Gregg Herken writes about the people whose profession it has been to think about the unthinkable—Robert McNamara, Paul Nitze, Herman Kahn, Bernard Brodie—including their intense rivalries, personal animosities, and often contentious relationship with the professional military. He reveals how the influence of the scientist and strategist has extended well beyond the laboratory and the classroom—in the proposal of Kennedy's advisers for a nuclear "demonstration" and even a "clever first-strike" against the Russians, for example. Counsels of War also shatters certain popular assumptions about U.S. nuclear policy. As Herken points out, while American doctrine stresses "retaliation," U.S. strategists have always planned to "pre-empt" a Soviet attack.
Herken shows that the lines in the current nuclear debate were actually drawn at the dawn of the atomic age, and that the experts' technically abstruse arguments have only served to hide from the public the fundamental, deeply held—and quite subjective—differences at the heart of the debate. Since Hiroshima, there has been a growing awareness of the peril created by nuclear weapons, yet the crucial questions that were never adequately addressed in 1945 unanswered today. Given the inability of the experts to confront the essential dilemma of the nuclear age, Counsels of War calls for a new nuclear debate, one focused on American rather than Soviet intentions and that seeks an answer to the fundamental, yet still unresolved question: What are these weapons for?
Originally published in 1988.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
the drama of the front lines.”
-Richard Danzig, former secretary of the navy
The first major bioterror event in the United States-the anthrax attacks in October 2001-was a clarion call for scientists who work with “hot” agents to find ways of protecting civilian populations against biological weapons. In The Demon in the Freezer, his first nonfiction book since The Hot Zone, a #1 New York Times bestseller, Richard Preston takes us into the heart of Usamriid, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, once the headquarters of the U.S. biological weapons program and now the epicenter of national biodefense.
Peter Jahrling, the top scientist at Usamriid, a wry virologist who cut his teeth on Ebola, one of the world’s most lethal emerging viruses, has ORCON security clearance that gives him access to top secret information on bioweapons. His most urgent priority is to develop a drug that will take on smallpox-and win. Eradicated from the planet in 1979 in one of the great triumphs of modern science, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers-at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. But the demon in the freezer has been set loose. It is almost certain that illegal stocks are in the possession of hostile states, including Iraq and North Korea. Jahrling is haunted by the thought that biologists in secret labs are using genetic engineering to create a new superpox virus, a smallpox resistant to all vaccines.
Usamriid went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11 and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D.C. Preston reports, in unprecedented detail, on the government’s response to the attacks and takes us into the ongoing FBI investigation. His story is based on interviews with top-level FBI agents and with Dr. Steven Hatfill.
Jahrling is leading a team of scientists doing controversial experiments with live smallpox virus at CDC. Preston takes us into the lab where Jahrling is reawakening smallpox and explains, with cool and devastating precision, what may be at stake if his last bold experiment fails.
At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the top sniper in U.S. military history, was finishing one of the most exciting missions of his life: a remarkable book that retold American history through the lens of a hand-selected list of firearms. Kyle masterfully shows how guns have played a fascinating, indispensable, and often underappreciated role in our national story.
"Perhaps more than any other nation in the world," Kyle writes, "the history of the United States has been shaped by the gun. Firearms secured the first Europeans' hold on the continent, opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world."
Drawing on his unmatched firearms knowledge and combat experience, Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, Springfield 1903 rifle, Thompson sub-machine gun, 1911 pistol, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. Through them, he revisits thrilling turning points in American history, including the single sniper shot that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War, the firearms designs that proved decisive at Gettysburg, the "gun that won the West," and the weapons that gave U.S. soldiers an edge in the world wars and beyond. This is also the story of how firearms innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed American history—and power—forward.
Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, Chris Kyle's American Gun is a sweeping epic of bravery, adventure, invention, and sacrifice.
In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency noticed that centrifuges at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them.
Then, five months later, a seemingly unrelated event occurred: A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot some computers in Iran that were crashing and rebooting repeatedly.
At first, the firm’s programmers believed the malicious code on the machines was a simple, routine piece of malware. But as they and other experts around the world investigated, they discovered a mysterious virus of unparalleled complexity.
They had, they soon learned, stumbled upon the world’s first digital weapon. For Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm built before: Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak actual, physical destruction on a nuclear facility.
In these pages, Wired journalist Kim Zetter draws on her extensive sources and expertise to tell the story behind Stuxnet’s planning, execution, and discovery, covering its genesis in the corridors of Bush’s White House and its unleashing on systems in Iran—and telling the spectacular, unlikely tale of the security geeks who managed to unravel a sabotage campaign years in the making.
But Countdown to Zero Day ranges far beyond Stuxnet itself. Here, Zetter shows us how digital warfare developed in the US. She takes us inside today’s flourishing zero-day “grey markets,” in which intelligence agencies and militaries pay huge sums for the malicious code they need to carry out infiltrations and attacks. She reveals just how vulnerable many of our own critical systems are to Stuxnet-like strikes, from nation-state adversaries and anonymous hackers alike—and shows us just what might happen should our infrastructure be targeted by such an attack.
Propelled by Zetter’s unique knowledge and access, and filled with eye-opening explanations of the technologies involved, Countdown to Zero Day is a comprehensive and prescient portrait of a world at the edge of a new kind of war.
Created in 1982 by Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian curtain-rod manufacturer, and swiftly adopted by the Austrian army, the Glock pistol, with its lightweight plastic frame and large-capacity spring-action magazine, arrived in America at a fortuitous time. Law enforcement agencies had concluded that their agents and officers, armed with standard six-round revolvers, were getting "outgunned" by drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a new gun.
When Karl Water, a firearm salesman based in the U.S. first saw a Glock in 1984, his reaction was, “Jeez, that’s ugly.” But the advantages of the pistol soon became apparent. The standard semi-automatic Glock could fire as many as 17 bullets from its magazine without reloading (one equipped with an extended thirty-three cartridge magazine was used in Tucson to shoot Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others). It was built with only 36 parts that were interchangeable with those of other models. You could drop it underwater, toss it from a helicopter, or leave it out in the snow, and it would still fire. It was reliable, accurate, lightweight, and cheaper to produce than Smith and Wesson’s revolver. Made in part of hardened plastic, it was even rumored (incorrectly) to be invisible to airport security screening.
Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering, Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs—and an attempt on Gaston Glock’s life by a former lieutenant—Glock is at once the inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America.
In 1967, a bullet cost thirteen cents, and no one gave Uncle Sam a bigger bang for his buck than the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. So feared were these lethal marksmen that the Viet Cong offered huge rewards for killing them. Now noted Vietnam author John J. Culbertson, a former 5th Marine sniper himself, presents the riveting true stories of young Americans who fought with bolt rifles and bounties on their heads during the fiercest combat of the war, from 1967 through the desperate Tet battle for Hue in early ’68.
In spotter/shooter pairs, sniper teams accompanied battle-hardened Marine rifle companies like the 2/5 on patrols and combat missions. Whether fighting their way out of a Viet Cong “kill zone” or battling superior numbers of NVA crack troops, the sniper teams were at the cutting edge in the art of jungle warfare, showing the patience, stealth, combat marksmanship, and raw courage that made the unit the most decorated regimental sniper platoon in the Vietnam War. Harrowing and unforgettable, these accounts pay tribute to the heroes who made the greatest sacrifice of all–and leave no doubt that among 5th Marine snipers uncommon valor was truly a common virtue.
From the Paperback edition.
No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.
This is the book on DARPA--a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.
In 1967, death was the constant companion of the Marines of Hotel Company, 2/5, as they patrolled the paddy dikes, mud, and mountains of the Arizona Territory southwest of Da Nang. But John Culbertson and most of the rest of Hotel Company were the same lean, fighting Marines who had survived the carnage of Operation Tuscaloosa. Hotel's grunts walked over the enemy, not around him.
In graphic terms, John Culbertson describes the daily, dangerous life of a soldier fighting in a country where the enemy was frequently indistinguishable from the allies, fought tenaciously, and thought nothing of using civilians as a shield. Though he was one of the top marksmen in 1st Marine Division Sniper School in Da Nang in March 1967--a class of just eighteen, chosen from the division's twenty thousand Marines--Culbertson knew that against the VC and the NVA, good training and experience could carry you just so far. But his company's mission was to find and engage the enemy, whatever the price. This riveting, bloody first-person account offers a stark testimony to the stuff U.S. Marines are made of.
From the Paperback edition.
Painstakingly researched, the story behind the decision to send the Enola Gay to bomb Hiroshima is told through firsthand sources. From diplomatic moves behind the scenes to Japanese actions and the US Army Air Force’s call to action, no detail is left untold.
Touching on the early days of the Manhattan Project and the first inkling of an atomic bomb, investigative journalist Gordon Thomas and his writing partner Max Morgan-Witts, take WWII enthusiasts through the training of the crew of the Enola Gay and the challenges faced by pilot Paul Tibbets.
A page-turner that offers “minute-by-minute coverage of the critical periods” surrounding the mission, Enola Gay finally separates myth and reality from the planning of the flight to the moment over Hiroshima when the atomic age was born (Library Journal).
With timely features on such topics as the fiftieth anniversary of the Remington Model 700, and complete with color and black-and-white photographs featuring various makes and models of firearms and equipment, the Shooter’s Bible is an essential authority for any beginner or experienced hunter, firearm collector, or gun enthusiast.
Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove.
Except it really happened.
Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America's atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But mostly, it just messed with guys' heads.
Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn't.
Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother's cookies.
Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising willpower made him an exception.
Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend's photos and a dangerous secret.
Major Vanish, who did just that.
In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army's nuclear family where the F-words were Fallout and Fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better—and for worse.
"A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier." —Henry Kissinger
From the author:
Three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon. Men whose toenails glow in the dark. Operation Redwing where the F words were Fallout and Fireball. In 1956, I was an army draftee sent to the Marshall Islands to watch 17 H-bomb tests. An "observer," the Army called it. In plain English: a human guinea pig.
I knew at the time that the experience could make a fascinating book, and I wrote a novel based on it while I was still there. The problem was that Eniwetok was a security post. There were signs everywhere impressing on us that the work going on (I mopped floors, typed, filed requisitions and wrote movie reviews for the island newspaper “All the news that fits we print”) was Top Secret. “What you do here, what you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here leave it here.”
I was afraid they would confiscate the manuscript if they found it but a buddy who left Eniwetok before I did concealed the pages in his luggage. When he got back to the States, he mailed those pages to my father so I had what turned out to be a very rough draft.
What was wrong with the book? Let me count the ways. I didn’t know how to write action, plot and character. I did know how to leave out everything interesting that was happening around me. Back in the States after my discharge, I thought about writing Version #2 but for ten years, I had nightmares about the H-bomb almost every night. I survived the radiation (unlike some of my friends), but the memories were also a formidable foe. I tried to forget and more or less succeeded.
My perspective gradually changed over the years and I began to remember what I had tried to forget:
We were told we had to wear high density goggles during the tests to avoid losing our sight but the shipment of goggles never arrived—the requisition was cancelled to make room for new furniture for the colonel's house.
We were told we had to stand with our backs to the blast—again to prevent blindness. But the first H-bomb ever dropped from a plane missed its target, and the detonation took place in front of us and our unprotected eyes.
Servicemen were sent to Ground Zero wearing only shorts and sneakers and worked side by side with scientists dressed in RadSafe suits. The exposed military men developed severe radiation burns and many died.
The big breakthrough came when enough years had passed and I had overcome the anger and the self-pity resulting from the knowledge that I and the men who served with me had been used as guinea pigs in a recklessly dangerous and potentially deadly experiment. At last I had the perspective to understand my nuclear year in its many dimensions and capture the tragedy and the black humor that came along with 17 H-bomb explosions. In addition, certain significant external realities had changed.
Top Secret documents about Operation Redwing had been declassified. I learned new details about the test known as Tewa: the fallout lasted for three days and the radiation levels exceeded 3.9 Roentgens, the MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure). Three ships were rushed to Eniwetok to evacuate personnel but were ordered back after the military raised the MPE to 7. That, they reasoned, ensured everyone's safety.
I made contact with other atomic veterans who told me about their own experiences and in some cases sent me copies of letters written to their families during the tests. As we talked, we also laughed: about officers who claimed Eniwetok was a one year paid vacation; about the officer who guarded the political purity of the daily island newspaper by deleting "pinko propaganda," including a speech by President Eisenhower.
By now, Ruth knew the material almost as well as I did and provided crucial perspective and detailed editing expertise.
At last, I was able to pull all the strands together. After 50 years, I was able write the book I had wanted to in the beginning.
Having struggled to write a memoir for so long and having been asked for advice by others contemplating writing a memoir, I can pass along a bit of what I learned along the way.
Make sure you have enough distance from the experience to have perspective on what happened. Exposure to radiation and the resulting reactions—anger, terror, incredulity—produce powerful emotions that take time to process.
Figure out how to use (or keep away) from your own intense feelings. In the case of the H-Bomb tests, anger and self-pity were emotions to stay away from. So was the hope of somehow getting “revenge.”
Sometimes the unexpected works. For me, finding humor in a tragic situation— the abject military incompetence in planning and executing the H-Bomb tests—freed my memory and allowed me to write about horrific experiences.
Figure out (most likely by trial and error) how much or how little of yourself you want to reveal.
Keywords: memoir, veterans, H-bomb, US Army, army, soldier, military memoir, nuclear bombs, radiation, danger, fission, fusion, fallout, danger, suspense, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, island, South Pacific, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, detonation, explosions
The creation of the first weapon in history whose operators can stalk and kill an enemy on the other side of the globe was far more than clever engineering. As Richard Whittle shows in Predator, it was one of the most profound developments in the history of military and aerospace technology.
Once considered fragile toys, drones were long thought to be of limited utility. The Predator itself was resisted at nearly every turn by the military establishment, but a few iconoclasts refused to see this new technology smothered at birth. The remarkable cast of characters responsible for developing the Predator includes a former Israeli inventor who turned his Los Angeles garage into a drone laboratory, two billionaire brothers marketing a futuristic weapon to help combat Communism, a pair of fighter pilots willing to buck their white-scarf fraternity, a cunning Pentagon operator nicknamed "Snake," and a secretive Air Force organization known as Big Safari. When an Air Force team unleashed the first lethal drone strikes in 2001 for the CIA, the military's view of drones changed nearly overnight.
Based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews, Predator reveals the dramatic inside story of the creation of a revolutionary weapon that forever changed the way we wage war and opened the door to a new age in aviation.
While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II’s Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army’s brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher. More than three million men and eight thousand tanks met in the heart of the Soviet Union, some four hundred miles south of Moscow, in an encounter that both sides knew would reshape the war. The adversaries were at the peak of their respective powers. On both sides, the generals and the dictators they served were in agreement on where, why, and how to fight. The result was a furious death grapple between two of history’s most formidable fighting forces—a battle that might possibly have been the greatest of all time.
In Armor and Blood, Showalter re-creates every aspect of this dramatic struggle. He offers expert perspective on strategy and tactics at the highest levels, from the halls of power in Moscow and Berlin to the battlefield command posts on both sides. But it is the author’s exploration of the human dimension of armored combat that truly distinguishes this book. In the classic tradition of John Keegan’s The Face of Battle, Showalter’s narrative crackles with insight into the unique dynamics of tank warfare—its effect on men’s minds as well as their bodies. Scrupulously researched, exhaustively documented, and vividly illustrated, this book is a chilling testament to man’s ability to build and to destroy.
When the dust settled, the field at Kursk was nothing more than a wasteland of steel carcasses, dead soldiers, and smoking debris. The Soviet victory ended German hopes of restoring their position on the Eastern Front, and put the Red Army on the road to Berlin. Armor and Blood presents readers with what will likely be the authoritative study of Kursk for decades to come.
Advance praise for Armor and Blood
“The size and the brutality of the vast tank battle at Kursk appalls, this struggle that gives an especially dark meaning to that shopworn phrase ‘last full measure.’ Prepare yourself for a wild and feverish ride over the steppes of Russia. You can have no better guide than Dennis E. Showalter, who speaks with an authority equaled by few military historians.”—Robert Cowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
“A fresh, skillful, and complete synthesis of recent revelations about this famous battle . . . As a myth buster, Armor and Blood is a must-read for those interested in general and military history.”—David M. Glantz, editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies
“Refreshingly crisp, pointed prose . . . Throughout, [Showalter] demonstrates his adeptness at interweaving discussions of big-picture strategy with interesting revelations and anecdotes. . . . Showalter does his best work by keeping his sights set firmly on the battle at hand, while also parsing the conflict for developments that would have far-reaching consequences for the war.”—Publishers Weekly
On November 20, 1943 the 2nd Marine Division launched the first amphibious assault of the Pacific War, directly into the teeth of powerful Japanese defenses on Tarawa. In that blood-soaked invasion, a single company of Sherman tanks, of which only two survived, played a pivotal role in turning the tide from looming disaster to legendary victory. In this unique study, Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain V. Cansiere use official documents, memoirs, and interviews with veterans, as well as personal and aerial photographs, to follow Charlie Company from its formation, and trace the movement, action—and loss—of individual tanks in this horrific 4-day struggle.
The authors follow the company from training through the brutal 76-hour struggle for Tarawa. Survivor accounts and air-photo analyses document the movements—and destruction—of the company’s individual tanks. It is a story of escapes from drowning tanks, and even more harrowing extrications from tanks knocked out behind Japanese lines. It is a story of men doing whatever needed to be done, from burying the dead to hand-carrying heavy cannon ammunition forward under fire. It is the story of how the two surviving tanks and their crews expanded a perilously thin beachhead and cleared the way for critical reinforcements to come ashore. But most of all, it is a story of how a few unsung Marines helped turn near disaster into epic victory.
Snipers have a rich history. This fascinating book follows their tasks and techniques from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars through both World Wars, to the Korean War and Vietnam-the genesis of modern sniping-to the current conflicts in the Middle East. Also, readers will see how sniping has evolved on the civilian side in law enforcement. Readers will learn about the tools of the trade, but most importantly, they will hear from the experts themselves: military snipers, as well as civilian police and SWAT snipers. Capturing the suspense and action of the hunt, the words of these men draw readers into the close-knit, little-known world of men who need only one bullet to get the job done.
With a new Preface by the author.
With a timely feature on the newest products on the market plus coverage of the fiftieth anniversary of the Remington Model 1100 and 140th anniversary of the Winchester Model 1873, and complete with color and black-and-white photographs featuring various makes and models of firearms and equipment, the Shooter’s Bible is an essential authority for any beginner or experienced hunter, firearm collector, or gun enthusiast.
Welcome to the secret world of the ninja master! The Illustrated Ninja Handbook is your ultimate guide to the esoteric knowledge and teachings of the ancient Japanese shinobi. It provides ninjitsu devotees with the first detailed understanding of this shadowy and mysterious martial art form.
This handbook contains step-by-step instructions that allow you to master the 40 most devastating ninja fighting techniques. It was created with the blessing of legendary ninjutsu master Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, who taught for many generations in the Bujinkan School—generally recognized as the leading ninjutsu school in the world.
The Bujinkan Dojo encompasses nine separate ryu-ha or martial arts schools that are based in Japan and headed by Hatsumi. Bujinkan ninjas use both armed and unarmed fighting techniques, with weapons such as swords, bamboo shinai, and staffs. They also learn to defend themselves unarmed against weapons attacks. Author Remigiusz Borda studied and taught Bujinkan ninjutsu for many decades, and in this book presents the unique system created by Masaaki Hatsumi—the 34th Grandmaster and head of the Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu lineage.
The Illustrated Ninja Handbook is based on hundreds of years of actual ninja combat experience and contains the traditional knowledge of the legendary Shinobi warrior clan who were instrumental in helping found the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Special Forces includes:
The making of Special Forces personnel: recruitment and training
A rare look at actual Special Forces Group deployment Exercises
Tools of the trade: weapons, communications and sensor equipment, survival gear
Roles and missions: a mini-novel illustrates a probable scenario of Special Forces intervention
Exclusive photographs, illustrations and diagramsPlus: an interview with General Hugh Shelton, USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and the former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command-USSOCOM)
If fate is against me and I’m killed, so be it, but make it quick and painless. If I’m wounded, don’t let me be crippled. But above all, don’t let me fuck up the task.
So goes the bomb technician’s prayer before every bomb he defuses. For Chris Hunter, it is a prayer he says many times during his four-month tour of Iraq. His is the most dangerous job in the world — to make safe the British sector in Iraq against some of the most hardened and technically advanced terrorists in the world. It is a 24/7 job — in the first two months alone, his team defuses over 45 bombs. And the people they’re up against don’t play by the Geneva Convention. For them, there are no rules, only results — death by any means necessary.
The job of a Bomb Disposal officer is a lonely one. You are alone with the sound of your own breathing and the drumming of your heart in a protective suit in forty-plus degrees of heat. The drawbridge has been pulled up behind you as you advance on your goal. It’s just you and the bomb.
But for Chris Hunter, just when life couldn’t get any more dangerous, the stakes are raised again.
Skyhorse Publishing is proud to publish a range of books for readers interested in military tactics and skills. We publish content provided by or of interest to the U.S. Army, Army Rangers, the U.S. Navy, Navy SEALs, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Department of Defense. Our books cover topics such as survival, emergency medicine, weapons, guns, weapons systems, hand-to-hand combat, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Not only is knife throwing fun, but it is also a great sport, entertainment, recreation and exercise. It can be a wonderful hobby, pastime, or even a profession, and the fundamentals are easy to learn. Anyone who can throw a stick, stone, or baseball can also learn how to throw a knife with skill and accuracy. All you need is a good knife-designed for the purpose, whether made to throw by the handle or blade, a target, and a small portion of the backyard for the throwing range.
Few sports can provide so much recreation at so little cost. Knife throwing is a sport in which individual skills can be developed to a very high degree. Expert knife throwing, like great proficiency in any other sport, is developed by natural aptitude and instinct combined with that one magic ingredient: practice!
In Knife Throwing by American Knife Thrower's Alliance founder, Harry McEvoy, demonstrates how to throw a knife successfully in chapters such as:It's Fun to Throw a KnifeChoice of WeaponsHow to Throw a KnifeHow to Develop "Pin-Point" AccuracyHow to Select a Throwing KnifeTargets: How and WhereTomahawks and BowiesSafety Measures, Rules, and Care of KnivesThe ProfessionalsHunting: A New Twist to an Old SportTales, Legends and People
Hand cannons, also known as “howdah pistols,” which were used on the Indian subcontinent by tiger hunters on elephants’ backs and today roar and thunder with power rarely seen in a handgunUltra big bore snipers, the roots of which reach back to the Revolutionary War and the Kentucky rifleGatling guns, a hand-cranked, rapid-fire gun invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861, a modern version of which is powered by an electric motor and has a four thousand–round-per-minute cyclic rateMuzzle-loading, smoothbore cannons, cast in bronze and iron, which dominated land and sea warfare until they were made obsolete by rifle Parrott guns and breech-loading cannons in the Civil WarAnd much more!
Get fired up with the powerful weapons included in this addition to the Shooter’s Bible. Including historical facts and modern versions, this book is essential to any shooter’s collection.
Here you can learn how to assemble, use, detect, and remove boobytraps and demolition items in almost any situation. With intricate and detailed diagrams, you’ll discover how army troops can disguise boobytraps in household items such as irons, teapots, and televisions; in structures such as window frames, stairways, and wooden beams; and in outdoor areas, in bushes and underground. Find out how boobytraps work, why they are used in the army, and the tactics behind their set-up. Learn the mechanics of the various types of firing devices, detonators, fuses, cords, adapters, blasting caps, and lighters. Also included are detailed instructions for detecting and removing boobytraps. The U.S. Army Guide to Boobytraps explains the responsibilities and safety issues that should be thoroughly understood by anyone using any weapon. Any military enthusiast will appreciate the level of detail this field manual offers.
"Keegan is at once the most readable and the most original of living military historians . . . A History of Warfare is perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written."--The New York Times Book Review.
It provides detailed explanations and instructions on all aspects of the blowgun's use—from grips and stances, to targets and trajectories, to how to construct your own blowgun.
While shooting the blowgun may seem effortless, it actually requires not only power, but also intelligence, focus and good technique. This unique combination—simplicity of design yet complexity of technique—has caused the blowgun to undergo a dramatic rise in popularity in the modern world. This popularity makes Blowgun Techniques a timely guide for hunting enthusiasts and those interested in archery–style sports competitions.
Oppenheimer and Bethe led parallel lives. Both received liberal educations that emphasized moral as well as intellectual growth. Both were outstanding theoreticians who worked on the atom bomb at Los Alamos. Both advised the government on nuclear issues, and both resisted the development of the hydrogen bomb. Both were, in their youth, sympathetic to liberal causes, and both were later called to defend the United States against Soviet communism and colleagues against anti-Communist crusaders. Finally, both prized scientific community as a salve to the apparent failure of Enlightenment values.
Yet, their responses to the use of the atom bomb, the testing of the hydrogen bomb, and the treachery of domestic politics differed markedly. Bethe, who drew confidence from scientific achievement and integration into the physics community, preserved a deep integrity. By accepting a modest role, he continued to influence policy and contributed to the nuclear test ban treaty of 1963. In contrast, Oppenheimer first embodied a new scientific persona--the scientist who creates knowledge and technology affecting all humanity and boldly addresses their impact--and then could not carry its burden. His desire to retain insider status, combined with his isolation from creative work and collegial scientific community, led him to compromise principles and, ironically, to lose prestige and fall victim to other insiders.
Schweber draws on his vast knowledge of science and its history--in addition to his unique access to the personalities involved--to tell a tale of two men that will enthrall readers interested in science, history, and the lives and minds of great thinkers.
It provides thorough explanation and instruction on everything from grips and stances, targets and trajectories, and even how to construct your own weapons. The fundamentals of weapon throwing are easy to learn, but mastering aim—let alone mastering aim with a variety of weapons—involves time, effort and practice. Let The Art of Throwing ease your transition from novice to expert with its detailed, but easy to follow instructions from an author who has spent years mastering his technique.
With a foreword by knife throwing legend Joe "Brokenfeather" Darrah, this edition includes updated information and an hour-long downloadable video to better aid newcomers in learning the basics or help experienced throwers perfect their techniques.
The Art of Throwing includes:Basic concepts—Grips, Methods, and MechanicsThrowing implements—The Bagakay, the knife, the ax, and the spearJapanese throwing implements—The Shuriken and the ShakenChinese throwing implements—The flying dart, the golden coin dart, the flying steel olive, and the flying stickerOther throwing implements—The western dart and the boomerangSport and defensive throwingWeapon and hand care
Historically, Japanese warriors considered their swords to be far greater than simple weaponry. Their swords were both lethal tools and divine companions — social and religious icons. Traditionally worn by the samurai as a sign of social status, the Japanese sword represented the junction between the reigning military class and those whom they ruled. Moreover, the samurai sword was a technological and artistic marvel. Many scholars consider it to be the finest sword ever constructed.
In terms of symbolism and historical importance, no other blade comes close to the Japanese sword. With a historical, iconographical, and technological perspective, author Cohn M. Roach provides an in-depth study of these magnificent weapons in Japanese Swords. This richly illustrated sword book weaves the blade's primary influences together, tracking its history and illuminating its progress from infancy to grandeur. By studying the evolution of the Japanese sword from this perspective, we better understand Japan and its warrior archetype.
Combining research materials from multiple disciplines, Roach uses his expertise as an educator to guide readers through the sword's rise to greatness in a unique way. This book discusses the history, development, and spiritual symbolism of the sword, as well as the esoteric metallurgical techniques used in making it. It also covers the difficult training practices used by skilled swordsmen.
Japanese Swords also includes a companion DVD featuring a beautifully-filmed documentary that explores the traditional swordmaker's craft. The DVD also contains an introduction to the Japanese sword at a sword shop in Kyoto and a visit to a dojo for a beginner's class in the medieval sword-drawing art called iaido.
They were told as little as possible.
Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end.
Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed.
Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced.
In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.
The Axis powers might have fielded better-trained soldiers, better weapons, and better tanks and aircraft, but they could not match American productivity. The United States buried its enemies in aircraft, ships, tanks, and guns; in this sense, American industry and American workers, won World War II. The scale of the effort was titanic, and the result historic. Not only did it determine the outcome of the war, but it transformed the American economy and society. Maury Klein's A Call to Arms is the definitive narrative history of this epic struggle--told by one of America's greatest historians of business and economics--and renders the transformation of America with a depth and vividness never available before.
From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania
On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.
Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.
It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.
Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.
From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.
Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature.
Bomb is a 2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title.
Bomb is a 2013 Newbery Honor book.
As one of the original men who trained at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Shifty was one out of only two soldiers in Easy Company to initially earn the coveted expert marksman designation. He parachuted into France on D-day and fought for a month in Normandy; eighty days in Holland; thirty-nine in the harshly cold winter of Bastogne; and for nearly thirty more near Haguenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany.
Shifty’s War is a tale of heroism and adventure, of a soldier’s blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man’s skills as a sharpshooter and engagingly unassuming personality propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.
During the Vietnam War, the US military developed new tactics and weapons systems to counter a diversity of enemy tactics and geographic features, the difficult climate, and the shifting diplomatic context. One of the most important was the development of the AC-130. Its ability to transport heavier payloads at higher altitudes across longer distances made it the logical choice to be the final Vietnam-era fixed-wing gunship and the only one that continues to fly missions in the twenty-first century. In addition, it employed many of the most advanced weapons, sensors, targeting devices, and fire control systems of the 1970s or of any era.
By recounting both the technical development and the combat operations of the plane, and by looking at the proposed alternatives for its use in the War on Terror, Night Hunters offers a clear view of the role of gunships and of close air support in US wars. In today’s never-ending brushfire wars, the AC-130s continue to uphold their reputation for excellence.
That’s where the snipers of the U.S. Marines, Army, and Navy SEALs come in . . .
Here, in their own words, are the compelling true stories of the snipers whose sole purpose is to eliminate the enemy with a single bullet. From Iraq to Afghanistan, this is life and death as seen through the scope of a high-powered rifle.
These snipers’ stories illustrate the mental discipline and psychological strength that they must possess to accomplish their missions, the effect a sniper’s skill and reputation has on the enemy, and how they deal with the stark reality of their work after the target is neutralized—and after a sniper returns to civilian life.
Part wartime chronicle, part psychological exploration of the warrior mind, and part exposé into a secretive brotherhood of military snipers, Hunters is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn the truth about war when it’s fought one kill at a time.
In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima—and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island's highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag.
Now the son of one of the flagraisers has written a powerful account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever.
To his family, John Bradley never spoke of the photograph or the war. But after his death at age seventy, his family discovered closed boxes of letters and photos. In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley draws on those documents to retrace the lives of his father and the men of Easy Company. Following these men's paths to Iwo Jima, James Bradley has written a classic story of the heroic battle for the Pacific's most crucial island—an island riddled with Japanese tunnels and 22,000 fanatic defenders who would fight to the last man.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the story is what happened after the victory. The men in the photo—three were killed during the battle—were proclaimed heroes and flown home, to become reluctant symbols. For two of them, the adulation was shattering. Only James Bradley's father truly survived, displaying no copy of the famous photograph in his home, telling his son only: "The real heroes of Iwo Jima were the guys who didn't come back."
Few books ever have captured the complexity and furor of war and its aftermath as well as Flags of Our Fathers. A penetrating, epic look at a generation at war, this is history told with keen insight, enormous honesty, and the passion of a son paying homage to his father. It is the story of the difference between truth and myth, the meaning of being a hero, and the essence of the human experience of war.
From the Hardcover edition.
This We’ll Defend outlines the most important weapons and equipment the Army currently uses. All facts, figures and images in this ebook are direct from publicly available Army sources, edited and annotated to form a short, easy-to-use but comprehensive reference.
Included:Tracked VehiclesIndividual and Crew Served WeaponsAircraftAir Defence ArtilleryAnti-Armour WeaponsIndirect Fire SystemsNuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Defence EquipmentWheeled Vehicles
The Masaki school of chain fighting was developed in the feudal society of the early eighteenth century by a swordsman-sentry in Edo (Tokyo) Castle. Feeling that the shedding of blood in such a hallowed place would be disgraceful, he devised the combat use of the weighted chain. Even the name he gave to the art proves the trust he placed in its effectiveness—manrikigusari (chain with the power of ten thousand).
The equally devastating art of shuriken, the throwing of metal stars and spikes, evolved shortly after manrikigusari. The easily concealed shuriken soon became known as an extremely effective weapon for both shinobi and samurai warriors. Included are "The Samurai Creed," various techniques, the history of the arts and over 100 black and white photos and illustrations.
dedicated to their country,
and determined to win.
At Guadalcanal, the Marine Corps’ machine gunners took everything the Japanese could throw at them in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II; their position was so hopeless that at one point they were given the go-ahead to surrender. Near the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, as the mercury dropped to twenty below, the 1st Marine Division found itself surrounded and cut off by the enemy. The outlook seemed so bleak that many in Washington had privately written off the men.
But surrender is not part of a Marine’s vocabulary. Gunner’s Glory contains true stories of these and other tough battles in the Pacific, in Korea, and in Vietnam, recounted by the machine gunners who fought them. Bloody, wounded, sometimes barely alive, they stayed with their guns, delivering a stream of firepower that often turned defeat into victory–and always made them the enemy’s first target.
From the Paperback edition.
Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.