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Twice a year, 150 anxious recruits gather at SAS headquarters in the UK, their minds focused on one objective: to become SAS soldiers in one of the world's most elite regiments. Yet between arriving and receiving the famous winged dagger badge, stands nearly four months of the toughest military selection process in the world. Could you rise to this exceptional challenge of mind and body? How to Pass the SAS and Special Forces Selection Course shows you how. Beginning with essential preparation, the book covers fitness training, navigation skills and the four-week selection course itself. Find out how to keep the instructors happy, how to deal with exhaustion during Test Week, and how to survive disaster strike on bleak mountains. But having been selected, there's still training. Learn how the recruits acquire the skills of an SAS soldier, from hostage rescue to handling foreign weapons, from parachute training to surviving jungle courses, from escape and evasion to resistance and interrogation. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs and instructive artworks and including first-hand accounts, How to Pass the SAS and Special Forces Selection Course is an exhaustive, lively guide to the process of becoming one of the world's best soldiers.
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.
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.
In today's increasingly dangerous world, threats to your personal safety are everywhere. From acts of terror to mass shootings, and from the unseen (and sometimes virtual) matrix of everyday crime, danger is no longer confined to dark alleys or unstable regions. Potentially life-threatening circumstances can arise anywhere, anytime, and Clint Emerson-former Navy SEAL-wants you to be prepared. 100 Deadly Skills contains proven self-defense skills, evasion tactics, and immobilizing maneuvers-modified from the world of black ops-to help you take action in numerous "worst case" scenarios from escaping a locked trunk, to making an improvised Taser, to tricking facial recognition software. With easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations, Emerson outlines in detail many life-saving strategies and teaches you how to think and act like a member of the special forces. This complete course in survival teaches you how to prevent tracking, evade a kidnapping, elude an active shooter, rappel down the side of a building, immobilize a bad guy, protect yourself against cyber-criminals, and much more-all using low-tech to "no-tech" methods. Clear, detailed, and presented in an easy-to-understand and execute format, 100 Deadly Skills is an invaluable resource. Because let's face it, when danger is imminent, you don't have time for complicated instructions.
200 large format photos cover the German motorized units and the vehicles they used."
The idea of the sword-wielding samurai, beholden to a strict ethical code and trained in deadly martial arts, dominates popular conceptions of the samurai. As early as the late seventeenth century, they were heavily featured in literature, art, theater, and even comedy, from the Tale of the Heike to the kabuki retellings of the 47 Ronin. This legacy remains with us today in the legendary Akira Kurosawa films, the shoguns of HBO's Westworld, and countless renditions of samurai history in anime, manga, and video games. Acknowledging these common depictions, this book gives readers access to the real samurai as they lived, fought, and served. Much as they capture the modern imagination, the samurai commanded influence over the politics, arts, philosophy and religion of their own time, and ultimately controlled Japan from the fourteenth century until their demise in the mid-nineteenth century. On and off the battlefield, whether charging an enemy on horseback or currying favor at the imperial court, their story is one of adventures and intrigues, heroics and misdeeds, unlikely victories and devastating defeats. This book traces the samurai throughout this history, exploring their roles in watershed events such as Japan's invasions of Korea at the close of the sixteenth century and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. Coming alive in these accounts are the samurai, both famed and ordinary, who shaped Japanese history.
The East German Ministry for State Security stood for Stalinist oppression and all-encompassing surveillance. The "shield and sword of the party," it secured the rule of the Communist Party for more than forty years, and by the 1980s it had become the largest secret-police apparatus in the world, per capita. Jens Gieseke tells the story of the Stasi, a feared secret-police force and a highly professional intelligence service. He inquires into the mechanisms of dictatorship and the day-to-day effects of surveillance and suspicion. Masterful and thorough at once, he takes the reader through this dark chapter of German postwar history, supplying key information on perpetrators, informers, and victims. In an assessment of post-communist memory politics, he critically discusses the consequences of opening the files and the outcomes of the Stasi debate in reunified Germany. A major guide for research on communist secret-police forces, this book is considered the standard reference work on the Stasi and has already been translated into a number of Eastern European languages.
Simon Chase's life is a maze of burner phones, encrypted emails, secret meetings, and weaponry - all devoted to executing missions too sensitive for government acknowledgement. Working for shadowy British and American organisations, Chase has been on the trail of Bin Laden in Afghanistan, protected allied generals in Iraq, and been part of an operation directly related to the attack in 2012 on the US consulate in Benghazi. Zero Footprint takes us to this dangerous and thrilling world, and tells the true story of a private military contractor whose work forms the foundation for western security abroad, especially when the UK and US military, intelligence agencies, and departments of state need something done that they can't - or won't - do themselves.
This book has been some 15 years in the making and can claim, with some justification, to be the definitive publication on the 'Recces', unlikely to be topped for many, many years. The South African Special Forces have invariably been portrayed as a sinister force, used in covert operations locally and abroad, but this is pure political expediency and media propaganda. The unit's operators are shy, humble soldiers, whose primary role is intelligence-gathering, although they will take offensive action, ruthlessly, if necessary. Highly trained professionals in a class of their own, these elite troops have garnered for themselves an international reputation par excellence. With a foreword by the late Major-General F. W. Loots, this unique book also includes a comprehensive history of the Reconnaissance Regiments and auxiliary units; selection and training processes and techniques; insignia, kit and equipment; honours and awards; memorabilia, memorials and museums and also an amazing 2,500 full-colour images. About the Authors Paul Matthysen has been researching South African Special Forces since 1991, and lives in Johannesburg. Matthew Kalkwarf lives in Johannesburg and manages his own company. With a keen interest in the military, Michael Huxtable served two years' national service in the South African Defence Force Intelligence School during 1988/89. Mike lives and works in Johannesburg.
Striking, beautiful, and haunting, UNCOMMON GRIT takes a unique, unprecedented look at the toughest training in the military -- and the world -- from the vantage point of someone who lived through it. Retired Navy SEAL Darren McBurnett, includes vivid descriptions of both the physical and mental evolutions that occur as a result of the immensely challenging SEAL training process. His stunning photographs, partnered with his compelling insights and sharp sense of humor, allow the reader to laugh, cringe, gasp, and even envision themselves going through this extraordinary experience.
With the aid of superb line artworks, Unarmed Combat demonstrates to the reader how special forces soldiers are taught to excel in hand-to-hand fighting: how they maximise bodyweight, and the use of various strikes, throws, locks and constrictions to defeat opponents. It explains how different martial arts have been combined by military units to create hand-to-hand combat systems for defence against multiple assailants, for fighting on the ground, for dealing with edged and impact weapons, what works against attackers with firearms and - more importantly - what doesn't. With tips and techniques from unarmed combat experts, the book is divided into two main sections. The first covers the mental preparation needed to be ready to defend yourself. The second covers the physical techniques needed to defend yourself, and if necessary, strike back to temporarily incapacitate your attacker and escape. With more than 300 easy-to-follow artworks and handy pull-out lists of key information, Unarmed Combat is the definitive guide for anyone wanting to be ready for anything - it could save your life.
First introduced in 1979, the Handbook for Marine NCOs is recognized as the essential reference guide of the NCO corps. Marine NCOs of all grades rely on its reliability as the standard reference guide for the military professional. While this thoroughly revised 5th edition reflects all of the many changes in the organization of the corps since the publication of the previous edition in 1995, it continues to primarily focused on helping Marine NCOs "make the most of their chevrons and to get ahead in the corps." It is the only book that provides a practical and easy- to-use reference guide to all of the many official military regulations and instructions that an NCO needs to know. It offers sound advice and up-to-date information on military matters that assists the new NCO to easily acquire a firm understanding of all of the different specialties and fields in the USMC and serves as a quick refresher for even the most seasoned NCO. This revised and updated edition will remain the standard reference guide for Marine NCOs for years to come.
The RAF Halton Apprenticeship Scheme has a deserved reputation for excellence. The brainchild of MRAF Hugh Trenchard, the founder of the Royal Air Force, it took the 'traditional' idea of an apprenticeship and interpreted it in a novel way. It allowed teenage boys from any social background or geography to learn a technical trade that would equip them for their future lives, within and beyond the RAF. It also gave the best an opportunity to become pilots and break into the once public-school-dominated officer class. Of the 50,000 boys trained as apprentices, seventeen won the Sword of Honour at Cranwell, and more than 1,200 were commissioned with 110 achieving Air Rank. Eighteen have been knighted, with well over 1,000 others being honoured at various levels of state. More than a hundred Halton Boys served as pilots in the Battle of Britain (and many more as airframe/engine fitters and armourers), including the mercurial Don Finlay, the former Olympic hurdler. Others like Gerry Blacklock and Pat Connolly flew bombers on perilous missions over Western Europe or took part in the famous 'Dams' Raid. Then there were the three men murdered for their part in the Great Escape, and those who battled and survived years as prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East. In the jet era, ex-apprentice Graham Hulse became an 'ace' in Korea, serving with an American fighter squadron, and Mike Hines went on to become OC 617 Squadron after having first flown operations during the Suez crisis. Others like Charles Owen became a pioneer commercial jet pilot, and Peter Goodwin had the misfortune of being captured in the first Gulf War and used as a human shield. Some forged successful careers beyond the RAF, like Lawrie Haynes, who was on the main board at Rolls-Royce and is now chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, and Eugene Borysuik - one of the many Polish apprentices trained at Halton, who enjoyed a successful career at GEC. And there were many others beyond air and ground crew including policemen, government officials and even bishops whose careers started with the Halton family. This is the story of Halton told through and by the boys who were there and who are still proud to be called 'Trenchard Brats'.
'A humbling, inspiring account of some of the real founders of modern day Special Forces soldiering' Bear Grylls Praise for Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author Damien Lewis' SAS mission series: 'One of the great untold stories of WWII' - Bear Grylls on SAS Ghost Patrol 'A tale of bravery against desperate odds' - Sunday Times on Churchill's Secret Warriors 'True adventures laced with staggering bravery and sacrifice' - Sun on Hunting the Nazi Bomb SAS Nazi Hunters is the incredible, hitherto untold story of the most secret chapter in the SAS's history. Officially, the world's most elite special forces unit was dissolved at the end of the Second World War, and not reactivated until the 1950s. Among their last actions was a disastrous commando raid into occupied France in 1944, which ended in the capture,torture and execution of 31 soldiers. It can now be revealed that the SAS never was dissolved: it lived on, commanded personally by Churchill and hidden even from the British government. They were tasked with hunting through the ruins of the Reich for the SS commanders responsible for the murder of their comrades, including many who had escaped the failed justice of the Nuremberg trials. Along the way, they discovered before anyone else the full horror of Hitler's regime, and the growing threat from Stalin's Russia. Still studied by the SAS today and a central part of their founding myth, the story of the Nazi hunters is now told by bestselling author Damien Lewis.
Written by a former Survival Instructor of the SAS, The SAS and Special Forces Self-Defence Handbook provides easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions on coping with all kinds of threatening situations, from muggings to knife attacks. The author teaches you strategies for both avoiding conflict and getting out of a dangerous situation quickly and safely. Learn how mental attitude, body language, assertiveness, and the ability to overcome fear can prevent you from becoming a prime target for criminals. Learn which parts of the body are the most effective weapons in fending off an attacker, and which are the most likely targets for attack. Defend yourself from sudden grabs, strangles, weapons, and road rage. And find out how to deliver the SAS five-second knockout, a defence previously available only to British SAS Special Forces soldiers. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs and instructive artworks and including expert advice throughout, The SAS and Special Forces Self-Defence Handbook is a comprehensive guide to self-defence for both men and women.
Wanted: Volunteers for Project Delta. Will guarantee you a medal. A body bag. Or both. When Charlie Beckwith issued this call to arms in Vietnam in 1965, he revolutionized American armed combat. This is the story of what would eventually come to be known as Delta Force, as only its maverick creator could tell it - from the bloody baptism of Vietnam to the top-secret training grounds of North Carolina to political battles in the upper levels of the Pentagon itself. This is the heart-pounding, first-person, insider's view of the missions that made Delta Force legendary. Through it all, the reader will become much better acquainted with America's deadliest weapon.
How were agents recruited for secret operations in World War II? How did they fare once dropped behind enemy lines? How effective were resistance movements? And how brutal were the reprisals? Ranging from the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the German Abwehr to resistance movements across Europe, Secret Operations of World War II is a fascinating account of the major special ops organisations and underground cells in the conflict. Examining recruitment, training, equipment and deployment of operatives, the book not only reveals the ingenious steps taken to select suitable agents, disguise weapons and gather intelligence, but also follows the fortunes of particular agents after their operations were launched. From such well known cases as the SOE and Norwegian agents sabotaging Norwegian hydroelectric plants to the less explored territory of Soviet partisans, from the Abwehr's rescue of Mussolini to the French Maquis, from the Polish Home Army to OSS operations in the Pacific, the book explores a wide range of secret organisations and their intelligence gathering, sabotage and reconnaissance missions. Illustrated with 120 black-&-white and colour photographs, artworks and maps, Secret Operations of World War II is an authoritative and novel perspective on some of the most outlandish episodes of the conflict.
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.
In 1942, the U.S. began to form a handpicked army to fight in Europe. What made it different is that its troops were composed of artists, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army. Information about the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was classified top secret until 1996. Following the declassification, Jack Kneece interviewed many of the key personnel involved in this elaborate ruse, including fashion designer Bill Blass. Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many Americans were opposed to becoming involved in the war in Europe, and the military was ill-prepared to fight, with only 130,000 enlisted troops and equipment left over from World War I. One solution was to create a special force that gave the illusion of 30,000 heavily armed men. In fact, there were only 1,000. German soldiers referred to them as the "Phantom Army," because one moment they were in one place, and the next, they were attacking their flanks or from the rear. This small army duped the Germans successfully in 21 separate operations during World War II, many of which took place within a few hundred yards of the front lines.
When Neil Reynolds was first asked to work as a private military contractor in Iraq, he didn’t even know where it was on the map. But the Border War veteran and former SANDF officer would quickly learn the ins and outs of working and surviving in that war-torn country. It was 2003 and the US-led coalition that had toppled Saddam Hussein was confronted with a savage insurgency.
His candid, unvarnished account tells of the numerous challenges faced by private military contractors in Iraq: from avoiding ambushes on the highways in and around Baghdad to buying guns on the black market and dodging bullets on several hair-raising protection missions. He describes how his team’s low-profile approach allowed them to blend in with the local population and mostly kept them and their clients safe.
Reynolds also tells the tragic story of four South African colleagues who were kidnapped and killed outside Baghdad in 2006.
Life and leadership lessons from the Special Forces, from the stars of Channel 4 series SAS: Who Dares Wins - including Sunday Times bestselling author of FIRST MAN: LEADING FROM THE FRONT, Ant Middleton Are you up to the challenge of SAS leadership? Only the best will succeed... Britain's SAS (Special Air Service) has an unparalleled reputation for soldiering excellence. Their skills and techniques have been perfected in the most demanding environments imaginable, but many of these can also be used in our everyday lives. This book takes situations all of us will experience during our lives and presents tactical lessons drawn from SAS training and battlefield experience. Its four authors - stars of the hit Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins - how their finely honed understanding of how to handle extreme challenges can be applied in any environment. Their advice on negotiation, people management, self-motivation and resilience, among other things, can transform your performance in a whole range of scenarios: from buying a house, nailing a job interview, and the experience of dealing with rejection, to maintaining a diet, or managing that pushy colleague at work. This is the ultimate guide to leadership and personal achievement.
For readers of American Sniper, the stirring account of a life of service by the "father of the US Navy SEALs" One month after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, when President John F. Kennedy pressed Congress about America's "urgent national needs," he named expanding US special operations forces along with putting a man on the moon. Captain William Hamilton was the officer tasked with creating the finest unconventional warriors ever seen. Merging his own experience commanding Navy Underwater Demolition Teams with expertise from Army Special Forces and the CIA, and working with his subordinate, Roy Boehm, he cast the mold for sea-, air-, and land-dispatched night fighters capable of successfully completing any mission anywhere in the world. Initially, they were used as a counter to the potential devastation of nuclear war, and later for counterterrorism and hostage rescue. His vision led to the formation of the celebrated SEAL Team 6. In this stirring, action-filled book, Hamilton tells his story for the first time. Night Fighter is a trove of true adventure from the history of the late twentieth century, which Hamilton lived, from fighter pilot in the Korean War to operative for the CIA in Vietnam, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, and from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Reagan White House's Star Wars. Like American Sniper, here is the record of a life devoted to patriotic service. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
America's curiosity about elite military units is greater than ever in today's crisis-ridden world. And while numerous books have examined the various elite forces, "Bunker Hill to Bastogne" goes much further to show the relationship between these special units and the societies that gave birth to them. Though America in general has often regarded its military establishment as an unfortunate necessity, elite formations have nearly always emerged in moments of crisis. And while their exploits have fostered the cherished image of the individualistic but loyal rifleman-ranger, these legends have not always corresponded to reality. America's roster of heroic images has long included esteemed elite units, running the gamut from Roger's Rangers at Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution to Berdan's Sharpshooters during the Civil War and the paratroopers of Normandy in World War II. But despite Americans' reverent regard for, and patriotic depiction of, elite units, they initially distrusted the idea of a standing army given such abuses as the quartering of soldiers in citizens' homes. Indeed, the egalitarian American spirit caused the Founding Fathers to discourage a class of emperor-making military elites. And yet, elite units did emerge during every major American conflict. But the evolution of such forces has taken place in fits and starts, with units often demobilizing after a particular crisis had passed. Only since World War II have elite units become a consistently relied-upon arm of the military for dealing with constantly erupting global crises. "Bunker Hill to Bastogne" is a unique and timely chronicle of the birth and evolution of elite forces and the American public'sreactions to them. It shows that despite Americans' wariness of a possible military elite, their love of the fabled rifleman-ranger has seldom dwindled, though in the twenty-first century their hero might wear a green beret rather than a coonskin cap.
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