In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.
"Interesting, accurate and well read."
In the boot were six homemade pipe bombs, all linked to detonate at the same time from a single call on a brand-new pay-as-you-go phone found on the target. Special Branch also found Chinese Type 56 assault rifles with eight full magazines of ammunition. His target was a local school. He planned to attack two coaches of teenagers returning home after a school trip to France. Approximately 60 children, their accompanying teachers and their waiting parents. He was going to kill them all.
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"
It takes a tough mind-set to be a successful sniper, to be able to dig in for days on your own as you wait for your target, to stay calm on a battlefield when you yourself have become the target the enemy most wants to take out. Craig Harrison has what it takes, and in November 2009 in Afghanistan, under intense pressure, he saved the lives of his comrades with the longest confirmed sniper kill - 2,475 metres, the length of 25 football pitches.
The 13 chapters of The Art of War, each devoted to one aspect of warfare, were compiled by the high-ranking Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher Sun-Tzu. In spite of its battlefield specificity, The Art of War has found new life in the modern age with leaders in fields as wide and far-reaching as world politics, human psychology, and corporate strategy finding valuable insight in its timeworn words.
"Timeless Reading at its best"
Almost all accounts of D-Day are told from the Allied perspective, with the emphasis on how German resistance was overcome on June 6, 1944. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers and gun emplacements of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest seaborne invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day?
"D-Day ..."Shock and Awe"."
In the Spring of 1940, as Britain reeled from defeats on all fronts and America seemed frozen in isolation, one fear united the British and American leaders like no other: the Nazis had stolen a march on the Allies towards building the atomic bomb. So began the hunt for Hitler's nuclear weapons - nothing else came close in terms of priorities. It was to be the most secret war of those wars fought amongst the shadows. The highest stakes. The greatest odds.
"Disappointed that a lot of D Lewiss book fictional"
Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the 20th century, an appalling figure even within the context of the Nazi leadership. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany.
"robot narrator "
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.
"Superb story from a master author"
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"
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"
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.
"everything you need to know."
Wolfgang Faust was the driver of a Tiger I tank with the Wehrmacht Heavy Panzer Battalions, seeing extensive combat action on the Eastern Front in 1943-45. This memoir is his brutal and deeply personal account of the Russian Front's appalling carnage. Depicting a running tank engagement lasting 72 hours, Faust describes how his Tiger unit fought pitched battles in the snows of Western Russia against the full might of the Red Army.
"Fictional account, not true history."
On 12th April 1981 a revolutionary new spacecraft blasted off from Florida on her maiden flight. NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia was the most advanced flying machine ever built - the high watermark of post-war aviation development. A direct descendant of the record-breaking X-planes the likes of which Chuck Yeager had tested in the skies over the Mojave Desert, Columbia was a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, capable of flying to space and back before being made ready to fly again.
"Brilliant insight into a fantastic flying machine."
In this unprecedented audiobook, a paramilitary contractor with more than two decades of experience gives us a firsthand look into the secret lives of America's private warriors and their highly covert work around the world. Author Jamie Smith has planned and executed hundreds of missions on behalf of government agencies and private industry in some of the world's most dangerous hot spots - and lived to tell the tale.
"Gritty and funny"
There have been many biographies of Stalin, but the court that surrounded him is untravelled ground. Simon Sebag Montefiore, acclaimed biographer of Catherine the Great's lover, prime minister, and general, Potemkin, has unearthed the vast underpinning that sustained Stalin. Not only ministers such as Molotov or secret service chiefs such as Beria, but men and women whose loyalty he trusted only until the next purge.
"Superb and horrifying biography"
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.
"Masterful Military History"
The object of this audiobook is to introduce listeners to a whole range of military history which has all the drama, dangers, horrors and excitement that we associate with Stalingrad or the Somme. Battles are acute moments of history whenever and wherever they have been fought. Through them we can understand how warfare and world history have evolved. Choosing just 100 battles from recorded human history is a challenge.
From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.
"An interesting slice of history"
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.
"SEVENTY YEARS ON WE CAN SEE MORE CLEARLY"
The first book of D Day Through German Eyes has fascinated listeners around the world with its insight into the German experience of June 6, 1944. Now, book 2 contains a completely different set of astonishing German testimonies from the same archive. These newly translated eyewitness statements by German veterans show the defenders to be determined but psychologically insecure, often deluded in their thinking, and all too human in their shock at the onslaught they faced.
On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of the 6th Army, an elite German combat unit dispatched by Hitler to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and press on to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat. The Luftwaffe had already bombed the city into ruins. German soldiers hoped to complete their mission and be home in time for Christmas.
A Man Called Intrepid is the account of the world's first integrated intelligence operation and of its master, William Stephenson. Codenamed INTREPID by Winston Churchill, Stephenson was charged with establishing and running a vast, worldwide intelligence network to challenge the terrifying force of Nazi Germany. Nothing less than the fate of Britain and the free world hung in the balance as INTREPID covertly set about stalling the Nazis by any means necessary.
"Intriguing and insightful..."
In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports listeners to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle."
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.
"The best account of the Waterloo campaign.....ever"
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 story, poor reading"
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"
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"
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"
While the Battle of Berlin in 1945 is widely known, the horrific story of the Halbe Kessel remains largely untold. In April 1945, victorious Soviet forces encircled 80,000 men of the German 9th Army in the Halbe area, South of Berlin, together with many thousands of German women and children. The German troops, desperate to avoid Soviet capture, battled furiously to break out toward the West, where they could surrender to the comparative safety of the Americans.
In the Spring of 1974, 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese army made world headlines when he emerged from the Philippine jungle after a thirty-year ordeal. Hunted in turn by American troops, the Philippine army and police, hostile islanders, and eventually successive Japanese search parties, Onoda had skillfully outmaneuvered all his pursuers, convinced that World War II was still being fought and waiting for the day when his fellow soldiers would return victorious.
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.
In The Pity of War, Niall Ferguson makes a simple and provocative argument: that the human atrocity known as the Great War was entirely England's fault. Britain, according to Ferguson, entered into war based on nave assumptions of German aims-and England's entry into the war transformed a Continental conflict into a world war, which they then badly mishandled, necessitating American involvement.
"A fine book but better to read than listen to it"
This deeply researched book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers, while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and, often, victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world.