The classic account of the final offensive against Hitler’s Third Reich—newly in print for the 50th anniversary of VE Day.
The Battle for Berlin was the culminating struggle of World War II in the European theater, the last offensive against Hitler’s Third Reich, which devastated one of Europe’s historic capitals and brought the Nazi leviathan to its downfall. It was also one of the war’s bloodiest and most pivotal moments, whose outcome would play a part in determining the complexion of international politics for decades to come.
Meet Blackwater USA, the powerful private army that the U.S. government has quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. With its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and twenty-thousand troops at the ready, Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the “global war on terror”—yet most people have never heard of it.
It was the moment the war turned: On March 31, 2004, four Americans were ambushed and burned near their jeeps by an angry mob in the Sunni stronghold of Falluja. Their charred corpses were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. The ensuing slaughter by U.S. troops would fuel the fierce Iraqi resistance that haunts occupation forces to this day. But these men were neither American military nor civilians. They were highly trained private soldiers sent to Iraq by a secretive mercenary company based in the wilderness of North Carolina.
• Winner of the George Polk Book Award
• Alternet Best Book of the Year
• Barnes & Noble one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
• Amazon one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
The unexpected arrival of Soviet troops at the end of January 1945 at the ancient fortress and garrison town of Küstrin came as a tremendous shock to the German High Command—the Soviets were now only 50 miles from Berlin itself. The Red Army needed the vital road and rail bridges passing through Küstrin for their forthcoming assault on the capital, but flooding and their own high command’s strategic blunders resulted in a sixty-day siege by two Soviet armies which totally destroyed the town. The delay in the Soviet advance also gave the Germans time to consolidate the defenses shielding Berlin west of the Oder River. Despite Hitler’s orders to fight on to the last bullet, the Küstrin garrison commander and 1,000 of the defenders managed a dramatic breakout to the German lines.
Operation Berlin, the Soviet offensive launched on 16 April, 1945, by Marshals Zhukov and Koniev, isolated the German Ninth Army and tens of thousands of refugees in the Spreewald ‘pocket’, south-east of Berlin. Stalin ordered its encirclement and destruction and his subordinates, eager to win the race to the Reichstag, pushed General Busse’s 9th Army into a tiny area east of the village of Halbe. To escape the Spreewald pocket, the remains of 9th Army had to pass through Halbe, where barricades constructed by both sides formed formidable obstacles and the converging Soviet forces subjected the area to heavy artillery fire. By the time 9th Army eventually escaped the Soviet pincers, it had suffered 40,000 killed and 60,000 taken prisoner. Teenaged refugees recount their experiences alongside Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS veterans attempting to maintain military discipline amid the chaos and carnage of headlong retreat. While army commanders strive to extricate their decimated units, demoralised soldiers change into civilian clothing and take to the woods.
Relating the story day by day, Tony Le Tissier shows the impact of total war upon soldier and civilian alike, illuminating the unfolding of great and terrible events with the recollections of participants.
How did top Red Army commanders see the assault on Berlin in 1945 – what was their experience of the last, terrible battle of the Second World War in Europe? Personal accounts by the most famous generals involved – Zhukov, Koniev and Chuikov – have been published in English, but the recollections of their principal subordinates haven’t been available in the west before, and it is their role in the final Soviet offensive that is the focus of Tony Le Tissier’s fascinating book. These were the officers who were responsible for the execution of the Red Army’s plan for the assault, in immediate touch with the troops on the front line of the advance. They saw most clearly where the operation succeeded and where it failed. Their recollections, publication of which was long banned in the Soviet Union, throw a new light on the course of battle and on the inner workings of the Red Army command in the final phase of the conflict.
On September 8, 1941, eleven weeks after Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, his brutal surprise attack on the Soviet Union, Leningrad was surrounded. The siege was not lifted for two and a half years, by which time some three quarters of a million Leningraders had died of starvation.
Anna Reid’s is a gripping, authoritative narrative history of this dramatic moment in the twentieth century, interwoven with indelible personal accounts of daily siege life drawn from diarists on both sides. They reveal the Nazis’ deliberate decision to starve Leningrad into surrender and Hitler’s messianic miscalculation, the incompetence and cruelty of the Soviet war leadership, the horrors experienced by soldiers on the front lines, and, above all, the terrible details of life in the blockaded city: the relentless search for food and water; the withering of emotions and family ties; looting, murder, and cannibalism—and at the same time, extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice.
Stripping away decades of Soviet propaganda, and drawing on newly available diaries and government records, also tackles a raft of unanswered questions: Was the size of the death toll as much the fault of Stalin as of Hitler? Why didn’t the Germans capture the city? Why didn’t it collapse into anarchy? What decided who lived and who died? Impressive in its originality and literary style, gives voice to the dead and will rival Anthony Beevor’s classic in its impact.
“Eloquent… An aggressively written account of frontline combat, with plenty of action.”
“Reads like a first-person thriller narrated by a sniper. The bare-bones facts are stunning. …A first-rate military memoir.”
“ is the inside story of what it’s like to be in war. A brave warrior and patriot, Chris Kyle writes frankly about the missions, personal challenges, and hard choices that are part of daily life of an elite SEAL Sniper. It’s a classic!”
“In the community of elite warriors, one man has risen above our ranks and distinguished himself as unique. Chris Kyle is that man. A master sniper, Chris has done and seen things that will be talked about for generations to come.”
“The raw and unforgettable narrative of the making of our country’s record-holding sniper, Chris Kyle’s memoir is a powerful book, both in terms of combat action and human drama. Chief Kyle is a true American warrior down to the bone, the Carlos Hathcock of a new generation.”
The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide.
As former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite brings unique insights to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The story has been distorted not only by Cold War propaganda but also by the myths of the nineteenth century Great Game. It moves from the high politics of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in isolated mountain outposts. The parallels with Afghanistan today speak for themselves.
‘A superb achievement of narrative history, sensitive writing and exciting fresh research’: so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore about Rodric Braithwaite’s bestseller . But those words, and many others of praise that were given it, could equally apply to his new book.
The true story of one man’s determination to master the world’s deadliest helicopter and of a split-second decision that changed the face of modern warfare.
Ed Macy bent every rule in the book to get to where he wanted to be: on Ops in the stinking heat of the Afghan summer, with the world’s greatest weapons system at his fingertips. It’s 2006 and he is part of an elite group of pilots assigned to the controversial Apache AH Mk1 gunship programme. So far, though, the monstrously expensive Apache has done little to disprove its detractors. For the first month ‘in action’ Ed sees little more from his cockpit than the back end of a Chinook.
But everything changes in the skies over Now Zad. Under fire and out of options, Ed has one chance to save his own skin and those of the men on the ground. Though the Apache bristles with awesome weaponry, its fearsome Hellfire missile has never been fired in combat. Then, in the blistering heat of the firefight, the trigger is pulled.
It’s a split-second decision that forever changes the course of the Afghan war, as overnight the gunship is transformed from being an expensive liability to the British Army’s greatest asset. From that moment on, Ed and his squadron mates will face the steepest learning curve of their lives – fighting an endless series of high-octane missions against a cunning and constantly evolving enemy. Ed himself will have to risk everything to fly, fight and survive in the most hostile place on earth.
This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty, and with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die-and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did-from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of victims, to the final howling attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.
An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.
From the air, the Pacific island of Iwo Jima looks like a large, gray pork chop. Its strategic location, midway between the U.S. B-29 airfields on the Marianas Islands and the Japanese home islands meant that it had to be seized no matter what the cost. On February 19, 1945, the invasion of Iwo Jima was launched. It became the greatest battle fought by the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. From it came the most famous image of the war, the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi. When it ended a month later, the Marines had suffered 20,000 casualties—almost 5,000 men killed in action. And an astonishing twenty-six Marines were awarded America's highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor.
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Genre: Religion and spirituality
The primary goal of is to strengthen the faith of its readers by showing the power of others’ faith under the most extreme circumstances imaginable. This is accomplished through 365 one-page stories from America’s greatest conflict presented in a daily devotional format with relevant scripture readings for each day of the year. Additionally, the book presents a unique and concise history of World War II with summaries, maps, and photographs of the major campaigns of the war. On this level, the individual stories provide insights into the war and combat not found in typical historical accounts.
2009 Silver Medal Winner from the Military Writers Society of America
First Place Winner of the 2009 Bransom Stars & Flags Book Award
Larkin Spivey is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War and a retired Marine Corps officer. He commanded infantry and reconnaissance units in combat as well as being trained in parachute, submarine, and Special Forces operations. He was with the blockade force during the Cuban Missile Crisis and served President Nixon in the White House. As a faculty member at The Citadel, he taught courses in U.S. military history, a subject of life-long personal and professional interest. He is the author of God in the Trenches and Miracles of the American Revolution. He now writes full time and resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his wife, Lani, and their four children. He is a lay eucharistic minister of the Episcopal Church and is actively involved in the Cursillo renewal movement and the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association.
Jocelyn Green is an award-winning freelance writer who pens articles for dozens of magazines, including Christianity Today, Today's Christian, Today's Pentecostal Evangel, Baptist Bulletin, EFCA Today, InSite and more. She also writes for nonprofits, universities and corporations such as Juicy Juice, Nestle, Publix and General Mills. Wife of a former Coast Guard officer, she authored (Moody Publishers 2008). She also edited and contributed to by Larkin Spivey, a 2009 Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Winner. She is a member of the Evangelical Press Association and the Christian Authors Network. She and her husband have two children, a dog and a cat, and reside in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
In October 1942, a panzer officer wrote ‘Stalingrad is no longer a town… Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure’. The battle for Stalingrad became the focus of Hitler and Stalin’s determination to win the gruesome, vicious war on the eastern front. The citizens of Stalingrad endured unimaginable hardship; the battle, with fierce hand-to-hand fighting in each room of each building, was brutally destructive to both armies. But the eventual victory of the Red Army, and the failure of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, was the first defeat of Hitler's territorial ambitions in Europe, and the start of his decline. An extraordinary story of tactical genius, civilian bravery, obsession, carnage and the nature of war itself, Stalingrad will act as a testament to the vital role of the soviet war effort.
Hitler made two fundamental and crippling mistakes during the Second World War: The first was his whimsical belief that the United Kingdom would eventually become his ally, which delayed his decision to launch a major invasion of Britain, whose army was unprepared for the force of blitzkrieg warfare. The second was the ill-conceived Operation Barbarossa—an invasion of Russia that was supposed to take the German army to the gates of Moscow. Antony Beevor’s thoughtfully researched compendium recalls this epic struggle for Stalingrad. No one, least of all the Germans, could foretell the deep well of Soviet resolve that would become the foundation of the Red Army; Russia, the Germans believed, would fall as swiftly as France and Poland. The ill-prepared Nazi forces were trapped in a bloody war of attrition against the Russian behemoth, which held them in the pit of Stalingrad for nearly two years. Beevor points out that the Russians were by no means ready for the war either, making their stand even more remarkable; Soviet intelligence spent as much time spying on its own forces—in fear of desertion, treachery, and incompetence—as they did on the Nazis. Due attention is also given to the points of view of the soldiers and generals of both forces, from the sickening battles to life in the gulags.
Many believe Stalingrad to be the turning point of the war. The Nazi war machine proved to be fallible as it spread itself too thin for a cause that was born more from arrogance than practicality. The Germans never recovered, and its weakened defenses were no match for the Allied invasion of 1944. We know little of what took place in Stalingrad or its overall significance, leading Beevor to humbly admit that “[t]he Battle of Stalingrad remains such an ideologically charged and symbolically important subject that the last word will not be heard for many years.” This is true. But this gripping account should become the standard work against which all others should measure themselves.
This gripping account of Germany's notorious campaign combines sophisticated use of previously published firsthand accounts in German and Russian along with newly available Soviet archival sources and caches of letters from the front. For Beevor (Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949), the 1942 German offensive was a gamble that reflected Hitler's growing ascendancy over his military subordinates. The wide-open mobile operations that took the 6th Army into Stalingrad were nevertheless so successful that Soviet authorities insisted they could be explained only by treason. (Over 13,000 Soviet soldiers were formally executed during the battle for Stalingrad alone.) Combat in Stalingrad, however, deprived the Germans of their principal force multipliers of initiative and flexibility. The close-gripped fighting brought men to the limits of endurance, then kept them there. Beevor juxtaposes the grotesque with the mundane, demonstrating the routines that men on both sides developed to cope with an environment that brought them to the edge of madness. The end began when German army commander Friedrich von Paulus refused to prepare for the counterattack everyone knew was coming. An encircled 6th Army could neither be supplied by air nor fight its way out of the pocket unsupported. Fewer than 10,000 of Stalingrad's survivors ever saw Germany again. For the Soviet Union, the victory became a symbol not of a government, but of a people. The men and women who died in the city's rubble could have had worse epitaphs than this sympathetic treatment. Agent: Andrew Nurnberg. History Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate selection; foreign sales to the U.K., Germany and Russia.
From critically acclaimed world historian, Antony Beevor, this is the first major account in more than twenty years to cover the whole invasion from June 6, 1944, right up to the liberation of Paris on August 25. It is the first book to describe not only the experiences of the American, British, Canadian, and German soldiers, but also the terrible suffering of the French caught up in the fighting. More French civilians were killed by Allied bombing and shelling than British civilians were by the Luftwaffe.
The Allied fleet attempted by far the largest amphibious assault ever, and what followed was a battle as savage as anything seen on the Eastern Front. Casualties mounted on both sides, as did the tensions between the principal commanders. Even the joys of liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation, but the whole of the postwar world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe. Beevor draws upon his research in more than thirty archives in six countries, going back to original accounts, interviews conducted by combat historians just after the action, and many diaries and letters donated to museums and archives in recent years.
D-Day will surely be hailed as the consummate account of the Normandy invasion and the ferocious offensive that led to the liberation of Paris.
From Robert Leckie, the World War II veteran and bestselling author of , whose experiences were featured in the HBO miniseries , comes this vivid narrative of the astonishing six-month campaign for Guadalcanal.
From the Japanese soldiers’ carefully calculated—and ultimately foiled—attempt to build a series of impregnable island forts on the ground to the tireless efforts of the Americans who struggled against a tenacious adversary and the temperature and terrain of the island itself, Robert Leckie captures the loneliness, the agony, and the heat of twenty-four-hour-a-day fighting on Guadalcanal. Combatants from both sides are brought to life: General Archer Vandegrift, who first assembled an amphibious strike force; Isoroku Yamamoto, the naval general whose innovative strategy was tested; the island-born Allied scout Jacob Vouza, who survived hideous torture to uncover the enemy’s plans; and Saburo Sakai, the ace flier who shot down American planes with astonishing ease.
Propelling the Allies to eventual victory, Guadalcanal was truly the turning point of the war. is an unparalleled, authoritative account of this great fight that forever changed our world.
The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Reich in January 1945. Political instructors rammed home the message of Wehrmacht and SS brutality. The result was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known, with tanks crushing refugee columns under their tracks, mass rape, pillage and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred because Nazi Party chiefs, refusing to face defeat, had forbidden the evacuation of civilians. Over seven million fled westwards from the terror of the Red Army.
Antony Beevor reconstructs the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse, telling a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanatacism, revenge and savagery, but also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice and survival against all odds.
Genre: Reference books
Pistol Marksmanship Training Guide published by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is an excellent source of information for the competitive pistol shooter.
Because it is a U.S. government publication, it is public domain
Everyone has seen the footage: a heavily bearded Saddam Hussein blinking under the bright lights of infantry cameras, dazed to find himself in U.S. Army custody. Yet while the breaking news was broadcast around the world, the story of the remarkable events leading up to that moment on December 13, 2003 has never before been fully told. offers the full, behind-the-scenes account of the search for Saddam Hussein, as related by the Army interrogator whose individual courage and sheer determination made the capture possible.
In July of 2003, Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox was deployed to Baghdad alongside intelligence analysts and fellow interrogators. Their assignment was clear: gather actionable intelligence—leads that could be used to launch raids on High Value Targets within the insurgency. But, as Maddox recounts, hunting for the hidden links in the terrorist network would require bold and untested tactics, and the ability to never lose sight of the target, often hiding in plain sight. After months of chasing down leads, following hunches and interrogating literally hundreds of detainees, Sergeant Maddox uncovered crucial details about the insurgency. In his final days in Iraq he closed in on the dictator’s inner circle and, within hours of his departure from the country, pinpointed the precise location of Saddam’s Tikrit spider hole.
Maddox’s candid and compelling narrative reveals the logic behind the unique interrogation process he developed, and provides an insider’s look at his psychologically subtle, non-violent methods. The result is a gripping, moment-by-moment account of the historic mission that brought down Black List #1.
Meet Sergeant ‘Bommer’ Grahame, one of the deadliest soldiers on the battlefield. He’s an elite army JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller — pronounced ‘jay-tack’) — a specially trained warrior responsible for directing Allied air power with high-tech precision. Commanding Apache gunships, A-10 tank-busters, F-15s and Harrier jets, he brings down devastating fire strikes against the attacking Taliban, often danger close to his own side. Due to his specialist role, Sergeant Grahame usually operates in the thick of the action, where it’s at its most fearsome and deadly. Conjuring the seemingly impossible from apparently hopeless situations, soldiers in battle rely on the skill and bravery of their JTAC to enable them to win through in the heat of the danger zone.
For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan 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.
In , Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
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