at the isolated Khe Sanh Combat Base were tasked with monitoring the strategically vital Ho Chi Minh trail as it wound through the jungles in nearby Laos. Dominated by high hills on all sides, the combat base had to be screened on foot by the Marine infantrymen while crack, battle-hardened NVA units roamed at will through the high grass and set up elaborate defenses on steep, sun-baked overlooks.Murphy traces the bitter account of the U.S. Marines at Khe Sanh from the outset in 1966, revealing misguided decisions and strategies from above, and capturing the chain of hill battles in stark detail. But the Marines themselves supply the real grist of the story; it is their recollections that vividly re-create the atmosphere of desperation, bravery, and relentless horror that characterized their combat. Often outnumbered and outgunned by a hidden enemy—and with buddies lying dead or wounded beside them—these brave young Americans fought on.The story of the Marines at Khe Sanh in early 1967 is a microcosm of the Corps’s entire Vietnam War and goes a long way toward explaining why their casualties in Vietnam exceeded, on a Marine-in-combat basis, even the tremendous losses the Leathernecks sustained during their ferocious Pacific island battles of World War II. The Hill Fights is a damning indictment of those responsible for the lives of these heroic Marines. Ultimately, the high command failed them, their tactics failed them, and their rifles failed them. Only the Marines themselves did not fail. Under fire, trapped in a hell of sudden death meted out by unseen enemies, they fought impossible odds with awesome courage and uncommon valor.From the Hardcover edition.

A Warrior Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of Sweden as a Military Superpower, 1611-1721


Henrik O. Lunde - 2014
    That Sweden achieved this was due to its leadership—a case-study in history when pure military skill, and that alone, could override the demographic and economic factors which have in modern times been termed so pre-eminent.Once Protestantism emerged, via Martin Luther, the most devastating war in European history ensued, as the Holy Roman Empire sought to resassert its authority by force. Into this bloody maelstrom stepped Gustav Adolf of Sweden, a brilliant tactician and strategist, who with his finely honed Swedish legions proceeded to establish a new authority in northern Europe. Gustav, as brave as he was brilliant, was finally killed while leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Lützen.He had innovated, however, tactics and weaponry that put his successors in good stead, as Sweden remained a great power, rivaled only by France and Spain in terms of territory in Europe. And then one of his successors, Karl XII, turned out to be just as great a military genius as Gustav himself, and as the year 1700 arrived, Swedish armies once more burst out in all directions. Karl, like Gustav, assumed the throne while still a teenager, but immediately displayed so much acumen, daring and skill that chroniclers could only compare him, like Gustav, to Alexander the Great.This book examines thoroughly, yet in highly readable fashion, the century during which Swedish military power set an example for all Europe. While the Continent was most visibly divided along religious lines—Catholic versus Protestant—geopolitical motives always underlied the conflicts. Sweden’s reliance on its military skill was especially noteworthy, as it veritably founded the modern concept of making wars pay through conquest.Karl XII finally let his ambitions lead him too far, as did Napoleon and Hitler in following centuries, into the vastness of the nascent Russian Empire, where he was finally defeated, at Poltava in Ukraine. Thus the period of Swedish supremacy in Europe came to a close, albeit not without leaving important lessons behind. In this work, by renowned author Henrik O. Lunde, these are clearly to be seen.About the author:HENRIK O. LUNDE, born in Norway, moved to America as a child and thence rose in the U.S. Army to become a Colonel in Special Forces. Highly decorated for bravery in Vietnam, he proceeded to gain advance degrees and assume strategic posts, his last being in the Plans and Policy Branch of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe. After retirement from the Army he turned to writing, with a focus on his native North, and given his combination of personal tactical knowledge plus objective strategic grasp has authored several groundbreaking works. These include Hitler s Pre-Emptive War, about Norway 1940, Finland s War of Choice, and Hitler s Wave-Breaking Concept, which analyzes the controversial retreat of Germany s Army Group North from the Leningrad front in WWII. In A Warrior Dynasty he re-examines the potential of pure military skill in global affairs. His next, long-awaited work, will examine how America itself has fared in this regard during the last 50 years. "

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.