Twelve Texas Aggie War Heroes tells each serviceman’s story in a concise, engaging manner. Some subjects, such as Earl Rudder and James Hollingsworth, will be familiar to readers. But Woodall also introduces us to less familiar but no less notable men as well, from A. D. Bruce’s march from the trenches of France and the crossing of the Rhine in World War I to Bob Acklen’s three tours in Vietnam.
In addition to the twelve chapters focusing on these remarkable individuals, Woodall provides an extensive set of appendixes that include the relevant citations for each serviceman as well as larger lists of Aggies who were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross.
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group—known as SEAL Team Six—has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and his fellow SEAL team members as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.
In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers into the War on Terror and details the formation of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes several missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.
In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
The 1st Mississippi Rifles were lauded for their service and remain a familiar part of the history of the Mexican War. Under the leadership of Col. Jefferson Davis—later the President of the Confederate States of America—the 1st enjoyed significant victories at the Battle of Buena Vista and the Battle of Monterey. The 2nd Mississippi Rifles, by contrast, saw little action and returned home overlooked and largely forgotten.
Panting for Glory compares these regiments to show that the contours of history were sometimes arbitrary and that military historians, in their analysis of failure, should take into account a wide range of factors that influence outcomes, not merely records of wins and losses. As Winders concludes, “the 1st and 2nd Mississippi Rifles . . . offer the perfect opportunity to examine two sides of war: glory gained and glory denied.”
As Lanning points out, “anytime Aggie Vietnam veterans get together—whether it is two or two hundred of them—war stories begin.” The tales they relate about the paddies, the jungles, the highlands, the waterways, and the airways provide these veterans with an even greater understanding of the war they survived. They also allow glimpses into the frequent dangers of firefights, the camaraderie of patrol, and often humorous responses to inexplicable situations.
These revelations provide insight not only into the realities of war but also speak to the character of the graduates of Texas A&M University. As Lanning concludes, “these war stories are as much a part of service as is that old green duffle bag, a few rows of colorful ribbons, and a pride that does not diminish. In reality, there is only one story about the Vietnam War. We all just tell it differently.”
In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam.
How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.
In the late 1990s, the Combat Talon veteran community at Hurlburt Field in Florida, still uncertain of the full story, decided to dedicate a memorial to the lost crew. When wartime mission records were declassified, Gargus embarked on a long journey of inquiry, research, and puzzle-solving to reconstruct the events of that mission and the fate of its crew. He discovered that the wreckage of the plane had been found in 1992 and that the remains of the crew were being held in Hawaii. Through numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews, and site visits, Gargus sought to answer the question of why it took so long to find the wreckage and, more importantly, why the special operations command units were left uninformed. By 2000, the remains were relocated to a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery at last providing a measure of closure to family, friends, and comrades.
This powerfully illustrated book seeks to explain the staying power of these rural churches and to introduce the people who keep them alive while the surrounding communities have given way to the larger towns and cities nearby. Beyond the power of religion itself, the authors have uncovered the roles of geography, race, ethnicity, and family in giving life to these small churches.
Authors Lois Myers and Rebecca Sharpless enhance our understanding of the interplay of religion and culture, the qualities of late twentieth-century rural life, and the continuing draw of the open country. Photojournalist Clark Baker portrays open-country churches and their members in vivid black and white photographs.
Churches featured in the volume include the oldest Norwegian Lutheran church in Texas, four African American Baptist churches organized soon after emancipation, white Southern Baptist churches, Protestant and Catholic churches founded by European and Mexican immigrants, and one union church that for most of the past century accommodated both Methodists and Baptists. Based on memories of longtime members, church minutes and histories, baptism records, and family histories the authors collapse decades of tradition into the enchanting and informative pages of this book.
As a commander of Delta Force-the most elite counter—terrorist organization in the world—Pete Blaber took part in some of the most dangerous, controversial, and significant military and political events of our time. Now he takes his intimate knowledge of warfare—and the heart, mind, and spirit it takes to win—and moves his focus from the combat zone to civilian life.
In this book, you will learn the same lessons he learned, while experiencing what the life of a Delta Force Operator is like—from the extreme physical and psychological training to the darkest of shadow ops all around the world. From each mission, Pete Blaber has taken a life lesson back with him. You will learn these enlightening lessons as you gain insights into never-before-revealed missions executed around the globe. And when the smoke clears, you will emerge wiser, more capable, and better prepared to succeed in life than you ever thought possible.
While many individual institutions have had their histories written or their stories told, to date no single book has attempted to explore the full scope of the military school in American history. Cadets on Campus is the first book to cover the origin, history, and culture of the nation’s military schools—secondary and collegiate—and this breadth of coverage will appeal to historians and alumni alike.
Author John Alfred Coulter identifies several key figures who were pivotal to the formation of military education, including Sylvanus Thayer, the “father of West Point,” and Alden Partridge, the founder of the school later known as Norwich University, the first private military school in the country. He also reveals that military schools were present across the nation, despite the conventional wisdom that most military schools, and, indeed, the culture that surrounds them, were limited to the South. Coulter addresses the shuttering of military schools in the era after the Vietnam War and then notes a curious resurgence of interest in military education since the turn of the century.
Long Journeys Home explores the veteran experience of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It examines and dissects the various myths that have grown up around each of these wars. Author Michael D. Gambone compares and contrasts the basic elements of each narrative, including the factors that influenced the decision to enlist, the impact of combat on life after the war, the struggles of postwar economic adjustment, and participation in (or withdrawal from) social and political activism.
Gambone does not treat these veterans monolithically but instead puts each era’s veterans in historical context. He also explores the nuances of race, gender, and class. Despite many differences, some obvious and some not, Gambone nonetheless finds a great deal of continuity, and ultimately concludes that Korean and Vietnam veterans have much more in common with the Greatest Generation than was previously understood.
“Knowing these great men—who they were, how they lived, and what they stood for—has changed my life. We can’t let them be forgotten. We’ve mourned their deaths. Let’s celebrate their lives.”—Brandon Webb
As a Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb rose to the top of the world’s most elite sniper corps, experiencing years of punishing training and combat missions from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. Along the way, Webb served beside, trained, and supported men he came to know not just as fellow warriors, but as friends and, eventually, as heroes.
This is his personal account of eight extraordinary SEALs who gave all for their comrades and their country with remarkable valor and abiding humanity: Matt “Axe” Axelson, who perished on Afghanistan’s Lone Survivor mission; Chris Campbell, Heath Robinson, and JT Tumilson, who were among the casualties of Extortion 17; Glen Doherty, Webb’s best friend, killed while helping secure the successful rescue and extraction of American CIA and State Department diplomats in Benghazi; and other close friends, classmates, and fellow warriors. These are men who left behind powerfully instructive examples of what it means to be alive—and what it truly means to be a hero.
After her death, Peter A. Witt, Edith’s nephew, painstakingly sifted through countless papers and letters to provide a nuanced and annotated portrait of the war through one woman’s extraordinarily perceptive eyes. And yet he found that Edith’s devotion to service did not end with the war. From marching to Selma with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 to building community organizations in San Francisco in the 1970s to push for decent and affordable living, Edith Witt remained a tireless advocate for social justice.
Edith’s War is a welcome contribution to the social history of World War II and an inspiring tale of one woman’s life of advocacy and service that encourages readers to embrace thoughtful action in their own lives. Scholars and general readers alike will find Edith’s War an engaging and enjoyable read.
Hollingsworth entered the US Army as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). In World War II, while leading tanks in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army, Hollingsworth encountered dug-in German defenders. He lined up his thirty-four tanks and issued a command rarely heard in modern warfare: Charge! Patton later recognized Hollingsworth as one of the two best armored battalion commanders in the war.
Twenty years later, Hollingsworth served in Vietnam, where he became identified by the radio call-sign of “Danger 79er,” a designation that remained for the duration of his career. He later served in South Korea commanding I Corps (ROK/US) Group, the largest combined field army in the world. Even after retirement from active duty, Hollingsworth continued to serve as a military adviser during the Cold War.
Danger 79er provides a compelling and inspiring read as it recounts the exciting story of one of the most decorated soldiers in the history of the US Army.
Following fifteen Marines from the Pearl Harbor attack, through battles with the Japanese, to their return home after V-J Day, Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton have compiled an oral history of the Pacific War in the words of the men who fought on the front lines. With unflinching honesty, these Marines reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the friendships and camaraderie they found—and lost—and the aftermath of the war’s impact on their lives.
With unprecedented access to the veterans, rare photographs, and unpublished memoirs, Voices of the Pacific presents true stories of heroism as told by such World War II veterans as Sid Phillips, R. V. Burgin, and Chuck Tatum—whose exploits were featured in the HBO® miniseries, The Pacific—and their Marine buddies from the legendary 1st Marine Division.
Includes rare photos!
Author Michael Lee Lanning, a US Army veteran, has not only reconstructed the history of these cemeteries as a tribute to the fallen but has also compiled a useful resource for the living. Lanning details the exact locations, eligibility requirements, and contact information throughout the state for those veterans and their families who might choose to make use of these important public services. Richly illustrated, the book also provides moving descriptions of military burial traditions, such as “Taps” and the 21-gun salute, as well as information about the various types of military headstones (including sixty authorized religious symbols).
In the author’s words, “A walk through these burial grounds is a journey across the history of Texas and of the United States.” Lanning’s use of more than 100 captivating photographs, along with his compelling text, allows readers to take that walk through veterans cemeteries in Texas. For lovers of Texas history and military history, The Veterans Cemeteries of Texas is a gripping tribute to past, present, and future Texas veterans and the solemn places where they rest in their last formation and final parade.
The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous "surge," a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkel's hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war.
In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done.
The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013
One of The Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
Black members of the WAC had to fight the prejudices not only of males who did not want women in their "man's army," but also of those who could not accept blacks in positions of authority or responsibility, even in the segregated military.
With unblinking candor, Charity Adams Earley tells of her struggles and successes as the WAC's first black officer and as commanding officer of the only organization of black women to serve overseas during World War II. The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion broke all records for redirecting military mail as she commanded the group through its moves from England to France and stood up to the racist slurs of the general under whose command the battalion operated. The Six Triple Eight stood up for its commanding officer, supporting her boycott of segregated living quarters and recreational facilities.
This book is a tribute to those courageous women who paved the way for patriots, regardless of color or gender, to serve their country.
Alfred Emile Cornebise presents here the first comprehensive account of the U.S. Army art program in World War I. The AEF artists saw their role as one of preserving images of the entire aspect of American involvement in a way that photography could not.
Unsure of what to do with these official artists, AEF leadership in France issues passes that allowed them relative freedom to move about, sketching as they went and finding supplies and lodgings where they could. But the bureaucratic confusion over the artists’ mission soon created controversy in Washington. The army brass there was dismayed at the slow trickle of art coming in and at some of the bucolic, behind-the-lines scenes, which held little promise as dramatic magazine illustrations or propaganda.
The Armistice came only a matter of months after the American Artists arrived in France, and they marched into the Rhineland with the American occupation forces, sketching along the way. Soon returning to France the artists went into separate studios to finish their works, but the army hurriedly discharged them and they were civilian artists once more.
The author conducted research for this book in the World War I army records in the National Archives, as well as the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, and others throughout the country. The sixty-six black-and-white pictures reproduced here are some of the approximately five hundred pieces of official AEF combat art, which shortly after the war were turned over to the Smithsonian Institution, where most of them remain.
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Firebase Kate held by only 27 American soldiers and 156 Montagnard militiamen. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments—some six thousand men—crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht’s men held off the assault but, after five days, Kate’s defenders were out of ammo and water. Refusing to die or surrender, Albracht led his troops off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam’s heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once...and Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.
September 17, 1862, at Antietam Creek was the bloodiest day of the Civil War, as both armies made heavy use of field artillery, the "long arm."
In Artillery Hell Curt Johnson and Richard C. Anderson, Jr., provide a detailed examination of the role of field artillery in the Battle of Antietam. Johnson sets the context with an overview of organizational problems on the eve of a great battle. Anderson's concise discussion of different types of artillery and their capabilities and ammunition is presented in accessible language.
The heart of Artillery Hell is Maj. Joseph Mills Hanson's unpublished 1940 report, "Employment of Artillery." It includes compilations of the batteries in the respective armies at Antietam, a review of the battle actions of the "individual batteries," and a "list of battery positions in a tentative order."
Johnson and Anderson build upon Hanson's reports with individual chapters on the Union and the Confederate artillery at Antietam. Utilizing previously untapped or unavailable sources, especially the Henry Jackson Hunt Papers at the Library of Congress, they answer questions that have long challenged historians and others interested in the battle.
Artillery Hell discusses virtually every aspect of field artillery used during the Civil War. Battlefield visitors can use it to identify and understand the different types of cannon and their capabilities, and historians will find in it the military perspective so many studies of the battle lack.
During the interwar years, from 1920 to 1940, leaders from the Army Air Corps and the Marine Corps recreated their agencies based on visions of new military technologies. In War Machines, Timothy Moy examines these recreations and explores how factors such as bureaucratic pressure, institutional culture, and America's technological enthusiasm shaped these leaders' choices.
The very existence of the Army Air Corps was based on a new technology, the airplane. As the Air Corps was forced to compete for money and other resources during the years after World War I, Air Corps leaders carved out a military niche based on hightech precision bombing. The Marine Corps focused on amphibious, firstwave assault using sturdy, graceless, and easytoproduce landing craft.
Moy's astute analysis makes it clear that studying the processes that shaped the Army Air Corps and Marine Corps is fundamental to our understanding of technology and the military at the beginning of the twentyfirst century.
In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the others.
They were Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne—the World War II fighting unit legendary for their bravery against nearly insurmountable odds and their loyalty to one another in the face of death. Every soldier in this band of brothers looked to one man for leadership, devotion to duty, and the embodiment of courage: Major Dick Winters.
This is the riveting story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero. After he enlisted in the army’s arduous new Airborne division, Winters’s natural combat leadership helped him rise through the ranks, but he was never far from his men. Decades later, Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers made him famous around the world.
Full of never-before-published photographs, interviews, and Winters’s candid insights, Biggest Brother is the fascinating, inspirational story of a man who became a soldier, a leader, and a living testament to the valor of the human spirit—and of America.
“Execute against Japan should be required reading for naval officers (especially in submarine wardrooms), as well as for anyone interested in history, policy, or international law.”—Adm. James P. Wisecup, President, US Naval War College (for Naval War College Review)
“Although the policy of unrestricted air and submarine warfare proved critical to the Pacific war’s course, this splendid work is the first comprehensive account of its origins—illustrating that historians have by no means exhausted questions about this conflict.”—World War II Magazine
“US Navy submarine officer Joel Ira Holwitt has performed an impressive feat with this book. . . . Holwitt is to be commended for not shying away from moral judgments . . . This is a superb book that fully explains how the United States came to adopt a strategy regarded by many as illegal and tantamount to ‘terror’.”—Military Review
Drafted in 1942, Malarkey arrived at Camp Toccoa in Georgia and was one of the one in six soldiers who earned their Eagle wings. He went to England in 1943 to provide cover on the ground for the largest amphibious military attack in history: Operation Overlord. In the darkness of D-day morning, Malarkey parachuted into France and within days was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism in battle. He fought for twenty-three days in Normandy, nearly eighty in Holland, thirty-nine in Bastogne, and nearly thirty more in and near Haugenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany.
Easy Company Soldier is his dramatic tale of those bloody days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how an adventurous kid from Oregon became a leader of men.
Maria Goodavage takes readers into the life of Lucca K458, a decorated and highly skilled military working dog. An extraordinary bond develops between Lucca and Marine Corps dog handlers Chris Willingham and Juan Rodriguez, in what would become a legendary 400-mission career. A specialized search dog, Lucca belongs to an elite group trained to work off-leash at long distances from her handler to sniff out deadly explosives. She served alongside both Special Forces and regular infantry, and became so sought-after that platoons frequently requested her by name.
Here, in gritty detail, is the gripping account of Lucca's adventures on and off the battlefields, including tense, lifesaving explosives finds and rooftop firefights, as well as the bravery of fellow handlers and dogs they served with. Ultimately we see how the bond between Lucca and her handlers overcame the endless brutalities of war and the traumas such violence can inflict.
Top Dog is a portrait of modern warfare with a heartwarming and inspiring conclusion that will touch dog lovers and the toughest military readers.
In Hanson's careful study of combat preparedness in the Eighth Army from 1949 to the outbreak of hostilities in 1950, he concedes that the U.S. soldiers sent to Korea suffered gaps in their professional preparation, from missing and broken equipment to unevenly trained leaders at every level of command. But after a year of progressive, focused, and developmental collective training--based largely on the lessons of combat in World War II--these soldiers expected to defeat the Communist enemy.
By recognizing the constraints under which the Eighth Army operated, Hanson asserts that scholars and soldiers will be able to discard what Douglas Macarthur called the "pernicious myth" of the Eighth Army's professional, physical, and moral ineffectiveness.
The 112th Cavalry Regiment entered federal service in November 1940 as war clouds gathered thick on the horizon. By July 1942, the 112th was headed for the Pacific theater.
As the war neared its end, the regiment again had to shift its focus quickly from an anticipated offensive on the Japanese home islands to becoming part of the occupation force in the land of a conquered enemy.
James S. Powell thoroughly mines primary documents and buttresses his story with pertinent secondary accounts as he explores in detail the ways in which this military unit adapted to the changing demands of its tactical and strategic environment. He demonstrates that this learning was not simply a matter of steadily building on experience and honing relevant skills. It also required discovering shortcomings and promptly taking action to improve--often while in direct contact with the enemy.
Another River, Another Town is the story of John P. Irwin, a teenage tank gunner whose idealistic desire to achieve heroism is shattered by the incredibly different view of life the world of combat demands. He comes to the realization that the realm of warfare has almost nothing in common with the civilian life from which he has come.
The interminable fighting, dirt, fatigue, and hunger make the war seem endless. In addition to the killing and destruction on the battlefield, Irwin and his crew are caught up in the unbelievable depravity they encounter at Nordhausen Camp, where slave laborers are compelled to work themselves to death manufacturing the infamous V-rockets that have been causing so much destruction in London, and that are expected one day to devastate Washington, D.C.
At the end of the war, the sense of victory is, for these men, overshadowed by the intense joy and relief they experience in knowing that the fighting is at last over.
From the Hardcover edition.
Because so few of us now serve in the military, our men and women in uniform have become strangers to us. We stand up at athletic events to honor them, but we hardly know their true measure. Here, Starbucks CEO and longtime veterans’ advocate Howard Schultz and National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post offer an enlightening, inspiring corrective.
The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an Army sergeant who repeatedly runs through a storm of gunfire to save the lives of his wounded comrades; two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb and protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms; a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor his fallen son.
We also see how veterans make vital contributions once they return home, drawing on their leadership skills and commitment to service: former soldiers who aid residents in rebuilding after natural disasters; a former infantry officer who trades in a Pentagon job to teach in an inner-city neighborhood; a retired general leading efforts to improve treatments for brain-injured troops; the spouse of a severely injured soldier assisting families in similar positions.
These powerful, unforgettable stories demonstrate just how indebted we are to those who protect us and what they have to offer our nation when their military service is done.
Carved from Granite is the story of how West Point goes about producing military leaders of character. An opening chapter on the Academy’s nineteenth-century history provides context for the topic of each subsequent chapter. As scholar and Academy graduate Lance Betros shows, West Point’s early history is interesting and colorful, but its history since then is far more relevant to the issues—and problems—that face the Academy today.
Drawing from oral histories, archival sources, and his own experiences as a cadet and, later, a faculty member, Betros describes and assesses how well West Point has accomplished its mission. And, while West Point is an impressive institution in many ways, Betros does not hesitate to expose problems and challenge long-held assumptions. In a concluding chapter that is both subjective and interpretive, the author offers his prescriptions for improving the institution, focusing particularly on the areas of governance, admissions, and intercollegiate athletics. Photographs, tables, charts, and other graphics aid the clarity of the discussion and lend visual and historical interest.
Carved from Granite: West Point since 1902 is the most authoritative history of the modern United States Military Academy written to date. There will be lively debate over some of the observations made in this book, but if they are followed, the author asserts that the Academy will emerge stronger and better able to accomplish its vital mission in the new century and beyond.
“Richard Rubin has done something that will never be possible for anyone to do again. His interviews with the last American World War I veterans—who have all since died—bring to vivid life a cataclysm that changed our world forever but that remains curiously forgotten here.” —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914–1918
In 2003, eighty-five years after the end of World War I, Richard Rubin set out to see if he could still find and talk to someone who had actually served in the American Expeditionary Forces during that colossal conflict. Ultimately he found dozens, aged 101 to 113, from Cape Cod to Carson City, who shared with him at the last possible moment their stories of America’s Great War.
Nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century, they were self-reliant, humble, and stoic, never complaining, but still marveling at the immensity of the war they helped win, and the complexity of the world they helped create. Though America has largely forgotten their war, you will never forget them, or their stories. A decade in the making, The Last of the Doughboys is the most sweeping look at America’s First World War in a generation, a glorious reminder of the tremendously important role America played in the “war to end all wars,” as well as a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.
“An outstanding and fascinating book. By tracking down the last surviving veterans of the First World War and interviewing them with sympathy and skill, Richard Rubin has produced a first-rate work of reporting.” —Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia
“I cannot remember a book about that huge and terrible war that I have enjoyed reading more in many years.” —Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
Historian Stephen J. Ochs mined archives and special collections and conducted numerous personal interviews with Daly, his family and friends, and the men whom he commanded and with whom he served. The result is a carefully constructed, in-depth portrait of a warrior-hero who found his life’s deepest purpose, both during and after the war, in selfless service to others. After a period of post-war drift, Daly finally escaped the “hero’s cage” and found renewed purpose through family and service. He became a board member at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he again assumed the role of defender and guardian by championing the cause of the indigent poor and the terminally ill, earning the sobriquet, “conscience of the hospital.”
A Cause Greater than Self: The Journey of Captain Michael J. Daly, World War II Medal of Honor Recipient is at once a unique, father-son wartime saga, a coming-of-age narrative, and the tale of a heroic man’s struggle to forge a new and meaningful postwar life. Daly’s story also highlights the crucial role played by platoon and company infantry officers in winning both major battles like those on D-Day and in lesser-known campaigns such as those of the Colmar Pocket and in south-central Germany, further reinforcing the debt that Americans owe to them—especially those whose selfless courage merited the Medal of Honor.
After ten months of stateside training, nineteen-year-old Joe Ted (Bud) Miller shipped out from New York harbor in November 1944 and served with the 63rd Infantry in France and Germany. Although he fought with his unit at the Colmar Pocket and earned a Bronze Star for his role in pushing through the Siegfried Line, his letters focus less on the details of battle than on the many aspects of his life in the military: food, PX, movies, biographies of friends and platoon-mates, training activities, travelogues, and the behavior (good and bad) of officers. Bud’s journalistic skills show in his letters and fill his reports with a wealth of objective detail, as well as articulate reflections on his feelings about his experiences.
Katherine I. Miller, a communication scholar, brings to her father’s letters—which form the centerpiece of the book—her scholarly training in analyzing issues such as the development of masculinity in historical context, the formation of adult identity, and the psychological effects of war. Further insights gained from additional personal and family archives, interviews with surviving family members, official paperwork, the unit history of the 63rd Infantry Division (254th Regiment), unit newspapers, pictorial histories, maps, and accounts by other unit members aided her in crafting this “interpretive biography.” The book also serves as a window onto more general questions of how individuals navigate complicated turning points thrown at them by external events and internal struggles as they move from youth to adulthood.
But what unites them are their deeds of consummate bravery, beyond the call of duty. Heroes Among Us tells these extraordinary true stories of valor, honor and sacrifice.
In Korea, however, they faced something new: a deliberate enemy program of indoctrination and coercion designed to manipulate them for propaganda purposes. Most Americans rejected their captors’ promise of a Marxist paradise, yet after the cease fire in 1953, American prisoners came home to face a second wave of attacks. Exploiting popular American fears of communist infiltration, critics portrayed the returning prisoners as weak-willed pawns who had been “brainwashed” into betraying their country.
The truth was far more complicated. Following the North Korean assault on the Republic of Korea in June of 1950, the invaders captured more than a thousand American soldiers and brutally executed hundreds more. American prisoners who survived their initial moments of captivity faced months of neglect, starvation, and brutal treatment as their captors marched them north toward prison camps in the Yalu River Valley.
Counterattacks by United Nations forces soon drove the North Koreans back across the 38th Parallel, but the unexpected intervention of Communist Chinese forces in November of 1950 led to the capture of several thousand more American prisoners. Neither the North Koreans nor their Chinese allies were prepared to house or feed the thousands of prisoners in their custody, and half of the Americans captured that winter perished for lack of food, shelter, and medicine. Subsequent communist efforts to indoctrinate and coerce propaganda statements from their prisoners sowed suspicion and doubt among those who survived.
Relying on memoirs, trial transcripts, debriefings, declassified government reports, published analysis, and media coverage, plus conversations, interviews, and correspondence with several dozen former prisoners, William Clark Latham Jr. seeks to correct misperceptions that still linger, six decades after the prisoners came home. Through careful research and solid historical narrative, Cold Days in Hell provides a detailed account of their captivity and offers valuable insights into an ongoing issue: the conduct of prisoners in the hands of enemy captors and the rules that should govern their treatment.
Moore and other American POWs suffered from starvation rations, bitter cold, and mental torment. Although the intense Chinese efforts to change the prisoners’ ideologies were largely unsuccessful, they were very effective in engendering distrust among the prisoners and abandonment of duty by the officers. Encouraged by an American sergeant, Moore worked with his captors to obtain better sanitation, a fairer distribution of food, and, on two occasions, medicine for the sick. Twice he tried to escape from imprisonment. Just four days after his twenty-first birthday, in 1953, the Chinese released him.
Moore cooperated fully with US military interrogators, giving as much information as he could on the prison camp and the methods his captors had used. But two years later, army officers arrested him at his home and charged him with treason. Although the charge was dropped and a Field Board of Inquiry returned him to regular duty, the army’s treatment of him left Moore further traumatized. He eventually went AWOL and turned to drinking, gambling, and other self-destructive behaviors.
Military historian Judith Fenner Gentry has worked with Moore’s memoirs of his experiences during and after the war to corroborate, clarify, elaborate, and situate his story within the larger events in Korea and in the Cold War. She has consulted records from courts-martial, newspaper interviews with returning POWs, and Freedom of Information Act documents on the Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps.
The Iraq war officially began on March 20, 2003, and since then more than one million young Americans have rotated through the country's insurgent-infested hot spots. But although stories of dramatic ambushes and attacks dominate the front pages of newspapers, most of us do not truly know what the war is like for the Americans who fight it.
What Was Asked of Us helps us bridge that gap. The in-depth and intensely probing interviews this book brings together document the soldiers' experiences and darkest secrets, offering a multitude of authentic, unfiltered voices - at times raw and emotional, at other times eloquent and lyrical. These voices walk us through the war, from the successful push to Baghdad, through the erroneous "Mission Accomplished" moment, and into the dangerous, murky present.
"Monumental. . . . Amid the glut of policy debates, and amid the flurry of news reports that add names each day to the lists of the dead, Trish Wood has produced what is perhaps, to date, the only text about Iraq that matter."- San Francisco Chronicle
"An illuminating glimpse of American fighters' experiences in Iraq. . . . There are moments of strange beauty in the soldiers' recollections." -Chicago Tribune
"Stunning . . . chillingly eloquent. . . . Powerful and unflinchingly honest, Wood's book deserves to be a bestseller." -People
The operation, dubbed Lam Son 719, went very well for the first few days, but as movement became bogged down the NVA rushed reinforcements to the battle and the ARVN forces found themselves under heavy attack. US airpower wreaked havoc on the North Vietnamese troops, but the South Vietnamese never regained momentum and ultimately began to withdraw back into their own country under heavy enemy pressure.
In this first in-depth study of this operation, military historian and Vietnam veteran James H. Willbanks traces the details of battle, analyzes what went wrong, and suggests insights into the difficulties currently being incurred with the training of indigenous forces.
A vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans. With Forewords by former First Lady Laura Bush and General Peter Pace, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Growing out of President Bush’s own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11—and whom he has come to know personally.
Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation. Often, they return home with injuries—both visible and invisible—that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life. In addition to these burdens, research shows a civilian-military divide. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing veterans, and veterans agree: eighty-four percent say that the public has "little awareness" of the issues facing them and their families.
Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation’s call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.
President Bush will donate his net author proceeds from PORTRAITS OF COURAGE to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.
However, only in the last several years have scholars begun using the term “cultural history of American warfare” to identify the study of how public discourse formulates these defining myths and narratives. This volume brings together scholarship from diverse fields in a common mission to demonstrate the usefulness and significance of studying the cultural history of American warfare.
The Martial Imagination: Cultural Aspects of American Warfare canvasses the American war experience from the Revolution to the War on Terror, examining how it infuses legitimacy and conformity with an urgency that contorts ideas of citizenship, nationhood, gender, and other pliable categories. The multidisciplinary scholarship in this volume represents the varied perspectives of cultural history, American studies, literary criticism, war and society, media studies, and public culture analysis, illustrating the rich dialogues that epitomize the cultural history of American warfare.
Bringing together both recognized and emerging scholars, this book is the first anthology to feature essays on this topic, comprising research from twelve authors who represent a wide range of experiences and disciplines. Their work uncovers new and surprising understandings of the American war experience that reveal the ways in which culture makers have grappled with the trauma of war, salvaged meaning from the meaningless, or advanced some ulterior agenda.
During the Vietnam War, the US military developed new tactics and weapons systems to counter a diversity of enemy tactics and geographic features, the difficult climate, and the shifting diplomatic context. One of the most important was the development of the AC-130. Its ability to transport heavier payloads at higher altitudes across longer distances made it the logical choice to be the final Vietnam-era fixed-wing gunship and the only one that continues to fly missions in the twenty-first century. In addition, it employed many of the most advanced weapons, sensors, targeting devices, and fire control systems of the 1970s or of any era.
By recounting both the technical development and the combat operations of the plane, and by looking at the proposed alternatives for its use in the War on Terror, Night Hunters offers a clear view of the role of gunships and of close air support in US wars. In today’s never-ending brushfire wars, the AC-130s continue to uphold their reputation for excellence.
The Army had decided to try something different. A selected division would receive boot camp and paratrooper training in one place and time. The result, they hoped, would be a group of men unparalleled in their cohesiveness; a force of heroic spirit and deadly efficiency.
After almost two years of hard training, the men of Easy Company parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and, later, Operation Market Garden. They fought their way through Belgium, France, and Germany, survived overwhelming odds, liberated concentration camps, and drank a victory toast in April of 1945 at Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest hideout in the Alps.
Here are stories of war, sacrifice, and courage as seen by one of the most revered combat units in military history. In We Who Are Alive and Remain, these men recount the horrors and the victories, the bonds they made, the tears and blood they shed...and the brothers they lost.
In Every Citizen a Soldier: The Campaign for Universal Military Training after World War II, William A. Taylor illustrates how army leaders failed to adapt their strategy to the political realities of the day and underscores the delicate balance in American democracy between civilian and military control of strategy. This story is vital because of the ultimate outcome of the failure of the UMT initiative: the birth of the Cold War draft.
The Japanese Army countered by sending to Guadalcanal a reinforced battalion under the command of Col. Kiyonao Ichiki. The attack that followed would prove to be the first of four attempts by the Japanese over six months to retake the airfield, resulting in some of the most vicious fighting of the Pacific War.
During the initial battle on the night of August 20–21, 1942, Marines wiped out Ichiki’s men, who—imbued with “victory fever”—had expected a quick and easy victory.
William H. Bartsch draws on correspondence, interviews, diaries, memoirs, and official war records, including those translated from Japanese sources, to offer an intensely human narrative of the failed attempt to recapture Guadalcanal’s vital airfield.
The New York Post calls The Last Fighter Pilot a "must-read" book.
From April to August of 1945, Captain Jerry Yellin and a small group of fellow fighter pilots flew dangerous bombing and strafe missions out of Iwo Jima over Japan. Even days after America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, the pilots continued to fly. Though Japan had suffered unimaginable devastation, the emperor still refused to surrender.
Bestselling author Don Brown (Treason) sits down with Yelllin, now ninety-three years old, to tell the incredible true story of the final combat mission of World War II. Nine days after Hiroshima, on the morning of August 14th, Yellin and his wingman 1st Lieutenant Phillip Schlamberg took off from Iwo Jima to bomb Tokyo. By the time Yellin returned to Iwo Jima, the war was officially over—but his young friend Schlamberg would never get to hear the news. The Last Fighter Pilot is a harrowing first-person account of war from one of America's last living World War II veterans.
The opening campaign of the US-Mexican War transformed the map of each nation and shaped the course of conflict.
Armed with a broad range of Mexican military documents and previously unknown US sources, Douglas Murphy provides the first balanced view of early battles such as Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. He reassesses previously covered territory and also poses new questions.
Why did Mexico establish its defenses south of the Rio Grande while claiming territory north of the river? What was Mexico’s strategy in the campaign against the United States? What factors most affected Mexico’s defeat?
In confronting these questions, Murphy shows that the campaign was a complex chess match with undercurrents of political intrigue, economic motivations, and personal animosities as much as military action. Two Armies on the Rio Grande will transform our understanding of the US-Mexican War.
As one of the original men who trained at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Shifty was one out of only two soldiers in Easy Company to initially earn the coveted expert marksman designation. He parachuted into France on D-day and fought for a month in Normandy; eighty days in Holland; thirty-nine in the harshly cold winter of Bastogne; and for nearly thirty more near Haguenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany.
Shifty’s War is a tale of heroism and adventure, of a soldier’s blood-filled days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how one man’s skills as a sharpshooter and engagingly unassuming personality propelled him to a life greater than he could have ever imagined.
The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes: the Iraqi woman crying uncontrollably during a raid on her home; the soldier too afraid to fight; the troops chain-smoking in a guard tower and counting tracer rounds; the first, fierce firefight against the “men in black.” Drawing comparisons to everything from Charles Bukowski to Catch-22, My War depicts a generation caught in a complicated and dangerous world—and marks the debut of a raw, remarkable new voice.
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.
Trunk Monkeys: The Life of a Contract Soldier in Iraq tells the true story of operators from a private military contractor working in Iraq shortly after the Gulf War. From the perspective of grizzled veteran Lewis Steiner who had left the British Army to join the gold rush in the living hell that was war-torn Iraq, Steiner grew disillusioned about the declining situation in the country as he believed that the joint US and UK invasion had made things far worse.
This fascinating and often extremely violent book encompasses the highs and lows of operating throughout the country from Basra in the south up to Mosul in the north. Steiner recounts of friends lost due to negligence and poor planning to the realities of conducting a private war surrounded by civilians who might be the enemy. Ultimately injured in an incident that left two dead, Steiner decides to soldier on due to a misguided sense of duty. Armed with his belt-fed SAW machine gun, Steiner accepted a contract located near Tikrit. The missions rapidly become a death sentence to many of the contract soldiers and dogs of war. In some cases, these missions were pointless, costing men, vehicles and the sanity of brothers in arms. Steiner was in the thick of it from dodging enemy ambushes to taking out a suicide bomber and narrowly escaping death in ‘Sniper Alley’ collecting cranberry sauce for the US forces on Thanksgiving Day. With the pedal to the metal, his Humvee attracted the unwelcome attention of insurgents who tried to blow him up with RPGs.
Forget the fictionalised works of Andy McNab, Tom Clancy and Chris Ryan: this is the real deal. This is a firsthand account of the men who decide to pay the ultimate price, but be warned, this tells the real story that the Government does not want you to know.
Illustrations: 38 colour photographs