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From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of SAS: Rogue Heroes, written and read by Ben MacIntyre. 'Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II' - Antony Beevor In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them. The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.
The story of Anders Lassen is one of the most amazing and heroic of the Second World War - indeed in the history of the British armed services. He was awarded no less than three Military Crosses and the SAS regiment's only Victoria Cross. From the day he stalked and killed a stag armed only with a knife, Lassen had been recognized as quite unique. He took part in a series of extraordinary strikes against the Axis powers in West Africa, Normandy, the Channel Islands, the Aegean and Greece, the Balkans and, finally, in Italy. This classic biography of a remarkable warrior, which was first published in 1988, is based on interviews with Lassen's fellow soldiers and a wealth of original research. It covers each stage of Lassen's short, brilliant career in vivid detail and offers a penetrating insight into the exceptional courage, confidence and single-minded motivation that lay behind Lassen's extraordinary exploits. Mike Langley also reconstructs, using the testimony of survivors, the operation in which Lassen was killed and for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Both the Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have served as the nation's eyes, ears, and daggers, often in close cooperation but occasionally at cross-purposes throughout their histories. In this book, Thomas H. Henriksen examines the warrior-spy connection both before and after the formation of the SOF and the CIA, suggesting that their history is notable for instances of cooperating, competing, circumventing, and even cutting each other out of the action before the 9/11 terrorist attacks brought about their present close alignment. Henriksen shows how, by adopting an intelligence-driven, targeted counterstrike weapon against terrorists, the United States went from a Cold War Goliath to a more nimble force, thanks largely to the SOF and CIA contributions. But their contemporary blending, he suggests, could be just a temporary realignment and that a return to their traditional rivalry is not out of the question. By revisiting and appreciating their respective histories before partnering to combat Islamist terrorism, he provides a clearer understanding of their interaction and offers lessons for the struggle against extremist violence.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The gripping true story of the undercover agent risking his life to fight terrorism Their aim was to kill as many people as possible. His mission was to stop them. A terrorist plot to kill hundreds of innocent people. An undercover agent posing as a wealthy Al-Qaeda sympathiser. A race against time to gain the terrorists' trust and bring them down. Before it's too late... In the aftermath of 9/11, long-time undercover FBI agent Tamer Elnoury joined an elite counterterrorism unit. Its mission: to infiltrate terror cells, gain detailed knowledge of their networks and bring them successfully to justice. Writing under a pseudonym, Tamer Elnoury here tells the hair-raising true story of life undercover, risking his life to keep us safe.
The United States Marine Corps was one of the phenomena of the Second World War. Greatly expanded from its pre-war order of battle of scattered defence battalions, overseas garrisons and ship detachments, it became a multi-division force bearing the brunt of the hardest fighting across the whole vast expanse of the Pacific theatre of operations. In August 1942 Marines were among the first to strike back at the Japanese in the jungles of Guadalcanal; Marine Raider battalions were formed to carry the fight to the enemy; and from the Central Solomon's landings of mid-1943 it was the Marines who spearheaded the 'island hopping' amphibious campaign which brought them to Okinawa, on Japan's doorstep, by VJ-Day. This epic story has been well documented in most respects except one: the uniforms, insignia and personal equipment of the Marines who fought their way across the Pacific. Authoritative, illustrated reference works of this important aspect of World War II's physical history have been notoriously lacking. In this book, long-time collector and researcher Jim Moran fills the gap, with a systematic, detailed guide illustrated with more than 300 photographs, including some 200 close-ups of surviving items in private collections on both sides of the Atlantic. The author covers service and field uniforms at the outbreak of war; the development of the Marine's dungaree's ; the introduction and development of the camouflage uniforms which became the Marine's trademark in the popular imagination; the 782 gear webbing equipment; the various packs and other load-carrying items; the uniforms, insignia and equipment special to the elite Marine Raiders and Paramarines; the uniforms and accoutrements of the US Marine Corps Women's Reserve; and a range of issue and personal small kit items which collectors may encounter. His research is supported by some 100 wartime photographs showing the identified item in use. Assisted and encouraged by the US Marine Corps Historical Center at Quantico, Virginia, Jim Moran has produced an essential reference for the collector, modeller, illustrator and uniform historian.
‘As vivid and compelling as the best adventure thriller, and a fitting tribute to a small band of men who became heroes’ ANDY MCNAB
‘Gripping, revealing and extraordinarily well-researched, this is a riveting new account of a little known but crucial war’ SIR RANULPH FIENNES
Dawn. 19 July 1972. A force of nearly three hundred heavily armed, well-trained guerrillas launches a surprise attack on the small fishing village of Mirbat. All that stands in their way is a troop of just nine SAS, aided only by an elite band of fighter pilots overhead.
Two years earlier a Communist rebellion had threatened the Arabian Peninsula, in the strategically critical Sultanate of Oman. Following a covert intelligence mission, 22 SAS deployed their largest ever assault force against the rebels.
But this was to be a bitter and hard-fought campaign culminating the Battle of Mirbat which would become a defining moment for the Regiment. Their heroism that day would remain part of the SAS legend for ever.
It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two U.S. Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets. The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the juggernaut they expected when and if a war began. The plan was Special Forces Berlin. The first 40 men who came to Berlin in mid-1956 were soon reinforced by 60 more and these 100 soldiers (and their successors) would stand ready to go to war at only two hours' notice, in a hostile area occupied by nearly one million Warsaw Pact forces, until 1990. Their mission should hostilities commence was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, intelligence tradecraft and able to act if necessary as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit that had no parallel. It left a legacy of a new type of soldier expert in unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for other deployments including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the U.S. government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told.
The Special Activities Group (SAG) and its subordinate companies have received little attention from historians, despite being an elite combat unit and participating in highly classified and dangerous missions in Korea. Rarely receiving more attention than a footnote, their story usually begins and ends on the night of September 12, 1950, with an amphibious raid near Kunsan. Until their inactivation on March 31, 1951, SAG simply disappears from most Korean War histories. Spare Not the Brave corrects this omission. Spare Not the Brave tells the story of the extraordinary missions carried out by this group of extraordinary soldiers. Recruited primarily from the Far East Command headquarters, these men received six weeks of training and then were thrust into combat in Korea. Boarding rubber boats in the Yellow Sea and paddling to shore far behind enemy lines, they conducted a diversionary landing near Kunsan, then landed at Inchon, and sailed to the Wonsan area of North Korea. There, SAG was augmented with a battalion of South Korean soldiers. Together they conducted counter-guerrilla operations until overwhelming Chinese intervention forced all Allied units to withdraw from the North. Those critical missions continued into the difficult fighting of early 1951. Much of this volume is based upon the words of the participants themselves. Using previously obscure primary sources, oral histories, and official records, author Richard L. Kiper tells this unit's riveting tale. Wherever possible, first-person accounts have been verified and supplemented with official reports, maps, and documents. Drawing on his twenty-six years of infantry and special forces experience, Kiper brings critical analysis and insight to this previously untold story. Spare Not the Brave fills a gap in the historiography of the Korean War and adds a valuable chapter to the history of U.S. Army special operations.
They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the 'comical chemical corporals.' Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. "They wanted chemists," a young recruit recalled, "so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in." Although the Brigade has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths. Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain and day-to-day life that followed. To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigade's leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander.
Portuguese paratroopers or "paras" began as a stepchild of the army and found a home in the Portuguese Air Force in 1955. Initially, the post-World War Two Portuguese Army seemed to have had mixed emotions about the need for elite, special-purpose forces that operated in small units with the attendant flexibility and elevated lethality. Shock troops have been traditionally controversial, and even the vaunted military theorist Baron Karl von Clausewitz saw little point in them. The history of the paras in the Portuguese Army is illustrative of this ambivalent view. Nevertheless, in a "war of the weak" in which insurgents avoid government strengths and exploit its vulnerabilities using agility, deception, and imagination, such small, crack government units are particularly well suited to counterinsurgency operations. This appreciation emerged with the threat of a new kind of war in Portuguese Africa, an insurgency, and the new and visionary Air Force well understood the potential of paras when combined with the mobility of the helicopter. The Air Force saw an urgent need for troops who could fight an unconventional war, who could not only defeat an enemy but separate him from the population in which he sought concealment and support and on which he depended for funding, recruits, and intelligence. These were specialised warfighters who in one minute were physically destroying an insidious enemy and in the next administering aid and support and protecting a vulnerable population. These were just the troops that Portugal would require for military success in its approaching battle fought between 1961 and 1974 to retain its African possessions, and this vision would be realized on the African battlefield with devastating consequences. This book tells the paras' story as researched from Portuguese sources. It details how they were formed and trained and how they developed their imaginative, effective, and feared tactics and applied them in operations to protect the population from insurgent predations and destroy a vicious enemy.
'Being a JTAC is the closest a soldier on the ground in the midst of battle can get to feeling like one of the gods - unleashing pure hellfire, death and destruction' - Duncan Falconer Meet Sergeant 'Bommer' Grahame, one of the deadliest soldiers on the battlefield. He's an elite army JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller- pronounced 'jay-tack') - a specially trained warrior responsible for directing Allied air power with high-tech precision. Commanding Apache gunships, A10 tank-busters, F15s and Harrier jets, he brings down devastating fire strikes against the attacking Taliban, often danger close to his own side. Due to his specialist role, Sergeant Grahame usually operates in the thick of the action, where it's at its most fearsome and deadly. Conjuring the seemingly impossible from apparently hopeless situations, soldiers in battle rely on the skill and bravery of their JTAC to enable them to win through in the heat of the danger zone. Fire Strike 7/9 tells the story of Bommer Grahame and his five-man Fire Support Team on their tour of Afghanistan. Patrolling deep into enemy territory, they were hunted and targeted by the Taliban, shot at, blown-up, mortared and hit by rockets on numerous occasions. Under these conditions Sergeant Grahame notched up 203 confirmed enemy kills, making him the difference between life and death both for his own troops and the Taliban.
As part of an elite special operations unit at the fighting edge of the Global War on Terrorism, Nicholas Moore spent over a decade with the US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. In this compelling biography, now available in paperback, a detailed narrative of gruelling life on the ground combines with accounts of some of the most dramatic search and rescue operations of the period to tell the true story of life on the line in the War on Terror. Charting his rise from private to senior non-commissioned officer, this title follows Moore as he embarks on a series of dangerous deployments, engaging in brutal street combat and traversing inhospitable terrain in pursuit of Taliban fighters and Iraq's Most Wanted. Including revelatory first-hand accounts of high-profile special operations missions including the tense rescue of Private First Class Jessica Lynch and the search and rescue mission for US Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, Moore recounts, in vivid detail, the realities of life on the front line.
General Jerry Boykin is one of the original members of the Delta
Force and has spent the majority of his career in Special Forces.
His work in this area of the military placed him in many
battles--some of them legendary. He was commander of the Delta
Force team portrayed in the movie "Black Hawk Down."
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER OLLIE OLLERTON CO-HOSTS SAS: WHO DARES WINS ALONGSIDE ANT MIDDLETON, JASON FOX and MARK BILLINGHAM. THIS IS HIS INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY Where is your break point? Is it here? Facing the gruelling SAS selection process on one leg, with a busted ankle and the finish line nowhere in sight? Or here? Under heavy fire from armed kidnappers while protecting journalists en route to Baghdad. Or is it here? At the bottom of a bottle, with a family in pieces, unable to adapt to a civilian lifestyle, yearning for a warzone? Ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV's SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many break points in his life and now he tells us the vital lessons he has learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics - freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand. Ollie has faced break points in his personal life too, surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager rebelling against a broken home, his self-destructive battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. His final redemption as an entrepreneur and mental health charity ambassador has seen him overcome adversity to build a new and better life. 'Everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement, because it's only when it's crunch time, when you're down to your last bullet - when you're at break point - that you find out who you really are.'
For 5 days in May 1980, thousands watched around the world as the
shadowy figures of the SAS performed a daring and dramatic raid on
the Iranian Embassy in London, catapulting a little-known
specialist unit into the full glare of the world's media. Hailed by
Margaret Thatcher as "a brilliant operation, carried out with
courage and confidence," the raid was a huge success for the SAS,
who managed to rescue nineteen hostages with near-perfect military
execution, although two hostages were killed by terrorists. Despite
the acclaim and media attention, details of the siege are still
largely unknown and those at the heart of the story, the identities
of the SAS troopers themselves, remain a closely guarded secret.
The explosive sequel to the bestselling PATHFINDER. For the first time ever an elite British operator tells the gruelling story of his selection into the Pathfinders - Britain's secret soldiers. Pathfinder selection is a brutal physical and psychological trial lasting many weeks. It rivals that of the SAS and takes place over the same spine-crushing terrain, in the rain-and-snow-lashed wastes of the Welsh mountains. For two decades no one has been able to relate the extraordinary trials of British elite forces selection - until now. Captain David Blakeley goes on from completing selection to serve with the Pathfinders in Afghanistan post 9/11, where he had a gun held to his head by Al Qaeda fighters. From there he deploys to Iraq, on a series of dramatic behind-enemy-lines missions - wherein he and his tiny elite patrol are outnumbered, outgunned and trapped. MAVERICK ONE is unique and extraordinary, chronicling the making of a warrior. It culminates in Blakeley fighting back to full recovery from horrific injuries suffered whilst on operations in Iraq, to go on to face SAS selection.
The 10th Special Forces Group was the first of the Green Beret units. Its five hundred men, all Airborne and mostly Rangers, received extensive training in everything from specialized weapons to uncommon languages. Their primary mission was to train and lead indigenous guerrillas operating in enemy territory. Second Lieutenant Colt Terry, who had joined the 82nd Airborne in 1947, had already done this in Korea. As a volunteer in the 10th SFG, he carried on his service, working with the Montagnards in Vietnam and the Khmer in Cambodia. He fought at Pleiku, Duc Co, and Plei Me, and he ferried supplies and weapons on elephants into Cambodia. From his enlistment as a buck private in 1945 to his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1970, Terry served five tours in combat, trained guerrillas, and earned two combat infantry badges, a Purple Heart, and two Bronze Stars. His experiences contributed to Special Forces' expertise in ambushes and killing techniques. Even as an officer, Terry never shied away from going deep into the jungle in search of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. He personally organized a successful effort to save hundreds of men in one of Special Forces' most critical A-team camps. As one of the original Green Berets, Terry helped set the standards by which these units have become known. Anyone who has ever wondered what the Green Berets were like during their first two decades will appreciate the riveting action and close-up detail of Terry's true-life story.
Despite being disdained by the German Army's professional officer corps, the military branch of the Nazi SS security organisation grew from an initial strength of only a handful of battalions at the outbreak of World War II in 1939, to hundreds of thousands of troops in dozens of divisions. The battlefield reputation of the premier armoured and mechanised divisions would become second to none; lavishly equipped and regarded as utterly reliable, they were thrown into many desperate battles on both Western and Eastern fronts, often achieving remarkable results. Illustrated with rare photographs, this first of four Men-at-Arms titles details the organisation, uniforms and insignia of the Waffen-SS.
Vietnam was the US Special Forces' most complex and controversial mission, one that began in 1957 and ended in 1973. Camp strike forces, mobile strike forces, mobile guerrilla forces, special reconnaissance projects, training missions and headquarters duty provided vastly differing experiences and circumstances for SF soldiers. Other fluctuating factors were the terrain, the weather and the shifting course of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) itself. Gordon Rottman examines the training, life, weapons and combat experiences of the Special Forces soldier in this challenging environment.
The immediate 'prequel' to Men-at-Arms 'United States Army 1812-14', covering the crucial period between the end of the Revolutionary war and the resumption of war with Britain in 1812. It was in this period that the decision was taken (just) that the USA should even have an army. It was a colourful transitional force, 'Mad Anthony' Wayne's Legion fought some significant battles against the Indians; a regular army was founded, and grew from scattered wilderness garrisons to a conventional force able to face the British regulars and Canadian volunteers in 1812-14.
The January 1942 "Dienstalterliste" lists the hundreds of officers in the SS from full Colonel to General. Detailing their post at that time during the war, this wartime publication, available now for the first time in a facsimile edition, also gives significant decorations they were awarded. Their ranks and most recent promotion dates are listed as well as State, Police and NSDAP posts. Illustrated with more than forty rare photos, this rare publication provides detailed information for historians and militaria collectors. Fully indexed.
It is, of course, no secret that undercover Special Forces and intelligence agencies operated in Northern Ireland and the Republic throughout the 'troubles', from 1969 to 2001 and beyond. What is less well known is how these units were recruited, how they operated, what their mandate was and what they actually did. This is the first account to reveal much of this hitherto unpublished information, providing a truly unique record of surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, collusion and undercover combat. An astonishing number of agencies were active to combat the IRA murder squads ('the Provos'), among others the Military Reaction Force (MRF) and the Special Reconnaissance Unit, also known as the 14 Field Security and Intelligence Company ('The Det'), as well as MI5, Special Branch, the RUC, the UDR and the Force Research Unit (FRU), later the Joint Support Group (JSG)). It deals with still contentious and challenging issues as shoot-to-kill, murder squads, the Disappeared, and collusion with loyalists. It examines the findings of the Stevens, Cassel and De Silva reports and looks at operations Loughgall, Andersonstown, Gibraltar and others.
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.
A desperate gunman holds a planeload of innocent passengers hostage. A heavily armed cult leader refuses to leave his compound, threatening mass suicide by a hundred of his brainwashed followers. A neo-Nazi militant in a cabin hideout keeps federal agents at bay with gunfire. A baby disappears; his only trace is an ominous ransom call to his parents. Prisoners riot, threatening the lives of prison officers and hundreds of other inmates. How do you react? What do you do? What do you say? Your words, your actions can save lives-or lose them. James Botting faced these challenges and daily pressures during a fascinating and demanding twenty-five-year career as an FBI hostage negotiator. He found himself involved-sometimes peripherally, more often personally-in many of the FBI's most famous events since the 1970s. From Ruby Ridge to Waco, Patty Hearst to Rodney King, and Wounded Knee to TWA 847, Botting was there and on the spot. Along the way hostage negotiation techniques evolved, changing from play-it-by-ear and shoot-from-the-hip to a carefully choreographed psychological game of life and death. Botting was involved every step of the way. In Bullets, Bombs, and Fast Talk: Twenty-five Years of FBI War Stories, Botting vividly describes these events and more as only a participant can. He reviews the successes and the times the FBI fell short. He chillingly recounts a number of times when death seemed inevitable, only to come through unscathed. Botting pulls no punches with this gritty, detailed, and often humorous insider's account of life at the end of a gun as an FBI hostage negotiator.
In 2010, U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in Afghanistan began a new and innovative program to fight the Taliban insurgency using the movement's structure and strategy against it. The Village Stability Operations/Afghan Local Police initiative consisted of U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEAL teams embedding with villagers to fight the Taliban holistically. By enlisting Afghans in their own defense, organizing the local populace, and addressing their grievances with the Afghan government, SOF was able to defeat the Taliban's military as well as its political arm. Combining the traditions of U.S. Army Special Forces with the lessons learned in the broader SOF community from years of counterinsurgency work in Iraq and Afghanistan, this new approach fundamentally changed the terms of the conflict with the Taliban. However, little has been written about this initiative outside of the special operations community until now. In this first-hand account of how the Village Stability Operations program functioned, Daniel R. Green provides a long-term perspective on how SOF stabilized the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, the site of the Pashtun uprising against the Taliban in 2001 led by Hamid Karzai, future president of Afghanistan. In the Warlords' Shadow offers a comprehensive overview of how SOF adapted to the unique demands of the local insurgency and is a rare, inside look at how special operations confronted the Taliban by fighting a "better war" and in so doing fundamentally changed the course of the war in Afghanistan.
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