To mark the 50th anniversary of the end of National Service, Historian Dr. Colin Shindler has interviewed a wide range of ex-conscripts, from all backgrounds, across all ranks, and spanning the entire fourteen years that peacetime conscription lasted, and captured their memories in this engrossing book. From them, we experience the tension of a postwar Berlin surrounded by Russians, the exotic heat and colour of Tripoli in 1948, the brief but intense flashpoint of the Suez Crisis, and the fear of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.
The bloodbath at Waterloo ended a war that had engulfed the world for over 20 years. It also finished the career of the charismatic Napoleon Bonaparte. It ensured the final liberation of Germany and the restoration of the old European monarchies, and it represented one of very few defeats for the glorious French army, most of whose soldiers remained devoted to their Emperor until the very end.
Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer's monumental study of Hitler's German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century's blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.
"A unique account"
The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling modern classic: A Bravo Two Zero for the Second Gulf War. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps.
"Gripping account of a special forces op"
Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. Band of Brothers is the account of the men of this remarkable unit.
"A poignant story of heroism"
With an introduction read by Max Hastings. Bomber Command's offensive against the cities of Germany was one of the epic campaigns of the Second World War. More than 56,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew and 600,000 Germans died in the course of the RAF's attempt to win the war by bombing. The struggle began in 1939 with a few score primitive Whitleys, Hampdens and Wellingtons, and ended six years later with 1,600 Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Mosquitoes razing whole cities in a single night.
"Target for tonight"
The famous D-Day landings of 6 June, 1944, marked the beginning of Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Republished as part of the Pan Military Classics series, Max Hastings' acclaimed account overturns many traditional legends in this memorable study. Drawing together the eyewitness accounts of survivors from both sides, plus a wealth of previously untapped sources and documents, Overlord provides a brilliant, controversial perspective on the devastating battle.
"Max Hastings is a credit to history"
A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.
"Shame he was on the wrong side"
A dramatic countdown of the final months of World War II in Europe, The Last 100 Days brings to life the waning power and the ultimate submission of the Third Reich. To reconstruct the tumultuous hundred days between Yalta and the fall of Berlin, John Toland traveled more than 100,000 miles in twenty-one countries and interviewed more than six hundred people - from Hitler's personal chauffeur to Generals von Manteuffel, Wenck, and Heinrici.
The New York Times best-selling author of Viper Pilot and retired USAF F-16 legend Dan Hampton offers the first comprehensive popular history of combat aviation - a unique, entertaining, and action-packed look at the aces of the air and their machines, from the Red Baron and his triplane in World War I to today's technologically expert flying warriors in supersonic jets.
"Bandits at 6 o'clock"
His code name is Mr Clark. And his work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded, and efficient...but who is he really? In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality - to become the CIA legend, Mr Clark.
This is an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Without mercy. Without guilt. Without remorse.
With an introduction read by Max Hastings. An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of 16 'warriors' from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings. Over the course of 40 years of writing about war, Max Hastings has grown fascinated by outstanding deeds of derring-do on the battlefield (land, sea, or air) - and by their practitioners.
"Excellent History lesson"
Within days of the D-Day landings, the 'Das Reich' 2nd SS Panzer Division marched north through France to reinforce the front-line defenders of Hitler's Fortress Europe. Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with their tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live forever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war.
"Gripping, balanced, multifaceted"
In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.
"A biography worthy of Churchill"
The Falklands War was one of the strangest in British history - 28,000 men sent to fight for a tiny relic of empire 8,000 miles from home. At the time, many Britons saw it as a tragic absurdity, but the British victory confirmed the quality of British arms and boosted the political fortunes of the Conservative government.
"Very good balanced history"
When Allied forces invaded Iraq in April 2003 their intelligence operations began looking for the WMD, quickly realising no such weapons existed. Instead they become faced with an ever-increasing spiral of extremism and violence. Combining intelligence with brute force, the SAS went on the attack, night after night targeting Al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups with an intensity never before practiced by the service.
"Special. Forces you to listen! :)"
On 25 June, 1950, the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North launched one of the bloodiest conflicts of the last century. The seemingly limitless power of the Chinese-backed North was thrown against the ferocious firepower of the UN-backed South in a war that can be seen today as the stark prelude to Vietnam.
Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers.
"Another Excellent Account Of US SF In Afghanastan"
In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission: to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and to search for her lover, an English airman who has gone missing in action. In the small town of Lavaurette, Sebastian Faulks presents a microcosm of France and its agony in 'the black years'. Here is the full range of collaboration, from the tacit to the enthusistic, as well as examples of extraordinary courage and altruism.
"An exceptionally well told story, in every respect"
Battle: The Story of the Bulge, John Toland's first work of military history, recounts the saga of beleaguered American troops as they resisted Hitler's deadly counter offensive in World War II's Battle of the Bulge - and turned it into an Allied victory. It is a gripping work, painstakingly researched and imbued with such vivid detail that listeners will feel as though they themselves witnessed these events. This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in this tumultuous era of our world's history.
Karen M. Masterson, a journalist turned malaria researcher, uncovers the complete story behind this dark tale of science, medicine and war. Illuminating, riveting and surprising, The Malaria Project captures the ethical perils of seeking treatments for disease while ignoring the human condition.
War is a constant in human society and has been for thousands of years. That will not change anytime soon. Therefore, it behooves us to study war so that we can be better prepared as a society for the sacrifices required to achieve victory. In that respect, it is more important to study the defeated and to understand why they were defeated. Almost as important as the war itself, is the peace. Poor war termination leads to another war, while skillful war termination leads to long-term settlement.
Kiss the Boys Goodbye convincingly shows that a legacy of shame remains from America's ill-fated involvement in Vietnam even though that conflict ended over 35 years ago. Until US government policy on POW/MIAs changes, it remains one of the most crucial issues for any American soldier who fights for home and country, particularly when we are engaged with an enemy who doesn't adhere to the international standards for the treatment of prisoners - or any American hostage...
Despite its attractive name, Antietam was a man-made disaster, its name signifying horror to the participants and to generations of their families. Some 6,400 Americans were killed or mortally wounded on that day, which is more than those killed in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War and all the Indian wars, combined.
FNH Audio presents an unabridged reading of Small Unit Action in Vietnam. This book was written as a "lessons learned" guide for fighting men. It relates incidents of actual small unit combat. Compiled by an author who accompanied the men into combat it relates the personal stories of the men on the ground. Included are the details of nine encounters. From fighting in mine laden paddies, ambushes, artillery spotting missions and dealing with snipers on the march.
This groundbreaking audiobook offers a new analysis of the British Army during the "American rebellion" at both operational and tactical levels. Presenting fresh insights into the speed of British tactical movements, Spring discloses how the system for training the army prior to 1775 was overhauled and adapted to the peculiar conditions confronting it in North America.
This audiobook challenges several longstanding notions about the American way of war. It examines US military practice (strategic and operational) from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine what patterns, if any, existed in the way Americans have used military force. Echevarria surveys all major US wars and most every small conflict in the country's military history.
General Stonewall Jackson was like no one anyone had ever seen. In April of 1862 he was merely another Confederate general with only a single battle credential in an army fighting in what seemed to be a losing cause. By middle June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western World. He had given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked: hope.
On January 24, 1915, a German naval force commanded by Admiral Franz von Hipper conducted a raid on British fishing fleets in the area of the Dogger Banks. The force was engaged by a British force, which had been alerted by a decoded radio intercept. The ensuing battle would prove to be the largest and longest surface engagement until the Battle of Jutland the following summer.
Coward. It's a grave insult, likely to provoke anger, shame, even violence. But what exactly is cowardice? When terrorists are called cowards, does it mean the same as when the term is applied to soldiers? And what, if anything, does cowardice have to do with the rest of us? Bringing together sources from court-martial cases to literary and film classics such as Dante's Inferno, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Thin Red Line, Cowardice recounts the great harm that both cowards and the fear of seeming cowardly have done, and traces the idea of cowardice's power to its evolutionary roots.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes' personal account of the Battle of Agincourt gives a unique view of one of the most significant turning points in English history. Six hundred years after the Battle of Agincourt, Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event that has resonated throughout British and French history. On 25th October 1415, on a French hillside near the village of Agincourt, four men sheltered from the rain and prepared for battle.
In May 1861, Virginian Thomas Henry Carter raised an artillery battery and joined the Confederate Army. Over the next four years, he rose steadily in rank from captain to colonel, placing him among the senior artillerists in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. During the war, Carter wrote more than 100 revealing letters to his wife, Susan, about his service. His interactions with prominent officers - including Lee, Jubal A.Early, John B. Gordon, Robert E. Rodes, and others - come to life in Carter's astute comments about their conduct and personalities.
Judy, a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only animal POW of WWII, truly was a dog in a million. Whether she was dragging men to safety from the wreckage of a torpedoed ship, scavenging food to help feed the starving inmates of a hellish Japanese POW camp, or by her presence alone bringing inspiration and hope to men living through the 20th century's darkest days, she was cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her.
In Burning the Reichstag, Benjamin Hett offers a gripping account of Hitler's rise to dictatorship - one that challenges orthodoxy and recovers the true significance of the part the fire played. At the scene the police arrested 23-year-old Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist stonemason. Though he was initially dismissed abroad as a Nazi tool, post-war historians since the 1950s have largely judged him solely guilty - a lone arsonist exploited by Hitler.
General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
The Separately Together series is a three-volume work looking into the relationships of its characters during the American Civil War. Written by Charles Heaton Allen, a historian, this series is exciting and challenging. It has been described as "the most uniquely plotted and warmly character-driven of the many Civil War novels I've ever read, which includes many of them" by Col. William C. Moore. It is worthy of the attention of anyone captivated by the Civil War era.
A comprehensive study of the missile system that formed a critical component of the United States' nuclear arsenal. The Titan II ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program was developed by the United States military to bolster the size, strength, and speed of the nation's strategic weapons arsenal in the 1950s and 1960s.
The last days of the Korean War saw savage battles for control of important local terrain features, and in the trench warfare of the Chorwon Valley a young U.S. Army lieutenant was assigned to lead an infantry company charged with holding Outpost Harry against a determined Chinese assault. The battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat during a period of constant, intense fighting that lasted two days.
Compared with the most sophisticated weapons systems in use today, tunnels have withstood the test of time. There's no way to know how long drones or lasers or anti-missile defense systems will last, but as long as there is warfare, tunnels will almost certainly be part of the fight.
Six months after Pearl Harbor, the seemingly invincible Imperial Japanese Navy prepared a decisive blow against the United States. After sweeping through Asia and the South Pacific, Japan's military targeted the tiny atoll of Midway, an ideal launching pad for the invasion of Hawaii and beyond. The United States Navy would be waiting for them. Thanks to cutting-edge code-breaking technology, tactical daring, and a huge stroke of luck, the Americans under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz dealt the Japanese navy its first major defeat of the war.
In Masters and Commanders Andrew Roberts describes how four titanic figures shaped the grand strategy of the West during the Second World War. The book attempts to give answers to key questions regarding allied strategy based on the personalities and relationships between two political masters - Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt - and the military commanders of their armed forces - the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Sir Alan Brooke, and the US Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall.
An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom. An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought.
"Great book, but annoying mispronunciations"
"Alanbrooke," wrote General MacArthur, "is undoubtedly the greatest soldier that England has produced since Wellington." He fought with the artillery in the First World War, had a brilliant career as a peacetime soldier, and conducted his Corps with exemplary calm and courage in the retreat to Dunkirk. In November 1941 Churchill selected him as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and from that moment he became indispensable in Whitehall, the one man who could never be spared for the more spectacular feats of war on the battlefield which he longed to undertake.
This is the story of the average Canadian who volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force told through the lens of one battalion - the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. This Highland Regiment fought in the Ypres Salient and in the Somme, at Vimy, Passchendaele, and Amiens. It suffered the first gas attack; its ranks were decimated as it fought at virtually every major battle in the European theatre.
A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.
World War I stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain's leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor.
In 1914, a new kind of war came about, bringing with it a new kind of world. World War One began on horseback, with generals employing bayonet charges to gain ground, and ended with attacks resembling the Nazi blitzkriegs. The scale of devastation was unlike anything the world had seen before: 14 million combatants died, a further 20 million were wounded, and four empires were destroyed. Even the victors' empires were fatally damaged.
"Terrible narration - far too fast"
A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became 'enemy aliens' in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops' heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three amazing stories of contact between the opposing sides in the Great War that eminent historian Richard van Emden has unearthed - incidents that show brutality, great humanity, and above all the bizarre nature of a conflict between two nations with long-standing ties of kinship and friendship.
In the late 18th century, it was widely thought that to be a sailor was little better than to be a slave. "No man will be a sailor," wrote Samuel Johnson, "who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail. A man in jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company." If that were true, historian Nathan Miller suggests, then the record of sailing in the age of tall ships would likely be distinguished by few heroes and fewer grand narratives.
"Really good yarn but with an American slant"
The Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet a million and half men died in northeast Italy in a war that need never have happened, when Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire in May 1915. Led by General Luigi Cadorna, the most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, waves of Italian conscripts were sent charging up the limestone hills north of Trieste to be massacred by troops fighting to save their homelands.
"Excellent study of a little-known conflict"
One of the best selling History titles of 2009. Examining the Second World War on every front, Andrew Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, Hitler's Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once he was safely beyond defending himself?
"An Outstanding Piece of Work"