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By Andrew Davidson. 2016
The unseen letters of the only British officer to spend three years in the trenches throughout the First World WarColonel…Graham Chaplin, commander of the Cameron Highlanders, wrote letters from the trenches almost daily to the wife he had married just before the war began. Even if he had no time to write, he would at least send a postcard to reassure her he was 'Quite well'. These personal and loving letters give a rare insight into the mind of a serving officer, his worries about his men and his family back home, his concern for the progress of the war (however cautiously phrased) and his comments on the growing list of friends dead or wounded.Having once refused what he considered unacceptably dangerous orders to send his troops over the top during the Battle of Loos, Chaplin wasn't promoted out of the trenches until 1917. Respected and trusted by his men, he was, even so, the only officer to whom this happened.Andrew Davidson, author of the highly praised Fred's War, analyses Chaplin's unique status and weaves around his letters a fascinating portrait of a soldier's life and of the war on the Western Front.
By Lyuba Vinogradova. 2017
"Lyuba Vinogradova is a historian with a writer's dramatic eye. By personally interviewing many of the Russian women who as…teenagers during WW2 took up arms to defend the motherland, her story becomes undeniably poignant and powerful" MARTIN CRUZ SMITH, author of Gorky ParkThe girls came from every corner of the U.S.S.R. They were factory workers, domestic servants, teachers and clerks, and few were older than twenty. Though many had led hard lives before the war, nothing could have prepared them for the brutal facts of their new existence: with their country on its knees, and millions of its men already dead, grievously wounded or in captivity, from 1942 onwards thousands of Soviet women were trained as snipers.Thrown into the midst of some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War they would soon learn what it was like to spend hour upon hour hunting German soldiers in the bleak expanses of no-man's-land; they would become familiar with the awful power that comes with taking another person's life; and in turn they would discover how it feels to see your closest friends torn away from you by an enemy shell or bullet.In a narrative that travels from the sinister catacombs beneath the Kerch Peninsula to Byelorussia's primeval forests and, finally, to the smoking ruins of the Third Reich, Lyuba Vinogradova recounts the untold stories of these brave young women. Drawing on diaries, letters and interviews with survivors, as well as previously unpublished material from the military archives, she offers a moving and unforgettable record of their experiences: the rigorous training, the squalid living quarters, the blood and chaos of the Eastern Front, and those moments of laughter and happiness that occasionally allowed the girls to forget, for a second or two, their horrifying circumstances. Avenging Angels is a masterful account of an all-too-often overlooked chapter of history, and an unparalleled account of these women's lives.Translated from the Russian by Arch Tait
By Stuart Tootal, Captain David Render. 2016
A gripping account of the Second World War, from the perspective of a young tank commander.In 1944, David Render was…a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements earned him the nickname of the 'Inevitable Mr Render'.In Tank Action Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.
By Jim DeFelice, Ray Lambert. 2019
An astonishing new firsthand account of D-Day. <P><P>Seventy-five years ago, he hit Omaha Beach with the first wave. Now Ray…Lambert, ninety-eight years old, delivers one of the most remarkable memoirs of our time, a tour-de-force of remembrance evoking his role as a decorated World War II medic who risked his life to save the heroes of D-Day. <P><P>At five a.m. on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ray Lambert worked his way through a throng of nervous soldiers to a wind-swept deck on a troopship off the coast of Normandy, France. <P><P>A familiar voice cut through the wind and rumble of the ship’s engines. “Ray!” called his brother, Bill. Ray, head of a medical team for the First Division’s famed 16th Infantry Regiment, had already won a silver star in 1943 for running through German lines to rescue trapped men, one of countless rescues he’d made in North Africa and Sicily. <P><P>“This is going to be the worst yet,” Ray told his brother, who served alongside him throughout the war.“If I don’t make it,” said Bill, “take care of my family.”“I will,” said Ray. He thought about his wife and son–a boy he had yet to see. “Same for me.” The words were barely out of Ray’s mouth when a shout came from below.To the landing craft! <P><P>The brothers parted. Their destinies lay ten miles away, on the bloodiest shore of Normandy, a plot of Omaha Beach ironically code named “Easy Red.” <P><P>Less than five hours later, after saving dozens of lives and being wounded at least three separate times, Ray would lose consciousness in the shallow water of the beach under heavy fire. He would wake on the deck of a landing ship to find his battered brother clinging to life next to him. <P><P>Every Man a Hero is the unforgettable story not only of what happened in the incredible and desperate hours on Omaha Beach, but of the bravery and courage that preceded them, throughout the Second World War—from the sands of Africa, through the treacherous mountain passes of Sicily, and beyond to the greatest military victory the world has ever known. <P><b>A New York Times Bestseller</b>
By Leo Hollis. 2021
&‘Hollis expertly weaves together the human tragedy and high politics behind the explosion of one of the world&’s greatest cities.&’…Dan Snow In June 1701, a young widow, Mary Davies wakes up in a hotel room in Paris and finds a man in her bed. Within hours they are married. Yet three weeks later, Mary fled to London and swore that she had never agreed to the wedding. So begins one of the most intriguing stories of madness, tragic passions and the curse of inheritance. Inheritance charts the forgotten life of Mary Davies, born in London during the Great Plague of 1665, and the land that she inherited as a baby. This estate would determine the course of her tragic life. Hollis restores this history of child brides, mad heiresses, religious controversy and shady dealing. The drama culminated in a court case that determined not just the state of Mary&’s legacy, but the future of London itself. Today, Mary&’s inheritance is some of the most valuable real estate in the world.
You Can't Get Much Closer Than This: Combat With the 80th "Blue Ridge" Division in World War II Europe
By A. Z. Adkins Jr., Andrew Z. Adkins III. 2005
A young soldier’s memoirs of fighting in WWII: “Fascinating . . . A personal record like this is a valuable resource to anyone…interested in the period”(Military Model Scene).After the Citadel and Officer Candidate School, Andrew Z. Adkins Jr., was sent to the 80th Infantry Division, then training in the California-Arizona desert. There, he was assigned as an 81mm mortar section leader in Company H, 2nd Battalion, 317th Infantry Regiment.When the division completed training in December 1943, it was shipped in stages to the United Kingdom and then Normandy, where it landed on August 3, 1944. Lieutenant Adkins and his fellow soldiers took part in light hedgerow fighting that served to shake the division down and familiarize the troops and their officers with combat. The first real test came within weeks, when the 2nd Battalion, 317th Infantry, attacked high ground near Argentan during the drive to seal German forces in the Falaise Pocket. While scouting for mortar positions in the woods, Adkins met a group of Germans and shot one of them dead with his carbine. This baptism in blood settled the question faced by every novice combatant: He was cool under fire, capable of killing when facing the enemy. He later wrote, “It was a sickening sight, but having been caught up in the heat of battle, I didn’t have a reaction other than feeling I had saved my own life.”Thereafter, the 2nd Battalion, 317th Infantry, took part in bloody battles across France, sometimes coping with inept leadership and grievous losses, even as it took hills and towns away from the Germans. In the fighting graphically portrayed here, Adkins acted with skill and courage, placing himself at the forefront of the action whenever he could. His extremely aggressive delivery of critical supplies to a cut-off unit in an embattled French town earned him a Bronze Star, the first in his battalion.This is a story of a young soldier at war, a junior officer’s coming of age amid pulse-pounding combat. Before his death, Andy Adkins was able to face his memory of war as bravely as he faced war itself. He put it on paper, honest and unflinching. In 1944-45, he did his duty to his men and country—and here, he serves new generations of military and civilian readers.
By Michelle Black. 2021
The shocking and affecting memoir from a gold-star widow searching for the truth behind her Green Beret husband's death, this…book bears witness to the true sacrifices made by military families.When Green Beret Bryan Black was killed in an ambush in Niger in 2017, his wife Michelle saw her worst nightmare become a reality. She was left alone with her grief and with two young sons to raise. But what followed Bryan's death was an even more difficult journey for the young widow. After receiving very few details about the attack that took her husband's life, it was up to Michelle to find answers. It became her mission to learn the truth about that day in Niger--and Sacrifice is the result of that mission. In this heartbreaking and revelatory memoir, Michelle uses exclusive interviews with the survivors of her husband's unit, research into the military leadership and accountability, and her own unique vantage point as a gold-star widow to tell a previously unknown story. Sacrifice is both an honest, emotional look inside a military marriage and a searing investigation of the people and decisions at the heart of the US military.
By David Stuttard. 2021
A vivid, novelistic history of the rise of Athens from relative obscurity to the edge of its golden age, told…through the lives of Miltiades and Cimon, the father and son whose defiance of Persia vaulted Athens to a leading place in the Greek world. When we think of ancient Greece we think first of Athens: its power, prestige, and revolutionary impact on art, philosophy, and politics. But on the verge of the fifth century BCE, only fifty years before its zenith, Athens was just another Greek city-state in the shadow of Sparta. It would take a catastrophe, the Persian invasions, to push Athens to the fore. In Phoenix, David Stuttard traces Athens’s rise through the lives of two men who spearheaded resistance to Persia: Miltiades, hero of the Battle of Marathon, and his son Cimon, Athens’s dominant leader before Pericles. Miltiades’s career was checkered. An Athenian provincial overlord forced into Persian vassalage, he joined a rebellion against the Persians then fled Great King Darius’s retaliation. Miltiades would later die in prison. But before that, he led Athens to victory over the invading Persians at Marathon. Cimon entered history when the Persians returned; he responded by encouraging a tactical evacuation of Athens as a prelude to decisive victory at sea. Over the next decades, while Greek city-states squabbled, Athens revitalized under Cimon’s inspired leadership. The city vaulted to the head of a powerful empire and the threshold of a golden age. Cimon proved not only an able strategist and administrator but also a peacemaker, whose policies stabilized Athens’s relationship with Sparta. The period preceding Athens’s golden age is rarely described in detail. Stuttard tells the tale with narrative power and historical acumen, recreating vividly the turbulent world of the Eastern Mediterranean in one of its most decisive periods.
By Ashley Bugge. 2021
An emotional memoir about a military family experiencing love, loss, and challenging times.Always Coming Back Home uses heartfelt stories and…real-time emails sent from a deployed sailor to his bride and readers quickly become invested in this young family. The couple takes readers on sailing and scuba diving adventures throughout the world. They also keep readers laughing as the couple becomes first time parents, anxious with them during military deployments, upset with them through miscarriages and family loss, and finally, heartbroken as it all comes to an end with a single phone call. Always Coming Back Home is a candid and raw account of two ordinary people coming together to accomplish extraordinary things.Praise for Always Coming Back Home“Such a beautiful and incredible tale of love and family. Ashley and Brian are such an amazing couple . . . . The memories Ashley shares with readers are so personal that you will feel like you are living in the moment with them . . . . I loved reading their story. I laughed with them, I cried with them and lived their life with them!” —Rabia Tanveer, Readers’ Favorite
By Edward G. Longacre. 2021
Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg (1833–1917) was one of the ablest and most successful commanders of cavalry in any Civil War…army. Pennsylvania-born, West Point–educated, and deeply experienced in cavalry operations prior to the conflict, his career personified that of the typical cavalry officer in the mid-nineteenth-century American army. Gregg achieved distinction on many battlefields, including those during the Peninsula, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristoe, Overland, and Petersburg campaigns, ultimately gaining the rank of brevet major general as leader of the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac. The highlight of his service occurred on July 3, 1863, the climactic third day at Gettysburg, when he led his own command as well as the brigade of Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer in repulsing an attempt by thousands of Confederate cavalry under the legendary J. E. B. Stuart in attacking the right flank and rear of the Union Army while Pickett&’s charge struck its front and center. Historians credit Gregg with helping preserve the security of his army at a critical point, making Union victory inevitable. Unlike glory-hunters such as Custer and Stuart, Gregg was a quietly competent veteran who never promoted himself or sought personal recognition for his service. Rarely has a military commander of such distinction been denied a biographer&’s tribute. Gregg&’s time is long overdue.
By Roger Moorhouse. 2018
This collection paints a picture of Hitler from members of his household in the unique position of being seemingly ever-present,…yet totally unconnected to events.The reader is introduced to Hitler's Bodyguard Karl Krause (1934-39), his house administrator Herbert Dhring (1935-43) and chambermaid Anna Plaim (1941-43). From these accounts we get a deeper sense of Hitler in close proximity.These accounts massively add to our understanding of Hitler as a three dimensional character, especially from subjects like Plaim who only knew Hitler's home life, having rarely left Berghof.The series is able to shed light on his likes and dislikes from foods to his hobbies, creating a strange sense of humanity. This collection also provides the reader with fresh anecdotes, observations and portraits of Hitler's entourage and relatives. Plaim's images of Eva Braun come from finding torn fragments in the bin, whilst Dhring sheds light on Martin Bormann's demeanour.
By Wayne Caldwell, Richard Russell. 2013
Robert Henry is a character more suited for fiction than nonfiction. While just a boy, he fought with the Overmountain…Men at Kings Mountain and battled British troops along the Catawba River. As a surveyor, he helped mark the boundary line between Tennessee and North Carolina. He had a long career as a prominent attorney and owned the famous Sulphur Springs resort. Yet while Henry is one of western North Carolina's most accomplished ancestors, he is also one of the most eccentric. He preferred to dress in moccasins and traveled with a walking stick nearly as tall as he. Some said he had the gift of foresight and was able to predict his own death. Join author Richard Russell as he navigates the unusual, contradictory and fascinating life of Robert Henry.
By Rebecca Gowers. 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA NON-FICTION CROWNDiamond thief, guerrilla fighter, spy, decorated hero, bohemian rogue and lover of several notorious women…- all describe Major Harry Larkyns. Yet he has long been dismissed as merely a liar and a cheat, famous only for being shot dead in 1874 by the unnerving photographer Eadweard Muybridge. But has history properly understood either the killer or his victim? Part biography, part crime investigation, THE SCOUNDREL HARRY LARKYNS uncovers some extraordinary truths, and is historical detective work at its finest.'One of the best books of the year' Irish Times'Strange, brilliant, quirky and illuminating' Country Life'A story that is as eventful as it is tragic' Guardian'A masterpiece of historical detective work' Keith Lowe
By Dominic Hibberd. 2003
The definitive biography of the war poet - 'Dominic Hibberd has probably done more more than any other individual to…illuminate Owen's life and work. His new Life is a triumph ... it is difficult to believe it will ever be superseded' Mark Bostridge, The Independent on SundayWhen Wilfred Owen died in 1918 aged 25, only five of his poems had been published. Yet he became one of the most popular poets of the 20th century. For decades his public image was controlled by family and friends, especially his brother Harold who was terrified anyone might think Wilfred was gay. In recent years much new material has become available. This book, based on over thirty years of wide-ranging research, brings new information to almost every part of Owen's life. Owen emerges as a complex, fascinating and often endearing character with an intense delight in being alive.
By Ronald S. Coddington. 2012
Discover the men of color who fought for their freedom during the Civil War through profiles illustrated with original wartime…photographs.A renowned collector of Civil War photographs and a prodigious researcher, Ronald S. Coddington combines compelling archival images with biographical stories that reveal the human side of the war. This third volume in his series on Civil War soldiers contains previously unpublished photographs of African American Civil War participants?many of whom fought to secure their freedom.During the Civil War, 200,000African American men enlisted in the Union army or navy. Some of them were free men and some escaped from slavery; others were released by sympathetic owners to serve the war effort. African American Faces of the Civil War tells the story of the Civil War through the images of men of color who served in roles that ranged from servants and laborers to enlisted men and junior officers.Coddington discovers these portraits?cartes de visite, ambrotypes, and tintypes?in museums, archives, and private collections. He has pieced together each individual’s life and fate based upon personal documents, military records, and pension files. These stories tell of ordinary men who became fighters, of the prejudice they faced, and of the challenges they endured. African American Faces of the Civil War makes an important contribution to a comparatively understudied aspect of the war and provides a fascinating look into lives that helped shape America.“It does nothing to diminish the depth and precision of Coddington’s research to say that each compelling vignette prompts the reader to hurriedly flip to the next one.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
By Ari Hoogenboom. 2008
This “fine, perhaps definitive, biography” of the man who guided the U.S. Navy’s stellar Civil War campaigns “should be on…every naval bookshelf” (Washington Times).Gustavus Vasa Fox began his naval service in 1838, when he went to sea as a midshipman. He sailed in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Africa, in the Gulf of Mexico, and with the East India Squadron in the Pacific. His experiences working on the Coast Survey, navigating the lower Mississippi River, and captaining a steamer that ran from New York to Havana to New Orleans and back, would all prove invaluable in the Civil War.During the war, Fox was instrumental in mounting the blockade of the southern coast, from the Chesapeake Bay to the Rio Grande. In planning and coordinating expeditions, Fox deserves much of the credit for the navy’s successes at Hatteras, Port Royal, New Orleans, Mobile Bay, and Fort Fisher.Passionately committed to preserving the Union, Fox also became an advocate of freedom and voting rights for African Americans. He was a skilled administrator who understood politics and developed a close working relationship with Abraham Lincoln. Along with officers like Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs and coordinator of military railroads Herman Haupt, Fox played a critical but overlooked role in the Union victory.
By Ronald S Coddington. 2004
Archival images and biographical sketches of Union soldiers tell the stories of their lives during and after the Civil War.Before…leaving to fight in the Civil War, many Union and Confederate soldiers posed for a carte de visite, or visiting card, to give to their families, friends, or sweethearts. Invented in 1854 by a French photographer, the carte de visite was a small photographic print roughly the size of a modern trading card. The format arrived in America on the eve of the Civil War, fueling intense demand for the keepsakes. Many cards of Civil War soldiers survive today, but the experiences?and often the names?of the individuals portrayed have been lost to time. A passionate collector of Civil War–era photography, Ron Coddington researched the history behind these anonymous faces in military records, pension files, and other public and personal documents.In Faces of the Civil War, Coddington presents 77 cartes de visite of Union soldiers from his collection and tells the stories of their lives during and after the war. These soldiers came from all walks of life. All were volunteers. Their personal stories reveal a tremendous diversity in their experience of war: many served with distinction, some were captured, some never saw combat while others saw little else. The lives of survivors were even more disparate. While some made successful transitions back to civilian life, others suffered permanent physical and mental disabilities, which too often wrecked their families and careers. In compelling words and haunting pictures, Faces of the Civil War offers a unique perspective on the most dramatic and wrenching period in American history.
By Ronald S. Coddington. 2016
Explore the human side of the Civil War through archival images and biographical sketches of Confederate and Union sailors.During the…American Civil War, more than one hundred thousand men fought on ships at sea or on one of America’s great inland rivers. There were no large-scale fleet engagements, yet the navies, particularly the Union Navy, did much to define the character of the war and affect its length. The first hostile shots roared from rebel artillery at Charleston Harbor. Along the Mississippi River and other inland waterways across the South, Union gunboats were often the first to arrive in deadly enemy territory. In the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, blockaders in blue floated within earshot of gray garrisons that guarded vital ports. And on the open seas, rebel raiders wreaked havoc on civilian shipping.In Faces of the Civil War Navies, Civil War photograph collector Ronald S. Coddington focuses his skills on the Union and Confederate navies. Using identifiable cartes de visite of common sailors on both sides of the war, many of them never before published, Coddington uncovers the personal histories of each individual. These unique narratives are drawn from military and pension records, letters, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources. In addition to presenting the personal stories of seventy-seven intrepid volunteers, Coddington also focuses on the momentous naval events that ushered in an era of ironclad ships and other technical innovations.Taken collectively, these “snapshots” show that the history of war is not merely a chronicle of campaigns won and lost, it is the collective personal odysseys of thousands of individual men.
By Damien Lewis, Jason Morgan. 2016
Lone Survivor meets Marley & Me in this inspiring buddy memoir of an extraordinary service dog whose enduring love brought…a wounded soldier back to life.A decade ago, Special Forces warrior Jason Morgan parachuted into the Central American jungle on an anti-narcotics raid. He’d served with the famous Night Stalkers on countless such missions. This one turned out very different. Months later, he regained consciousness in a US military hospital, with no memory of how he’d gotten there. The first words he heard were from his surgeon telling him he would never walk again. The determined soldier responded: “Sir, yes, I will.” After multiple surgeries, unbearable chronic pain, and numerous setbacks, Morgan was finally making progress when his wife left him and their three young sons. He was a single father confined to a wheelchair and tortured by his pain. At this very dark, very low point, Morgan found light: Napal, the black Labrador who would change his life forever. A Dog Called Hope is the incredible story of a remarkable service dog who brought a devastated warrior back from the brink. It is the story of one funny, lovable dog’s power to heal a family and teach a wounded man how to be a true father. It is the story of an amazing dog with boundless loyalty who built bridges between his wheelchair-bound battle buddy and the rest of able-bodied humankind. It is the story of how one very special dog gave a man’s life true meaning. Humorous, intensely moving, and uplifting, Jason and Napal’s heartwarming tale will brighten any day and lift every heart.
By Catherine Ostler. 2021
'Outrageously scandalous, soaked in sex and money, aristocracy, adventure and grandeur... Catherine Ostler&’s superb, gripping, decadent biography brings an extraordinary woman and…a whole world blazingly to life. An unforgettable, unputdownable read that seems both historical and modern, utterly relevant today.&’ – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Catherine the Great and Potemkin'Fascinating. Magnificent.?Sensitively told.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five and The Covent Garden LadiesWhen the glamorous Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, Countess of Bristol, went on trial at Westminster Hall for bigamy in April 1776, the story drew more attention in society than the American War of Independence. A clandestine, candlelit wedding to the young heir to an earldom, a second marriage to a Duke, a lust for diamonds and an electrifying appearance at a masquerade ball in a diaphanous dress: no wonder the trial was a sensation. However, Elizabeth refused to submit to public humiliation and retire quietly. Rather than backing gracefully out of the limelight, she embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe, being welcomed by the Pope and Catherine the Great among others. As maid of honour to Augusta, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth led her life in the inner circle of the Hanoverian court and her exploits delighted and scandalised the press and the people. She made headlines, and was a constant feature in penny prints and gossip columns. Writers were intrigued by her. Thackeray drew on Elizabeth as inspiration for his calculating, alluring Becky Sharp. But her behaviour, often depicted as attention-seeking and manipulative, hid a more complex tale – that of Elizabeth&’s fight to overcome personal tragedy and loss. Now, in this brilliantly told and evocative biography, Catherine Ostler takes a fresh look at Elizabeth&’s story and seeks to understand and reappraise a woman who refused to be defined by society&’s expectations of her. A woman who was by turns, brave, loving and generous but also reckless, greedy and insecure; a woman totally unwilling to accept the female status of underdog or to hand over all the power, the glory and the adventures of life to men.