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Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the American Bomber Crewmen of the Eighth Air Force, "The Mighty Eighth", who crewed, maintained and repaired the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and the B-24 Liberators that flew from the airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk and other counties of England during World War II (1939-1945). He highlights the physical and psychological strain placed on these brave men. Long bombing missions called for brute strength to control the aircraft and extraordinary endurance to fly for hours at 20,000 feet at temperatures below freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there were Luftwaffe fighters and anti-aircraft fire to contend with and it required incredible skill and some luck to return from a mission unscathed. This book is a fitting tribute to these often uncelebrated heroes who took the war deep into the Third Reich, as well as a fascinating historical account of the experiences they went through.
On the night of 1-2 April 1982, the Argentinian Junta led by Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri made its move against the Falkland Islands. On 3 April British Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher faced an appalled and furious House of Commons to announce that Argentine armed forces had landed on British sovereign territory; had captured the men of Royal Marine detachment NP8901; had run up the Argentine flag at Government House; and had declared the islands and their population to be Argentine. An immediate response was required and a task force was rapidly assembled to head into the South Atlantic and retake the islands. From this point until the Argentine surrender on 14 June, the British forces fought what was in many ways a 19th-century style colonial campaign at the end of extended supply lines some 8,000 miles from home. This volume will detail the major stages of the land campaign to retake the islands, focusing on the San Carlos landings, the battle for Darwin and Goose Green, and the final battles for Mt Longdon, Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge, the mountains that surrounded the island's capital, Stanley.
Napoleon Bonaparte is renowned as one of the great military commanders in history, and the central figure in so many of the events of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Throughout the first decade of the 19th century he won battle after battle by wielding the Grande Armï¿½e decisively against the other powers of Europe - Prussia, Austria and Russia. Yet his fortunes changed in 1812 when the invasion of Russia wrecked his forces, and Napoleon suffered his final defeat at Waterloo in 1815.
A short biography of Napoleon, who stands unrivaled in his position as history's foremost commander, a reputation justly earned in the course of nearly 20 years' campaigning in such diverse theatres of operation as Italy, Egypt, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia and France. Taken together, his nearly 60 battles - some of them of far-reaching military and political significance - profoundly shaped the course of modern Europe, fundamentally changed the methodology of war and influenced the character and ambitions of a man whose mind and method continue to fascinate students and scholars today. This is a military account of Napoleon's martial career, examining the tactics and leadership skills he displayed and including in-depth assessments of his role at Austerlitz, Borodino and Waterloo, the three battles that were to shape his destiny.
By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 Britain was the undisputed master of the seas owing to the power and strength of the Royal Navy. Its fleets, comprising ships of the line, frigates, and gunboats, had doubled in size since the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, totaling almost a thousand capital vessels. This book examines the commanders, men, and ships of the Royal Navy during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars, and discusses the Navy's command structure (from the Admiralty down to ship level) and its organization at sea. The tactics employed in action by a fleet, a squadron, and individual ships are also discussed, as are the medical services available, providing a fascinating insight into the navy that ruled the waves.
The Soviet invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan in December 1979 sparked a bloody nine-year conflict with the Mujahideen until Soviet forces withdrew in 1988-89, dooming the communist Afghanistan government to defeat by Afghan popular resistance backed by the USA and other powers. The Soviet invasion had enormous implications on the global stage; it prompted the US Senate to refuse to ratify the hard-won SALT II arms-limitation treaty, and the USA and 64 other countries boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. For Afghanistan, the invasion served to prolong the interminable civil war that pitted central government against the regions and faction against faction. The country remains locked in conflict over 30 years later, with no end in sight.For over a year before the invasion the communist Afghan government, installed following a coup and intent on forcibly modernizing the country's civil law in the face of centuries of feudal practices, had called for Soviet armed assistance in its efforts to overcome the open rebellion of the Mujahideen. Fearing the international consequences should the Afghan government be toppled, the Soviets decided to invade. From the outset, though, they failed to understand that communist principles were incompatible with traditional tribal relationships - especially in a country notorious for its poor communications and resistance to centralization.The Soviets found that their forces, largely made up of conscripts untrained in mountain warfare and counter-insurgency - and deploying 'conventional' weapons such as tanks and helicopters - could not defeat guerrillas enjoying the support of both the local population and powerful foreign allies such as the USA, and operating in harsh mountainous and/or desert terrain that favoured the defenders. The Soviets decided to stage a phased withdrawal of their own forces and concentrated on building up the Afghan government forces, but the Mujahideen soon prevailed, ushering in a new era dominated by the Taliban, an Islamist militia group that controlled large parts of the country from the mid-1990s.Featuring specially drawn mapping and drawing upon a wide range of sources, this succinct account explains the origins, history and consequences of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, thereby shedding new light on the more recent history - and prospects - of that troubled country.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.This book takes a concise and in-depth look at the dramatic events of the Iranian Embassy Siege, revealing the political background behind it and carefully analyzing the controversial decision by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to sign over control of the streets of London to the military. Unique bird's eye view artwork illustrates the moment the walls were breached and show how the strict planning of the operation was critical to its success. With input from those involved in the mission, and discussion on the effective training regimes of the SAS, the author strips away some of the mystery behind the best counter-terrorism unit in the world and their most famous raid.
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