fbpx

The Good Soldiers

In January 2007, the young and optimistic soldiers of the 2-16, the American infantry battalion known as the Rangers, were sent to Iraq as part of the surge. Their job would be to patrol one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad.

For fifteen months, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel was with them, following them almost every grueling step of the way. The resulting account of that time, The Good Soldiers, is a searing, shattering portrait of the face of modern war. In telling the story of these soldiers, both the heroes and the ruined, David Finkel has also written a classic work of war reporting.

The Cooler King

A thrilling tale of incredible courage and resilience, a true wartime story of William Ash.

The Cooler King is at once uplifting and inspirational, and stands as a testament to the durability of decent values and the invincible spirit of liberty.

The Cooler King tells the astonishing story of William Ash, an American flyer brought up in Depression-hit Texas, who after being shot down in his Spitfire over France in early 1942 spent the rest of the war defying the Nazis by striving to escape from every prisoner of war camp in which he was incarcerated.

Alongside William Ash is a cast of fascinating characters, including Douglas Bader, Roger Bushell, who would go on to lead the Great Escape, and Paddy Barthropp, a dashing Battle of Britain pilot who despite his very different background became Ash’s best friend and shared many of his adventures.

Using contemporary documents and interviews with Ash’s comrades, Patrick Bishop vividly recreates the multiple escape attempts, while also examining the P.O.W. experience and analysing the passion that drove some prisoners to risk death in repeated bids for freedom.

Devotion

***SOON TO BE A MAJOR HOLLYWOOD FILM***

‘This is aerial drama at its best. Fast, powerful, and moving.’ Erik Larson

‘A must read.’ New York Post

Devotion is the gripping story of the US Navy’s most famous aviator duo – Tom Hudner, a white, blue-blooded New Englander, and Jesse Brown, a black sharecropper’s son from Mississippi. Against all odds, Jesse beat back racism to become the Navy’s first black aviator. Against all expectations, Tom passed up a free ride at Harvard to fly fighter planes for his country. Barely a year after President Truman ordered the desegregation of the military, the two became wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32 and went on to fight side-by-side in the Korean War.

In an enthralling narrative, Adam Makos follows Tom and Jesse’s journey to the war’s climatic battle at the Chosin Reservoir, where they flew headlong into waves of troops in order to defend an entire division of Marines trapped on a frozen lake. It was here that one of them was faced with an unthinkable choice – and discovered how far they would go to save a friend.

Blitzkrieg

The German campaign in France during the summer of 1940 was pivotal to Hitler’s ambitions and fundamentally affected the course of the Second World War. Having squabbled about fighting methods right up to the start of the campaign, the German forces provided the Führer with a swift, efficient and decisive military victory over the Allied forces.

In achieving in just six weeks what their fathers had failed to accomplish during the four years of the First World War, Germany altered the balance of power in Europe at a stroke. Yet, as Lloyd Clark shows in this enthralling new book, it was far from a foregone conclusion. Blitzkrieg tells the story of the campaign, while highlighting the key technologies, decisions and events that led to German success, and details the mistakes, good fortune and chronic weaknesses in their planning process and approach to war fighting. There are also compelling portraits of the officers who played key roles, including Heinz Guderian, Erwin Rommel, Kurt Student, Charles de Gaulle and Bernard Montgomery.

Clark argues that far from being undefeatable, the France 1940 campaign revealed Germany and its armed forces to be highly vulnerable – a fact dismissed by Hitler as he began to plan for his invasion of the Soviet Union – and offers a gripping reassessment of the myths that have built up around one of the Second World War’s greatest military victories.

Crew

On the evening of 24 February 1944, RAAF Lancaster bomber J for Jig took off from an airfield in Lincolnshire. On board was a crew of seven young men-five Australians, two Scots-whose mission was to bomb factories in Schweinfurt, Germany. But J for Jig never reached its target. It was shot down in the night skies over France.

This book is about the seven lives on that aircraft-who they were, what they did, whom they loved, and whom they left behind. Some were to die that night, and others were to survive, withstanding incredible hardships and adventures as prisoners and evaders in a war that was far from over.

Crew brilliantly recreates J for Jig‘s final mission but, more than that, in telling seven individuals’ stories Mike Colman has captured the achievements, loss and the enduring legacy of the generation that fought in the Second World War.

The Endgame

The Endgame is the gripping and authoritative account of the secret military and political effort to pull Iraq from the precipice of full-scale civil war.

The book fuses unrivalled access to the in-fighting of Washington policymakers with analysis of strategizing by the generals and hard-fought operations on the battlefield. Along with access to classified documents, the authors draw from sources including military commanders, high-level intelligence operatives, White House aides, Iraqi officials and the soldiers who have tested both the Bush and Obama Administrations’ strategies to their limits.

This is a book that will be discussed in the White House, the Pentagon and the command centres in Baghdad. It will be an enduring account of the most decisive period of this bitterly divisive war. It is the third volume in the Gordon-Trainor collaboration on the United States military involvement in Iraq; magisterial accounts that have stood the test of time.

Stone Cold

‘If I’d have been a Vietcong you’d be dead.’ Len Opie

Through three wars across thirty years, Len Opie carved a reputation as one of Australia’s greatest infantrymen. A cold-eyed killer who drank nothing stronger than weak tea, he fought with his bare hands, a sharpened shovel and piano wire. He was a larrikin who went by the book, unless the book was wrong. He set his own bar high and expected others to do the same.

Stone Cold takes us into the jungles of New Guinea and Borneo. It goes to the cold heart of Korea, where Len emerged from the ranks to excel in the epic Battle of Kapyong and play a key role at the Battle of Maryang San. And it drops us into the centre of the American counter-insurgency war in Vietnam with Len’s involvement in the CIA’s shadowy black ops program, Phoenix.

Action-packed and surprising, Stone Cold gives rich life to a warrior soldier and one of Australia’s greatest diggers.

Scorched Earth

In 1942 the threat of Japanese invasion hung over Australia. The men were away overseas, fighting on other fronts, and civilians were left unprotected at home.

Prime Minister Curtin ordered state governments to prepare. From January 1942, a team frantically pulled together secret plans for a scorched earth strategy. The goal was to prevent the Japanese from seizing resources for their war machine as they landed, and capturing Australians as slaves as they had done in Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia.

From draining domestic water tanks to sinking dinghies and burning crops; from arming special citizen squads to evacuating coastal towns, Total war, total citizen collaboration was the motto. Today these plans vividly evoke the fraught atmosphere of the year Australia was threatened with invasion.

Only 31 copies of these top secret plans were ever produced , and most were destroyed after the war because they were considered too frightening. Historians had been searching for them for decades, until Sue Rosen came across them unexpectedly in government files.

Bomber Boys

March 1942. Singapore is about to fall. In Java, a Dutch civilian pilot and an Australian military dispatch rider embark on a frightening escape from the advancing Japanese that takes them from Bandung to a crash landing just north of Darwin. Both would join a unique band of flyers determined to strike back at the enemy.

This is the extraordinary and little known story of more than 100 Dutch airmen stranded in Australia with no country to return to who were joined by a contingent of Australians to make up the RAAF’s No. 18 (Netherlands East Indies Squadron). Formed in Canberra in April 1942, the squadron flew operational coastal patrols before eventually being relocated to the secret MacDonald Airfield, north of Pine Creek in the Northern Territory and then Batchelor near Darwin.

Told fully for the first time, this is, however, more than a story about the 900 bombing raids, reconnaissance missions and attacks on Japanese shipping that the squadron flew in its three years of existence under Australian control. At its heart, is a powerful and compelling story of a group of very different men thrown together for a common purpose and the strange and sometimes difficult friendships they formed.