Based on first-person interviews from surviving veterans, who came to be known as the Frozen Chosen, this is an incredible story of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand to hand combat, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea, but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps dogged determination, fighting skill and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.
The Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
The record of Carrier Air Group 15 in World War II speaks for itself: Fighting Squadron 15 scored 312 enemy aircraft destroyed, 33 probably destroyed, and 65 damaged in aerial combat, plus 348 destroyed, 161 probably destroyed, and 129 damaged in ground attacks. Twenty-six Fighting 15 pilots became aces, including their leader, Commander David McCampbell, who became the U.S. Navy’s Ace of Aces. Twenty-one squadron pilots were killed in action and one in an operational accident aboard their carrier. Bombing Squadron 15 and Torpedo Squadron 15 scored 174,300 tons of enemy shipping, including 37 cargo vessels sunk, 10 probably sunk, and 39 damaged. As well, Musashi, the world’s largest battleship, was sunk, along with one light aircraft carrier; one destroyer; one destroyer escort; two minesweepers; five escort ships; two motor torpedo boats; and Zuikaku, the last surviving carrier that participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. Incredibly, every pilot of Torpedo 15 was awarded the Navy Cross, the highest award for bravery after the Medal of Honor, during this tour of combat for valor in the face of the enemy by torpedoing an enemy ship under fire.
All of this took place between May 19 and November 14, 1944. No other American combat unit in any service came close to a similar score in such a short time period.
Air Group 15 participated in the two greatest naval battles in history, the First and Second battles of the Philippine Sea—also known also as the Marianas Turkey Shoot and the Battles of Leyte Gulf, which saw the end of Japanese naval power, as well as Admiral William “Bull” Halsey’s rampage across the Central Pacific that fall, which marked the high tide of the carrier war. On June 19, 1944, forever after known as the Marianas Turkey Shoot in the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, Fighting 15 shot down 68.5 attacking Japanese aircraft, a one-day record unmatched by any other American fighter squadron.
In documenting the saga of Air Group 15’s momentous six months at war, Thomas McKelvey Cleaver’s Fabled Fifteen provides an intimate and insightful view of the group’s fabled lone combat tour, including details of daily life and human interactions aboard the fleet carrier USS Essex during the busiest phase of the Pacific War.
The men of the 57th Bomb Wing flew out of Corsica during World War II and bombed vital bridges throughout Italy to sabotage German supply routes. Their missions were dangerous and never-ending. One bombardier in the wing was a young New Yorker named Joseph Heller, who would later turn his experience into the classic 1961 war novel Catch-22. Now aviation historian Thomas McKelvey Cleaver takes a closer look at the real-life men of the 57th, whose camaraderie in the face of death inspired the raucous cast of heroes and antiheros in Catch-22.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
The annals of aerial combat are as immensely deep as they are immensely wide. Aviation stories—especially combat aviation stories—never fail to fascinate and instruct listeners and readers across national or generational boundaries. They have been sought out and devoured from the earliest days of flight, and their popularity has done nothing but grow ever since.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver started collecting live-action tales of aviation combat heroics—from the aviators’ own lips—at a tender age, and he has been sharing them with the reading public, chiefly with subscribers to Flight Journal, for decades. Air Combat Annals is a notworthy collection of his writing and storytelling, and it includes excitingmaterial never before published. It is a fitting tribute, mainly to American combat airmen of World War II, but also to several Axis pilots as well as American combat aviators who flew in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn’t there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why.
For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.
Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith—of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.
“We are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!” —Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC
In the glorious chronicles of the US Marine Corps, no name is more revered than that of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. The only fighting man to be awarded the Navy Cross five separate times—a military honor second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor—he was the epitome of a professional soldier. A son of the South, descendant of Robert E. Lee, and cousin to George S. Patton, Puller began his enlisted career during World War I and moved up through the ranks as he proved his battlefield mettle in Haiti and Nicaragua, with the Horse Marines in Peking, in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and in the nightmarish winter engagements of the Korean War.
Fearless and seemingly indestructible, adored by the troops he championed yet forced into early retirement by a high command that resented his “lowly” beginnings and unwillingness to play politics, Puller remains one of most towering figures in American military history. Bestselling military biographer Burke Davis paints the definitive portrait of this extraordinary marine hero.
After nearly four months of continuous and agonizing combat on the battlefields of Korea, such a simple request seemed impossible. For many men of George Company, or “Bloody George” as they were known—one of the Forgotten War’s most decorated yet unrecognized companies—it was a wish that would not come true. This is the untold story of “Bloody George,” a Marine company formed quickly to answer its nation’s call to duty in 1950. This small band of men—a colorful cast of characters, including a Native American fighting to earn his honor as a warrior, a Southern boy from Tennessee at odds with a Northern blue-blood reporter-turned-Marine, and a pair of twins who exemplified to the group the true meaning of brotherhood—were mostly green troops who had been rushed through training to fill America’s urgent need on the Korean front. They would find themselves at the tip of the spear in some of the Korean War’s bloodiest battles. After storming ashore at Inchon and fighting house-to-house in Seoul, George Company, one of America’s last units in reserve, found itself on the frozen tundra of the Chosin Reservoir facing elements of an entire division of Chinese troops. They didn’t realize it then, but they were soon to become crucial to the battle—modern-day Spartans called upon to hold off ten times their number. Give Me Tomorrow is their unforgettable story of bravery and courage. Thoroughly researched and vividly told, Give Me Tomorrow is fitting testament to the heroic deeds of George Company. They will never again be forgotten.
As comrades fell wounded and dead around them on the frozen slopes above Korea's infamous Chosin Reservoir, Baker-One-Seven's Marines triumphed against the relentless human-wave assaults of Chinese regulars and took part in the breakout that destroyed six to eight divisions of Chinese regulars. COLDER THAN HELL paints a vivid, frightening portrait of one of the most horrific infantry battles ever waged.
Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War
Told from the point of view of the men in the foxholes and tanks, outposts, and command posts, Eric Hammel’s Chosin is the definitive account of the epic retreat under fire of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.
The author first sketches in the errors and miscalculations on the part of the American high command that caused the Marines to be strung out at the end of a narrow road scores of miles from the sea. He then plunges right into the action: the massing of Chinese forces in about ten-to-one strength; the Marines' command problems due to the -35-degree climate, mountainous terrain, and high-level overconfidence; and the onset of the overwhelming Chinese assault.
With a wealth of tactical detail and small-unit action Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War is the most complete, most compelling book written on this iconic battle. Author Eric Hammel's masterful account offers invaluable perspective on war at the gut level.
Caught in the Chinese counterattack at Unsan-one of the deadliest American battles of the Cold War Era-Colonel Bill Richardson led an Alamo like defense of the few survivors before being taken prisoner. The North Koreans marched them through sub-zero weather without food, shelter, or medical attention to the area known as Death Valley. Enduring torture designed to break the mind and body, Richardson remained strong enough to lead his fellow prisoners in resistance, sabotage, and new plans for escape.
Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination, an intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the cold war in the unvarnished words of one of their own.
From the racetrack to the battlefield—dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi—she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines."
A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she’d be joining.
The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing fifty-one trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over thirty-five miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd.
Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since.
Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days.
The paperback edition includes a new foreword by General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. It will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Letts' The Eighty Dollar Champion, and the feature film War Horse.
The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces is the only biography of this exemplary soldier's life. Military historian Alan Hoe offers unique insight into Meadows, having served alongside him in 1960. The Quiet Professional is an insider's account that gives a human face to U.S. military strategy during the cold war. Major Meadows often claimed that he never achieved anything significant; The Quiet Professional proves otherwise, showcasing one of the great military minds of twentieth-century America.
Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order.
But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope
of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.
In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn’t just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made.
From the Hardcover edition.
ACES AT WAR
The American Aces Speak
Adding to the first three volumes of his acclaimed series, The American Aces Speak, leading combat historian Eric Hammel comes through with yet another engrossing collection of thirty-eight first-person accounts by American fighter aces serving in World War II, the Israeli War of Independence, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War
As are the three earlier volumes, Aces At War is a highly charged excursion into life and death in the air, told by men who excelled at piston-engine and jet-engine aerial combat and lived to tell about it. It is an emotional rendering of what brave airmen felt and how they fought in the now-dim days of America’s living national history.
Ride with Flying Tigers ace Charlie Bond as he is shot down in flames over the Chinese city he alone has been able to defend against Japanese bombers. Share the loneliness of command as Lieutenant Commander Tom Blackburn decides the fate of the fellow Navy pilot whose F4U Corsair malfunctions in a desperate battle over Rabaul. Feel 2d Lieutenant Deacon Priest’s overwhelming sense of duty to a friend as he lands his P-51 Mustang behind German lines to rescue his downed squadron commander. Share Lieutenant Colonel Ed Heller’s desperation as he fights his way out of his uncontrollable F-86 Sabre jet over the wrong side of the Yalu River. And join Major Jim Kasler as he leads what might be the most important air strike of the Vietnam War.
These are America’s eagles, and the stories they tell are their own, in their very own words.
From the building of the transcontinental railroad to the celebrity of Jeremy Lin, people of Asian descent have been involved in and affected by the history of America. A New History of Asian America gives twenty-first-century students a clear, comprehensive, and contemporary introduction to this vital history.
Now Max Hastings, preeminent military historian takes us back to the bloody bitter struggle to restore South Korean independence after the Communist invasion of June 1950. Using personal accounts from interviews with more than 200 vets—including the Chinese—Hastings follows real officers and soldiers through the battles. He brilliantly captures the Cold War crisis at home—the strategies and politics of Truman, Acheson, Marshall, MacArthur, Ridgway, and Bradley—and shows what we should have learned in the war that was the prelude to Vietnam.
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
Praise for Devotion
“Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account.”—USA Today
“An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting.”—Los Angeles Times
“[A] must-read.”—New York Post
“A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again.”—Associated Press
“A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget.”—The Washington Times
“My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.”—President George H. W. Bush
“This is aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake
“Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
“At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.”—Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend
From the Hardcover edition.
Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.
In 1944, a thirteen-year-old Hungarian boy named Tibor Rubin was captured by the Nazis and sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. The teenager endured its horrors for more than a year. After surviving the Holocaust, he arrived penniless in America, barely speaking English.
In 1950, Tibor volunteered for service in the Korean War. After acts of heroism that included single-handedly defending a hill against an onslaught of enemy soldiers, braving sniper fire to rescue a wounded comrade, and commandeering a machine gun after its crew was killed, he was captured. As a POW, Tibor called on his experience in Mauthausen to help fellow GIs survive two and half years of captivity.
Tibor returned from Korea in 1953, but it wasn’t until 2005—at age 76—that he was invited to the White House, where he received the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush. It had taken over half a century for Tibor’s adopted homeland to recognize this Jewish immigrant for acts of valor that went “beyond the call of duty.” But when it did, the former Hungarian refugee became the only survivor of the Holocaust to have earned America’s highest military distinction.
Drawing on eyewitness accounts and extensive interviews, author Daniel M. Cohen presents the inspiring story of Tibor “Teddy” Rubin for the first time in its entirety and gives us a stirring portrait of a true hero.
The queens of the Silk Route turned their father’s conquests into the world’s first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens of Europe and and the Islamic world.
After Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became a war against women in power as brother turned against sister and son against mother. At the end of this epic struggle, the dynasty of the Mongol queens had seemingly been extinguished forever, as even their names were erased from the historical record.
Two centuries later, one of the most unusual and important warrior queens of history--Queen Mandhuhai--arose to avenge the wrongs, rescue the tattered shreds of the Mongol Empire, and restore order to a shattered world. She led her soldiers through victory after victory. In her thirties she married a seventeen-year-old prince, and she bore eight children in the midst of a career spent fighting the Ming Dynasty of China on one side and a series of Muslim warlords on the other. Her unprecedented success on the battlefield provoked the Chinese into the most frantic and expensive phase of wall building in history. Charging into battle even while pregnant, she fought to reassemble the Mongol Nation of Genghis Khan and to preserve it for her own children to rule in peace.
Despite their mystery and the efforts to erase them from our collective memory, the deeds of these Mongol queens inspired great artists from Chaucer and Milton to Goethe and Puccini. And so their stories live on today. With The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, Jack Weatherford restores the queens’ missing chapter to the annals of history.
From the Hardcover edition.
Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.
--The New York Times
David Halberstam's magisterial and thrilling The Best and the Brightest was the defining book about the Vietnam conflict. More than three decades later, Halberstam used his unrivaled research and formidable journalistic skills to shed light on another pivotal moment in our history: the Korean War. Halberstam considered The Coldest Winter his most accomplished work, the culmination of forty-five years of writing about America's postwar foreign policy.
Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu River and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures-Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order. As ever, Halberstam was concerned with the extraordinary courage and resolve of people asked to bear an extraordinary burden.
The Coldest Winter is contemporary history in its most literary and luminescent form, providing crucial perspective on every war America has been involved in since. It is a book that Halberstam first decided to write more than thirty years ago and that took him nearly ten years to complete. It stands as a lasting testament to one of the greatest journalists and historians of our time, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles.
While MacArthur aspired to stamp out Communism across the globe, Truman was much more concerned with containing the Soviet Union. The infamous clash between them was not only an epic turning point in history, but the ultimate struggle between civil and military power in the United States. While other U.S. generals have challenged presidential authority, no other military leader has ever so brazenly attempted to dictate national policy.
In MacArthur’s War, Bevin Alexander details MacArthur’s battles, from the alliances he made with Republican leaders to the threatening ultimatum he delivered to China against orders—the action that led directly to his downfall.
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.”
—Gen. John A. Lejeune
Suddenly, from both sides of the road, came a steady stream of tracers from enemy machine guns. Bullets hit Hawkins’s truck and practically shot the engine right out of it. The vehicle stopped dead. Before he could try to get it off to the side of the road, all hell broke loose.
During his thirty-three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Len Maffioli saw combat in World War II, the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam. Maffioli was only eighteen when he stormed Saipan on D-Day in 1944. Shortly after, he was involved in combat operations on Tinian and Iwo Jima–and that was just the beginning of a long and distinguished career. In Korea, he was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces and endured icy prison camp conditions so appalling that four out of ten POWs died. Yet Maffioli not only survived, he escaped and earned himself the Bronze Star. He went on to see combat in Vietnam and serve in many posts and stations around the world, distinguishing himself not only as a combat veteran, but as the very definition of a “Marine’s Marine.”
Vividly depicted by the deft hand of experienced author and Vietnam combat veteran Bruce “Doc” Norton, Grown Gray in War is the story of a man who could be anyone’s father, brother, or son, a man who served in a series of wars that changed the Marine Corps and the nation forever.
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.
Originally published in a single hardcover book, Volume 2 is now available as an abridged, two-part paperback. Part 1 covers the Tokugawa period to 1868, including texts that address the spread of neo-Confucianism and Buddhism and the initial encounters of Japan and the West. Part 2 begins with the Meiji period and ends at the new millennium, shedding light on such major movements as the Enlightenment, constitutionalism, nationalism, socialism, and feminism, and the impact of the postwar occupation. Commentary by major scholars and comprehensive bibliographies and indexes are included.
Together, these readings map out the development of modern Japanese civilization and illuminate the thought and teachings of its intellectual, political, and religious leaders.
This is a narrative of John Nolan’s experience as a Marine rifle platoon leader in Korea in 1951, the pivotal year of the Korean War. Much of it reads like a journal, but it also includes the experiences of a half-dozen other Marine lieutenants fighting through the fog-shrouded mountains of the East-Central front during the year the war turned around. Individually, their heroism marked some of the top combat events of that time. Taken together, these accounts tell the story of fighting that year when the last Chinese offensive was stopped cold and the UN forces slugged their way back over the 38th parallel to the final line that exists today, more than a half century later.
The lieutenants came from all over and were educated at the Naval Academy, Notre Dame, Miami University and College of the Pacific. As Marine rifle platoon leaders, they were all wounded, some several times, and abundantly decorated. And since Korea, their lives have spanned a broad range of experience. Charlie Cooper retired as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific; Joe Reed was a top executive at AT&T and later led the reorganization of Chicago’s public schools; Jim Marsh left his enduring mark on the Marine Corps and the vast new USMC building at Quantico is named for him; Walter Murphy, a leading educator, author and novelist, was the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton; Bill Rockey had a distinguished Marine Corps career, as did his father before him; Eddie LeBaron was voted early into the College Football Hall of Fame and later led the NFL in passing during his years with the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. John Nolan has practiced law in Washington, D.C. since shortly after returning from Korea.
What People Are Saying
“Great book! John Nolan has written a magnificent account of the Marines in action during the Korean War. It is a story about the Marine spirit and ethos. Every American should read this with pride in the Corps of Marines.”
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)
“It’s a wonderful book. The writing is superb; it flows, it’s moving, highly descriptive and strikes just the right tone – neither laconic nor emotional. Every Marine should read it.”
Haynes Johnson, Journalist, Author
“This is a book about Marines, ordinary Americans who under unimaginable pressures do the extraordinary day after day. You will laugh. You will cry. And after reading John Nolan’s memoir, you will have a far more profound understanding of the barbarity of war.”
Mark Shields, Columnist; Commentator, The NewsHour
“John Nolan’s timeless story of men in battle during the heavy fighting in Korea, 1951, bears all the marks of a classic – good men, hard men, decent men in brutal, near-constant combat. What they accomplished in those battles would be reflected later in their lives – those who kept them – as many would become highly successful in the Marine Corps and in other careers.”
Colonel John W. Ripley, USMC (Ret.) (The Bridge at Dong Ha)
“John Nolan learned about leadership the hard way – leading a Marine rifle platoon in close combat in Korea. He is modest, honest and tough. And his memoir is a compelling read.”
Evan Thomas, Newsweek
“If you don’t know how a few good Marines helped prevent the Korean War from becoming the world’s most dangerous war, then join Lt. John Nolan’s 1st Platoon, Baker Co., 1stBn, 1st Marines, 1st MarDiv. The Run-Up to the Punch Bowl is a clear-eyed, gritty, rich day-by-day account of what makes Marines go up the hill.”
Using Michener's notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots to tell their riveting, true-life stories. From the icy, windswept decks of aircraft carriers, they penetrated treacherous mountain terrain to strike heavily defended dams, bridges, and tunnels, where well entrenched Communist anti-aircraft gunners waited to shoot them down. Many of these men became air combat legends, and one, Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon.
Such Men As These brims with action-packed accounts of combat and unforgettable portraits of the pilots whose skill and sacrifice made epic history.
October 6, 1951. Richard Bassett remembers the day vividly. That was the day his platoon ran into an ambush near Kumwha. During the firefight many were wounded, four were killed, and Bassett, along with three others, was captured. During a month-long march to the POW camp the Americans frequently came under friendly fire. Surviving the march paled in comparison to what the captured soldiers had to endure at Camp-5-Pyokdong. Frostbite, dysentery, jaundice, and mental breakdowns dwindled their numbers. Starvation and squalid conditions took their toll on Bassett during his 21-month incarceration. Yet he pledged to himself that if anyone were to walk out of this camp alive, it would be him.
When Richard Bassett returned from Korea on convalescent leave in 1953, he set down his experiences in training, combat, and captivity. Then he put the memoir away and tried to forget. More than twenty years later, hospitalized for acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he once again faced his personal demons. Expanding the memoir to include his postwar struggles with the U.S. government and his own wounded psyche, the resulting comprehensive account is published here for the first time.
Bassett captures in plain language and vivid detail those days of his captivity. He describes the shock of capture and ensuing long march to Pyokdong, North Korea, Camp 5 on the Yellow River, where many prisoners died of untreated wounds, disease, hunger, paralyzing cold, and brutal mistreatment in the bitter winter of 1950-51. He recounts Chinese attempts to mentally break down prisoners in order to exploit them for propoganda. Bassett takes the reader through typical days in a prisoner's life, discussing food, clothing, shelter, and work; the struggle against unremitting boredom; religious, social, and recreational diversions; and even those moments of terror when all seemed lost.
Bassett's story is important to general audiences and scholars alike because it has not counterpart in the literature of the Korean War. And the Wind Blew Cold refutes Cold War-era propaganda that often unfairly characterized POWs as brainwashed victims or even traitors who lacked the grit that Americans expected of their brave sons.
Bassett concludes his memoir with a candid discussion of the war's aftermath, his battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, harassment by a government eager to impugn the loyalty of repatriated POWs, and his long struggle with the Veterans Administration to receive compensation for enduring physical and mental scars. This book will fascinate anyone interested in the Korean War era, in captivity tales, and in the resilience of the human spirit.
William Stueck presents a fresh analysis of the Korean War's major diplomatic and strategic issues. Drawing on a cache of newly available information from archives in the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union, he provides an interpretive synthesis for scholars and general readers alike. Beginning with the decision to divide Korea in 1945, he analyzes first the origins and then the course of the conflict. He takes into account the balance between the international and internal factors that led to the war and examines the difficulty in containing and eventually ending the fighting. This discussion covers the progression toward Chinese intervention as well as factors that both prolonged the war and prevented it from expanding beyond Korea. Stueck goes on to address the impact of the war on Korean-American relations and evaluates the performance and durability of an American political culture confronting a challenge from authoritarianism abroad.
Stueck's crisp yet in-depth analysis combines insightful treatment of past events with a suggestive appraisal of their significance for present and future.
• Page-turning history of one of the most important battles of the Korean War
• From-the-foxhole account of a do-or-die defense
• Draws from memoirs, interviews, unit reports, intelligence summaries, and personal research in South Korea
In 2005, veteran diplomat and Asia analyst Jeffrey Bader met for the first time with the then-junior U.S. senator from Illinois. When Barack Obama entered the White House a few years later, Bader was named the senior director for East Asian affairs on the National Security Council, becoming one of a handful of advisers responsible for formulating and implementing the administration's policy regarding that key region. For obvious reasons—a booming economy, expanding military power, and increasing influence over the region—the looming impact of a rising China dominated their efforts.
Obama's original intent was to extend U.S. influence and presence in East Asia, which he felt had been neglected by a Bush administration fixated on the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and the war on terror. China's rise, particularly its military buildup, was heightening anxiety among its neighbors, including key U.S. allies Japan and South Korea. Bader explains the administration's efforts to develop stable relations with China while improving relationships with key partners worried about Beijing's new assertiveness.
In Obama and China's Rise, Bader reveals what he did, discusses what he saw, and interprets what it meant—first during the Obama campaign, and then for the administration. The result is an illuminating backstage view of the formulation and execution of American foreign policy as well as a candid assessment of both. Bader combines insightful and authoritative foreign policy analysis with a revealing and humanizing narrative of his own personal journey.
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.
There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.
He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines—on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.
This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines. They are exciting, powerful, chilling—and all true.
From the Trade 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.
The United Nation's first military action and America's first major Cold War action, the Korean War, frequently called the forgotten war, is well documented in studies and reports of specific actions and phases of the war. These sources, however, provide little order of battle information on most of the belligerents, particularly the non-U.S./UN and South Korean forces. Using the historical files kept by each armed service and each nation, Gordon Rottman provides information on combat units and major commands, including both Western forces and North Korean, Communist Chinese, and USSR forces. He has done an invaluable service for scholars and military buffs.
Filling a void that would not likely have been filled otherwise, the book provides information on unit backgrounds, organization, manning, periods of service, insignia, weapons, and casualties. The book will be a primary source for anyone, scholar or layman, interested in researching the Korean War.
The events that culminated in the fall of Japan - which forever changed the course of diplomacy, geopolitics, and warfare in the twentieth century - are vividly recreated through dramatic first-hand accounts of the major participants on both sides of the Pacific.
They include: Harry Truman, the inexperienced American president who made the decision that would lead to unprecedented death and destruction; the war-mongering, but mysterious, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who ultimately presided over his country's surrender; General Leslie Groves, the no-nonsense director of the Manhattan Project; and Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the plane, the Enola Gay, which dropped the very first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.
After one traumatic year, she came home, a Vietnam veteran. Coming home was nearly as devastating as the time she spent in Asia. Nothing was the same -- including Lynda herself. Viewed by many as a murderer instead of a healer, she felt isolated and angry. The anger turned to depression; like many other Vietnam veterans she suffered from delayed stress syndrome. Working in hospitals brought back chilling scenes of hopelessly wounded soldiers. A marriage ended in divorce. The war that was fought physically halfway around the world had become a personal, internal battle.
Home before Morning is the story of a woman whose courage, stamina, and personal history make this a compelling autobiography. It is also the saga of others who went to war to aid the wounded and came back wounded -- physically and emotionally -- themselves. And, it is the true story of one person's triumphs: her understanding of, and coming to terms with, her destiny.