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A riveting, action-filled account that sheds light on the realities of working in a war-torn country, this is the first book on the war in Iraq by a South African.
Johan Raath and a security team were escorting American engineers to a power plant south of Baghdad when they were ambushed. He had first arrived in Iraq only two weeks before. This was a small taste of what was to come over the next 13 years while he worked there as a private military contractor (PMC). His mission? Not to wage war but to protect lives. Raath acted as a bodyguard for VIPs and, more often, engineers who were involved in construction projects to rebuild the country after the 2003 war. His physical and mental endurance was tested to the limit in his efforts to safeguard construction sites that were regularly subjected to mortar and suicide attacks. Key to his survival was his training as a Special Forces operator, or Recce.
Working in places called the Triangle of Death and driving on the ‘Hell Run’, Raath had numerous hair-raising experiences. As a trained combat medic he also helped to save people’s lives after two suicide bomb attacks on sites he then worked at.
Night after night, he guided the U.S. Navy SEALs through Iraq's most dangerous regions. A translator operating under the code name "Johnny Walker," he risked his life on more than a thousand missions and became a legend in the U.S. special-ops community. But in the eyes of Iraq's terrorists and insurgents, he and his family were marked for death because he worked with the Americans. Fearing for Johnny's safety, the SEALs heroically took it upon themselves to bring him and his family to the United States. With inside details on SEAL operations and a deeply personal understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker is a gripping and unforgettable true story that reveals a side of the war that has never been told before. Includes a new afterword on the rise of ISIS
Now a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood.
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him "The Legend"; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.
Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
Includes new material by Taya Kyle about the making of the American Sniper film.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER `His masterpiece' Antony Beevor, Spectator `A masterful performance' Sunday Times `By far the best book on the Vietnam War' Gerald Degroot, The Times, Book of the Year Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh’s warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.
Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners’ victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.
No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings’ readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
The Korean War was the first open conflict of the Cold War. Just five years after the end of World War II, the unresolved divisions between South Korea, backed by the US, and North Korea, supported by the Soviet Union and China, erupted into armed conflict when North Korean troops poured south across the border in June 1950. Although South Korea received the armed support of the US, within months these were cornered in the tip of the Korean Peninsula. A later invasion pushed the North Korea troops back north, but, again, the US and South Korean troops were surprised by a North Korean and Chinese attack. After that, the war would descend into a lengthy battle of attrition and Seoul would change hands four times. Ultimately, 21 countries of the United Nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia and Turkey supported South Korea in the conflict. The result of the conflict saw the border return to where it was before fighting broke out: the 38th Parallel. The Korean War is a fascinating account of this conflict, from its causes in the history of the Far East and the early Cold War through to battles such as Inchon, from the war in the air to the war of attrition, and from the descent into stalemate to the diplomacy that brought about its end. Accessibly written, The Korean War is a highly illustrated, balanced account of the political, military and ideological conflict.
'A gorgeous achievement' Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko 'Graceful, poignant and moving' Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer In 1948 Najin and Calvin Cho, with their young daughter Miran, travel from South Korea to the United States in search of new opportunities. Wary of the challenges ahead, Najin and Calvin make the difficult decision to leave their other daughter, Inja, behind with their extended family; soon, they hope, they will return to her. But then war breaks out in Korea, and there is no end in sight to the separation. Miran grows up in prosperous American suburbia, under the shadow of the daughter left behind, as Inja grapples in her war-torn land with ties to a family she doesn't remember. Najin and Calvin desperately seek a reunion with Inja, but are the bonds of love strong enough to reconnect their family over distance, time and war? And as deep family secrets are revealed, will everything they long for be upended? Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.
From the author of The Perfect Storm, a gripping book about Sebastian Junger's almost fatal year with the 2nd battalion of the American Army. For 15 months, Sebastian Junger accompanied a single platoon of thirty men from the celebrated 2nd battalion of the U.S. Army, as they fought their way through a remote valley in Eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of five trips, Junger was in more firefights than he could count, men he knew were killed or wounded, and he himself was almost killed. His relationship with these soldiers grew so close that they considered him part of the platoon, and he enjoyed an access and a candidness that few, if any, journalists ever attain. But this is more than just a book about Afghanistan or the 'War on Terror'; it is a book about the universal truth of all men, in all wars. Junger set out to answer what he thought of as the 'hand grenade question': why would a man throw himself on a hand grenade to save other men he has probably known for only a few months? The answer is elusive but profound, and goes to the heart of what it means not just to be a soldier, but to be human. `War' is a narrative about combat: the fear of dying, the trauma of killing and the love between platoon-mates who would rather die than let each other down. Gripping, honest, intense, it explores the neurological, psychological and social elements of combat, and the incredible bonds that form between these small groups of men.
'A riveting, unvarnished and wholly unforgettable portrait of America's most storied commandos at war.' - Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction A stirringly evocative, thought-provoking, and often jaw-dropping account of SEAL Team Operator Robert O'Neill's awe-inspiring 400-mission career. O'Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs' most elite unit. The Operatordescribes the nonstop action of O'Neill's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evoking the black humor of years-long combat, and reveals firsthand details of the most discussed anti-terrorist operation in military history.
If you loved American Sniper this is the book for you. No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer is the first-person account of Bin Laden's execution. For the first time anywhere, a first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from inside the US Navy SEAL team who carried out the extraordinary mission to kill the terrorist mastermind. No Easy Day puts readers inside the elite, handpicked twenty-four-man team known as SEAL Team Six as they train for the most important mission of their lives: the SEALs were going after bin Laden. From the crash of the Black Hawk helicopter that threatened the mission with disaster to the radio call confirming their target was dead, the SEAL team raid on bin Laden's secret HQ is recounted in nail-biting second-by-second detail. In No Easy Day, team leader Mark Owen takes readers behind enemy lines with one of the world's most astonishing fighting forces, in the only insider's account of their most spectacular mission. Praise for No Easy Day: 'No Easy Day amounts to a cinematic account of the raid to kill Bin Laden: you feel as if you're sitting in the Black Hawk as it swoops in.' NY Times 'A blistering first-hand account' The Sun Mark Owen is a former member of the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six. In his many years as a Navy SEAL, he has participated in hundreds of missions around the globe, including the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009. Owen was a team leader on Operation Neptune Spear in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on 1 May 2011, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Owen was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist mastermind's hideout, where he witnessed bin Laden's death. Mark Owen's name and the names of the other SEALs mentioned in this book have been changed for their security. Kevin Maurer has covered special-operations forces for nine years. He has been embedded with the Special Forces in Afghanistan six times, spent a month in 2006 with special-operations units in east Africa, and has embedded with US forces in Iraq and Haiti. He is the author of four books, including several about special operations.
What was it like to be a military combat photographer in the most photographed war in history the Vietnam War? Shooting Vietnam takes you there as you read the firsthand accounts and view the hundreds of photographs by men who lived the war through the lens of a camera. They documented everything from the horror of combat to the people and culture of a land they suddenly found themselves immersed in. Some even juggled cameras with rifles and grenade launchers as they fought to survive while carrying out their assignments to record the war. Shooting Vietnam also finally brings recognition to these unheralded military combat photographers in Vietnam that documented the brutal, unpopular, and futile war. Firsthand accounts and photographs by military photographers in Vietnam from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Shooting Vietnam puts the reader right alongside these men as they struggle to document the war and stay alive while doing it although some didn't survive. The cameras around their necks often shared space with a rifle or grenade launcher that enabled them to stay alive while performing their assigned military duties, killing, if necessary, to survive. Often, during a brief respite from trudging through swamps and rice paddies or jumping from a chopper into a hot landing zone, they would wander the streets of villages or even downtown Saigon, curiously photographing a people and a culture so strange and different to them. It is these photographs, of a kinder, more personal nature, removed from the horror and death of war that they also share with the reader. The accounts in this book come from twelve men, all who had their own unique perspective on the war. Some were seasoned photographers before the military, others had only recently held a camera for the first time.
The Sunday Times Bestseller At the age of 23, Brian Wood was thrust into the front line in Iraq, in the infamous Battle of Danny Boy. Ambushed, he led a charge across open ground with insurgents firing at just five soldiers. On his return, he was awarded the Military Cross. But Brian's story had only just begun. Struggling to re-integrate into family life, he suffered from PTSD. Then, five years later, a letter arrived: it summoned him to give evidence at the Al-Sweady Inquiry into allegations of war crimes by British soldiers during the Iraq invasion of 2003. After years of public shame, Brian took the stand and delivered a powerful testimony, and following the tense inquiry room scenes, justice was finally served. Phil Shiner, the lawyer who made the false accusations, was struck off and stripped of an honorary doctorate. In this compelling memoir, Brian speaks powerfully and movingly about the three battles in his life, from being ambushed with no cover, to the mental battle to adjust at home, to being falsely accused of hideous war crimes. It's a remarkable and dark curve which ends with his honour restored but, as he says, it was too little, too late.
This compelling photographic history examines the war in its entirety, from its causes and protagonists to the strategies, weapons and battles. Goldstein and Maihafer have collected more than 450 vivid photographs, many never before seen by the general public. Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean conflict, "The Korean War" remembers the experience of the American fighting man in "the forgotten war."
**The New York Times Bestseller** **The book of the landmark documentary, The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick** The definitive work on the Vietnam War, the conflict that came to define a generation, told from all sides by those who were there. More than forty years after the Vietnam War ended, its legacy continues to fascinate, horrify and inform us. As the first war to be fought in front of TV cameras and beamed around the world, it has been immortalised on film and on the page, and forever changed the way we think about war. Drawing on hundreds of brand new interviews, Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward have created the definitive work on Vietnam. It is the first book to show us the war from every perspective: from idealistic US Marines and the families they left behind to the Vietnamese civilians, both North and South, whose homeland was changed for ever; politicians, POWs and anti-war protesters; and the photographers and journalists who risked their lives to tell the truth. The book sends us into the grit and chaos of combat, while also expertly outlining the complex chain of political events that led America to Vietnam. Beautifully written, this essential work tells the full story without taking sides and reminds us that there is no single truth in war. It is set to redefine our understanding of a brutal conflict, to launch provocative new debates and to shed fresh light on the price paid in `blood and bone' by Vietnamese and Americans alike.
The Vietnam War is the definitive illustrated history of the world's first televised war. Compiling insightful maps, at-a-glance timelines, and incredible archive photography, The Vietnam War is an all-encompassing showcase of the story of the conflict, and a reflection on modern issues of battle such as prisoners of war and civil rights. Detailed descriptions of every episode, from Operation Passage to Freedom to the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon, are enhanced by the stories of those who witnessed the drama unfold. Eyewitness features pick out iconic photographs and individual tales, giving you a truly immersive look at the events of the Vietnam War. Discover the stories of the conflict's most significant figures, with detailed biographies of Henry Kissinger, General Thieu, President Nixon, and Pol Pot. Hundreds of incredible images are brought together to form an incredible visual record of the suffering, sacrifice, and heroism in America's bloodiest conflict of the 20th century.
Darkly funny, shockingly honest, Brothers in Arms is an unforgettable account of the brutal reality of war - every boring, scary, exciting moment - and the bonds of friendship that can never be destroyed. `If you could choose which two limbs got blown off, what would you go for?' Danny said. `Your arms or your legs?' In July 2009, Geraint (Gez) Jones was sitting in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan with the rest of The Firm - Danny, Jay, Toby and Jake, his four closest friends, all junior NCOs and combat-hardened infantrymen. Thanks to the mangled remains of a Jackal vehicle left tactlessly outside their tent, IEDs were never far from their mind. Within days they'd be on the ground in Musa Qala with the rest of 3 Platoon - a mixed bunch of men Gez would die for. As they fight furiously, are pushed to their limits, hemmed in by IEDs and hampered by the chain of command, Gez starts to wonder what is the point of it all. The bombs they uncover on patrol, on their stomachs brushing the sand away, are replaced the next day. Firefights are a momentary victory in a war they can see is unwinnable. Gez is a warrior - he wants more than this. But then death and injury start to take their toll on The Firm, leaving Gez with PTSD and a new battle just beginning.
Winner of the the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction 'Spellbinding ... a magisterial account of the great tragedy of our age ... it is a classic' Evening Standard 'In the finest traditions of American investigative journalism' The Times 'Spectacular ... makes Bourne movies pale in comparison' Financial Times From the Pulitzer Prize winning of the acclaimed Ghost Wars, this is the full story of America's grim involvement in the affairs of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2016. In the wake of the terrible shock of 9/11, the C.I.A. scrambled to work out how to destroy Bin Laden and his associates. The C.I.A. had long familiarity with Afghanistan and had worked closely with the Taliban to defeat the Soviet Union there. A tangle of assumptions, old contacts, favours and animosities were now reactivated. Superficially the invasion was quick and efficient, but Bin Laden's successful escape, together with that of much of the Taliban leadership, and a catastrophic failure to define the limits of NATO's mission in a tough, impoverished country the size of Texas, created a quagmire which lasted many years. At the heart of the problem lay 'Directorate S', a highly secretive arm of the Pakistan state which had its own views on the Taliban and Afghanistan's place in a wider competition for influence between Pakistan, India and China, and which assumed that the U.S.A. and its allies would soon be leaving. Steve Coll's remarkable new book tells a powerful, bitter story of just how badly foreign policy decisions can go wrong and of many lives lost.
This is the story of modern Britain, focusing on twelve formative days in the history of the United Kingdom over the last five decades. By describing what happened on those days and what happened because of those days, Andrew Hindmoor paints a suggestive - and to some perhaps provocative - portrait of what we have become and how we became it. Everyone will have their own list of the truly formative moments in British history over the last five decades. The twelve days selected for this book are: - The 28th of September 1976. The day Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan renounced Keynesian economics. - The 4th of May 1979. The day Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister. - The 3th of March 1985. The day the miners' strike ended. - The 20th of September 1988. The day of Margaret Thatcher's 'Bruges speech'. - The 18th of May 1992. The day the television rights for the Premier League were sold to BskyB. - The 22nd of April 1993. The day that young black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered by racist thugs. - The 10th April 1998. The day of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. - The 11th of September 2001. The day of the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States. - The 5th of December 2004. The day Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche became the first gay couple in the UK to become civil partners under the Civil Partnership Act. - The 13th of September 2007. The day the BBC reported that the Northern Rock bank was in trouble. - The 8th of May 2009. The day The Daily Telegraph began to publish details of MPs' expense claims. - The 1st of February 2017. The day the House of Commons voted to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
Ed Macy is an elite pilot, one of the few men qualified to fly Apache helicopters, the world's deadliest fighting machines. This is his account of a fearless mission behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. After a brutal accident forced him out of the Paras, Ed Macy refused to go down quietly. He bent every rule to sign up for the Army's gruelling Apache helicopter programme and was one of the handful to pass the nightmare selection process. Dispatched to Afghanistan's notorious Helmand Province in 2006, his squadron were on hand when a marine went MIA behind enemy lines - and they knew they were his only hope. From the cockpit of the mighty Apache helicopter comes this incredible true story of a rescue mission so dangerous they said it couldn't be done, and of the man who dared to disagree.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2018
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC FICTION
'Extraordinary... A devastating but essential read.' Kevin Powers, bestselling author and National Book Award finalist for The Yellow Birds
'Gripping, darkly humorous...profound.' Phil Klay, bestselling author and National Book Award winner for Redeployment
From the rubble-strewn streets of US-occupied Baghdad, the scavenger Hadi collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and give them a proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realises he has created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive – first from the guilty, and then from anyone who crosses its path.
An extraordinary achievement, Frankenstein in Baghdad captures with white-knuckle horror and black humour the surreal reality of a city at war.
"The first book-length account of a story too long overlooked"
Claro Solis wanted to win a gold star for his mother. He succeeded--as did seven other sons of "Little Mexico."
Second Street in Silvis, Illinois, was a poor neighborhood during the Great Depression that had become home to Mexicans fleeing revolution in their homeland. In 1971 it was officially renamed "Hero Street" to commemorate its claim to the highest per-capita casualty rate from any neighborhood during World War II. Marc Wilson now tells the story of this community and the young men it sent to fight for their adopted country.
"Hero Street, U.S.A." is the first book to recount a saga too long overlooked in histories and television documentaries. Interweaving family memories, soldiers' letters, historical photographs, interviews with relatives, and firsthand combat accounts, Wilson tells the compelling stories of nearly eighty men from three dozen Second Street homes who volunteered to fight for their country in World War II and Korea--and of the eight, including Claro Solis, who never came back.
As debate swirls around the place of Mexican immigrants in contemporary American society, this book shows the price of citizenship willingly paid by the sons of earlier refugees. With "Hero Street, U.S.A.," Marc Wilson not only makes an important contribution to military and social history but also acknowledges the efforts of the heroes of Second Street to realize the American dream.
The Horse Soldiers is the true, dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who entered Afghanistan immediately following September 11, 2001 and, riding to war on horses, defeated the Taliban. Heavily outnumbered, they nonetheless succeed in capturing the strategic Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, where they are welcomed as liberators as they ride on horseback into the city, the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban have been kicked out. The soldiers rest easy, as they feel they have accomplished their mission. Then the action takes a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers are ambushed by the would-be P.O.W.s and, still dangerously outnumbered, they must fight for their lives in the city's ancient fortress known as Qala-I Janghi, or the House of War...
The aircraft carrier USS Forrestal was preparing to launch attacks into North Vietnam when one of its jets accidentally fired a rocket into an aircraft occupied by pilot John McCain. A huge fire ensued, and McCain barely escaped before a 1,000-pound bomb on his plane exploded, causing a chain reaction with other bombs on surrounding planes. The crew struggled for days to extinguish the fires, but, in the end, the tragedy took the lives of 134 men. For thirty-five years, the terrible loss of life has been blamed on the sailors themselves, but this meticulously documented history shows that they were truly the victims and heroes.
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