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Steve Joubert had always wanted to be a pilot and the only way he could afford to do so, was to join the South African Air Force in the late 1970s.
As an adventurous young man with a wicked sense of humour, he tells of the many amusing escapades he had as a trainee pilot. But soon he is sent to fight in the Border War in northern Namibia (then South West Africa) where he is exposed to the carnage of war. The pilots of the Alouette helicopters were witness to some of the worst scenes of the Border War. Often, they were the first to arrive after a deadly landmine accident.
In the fiercest battles their gunships regularly supplied life-saving air cover to troops on the ground.
In this brilliant new edition of Pirates, Terry Deary reveals the terrible truth behind the lousy pirate legends and lies so forget the brave heroes swinging from masts and the handsome young men sailing the seven seas for this is history at its most horrible! Readers can: decide who was the baddest of the bunch in the top ten of putrid pirates discover why the women pirates were just as wicked as the men learn to talk the patter of a pirate Plus there are foul facts on the ships they sailed, the punishments they suffered and the rules they lived by. Now the nasty bits are at your fingertips!
Klaus Fuchs knew more nuclear secrets in the last two years of the Second World War than anyone else in Britain. He was taken onto the Manhattan Project in the USA as a trusted physicist - and was the conduit by which knowledge of the highest classification passed to the Soviet Union. When Truman announced at the Potsdam Conference that the US possessed a nuclear bomb, Stalin already knew. This book, by an accomplished scientist as well as historian, is the first to explain the physics as well as the spying, and because Frank Close worked, like Fuchs, at the Harwell Laboratory, it contains much important new material.
Between December 1943 and August 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill ignited the Cold War, a superpower rivalry that would dominate the world over half a century, by building an atomic bomb and excluding their Russian allies. Peter Watson tells the pulse-pounding story of how two atomic physicists tried to counter this in two very different ways. While Niels Bohr sought to convince President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to share their nuclear knowledge with Joseph Stalin, nuclear scientist Klaus Fuchs, a German Communist emigre to Britain, was leaking atomic secrets to the Soviets in a rival attempt to ensure parity between the superpowers. Neither succeeded in preventing the World War II allies from unleashing the atom bomb on the world. Fallout proves that the atomic bomb was not needed, and was made as a result of a series of flawed decisions. The Americans did not tell the UK that the atomic research was compromised by Soviet spies; the British did not tell the Americans that in 1943 they knew for sure that Germany did not have a nuclear bomb program. Neither country admitted to the scientists developing the bomb that it would never be used to counter the (non-existent) German nuclear threat. Had the scientists known, many of them would have refused to complete work on the bomb. This story shows how politicians fatally failed to understand the nature of atomic science and, in so doing, exposed the world needlessly to great danger, a danger that is still very much with us.
Although the Royal Navy did not invent the submarine, Norman Friedman's new book demonstrates how innovative the service was, to an extent which few will recognise. Its submarines performed well in combat in both world wars, and often in unheralded ways. Few will be aware that in 1914 Britain had the largest submarine fleet in the world, and that at the end of World War I it had some of the largest and most unusual of all submarines - whose origins and design are all detailed. During the First World War they virtually closed the Baltic to German iron ore traffic, and they helped block supplies to the Turkish army fighting at Gallipoli. British submarines were a major element in the North Sea battles, and they helped fight the U-boat menace. These roles led on to British submarine operations in World War II. Readers will be aware of the role of US submarines in strangling Japan, but perhaps not how British submarines in the Mediterranean fought a parallel costly but successful battle to strangle the German army in North Africa. Like their US counterparts, interwar British submariners were designed largely with the demands of a possible Pacific War, although that was not the war they fought. And the author shows how the demands of such a war, which would be fought over vast distances, collided with interwar British Government attempts to limit costs by holding down the size (and numbers) of submarines. It says much about the ingenuity of British submarine designers that they managed to meet their requirements despite enormous pressure on submarine size. As in other books in this series, the author demonstrates how a combination of evolving strategic and tactical requirements and evolving technology produced successive types of design. The Royal Navy was always painfully aware of the threat enemy submarines posed, and British submariners contributed heavily to the development of British anti-submarine tactics and technology, beginning with largely unknown efforts before the outbreak of World War I. Between the Wars British submariners exploited the new technology of sonar (Asdic), both to find and attack enemies and to avoid being attacked themselves. As a result, they pioneered submarine silencing, with important advantages to the US Navy as it observed the British. And it was a British submarine that pioneered the vital postwar use of submarines as anti-submarine weapons, sinking a U-boat while both were submerged. This feat was unique. Heavily illustrated with photos and original plans, this new volume from Norman Friedman, incorporating so much original analysis, will be eagerly awaited by naval historians and enthusiasts everywhere.
A study of scale plastic models built by both semi-professional and amateur modellers, inspired by the three wars that Finland fought between 1939 and 1945, all related to ongoing hostilities between Finland and the expansionist Soviet Union: The Winter War, 1939-1940; The Continuation War, 1941-1944; The Lapland War, 1944-45. As the Soviet Union changed its allegiance from supporting Nazi Germany to battling the Nazis, this placed the Finns in the unusual situation of being for, then against, then for the overall interests of the Allied powers. Each model or series of models is covered by a 4- to 8-page section explaining the historical relevance of the subjects and illustrating them in a series of full colour photographs. Featured models include aircraft, tanks and vehicles and soldiers, all displaying their unique camouflage and markings.
THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER 'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys. `A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service' Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 606 'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine. 'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' The Royal Air Force Times. 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous - just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum - First Light. Achtung, Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany's domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn't planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend - the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol's passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire's deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.
Vlamgat, literally 'flaming hole' in Afrikaans, was the nickname the South African Air Force (SAAF) gave to the Mirage F1, its formidable frontline jet fighter during South Africa's long 'border wars' in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Battling Soviet MiG-21s over African skies, the Vlammies, the Mirage pilots as they were affectionately known, acquitted themselves with distinction and honour. Vlamgat is a gripping account of these pilots and their deeds of bravery; their experiences are authentically related with accuracy, humour and pathos - by the author, himself a Vlammie. As Willem Hechter, former Chief of the SAAF, says: "Vlamgat deserves a place of pride in the long history of this, the second oldest air force in the world."
'DESERVES TO JOIN REACH FOR THE SKY AND THE LAST ENEMY AS ONE OF THE GREAT RAF BOOKS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR' - ANDREW ROBERTS As I write, I can clearly recall the stinging heat of aburning Blenheim, smells, tastes, expressions, sounds of voices and, most ofall, fear gripping deep in me. Flying Officer Alastair Panton was just twenty-three when his squadron deployed across the Channel in the defence of France. They were desparate days. Pushed back to the beaches as the German blitzkrieg rolled through the Low Countries and into France, by June 4th 1940 the evacuation ofthe Allies from Dunkirk was complete. A little over two weeks later France surrendered. Flying vital, dangerous, low-level missions throughout the campaign in support of the troops on the ground, Panton's beloved but unarmed Bristol Blenheim was easy meat for the marauding Messerschmitts. At the height of fighting he was losing two of his small squadron's crews to the enemy every day. Discovered in a box by his grandchildren after his death in 2002, Alastair Panton's Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer is a lostclassic. One of the most moving, vivid and powerful accounts of war inthe air ever written. And an unforgettable testament to the courage, stoicism, camaraderie and humanity of Britain's greatest generation. 'ONE CAN'T HELP FEELING AWE AND REVERENCE. THERE ARE ENOUGH ADVENTURES HERE FOR A LIFETIME' LOUIS DE BERNIERES 'SIMPLY WONDERFUL. ONE OF THE BEST ACCOUNTS OF WWII I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN NICHOL
Featuring 155 color photographs and illustrations, "Native American Weapons" surveys weapons made and used by American Indians north of present-day Mexico from prehistoric times to the late nineteenth century, when European weapons were in common use. Over thousands of years the weapons were developed and creatively matched to their environment--highly functional and often decorative, carried proudly in tribal gatherings and in war.
The development and deployment of the U.S. Army's half-track based multiple gun motor carriages and gun motor carriages Explore the development, production and deployment of America's heavily armed half-track variants. Illustrated with 700 period photos and described in detail in the 448 hard-bound pages of this volume are the myriad of half-track based mortar, howitzer and gun motor carriages ranging from the ubiquitous but uncelebrated M4 Mortar Carrier to the obscure twin-40mm Bofors-armed T68 to the acclaimed M16 antiaircraft vehicle, which armed with four .50 caliber machine guns remained in the US arsenal until the late 1950s. Drawing heavily on obscure manufacturer documents and long-forgotten government records, this volume, when combined with Part 1, published in 2015, is the only complete study of these vehicles.
In the summer of 1940, the most important battle in the history of air warfare was fought between the British Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe in the skies over southern Britain. Only after a tightly-fought series of aerial battles did the RAF secure a narrow victory - or did it? Although glamourised by the press and cinema alike over the past 60 years, the battle was an intense war of attrition in which luck, skill, judgement and bravery all played a role. The Battle of Britain explores in detail the men, machines and tactics engaged in the epic struggle, and seeks to debunk some of the popular myths that surround it. The book examines the strength of both sides on the eve of the battle, and its wider strategic implications fo the outcome of the war, before looking at the German preparations for invasion, and the Luftwaffe's state of readiness after the Polish and French campaigns. It explains why the battle was a race against time for the Germans and highlights factors such as the lack of suitable transports and inexperience in planning a seaborne invasion that helped hinder their efforts. The book also asks whether Hitler himself was ever truly committed to invading Britain. Britain's preparations for defending herself from attack are also closely examined. The role and effectiveness of such institutions as the Home Guards and Observer Corps are covered, as well as the vital Chain Home and Chain Home Low radar networks. The Battle of Britain analyses the RAF's preparations for the battle, its main fighters, the Hurricane and the Spitfire, and the vital importance of pilots from the Commonwealth, Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, the United States and elsewhere. The Battle of Britain covers every stage of this mammoth contest in detail, beginning with the opening attacks on British shipping and ports. The book highlights how close the war of attrition against the RAF came to succeeding, when the full fury of the Luftwaffe was unleashed on its airfields. It also asks why the Luftwaffe began bombing the cities when it was so close to success. The failings of both sides are dissected: the discord between key RAF commanders, and the initial failure of the Germans to realise the importance of radar. Superbly illustrated with both full-colour artworks of the aircraft (including some three-view artworks), as well as colour and black-and-white photographs, and a detailed appendix on squadron and aircraft service history, The Battle of Britain provides an outstanding account of the conflict.
Clandestinely developed during the post WWI-era during which Germany was forbidden from developing, producing or owning armored combat vehicles, the Panzer I served as a proof of concept. Manufacturers and engineers became acquainted with the creation of modern fully tracked combat vehicles and soldiers were familiarized with the driving, maintenance, logistics entailed by fielding an armored force. Once war began, not only did these experience prove invaluable, the tanks themselves, armed only with twin machine guns, nevertheless proved formidable weapons against ill-prepared enemies. Spread through 168 hardbound pages, over 200 photos document all variations of this, the cornerstone upon which Germany's famed panzer force was built.
The Panzer II was Germany's first cannon-armed tank in the post World War I era. Designed and initially produced under the code name of 100-horsepower Farm Tractor, owing to the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Panzer II remained in production, and in the field, well after it had been surpassed by better engineered, more heavily armed and armored vehicles, and indeed played a key part in the early victories achieved by the Blitzkrieg. Almost 200 scarce wartime photos, illuminated by detailed captions, fill the 168-pages of this hardbound volume.
The vehicle that was to become the Type 82 Kubelwagen had its roots in the development of the Volkswagen "People's Car." With war clouds gathering over Europe, the efforts of the Volkswagen facility were turned to the production of military vehicles. In January 1938 work began in earnest on the vehicle that would come to be popularly known as the Kubelwagen. The term Kubelwagen means "bucket car" and was actually applied to a variety of vehicles from a number of makers, but has come to be synonymous with the Volkswagen Type 82. Even under the skilled tutelage of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, two years of work and testing were required before the Kubelwagen took its classic form. It was soon to become as ubiquitous as the U.S. Army's Jeep and was also designed a produced as an amphibious car known as the Schwimmwagen. As always, this Visual History title mixes rare and interesting archival imagery with photos of restored vehicles. Produced with the full and complete cooperation of the Kubel Korps, one of the world's largest Kubelwagen-Schwimmwagen restoration groups, this title presents only the very finest restored examples. Early examples of the Kubelwagen are featured, as is a very rare 1945 model. No detail is left unrevealed, with interiors, multiple engine views and undercarriages. Additionally, the Schwimmwagen is covered in equally great detail.
Air shows are a fun day out for the family. On the ground, tank rides are on offer and armed forces' recruitment drives afford children an opportunity to indulge in their fascination with guns. There are elements of fantasy and the carnivalesque here and a clear disconnect between this 'play' and the actual effect of weapons. In Friend's photographs the beach and the landscape become uneasy, surreal spaces, temporarily militarized by the fleeting presence and roar of fighter jets. She places us at the edge of the island state where the sight and sounds of these aerial displays remind us of Winston Churchill's World War II speech, "We shall fight on the beaches". Civilian aircraft displays are interwoven with military ones, whilst nostalgia for World War II is evoked by the presence of 'war birds' such as the Lancaster bomber, only to be followed by the 'shock and awe' displays of contemporary fighter jets such as the Tornado, recently deployed in Libya and Afghanistan. By contrast, the trade days of the larger air shows such as Farnborough promote military hardware in a more direct way, while deals are negotiated behind the closed doors of the hospitality chalets.
There were few bushrangers whose influence extended as far as that of Frank Gardiner. Handsome, clever, charismatic and dangerous, he inspired many young men to abandon the drudgery of their honest work and turn to highway robbery. So strong was his influence that it set in motion a craze known as "Gardinerism". Gardiner was the leader of the infamous Gold Escort robbery at Eugowra Rocks; he was the one who almost "got away" with the crime. escaping to Queensland and running a successful public house until his eventual, controversial arrest. Such was the man's charm and influence that respectable citizens petitioned successfully on his behalf and Gardiner was released early from gaol amid a storm of controversy. This book outlines the life of Frank Gardiner, his descent into crime and the mystery of his final years in exile. The Australian Bushrangers series by librarian and historical researcher, Jane Smith, details the colourful lives of six ofAustralia's most famous bushrangers of the gold rush era: Captain Thunderbolt, Captain Moonlite, Frank Gardiner, BenHall, and the two men known as `Captain Starlight'. Based on meticulous research of primary sources such as birth, death and marriage certificates, Police Gazettes, Court, policeand gaol records, letters and newspaper articles, Jane Smith, has produced a series of books that align with the national curriculum and are both entertaining and historically accurate; for the first time dispelling many of the myths. These simply written, concise narratives provide an insight into the lives of these bushrangers. From their family background,crimes, family and gang members, the circumstances and events that led him to crime, and where relevant, his capture and death, the books are full of interesting facts and loaded with images, newspaper clippings and records.
In 1869 Mt Egerton was outraged by the armed hold-up of the local bank by a masked villain calling himself `Captain Moonlite'.The shock deepened when the perpetrator turned out to be the new lay preacher, Andrew George Scott. On his release from prison Moonlite led a ragged bunch of young desperadoes to stage a siege that would end in a shoot-out and the death of a policeman. His death cell protestations of innocence raise doubts and sympathy in the hearts of some historians even today. This book tells the story of Captain Moonlite's life, from his birth in Ireland to his death on the gallows. The Australian Bushrangers series by librarian and historical researcher, Jane Smith, details the colourful lives of six ofAustralia's most famous bushrangers of the gold rush era: Captain Thunderbolt, Captain Moonlite, Frank Gardiner, BenHall, and the two men known as `Captain Starlight'. Based on meticulous research of primary sources such as birth, death and marriage certificates, Police Gazettes, Court, policeand gaol records, letters and newspaper articles, Jane Smith, has produced a series of books that align with the national curriculum and are both entertaining and historically accurate; for the first time dispelling many of the myths. These simply written, concise narratives provide an insight into the lives of these bushrangers. From their family background,crimes, family and gang members, the circumstances and events that led him to crime, and where relevant, his capture and death, the books are full of interesting facts and loaded with images, newspaper clippings and records.
Now available in paperback, False Flags tells the epic untold story of German raider voyages to the South Seas during the early years of World War II. In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin, and Kormoran left Germany and waged a "pirate war" in the South Seas as part of Germany's strategy to attack the British Empire's maritime trade on a global scale. Their extraordinary voyages spanned the globe and are maritime sagas in the finest tradition of seafaring. The four raiders voyaged across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Arctic and Antarctic. They sank or captured 62 ships in a forgotten naval war that is now being told in its entirety for the first time. The Orion and Komet terrorised the South Pacific and New Zealand waters before Pearl Harbor when the war was supposed to be far away. The Pinguin sank numerous Allied merchant ships in the Indian Ocean before mining the approaches to Australian ports and capturing the Norwegian whaling fleet in Antarctica. The Kormoran raided the Atlantic but will always be remembered for sinking the Australian cruiser Sydney off Western Australia, killing all 645 sailors on board in tragic circumstances. False Flags is also the story of the Allied sailors who encountered these raiders and fought suicidal battles against a superior foe as well as the men, women and children who endured captivity on board the raiders as prisoners of the Third Reich. False Flags is an engrossing tale that will appeal to not only military experts, but also to anyone interested in Maritime History.
This second volume opens with a description of the Half-Track's incarnation as a weapons carrier, with all variants and versions presented on 75 pages of drawings along with a collection of photographs. The next chapter discusses further development of the vehicle's versions, which were not mass produced, illustrated with photographs and fabric drafts. Also included is a description of the usage of the Half-Track during World War II, when it was utilised by the US Army and the USMC mainly for supplies of land-lease. Polish Armed Forces also used these vehicles both in the West and in the East, even after the war had ended. This monograph contains a chapter about camouflage and the different markings of the Half-Trak's versions, in 12 superb colour plates. For modellers, there is a list of models and accessories, and the book comes complete with 34 pages of 3D colour graphics, colour photographs of museum exhibits and current running restored vehicles. This book is bilingual, with Polish and English text and captions. About Gun Power This series focuses on the armour, armoured vehicles and artillery. Every book contains a chapter about the design's history, drawings in modelling scales, colour plates presenting camouflaging schemes and a modelling chapter. The part covering the design's development history is illustrated by a large number of photographs. The plans show different variants, all non-standard versions and modifications of the vehicles or guns in several views, and depict the details in the highest possible quality. Specifically for the modellers, the included colour profiles are printed in the same scale. A separate, comprehensive modelling chapter goes through the models and accessories sets available.
Joseph G. Rosa's vivid and expertly written tale of this violent time combines contemporary accounts with meticulous historical research and an unjaundiced appraisal of the facts. Telling the story of every major gunfighter, peace officer, and outlaw of the West, Rosa places them within the context of a violent frontier and the coming of law and order. Complementing the text are twenty-seven outstanding color spreads featuring firearms from the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum (Los Angeles) and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody). Many of the spreads contain guns owned and used by such well-known individuals as Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, John Wesley Hardin, Frank James, and Harvey Logan.
THE PERFECT STOCKING FILLER for anyone who thinks they'd survive the world's most hostile environments - or at least imagine they could do. ----------------------------- First issued to British airmen in the 1950s the beautifully illustrated Air Ministry Survival Guide provides invaluable practical tips and instruction on how to keep calm and carry on in any hostile environment. Whether you're lost in the desert, arctic, jungle, or adrift on the open ocean, you'll be better off armed with sensible advice on how to: - Build a structurally sound igloo - Pull faces to prevent frostbite (and when to expect bits to fall off should you fail) - Fashion a mask to prevent snowblindness - Make a hat out of seat cushions - Behave in the event of meeting hostile locals - Stay safe from poisonous reptiles and insects - Use a 'fire thong' - Punch man-eating sharks (which are cowards)
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