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Simo Hayha (1905-2002) is the most famous sniper in the world. During the Winter War fought between Russia and Finland in 1939 - 1940 he had 542 confirmed kills with iron sights, a record that still stands today. He has been a role model for snipers all over the world and paved the way for them by demonstrating their significance on the battlefield. Simo Hayha was a man of action who spoke very little, but he was hugely respected by his men and his superiors and given many difficult missions, including taking out specific targets. Able to move silently and swiftly through the landscape, melting into the snowbound surroundings in his white camouflage fatigues, his aim was deadly and his quarry rarely escaped. The Russians learned of his reputation as a marksman and tried several times to kill him by indirect fire. He was promoted from corporal to second lieutenant and he was awarded the Cross of Kollaa. For sniping Simo Hayha only ever used his own m/28-30 rifle. Eventually his luck ran out and Simo received a serious head wound on March 6, 1940, though he subsequently recovered. After the war Simo Hayha lead a quiet, unassuming life in farming and forestry. His roots were deep in the Finnish soil and he loved life in rural Finland. A true patriot, he epitomized the traits of a professional soldier, performing his duty and setting an example of bravery that personified the Finnish spirit when confronted by the Russian onslaught. The White Sniper fully explores Simo Hayha's life, his exploits in the Winter War, the secrets behind his success including character and technique, and also includes a detailed look at his rifle itself.
The New York Times-bestselling book by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland that teaches all dog owners how to have the close relationship and exceptional training of combat dogs. In Team Dog, Ritland taps into fifteen years' worth of experience and shares, explaining in accessible and direct language, the science behind the importance of gaining a dog's trust and then offering invaluable steps for how to achieve any level of obedience. His unique approach uses entertaining examples and anecdotes from his work with dogs on and off the battlefield and direct tips from the Navy SEAL guidebook to teach dog owners how to: choose the perfect dog for their household, establish themselves as the -team leader, - master -command and control, - employ -situational awareness, - and to solidify their dog's position as the family's ultimate best friend. Team Dog introduces pet owners everywhere to the new and distinctive authority on how to train your dog . . . the Navy SEAL way.
This three-volume set is unquestionably the best reference on German SS military uniforms ever produced. This spectacular work is a heavily documented record of all major clothing articles of the Waffen-SS. Hundreds of unpublished bw photos were used in production. Original and extremely rare SS uniforms of various types are carefully photographed and presented here.
Covers the use and design of the Panzer I armored fighting vehicle.
The origins of most of the west's Special Forces can be traced back to the Long Range Desert Group which operated across the limitless expanses of the Libyan Desert, an area the size of India, during the whole of the Desert War from 1940 - 1943. After the defeat of the Axis in North Africa they adapted to serve in the Mediterranean, the Greek islands, Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece. They became the stuff of legend. The brainchild of Ralph Bagnold, a pre-war desert explorer, featured, in fictional terms in The English Patient, who put all of his expertise into the creation of a new and, by the standards of the day, highly unorthodox unit. Conventional tactical thinking shunned the deep heart of the vast desert as it was thought to be a different planet, a harsh, inhospitable wilderness where British forces could not possibly survive even less operate effectively. Bagnold, Pat Clayton and Bill Kennedy Shaw created a whole new type of warfare. Using specially adapted vehicles and the techniques they'd learned in the'30s, recruiting only men of the right temperament and high levels of fitness and endurance, the first patrols set out bristling with automatic weapons. The 30-cwt Chevy truck and the famous Jeep have become iconic, the LRDG, in a dark hour, was the force which took the fight to the enemy, roving over the deep desert - a small raider's paradise, attacking enemy convoys and outposts, destroying aircraft and supplies, forcing the Axis to expend more and more resources protecting their vulnerable lines. Their work was often dangerous, always taxing, exhausting and uncomfortable. They were a new breed of soldier. The Axis never managed to equip any similar unit, they never escaped their fear of the scorching wilderness. Once the desert war was won they transferred their skills to the Mediterranean sector, re-training as mountain guerrillas, serving in the ill-fated Dodecanese campaign, then in strife torn Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece, fighting alongside the mercurial partisans at a time the Balkans were sliding towards communist domination or civil war. In addition LRDG worked alongside the fledgling SAS and they established, beyond all doubt, the value of highly trained Special Forces, a legacy which resonates today.
The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was the paramount Allied sabotage force of the Second World War. Its job - in Churchill's words - was to "set Europe ablaze" through the use of sabotage, insurrection and assassination. One of its "shining Stars" and "legends" was the close-combat pistol instructor, Colonel Hector Grant-Taylor. Grant-Taylor taught the commandos, secret agents and irregular soldiers the art of how to kill at close quarters. He taught them how to be ruthless, lethal and covert, and yet his own life was itself a mystery worthy of a John Buchan thriller novel. Misinformation, deception, bravery, murder, and ultimately redemption, all play a part in his story. At Close Quarters finally puts to rest the myths and legends that surrounded his life, and unravels the mysterious truth behind the enigma that was Colonel Hector Grant-Taylor!
The first modern frogmen were the Italian commando frogmen, of Decima Flottiglia MAS which was first in action in 1940. They were nicknamed Uomini Rana, Italian for frogmen, because of their swimming frog kick style and because their fins looked like frogs' feet. Their success against Royal Navy warships was a shock to the British Admiralty which took up the challenge and by 1942 the Royal Navy had their own frogmen with manned torpedo Chariots. Many of the early frogmen's breathing sets were German pilots' oxygen cylinders recovered from shot-down Luftwaffe planesRoyal Navy frogmen began with the torpedo chariots, but later moved to midget submarines known as X-craft. On 20 September 1943 two four-man X-craft set out to attack the Tirpitz in Kafjord in Norway which was badly damaged by limpet mines.This fascinating and well-written book chronicles the use of frogmen during the Second World War, predominantly describing the Royal Navy operatives. It details their training, their various attacks, and the use of frogmen to clear the D-Day beaches of underwater obstacles, and the clearance of mines, booby traps and wrecks in harbours.By the end of the war, the British human torpedo operations had earned their participants 20 medals and 16 men had been killed.
"One could not choose a worse place for fighting the Japanese," said Winston Churchill of North Burma, deeming it "the most forbidding fighting country imaginable." But it was here that the fledgling Office of Strategic Services conducted its most successful combat operations of World War II. Troy Sacquety takes readers into Burma's steaming jungles in the first book to fully cover the exploits and contributions of the OSS's Detachment 101 against the Japanese Imperial Army.
Functioning independently of both the U.S. Army and OSS headquarters--and with no operational or organizational model to follow--Detachment 101 was given enormous latitude in terms of developing its mission and methods. It grew from an inexperienced and poorly supported group of 21 agents training on the job in a lethal environment to a powerful force encompassing 10,000 guerrillas (spread across as many as 8 battalions), 60 long-range agents, and 400 short-range agents. By April 1945, it remained the only American ground force in North Burma while simultaneously conducting daring amphibious operations that contributed to the liberation of Rangoon.
With unrivaled access to OSS archives, Sacquety vividly recounts the 101's story with a depth of detail that makes the disease-plagued and monsoon-drenched Burmese theater come unnervingly alive. He describes the organizational evolution of Detachment 101 and shows how the unit's flexibility allowed it to evolve to meet the changing battlefield environment. He depicts the Detachment's two sharply contrasting field commanders: headstrong Colonel Carl Eifler, who pushed the unit beyond its capabilities, and the more measured Colonel William Peers, who molded it into a model special operations force. He also highlights the heroic Kachin tribesmen, fierce fighters defending their tribal homeland and instrumental in acclimating the Americans to terrain, weather, and cultures in ways that were vital to the success of the Detachment's operations.
While veterans' memoirs have discussed OSS activities in Burma, this is the first book to describe in detail how it achieved its success--portraying an operational unit that can be seen as a prototype for today's Special Forces. Featuring dozens of illustrations, The OSS in Burma rescues from oblivion the daring exploits of a key intelligence and military unit in Japan's defeat in World War II and tells a gripping story that will satisfy scholars and buffs alike.
FBI operative Raymond W. Holcomb's assignments took him across America, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa, and involved espionage, counter narcotics, Mafia takedowns, national security, Special Weapons and Tactics, and much more. He and his men captured the terrorists behind the 1993 assault on the World Trade Center, investigated the bombings of U.S. embassies, and pursued the killers of the seventeen American sailors who died in the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole. After 9/11, he assisted in interrogating Yemeni prisoners who had information about the attack, which led to identifying al Qaeda and some of the hijackers. After the capture of one of 9/11's most lethal masterminds, he went on a secret followup mission to Afghanistan. Holcomb's memoir provides detailed information about the FBI that only a longtime bureau insider can reveal, such as prison conditions and interrogation techniques in Guantanamo and Afghanistan. He describes hunting down and grilling criminals of every ilk around the world, and then creating and leading the FBI's elite cadre of counterterrorism agents who were at the helm of every major post-9/11 investigation, including the infiltration of homegrown conspiracies. Holcomb's absorbing account gives anyone interested in the training and activities of the FBI's elite tactical units a window into these highly effective organizations within the bureau.
This book is part of the unique Book of Samurai series that comprises the works of 17th-century samurai tactician Natori Sanjuro Masazumi, retainer and advisor to the lords of Kishu domain. It offers an unparalleled insight into the weaponry and armour of the samurai era, as well as tactical advice for use on the battlefield and off - wisdom that can be applied to many scenarios today.Heieki Yoho, the first scroll translated in this book, offers advice for every possible situation, from moving troops to besieging a castle to fighting on the open battlefield. From turning thieves or cowards to good service, to practising "external listening" in order to obtain information from as many sources as possible, to penetrating the deeper motives of those who slander (or praise) others, the advice here is thought provoking and paints a vivid picture of samurai Japan at war.Heigu Yoho, the second scroll, gives us a rare and precious glimpse into samurai arms and armour, including their construction, status regulations and connected ceremonies, mythology and Buddhist doctrine: a helmet's ventilation hole, for example, allows access to the 98,000 gods of war. There is an accessible introduction and a glossary, as well as 130 line drawings that include illustrations of arms and armour, strategic diagrams and beautiful examples of Japanese calligraphy.
_There are no better biographies of Goering, Goebbels and Himmler in existence_. **New York Review of Books** Heinrich Himmler was the commander of the SS, and as founder and officer-in-charge of the Nazi concentration camps and the Einsatzgruppen death squads, he was responsible for implementing the extermination of millions of people. By the time he died he was the second-most powerful man in Germany and regarded himself as Hitler's natural successor, going so far as to attempt to negotiate independent peace with the Allies. Based on US documents handed over to the German Federal Archives and the testimonies of Himmler's family and staff, this book examines how a seemingly ordinary boy grew into an obsessive and superstitious man who ventured into herbalism and astrology before finally turning to the science of racial purity and the belief in the superiority of the Aryan race. Filled with insights into Himmler s private life, activities and beliefs, this is an important study of one of the most sinister figures of World War II.
Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Churchill and Stalin secretly agreed that Britain would infiltrate Soviet agents into occupied Western Europe. Liaison began between the NKVD and the SOE, each country's secret service. Transported in convoys across the Arctic Ocean and often attacked by German U-Boats, thirty-four men and women arrived in Scotland. To stop people finding out that Britain was helping the Communists, the agents were given false identities and provided with accommodation and training at remote country houses in southern England, including Beaulieu. Codenamed PICKAXES, they were sent for parachute practice at Ringway aerodrome, provided with documents, cover stories and wireless sets and sent on clandestine missions into France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany and Italy. Whilst most were sent from RAF Tempsford, Churchill's Most Secret airfield, one was sent by boat across the Channel and another by submarine into Northern Italy. Only a few survived the war as most were caught, interrogated and executed. Based on extensive research, Bernard O'Connor tells their human stories enmeshed in a web of political intrigue and diplomacy.
Private military contractors, especially those in Iraq, have taken on far more than their original mandates required. Initially intended for combat support, they have become full-fledged warriors, many with little experience, scant oversight, and no accountability to the rules of engagement that constrain the U.S. military and coalition forces. When the occupation of Iraq turned into a fight against an insurgency, overwhelming U.S. and coalition military forces, the demand for private military contractors skyrocketed in 2003 and 2004. The explosive growth of such firms as Blackwater, Crescent, and others resulted in a relaxation of recruitment standards at precisely the same time that the U.S. military s own standards of recruitment began to falter, but the standards for private military contractors fell much further and faster. The predictable result included excessive civilian casualties, a human tragedy whose full dimensions have yet to be seen by the American public.Shawn Engbrecht has been training and recruiting private military contractors for more than a decade. Acknowledging that some private military contractors are out of control, he argues that the oft-made suggestion to fire them all is not the solution. Instead, Engbrecht contends that with proper training and development of recruits, along with enforceable regulation and oversight, private security companies can be successfully integrated into a total force package with a professional operational staff.
Young samurai, do you wish to obtain the martial skills to master the Way of the Warrior? The strategic know-how to lay siege to a castle? The Zenlike composure to conduct a tea ceremony? This witty, informative and unique guide to the samurai class of early modern Japan is presented in the guise of a training manual written by a fictional samurai lord. Written by Stephen Turnbull, one of the world's leading authorities on samurai, it offers lively and engaging coverage of every aspect of early 17th-century Japanese warrior culture, from training and armour to how to perform on the battlefield, from Japanese religion to how to attain entrance to the White Jade Pavilion when your warrior days are over. Wise quotes from Japanese sources of the time enliven the text, while colour images and 100 historic wood-block-style prints provide a step-by-step guide to becoming and being a samurai.
The Munich Olympics massacre in 1972 was a shock awakening to the public. In the decades since, European countries have faced a wide range of threats from Palestinian and home-grown terrorists, to the more recent world-wide jihadists. The threats they pose are widespread from aircraft hi-jacking and political assassinations to urban warfare against security forces, and murderous attacks on civilian crowd targets, forcing governments have had to invest ever-greater efforts in countering these threats. This book traces the evolution of police (and associated military) counter-terrorist forces across Europe over the past 45 years. Using specially commissioned artwork and contemporary photographs, it details their organization, missions, specialist equipment, and their growing cross-border co-operation.
The fires on Bataan burned on the evening of April 9, 1942 - illuminating the white flags of surrender against the nighttime sky. Woefully outnumbered, outgunned, and ill-equipped, battered remnants of the American-Philippine army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet amongst the chaos and devastation of the American defeat, Army Captain Donald D. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms. With future SF legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped from Bataan and fled to the mountainous jungles of North Luzon, where they raised a private army of over 22,000 men against the Japanese. Once there, Blackburn organized a guerrilla regiment from among the native tribes in the Cagayan Valley. "Blackburn's Headhunters," as they came to be known, devastated the Japanese 14th Army within the western provinces of North Luzon and destroyed the Japanese naval base at Aparri - the largest enemy anchorage in the Philippines. After the war, Blackburn remained on active duty and played a key role in initiating Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia. In 1958, as commander of the 77th Special Forces Group, he spearheaded Operation White Star in Laos - the first major deployment of American Special Forces to a country with an active insurgency. Seven years later, Blackburn took command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG), charged with performing secret missions now that main-force Communist incursions were on the rise. In the wake of the CIA's disastrous Leaping Lena program, in 1964 Blackburn revitalized the Special Operations campaign in South Vietnam. Sending cross-border reconnaissance teams into Cambodia and North Vietnam, he discovered the clandestine networks and supply nodes of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. Taking this information directly to General Westmoreland, Blackburn received authorization to conduct full-scale operations against the NVA and Viet Cong operating in Laos and Cambodia. In combats large and small, the Communists realized they had met a master of insurgent tactics - and he was on the US side. Following his return to the United States, Blackburn was appointed "Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities," where he was the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid. Officially termed Operation Ivory Coast, the Son Tay raid was the largest POW rescue mission - and indeed, the largest Special Forces operation - of the Vietnam War. During a period when United States troops in Southeast Asia faced guerrilla armies on every side, it has been little recognized today that America had a superb covert commander of its own, his guerrilla skills honed in resistance against Japan. This book follows Donald D. Blackburn through both his youthful days of desperate combat against an Empire, and through his days as a commander, imparting his lessons to the newly-realized ranks of America's own Special Forces.
In this ground-breaking book, bestselling author and former U.S. Navy SEAL Dick Couch reports on the actions of the SEAL Task Unit during the Battle of Ramadi in Iraq's al-Anbar Province between 2005 and 2007. When he began his research, the author thought he would be writing about the SEALs' courage in the face of a losing cause. Instead, he discovered a startling success story whose importance has gone unrecognised in the war against al-Qaeda. Couch argues that the lessons of Ramadi, with SEALs fighting alongside regular forces in an urban war zone, call for using this strategy more widely. One of the most significant military engagements in the global war against terrorism since 9/11 and the most sustained and vicious engagement ever fought by SEALs, the Battle of Ramadi demonstrates both their code of brotherhood and ability to adapt in an urban battle space, which Couch identifies as the keys to the SEALs'success on the battlefield. The story of PO2 Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the battle, is a compelling example of their extraordinary brotherhood. First published in hardcover in 2008, the book is now available in paperback for the first time. About the Author Dick Couch, a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy, served with the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL Teams. While a platoon leader with SEAL Team One, he led one of the only successful POW rescue operations of the Vietnam War. Later, he served as a Maritime Operations Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. A resident of Ketchum, ID, he is the award-winning author of dozens of books, including Chosen Soldier and A Tactical Ethic, and a regular TV and radio news analyst.
One of the most difficult types of warfare to master, landing on a hostile beach requires scrupulous planning and intense coordination between the forces in the air, sea and land. With a history reaching back to the Persians landing on the Greek shores at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, it was the First World War that marked the beginning of modern amphibious warfare, with the Royal Marines combining their efforts with the Royal Navy. Despite the disastrous Gallipoli amphibious operation to seize the Dardanelles Straits in 1915, the Royal Navy and US Marine Corps continued to develop new landing crafts throughout the inter-war years. The Second World War proved more successful for amphibious warfare, with the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941 crushing the American forces who were defending the Pacific islands and the D-day landings by the Allied troops in 1944 initiating the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. This accessible short history looks at the historical development of amphibious warfare, telling the stories of particular landings, and the units that have taken part in this unique type of warfare. The Royal Marines and US Marine Corps continue to evolve and play a crucial role in defence today, with specialised amphibious warfare ships being deployed to enable elite forces to respond promptly to threats across the globe.
No publicity, no media. We move in silently, do our job, and melt
away into the background. If you have the stamina, the willpower
and the guts, we'll welcome you with open arms and you one of us.
And if you haven't, then it's been very nice knowing you.
From WWII to Iraq the SAS has been at the forefront of armed
conflict, though most people wouldn't realise it was even there.
Universally acknowledged as the best special forces in the world,
every member of the Regiment is a hero in his own right. However,
even amongst these remarkable soldiers there are those who stand
Highly-trained and immensely skilled, the SAS are widely regarded as one of the best Special Forces units in the world. Their missions are uniquely diverse, ranging from counter-terrorist responses at home and abroad; counter-insurgency in collaboration with US Delta Force and other foreign Special Forces; mobile operations in support of conventional forces; targeting terrorist leaders and man-hunting war criminals, to 'direct action' raids. This book charts the changing organization and operational emphases of the Regiment over the past 25 years; its individual deployments and operations, including those planned but aborted, joint missions with other British and foreign units. It sheds light on the SAS's involvement in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, their operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the widespread use of the SAS in counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations since 9/11.
Formed in the summer of 1941 in the North African desert, the British Special Air Service (SAS) have justified their elite status time and time again in operations all over the world. SAS Undercover Operations charts the early days of 'the regiment', and follows their major combat actions right through to their current deployment in the war against terrorism. The book begins with the SAS in North Africa in World War II, before describing operations in the Mediterranean and northwest Europe. It then traces the reformation of the SAS in the early 1950s, and its deployment in the counter-insurgency operations in Malaya and Borneo against communist guerrillas. From there, SAS Undercover Operations covers missions in Aden and Oman, before detailing the role of the SAS in protecting the security of the British Isles - particularly in Northern Ireland. The SAS were one of the first units in the world to develop a counter-revolutionary warfare capability to deal with such threats, which was put to good use in the infamous Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. SAS Operations then goes on to describe more recent operations. Starting with the regiment's involvement in the 1982 Falklands conflict, the book examines the vital role that the SAS played in hunting Iraqi SCUD missiles in the 1991 Gulf War. The SAS' part in the UN operations in the Balkans is described, and their deployment in Sierra Leone, dramatically rescuing British hostages. It then goes on to relate the actions of the SAS after the incidents of 11 September 2001, overthrowing the Taliban and the unit's attempts to find Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorists. With specially-commissioned colour artworks and rare action photographs, SAS Undercover Operations is a highly-illustrated guide to the combat history of the SAS, showing exactly why and how they have earned their deserved reputation as one of the world's elite combat and counter-terrorist units.
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