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In eighteenth-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior. Its guiding principles greatly influenced the Japanese ruling class and shaped the underlying character of the Japanese psyche, from businessmen to soldiers. Bushido is the first English translation of the Hagakure. This work provides a powerful message aimed at the mind and spirit of the samurai warrior. It offers beliefs that are difficult for the Western mind to embrace, yet fascinating in their pursuit of absolute service. With Bushido, one can better put into perspective Japan's historical path and gain greater insight into the Japan of today.
Airborne assault was one of the great innovations of the 1930s and 1940s, adding a new 'vertical' dimension to infantry warfare. By the onset of World War II in 1939, Germany, Italy, and Russia were already advanced in their development of paratrooper units. Germany in particular demonstrated the tactical shock of paratroopers in Western Europe in 1940 and, most spectacularly, in Crete in 1941, galvanizing the UK and the United States to expand and train their own airborne forces, which they unleashed in 1943-45. The Allied paratrooper drops on D-Day (6 June 1944) and those of Operation Market Garden (17-25 September 1944) were the stuff of legend, huge in scale and ambition, but both Allied and Axis paratroopers were deployed in numerous other actions, including special forces raids. It quickly became apparent that the physical and tactical demands placed upon paratroopers required men of exceptional stamina, courage and intelligence. To create these soldiers, levels of training were unusually punishing and protracted, and those who came through to take their 'wings' were a true elite. The Paratrooper Training Pocket Manual provides an unusually detailed insight into what it took to make a military paratrooper, and how he was then utilized in actions where expected survival might be measured in a matter of days. Using material from British, US, German archives and other primary sources, many never before published, the book explains paratrooper theory, training and practice in detail. The content includes details of the physical training, instruction in static-line parachute deployment, handling the various types of parachutes and harnesses, landing on dangerous terrain, small-arms handling, airborne deployment of heavier combat equipment, landing in hostile drop zones, tactics in the first minutes of landing, radio comms, and much more. Featuring original manual diagrams and illustrations, plus new introductory text explaining the history and context of airborne warfare, The Paratrooper Training Pocket Manual provides a detailed insight into the principles and practice of this unique type of combat soldier.
From Army Rangers to Green Berets to the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden, this book explains what makes Special Forces "special," covering the rich and varied history of elite formations in American military history and describing their recruitment, intense training, and equipment in depth. Most civilians have only a vague idea of what the U.S. Special Forces are all about-who they are, how they differ from our "normal" military forces, what they've accomplished throughout our history, and how they operate today. Fighting Elites: A History of U.S. Special Forces examines the rich and varied history of U.S. Special Forces, identifies their contributions to specific conflicts from colonial times forward, and highlights their present operational excellence. In this first-ever reference guide to U.S. Special Forces, military historian John C. Fredriksen provides a carefully balanced presentation, describing all units in their own detailed section that discusses their origins, recruitment, training, tactics, and equipment, and defining military engagements, if known. The text also contains 20 biographical entries of noted personalities associated with special purpose activities. Initial chapters provide an overview of all American special purpose units A bibliography points to additional reading and sources of information 50 illustrations of famous leaders, uniforms, and troops in the field A highly detailed chronology of all known special forces activities
For nearly two and a half years, from June 1940 until late 1942, Malta was subjected to one Axis air raid after another. The Mediterranean island was effectively beleaguered, reliant for defence on anti-aircraft guns and often-outnumbered fighter aircraft and dependent for survival on naval supply convoys. The Axis attempted to bomb and starve Malta into submission, attacking ports, military and industrial areas, leading to Malta becoming one of the most intensively bombed areas of the Second World War, with well over 3000 alerts before the end of hostilities. But against the odds, and at heavy cost, Malta was held. Malta was vital to Allied success in North Africa, dominating Axis supply routes to the region. It was a remarkable, intense campaign, a crucial turning point in the Second World War, and one of the Allies' greatest tactical and strategic victories. This is an account of that desperate time, as witnessed by those who were there and illustrated by their wartime photographs. Included is a special colour section focusing on reminders of the battle in a series of more recent images.
Inspiration for the major motion picture 6 Days, starring Jamie Bell as Rusty Firmin Go! Go! Go! tells the action-packed story of the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege. It is a comprehensive and gripping account of an unforgettable six-day drama that shook Britain - and the wider world - to the core. Drawing on original and unseen source material from ex-SAS soldier Rusty Firmin, the police and the British Government, Go! Go! Go! takes us to the heart of the whole operation. The assault planning and training, strategy and tactics are described in detail, and the personal stories of the gunmen revealed - who they were, where they came from, why they did it and Saddam Hussein's direct involvement. Compelling accounts of each day of the siege from the hostages' points of view show how they dealt with captivity individually and collectively. And new material explains the negotiators' tactics and their cool exterior versus their internal turmoil as negotiations reached crisis point.
Throughout history, the best marksmen in any military force have been employed as marksmen or sharpshooters, and equipped with the best available weapons. The German states made the first serious use of sharpshooters on the battlefield during the Seven Years' War in the 18th century. Some of these talented riflemen were then employed as mercenaries in America, where the tactical use of the rifle in wooded terrain was valued. By the Revolutionary Wars, American riflemen were formidable, able to blend into the landscape and take out targets at long range. Their potential was noted by the British who began to train rifle units; during the Napoleonic Wars, the Green Jackets were the elite of the British army. The mid-19th century saw the development of optical sights, meaning that the units of sharpshooters raised in the Civil War were even more lethal. The accuracy of German sniper fire in the trenches in World War I provoked the British Army to create sniper schools, manuals, and counter-sniping tactics. However, lessons were not learned and the outbreak of World War II saw almost all major powers unprepared for sniping or counter-sniping, meaning that talented marksmen like Simoe Hayha were able to accrue massive scores. In this accessible introduction packed with firsthand accounts, sniping expert Gary Yee explores the history of the marksman, his weapons and tactics from the flintlock era through to the present day.
From their humble beginnings as a small, select band responsible for protecting the leader of the Nazi Party, to its million members and 38 divisions by the end of World War II, the SS achieved some of the most stunning victories in the annals of warfare, while also committing a catalogue of war crimes. Including 500 photographs, many seldom seen outside the personal archives of former soldiers, Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite in Photographs contains all the battles and campaigns that the Waffen-SS fought, including Poland, France and on the Eastern Front. The book charts the growth of the Panzer divisions, their battlefield tactics, recruitment and organization of units, and an examination of the weapons and equipment. Leading figures, such as 'Sepp' Dietrich, Felix Steiner and Joachim Peiper, are also featured. But the Waffen-SS were not just highly-trained troops. From the beginning the black-uniformed men of the armed Schutzstaffel (Protection Squad) were ideological warriors, selected on the basis of rigid racial and physical standards, who viewed with contempt the members of those races classed by National Socialist ideology as being sub-human. This book does not shy away from their atrocities. Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite in Photographs is a full pictorial record of the development, combat actions and criminal activity of Hitler's Praetorian Guard, before and during World War II.
The SS grew out of Adolf Hitler's and Heinrich Himmler's obsession to prevent the treachery they believed to have caused the German defeat in the First World War. It was to be an elite corps of politically aware soldiers whose primary aim was to prevent the undermining of the Nazi Party by rendering its potential enemies "harmless." This disturbing story reveals not only the inner workings of the SS, but also its paramount role in the mass murder of Europe's Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies; its organization of the death squads throughout occupied Europe; and the military campaigns undertaken by the Waffen SS.
Karel Kuttelwascher may have had a German surname, but he was a Czech who became the scourge of the Luftwaffe bombers operating from France and the Low Countries in 1942. Flying with the RAF's legendary No. 1 Squadron, his destruction of fifteen aircraft in only three months earned him the DFC twice in a mere forty-two days, and made him the RAF's top night intruder ace. After his daring escape from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, he flew in the ferocious Battle of France and participated in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain as one of Churchill's 'Few'. During the early circus operations, he clocked up his first three kills before playing a part in the famous Channel Dash. However, it was in the lauded but lonely night intruder role that his individualistic skills came to the fore. Flying a long-range Hawker Hurricane IIC armed with 20-mm cannon, the man the wartime media dubbed the 'Czech Night Hawk' unleashed a reign of terror that included shooting down three Heinkel bombers in just four minutes.
The explosive new non-fiction title from the author of Eight Lives
The wartime memoir of Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a remarkable document: the publication of an English language edition is a significant coup. Pavlichenko was World War II's best-scoring sniper and had a varied wartime career that included trips to England and America. In June 1941, when Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, she left her university studies, ignored the offer of a position as a nurse, to become one of Soviet Russia's 2000 female snipers. Less than a year later she had 309 recorded kills, including 29 enemy sniper kills. She was withdrawn from active duty after being injured: she was also regarded as a key heroic figure for the war effort. She spoke at rallies in Canada and the US and the folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote a song, 'Killed By A Gun' about her exploits. Her US trip included a tour of the White House with FDR. In November 1942 she visited Coventry and accepted donations of 4,516 from Coventry workers to pay for three X-ray units for the Red Army. She also visited a Birmingham factory as part of her fundraising tour. She never returned to combat but trained other snipers. After the war, she finished her education at Kiev University and began a career as a historian. She died on October 10, 1974 at age 58, and was buried in Moscow's Novodevichye Cemetery.
The British Special Air Service (SAS) is well known as a fighting force, but what is less documented is the role played by SAS soldiers as rescuers, whether of civilians or other military units. Written by a former SAS man, SAS Rescue Missions details all the occasions when SAS soldiers have saved a friendly power, from Malaya in the 1950s to Oman in the 1970s to Gambia in the 1980s, and many more. The informative text describes how a handful of SAS men achieved what often seemed impossible - reversing a military coup, defeating powerful rebels, winning over an aggrieved population. With the help of first-hand accounts from SAS soldiers, the book also examines the Regiment's role in hostage rescue, especially from the clutches of militias, such as in the former Yugoslavia, and terrorists, such as at the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980. In addition, the book explores the SAS's bodyguarding skills used to protect politicians and heads of state. Special soldiers require special skills and the book reveals the training and drills that SAS soldiers go through, from exercises in the 'Killing House' to the sophisticated communications equipment carried on missions. Packed with 120 colour and black-&-white photographs, first-hand accounts and lively text, SAS Rescue Missions is a unique book on a little known aspect of the Special Air Service.
In the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of men united to form an exceptional unit. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised America's first swimmer-commandos- an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that live on in today's Navy SEALs. Often armed only with knives and wearing nothing more than swim trunks and flippers, the Maritime Unit's combat swimmers and other operatives carried out seaborne clandestine missions in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean theatres of World War II. In First SEALs , Patrick K. O'Donnell unearths their incredible history- one of the greatest untold stories of World War II.FirstSEALsBook.com
This first-ever biography of of Lt. Cdr. Mike Cumberlege DSO & Bar, Greek Medal of Honour, murdered in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Feb/March 1945, recalls a man who was `truly Elizabethan in character-a combination of gaiety and solidity and sensitiveness and poetry with daring and adventurousness-and great courage.' Cumberlege came from a maverick sea-going family. He was highly resourceful and lived by his wits, skippering ocean-going yachts for wealthy Americans before the war. In 1936 he married Nancy; their relationship was close and, with the sea, forms a thread in the book. From 1940 Cumberlege and served in undercover roles in the Royal Navy in Marseilles and Cape Verde and was on the staff of General de Gaulle in London. Posted to Egypt in 1941 in the SOE, he formed a para-naval force of fishing vessels, took part in fighting in Greece, attacked the Corinth Canal, escaped from Crete, was wounded and returned three times to Crete clandestinely. On a second operation to destroy the Corinth Canal in 1943 he was captured. Tortured in Mauthausen concentration camp, he was transferred to Sachsenhausen and spent 21 months in solitary confinement. The book contains unique material gathered from the family and from well-wishers in places as far apart as Ukraine, Australia and the USA.
German FallschirmjAger as you've never seen before! Over 160 images from the files of the Bundesarchiv in Germany, the over-whelming majority shown for the first time in print since World War II. Printed mostly full page and showing details of various uniforms and equipment, helmets with various painted camouflage schemes, wire and covers. This book is a must have for any collector or historian.
So perfectly executed was the mission to rescue Capt. Scott O'Grady that it amazed even the men responsible. Just five hours after radio contact was first made with Basher 52 - O'Grady's call sign the Air Force captain was safely on board the USS Kearsarge. The downed F-16 fighter pilot's rescue from a Bosnian mountainside by Col. Martin Berndt's 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit electrified the nation in June 1995 and renewed many Americans' faith in the military. This book tells the story of the mission in the words of the men who commanded, planned, and carried it out. To get the inside account, Mary Pat Kelly travelled throughout Europe to conduct more than one hundred interviews, visiting U.S. ships and bases and UN posts in Croatia and Bosnia where participants were stationed. Admiral Leighton W. Smith Jr., commander in chief of U.S. naval forces in Europe and head of NATO forces in the Southern European theatre, provides the framework with his day-to-day commentary on the efforts to find Captain O'Grady and a nearly minute-by-minute record of the rescue itself. In concert with Lt. Gen. Michael E. Ryan, commander of U.S. and NATO air forces, the admiral reveals the decision-making process that led to the ""Good to Go"" order. Readers then hear from the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) team; the Navy and Marine Corps commanders, pilots, crew chiefs, and grunts who made it happen. Speaking for the Navy are Capt. Christopher Cole, skipper of the Kearsarge, Commo. Jerome Schill, and their staffs, from the intelligence officers to the grapes who fuelled the aircraft. Captain O'Grady puts his own experiences in the context of overall events.
The Mossad, Israel's version of the CIA, is among the world's top intelligence agencies. Renowned both for its brilliance and its ruthlessness, the organization occupies a distinctive position in the arena of global covert operations. This book describes the clandestine missions that were defining moments in the evolution of the Mossad, including its pursuit of the Black September terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, its acquisition on the high seas of yellowcake uranium for Israel's undeclared nuclear weapons program, and its role in bringing to justice Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The agency's more questionable deeds are also covered, among them the assassination of civilian scientists associated with Iraq's nuclear energy program and the abduction of Isreali citizen Mordechai Vanunu who, like Edward Snowden, has been variously depicted as a principled whistleblower and an unscrupulous traitor. Taken together, the missions discussed herein illustrate the Mossad's character, creativity and courage, while acknowledging the problematical moral dimensions of its operations.
Presented here are the biographies of the 130 men of the Fallschirmjager-Hitler's elite paratroopers, who won the Knight's Cross and its higher grades. These men fought on nearly every front during the Second World War, from their first action in Denmark in April 1940, to their last major battle at Monte Cassino. A total of twenty-four Knight's Crosses were awarded to Fallschirmjager troops during the battles of Monte Cassino and in the airborne invasion of Crete with the remainder awarded during the fighting in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Russia, and at least one in North Africa. These tough, elite soldiers parachuted behind enemy lines and were one of the most successful units during the Second World War. The book gives details of their promotions and other medals and decorations and is well illustrated with over 200 photographs.
Featuring full-color artwork, archive photographs, and first-hand
accounts from participants," Storming Monte la Difensa "examines
the origins, execution, and aftermath of the FSSF's spectacular
success at Monte La Difensa amid the savage winter conditions of
Covers the use and design of the Panzer I armored fighting vehicle.
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