The Boys: Triumph Over Adversity
By Martin Gilbert
In August 1945, the first of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust reached Britain. First settled in the Lake District, they formed a tightly knit group of friends whose terrible shared experience is almost beyond imagining. This is their story, which begins in the lost communities of pre-World War II central Europe, moves through ghetto, concentration camp and death march, to liberation, survival, and finally, fifty years later, a deeply moving reunion. Martin Gilbert has brought together the recollections of this remarkable group of survivors. With magisterial narration, he tells their astonishing stories. The Boys bears witness to the human spirit, enduring the depths, and bearing hopefully the burden and challenge of survival.'Martin Gilbert is to be congratulated on producing a masterly and deeply moving tribute to those who had the courage and luck to survive' Literary Review
Blood and Fears
By Kevin Wilson
How America's bomber boys and girls in England won their war, and how their English allies responded to them.In this comprehensive history, Kevin Wilson allows the young men of the US 8th Air Force based in Britain during the Second World War to tell their stories of blood and heroism in their own words. He also reveals the lives of the Women's Army Corps and Red Cross girls who served in England with them. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Wilson brings to life the ebullient Americans' interactions with their British counterparts, and unveils surprising stories of humanity and heartbreak.Thanks to America's bomber boys and girls, life in Britain would never be the same again.
By Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis
For three decades one of the most secretive units in the British military has been a mystery force known as X Platoon.Officially there was no X Platoon. The forty men in its elite number were specially selected from across the Armed Forces, at which point they simply ceased to exist. X Platoon had no budget, no weaponry, no vehicles and no kit - apart from what its men could beg, borrow or steal from other military units.For the first time a highly decorated veteran of this specialised force - otherwise known as the Pathfinders - reveals its unique story. Steve Heaney became one of the youngest ever to pass Selection, the gruelling trial of elite forces, and was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations - serving on anti-narcotics operations in the Central American jungles, on missions hunting war criminals in the Balkans, and being sent to spy on and wage war against the Russians.The first non-officer in the unit's history to be award the Military Cross, Steve Heaney reveals the extraordinary work undertaken by this secret band of brothers.
By Russell Miller
Masterly biography of the 'greatest commander of the 20th century'.Field Marshal Slim is less well known than other Second World War generals, but is now widely regarded as the best. To the men under his command he was 'Uncle Bill', probably the most respected and loved military leader since the Duke of Marlborough. Born into an impoverished family in Bristol in 1891 and brought up in the Black Country, he was commissioned as a temporary Second Lieutenant on the outbreak of the First World War. Twice seriously wounded, in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1918. After the war he was unable to remain an officer in the class-ridden British Army without private means and transferred to the Indian Army, where he developed an enduring affection for the Ghurkhas and began writing short stories to supplement his income.Slim's career stalled between the wars, but during this time he developed the leadership techniques that would make him a national hero within a decade and which are still taught today at Sandhurst. Promotion came rapidly with the Second World War, and in March 1942 he was sent to Burma to take command of the British-Indian First Burma Corps, then in full flight from the advancing Japanese. Through the force of his leadership, Slim turned disorderly panic into a controlled military withdrawal across the border into India. Two years later, having raised and retrained the largest army ever assembled by Britain, Slim drove the enemy out of Burma and shattered the myth of Japanese invincibility which had hamstrung the Allied operations in the East for so long. Slim returned to Britain laden with awards and honours. He became a popular Governor-General of Australia in 1953, was raised to the peerage, and died in London in 1970.This important biography will be written with the full cooperation of the Slim family, and Russell Miller has had access to all their papers.
The War Behind the Wire
By John Lewis-Stempel
The last untold story of the First World War: the fortunes and fates of 170,000 British soldiers captured by the enemy.On capture, British officers and men were routinely told by the Germans 'For you the war is over'. Nothing could be further from the truth. British Prisoners of War merely exchanged one barbed-wire battleground for another.In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage, with a literal spanner put in the works of the factories and salt mines prisoners were forced to slave in. British PoWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped. Then escaped again. No less than 29 officers at Holzminden camp in 1918 burrowed their way out via a tunnel (dug with a chisel and trowel) in the Great Escape of the Great War. It was war with heart-breaking consequences; more than 12,000 PoWs died, many of them murdered, to buried in shallow unmarked graves.Using contemporary records - from prisoners' diaries to letters home to poetry - John Lewis-Stempel reveals the death, life and, above all, the glory of Britain's warriors behind the wire. For it was in the PoW camps, far from the blasted trenches, that the true spirit of the Tommy was exemplified.
By Christopher Robbins
The incredible inside story of the world's most extraordinary covert operation.Air America - a secret airline run by the CIA - flew missions no one else would touch, from General Claire Cennault's legendary Flying Tigers in WW II to two brutal decades cruising over the bomb-savaged jungles of Southeast Asia. Their pilots dared all and did all - a high-rolling, fast-playing bunch of has-beens and hellraisers whose motto was 'Anything, Anywhere, Anytime'. Whether it was delivering food and weapons or spooks and opium, Air America was the one airline where you didn't need reservations - just a hell of a lot of courage and a willingness to fly to the bitter end.
Low Level Hell
By Hugh Mills, Robert Anderson
'The best 'bird's eye view' of the helicopter war in Vietnam in print today ... Mills has captured the realities of a select group of aviators who shot craps with death on every mission' R.S. Maxham, Director, US Army Aviation MuseumThe aeroscouts of the 1st Infantry Division have three words emblazoned on their unit patch: Low Level Hell. It was the perfect concise defininition of what those intrepid aviators experienced as they ranged the skies of Vietnam from the Cambodian border to the Iron Triangle. The Outcasts, as they were known, flew low and slow. They were the aerial eyes of the division in search of the enemy. Too often for longevity's sake they found the Viet Cong and the fight was on. These young pilots, who were usually 19 to 22 years old, invented the book as they went along.
Fate is the Hunter
By Ernest K. Gann
The copper-bottomed classic from a memorable and courageous pilot.FATE IS THE HUNTER is a fascinating and thrilling account of some of the more memorable experiences Ernest K Gann had in the air. He's flown in both peace and war and come close to death many times. Here he reveals the characters he's known and the dramas he's experienced, portraying fate (or death) as a hunter constantly in pursuit of pilots. This is a fabulous account of both the history of aviation and one man's life in the air.
Backs to the Wall
By G.D. Mitchell
'In that hour was born in me a fear that lasted throughout the whole winter. It was the dread of dying in the mud, going down in that stinking morass and though dead being conscious throughout the ages. Waves of fear at times threatened to overwhelm me... a little weakness, a little slackening of control at times and I might have gone over the borderline.In the light of the sun, on firm ground, I could laugh at fate. But where the churned mud half hid and half revealed bodies, where dead hands reached out of the morass, seeming to implore aid - there I had to hold tight.'In this gripping account, George Deane Mitchell relives the horror and the humour of being an Australian soldier on the Western Front in World War I. Backs to the Wall by was originally published in 1937. This new edition - with commentary by Robert Macklin, author of Jacka VC - will allow a new generation of readers to fall under the spell of this forgotten Australian classic.
The Strength of a Nation
By Michael McKernan
This comprehensive history of Australia's often overlooked but important role in World War II, in which one million service members from a country with a population of seven million served, is based on the moving and emotional personal stories of soldiers who served on the front lines and of prominent politicians on the home front. Campaigns in which Australian soldiers played a significant role are discussed, including those in North Africa, the Middle East, New Guinea, and the Anzac Corps in Greece.
By Max Arthur
The 'Forgotten Voices' of the First World War speak for the final timeFORGOTTEN VOICES OF THE GREAT WAR was the surprise best-seller at Christmas 2002, selling over 60,000 copies in hardback alone. The formula was simple: Max Arthur interviewed some of the 30 surviving British soldiers from the First World War and combined their stories with other interviews in the Imperial War Museum and various private collections.LAST POST is very consciously the last word from the handful of survivors left alive in 2004. When they die, our final human connection with the First World War will be broken: after this book, we will have only recordings or diaries. We will never be able to ask a question of someone who was there.
By Gary Sheffield, John Bourne
The diaries of the most controversial British general of the twentieth century.There's a commonly held view that Douglas Haig was a bone-headed, callous butcher, who through his incompetence as commander of the British Army in WWI, killed a generation of young men on the Somme and Passchendaele. On the other hand there are those who view Haig as a man who successfully struggled with appalling difficulties to produce an army which took the lead in defeating Germany in 1918.Haig's Diaries, hitherto only previously available in bowdlerised form, give the C-in-C's view of Asquith and his successor Lloyd George, of whom he was highly critical. The diaries show him intriguing with the King vs. Lloyd George. Additional are his day by day accounts of the key battles of the war, not least the Somme campaign of 1916.