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They were two of the greatest heroes of World War II. But only one could be top gun... Capturing the hearts of a beleaguered nation, the fighter pilots of World War II engaged in a kind of battle that became the stuff of legend-and those who survived showdowns earned the right to be called aces. But two men in particular rose to become something more. Richard "Dick" Bong was a bashful, pink-faced farm boy from the Midwest. Thomas "Tommy" McGuire was a wise-cracking, fast-talking kid from New Jersey. What they shared was an unparalleled gallantry under fire which earned them each the Medal of Honor. What they had between them was a closely watched rivalry to see who would emerge as the top-scoring American ace of the war. What they left behind is a legacy and a record of aerial victories that has yet to be surpassed anywhere in the world.
In just six days, the United States Strategic Air Forces changed the course of military offense in World War II. During those six days, they launched the largest bombing campaign of the war, dropping roughly ten thousand tons of bombs in a rain of destruction that would take the skies back from the Nazis . . . The Allies knew that if they were to invade Hitler's Fortress Europe, they would have to wrest air superiority from the mighty Luftwaffe. The plan of the Unites States Strategic Air Forces was extremely risky. During the week of February 20, 1944--and joined by the RAF Bomber Command--the USAAF Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force bombers took on this vital mission. They ran the gauntlet of the most heavily defended air space in the world to deal a death blow to Germany's aircraft industry and made them pay with the planes already in the air. In the coming months, this Big Week would prove a deciding factor in the war. Both sides were dealt losses, but whereas the Allies could recover, damage to the Luftwaffe was irreparable. Thus, Big Week became one of the most important episodes of World War II and, coincidentally, one of the most overlooked--until now.
Is the bounty hunter actually the hunted? Bladen Cole is getting a handsome sum of money from Isham Ransdell, the owner of the Gallatin City Bank. It's not a withdrawal, but a reward for the heads of the men who killed Ransdell's associates. The banker wants the Porter boys back in Gallatin City dead or alive--preferably dead. As Cole sets out on his manhunt, he questions the motivation of his new client, the only rich man in Gallatin City somehow left unscathed... His pursuit goes smoothly enough until he finds himself in the middle of a battle between two rival Blackfeet bands. Cole is forced to take sides, but luckily, this double duty leads him straight to the Porter boys, who are surely surprised to see a bounty hunter flanked by such an unusual posse. But Bladen is in for a few surprises of his own...
Any place that has a connection to Elvis can be found in this fascinating compendium, including Joni Mabe's Traveling Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis, the El Vez Museum, and the world's largest painting of Elvis on black velvet.
Money to burn... Bounty hunter Bladen Cole rode into Santa Fe with the bodies of two wanted outlaws who decided to try their luck against his Colt .45. But he's riding out with an even more profitable venture--the capture of four robbers who stole a payroll from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Rather than let word spread about the theft, the railroad men need someone who can get the job done quickly and quietly. This is a job for a bounty hunter. Following a trail of bodies, Cole soon realizes that the payroll robbery is only the beginning of something much bigger and bloodier on the horizon...
A perfectly poured history of the world's greatest beer. "Joseph Conrad was wrong. The real journey into the Heart of Darkness is recounted within the pages of Bill Yenne's fine book. Guinness (the beer) is a touchstone for brewers and beer lovers the world over. Guinness (the book) gives beer enthusiasts all the information and education necessary to take beer culture out of the clutches of light lagers and back into the dark ages. Cheers!" -Sam Calagione, owner, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and author of Brewing Up a Business, Extreme Brewing, and Beer or Wine? "Marvelous! As Bill Yenne embarks on his epic quest for the perfect pint, he takes us along on a magical tour into the depths of all things Guinness. Interweaving the tales of the world's greatest beer and the nation that spawned it, Yenne introduces us to a cast of characters worthy of a dozen novels, a brewery literally dripping with history, and-of course-the one-and-only way to properly pour a pint. You can taste the stout porter on every page. " -Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
General Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold is widely considered the father of the United States Air Force. But his long list of accomplishments doesn't begin or end there. He was also the first and only five-star general of the US Air Force; one of the first US military aviators; the first American to carry air mail; and the architect of the war-winning air strategy of World War II.In this new biography of one of the American military's most towering figures, author Bill Yenne weaves the story of Hap Arnold's life, from his youthful days as a cunning prankster to his sunset career as an elder statesman. All along, Yenne unfolds General Arnold's life like the adventure story it is. A bold advocate for technological advancement, Hap Arnold was a powerful character in the golden age of aviation, an innovative warrior in the conflict that defined the modern era, and the creator of an entirely new branch of the US military.Hap Arnold: The General Who Invented the US Air Force is a page-turning adventure biography for history buffs, aviation enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the events that shaped America and the world in the first half of the twentieth century.
From Bill Yenne, author of the military histories Big Week and Aces High, comes the stirring true story of the Eighth Air Force in World War II.Less than a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army formed its first air force designated to operate overseas, the Eighth. Within four months, they had set up base in England. Three months later, they were bombing German targets in occupied Europe.The Eighth was the first bomber command on either side to commit to strategic daylight bombing. It was a major change in tactics--and the men of the Eighth paid the price in both lives and blood. But it was that very sacrifice that led the Allies to victory.Hit the Target introduces readers to those who made the Eighth Air Force the formidable juggernaut it soon became. Men of all ranks, from General Tooey Spaatz, the hard-driving founding commander, to Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, the hero who led the first air raid on Japan, to Maynard "Snuffy" Smith, the irascible first airman in Europe to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal, who survived his time with the "Bloody Hundredth," which lost airmen at a horrifying rate, and who went on to serve as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.The story of the Mighty Eighth is told through these men, whose careers paralleled the early history of aviation and who helped to revolutionize airborne warfare and win World War II.INCLUDES PHOTOS
The German blitzkrieg stunned the world in 1939-1940, and so too did the Japanese "blitzkrieg" of 1941-1942 in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaya, and Burma. However, the remarkable Japanese land offensive involving operations of equivalent scope and complexity has received only a fraction of the attention. This is the story of that campaign.One of the few histories that tells the story of the Pacific War from the Japanese side, this is the long-awaited overview of the years when the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) was conducting its seemingly unstoppable ground campaign in the Far East. It includes extensive background and biographical information on Japanese commanders, including Homma and Yamashita. In just eight weeks following December 7, 1941, the IJA pushed the Americans out of the Philippines, and defeated the British to captured Manila, Hong Kong, the Malay Peninsula, and the great bastion at Singapore--called the "Gibraltar of the East." They also forced the capitulation and occupation of Siam and the occupation of Burma. A month later, the Japanese had added the Netherlands East Indies, with an area and depth of natural resources more than twice that of Japan, to their trophy case. In The Imperial Japanese Army, author Bill Yenne recounts how the IJA faced and surmounted technical challenges that the Wehrmacht did not have--transportation. Whereas most of the German conquests were reachable by highways or rail lines, all of the IJA operations required ship transport, and most required amphibious landings. For example, in the Malay Peninsula campaign, the IJA famously used bicycles for the drive on Singapore.Unlike most histories of the Pacific War that focus on the Allied experience, The Imperial Japanese Army examines the year of victory from the Japanese perspective, when the mighty Japanese naval and ground forces swept all before them both throughout the Pacific and on mainland Asia.
THE BEGINNINGS OF VICTORYShortly after the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces in Europe had stalled. A limited operation was set in motion to punch a small hole in the enemy defenses, starting on July 25, 1944. It was called Operation Cobra, and it would become one of the greatest offensives in all of military history. In the sixty days following the launch of the operation, the Allies -- commanded by Dwight Eisenhower and led by men such as the irascible General George Patton and General Omar Bradley -...
In the middle of World War II, Nazi military intelligence discovered a seemingly easy way to win the war for Adolf Hitler. The three heads of the Allied forces--Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin--were planning to meet in Tehran in October, 1943. Under Hitler's personal direction, the Nazis launched "Operation Long Jump," an intricate plan to track the Allied leaders in Tehran and assassinate all three men at the same time. "I suppose it would make a pretty good haul if they could get all three of us," Roosevelt later said. Historian Bill Yenne retells the incredible, globe-spanning story of the most ambitious assassination plot ever thwarted in Operation Long Jump.
Of all the major air forces that were engaged in the war, only the Red Air Force had units comprised specifically of women. Initially the Red Air Force maintained an all-male policy among its combat pilots. However, as the apparently invincible German juggernaut sliced through Soviet defenses, the Red Air Force began to rethink its ban on women. By October 1941, authorization was forthcoming for three ground attack regiments of women pilots. Among these women, Lidiya Vladimirovna "Lilya" Litvyak soon emerged as a rising star. She shot down five German aircraft over the Stalingrad Front, and thus become history's first female ace. She scored 12 documented victories over German aircraft between September 1942 and July 1943. She also had many victories shared with other pilots, bringing her possible total to around 20. The fact that she was a 21-year-old woman ace was not lost on the hero-hungry Soviet media, and soon this colourful character, whom the Germans dubbed "The White Rose of Stalingrad," became both folk heroine and martyr.
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