Ever since the 1920s the popular legend of the French Foreign Legion has been formed by P.C. Wren's novel BEAU GESTE - a world of remote forts, warrior tribes, and desperate men of all nationalities enlisting under pseudonyms to fight and die under the desert sun. As with all cliches, the reality is far richer and more surprising than this. In this book Martin Windrow describes desert battles and famous last stands in gripping detail - but he also shows exactly what the Foreign Legion were doing in North Africa in the first place. He explains how French colonial methods there actually had their roots in the jungles of Vietnam, and how the political pressures that kept the empire expanding can be traced to battles on the streets of Paris itself. His description of the Berber tribesmen of Morocco also reveals some disturbing modern parallels: the formidable guerrillas of the 1920s were inspired by an Islamic fundamentalist who was adept at using the world's media to further his cause. Martin Windrow's previous book THE LAST VALLEY received fabulous reviews across the English-speaking world. This unique book, which is the first to examine the 'golden age' of the Foreign Legion has followed suit.
This authoritative volume is divided into two main sections covering fighters and bombers. Each traces the development of the aircraft from their first appearance, details their role in major conflicts, and analyses how technological improvements have affected their performance. Special feature topics include nightfighters, bombers of the Spanish Civil War, inflight refuelling, the Gulf Wars and fighter pilot equipment in the 21st century. Within each section are comprehensive A-Z directories, together covering a total of 300 aircraft, each accompanied by identification photographs. Detailed specification boxes are featured for every aircraft listed, and a glossary of key aviation terms is included at the back of the book.
An excellent reference guide for modellers and any enthusiast with an interest in the military technology of the twentieth century Illustrated with outstanding colour profile artworks, The Essential Identification Guide: Small Arms 1945 - Present is the definitive study of the small arms equipment of warring nations from the end of World War II, through the Cold War to the current conflict in Afghanistan. Arranged chronologically and by theatre of war, the book describes in depth the various models in service with each force, noting the changing uses of small arms and the development of the role of high-powered sniper rifles, such as the M110. All the key types of small arms are featured, such as handguns, submachine guns, machine guns, automatic rifles and grenade launchers, and all the major models are included, such as the M16 rifle, the AK-47, Uzi and the Gepard M1. The book covers the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Six Day War, Yom Kippur War, the Yugoslav War, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"British Fighting Heroes" is Ross Kemp's personal homage to some of the most remarkable men and women to have served in the British Armed Forces during the two World Wars. Many of them unsung or forgotten, each of the lives profiled is an extraordinary tale of courage, adventure and patriotic sacrifice. From Sgt Major Stan Hollis, D-Day's only VC winner, to Mary Seacole, a Jamaican-born nurse who set up her own field station to treat wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, vivid descriptions of their lion-hearted actions are woven into the wider story of their lives, providing a fascinating insight into a variety of military units, operations and theatres of war. Embedded with British forces in Afghanistan for his award-winning television documentaries, Kemp has experienced the terror and exhilaration of life on the frontline for himself while witnessing the courage and leadership of today's servicemen first-hand. Kemp tells the breathtaking stories of commandos, medics, submariners, fighter pilots, infantrymen, bomber crewmen, sailors and engineers in daring raids, stirring last stands and acts of extreme valour far beyond the reach of ordinary men.
This is an A-Z directory of all the major naval aircraft since 1945, including jet-engined fighters and strike aircraft, carrier-borne AEW aircraft, V/STOL aircraft, and helicopters. This title examines the history and evolution of naval aircraft from the immediate post-World War II period to the present, with special reference to Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands War, Libya, Top Gun, and future developments in modern naval combat. It features all the best-known modern planes and helicopters, such as the F/A-18, Fairey Gannet, Grumman A-6 Intruder, Super Etendard, Buccaneer, Westland (Sikorsky) Sea King, and many more. It includes specification boxes which provide at-a-glance information about each aircraft's name, country of origin, first flight, power, armament, size, weight and performance Naval aircraft - aircraft that are able to launch from and land on ships - have played an ever-increasing role in conflict. By the end of World War II, the aircraft carrier had become a mighty warship, and naval aircraft were designed specifically for carrier operations. This illustrated reference book charts the history of naval aviation from the end of World War II to the present day, focusing on the conflicts in which naval aviation played a significant part, such as Korea, Vietnam and the Falklands War. It also discusses 21st-century developments and improvements. An A-Z directory of 55 aircraft, each listed alphabetically by manufacturer, describes the main characteristics of each plane. A useful glossary containing definitions of key aviation terms is included. With its lively narrative and 330 photographs, this authoritative volume provides historians and enthusiasts with key information about the naval aircraft of this key period in history.
In 1968, at the age of 22, Karl Marlantes abandoned his Oxford University scholarship to sign up for active service with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam. Pitched into a war that had no defined military objective other than kill ratios and body counts, what he experienced over the next thirteen months in the jungles of South East Asia shook him to the core. But what happened when he came home covered with medals was almost worse. It took Karl four decades to come to terms with what had really happened, during the course of which he painstakingly constructed a fictionalized version of his war, MATTERHORN, which has subsequently been hailed as the definitive Vietnam novel. WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR takes us back to Vietnam, but this time there is no fictional veil. Here are the hard-won truths that underpin MATTERHORN: the author's real-life experiences behind the book's indelible scenes. But it is much more than this. It is part exorcism of Karl's own experiences of combat, part confession, part philosophical primer for the young man about to enter combat. It It is also a devastatingly frank answer to the questions 'What is it like to be a soldier?' What is it like to face death?' and 'What is it like to kill someone?'
It is 1916, the Somme. With over a million casualties, it was the most brutal battle of the First World War. It is a clash that even now, over 90 years later, remains seared into the national consciousness, conjuring up images of muddy trenches and young lives tragically wasted. Its first day, July 1st 1916 - on which the British suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead - is the bloodiest day in the history of the British armed forces to date. On the German side, an officer famously described it as 'the muddy grave of the German field army'. By the end of the battle, the British had learned many lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreplaceable losses, ultimately laying the foundations for the Allies' final victory on the Western Front. Drawing on a wealth of material from the vast Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, "Forgotten Voices of the Somme" presents an intimate, poignant, sometimes even bleakly funny insight into life on the front line: from the day-to-day struggle of extraordinary circumstances to the white heat of battle and the constant threat of injury or death.Featuring contributions from soldiers of both sides and of differing backgrounds, ranks and roles, many of them previously unpublished, this is the definitive oral history of this unique and terrible conflict.
The Nimitz class aircraft carrier is the ultimate symbol of the United States superpower status. A true behemoth, this is an unsurpassed weapons platform that overshadows all of its nearest rivals. A history of the world's largest aircraft carriers, with runways over 300 meters long, this book looks at the development and deployment of the nuclear-powered Nimitz class aircraft carriers from 1975 when the USS Nimitz, the lead ship of the class, was commissioned, to the present day. All of the class are still operational and the tenth and last of the class, the USS George H. W. Bush, was commissioned in 2009. Here, Brad Elward provides a detailed overview of their design and development, highlighting their unique features, from jet blast deflectors to cutting edge radar systems, and a history of the Nimitz class in service, from deployment in the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, through to the enforcement of the no fly zone over Bosnia.
In 1938, the United States abandoned the constraints imposed by the Washington Teaty and began work on a new class of super-battleships. This book covers the design, construction, and employment of the four Iowa-class battleships, the largest in the American fleet. During World War II, they served as guards for the aircraft carriers and their bombardments provided cover for the numerous landings in the Pacific. At the war's end, the Japanese signed their surrender on the decks of an Iowa-class battleship, the USS Missouri. After World War II, the ships continued to serve, providing support during Korea, Vietnam, and even the first Gulf War. This book tells the full story of the greatest of the American battleships.
At 2 a.m. on the morning of the 3rd of June 1940, General Harold Alexander searched along the quayside, holding onto his megaphone and called 'Is anyone there? Is anyone there?' before turning his boat back towards England. Tradition tells us that the dramatic events of the evacuation of Dunkirk, in which 300,000 BEF servicemen escaped the Nazis, was a victory gained from the jaws of defeat. For the first time, rather than telling the tale of the 300,000 who escaped, Sean Longden reveals the story of the 40,000 men sacrificed in the rearguard battles. On the beaches and sand dunes, besides the roads and amidst the ruins lay the corpses of hundreds who had not reached the boats. Elsewhere, hospitals full of the sick and wounded who had been left behind to receive treatment from the enemy's doctors. And further afield - still fighting hard alongside their French allies - was the entire 51st Highland Division, whose war had not finished as the last boats slipped away. Also scattered across the countryside were hundreds of lost and lonely soldiers.These 'evaders' had also missed the boats and were now desperately trying to make their own way home, either by walking across France or rowing across the channel. The majority, however, were now prisoners of war who were forced to walk on the death marches all the way to the camps in Germany and Poland, where they were forgotten until 1945.