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Two months into a planned solo source-to-sea navigation of the Amazon River, adventure Davey du Plessis was ambushed and shot within the isolated jungles of Peru.
The adventure turned into an intense moment-to-moment struggle to survive as he made his way, wounded, through the dense jungle, seeking rescue and safety.
Choosing To Live is Davey's personal account of his Amazon experience. He retells the remarkable story with an endearing openness, while sharing unique insights into the power of compassion and his ability to maintain motivation in his balance between life and death.
The incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, now a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie. THE INTERNATIONAL NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER In 1943 a bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Against all odds, one young lieutenant survives. Louise Zamperini had already transformed himself from child delinquent to prodigious athlete, running in the Berlin Olympics. Now he must embark on one of the Second World War's most extraordinary odysseys. Zamperini faces thousands of miles of open ocean on a failing raft. Beyond like only greater trials, in Japan's prisoner-of-war camps. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini's destiny, whether triumph or tragedy, depends on the strength of his will ... Now a major motion picture, directed by Angelina Jolie and starring Jack O' Connell.
A TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity. However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy. Far from a British housewife, 'Mrs Burton' - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now. Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history. 'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else' John Preston 'His best book yet' The Times
'I am one of few Jewish survivors of World War Two, but one of many Jewish people to fight the Nazi regime. My story illustrates what happened to thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike... the sheer luck that saved some of us and the atrocities that led to the deaths of so many, as a tribute to all those who suffered and died.'
Selma van de Perre was seventeen when World War Two began. Until then, being Jewish in the Netherlands had been of no consequence. But by 1941 this simple fact had become a matter of life or death. Several times, Selma avoided being rounded up by the Nazis. Then, in an act of defiance, she joined the Resistance movement, using the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit. For two years 'Marga' risked it all. Using a fake ID, and passing as Aryan she travelled around the country delivering newsletters, sharing information, keeping up morale - doing, as she later explained, what 'had to be done'.
In July 1944 her luck ran out. She was transported to Ravensbrück women's concentration camp as a political prisoner. Unlike her parents and sister - who, she would later discover, died in other camps - she survived by using her alias, pretending to be someone else. It was only after the war ended that she was allowed to reclaim her identity and dared to say once again: My name is Selma.
Now, at ninety-eight, Selma remains a force of nature. Full of hope and courage, this is her story in her own words.
This adventure story is also the biography of Heinrich Harrer, already a famous mountaineer and Olympic ski champion when he was caught by the outbreak of the World War II while climbing in the Himalayas.;Being an Austrian he was interned in India but succeeded in escaping into Tibet. After a series of experiences in a country never before crossed by a Westerner he reached the forbidden city of Lhasa. He stayed there for seven years, learned the language and acquired an understanding of Tibet and the Tibetans.;He became the friend and tutor of the young Dalai Lama and finally accompanied him into India when he was put to flight by the Red Chinese invasion.;As a mountaineer Heinrich Harrer was a member of the party which successfully ascended the North Wall of the Eiger in 1938.
Learn about Virginia Hall, the "most dangerous of all Allied spies", in this exciting narrative biography! Virginia never thought she'd be a spy. The young American had been working for the State Department overseas when she was involved in a serious accident. Despite this setback, Hall was eager to do something to help the Allies win World War II. She made her way to France where she helped coordinate underground resistance movements, sabotaging the Nazis at every turn. Her covert operations, including capturing 500 Germans, greatly contributed to the Allies' eventual win. In The Lady is a Spy, award-winning author Don Mitchell (The Freedom Summer Murders) explores the fascinating life of America's greatest female spy. Thoroughly researched and full of rarely seen photographs from Virginia Hall's family, this is an extraordinary, in-depth look at a true hero.
WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING 2019 A BARACK OBAMA BEST BOOK OF 2019 SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION 2019 TIME's #1 Best Nonfiction Book of 2019 A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'A must read' Gillian Flynn One night in December 1972, Jean McConville, a mother of ten, was abducted from her home in Belfast and never seen alive again. Her disappearance would haunt her orphaned children, the perpetrators of the brutal crime and a whole society in Northern Ireland for decades. Through the unsolved case of Jean McConville's abduction, Patrick Radden Keefe tells the larger story of the Troubles, investigating Dolours Price, the first woman to join the IRA, who bombed the Old Bailey; Gerry Adams, the politician who helped end the fighting but denied his IRA past; and Brendan Hughes, an IRA commander who broke their code of silence. A gripping story forensically reported, Say Nothing explores the extremes people will go to for an ideal, and the way societies mend - or don't - after long and bloody conflict. '10 Best Books of 2019' - The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Slate, NPR's Fresh Air 'Best History Book of 2019' - Amazon '10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2019' - TIME '10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade' - Entertainment Weekly '20 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade' - Literary Hub '10 Best True Crime Books of the Decade' - CrimeReads
The first-person account of a 26-year-old who fought in the war in Sierra Leone as a 12-year-old boy. `My new friends have begun to suspect that I haven't told them the full story of my life. "Why did you leave Sierra Leone?" "Because there is a war." "You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?" "Yes, all the time." "Cool." I smile a little. "You should tell us about it sometime." "Yes, sometime."' This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. There are more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide and it is estimated there are some 300,000 child soldiers fighting. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve in Sierra Leone, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
In the tradition of `Agent Zigzag' comes a breathtaking biography of WWII's `Scarlet Pimpernel' as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the best spy thrillers. This celebrates unsung hero Robert de La Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur, and his exploits as a British Special Operations Executive-trained resistant When the Nazis invaded France during the Second World War and imprisoned his father, Robert de La Rochefoucauld - a scion of one of the oldest aristocratic families in France - escaped to England and trained in the dark arts of anarchy and combat. Under the guidance of SOE spies, he learned to crack safes, plant bombs and kill enemies with his bare hands. Then, back in France, he organised Resistance cells, killed Nazi officers and interfered with German missions. He survived unbearable torture and escaped Nazi confinement on not one but two occasions, to live well into his eighties. The adventures of de La Rochefoucauld offer rare insight into a unique moment in history, revealing brand new information about a network of commandos who battled evil and bravely worked together to change the course of history.
Learn how to manage stress, strengthen your mindset and thrive under pressure in the powerful and inspiring new book from the number one bestselling author of Battle Scars.
Drawing on the practices of the British military and the techniques he has developed during his career, ex-Special Forces Sergeant Jason Fox shows how anyone can build the strength of mind and the resilience of an elite soldier.
We all face conflict, both at home and at work. Some pressures threaten to crush us mentally, others cause stress, anxiety and self-doubt. Whether serving in the Special Forces, rowing oceans or investigating some of the world's most notorious drug cartels, Jason Fox has overcome more than his fair share of these emotional and mental battles.
Recounting stories of the military operations and expeditions that have tested his own resolve, in Life Under Fire he shares the tools he's developed at the cutting edge of an elite military career and shows how you, too, can build the inner strength to overcome whatever challenges life puts in front of you.
This book examines representations of war throughout American literary history, providing a firm grounding in established criticism and opening up new lines of inquiry. Readers will find accessible yet sophisticated essays that lay out key questions and scholarship in the field. War and American Literature provides a comprehensive synthesis of the literature and scholarship of US war writing, illuminates how themes, texts, and authors resonate across time and wars, and provides multiple contexts in which texts and a war's literature can be framed. By focusing on American war writing, from the wars with the Native Americans and the Revolutionary War to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this volume illuminates the unique role representations of war have in the US imagination.
Published to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of General George Patton's death, a gripping firsthand account of World War II written by a soldier with the American Third Army who served under the legendary warrior and participated in many of the most consequential events of the conflict-including the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Dachau. Following in the footsteps of the bestsellers All the Gallant Men, Every Man a Hero, Don't Give Up, Don't Give In, and Never Call Me a Hero, I Marched with Patton is a remarkable eyewitness account that offers priceless insights into a foot soldier's life on the front lines during World War II under the command one of the legendary figures in American military history. Now a spry ninety-four years old, Frank Sisson looks back at his life and his service in the Third Army. Born in rural Oklahoma, Frank grew up fatherless during the Great Depression. In 1944, at age eighteen, he enlisted and was deployed to France where he marched with Patton, taking part in many of the key Allied movements of the war. Frank fought in the Battle of the Bulge, nearly died crossing the Rhine with Patton, and was among the first American soldiers who liberated the notorious Dachau concentration camp. After the war, Frank continued to serve in the army as a military police inspector in Berlin. When he finally returned home, he attended college and built a career in business. Frank Sisson's remarkable reminiscences provide a fresh, unique look at Patton's leadership, the final year of World War II and its direct aftermath, and the experience of combat on the front lines. I Marched with Patton includes 25 black-and-white photographs.
'A wake-up call ... These women's stories will make you weep, and then rage at the world's indifference.' Amal Clooney From award-winning war reporter and co-author of I Am Malala, this is the first major account to address the scale of rape and sexual violence in modern conflict. Christina Lamb has worked in war and combat zones for over thirty years. In Our Bodies, Their Battlefield she gives voice to the women of conflicts, exposing how in today's warfare, rape is used by armies, terrorists and militias as a weapon to humiliate, oppress and carry out ethnic cleansing. Speaking to survivors first-hand, Lamb encounters the suffering and bravery of women in war and meets those fighting for justice. From Southeast Asia where 'comfort women' were enslaved by the Japanese during World War Two to the Rwandan genocide, when an estimated quarter of a million women were raped, to the Yazidi women and children of today who witnessed the mass murder of their families before being enslaved by ISIS. Along the way Lamb uncovers incredible stories of heroism and resistance, including the Bosnian women who have hunted down more than a hundred war criminals, the Aleppo beekeeper rescuing Yazidis and the Congolese doctor who has risked his life to treat more rape victims than anyone else on earth. Rape may be as old as war but it is a preventable crime. Bearing witness does not guarantee it won't happen again, but it can take away any excuse that the world simply didn't know.
Gordon Corera uses declassified documents and extensive original research to tell the story of MI14(d) and the Secret Pigeon Service for the first time. `This is an amazing story' Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand plucky homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of 'Columba' - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. The messages flooded back written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds. Authentic voices from rural France, the Netherlands and Belgium - they were sometimes comic, often tragic and occasionally invaluable with details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar system or the deployment of the feared V-1 and V-2 rockets that terrorized London. Who were the people who provided this rich seam of intelligence? Many were not trained agents nor, with a few exceptions, people with any experience of spying. At the centre of this book is the `Leopold Vindictive' network - a small group of Belgian villagers prepared to take huge risks. They were led by an extraordinary priest, Joseph Raskin - a man connected to royalty and whose intelligence was so valuable it was shown to Churchill, leading MI6 to parachute agents in to assist him. A powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage, the book brings together the British and Belgian sides of the Leopold Vindictive's story and reveals for the first time the wider history of a quirky, quarrelsome band of spy masters and their special wartime operations, as well as how bitter rivalries in London placed the lives of secret agents at risk. It is a book not so much about pigeons as the remarkable people living in occupied Europe who were faced with the choice of how to respond to a call for help, and took the decision to resist.
Uit die aard van hul hoogs geheime werk heers groot geheimsinnigheid oor die Recce's, maar nou het een van hulle - Koos Stadler - sy ervarings neergepen. Die boek bied 'n onthullende blik op die lewe van 'n Recce, op hul amper bomenslike fisieke vermoens en kameraderie. Verwag naelbyt-aksie en dramatiese verhale.
In 1941, before America entered World War II, determined young LeRoy Gover signed on with Britain's Royal Air Force to fly the plane of his dreams, the fast, sleek Spitfire. When America joined the fight, he transitioned to the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt. Former USAF pilot and aviation historian Philip D. Caine has skillfully selected from the young flyer's letters and diary entries to create a vivid portrait of the kind of man who helped win the war. A story of great courage, Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer is a testament to the many other brave men who served.
SILENT NIGHT brings to life one of the most unlikely and touching events in the annals of war. In the early months of WWI, on Christmas Eve, men on both sides left their trenches, laid down their arms, and joined in a spontaneous celebration with their new friends, the enemy. For a brief, blissful time, remembered since in song and story, a world war stopped. Even the participants found what they were doing incredible. Germans placed candle-lit Christmas trees on trench parapets and warring soldiers sang carols. In the spirit of the season they ventured out beyond their barbed wire to meet in No Man's Land, where they buried the dead in moving ceremonies, exchanged gifts, ate and drank together, and joyously played football, often with improvised balls. The truce spread as men defied orders and fired harmlessly into the air. But, reluctantly, they were forced to re-start history's most bloody war. SILENT NIGHT vividly recovers a dreamlike event, one of the most extraordinary of Christmas stories.
On retirement from an unusual military career Howard Leedham settled in the USA with his American wife and successfully flew executive jets until...He was recruited in 2003 by the US State Department's Airwing (which operates an international fleet of aircraft engaged in counter-terrorism and anti-narcotics operations). Despite being British, the author had the unusual skills they required. Howard's specific brief was to activate a fleet of anti-terrorist helicopters given to the Pakistan armed forces but which had been embargoed and never properly used. This was easier said than done. Howard had to win over opposition from inside the State Department and in particular from their Islamabad Embassy, and also dispel the suspicions of the Pakistani Armed Forces. The helicopters were released and brought up to the high standard of mechanical and operational maintenance required - no mean achievement in itself. Despite finding doors closed to senior Pakistani officers and being constantly told that the appropriate general was much too busy to see him, Howard made his mark by offering to stand outside the general's toilet door and tell him about his plans! This tactic worked, he had his meeting (not in the toilet) and he was given command of twenty-five Pathan soldiers to train in Special Forces tactics and helicopter skills. Next he had to win his soldiers' confidence. Howard did this with great success and he was given a further 25 Pathans. They became an amazingly loyal team and the book describes in detail several very successful discreet operations; and the occasional failure or withdrawn patrol - often because of leaked information. Howard had to do all this while under great personal threat. How could he tell who was a friend and who was a foe - even among his own troops? His ultimate success in anti-terrorist operations can be measured by two factors: o The US State Department, with Congressional and Embassy approval, allocated more helicopters. o His farewell party in a desert tent for just his Pathans and his helicopter crews had over 1,500 soldiers guarding the perimeter. All this came at a personal price - on completing his mission Howard's marriage broke up and he was nearly killed by a bomb on a subsequent visit to Islamabad.
If you have seen the classic Gary Cooper film, you know about Sergeant York. But to really know the American hero, you need to read his own story in his own words. "An American legend."-The New York Times October 8th, 1918-amid the last of the Allies attempts to the Germans, Sergeant Alvin York of Tennessee, found himself and his platoon of only seventeen men trapped in the thick of heavy machine gun fire. Rather than retreating or calling upon the artillery to take out the nest, York single-handedly took out twenty-five Germans, dropping them one-by-one, and captured many more. This is only one of the many tales of York's famed heroism, which were heralded as some of the most impressive battle stories in history of modern warfare. Sergeant York contains the legendary soldier's war diaries, which offer up-close snapshots of his fabled military career. Included in this new edition of a classic work are new forewords written by York's son and grandson, which provide both personal and historical recollections of their predecessor. In Sergeant York, experience the fascinating life of an American hero.
The first heroes of the air. Rewriting the rules of military engagement and changing the course of modern history as a result, the pioneering airmen of the First World War took incredible risks to perform their vital contribution to the war effort. Fighter Heroes of WWI is a narrative history that conveys the perils of early flight, the thrills of being airborne, and the horrors of war in the air at a time when pilots carried little defensive armament and no parachutes. The men who joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1914 were the original heroes of flying, treading into unknown territory, and paving the way for later aerial combat. They became icons for the soldiers in the trenches, and a stark contrast to the thousands on the ground fighting faceless thousands as men fought aircraft to aircraft and man to man - for the first time the air became a battlefield of its own. The war changed flying forever. In 1914 aircraft were a questionable technology, used for only basic reconnaissance. But by 1918, hastened by the terrible war, aircraft were understood to be the future of modern warfare. The Wright brothers' achievements of a mere ten years earlier and Bleriot's crossing of the Channel just a few years before the war seemed a distant memory as aircraft became killing machines - the war becoming the ancestor of the fearsome air wars of later years. The stories reveal the feelings of those who defended the trenches from above and witnessed the war from a completely different perspective -the men who were the first fighter heroes of the air.
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.
The Tartan Pimpernel is the remarkable autobiography of Donald
Caskie, minister of the Scots Kirk in Paris at the time of the
German invasion of France in 1940. Although he had several
opportunities to flee, Caskie remained there to help establish a
network of safe houses and escape routes for Allied soldiers and
airmen trapped in occupied territory. The seamen's mission he set
up in Marseilles was in fact the largest clearing-house in France
for stranded British soldiers and airmen. This was dangerous work,
but, despite the constant threat of capture and execution, Caskie
showed enormous resourcefulness and courage as he aided thousands
of servicemen to freedom.
Soldier Magazine's Book of the Month Fascinating... Incredibly dangerous. The Times Gripping. Adrenalin fuelled true-life account with all the makings of a military thriller. The action unfolds like a Le Carre novel. Soldier Magazine 'Jihad isn't a war. It's an objective. An aberration. If there are young women with children, lost boys... If they are trapped in that hell and we can get them out, don't we have a duty to do so? Every person we can bring back is living proof that Islamic State is a failure.' Ex-British Army soldier John Carney was running a close protection operation for oil executives in Iraq when the family of a young Dutch woman asked him to extract her from the collapsing 'Islamic State' in Syria. Hearing first-hand about the naive young girls, many from the West, who'd been tricked, sexually abused and enslaved by ISIS, he knew only one thing - he had to get them out of that living hell. This is the incredible true story of how - armed with AK-47s and 9mm Glocks - Carney launched a daring, dangerous and deadly operation to free as many of them as he could. From 2016 to 2019, he led his small band of committed Kurdish freedom fighters into the heart of the Syrian lead storm. Backed by humanitarian NGOs, and feeding intel to MI6, Carney and his men went behind enemy lines to deliver the women and their children to the authorities, to deradicalization programmes and fair trials. Carney, a born soldier, was moved to action by the women's terrifying stories. He and his men risked their lives daily, not always making it safely home... Gripping, shocking and thought-provoking, Operation Jihadi Bride tackles the complex issue of the jihadi brides head on - an essential read for our troubled times.
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