Book picks similar to
Napoleon’s Artillery by Robert Wilkinson-Latham
The Bismarck Episode
Russell Grenfell - 1948
British morale was low. The sinking of the Bismarck was a matter of life and death. But before the British could engage her, they had to find her. The British Admiralty received a report that two large German warships had been seen steaming northward through the Kattegat, between Denmark and Sweden. Six days later the shattered hulk of the Bismarck turned bottom up and disappeared beneath the waves a few hundred miles from Brest. In those six days an awe-inspiring drama played itself out. The history of this terrible chase is a story of ups and downs, hopes and anxieties, bitter disappointment and miraculous recovery — a marvellous picture of naval action. In addition the battle is illuminated by comments on strategy and tactics that every reader can appreciate. Praise for Russell Grenfell: "Captain Grenfell has both the background and literary ability to bring the whole dramatic story brilliantly alive" - San Francisco Chronicle "A remarkably lucid account" - Time Magazine "Thoroughly rewarding" - New York Times "Full of dramatic interest" - Times Literary Supplement Russell Grenfell (1892-1954) was promoted to Lieutenant a few years after he first went to sea. Having served on battleships, he was appointed to command destroyers. Prior to his retirement, he served as senior commander at the Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich. Grenfell authored many naval books, including Main Fleet to Singapore, Nelson the Sailor and Unconditional Hatred.
Saint-Germain-des-Pres: Paris's Rebel Quarter
John Baxter - 2016
It’s where Marat printed L’Ami du Peuple and Thomas Paine wrote The Rights of Man. Napoleon, Hemingway, and Sartre have all called it home. Descartes is buried there. Now bestselling author and Paris expert, John Baxter takes readers and travelers on a narrative tour of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, which is also where Baxter makes his home.Tucked along the shores of the Left Bank, Saint-Germain-des-Pres embodies so much of what makes Paris special. Its cobblestone streets and ancient facades survive to this day, spared from modernization thanks to a quirk in their construction. Traditionally cheap rents attracted outsiders and political dissidents from the days of Robespierre to the student revolts of the 1960s. And its intellectual pedigree boasts such luminaries as Pablo Picasso, Arthur Rimbaud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Simone de Beauvoir, Gertrude Stein, and Albert Camus. Baxter reveals all, guiding readers to the cafes, gardens, shops, and monuments that bring this hidden history to life.Part-history, part-guidebook, Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a fresh look at one of the City of Light’s most iconic quarters, and a delight for new tourists and Paris veterans alike.
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.
D-Day and Beyond: The Things Our Fathers Saw—The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation-Volume V
Matthew A. Rozell - 2019
At my home, the mailman would walk up towards the front porch, and I saw it just as clear as if he's standing beside me—I see his blue jacket and the blue cap and the leather mailbag. Here he goes up to the house, but he doesn’t turn. He goes right up the front steps. This happened so fast, probably a matter of seconds, but the first thing that came to mind, that's the way my folks would find out what happened to me. The next thing I know, I kind of come to, and I'm in the push-up mode. I'm half up out of the underwater depression, and I'm trying to figure out what the hell happened to those prone figures on the beach, and all of a sudden, I realized I'm in amongst those bodies!” —Army demolition engineer, Omaha Beach, D-Day Dying for freedom isn’t the worst that could happen. Being forgotten is. — “My last mission was the Bastogne mission. We were being towed, we're approaching Bastogne, and I see a cloud of flak, anti-aircraft fire. I said to myself, ‘I'm not going to make it.’ There were a couple of groups ahead of us, so now the anti-aircraft batteries are zeroing in. Every time a new group came over, they kept zeroing in. My outfit had, I think, 95% casualties.” —Glider pilot, D-Day and beyond Maybe our veterans did not volunteer to tell us their stories; perhaps we were too busy with our own lives to ask. But they opened up to a younger generation, when a history teacher taught his students to engage. — “I was fighting in the hedgerows for five days; it was murder. But psychologically, we were the best troops in the world. There was nobody like us; I had all the training that they could give us, but nothing prepares you for some things. You know, in my platoon, the assistant platoon leader got shot right through the head, right through the helmet, dead, right there in front of me. That affects you, doesn’t it?” ” —Paratrooper, D-Day and beyond As we forge ahead as a nation, do we owe it to ourselves to become reacquainted with a generation that is fast leaving us, who asked for nothing but gave everything, to attune ourselves as Americans to a broader appreciation of what we stand for? This is the fifth book in the masterful WWII oral history series, but you can read them in any order. — “Somebody asked me once, what was the hardest part for you in the war? And I thought about a young boy who came in as a replacement; the first thing he said was, ‘How long will it be before I'm a veteran?’ I said, ‘If I'm talking to you the day after you're in combat, you're a veteran.’ He replaced one of the gunners who had been killed on the back of the half-track. Now, all of a sudden, the Germans were pouring this fire in on us. He was working on the track and when he jumped off, he went down, called my name. I ran over to him and he was bleeding in the mouth… From my experience before, all I could do was hold that kid’s hand and tell him it’s going to be all right. ‘You'll be all right.
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.
Legion of the Lost: The True Experience of an American in the French Foreign Legion
Jaime Salazar - 2005
Made up completely of volunteers, the Legion gives men a new lease on life - and a chance to test their limits both physically and mentally. In 1999, the Legion was just what American Jaime Salazar was looking for ..." "The son of underpaid Mexican immigrants, Jaime found himself on the corporate fast track after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. But at twenty-three, he was already disillusioned with what life had to offer him: a luxury car, a corporate expense account, a future sitting behind a desk." "Always fascinated with the Legion, he decided to join up while on a trip to Europe. Giving up his identity and five years of his life, he was a misfit American in a rag-tag group of recruits - men from homelands without proper armies, men on the run from their pasts, men without hope - in the Legion's notoriously brutal training regime." From the harrowing physical rigors of basic training to his posting in the 2e REG outside of the tiny village of Saint Christol, from his fierce competitiveness and pride to his ultimate disillusionment with the Legion and dramatic desertion, this is the story of one man's quest for honor and sacrifice. Legion of the Lost is a compelling firsthand account of the contemporary French Foreign Legion, sure to dispel myths while at the same time add to the legend of the finest trained army of mercenaries the world has ever seen.
HMS Sheffield: The Life and Times of 'Old Shiny'
Ronald Bassett - 1988
Launched in 1936 by Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent, HMS Sheffield was the third of the Royal Navy’s ten Town-class cruisers. She marked a number of firsts: the first ship to be named for Sheffield, the first to have stainless steel fixtures instead of brass, and the first to carry operational RDF (Radio Direction Finding) equipment. Old Shiny, as she became affectionately known, was manufactured to the high standards of peacetime. Even hitting a mine was unable to render her inactive for long. Her crew simply manufactured a wooden patch, and saw her safely home. Achieving twelve honours over thirty years’ service, Old Shiny notably exchanged salvoes with the Bismarck, engaged Admiral Hipper and Lützow, and helped sink Scharnhorst. A more unusual deployment came in 1956, as HMS Sheffield was one of the ships loaned by the Admiralty for the Technicolor epic The Battle of the River Plate! Drawn from the experiences of the men who lived, fought and served on board, in HMS Sheffield Ronald Bassett paints an evocative and highly personal portrait of Old Shiny, and shows how she was more than just a warship. Praise for Ronald Bassett ‘One of the most impressive things I found about the book was that you got a real feel for the time and place. Scenes set in India or England felt different and I think that's a great achievement.’ – Library Thing ‘vividly described … the voyage as seen through the sleep-robbed eyes of matelots and officers alike’ – Daily Telegraph ‘A catalogue of horror’ – Eastern Daily Press ‘There is a degree of authenticity that makes the blood run cold’ – Cambridge News ‘Fast, vigorous action’ – Sheffield Morning Telegraph ‘Graphic tale of slave and convict ships… not for tender stomachs’ – Books and Bookmen 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light
David Downie - 2015
The art and architecture, the cityscape, riverbanks, and the unparalleled quality of daily life are part of the equation.But the city’s allure derives equally from hidden sources: querulous inhabitants, a bizarre culture of heroic negativity, and a rich historical past supplying enigmas, pleasures and challenges. Rarely do visitors suspect the glamor and chic and the carefree atmosphere of the City of Light grew from and still feed off the dark fountainheads of riot, rebellion, mayhem and melancholy—and the subversive literature, art and music of the Romantic Age.Weaving together his own with the lives and loves of Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Charles Baudelaire, Balzac, Nadar and other great Romantics Downie delights in the city’s secular romantic pilgrimage sites asking , Why Paris, not Venice or Rome—the tap root of "romance"—or Berlin, Vienna and London—where the earliest Romantics built castles-in-the-air and sang odes to nightingales? Read A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light and find out.