Why was one of the greatest battles of the Second World War consigned to oblivion in the Soviet Union? Why were the forces of the German Army Group Center in the Rzhev - Viaz'ma salient not encircled and destroyed? Whose fault is it that the German forces were able to withdraw from a pocket that was never fully sealed? Indeed, are there justifications for blaming this "lost victory" on G.K. Zhukov? In this book, which has been recognized in Russia as one of the best domestic studies of the Rzhev battle, answers to all these questions have been given. The author, Svetlana Gerasimova, has lived and worked amidst the still extant signs of this colossal battle, the tens of thousands of unmarked graves and the now silent bunkers and pillboxes, and has dedicated herself to the study of its history.
Svetlana Aleksandrovna Gerasimova is a historian and museum official. After graduating from Leningrad State University with a history degree, she worked in the Urals as a middle school history teacher, before moving to Tver, where she taught a number of courses in history and local history, and about museum work and leading excursions in the Tver' School of Culture. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Tver State University in 2002. For more than 20 years, S.A. Gerasimova has been working in the Tver' State Consolidated Museum, and is the creator and co-creator of a many displays and exhibits in the branches of the Museum, and in municipal and institutional museums of the Tver' Oblast. Recent museum exhibits that she has created include "The Battle of Rzhev 1942-1943" and "The Fatal Forties … Toropets District in the Years of the Great Patriotic War." She has led approximately 20 historical and folklore-ethnographic expeditions in the area of Tver' Oblast and is the author of numerous articles in such journals as Voprosy istorii [Questions of History], Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv [Military History Archive], Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal [Journal of Military History] and Zhivaia starina [The Living Past], and of other publications. In 2009, she served as a featured consultant to a Russian NTV television documentary about the Battle of Rzhev, which quickly became controversial for its very frank discussion of the campaign.
Stuart Britton is a freelance translator and editor residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has been responsible for making a growing number of Russian titles available to readers of the English language, consisting primarily of memoirs by Red Army veterans and recent historical research concerning the Eastern Front of the Second World War and Soviet air operations in the Korean War. Notable recent titles include Valeriy Zamulin's award-winning 'Demolishing the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative ' (Helion, 2011), Boris Gorbachevsky's 'Through the Maelstrom: A Red Army Soldier's War on the Eastern Front 1942-45' (University Press of Kansas, 2008) and Yuri Sutiagin's and Igor Seidov's 'MiG Menace Over Korea: The Story of Soviet Fighter Ace Nikolai Sutiagin' (Pen & Sword Aviation, 2009). Future books will include Svetlana Gerasimova's analysis of the prolonged and savage fighting against Army Group Center in 1942-43 to liberate the city of Rzhev, and more of Igor Seidov's studies of the Soviet side of the air war in Korea, 1951-1953.
“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 receive the Navy Cross five separate times—a military honor second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor—he was the epitome of a professional warrior. 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.
December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...
What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”
The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr. Hartley was still wet behind the ears when he was tossed into the cauldron of Americas most unpopular war as an attack helicopter gunship pilot. As he shares a gripping, birds-eye view of battles that took him from the Demilitarized Zone in the north to the Mekong Delta in the south, Mr. Hartley compellingly details how he learned to rely on his superior training and equipment to follow through with his mission to kill the enemy and save the lives of his fellow soldiers below.
Gunship Pilot provides an unforgettable glimpse into two combat tours of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot soaring high above rice paddies and jungles attempts to fulfill his duty of protecting Americas warriors on the ground.
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.
151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart
First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force
One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
This is a narrative of John Nolans 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 Chicagos 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.)
Its a wonderful book. The writing is superb; it flows, its 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 Nolans memoir, you will have a far more profound understanding of the barbarity of war.
Mark Shields, Columnist; Commentator, The NewsHour
John Nolans 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 dont know how a few good Marines helped prevent the Korean War from becoming the worlds most dangerous war, then join Lt. John Nolans 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.
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.
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
As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.
Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.
As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.
In the world of covert warfare, Special Operations pilots are notoriously close- lipped about what they do. They don't talk about their missions to anyone outside their small community. But now, Michael J. Durant and Steven Hartov shed fascinating light on the mysterious elite commandos known as SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) and take readers into a shadowy world of combat they have only imagined.
ACES IN COMBAT
The American Aces Speak
Adding to the acclaimed first four volumes of his exciting, in-the-cockpit series, The American Aces Speak, leading combat historian Eric Hammel comes through with yet another engrossing collection of first-person accounts by American fighter aces serving in World War II and the Korean War.As are the four earlier volumes, Aces In Combat 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.
View the Battle of Midway through Lieutenant Jim Gray’s eyes as he must balance the needs of fellow pilots against the needs of his nation. Share the fear with Captain Charlie Sullivan as would-be rescuers deep in the New Guinea jungle attempt to turn him into a blood sacrifice. Crew a Canadian Mosquito night fighter as Lieutenant Lou Luma stalks the wily Hun—and bags an ace—over an airfield deep in Germany. Share Lieutenant Bud Fortier’s and Major George Loving’s grief when, on missions nearly eight years apart, they look on helplessly as trusted wingmen dive to their deaths in treacherous ground-attack runs. And watch anxiously as Captain Tom Maloney hovers between life and death for ten lonely days after stepping on a mine on an enemy-held beach.
These are America’s eagles, and the stories they tell are their own, in their very own words.
'They did not think for one moment that they would find anything but a burnt-out fuselage and a charred skeleton, and they were astounded when they came upon my still-breathing body lying in the sand nearby.'
In 1938 Roald Dahl was fresh out of school and bound for his first job in Africa, hoping to find adventure far from home. However, he got far more excitement than he bargained for when the outbreak of the Second World War led him to join the RAF. His account of his experiences in Africa, crashing a plane in the Western Desert, rescue and recovery from his horrific injuries in Alexandria, flying a Hurricane as Greece fell to the Germans, and many other daring deeds, recreates a world as bizarre and unnerving as any he wrote about in his fiction.
'Very nearly as grotesque as his fiction. The same compulsive blend of wide-eyed innocence and fascination with danger and horror' Evening Standard
'A non-stop demonstration of expert raconteurship' The New York Times Book Review
Roald Dahl, the brilliant and worldwide acclaimed author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many more classics for children, also wrote scores of short stories for adults. These delightfully disturbing tales have often been filmed and were most recently the inspiration for the West End play, Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales by Jeremy Dyson. Roald Dahl's stories continue to make readers shiver today.
Praise for Low Level Hell
“An absolutely splendid and engrossing book. The most compelling part is the accounts of his many air-to-ground engagements. There were moments when I literally held my breath.”—Dr. Charles H. Cureton, Chief Historian, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Command
“Low Level Hell is the best ‘bird’s eye view’ of the helicopter war in Vietnam in print today. No volume better describes the feelings from the cockpit. Mills has captured the realities of a select group of aviators who shot craps with death on every mission.”—R.S. Maxham, Director, U.S. Army Aviation Museum
This volume in the official History of the Marine Corps chronicles the invasion by United States Marines at Inchon in the initial stages of the Korean War.
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korea capital Seoul two weeks later. The code name for the operation was Operation Chromite. The battle began on 15 September 1950 and ended on 19 September. Through a surprise amphibious assault far from the Pusan Perimeter that UN and South Korean forces were desperately defending, the largely undefended city of Incheon was secured after being bombed by UN forces. The battle ended a string of victories by the invading North Korean People’s Army (NKPA). The subsequent UN recapture of Seoul partially severed NKPA’s supply lines in South Korea. The majority of United Nations ground forces involved were U.S. Marines, commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army. MacArthur was the driving force behind the operation, overcoming the strong misgivings of more cautious generals to a risky assault over extremely unfavorable terrain.
For Americans, it was a discrete conflict lasting from 1950 to 1953. But for the Asian world the Korean War was a generations-long struggle that still haunts contemporary events. With access to new evidence and secret materials from both here and abroad, including an archive of captured North Korean documents, Bruce Cumings reveals the war as it was actually fought. He describes its origin as a civil war, preordained long before the first shots were fired in June 1950 by lingering fury over Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Cumings then shares the neglected history of America’s post–World War II occupation of Korea, reveals untold stories of bloody insurgencies and rebellions, and tells of the United States officially entering the action on the side of the South, exposing as never before the appalling massacres and atrocities committed on all sides.
Elegantly written and blisteringly honest, The Korean War is, like the war it illuminates, brief, devastating, and essential.
In this follow-up to his enormously successful Marine Tank Battles in the Pacific, Oscar Gilbert presents an equally exhaustive and detailed account of the little-known Marine tank engagements in Korea, supported by forty-eight photographs, eight original maps, and dozens of survivor interviews.
Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea details every action, from the valiant defense at Pusan and the bitter battles of the Chosin Reservoir, to the grinding and bloody stalemate along the Jamestown Line. Many of these stories are presented here for the first time, such as the unique role played by tanks in the destruction of the ill-fated Task Force Drysdale, how Marine armor played a key role in the defense of Hagaru, and how a lone tank made it to Yudamni and then led the breakout across the high Toktong Pass.
Marine tankers—individually and as an organization—met every challenge posed by this vicious, protracted, and forgotten war. It is a story of bravery and fortitude you will never forget.
Published now in paperback, this incredible story is based on first hand interviews from surviving veterans, telling 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.
When Chuck Gross left for Vietnam in 1970, he was a nineteen-year-old Army helicopter pilot fresh out of flight school. He spent his entire Vietnam tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.
During his tour Gross flew Special Operations for the MACV-SOG, inserting secret teams into Laos. He notes that Americans were left behind alive in Laos, when official policy at home stated that U.S. forces were never there.
He also participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt by the ARVN to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail with U.S. Army helicopter support. It was the largest airmobile campaign of the war and marked the first time that the helicopter was used in mid-intensity combat, with disastrous results. Pilots in their early twenties, with young gunners and a Huey full of ARVN soldiers, took on experienced North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery gunners, with no meaningful intelligence briefings or a rational plan on how to cut the Trail. More than one hundred helicopters were lost and more than six hundred aircraft sustained combat damage. Gross himself was shot down and left in the field during one assault. Rattler One-Seven will appeal to those interested in the Vietnam War and to all armed forces, especially aviators, who have served for their country.
"Like Lauren Hillebrand's Unbroken…Target Tokyo brings to life an indelible era." —Ben Cosgrove, The Daily Beast
In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy’s factories, refineries, and dockyards and then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians—including children—military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare.
At the center of this incredible story is Doolittle, the son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer, and brilliant engineer who earned his doctorate from MIT. Other fascinating characters populate this gripping narrative, including Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and the feisty Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Jr. Here, too, are indelible portraits of the young pilots, navigators, and bombardiers, many of them little more than teenagers, who raised their hands to volunteer for a mission from which few expected to return. Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed. Captured raiders suffered torture and starvation in Japan’s notorious POW camps. Others faced a harrowing escape across China—via boat, rickshaw, and foot—with the Japanese Army in pursuit.
Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America’s most daring military operations.
The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
INCLUDES 32 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND 12 MAPS
Lords of the Sky is the “dramatic, fast-paced, and definitive" (Michael Korda) history of fighter pilots and aircraft and their extraordinary influence on modern warfare, masterfully written by "one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history” (New York Post). A twenty-year USAF veteran who flew more than 150 combat missions and received multiple Distinguished Flying Crosses, Lt. Colonel Dan Hampton draws on his singular firsthand knowledge, as well as groundbreaking research in aviation archives and rare personal interviews with little-known heroes, including veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Hampton (the New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot) reveals the stories behind history's most iconic aircraft and the aviators who piloted them: from the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane to the Mitsubishi Zero, Supermarine Spitfire, German Bf 109, P-51 Mustang, Grumman Hellcat, F-4 Phantom, F-105 Thunderchief, F-16 Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and beyond. In a seamless, sweeping narrative, Lords of the Sky is an extraordinary account of the most famous fighter planes and the brave and daring heroes who made them legend.
In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception—and escape.
As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million dollars today). The theft—just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953—electrified the world and incited Kim’s bloody vengeance.
During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.
Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim’s shadowy rise, as well as from never-before-released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian state.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Japanese defeats at Midway and Guadalcanal decided the outcome of the Pacific War. Guadalcanal was the classic three-dimensional campaign. On land, at sea, and in the air, fierce battles were fought with both sides stretching their supplies and equipment to the breaking point. The campaign lasted six months, involved nearly one million men, and stopped Japanese expansion in the Pacific.
When the campaign began on August 7, 1942, no one on either side quite knew how to conduct it, as Eric Hammel shows in this masterly account. Guadalcanal: Starvation hand corrects numerous errors and omissions in the official records that have been perpetuated in all the books previously published about the campaign. Hammel also draws on the recollections of more than 100 participants on both sides, especially the enlisted men at the sharp end. Their words bring us into the heart of the battle and portray the fighting accurately, realistically, andvery powerfully.Guadalcanal: Starvation Island follows the men and the commanders of this decisive World War II campaign in an integrated, brilliantly told narrative of the desperate struggle at sea, on land, and in the air.
Praise for Guadalcanal: Starvation Island and Eric Hammel
“A comprehensive history of the Guadalcanal Campaign . . . [and] a well‑balanced account. Well written and fast moving.” —Marine Corps Gazette
“Hammel has written the most comprehensive popular account to date . . . and exposes controversial aspects often passed over,” —Publishers Weekly
“Hammel takes the reader behind the scenes and details how decisions were made . . . and how they impacted on the troops carrying them out. He tells the story in a very human way.” —Leatherneck Magazine
“A splendid record of this decisive campaign. Hammel offers a wealth of fresh material drawn from archival records and the recollections of 100‑odd surviving participants. . . . A praiseworthy contribution to Guadalcanal lore.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hammel’s ability to reveal both the immediacy and the humanity of war without judgment or bias makes all his books both readable and scholarly. —San Francisco Chronicle“Hammel does not write dry history. His battle sequences are masterfully portrayed. —Library Journal
But for the Dauntless dive-bomber crews of the USS Enterprise returning to their home base on Oahu, it was a morning from hell. Flying directly into the Japanese ambush at Pearl Harbor, they lost a third of their squadron and witnessed the heart of America’s Navy broken and smoldering on the oil-slicked waters below.
The next six months, from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway—a dark time during which the Japanese scored victory after victory—this small band of aviators saw almost constant deployment, intense carrier combat, and fearsome casualties. Many were killed by enemy Zero fighters, antiaircraft fire, or deadly crash landings in the Pacific, while others were captured and spent years in POW camps. Yet the Enterprise’s Dauntless crews would be the first to strike an offensive blow against Japanese installations in the Marshall Islands, would be the first to sink a Japanese warship, and would shepherd the Doolittle Raiders’ bombing of Tokyo.
Not until Midway, though, would Dauntless crews get the chance to settle the score. In June 1942, Japan mobilized the best of its Navy to draw out the smaller American carrier fleet for a final showdown designed to destroy the U.S. Navy once and for all. What they didn’t anticipate was the gutsy dive-bombing pilots and gunners whose courage and skill would change the course of World War II.
Drawing on dozens of new interviews and oral histories, author Stephen L. Moore brings to life inspiring stories of individual sacrifice and bravery—and the sweeping saga of one of America’s greatest triumphs.
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.
DECISION AT SEA
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea is a full-blown examination in vivid detail of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13–15, 1942, a crucial step toward America’s victory over the Japanese during World War II.
The three‑day air and naval action incorporated America’s most decisive surface battle of the war and the only naval battle of this century in which American battleships directly confronted and mortally wounded an enemy battleship. This American victory decided the future course of the naval war in the Pacific, indeed of the entire Pacific War. Eric Hammel has brilliantly blended the detailed historical records with personal accounts of many of the officers and enlisted men involved, creating an engrossing narrative of the strategy and struggle as seen by both sides. He has also included major new insights into crucial details of the battles, including a riveting account of the American forces’ failure to effectively use their radar advantage.
Originally published in 1988 as the concluding volume in Eric Hammel’s series of three independent books focusing on the Guadalcanal campaign and exploring all the elements that made it a turning point of the war in the Pacific, Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea lives up to the high standards and expectations that have marked this author’s many historical books and articles.
Praise for Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea and Eric Hammel
“Hammel’s description of surface tactics, naval gunnery, and what happens when the order to abandon ship is given is vivid and memorable.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Hammel’s] detailed and fast-paced chronicle includes a number of incidents and anecdotes not found in the more prosaic official histories.” —Sea Power