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From his childhood, rebellion at school, the early death of his father and conflict with his step-father, on to his exploits in the army in Korea, Egypt, Malaya, Oman, Borneo, the Sudan, the Falklands, and the Gulf War, this book chronicles the SAS General's life.
Nine men. 2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance... First in - the official motto of one of the British Army's smallest and most secretive units, 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. Unofficially, they are the bastard son of the SAS. And, like their counterparts in Hereford, the job of the Pathfinders is to operate unseen and undetected deep behind enemy lines. When British forces were deployed to Iraq in 2003, Captain David Blakeley was given command of a reconnaissance mission of such critical importance that it could change the course of the war. It's the story of nine men, operating alone and unsupported, 50 miles ahead of a US Recon Marine advance and heading straight into a hornets' nest, teeming with thousands of heavily armed enemy forces. This is the first account of that extraordinary mission - abandoned by coalition command, left with no option but to fight their way out of the enemy's backyard. And it provides a gripping insight into the Pathfinders themselves, a shadowy unit, just 45 men strong, that plies its trade from the skies. Trained to parachute into enemy territory far beyond the forward edge of battle - freefalling from high altitude breathing bottled oxygen and employing the latest skydiving technology - the PF are unique. Because of new rules introduced since the publication of BRAVO TWO ZERO, there have been no first-hand accounts of British Special Forces waging modern-day warfare for nearly a decade. And no member of the Pathfinders has ever told their story before. Until now. PATHFINDER is the only first-hand account of a UKSF mission to emerge for nearly a generation. And it could be the last.
The uniforms and equipment of the elite German FallschirmjAger is the subject of this detailed, illustrated study. Authentic items a smocks, dress tunics, boots, insignia, helmets, visor caps, gloves, knee pads and more a are shown in superb color photos, in both multiple full-view, and detail shots. Unpublished World War II era photos show uniforms and equipment being worn on a variety of war fronts. Also included is a short chapter covering other Axis airborne including Italian and Japanese gear.
Following the Nazi occupation of Norway in 1941, the Waffen-SS began recruiting volunteers to serve in their ranks. Initially formed into small volunteer units, these developed into large divisions by 1943, referred to as 'Legions' in Nazi propaganda. Early volunteers were promised that they would not leave Scandinavia and that they would serve under native Norwegian officers – but after the German invasion of the Soviet Union they were deployed to the Leningrad front alongside Dutch and Latvian units, in the 2nd SS Infantry Brigade. These units combined to form the nucleus of a whole regiment within the new 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division 'Nordland'.
Fully illustrated with detailed artwork depicting the uniforms and equipment of the volunteer soldiers, this fascinating study tells the little-known story of the Norwegians who fought with the SS in World War II.
Arctic explorer, survival expert and naturalist Freddy Spencer Chapman was trapped behind enemy lines when the Japanese overran Malaya in 1942. His response was to begin a commando campaign of such lethal effectiveness that the Japanese deployed an entire regiment to hunt him down, believing that a 200-strong guerrilla army was responsible for the wholesale destruction of their convoys. He was wounded, and racked by tropical disease. His companions were killed, or captured and then beheaded. Cut off from friendly forces, his only shelter the deep jungle, Chapman held out for three years and five months. Jungle Soldier recounts the thrilling and unforgettable adventures of the North country orphan who survived against all odds to become a legend of guerrilla warfare.
The first comprehensive account of the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980. GO! GO! GO! tells the action-packed story of the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege. It is a comprehensive, detailed 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. New material explains the negotiators' tactics and their cool exterior versus their internal turmoil as negotiations reached crisis point.
Established in 1986, the U.S. Special Operations Command was set up to bring the special operational disciplines of all branches of the military under a single, unified command to act on missions involving unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, and direct action... The Marine Special Operations Command ("MARSOC") is the newest component of the military's shift toward a fully integrated Special Operations Command structure. At first, the Marines were strongly against any Marines serving under anyone other than another Marine. Then 9/11 happened. In the years following, Marine forces found themselves growing more agreeable to inter-branch operational command, finally forming the Marine Special Operations Command in 2006. Always Faithful, Always Forward follows the journey of a class of Marine candidates from their recruitment, through assessment and selection, to their qualification as Marines Special Operators. Retired Navy Captain Dick Couch has been given unprecedented access to this new command and to the individual Marines of this exceptional special-operations unit, allowing him to chronicle the history and development of the Marine Special Operations Command and how they find, recruit, and train their special operators.
Paul Bruce was a tough, idealistic young trooper in the SAS when he was dispatched to Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles. His top secret mission was to execute IRA suspects in cold blood. Bruce and his SAS comrades shot down one terrified victim after another, leaving their bodies to be buried in deep, unmarked woodland graves. In this historic book, the author reveals where his victims lie secretly buried as well as chronicling the mental breakdown of crack SAS troops ordered to carry out the dirtiest job in a secret war.
For all its successes, the future of the Special Air Service was uncertain after the Second World War. Resurrected as 22 SAS Regiment for the Malayan Emergency, after a shaky start it evolved into an important tool in the struggle against terrorism. Credit for this renaissance in the 1950s must go to a small group of highly motivated officers, of these, Lieutenant Colonel John Woodhouse stood out. As this overdue biography written by an SAS insider describes, Woodhouse's energy, military knowledge and courage were pivotal to establishing the standards that made 22 SAS into the world's leading special force unit. At the expense of his own promising career Woodhouse continued to serve the SAS leading The Regiment (as it became known) through campaigns in Oman, Borneo, Radfan and South Arabia, as it built its unrivalled reputation. After leaving the Army Woodhouse became a sought after counter-terrorist Consultant taking an advisory and active role in operations worldwide. While Colonel Sir David Stirling publicly acknowledged Woodhouse as a co-founder, his role has not been widely recognised. As this fascinating book reveals, without his efforts there would probably be no 22 SAS today.
From the creation of the first volunteer paratroop unit shortly after the birth of Israel and of the Israeli Defense Force, this arm of service has been recognized as elite. They have also been the first choice for daring special missions, and it is mainly from their ranks that Israel's Special Forces units have been recruited. A unique aspect of the Israeli military is the cross-posting of officers from the airborne, armoured and other units, to ensure that all unit commanders share their aggressive qualities and thorough understanding of the capabilities of all arms. In this way the influence of the paratroop arm has been out of proportion to its size.
This fully illustrated study is a complete history of Israeli paratroopers from its creation to the present day, including relevant developments in their role and organization, as well as their achievements and setbacks in conflicts such as the Six Days War and Yom Kippur War.
The purpose of this anthology is to serve as a ready resource of material that defines the Marine Corps as an institution and to capture the essence of what it means to be a Marine. Compiled from articles published in the Marine Corps Gazette, Leatherneck, and Proceedings, the collection is divided into four parts. The first section focuses on being a Marine; the second on the Corps'training, roles, and missions; the third on leadership and command; and the fourth on the Corps' view of warfare-how it has changed and how it is likely to be conducted in the future. Col. Charles P. Neimeyer, USMC (Ret.), is director of the History Division, United States Marine Corps, Quantico, VA. Previously he was executive director of Regent University in Washington, D.C., and before that academic dean and professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College.
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.
This is the history of two RAF squadrons which shared the task of dropping agents and supplies on behalf of the Special Operations Executive, took part in the D-Day landings, suffered heavy losses at Arnhem, dropped Special Air Service troops behind enemy lines and were involved with the Rhine crossing that sealed Germany's fate in 1945. Both squadrons flew the Short Stirling from Leicester East, then Fairford and finally Great Dunmow. Although there was a healthy rivalry between personnel serving on 190 and 620 Squadrons, there was a deep sense of camaraderie that forged bonds between them. Many of the operations involved a lone aircraft flying at night, using visual navigation to find the small pinpricks of light where resistance forces were waiting to receive agents and supplies. There were also tasks of towing gliders and dropping paratroops that demanded skilled piloting and navigation. Apart from his research into operational records and archive material, the author has found many ex-squadron members who have captured many unique moments from sixty years ago and thus made it possible to tell their story.
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumoured to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors. A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigours of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience for which two of his squadmates were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honour and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.
Special Operations Forces (SOF) are elite military units with special training and equipment that can infiltrate into hostile territory through land, sea or air to conduct a variety of operations, many of them classified. SOF personnel undergo rigorous selection and lengthy specialised training. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) oversees the training, doctrine and equipping of all U.S. SOF units. This book examines the background and issues for Congress of the U.S. Special Operations Forces with a focus on their history, mission and priorities, as well as their core activities.
The 1991 Gulf War will forever be associated with Iraqi Scud missiles and the efforts of one special forces unit to hunt them down and destroy them: the British Special Air Service (SAS). In fact, the SAS's role in the conflict was much broader than Scud hunting, but for some years the Regiment's campaign during the conflict was shrouded in secrecy and misinformation, and little that was printed adequately explained just what the SAS did during the United Nations war against Saddam Hussein. SAS in the Gulf War is the full, dramatic story of the SAS in the Gulf war, and reveals how Britain's super elite played an integral part in the eventual Allied victory. Drawing upon unpublished accounts from SAS soldiers who fought in the war, as well as information that was previously classified, SAS in the Gulf War paints a vivid picture of what it's like to fight as an elite soldier, and what SAS operations were actually like behind Iraqi lines. Read about the special relationship that grew up between SAS soldiers and the Royal Air Force helicopter crews who flew teams deep into enemy-held territory; the heart-rending tale of the patrol codenamed 'Bravo Two Zero' and its desperate attempts to flee hordes of heavily armed pursuers; the breathtaking accounts of combat between SAS mobile fighting columns and Iraqi Scud launcher teams and armoured units; and the successful SAS role in the collation of intelligence from the Kuwaiti resistance. But the book is much more than a collection of first-hand accounts. It is also the definitive guide to every aspect of SAS operations in the Gulf War. Thus, it discusses where the SAS fitted in strategically with regard to the rescue of Western hostages and border reconnaissance; the cooperation between the SAS and US elite units that were in theatre in the Gulf; and much more. The book also takes a look at the weapons and equipment used by the SAS in the Gulf, such as the then revolutionary Global Positioning System, SAS Land Rovers, SAS small arms and customised support weapons. SAS in the Gulf War is a must for anyone interested in what the SAS really did during the First Gulf War.
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.
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.
From 1967-1971, Stuart Steinberg served in the U.S. Army as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist. In January 1968, he was sent to Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, where chemical and biological weaponry was stockpiled, staying there until July 1968. Steinberg was involved in helping to clean up the worst nerve gas disaster in American history on March 13, 1968. As a result, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam from September 4, 1968 to March 24, 1970. This is What Hell Looks Like explores the difficult and traumatic situations faced by Steinberg and his teammates across their time in Vietnam. This volume also examines the causes and consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder though Steinberg's honest account of his experiences, including his subsequent addiction to prescription painkillers. Documenting Steinberg's personal journey through "Hell," his account casts further light on life during the Vietnam War.
Preparing for Victory explains how and why Commandant Thomas Holcomb successfully supervised the dramatic expansion of the Marine Corps from 18,000 troops in 1936 to 385,000 in 1943. Not only did he leave the Corps much larger, but he also helped establish it as the United States' premier amphibious assault force and a major contributor to victory over Japan. Despite his successes, he has been ignored or given short shrift in most histories of the Marine Corps. No book-length study of his commandancy exists until now. Drawing on a wide range of printed and archival sources, this book contends that Holcomb expertly guided the Corps'preparations for war during the last years of the Great Depression and then provided his "Leathernecks" with astute direction during the first harrowing twenty-five months of the war. When measured with principles of organisation theory and leadership studies, Holcomb's abilities and achievements match those of such outstanding American military managers as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chester W. Nimitz, and George C. Marshall. Like these unassuming yet efficient officers, Holcomb shied away from the limelight and therefore never garnered the attention that"Chesty" Puller or "Howlin' Mad" Smith have. This book fills a void and tells the story of one of the key leaders in World War II. More than any other marine, Holcomb moulded his Corps into the modern force-in-readiness that would eventually help fight the Cold War and the Global War on Terror. About the Author David J. Ulbrich is a historian at the U.S. Army Engineer School at Ft. Leonard, MO, USA and senior instructor in Norwich University's Masters in Military History programme.
In May 1941, the Norwegian Section of SOE received a dossier warning of the dangers of a hydroelectric fertiliser plant in Norway. Vemork produced heavy water, an essential part of making plutonium for nuclear weapons. When the Germans overran Norway the entire stock had been smuggled out of the country, but the plant was intact and soon producing heavy water again, destined for the German nuclear programme.
Despite the difficulties of getting to and operating in such a remote, hostile area, SOE decided it had to destroy the plant. Six ski-borne commandos had the task of slipping past 300 heavily armed guards and passing through a ravine the Germans thought impassable.
Fully illustrated with stunning new commissioned artwork, this is the thrilling story of the daring Norwegian-led SOE raid that prevented Hitler from building an atomic bomb.
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