From the hills and valleys of the eastern Confederate states to the sun-drenched plains of Missouri and “Bleeding Kansas,” a vicious, clandestine war was fought behind the big-battle clashes of the American Civil War. In the east, John Singleton Mosby became renowned for the daring hit-and-run tactics of his rebel horsemen. Here a relatively civilized war was fought; women and children usually left with a roof over their heads. But along the Kansas-Missouri border it was a far more brutal clash; no quarter given. William Clarke Quantrill and William “Bloody Bill” Anderson became notorious for their savagery.
There was another war in Vietnam, one that mostly did not make the headlines: the campaign to “win the hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people.
Fought not with artillery and helicopters but with food, medicine and shelter for civilians devastated by the conflict, the effort was unprecedented in U.S. history, involving both military and civilian personnel working together in widely spread areas of the countryside.
Part history and part memoir, this book chronicles an overlooked aspect of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, with a focus on the war victims and refugees who were most tragically affected by the carnage. The author recounts his two years “in-country” as an aid worker and tells how the humanitarian effort was conducted and why it failed.
During the Cold War, the U.S. government began testing paranormal claims under laboratory conditions in hopes of realizing intelligence applications for psychic phenomena. Thus began the project known as Star Gate. The largest in the history of parapsychological research, it received more than $20 million in funding and continued into the mid–1990s. This project archive includes all available documents generated by research contractor SRI International and those provided by government officials.
Remote viewing (RV) is an atypical ability that allows some individuals to gain information blocked from the usual senses by shielding, distance or time. During the final decade of Star Gate, the emphasis shifted to a support role of a government in-house psychic spying unit at Ft. Meade, MD, and to engage a number of full-time scientists to investigate the physical and biological properties of RV, which proved successful. Results included how to identify the RV-gifted, what constitutes an RV target, some correlations with parts of the nervous system, and an indication of a potential 6th sense. This volume includes numerous examples as well as operational simulations.
In November 1969, what Time Magazine called the “largest battle of the year” took place less than two miles from the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. Three companies of Task Force 1-61 met 2,000–3,000 North Vietnamese. American forces fought for two days, inflicting heavy casualties and suffering eight killed.
Late on November 12, it became evident that the American position could be overrun. Alpha Company was airlifted in darkness to reinforce a small hill in the jungle. Three hours later, well past midnight, the Americans were attacked by 1,500 NVA.
There was a twist: A secret Vietcong document captured near Saigon urged intense action before November 14 in anticipation of the Vietnam War Moratorium Demonstrations set for November 15 in many cities in America. The Vietcong planned to inflict a stunning defeat in “an effort to get the fighting in step with the peace marchers.”
The author, a member of Alpha Company who rode in on the last helicopter, offers unique insights into the story of the men who fought those three days in 1969.
Published here for the first time, the Civil War combat memoir of Lieutenant Colonel James Taylor Holmes of the 52nd Ohio Volunteers presents a richly detailed firsthand account of the action on Cheatham’s Hill during the June 1864 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Written in 1915, Holmes’ insightful narrative, with original hand-drawn diagrams, differs on key points from the accepted scholarship on troop movements and positions at Kennesaw, and contests the legitimacy of a battlefield monument. An extensive introduction and annotations by historian Mark A. Smith provide a brief yet comprehensive overview of the battle and places Holmes’ document in historical context.
From 1945 to 1973, more than 100,000 members of the U.S. military were advisors in Vietnam. Of these, 66,399 were combat advisors. Eleven were awarded the Medal of Honor, 378 were killed and 1393 were wounded. Combat advisors lived and fought with South Vietnamese combat units, advising on tactics and weapons and liaising with local U.S. military support.
Bob Worthington’s first tour (1966–1967) began with training at the Army Special Warfare School in unconventional warfare, Vietnamese culture and customs, advisor responsibilities and Vietnamese language. Once in-country, he acted as senior advisor to infantry defense forces and then an infantry mobile rapid reaction force.
Worthington worked alongside ARVN forces, staging operations against Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army units and coordinated actions with the U.S. Marines. He describes a night helicopter assault by 320-man ARVN battalion against a 1,200-man NVA regiment. On another night, the Vietcong ceased fire while Worthington arranged a Marine helicopter to medevac a wounded baby.
United States Army surgeon John H. Grindlay served in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II in 1941–1944. Drawing on his unpublished war diary and letters, this book sheds new light on the conduct of battlefield medicine in the tropics and provides a new perspective on such personalities as General Joseph W. Stilwell, the famed “Burma Surgeon” Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave, and Chiang Kai-shek. Stilwell’s famous 1942 “walkout” retreat from Burma to India is covered, along with the 1943 Allied return to Burma to push the Japanese from the Ledo Road connecting northeast India to southwestern China.
Hundreds of young Americans from the town of Stamford, Connecticut, fought in the Vietnam War. These men and women came from all corners of the town. They were white and black, poor and wealthy. Some had not finished high school; others had graduate degrees. They served as grunts and helicopter pilots, battlefield surgeons and nurses, combat engineers and mine sweepers. Greeted with indifference and sometimes hostility upon their return home, Stamford’s veterans learned to suppress their memories in a nation fraught with political, economic and racial tensions. Now in their late 60s and 70s, these veterans have begun to tell their stories.
Both before and during World War II, the Nazis restricted the rights of Jewish and communist doctors. Some fought back, first by fighting against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War and then by helping the Chinese in their struggle against Japan. There were, however, two rival factions in China. One favored Chiang Kai-shek (the nationalists) and the other, the communists—and 27 foreign medical personnel were caught between them. Amidst poverty, war and corruption, living conditions were poor and traveling was hazardous.
This book follows members of the Chinese Red Cross Medical Relief Corps through the war as they became enemy aliens and pursued their work despite the perils. These doctors had a keen sense of public health needs and contributed to the recognition and management of infectious diseases and nutritional disorders, all the while denouncing corruption, inhumanity and inequality.
Who was most responsible for the Vietnam War? Did President Lyndon Johnson simply continue the policies of his predecessors, Eisenhower and Kennedy, or was he the principal architect? What responsibility did Congress share? Was the Senate a coequal partner in creating the Vietnam policy or a secondary player?
Focusing on the U.S. Senate’s role in the war, this history records the various senators’ views in their own words. The author demonstrates that during the 20-year conflict—as throughout American history—the president was the principal formulator of policy on war and peace, including during the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A poignant memoir that recounts the author’s hair-raising—and occasionally hilarious—experiences as a young, not especially gung-ho Marine artilleryman in Vietnam. Gritty and disturbing, Bill Jones’ unvarnished narrative probes the lasting physical and emotional wounds of war and offers a combat veteran’s wry insight into the influence and relevance of America’s long and indecisive misadventure.
Motivated by patriotism, 21-year old Everard Bullis of St. Paul, Minnesota—the only boy of five siblings from a middle-class family—enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1917 and went to the Western Front. His clear-eyed memoir describes in detail the Fifth Marine Regiment’s desperate stand against repeated German assaults at Belleau Wood, along with actions at Soissons, St. Mihiel and Blanc Mont Ridge. Historical figures appear, including Captain Frank Whitehead, George W. Hamilton (“America’s Greatest World War I Hero”) and General John J. Pershing.
When Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces on April 30, 1975, the communist victory sent shockwaves around the world. Using ingenious strategy and tactics, Hồ Chí Minh had shown it was possible for a tiny nation to defeat a mighty Western power. The same tactics have been studied and replicated by revolutionary forces and terrorist organizations across the globe.
Drawing on recently declassified documents and rare interviews with Hồ Chí Minh’s strategists and operatives, this book offers fresh perspective on his blueprint and the reasons behind both the French (1945–1954) and the American (1959–1975) failures in Vietnam, concluding with an analysis of the threat this model poses today.
Freedom of speech was restricted during the Revolutionary War. In the great struggle for independence, those who remained loyal to the British crown were persecuted with loss of employment, eviction from their homes, heavy taxation, confiscation of property and imprisonment. Loyalist Americans from all walks of life were branded as traitors and enemies of the people. By the end of the war, 80,000 had fled their homeland to face a dismal exile from which few would return, outcasts of a new republic based on democratic values of liberty, equality and justice.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a wave of political violence swept across the globe, causing widespread alarm. Described by the media of the day as “propaganda of the deed,” assassinations, bombings and assaults carried out by anarchists—both individuals and conspirators—were intended to incite revolution and established the precedents of modern terrorism. Much has been written about these actions and the responses to them yet little attention has been given to the actors themselves. Drawing on wide range of sources, the author profiles numerous insurgents, their deeds and their motives.
Four new titles are reviewed in the September issue of Choice!
We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action
“The volume serves not only as a springboard for classroom discussions but also as a unique documentary source for future generations. We Rise to Resist contextualizes third-wave feminism by highlighting the diversity of women’s experiences while offering a space for reflection and a call for political action…highly recommended.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers Encyclopedia
“Comprehensive…excellent…this is a well-conceived and concise compendium of all things related to this iconic baseball team and an invaluable reference for all libraries…highly recommended.”
This candid memoir recounts the author’s nearly four years in the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment—a.k.a. “The Old Guard” or “Escort to the President”—from 2000 to 2004. Beginning with his grueling summertime infantry basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he depicts the day-to-day challenges and triumphs of life in the U.S. Army’s oldest and most storied unit, from the 2001 Presidential Inauguration to the recovery efforts following the September 11 attacks.
During the Civil War, each side accused the other of mistreating prisoners of war. Today, most historians believe that there was systemic and deliberate abuse of POWs by both sides yet many base their conclusions on anecdotal evidence, much of it from postwar writings.
Drawing on both contemporaneous prisoner diaries and Union Army documents (some newly discovered), the author presents a fresh and detailed study of supposed mistreatment of prisoners at Fort Delaware—one of the largest Union prison camps—and draws surprising conclusions, some of which have implications for the entire Union prison system.
During the Chickamauga Campaign, General Stanley’s two Union cavalry divisions battled Forrest’s and Wheeler’s cavalry corps in some of the most difficult terrain for mounted operations. The Federal troopers, commanded by Crook and McCook, guarded the flanks of the advance on Chattanooga, secured the crossing of the Tennessee River, then pushed into enemy territory.
The battle exploded on September 18 as Col. Minty and Col. Wilder held off a determined attack by Confederate infantry. The fighting along Chickamauga Creek included notable actions at Glass Mill and Cooper’s Gap. Union cavalry dogged Wheeler’s forces throughout Tennessee. The Union troopers fought under conditions so dusty they could hardly see, leading the infantry through the second costliest battle of the war.
Dan Showalter was Speaker Pro Tem of the California State Assembly at the outbreak of the Civil War and the exemplar of treason in the Far West among the pro–Union press. He gained notoriety as the survivor of California’s last political (and actual, fatal) duel, for his role in the display of a Confederate flag in Sacramento, and for his imprisonment after an armed confrontation with Union troops.
Escaping to Texas, he distinguished himself in the Confederate service in naval battles and in pursuit of Comanche raiders. As commander of the 4th Arizona Cavalry, he helped recapture the Rio Grande Valley from the Union and defended Brownsville against a combined Union and Mexican force. Refusing to surrender at war’s end, he fled to Mexico, where he died of a wound sustained in a drunken bar fight at age 35.
Virginia saw significant action during the War of 1812, from the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair to the defense of Norfolk against British invaders. Many Virginians supported the struggle for independence from Great Britain—others vehemently opposed “Mr. Madison’s War.”
A largely forgotten conflict, the war played an important role in the history of the United States. While comprehensive histories of the war are few, there is a positive lack of state-focused studies. Drawing on extensive primary and secondary sources, the author provides an in-depth portrait of the “Old Dominion” at war in the early years of the nation’s history.
Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors. When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout. Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal. On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution! In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
By 1915, the Western Front was a 450–mile line of trenches, barbed wire and concrete bunkers, stretching across Europe. Attempts to break the stalemate were murderous and futile. Censorship of the press was extreme—no one wanted the carnage reported.
Remakably, the Allied command gave two intrepid American women, Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart, permission to visit the front and report on what they saw. Their travels are reconstructed from their own published accounts, Rinehart’s unpublished day-by-day notes, and the writings of other journalists who toured the front in 1915. The present authors’ explorations of the places Wharton and Rinehart visited serves as a travel guide to the Western Front.
Formed in 1916, the U.S. Army 31st Infantry Regiment—known as the Polar Bears—has fought in virtually every war in modern American history. This richly illustrated chronicle of the regiment’s century of combat service covers their exploits on battlefields from Manila to Siberia—including Pork Chop Hill, Nui Chom Mountain and Iraq’s Triangle of Death—along with their survival during the Bataan Death March and the years of brutal captivity that followed.
Informers have been active during many periods of unrest in Ireland but, until Tudor times, they had never been an organized phenomenon until the twentieth century. The decision (or refusal) to inform is dangerous—thus the motives of the informers are compelling, as is their ability to deceive themselves.
Drawing on firsthand and newspaper accounts of the Easter Rising and other events, this book provides a history of the gradual development of informing in Ireland. Each informer’s story details their life and secrets and the outcome of their actions. All of them have shared two experiences: the accusation of informing, whether true or false, and betrayal, whether committed or endured.
Symbolic ornamentation inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art is a long-standing Western tradition. The author explores the designs of 18th century English gunsmiths who engraved classical ornamental patterns on firearms gifted or traded to American Indians. A system of allegory is found that symbolized the Americas of the New World in general, and that enshrined the American Indian peoples as “noble savages.”
The same allegorical context was drawn upon for symbols of national liberty in the early American republic. Inadvertently, many of the symbolic designs used on the trade guns strongly resonated with several Native American spiritual traditions.
China’s information war against the United States is clever technically, broadly applied and successful. The intelligence community in the U.S. has publicly stated this is a kind of war we do not know how to fight—yet it is the U.S. military that developed and expanded the doctrine of information war.
In fact, the U.S. military is at a disadvantage because it is part of a democratic, decentralized system of government that separates the state from commercial business. China’s political systems are more easily adapted to this form of warfare, as their recent land seizures in the South China Sea demonstrate. We call this annexation, when it is a new form of conquest.
The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 signified the end of the Vietnam War. American personnel returned home and the 591 American prisoners held captive in North Vietnam were released. Still, 2,646 individuals did not come home.
Thirty-seven of those missing in action were from Wisconsin. Their names appear on the largest object—a motorcycle (now part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection)—ever left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Using the recollections of the soldiers’ families, friends and fellow servicemen, the author tells the story of each man’s life.
June has arrived, and with it McFarland’s military historysale. Whether you’re a military scholar, armchair historian, veteran, genealogist, or general reader interested in gripping nonfiction, now is the time to save. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code MILITARY25, print editions of all military history books are 25% off June 1 through June 15. Best of luck to all with your summer reading lists!
The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers infantry regiment was formed in 1861—its ranks filled by nearly 1,200 Irish and German immigrants from Schuylkill County responding to Lincoln’s call for troops. The men saw action for three years with the Army of the Potomac’s VI Corps, participating in engagements at Gaines’ Mill, Crampton’s Gap, Salem Church and Spotsylvania. Drawing on letters, diaries, memoirs and other accounts, this comprehensive history documents their combat service from the point of view of the rank-and-file soldier, along with their views on the war, slavery, emancipation and politics.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7), American sailors of the Asiatic Fleet (where it was December 8) were abandoned by Washington and left to conduct a war on their own, isolated from the rest of the U.S. naval forces. Their fate in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies was often grim—many died aboard burning ships, were executed upon capture or spent years as prisoners of war.
Many books have been written about the ships of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, yet few look into the experiences of the common sailor. Drawing on official reports, past research, personal memoirs and the writings of war correspondents, the author tells the story of those who never came home in 1945.
This fourth comprehensive study of international terrorist attacks covers 2017, during which the Islamic State suffered continued reversals yet retained its status as the most active, well-financed and well-armed terrorist group worldwide. Organized by region and country, the study covers domestic and international incidents around the world, outlining significant trends. The author offers several indicators of what to watch in the coming years. The single-year format allows readers access to the most up-to-date information on terrorism, while geographic focus more easily facilitates regional comparison.
Captain George N. Bliss of the First Rhode Island Cavalry survived some 27 actions during the Civil War. Midway through the war, he served nine months at a conscript training camp in Connecticut, where he sat on several courts-martial. In September 1864, in a skirmish at Waynesboro, Virginia, he single-handedly charged into the 4th Virginia “Black Horse” Cavalry. Badly injured and taken prisoner, he was consigned to the notorious Libby Prison in Richmond.
A colorful correspondent, Bliss detailed his experiences in letters to a close friend and sent dispatches to a Providence newspaper. His candid writings are rich with details of the war and his own opinions. The editors describe how, following the war, Bliss sought out the Confederates who almost killed him and formed friendships with them that lasted for decades.
In 1941, the U.S. Army activated the 758th Tank Battalion, the first all-black armored unit. By December 1944 they were fighting the Axis in Northern Italy, from the Ligurian Sea through the Po Valley and into the Apennine Mountains, where they helped breach the Gothic Line—the Germans’ last major defensive line of the Italian Campaign.
After the war the 758th was deactivated but was reformed as the 64th Tank Battalion, keeping their distinguished insignia, a tusked elephant head over the motto “We Pierce.” They entered the Korean War still segregated but returned fully integrated (though discrimination continued internally). Through the years, they fought with almost every American tank—the Stuart, the Sherman, the Pershing, the Patton and today’s Abrams.
Victorious over two fascist (and racist) regimes, many black servicemen returned home to what they hoped would be a more tolerant nation. Most were bitterly disappointed—segregation was still the law of the land. For many, disappointment became a determination to fight discrimination with the same resolve that had defeated the Axis.
James Claude Beasley was a typical American teenager in the 1940s—a child of the Great Depression with an abiding commitment to family and country. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy at 18. His plainspoken, personal memoir recounts his three years of service (1942–1945), from his induction at Winston Salem, North Carolina, to the sinking of his ship, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay, by a Japanese submarine, through the end of the conflict and his return to civilian life.
Richard Fleming served as a scout with the elite U.S. Marine 1st Force Reconnaissance Company during the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War. Dropped deep into enemy territory, Recon relied on stealth and surprise to complete their mission—providing intelligence on enemy positions, conducting limited raids and capturing prisoners. Fleming’s absorbing memoir recounts his transformation from idealistic recruit to cynical veteran as the war claimed the lives of his friends and the missions became ever more dangerous.
From the very earliest days of organized warfare, combatants have wanted to develop weapons with more firepower. This has inevitably led to a wide variety of repeating weapons, capable of a degree of sustained fire without reloading.
Based largely upon new research, this book explores the history of repeating and multi-fire weapons, beginning with the Chinese repeating crossbow in the 4th century BCE, and ending with the world’s most common firearm, the Kalashnikov AK-47. The author describes the potency of the machine gun in World War I, the development of the semiautomatic pistol and the role of the submachine gun in improving the effectiveness of the infantryman.
In the years following the Civil War, the U.S. Army underwent a professional decline. Soldiers served their enlistments at remote, nameless posts from Arizona to Alaska. Harsh weather, bad food and poor conditions were adversaries as dangerous as Indian raiders. Yet under these circumstances, men continued to enlist for $13 a month.
Drawing on soldiers’ narratives, personal letters and official records, the author explores the common soldier’s experience during the Reconstruction Era, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Punitive Expedition into Mexico.
Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.
The Geheime Feldpolizei (Secret Field Police) was the political police force of the German Army during World War II. Its members were drawn from both the regular German police, including detectives, and various Nazi security organizations. The goals of the GFP were numerous and included protecting important political and military leaders; investigating black market activities as well as acts of sabotage and espionage; locating deserters; examining anti–German activists and hunting down partisans. While performing these duties, GFP members immersed themselves in criminal activities. This book focuses on the function of the GFP in Greece compared to that of the GFP elsewhere in Europe.
This third comprehensive chronology of international terrorist attacks covers 2016, during which the Islamic State suffered several battlefield reversals yet continued its operations as the most active, well-financed and well-armed terrorist group worldwide. Domestic and international incidents around the world are covered and several trends are observed. A new format and organization allows readers to quickly access the most up-to-date information and make regional comparisons.
Virginia played an important role during World War I, supplying the Allied forces with food, horses and steel in 1915 and 1916. After America entered the war in 1917, Virginians served in numerous military and civilian roles—Red Cross nurses, sailors, shipbuilders, pilots, stenographers and domestic gardeners. More than 100,000 were drafted—more than 3600 lost their lives. Almost every city and county lost men and women to the war. The author details the state’s manifold contributions to the war effort and presents a study of monuments erected after the war.
Much of the history of the Korean War has been misinterpreted or obscured. Intense propaganda and limited press coverage during the war, coupled with vague objectives and an incomplete victory, resulted in a popular narrative of partial truth and factual omission. Battlefield stories—essentially true but often missing significant data—added an element of myth. Drawing on a range of sources, the author, a Korean War veteran, reexamines the war’s causes, costs and outcomes.
When General E. A. Paine assumed command of the U.S. Army’s District of Western Kentucky at Paducah in the summer of 1864, he faced a defiant populace, a thriving black market and undisciplined troops plagued by low morale. Outside the picket lines, guerrillas pillaged towns and murdered the vocal few that supported the Union. Paine’s unenviable task was to enforce discipline and to mollify the secessionist majority in 2300 square-mile district.
In less than two months, he succeeded where other commanders had failed. For secessionists, his tenure was a “reign of terror”—for the Unionist minority, a “happy and jubilant” time.
An abolitionist, Paine promoted the enlistment of black troops and encouraged fair wages for former slaves. Yet his principled views led to his downfall. Critics and enemies falsified reports, leading to his removal from command and a court-martial. He was exonerated on all but one minor charge yet generations of historians perpetuated the Paine-the-monster myth. This book tells the complete story.
An Iowa boy away at college, Verne Lyon was recruited by the CIA to spy on college professors and fellow students as part of Operation CHAOS, a massive domestic surveillance program carried out at the height of the Vietnam War. Framed by his handlers for an airport bombing, he was later dispatched to Cuba to subvert the Castro regime.
Balking at his increasingly nefarious missions, he tried to quit—and, twice kidnapped by the CIA, he landed in Leavenworth Penitentiary. Today a free man, his memoir details his journey through the secret workings of the U.S. government.
Volume 2 continues the history of the U.S. Marine Corps’ involvement in “small wars” after World War II, beginning with advisory efforts with the Netherlands Marine Korps (1943–1946). The author describes counterinsurgency efforts during the Korean War (1950–1953), the development of vertical assault tactics in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, counterinsurgency in Southeast Asia (1962–1975), involvement in Central America (1983–1989), and present-day conflicts, including the War on Terror and operations in Iraq and Libya.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the men of the 30th North Carolina rushed to join the regiment, proclaiming, “we will whip the Yankees, or give them a right to a small part of our soil—say 2 feet by 6 feet.” Once the Tar Heels experienced combat, their attitudes changed. One rifleman recorded: “We came to a Yankee field hospital … we moved piles of arms, feet, hands.” By 1865, the unit’s survivors reflected on their experiences, wondering “when and if I return home—will I be able to fit in?”
Drawing on letters, journals, memoirs and personnel records, this history follows the civilian-soldiers from their mustering-in to the war’s final moments at Appomattox. The 30th North Carolina had the distinction of firing at Abraham Lincoln on July 12, 1864, as the president stood upon the ramparts of Ft. Stevens outside Washington D.C., and firing the last regimental volley before the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Without the support of American women, victory in the Revolutionary War would not have been possible. They followed the Continental Army, handling a range of jobs usually performed by men. On the orders of General Washington, some were hired as nurses for $2 per month and one full ration per day—disease was rampant and nurse mortality was high. A few served with artillery units or masqueraded as men to fight in the ranks. The author focuses on the many key roles women filled in the struggle for independence, from farming to making saltpeter to spying.
Formed in July 1943 at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, the 16th Armored Division was the last U.S. armored division to be activated in World War II, the last deployed to the European Theater and the last to see combat. As the war in Europe was coming to an end, General George S. Patton chose the division to spearhead a daring advance into Czechoslovakia. In its first and only combat operation, the 16th liberated the city of Pilsen, forever endearing itself to the Czech people. Poised to continue to the capital city of Prague, the division was halted not by German resistance but by political rivalries between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. Official U.S. Army records and veteran accounts tell the story of the unit’s brief two-year existence and its successful mission.
Covering the history of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1790—when it was called the U.S. Revenue Marine—through World War I, this book describes the service’s national defense missions, including actions during the War of 1812, clashes with pirates, slave ships and Seminole Indians, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. During World War I the USCG supported U.S. Navy operations across the Atlantic, escorted merchant convoys and engaged in anti-submarine warfare. Original maps are included.
North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are Asia’s most mysterious, tragic stories. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed societies, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation and growing middle class security.
For Burma, the threat was internal: insurgent factions clashed with the government and each other. For North Korea, it was external: a hostile superpower—the United States—and a far more successful rival state—South Korea—occupying half of the Korean peninsula.
Over time, Myanmar defeated its enemies, giving it space to explore a form of democratization and openness that has led to reintegration into international society. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime believes its nuclear arsenal—the primary reason for their pariah status—is vital to survival.
Hilliard’s Legion—a part of Archibald Gracie’s Brigade of Alabama Confederates—at the battle of Chickamauga. The author shows conclusively that Gracie’s command was never forced from the berm at the top of the Horseshoe Ridge and that some men from Hilliard’s Legion penetrated to the top of the Ridge. A reexamination of the battle’s conclusion highlights the Legion’s role in the final movement.
A Medal of Honor citation is corrected and the Legion’s post-war contributions are explored. A complete roster is included, with biographical notes on most of the soldiers.
In the five months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy won a string of victories in a campaign to consolidate control of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. In June of 1942, Japan suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Midway and was never again able to take the offensive in the Pacific.
Bringing fresh perspective to the battle and its consequences, the author identifies Japan’s operational plan as a major factor in its Navy’s demise and describes the profound effects Midway had on the course of the war in Europe.
In the final year of World War I, Germany made its first attempt to wage submarine warfare off faraway shores. Large, long-range U-boats (short for unterseeboot or “undersea boat”) attacked Allied shipping off the coasts of the U.S., Canada and West Africa in a desperate campaign to sidestep and scatter the lethal U-boat defenses in European waters.
Commissioned in 1917, U-156 raided commerce, transported captured cargo and terrorized coastal populations from Madeira to Cape Cod. In July 1918, the USS San Diego was sunk as it headed into New York Harbor—the opening salvo in a month-long series of audacious attacks by U-156 along the North American coast. The author chronicles the campaign from the perspective of Imperial Germany for the first time in English.
World War I was a global cataclysm that toppled centuries-old dynasties and launched “the American century.” Yet at the outset few Americans saw any reason to get involved in yet another conflict among the crowned heads of Europe. Despite its declared neutrality, the U.S. government gradually became more sympathetic with the Allies, until President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany to “make the world safe for democracy.”
Key to this shift in policy and public opinion was the belief that the English-speaking peoples were inherently superior and fit for world leadership. Just before the war, British and American elites set aside former disputes and recognized their potential for dominating the international stage. By casting Germans as “barbarians” and spreading stories of atrocities, the Wilson administration persuaded the public—including millions of German Americans—that siding with the Allies was a just cause.
Hava (Eva) Bromberg and Ephraim Sokal were Jewish teenagers in Poland when the Nazis invaded in 1939. Hiding in plain sight, Bromberg lived among the non–Jewish Polish population, always in danger of discovery or betrayal.
Sokal and his family were deported as “enemies of the people” when the Russians occupied eastern Poland—a calamity that saved their lives. Liberated by the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Sokal fought the Germans, serving with the Polish Navy and British armed forces.
Bromberg and Sokal met in 1947, both facing the challenges of surviving in a postwar world they were unprepared for. This combined memoir tells their story of resilience.
The first African-American aircraft carrier commander, Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland Chambers (1929– ) played a prominent role as captain of the USS Midway during the Vietnam War. During the evacuation of Saigon—known as Operation Frequent Wind—he famously ordered several UH-1 helicopters pushed overboard to make room for an escaping South Vietnamese Air Force major to land his Cessna. Chambers, who had only commanded Midway for a few weeks, gave the order believing (wrongly) that he would be court-martialed for the $10 million loss. This biography covers his early life and military career, including his role in the desegregation of the U.S. Navy during a period racial strife.
In late January 1944 a force of New Zealand soldiers and Allied specialists undertook a daring behind the lines reconnaissance of the Japanese-held Green Islands of Papua New Guinea. The New Zealand Army’s largest amphibious operation of World War II followed two weeks later. The Japanese contested the invasion with air power and inflicted heavy damage on the American cruiser USS St. Louis. After landing, the New Zealanders pushed inland and encountered fanatical Japanese defenders entrenched in thick jungle.
Allied engineers—including the famed Seabees—then built airfields, roads and shipping facilities. The seizure of the Green Islands completed the encirclement of the main Japanese base in the South Pacific at Rabaul. A memorable but overlooked action of the Pacific War, “Operation Squarepeg” involved a diverse force of Allied sailors, soldiers and airmen that included Charles Lindbergh and future U.S. president Richard Nixon.
Originally designed as a cargo and paratroop transport during World War II, the Fairchild C-82 Packet is today mainly remembered for its starring role in the Hollywood film The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). Its ungainly appearance earned it the nickname “the flying boxcar” but the aircraft was the first to achieve practical end-loading and aerial delivery of cargoes. Its outsized capacity served the U.S. military’s needs for more than ten years—civilian operators flew it in remote locations like Alaska and South America for a further three decades. This book provides a comprehensive history of the C-82, detailing each of the 224 aircraft built, with technical diagrams, multiple appendices and more than 200 photos.
From the early 1950s until 1992, the U.S. Army deployed thousands of nuclear warheads throughout Europe as a deterrent to Soviet ambitions. The end of the Cold War saw the decommissioning of much of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the phasing out of support personnel.
This memoir by one of the Army’s last “glow worms” chronicles his career as a nuclear weapons specialist—from 17-year-old recruit to participant in Operation Silent Echo, codename for the removal of all tactical warheads throughout Asia and Europe.
After Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, the Gestapo began silencing critics. Many were shipped to concentration camps; those deemed most dangerous to the Reich were executed. Yet a few slipped through the Gestapo’s net and organized resistance cells. One group, codenamed CASSIA, became America’s most effective spy ring in Austria during World War II.
This first full-length account of CASSIA describes its contributions to the Allied war effort—including reports on the V-2 missile, Nazi death camps and advanced combat aircraft and tanks—before a catastrophic intelligence failure sent key members to the guillotine, firing squad or gas chamber.
Formed in 1951, the Federal Civil Defense Administration said that “the importance of women in civil defense can scarcely be overstated.” Comprising 70 percent or more of civil defense workers at the height of the Cold War, American women served as FCDA wardens, auxiliary police, nurses, home preparedness advisors, coordinators of mass feeding drills, rescue and emergency management personnel, and in various local, state, regional and national organizations. The author examines the diverse roles they filled to promote homeland protection and preparedness at a time when atomic war was an imminent threat.
William Edmondson “Grumble” Jones (b. 1824) stands among the most notable Southwest Virginians to fight in the Civil War. The Washington County native graduated from Emory & Henry College and West Point. As a lieutenant in the “Old Army” between service in Oregon and Texas, he watched helplessly as his wife drowned during the wreck of the steamship Independence. He resigned his commission in 1857.
Resuming his military career as a Confederate officer, he mentored the legendary John Singleton Mosby. His many battles included a clash with George Armstrong Custer near Gettysburg. An internal dispute with his commanding general, J.E.B. Stuart, resulted in Jones’s court-martial conviction in 1863. Following a series of campaigns in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, he returned to the Shenandoah Valley and died in battle in 1864, leaving a mixed legacy.
The U.S. government’s Indian Policy evolved during the 19th century, culminating in the expulsion of the American Indians from their ancestral homelands. Much has been written about Andrew Jackson and the removal of the Five Nations from the American Southeast to present-day Oklahoma. Yet little attention has been paid to the policies of the Lincoln administration and their consequences.
The Civil War was catastrophic for the natives of the Indian Territory. More battles were waged in the Indian Territory than in any other theater of the war, and the Five Nations’ betrayal by the U.S. government ultimately lead to the destruction of their homes, their sovereignty and their identity.
From the little-known Filibuster Wars to the Civil War battlefield of Gaines’ Mill, this volume details the fascinating story of one of the South’s most colorful military units, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion, aka Wheat’s Tigers. Beginning with a brief look at the Filibuster Wars (a set of military attempts to annex Latin American countries into the United States as slave states), the work takes a close look at the men who comprised Wheat’s Tigers: Irish immigrant ship hands, New Orleans dock workers and Filibuster veterans. Commanded by one of the greatest antebellum filibusterers, Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, the Tigers quickly distinguished themselves in battle through their almost reckless bravery, proving instrumental in Southern victories at the battles of Front Royal, Winchester and Port Republic. An in-depth look at Battle of Gaines’ Mill, in which Wheat’s Tigers suffered heavy casualties, including their commander, completes the story. Appendices provide a compiled roster of the Wheat’s Tigers, a look at the 1st Louisiana’s uniforms and a copy of Wheat’s report about the Battle of Manassas. Never-before-published photographs are also included.
Winston Churchill, indispensable when liberty was in peril, died in 1965. Yet he is still accused of numerous sins, from alcoholism and racism to misogyny and warmongering. On the Internet, he simmers in a stew of imagined misdeeds—using poison gas, firebombing Dresden, causing the Bengal famine, and so on.
Drawing on the author’s fifty years of research and writing on Churchill, this book uncovers scores of myths surrounding him—the popular and the obscure—to reveal what he really said and did about many issues. Churchill had two personas—one that thought deeply about the nature of humanity, and one that helped solve seemingly intractable problems. In his many decades in public life, he made mistakes, but his faults were well eclipsed by his virtues.
Fort William Henry and Fort Phil Kearny were both military outposts of the North American frontier. Both lasted but briefly—about two years from construction until their walls went up in flames. And both saw what were termed “massacres” by Indians outside their walls.
This book reexamines the traumatic events at both forts. The Fort William Henry Massacre was condemned by both the British and the French as barbaric. Yet these European powers proved capable of similar crimes. The Fort Phil Kearny defeat, traditionally attributed to Captain William Fetterman’s having disobeyed orders, has been scrutinized in recent years. Did the women present at that time write a distorted version of events?
It would appear that his second-in-command, the rash Lieutenant George Grummond, led the charge over Lodge Trail Ridge. Or did he?
Nation-building efforts by the United States and the international community have led to both success and failure, overwhelming support and debilitating controversy. Some are motivated by national security interests; others by humanitarian concerns. They seem to have exploded since the end of the Cold War but in fact have long been used as a foreign policy tool.
What they all have in common is a substantial investment of troops, treasure and time. There is no formula—each operation is unique, with lessons to be learned and trends noted. Examining the history of America’s experience, this book describes the mechanisms behind what often appears to be a haphazard enterprise.
“There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight.” With those words, the Rev. John Muhlenberg stepped from his pulpit, removed his clerical robe—revealing the uniform of a Colonial officer—and marched off to war. Many of the ministers who became chaplains in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War carried muskets while ministering to the spiritual needs of the troops. Their eyewitness accounts describe the battles of Lexington and Concord, life on a prison ship, the burning of New York City, the Battle of Rhode Island, the execution of Major Andre, and many other events.
Charles Sweeny (1882–1963) was the heir to a fortune. Renouncing a life of comfort, he became a warrior for causes he believed in. Twice kicked out of West Point, he fought in revolts against three Latin American dictators. He was a decorated officer in the French Foreign Legion and in the U.S. Army during World War I, a brigadier general in the Polish-Soviet War and a military advisor in the Greco-Turkish War. He led a flying squadron in Morocco’s Rif War, advised Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War and spied for French intelligence during World War II.
Before America entered the war, he dodged FBI agents and U.S. neutrality laws to recruit American pilots to fight the Nazis and became a group captain in the R.A.F.’s Eagle Squadron. After Pearl Harbor, he worked with “Wild Bill” Donovan to devise guerrilla campaigns in North Africa and Eastern Europe. This richly detailed biography draws on Sweeny’s personal papers, historical documents and photographs to chronicle the fascinating life of America’s most celebrated soldier of fortune—a lifelong friend of Ernest Hemingway and a model for his fictional heroes.
Following the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, pro-war arguments in the American press led public opinion to favor engaging in the Spanish-American War—or so goes the popular version of events. Yet there was a substantial anti-imperialist segment of the public that tried to halt the advance towards conflict.
Drawing on contemporary sources, the author analyzes the anti-war arguments that preceded the Spanish-American War and continued during the war in the Philippines. News articles, letters to editors, opinion pieces and the yellow journalism of the day show how anti-war groups ultimately failed to stop a war with Spain.
The 16-man Black Hawk Counter Narcotics Infantry Team served as an advisory and training unit for the Afghanistan National Army during a poppy eradication operation in Helmand province in 2008 and 2009. For 75 days, they fought extreme heat, sand storms and the Taliban to eradicate 11.2 tons of poppy seed and earn the respect of Afghan troops. Although the U.S. team they relieved had lost half its men during operations, the Black Hawks came through unscathed. This book chronicles their mission in a little known theater of the Afghanistan War.
A century ago, horses were ubiquitous in America. They plowed the fields, transported people and goods within and between cities and herded livestock. About a million of them were shipped overseas to serve in World War I. Equine related industries employed vast numbers of stable workers, farriers, wainwrights, harness makers and teamsters. Cities were ringed with fodder-producing farmland, and five-story stables occupied prime real estate in Manhattan.
Then, in just a few decades, the horses vanished in a wave of emerging technologies. Those technologies fostered unprecedented economic growth, and with it a culture of recreation and leisure that opened a new place for the horse as an athletic teammate and social companion.
Focusing on three forms of biological threat—bioterrorism, biocrime and biohacking—the author examines the history of biowarfare and terrorism. Groups drawn to biological aggression are discussed, along with the array of viruses, bacteria and toxins they might use in their attacks. The phenomenon of biocrime—biological aggression targeting individuals for personal rather than ideological reasons—is explored, along with the growing trend of biohacking. Part II presents case studies of bioterrorism and biocrime from the United States and Japan.
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and HBO’s Game of Thrones series depict a medieval world at war. But how accurate are they? The author, an historian and medieval martial arts expert, examines in detail how authentically Martin’s fictional world reflects the arms and armor, fighting techniques and siege warfare of the Middle Ages. Along the way, he explores the concept of “medievalism”—modern pop culture’s idea of the Middle Ages.
Featuring 256 drawings, this history of military trains and railways from 1853 through 1953 describes how the railroad transformed the nature of warfare. Transport and logistics are discussed for armored trains, rail-borne artillery and armored combat vehicles, medical evacuation trains and draisines (light auxiliary vehicles such as handcars). The railroad’s role in establishing European colonial empires in Asia and Africa is examined. Conflicts covered include the Boer Wars, the American Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Russo-Turkish War, World War I, the Finnish Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the French Indochina War.
On October 19, 1781, British general Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, effectively ending the Revolutionary War and conceding the independence of the United States of America. Britain soon overcame the humiliation of defeat by expanding its empire elsewhere. Five years after Yorktown, Cornwallis was installed as governor and commander of the army in India, determined to make the subcontinent the brightest jewel in the British crown.
Officers who served under him during the War rose to high positions in the British army and navy. Emulating Cornwallis’s deep sense of duty to king and country, they vigorously pursued the conquest of India, put down the 1798 Irish Rebellion, defended Canada, defeated the Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope, occupied Ceylon and battled Napoleon. Prominent among them was General Sir James Henry Craig, governor of Canada, whose clumsy attempt to spy on the U.S. was a factor in setting off the War of 1812.
At 2:38 p.m. today, McFarlanders will take a break to go outside and stare directly into the sun. Join us! In honor of the eclipse, take 20% off all books about the solar system with the coupon code ECLIPSE!
W. D. Ehrhart, named by Studs Turkel as “the poet of the Vietnam War,” has written and lectured on a wide variety of topics and has been a preëminent voice on the Vietnam War for decades. Revered in academia, he has been the subject of many master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, journals and books for which he was interviewed. Yet only two major interviews have been published to date. This complete collection of unpublished interviews from 1991 through 2016 presents Ehrhart’s developing views on a range of subjects over three decades.
The U.S. Army evolved into a truly modern fighting force during World War I. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, the infantry was its primary offensive arm. Training focused mainly on target practice, bayonet charges and marching drills. Antiquated tactics emphasized massive attack waves relying on ferocity to achieve battlefield objectives. Heavy casualties resulted when inexperienced American troops encountered entrenched German veterans trained in the use of modern artillery and machine guns.
By war’s end the American Expeditionary Force had progressed along a bloody learning curve, developing sophisticated techniques—small flexible formations, fire-and-maneuver and infiltration—for breaking the trench warfare stalemate. Eventually, the AEF integrated new weapons like poison gas, tanks and aircraft into its offensive tactics and pioneered the mechanized combined arms warfare still practiced by the U.S. Army. The exploits of the Fifth “Red Diamond” Division exemplify this critical period of development.
This first ever biography of Antarctic explorer Sir Raymond Priestley (1886–1974) covers his full (at times life-threatening) involvement with Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1907–1909 Nimrod Expedition and Robert Scott’s 1910–1913 Terra Nova Expedition. Priestley’s service with the British 46th Division during World War I won him the Military Cross for gallantry.
After the war, he played a leading role in establishing the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. He was later appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne and then of the University of Birmingham and also helped establish the University of the West Indies. He received a knighthood for his services to education.
During retirement—a misnomer in his case—he went with the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Yacht Britannia as an Antarctic expert and joined the American Deep Freeze IV Expedition during his tenure directing the British Antarctic Survey. Despite the demands of his career, Priestley remained an involved family man throughout.
Nine of the 192 Union military hospitals during the Civil War circulated newspapers edited and printed by convalescents. The horrors of wound infection and amputation were reported in the words of surgeons, nurses and patients. Sermons cautioned against drink, tobacco and profanity while stressing patriotic sacrifice. Those who experienced the war wrote about it in simple narratives, and these are extensively quoted.
Convalescent life was painful and terrifying. Bedridden for months with fever and festering wounds, disabled veterans wondered who would respond to their needs. Who would hire them? Who would marry them?
This book covers the founding and development of nine hospital newspapers, each fully explored for such topics as patriotism, politics, religion, satire, romance and marriage, battlefield experience and treatment of prisoners of war.
For a week in April 1916, 2,000 Irish Volunteers rose up in armed rebellion against the British Empire in a bid to establish an independent Irish state. Tracing the establishment of the various organizations involved, this account of the Easter Rising provides a day to day narrative by those who took part, along with personal accounts of the trial, the execution of the rebel leaders and the imprisonment of the surviving Volunteers. Atrocities and murders that took place on both sides are described in detail based on coroners’ reports.
The dramatic battlefield deaths of brother Union Army commanders Robert L. McCook and Daniel McCook, Jr.—members of a prominent Ohio family known as “the Fighting McCooks”—drew the full attention of the news media and a war-weary nation. A veteran of Shiloh and Chickamauga, Colonel Daniel McCook was mortally wounded while leading his brigade in a reckless assault up Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864, on the orders of his friend and former law partner General William Tecumseh Sherman.
Brigadier General Robert L. McCook distinguished himself in the western Virginia campaign before he was shot by a Rebel while riding in an ambulance in the summer of 1862. His death, in what was an apparent ambush, set off a firestorm of outrage throughout the North.
Fictional war narratives often employ haunted battlefields, super-soldiers, time travel, the undead and other imaginative elements of science fiction and fantasy. This encyclopedia catalogs appearances of the strange and the supernatural found in the war stories of film, television, novels, short stories, pulp fiction, comic books and video and role-playing games. Categories explore themes of mythology, science fiction, alternative history, superheroes and “Weird War.”
Near the end of the Civil War, Army Chief of Staff Henry W. Halleck described the 16th New York Volunteer Cavalry as “cowed and useless” after they were “cut up” by Confederate Colonel John Mosby’s Rangers. The following April the New Yorkers made their place in history when 26 men led by Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty captured and killed John Wilkes Booth.
An amalgam of three partially formed regiments, the 16th was plagued by early desertions, poor leadership and a near mutiny as its First Battalion prepared to march to northern Virginia to bolster the outer defenses of Washington in October 1863. The regiment spent most of the remainder of the war chasing Mosby’s cavalry. They won a few tactical victories but were mainly confounded by the Confederate guerrillas.
Drawing on personal letters, diaries and memoirs by men of the 16th, and the recollections of Mosby’s men, this deeply researched history provides fresh perspective on Mosby’s exploits and the hunt for Booth.