'Compellingly authentic, revelatory and beautifully written. A gripping tour de force' Damien Lewis
Almost seventy-five years have passed since D-Day, the day of the greatest seaborne invasion in history. The outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance on that chill June morning. If Allied forces succeeded in gaining a foothold in northern France, the road to victory would be open. But if the Allies could be driven back into the sea, the invasion would be stalled for years, perhaps forever.
An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships and 20,000 armoured vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on 6 June 1944 was, above all, a story of individual heroics - of men who were driven to keep fighting until the German defences were smashed and the precarious beachheads secured. Their authentic human story - Allied, German, French - has never fully been told.
Giles Milton's bold new history narrates the day's events through the tales of survivors from all sides: the teenage Allied conscript, the crack German defender, the French resistance fighter. From the military architects at Supreme Headquarters to the young schoolboy in the Wehrmacht's bunkers, D-Day: The Soldiers' Story lays bare the absolute terror of those trapped in the frontline of Operation Overlord. It also gives voice to those hitherto unheard - the French butcher's daughter, the Panzer Commander's wife, the chauffeur to the General Staff.
This vast canvas of human bravado reveals 'the longest day' as never before - less as a masterpiece of strategic planning than a day on which thousands of scared young men found themselves staring death in the face. It is drawn in its entirety from the raw, unvarnished experiences of those who were there.
Illustrated with detailed artworks and full-colour photographs, Warships is a comprehensive study of the key warships built since the nineteenth century. Arranged chronologically, each vessel has a cutaway artwork labelled with key items of interest, and accompanying photographs showing both the ship's interior and exterior in detail. Each entry also has full design and development history, and descriptions of any active service. The book explores warships from the industrial age up to the latest hi-tech carrier, and includes numerous submarines as well as battleships from all the major naval powers.
With detailed specifications for each vessel, all the major warships up to the present day are featured, including the Bismarck, the German U-boat, the Ark Royal and the Nimitz-class, making Warships an essential reference guide for modellers, military historians and naval enthusiasts.
The remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai, and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society.
The man who came to be known as Yasuke arrived in Japan in the 16th century, an indentured mercenary arriving upon one of the Portuguese ships carrying a new language, a new religion and an introduction to the slave trade. Curiously tall, bald, massively built and black skinned, he was known as a steadfast bodyguard of immense strength and stature, and swiftly captured the interest, and thence the trust, of the most powerful family in all of Japan. Two years later, he vanished.
Yasuke is the story of a legend that still captures the imagination of people across the world. It brings to life a little known side of Japan - a gripping narrative about an extraordinary figure in a fascinating time and place.
During the Vietnam War, the US Air Force secretly trained pilots from Laos, skirting Lao neutrality in order to bolster the Royal Lao Air Force and their own war efforts. Beginning in 1964, this covert project, "Water Pump," operated out of Udorn Airbase in Thailand with the support of the CIA. This Secret War required recruits from Vietnam-border region willing to take great risks-a demand that was met by the marginalized Hmong ethnic minority. Soon, dozens of
Hmong men were training at Water Pump and providing air support to the US-sponsored clandestine army in Laos. Short and problematic training that resulted in varied skill levels, ground fire, dangerous topography, bad weather conditions, and poor aircraft quality, however, led to a nearly 50 percent
casualty rate, and those pilots who survived mostly sought refuge in the United States after the war. Drawing from numerous oral history interviews, Fly Until You Die brings their stories to light for the first time-in the words of those who lived it.
Wolfe Frank was Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials where he was dubbed 'The Voice of Doom'. A playboy turned resistance worker he had fled Germany for England in 1937 having been branded an 'enemy of the state - to be shot on sight'. Initially interned as an 'enemy alien', he was later released and allowed to join the British Army - where he rose to the rank of Captain. Unable to speak English when he arrived by the time of the trials he was considered to be the finest interpreter in the world.
In the months following his service at Nuremberg, Frank became increasingly alarmed at the misinformation coming out of Germany so in 1949, backed by the New York Herald Tribune, he risked his life again by returning to the country of his birth to make an 'undercover' survey of the main facets of post-war German life and viewpoints. During his enterprise he worked as a German alongside Germans in factories, on the docks, in a refugee camp and elsewhere. Equipped with false papers he sought objective answers to many questions including: refugees; anti-Semiticism; morality, de-Nazification; religion; nationalism.
The NYHT said at the time: 'A fresh appraisal of the German question could only be obtained by a German and Mr Frank had all the exceptional qualifications necessary. We believe the result of his "undercover" work told in human, factual terms, is an important contribution to one of the great key problems of the post-war world ... and incidentally it contains some unexpected revelations and dramatic surprises'. The greatest of those surprises was Frank single handedly tracking down and arresting the SS General ranked 'fourth' on the allies 'most wanted' list - and personally taking and transcribing the Nazi's confession.
The Undercover Nazi Hunter not only reproduces Frank's series of articles (as he wrote them) and a translation of the confession, which, until now, has never been seen in the public domain, it also reveals the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of a great American newspaper agonizing over how best to deal with this unique opportunity and these important exposes.
On 1 April 1982 Major Mike Norman, commander of Naval Party 8901, was looking forward to a peaceful year-long tour of duty on the Falkland Islands. But events turned out differently, for the next day the Argentinians invaded and he and his forty-three Royal Marines found themselves fighting for their lives. They took up defensive positions around Government House in Port Stanley to protect the Governor, Rex Hunt. After a desperate battle in the gardens and even inside the house, Hunt ordered them to lay down their arms. As the surrender took place, an Argentinian told a marine: The islands are ours now . The response was simple: We will be back . They were, and this is their story. The Royal Marines of Naval Party 8901 as well as some members of the previous detachment volunteered to join the Task Force, and so the men who witnessed the raising of the Argentinian flag over the islands on 2 April saw the triumphant return of the Union Jack. Mike Norman s account is a powerful and moving tribute to the marines who confronted the Argentinians when they invaded and then fought to force them out.
Operation Market Garden, September 1944, the Netherlands. Three parachute drops and one armoured charge. The prize was the last bridge at Arnhem over the Neder Rijn. Taken intact it would provide the Allies with a back door into Germany - the famous Bridge Too Far'. This was one of the most audacious and imaginative operations of the war, and it failed, and Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history is a vivid introduction to it.
In a sequence of almost 200 archive photographs accompanied by a detailed narrative he describes the landing of British and American parachutists and glider troops. At the same time British tanks spearheaded a sixty-mile dash along Hell's Highway' to link up with the lightly armed and heavily outnumbered airborne forces.
Most books about the resulting battle concentrate on the struggle at Arnhem and the heroism of the British 1st Airborne Division. This book puts that episode in its wider context. In particular it focuses on the efforts of the US 101st and 82nd airborne divisions to hold off counterattacks by German battlegroups during the tanks' advance.
The photographs give a dramatic insight into all sides of a remarkable but ill-fated operation which has fascinated historians and been the subject of controversy ever since. They also portray, as only photographs can, the men who were involved and the places and conditions in which the fighting took place.
The 1956 Suez War, fought between Egypt and the improbable coalition of Britain, France, and Israel, was a key point in the history of the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. A blitzkrieg-style Israeli victory proved that Israel's victory in the 1948 war was not an accident to be swiftly fixed by Arab armies, and gave the country eleven years of relative peace until the next major conflict. An Anglo-French blunder marked the decline of British and French influence in the Middle East, to be replaced by Soviet and US involvement. Egyptian defiance of the great powers of the past marked the high point of Arab nationalism.
Despite the importance of the Suez conflict, almost no comprehensive military history of it exists. This book changes this by presenting a clear, comprehensive narrative of the conflict with a special emphasis on the military decisions and the short- and long-term results of the conflict, both tactical and strategic, military and political.
The British Eighth Army, which played a decisive role in defeating the Axis in North Africa, was one of the most celebrated Allied armies of the Second World War, and this photographic history is the ideal introduction to it. The carefully chosen photographs show the men, weapons and equipment of the army during campaigns in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The battles the army fought in the Western Desert in 1941 and 1942 are the stuff of legend, as is the second Battle of El Alamein when, under Montgomery, it defeated the German and Italian forces commanded by Rommel. The book gives a vivid insight into the fighting and the desert conditions, and it shows what a varied, multinational force the army was, for it brought together men from Britain, the British Empire and Commonwealth as well as Free French, Greeks and Poles.
When the wagons of the Voortrekkers - the Boers, those hardy descendants of the Dutch - moved into the southern African interior in 1836, on the Great Trek, their epic journey to escape British control at the Cape, the wheels of their wagons crunched over carpets of skeletons of those slain in the Mfecane.
The years 1815 to 1840 were probably the most devastating and violent period of South Africa's turbulent history. The Mfecane (Zulu) or Difaqane (Sotho) was a result of many factors including internecine conflict among the Zulu tribes themselves. Faced with the wrath of the great King Shaka, Mzilikazi (The Road) fled with his followers, who became the Matabele, cutting a swathe of destruction, pillage and genocide across southern Africa from the land of the Zulu (KwaZulu-Natal today) to the Highveld in the north.
New alliances and allegiances were forged as refugees fled from the path of the rampaging Mzilikazi, leading to the creation of new nations and alliances between the arriving Voortrekkers and the enemies of the Matabele. Finally defeated in 1836 by the Voortrekkers in a nine-day battle, Mzilikazi crossed the Limpopo River and founded the kingdom of the Matabele in what is now Zimbabwe.