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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loyal team and the book describes in detail several very successful discreet operations; and the occasional failure or withdrawn patrol - often because of leaked information.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.
The definitive and thrilling history of those who wore the famous green beret. COMMANDO is the definitive history of the units raised to answer Winston Churchill's call to arms: 'Enterprises much be prepared with specially trained troops of the hunter class, who can develop a reign of terror.' These units and their courageous operations would take many forms, including the spectacular assaults of the Small Scale Raiding Force, No. 30 Commando's shadowy intelligence-gathering, and the highly secret missions of 'X' Troop. Acclaimed military historian Charles Messenger follows these elite forces from the snowy wastes of Norway to the jungles of South-East Asia, from North Africa and Operation Torch to the Normandy beaches and Operation Overlord. The result, based on extensive research as well as interviews and correspondence with former Commandos, is the true and thrilling story of those who wore the famous green beret.
Few, if any, regiments have left their mark on the history of modern warfare as did the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Raised on 1 February 1961 the RLI first evolved into a commando unit then became involved in mundane border-control duties in the Zambezi Valley. Later as the bush war intensified the RLI was to evolve into a ruthlessly efficient killing machine . This book chronicles the military evolution of the RLI from the peacetime soldiering days through to the constant high-intensity combat of the final years. Initially comprising volunteers from South Africa and Britain the RLI was always under strength until 1976 when the percentage of national servicemen serving in the RLI was dramatically increased to meet ever-increasing operational demands. The historical record will show how these young men, led and commanded by an outstanding combination of tough and battle-hardened non-commissioned officers and a skilled and aggressive officer corps, inflicted massive damage on the ZANLA and ZIPRA insurgent forces. The ruthless efficiency of the joint Air Force and RLI Fireforce operations where the RLI was deployed by helicopter and later also by parachute was to account for the deaths of in excess of 12,000 insurgents during the course of the war at a rate of 160 enemy killed for every one of their own lost: a truly remarkable record. Throughout the war the RLI never ceased to learn, adapt and evolve militarily and as such provides many important lessons for students of modern warfare in how a small military structure making the maximum and creative use of the limited resources available can achieve so much with so little. Disbanded after the political settlement on 31 October 1980 the RLI marched into history. Gone but never to be forgotten, this is the story of the incredible RLI .
When American and British forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, select teams of special forces and intelligence operatives got to work looking for the WMD their governments had promised were there. They quickly realized no such weapons existed. Instead they faced an insurgency--a soaring spiral of extremism and violence that was almost impossible to understand, let alone reverse.
Facing defeat, the Coalition waged a hidden war within a war. Major-General Stan McChrystal devised a campaign fusing special forces, aircraft, and the latest surveillance technology with the aim of taking down the enemy faster than it could regenerate. Guided by intelligence, British and American special forces conducted a relentless onslaught, night after night targeting al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups.
In "Task Force Black, " author Mark Urban reveals not only the intensity of the secret fight that turned the tide in Baghdad but the rivalries and personal battles that had to be overcome along the way. Incisive, dramatic, exceptionally revealing, the war in Iraq cannot be understood without this book.
NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life's challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he's learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life. Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure. To survive the gruelling selection process to become a member of the elite you need toughness, aggression, meticulous attention to detail and unrelenting self-discipline, all traits that make for the best leaders. After 13 years service in the military, with 4 years as a Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper, Ant Middleton is the epitome of what it takes to excel. He served in the SBS, the naval wing of the special forces, the Royal Marines and 9 Parachute Squadron Royal, achieving what is known as the 'Holy Trinity' of the UK's Elite Forces. As a point man in the SBS, Ant was always the first man through the door, the first man into the dark, and the first man in harm's way. In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life - from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military - and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.
Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages.Action-packed, inspiring, and full of thrilling stories from life in the special operations world, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders.
In the years since 9/11 Special Forces of many nations have been in almost constant action in covert, high risk operations around the globe. These include the two long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting nationalist insurgents and jihadist terrorists, as well as other lesser known operations. The weapons used by SF are a constant source of interest and speculation, as are SF training, methods and vehicles. The armouries of these elite units have developed rapidly to meet their demands and the ever more sophisticated threat. They include for example suppressed piston-driven carbines, programmable grenade launchers that airburst behind hidden enemy and sniper rifles of extreme accuracy and range. This highly researched book gives the reader a privileged insight into this secret world exploring the custom-built weapons that operators carry on capture/kill missions in the 21st Century.
'Drawing on the stories of the soldiers who were there, this dramatic history of the SAS is full of bravado. Forged to fight guerrillas in the sweltering jungles of Malaya... Ryan writes with the authority of a man familiar with every nuance of the regiment's tactics, training, weapons and equipment.' - Sunday Times Culture Tasked with storming mountain strongholds in the desert. Trained to hunt down the world's most wanted terrorists. This is the extraordinary story of 22 SAS. The history of the modern SAS is one of the great successes of post-war Britain. Since it was revived in 1950 to combat Communist insurgents, the Regiment has gone from strength to strength, fighting covert wars in Oman, Borneo, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Persian Gulf and beyond. In the process, it has become one of the most indispensable, and at times controversial, units in the British army Today, the SAS is regarded as the world's leading Special Forces unit, renowned for its demanding Selection course and its relentless ability to adapt to the changing nature of warfare. More than anything else, however, it is the determination and ingenuity of the SAS soldiers that has made the Regiment what it is today. Drawing on his extensive network of contacts and his own experiences, Chris Ryan tells the story of the men on the ground. From the earliest patrols in the Malayan jungle, through to the storming of the Iranian Embassy, the daring raids behind enemy lines in the Gulf War, and up-to-minute missions to capture or kill notorious terrorists - this is the gripping, no-holds-barred account of Regiment operations. Above all, it is a story of elite soldiers fighting, and triumphing, against seemingly impossible odds.
For the first time, a Navy SEAL tells the story of the US's clandestine operations in North Vietnam and the Congo during the Cold War. Sometime in 1965, James Hawes landed in the Congo with cash stuffed in his socks, morphine in his bag, and a basic understanding of his mission: recruit a mercenary navy and suppress the Soviet- and Chinese-backed rebels engaged in guerilla movements against a pro-Western government. He knew the United States must preserve deniability, so he would be abandoned in any life-threatening situation; he did not know that Che Guevara attempting to export his revolution a few miles away. Cold War Navy SEAL gives unprecedented insight into a clandestine chapter in US history through the experiences of Hawes, a distinguished Navy frogman and later a CIA contractor. His journey began as an officer in the newly-formed SEAL Team 2, which then led him to Vietnam in 1964 to train hit-and-run boat teams who ran clandestine raids into North Vietnam. Those raids directly instigated the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The CIA tapped Hawes to deploy to the Congo, where he would be tasked with creating and leading a paramilitary navy on Lake Tanganyika to disrupt guerilla action in the country. According to the US government, he did not, and could not, exist; he was on his own, 1400 miles from his closest allies, with only periodic letters via air-drop as communication. Hawes recalls recruiting and managing some of the most dangerous mercenaries in Africa, battling rebels with a crew of anti-Castro Cuban exiles, and learning what the rest of the intelligence world was dying to know: the location of Che Guevara. In vivid detail that rivals any action movie, Hawes describes how he and his team discovered Guevara leading the communist rebels on the other side and eventually forced him from the country, accomplishing a seemingly impossible mission. Complete with never-before-seen photographs and interviews with fellow operatives in the Congo, Cold War Navy SEAL is an unblinking look at a portion of Cold War history never before told.
'Teutonic Titans: Hindenburg, Ludendorff, and the Kaiser's Military Elite' covers the era 1847-1955-heavily illustrated with over 500 images of German Emperor Wilhelm II's First World War marshals and generals, emphasizing their lives, careers, battles, and campaigns. The book covers both Western and Eastern Fronts, as well as the Balkans, Baltics, Middle, and Far East. It is also heavily detailed with maps, cartoons, graphics, and photographs, plus descriptions of strategies, tactics, weapons, statistics on all losses, and results. Period cartoons add to the vast array of photographic sources worldwide: United States National Archives and Library of Congress, Washington and College Park, Maryland; Imperial War Museum London: Bundesarchiv, Bonn, and also His Majesty's own albums at Doorn House, Holland, many of them previously unpublished. German Crown Prince Wilhelm and Bavarian Crown Prince Rupprecht, all German Chiefs of General Staff and War Ministers are detailed as well, plus all top Allied leaders and commanders: Woodrow Wilson, John J. Pershing; David Lloyd George, King George V, Sir Douglas Haig, and Sir John French among them; Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Michael, and more; Frenchmen Henri Petain, Joffre, Foch, and Weygand; as well as those of Serbia, Italy, Greece, Rumania, and Bulgaria.
British and American commanders first used modern special forces in
support of conventional military operations during World War II.
Since then, although special ops have featured prominently in
popular culture and media coverage of wars, the academic study of
irregular warfare has remained as elusive as the practitioners of
special operations themselves. This book is the first comprehensive
study of the development, application, and value of Anglo-American
commando and special forces units during the Second World War.
Becoming an elite sniper involves more than learning how to
shoot. Snipers need to know how to judge terrain, wind, and
sometimes even the curve of the Earth. They train their eyes to
spot enemy movement in the distance and to never hesitate. A sniper
is more that a finger behind a trigger; he is a scout, a scientist,
a strategist, and the support group for a platoon. "Soldier of
Fortune Magazine Guide to Super Snipers" brings you into the world
of some of the most accomplished snipers. From Finland to Iraq,
Korea to Somalia, "Soldier of Fortune Magazine" provides stories
from the eyes of the snipers who made the kills. These trained
marksmen describe their method of taking the perfect shot, all the
way down to the type of chewing tobacco they prefer.Some of the
super snipers in this collection include:
The Marine Corps has always considered itself a breed apart. Since 1775, America s smallest armed service has been suspicious of outsiders and deeply loyal to its traditions. Marines believe in nothing more strongly than the Corps uniqueness and superiority, and this undying faith in its own exceptionalism is what has made the Marines one of the sharpest, swiftest tools of American military power. Along with unapologetic self-promotion, a strong sense of identity has enabled the Corps to exert a powerful influence on American politics and culture.
Aaron O Connell focuses on the period from World War II to Vietnam, when the Marine Corps transformed itself from America s least respected to its most elite armed force. He describes how the distinctive Marine culture played a role in this ascendancy. Venerating sacrifice and suffering, privileging the collective over the individual, Corps culture was saturated with romantic and religious overtones that had enormous marketing potential in a postwar America energized by new global responsibilities. Capitalizing on this, the Marines curried the favor of the nation s best reporters, befriended publishers, courted Hollywood and Congress, and built a public relations infrastructure that would eventually brand it as the most prestigious military service in America.
But the Corps triumphs did not come without costs, and O Connell writes of those, too, including a culture of violence that sometimes spread beyond the battlefield. And as he considers how the Corps interventions in American politics have ushered in a more militarized approach to national security, O Connell questions its sustainability."
In June 2005 four US Navy SEALs left their base in Afghanistan for the Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al-Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less than twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs was alive. This is the story of team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing. Blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and still breathing, Luttrell endured four desperate days fighting the al-Qaeda assassins sent to kill him, before finding unlikely sanctuary with a Pashtun tribe who risked everything to protect him from the circling Taliban killers.
Special Forces soldiers are not only ultimate warriors, they also have fitness and endurance levels equivalent, even beyond, world-class athletes. Whether conducting 30km route marches with 50kg of pack, or surviving the `iron man' standards of amphibious warfare training, the military elite have much to teach us about ultimate fitness. Elite Forces Extreme Fitness is a complete guide for those wanting to use military expertise to take their fitness to the maximum. It provides authoritative advice on how to develop ultra-high levels of stamina, endurance and strength, and then apply those levels to some of the world's greatest fitness challenges. The book begins with informative chapters on preparation and military training regimes, then explores running, aquatic events, weight training and cross-training in detail. In these chapters, the text delivers essential advice from professional military PT instructors, as well as exploring some of the world's greatest extreme fitness challenges and how to face them. Finally, the book uses the latest research to explain methods of improving physical performance through psychological techniques, plus looks at the critical issue of injuries - how to avoid them and how to recover from them. With more than 150 easy-to-follow artworks, training tips and workouts used by the U.S. Navy SEALs and British Royal Marines, amongst other formations, Extreme Fitness is the definitive guide for the person who wants to be their best.
In 1991, the United States and coalition forces liberated Kuwait after its brief occupation by Saddam Hussein s Iraqi army. One of the abiding memories of that conflict was the activities of the coalition s special forces soldiers deep in Iraq, hunting down SCUD missile launchers before Israel could be attacked. Since then, elite military units have played an increasingly important role in the world s armed forces. "Special Forces Today" recounts their operations over the last fifteen years. From the Gulf War to the 2003 invasion of Iraq via the war in Afghanistan, the search for war criminals in the Balkans, the hunt for drug barons in South America, hostage rescues in Africa, and the counterterrorism initiatives since 9/11 the book discloses in detail the often clandestine activities of the world s elite soldiers.Illustrated with action photographs, "Special Forces Today" shows how these forces have become a vital part of any government s military machine and the roles they have played in recent world events. With an authoritative text and rare black-and-white and color photographs, the book is a highly illustrated guide to the recent operations of these most secretive and successful soldiers.
Black Ops is a thrilling compendium of undercover warfare from around the world. Here you will meet the most hardened soldiers and operatives facing extraordinary dangers deep behind enemy lines. The book features many amazing stories from World War II, such as the assassination of Holocaust architect Reinhard Heydrich by Britain's Special Operations Executive, which in 1940 received its mission from Churchill to 'set Europe ablaze' in the battle against Nazi tyranny. Also told are the stories of Stalin's favourite spy; the little-known account of how Japanese military codes were cracked; and Operation Mincemeat, which led to the invasion of Sicily. Written by a leading military intelligence expert, Black Ops ranges across a century of remarkable clandestine operations. Starting with Hans Carl Lody, the first German spy during World War I, we also have the plot to assassinate Lenin; the origins of strategic deception; and the Cold War defection of Oleg Gordievsky from the Soviet Union. The book is brought right up to date with the plot to assassinate Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALS in 2011, and the attempted assassination of the Skripals in the UK in 2018, leading to fears that the world is on the brink of a new Cold War. A compelling anthology of spies, soldiers, mercenaries and assassins, Black Ops tells the secret history of 20th- and 21st-century warfare.
Rangers Led the Way is a collection of interviews from 20 Rangers who fought in Europe during WWII, including the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Ranger Battalions. The book also includes historical context so the actions described in the interviews can be understood as part of the larger war. Within a year after the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the US military understood the need for Special Forces and began training with the British Commandos to create the force that would become the famous US Rangers. Although US Ranger history emanates from before the Revolutionary War, Ranger training and missions substantially changed during WWII, leading to a new generation of Rangers. Many never-before-seen maps and photographs are also included.
Peter Ratcliffe served in the SAS for twenty-five years. Blooded in Oman in the 1970s, he also saw action in Northern Ireland, in the Falklands War, and in the Gulf campaign. From his early days in the Paras to his time as Regimental Sergeant-Major in the Gulf, he has lived and fought by the motto 'Who Dares Wins'. Eye of the Storm is his insider's account of that exceptional career. Fastpaced, earthy, dramatic, funny, occasionally disturbing, it is laced with firsthand descriptions of ferocious and bloody fighting, sudden death and incredible heroism, and peopled with a cast of extraordinary individuals. Beyond that, however, it corrects many of the distortions and exaggerations of other books, and explodes several long-standing myths about the Regiment. Here - at last - is the authentic voice of the SAS.
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
'The most important book you’ll ever read… Battle Scars will save lives.' TOM MARCUS, author of SOLDIER SPY
Battle Scars tells the story of Jason Fox’s career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a very different kind of battle that awaited him at home.
After more than two decades of active duty, Foxy was diagnosed with complex PTSD, forcing him to leave the military brotherhood and confront the hard reality of what follows. What happens when you become your own enemy? How do you keep on fighting when life itself no longer feels worth fighting for?
Unflinchingly honest, Battle Scars is a breathtaking account of Special Forces soldiering: a chronicle of operational bravery, and of superhuman courage on and off the battlefield.
It takes a tough mindset to be a successful sniper, to be able to dig in for days on your own as you wait for your target, to stay calm on a battlefield when you yourself have become the target the enemy most want to take out. Craig Harrison has what it takes and in November 2009 in Afghanistan, under intense pressure, he saved the lives of his comrades with the longest confirmed sniper kill - 2,475 metres, the length of 25 football pitches. In The Longest Kill, his unflinching autobiography, Craig catapults us into the heat of the action as he describes his active service in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, and gives heart-stopping accounts of his sniper ops as he fought for his life on the rooftops of Basra and the barren hills of Helmand province. Craig was blown up by an IED in Afghanistan and left battling severe PTSD. After his identity was revealed in the press he also had to cope with Al Qaeda threats against him and his family. For Craig, the price of heroism has been devastatingly high.
A manhunt can involve helicopters, hounds and hundreds of military or police personnel, but it can also turn on the evidence of one broken spider's web. Manhunts today might involve the technology of infrared cameras and surveillance devices such as powerful satellite technology, but they may also rely on examining the width, depth, tread and intervals of footprints, or observing minute changes in the natural environment. From searching for high-value enemy targets such as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to finding soldiers caught behind enemy lines, from escaped prisoners and serial killers to a missing child, Manhunt explores just how the military and police forces track people down. Including many case studies of high-value targets, suspected criminals and fugitives from justice, and with extensive background on the different techniques in tracking used, from traditional Native American trackers'skills to the latest high-tech methods, Manhunt brings together the history and science of tracking. Illustrated with 150 maps and photographs, this book is an authoritative examination of tracking from footprints to forensics and a must for anyone interested in the latest military practices, true crime and survival skills. About the Author Alexander Stilwell is an experienced writer and editor who has worked for several leading publishers, primarily in the fields of military history, politics and international affairs. He has also worked for Jane's Information Group and is the author of several books. He served for six years in the British Territorial Army.
Modern armies are planned and structured to fight massive World War II-type operations involving the large-scale movements of tanks and machinery across continents. In fact they are rarely called upon to participate in such conflicts. It is far more common for them to find themselves involved in lower-level, ill-defined, politically charged, messy situations known collectively as unconventional warfare, typified by the 1990s conflicts in Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
200 large format photos cover the German motorized units and the vehicles they used."
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