The period of Sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction was the most traumatic in American history. The outcome changed the foundations of the nation, with effects still felt today. While most Civil War histories focus on specific topics―military history, economics, politics―this book presents the narrative as it unfolded against a broader historical background. Drawing on direct quotations from actual participants, the author provides an interpretive overview of the issues and events that divided and then devastated the United States.
Perhaps more than all the campaigns of the Union armies, the Union naval blockade—covering all major Southern ports along 3,500 miles of coastline for the duration of the war—brought down the Confederacy. The daring exploits of Confederate blockade runners are well known—but many of them were British citizens operating out of neutral ports such as Nassau, Havana and Bermuda.
Focusing on British involvement in the war, this history names the overseas bankers and manufacturers who, in critical need of cotton and other Confederate exports, financed and equipped the fast little ships that ran the blockade. The author attempts to disentangle the names and aliases of the captains—many of whom were Royal Navy officers on temporary leave—and tells their stories in their own words.
Star Gate is the largest funded program in the history of psi research receiving about $19.933 million in funding from 1972 to 1995. Researchers from SRI International, and later at Science Applications International Corporation, in association with various U.S. intelligence agencies participated in this program.
Using the remote viewing method, research focused on understanding the applicability and nature of psi in general but mostly upon informational psi. Volume 1: Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2: Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include all aspects of RV including laboratory trials and several operational results. Volume 3: Psychokinesis focuses on laboratory investigations. Volume 4: Operational Remote Viewing: Government Memorandums and Reports includes an analysis of the applied remote viewing program and a selection of documents that provide a narrative on the behind the scenes activities of Star Gate.
In a total of 504 separate missions from 1972 to 1995, remote viewing produced actionable intelligence prompting 89 percent of the customers to return with additional missions. The Star Gate data indicate that informational psi is a valid phenomenon. These data have led to the development of a physics and neuroscience based testable model for the underlying mechanism, which considers informational psi as a normal, albeit atypical, phenomenon.
The Star Gate data found insufficient evidence to support the causal psi (psychokinesis) hypothesis.
To address the threat of an atomic-armed Soviet Union during the early days of the Cold War, President Harry Truman approved the Alert America exhibit as the most effective way to convey the destructive power of the atomic bomb and to encourage participation in civil defense. Following its debut in the nation’s capital in January 1952, Alert America, promoted as “The Show That May Save Your Life,” traveled in three separate convoys to more than eighty cities considered most likely to be bombed, and garnered unprecedented support from elected and civic officials, the media, the military, private industry, and myriad organizations. This is the first book to examine the scope and impact of Alert America, which has been largely overlooked by historians. Also included are resource materials providing insights into the government’s overriding objective of preparing men, women and children to survive an atomic war.
When the Americans invaded the Japanese-controlled islands of Saipan and Tinian in 1944, civilians and combatants committed mass suicide to avoid being captured. Though these mass suicides have been mentioned in documentary films, they have received scant scholarly attention. This book draws on United States National Archives documents and photographs, as well as veteran and survivor testimonies, to provide readers with a better understanding of what happened on the two islands and why. The author details the experiences of the people of the islands from prehistoric times to the present, with an emphasis on the Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, Chamorro and Carolinian civilians during invasion and occupation.
From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time—Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy.
Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era’s cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.
General George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie Custer, were wholehearted dog lovers. At the time of his death at Little Bighorn, they owned a rollicking pack of 40 hunting dogs, including Scottish Deerhounds, Russian Wolfhounds, Greyhounds and Foxhounds. Told from a dog owner’s perspective, this biography covers their first dogs during the Civil War and in Texas; hunting on the Kansas and Dakota frontiers; entertaining tourist buffalo hunters, including a Russian Archduke, English aristocrats and P. T. Barnum (all of whom presented the general with hounds); Custer’s attack on the Washita village (when he was accused of strangling his own dogs); and the 7th Cavalry’s march to Little Bighorn with an analysis of rumors about a Last Stand dog. The Custers’ pack was re-homed after his death in the first national dog rescue effort. Well illustrated, the book includes an appendix giving depictions of the Custers’ dogs in art, literature and film.
This is the first book-length, critical analysis of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s actions at the Battle of Gettysburg. The author argues that Longstreet’s record has been discredited unfairly, beginning with character assassination by his contemporaries after the war and, persistently, by historians in the decades since. By closely studying the three-day battle, and conducting an incisive historiographical inquiry into Longstreet’s treatment by scholars, this book presents an alternative view of Longstreet as an effective military leader, and refutes over a century of negative evaluations of his performance.
It was not Robert Oppenheimer who built the bomb—it was engineers, chemists and young physicists in their twenties, many not yet having earned a degree. The first atomic bomb was originally conceived as a backup device, a weapon not then currently achievable. The remote Trinity Site—the birthplace of the bomb—was used as a test range for U.S. bombers before the first nuclear device was secretly detonated. After the blast, locals speculated that the flash and rumble were caused by colliding B-29s, while Manhattan Project officials nervously measured high levels of offsite radiation.
Drawing on original documents, many recently declassified, the author sheds new light on a pivotal moment in history—now approaching its 75th anniversary—told from the point of view of the men who inaugurated the Atomic Age in the New Mexico desert.
This comprehensive worldwide study catalogs terrorist attacks in 2018, during which the Islamic State continued its decline from a quasi-government commanding territory the size of the United Kingdom to a more traditional terrorist network controlling just 1000 square miles. Yet IS still boasts 30,000 adherents in Syria and Iraq, with many others awaiting plans for attacks in their home nations. Organized by region and country, this volume 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.
Defeat was looming for the South—as the Civil War continued, paths to possible victory were fast disappearing. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn, a Confederate physician and expert in infectious diseases, had an idea that might turn the tide: he would risk his own life and career to bring a yellow fever epidemic to the North. To carry out his mission, he would need some accomplices. Tracing the plans and movements of the conspirators, this thoroughly researched history describes in detail the yellow fever plot of 1864–1865.
Hampered by lack of materials, shipyards and experienced shipbuilders, even so the South managed to construct 34 iron-armored warships during the Civil War, of which the Confederate Navy put 25 into service. The stories of these vessels illustrate the hardships under which the Navy operated—and also its resourcefulness. Except for the Albemarle, no Confederate ironclad was sunk or destroyed by enemy action. Overtaken by events on the ground, most were destroyed by their own crews to prevent them from falling into Union hands.
This account covers the design and construction and the engagements of the Confederate ironclads and describes the ingenuity and courage, as well as the challenges and frustrations of their “too little, too late” service.
As two of the most popular entertainers of the mid-century film industry, comic greats Bud Abbott and Lou Costello offered an essential balm to the American public following the sorrows of the Great Depression and during the trauma of World War II. This is the first book to focus in detail on the immensely popular wartime films of Abbott and Costello, discussing the production, content, and reception of 18 films within the context of wartime events on the home front and abroad. The films covered include the service comedies Buck Privates, In the Navy, and Keep ’Em Flying; more mainstream comic relief films such as Pardon My Sarong and Who Done It?; and post-war experiments such as Little Giant and The Time of Their Lives. More than 120 stills and lobby cards from the author’s personal collection illustrate the text, including many showing outtakes or deleted scenes.
The Texas Ranger law enforcement agency features so prominently in Texan and Wild West folklore that its accomplishments have been featured in everything from pulp novels to popular television. After a brief overview of the Texas Rangers’ formation, this book provides an exhaustive account of every known Ranger unit from 1823 to the present. Each chapter provides a brief contextual explanation of the time period covered and features entries on each unit’s commanders, periods of service, activities, and supervising authorities. Appendices include an account of the Rangers’ battle record, a history of the illustrious badge, documents relating to the Rangers, and lists of Rangers who have died in service, been inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, or received the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Medal of Valor.
The award of a military decoration does not define valor—it only recognizes it. Many acts of notable courage and self-sacrifice occur on the battlefield but are often obscured in the fog of battle or lost to history, unrecognized and unheralded.
The largely overlooked men and women in this volume did incredible things in dire circumstances. Although in some cases decorations were awarded—including several Medals of Honor—their stories remain unknown.
McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes. On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.
This naval history of the Delaware Estuary spans three centuries, from the arrival of the Europeans to the end of the World War II. The author describes the shipbuilders and infrastructure, and the ships and men who sailed this surprisingly active waterway in peace and in war. From Philadelphia to the Delaware Capes, the story of the nascent U.S. Navy and key historical figures emerges. Dozens of historic images and four appendices are included.
Often neglected by historians, actions in Missouri and Kansas had an important influence on the course of the Civil War, with profound effects for the communities and people in the region. Outside of Virginia and Tennessee, Missouri was perhaps the most hotly contested territory during the war. The fighting in Missouri culminated with an expedition that re-wrote the books on tactics and the use of mounted infantry.
This book focuses on the experiences of the soldiers, officers and civilians on both sides. The author brings to life the events in the region that contributed to the internecine strife in the Western Theater.
In the summer of 1862, two great armies met outside of Richmond in a series of battles that would determine the course of the Civil War. The Union had time, men and materiel on its side, while the Confederates had mobility, esprit de corps and aggressive leadership. Untried General Robert E. Lee was tasked with driving the Yankees from their almost impregnable positions to save Richmond and end the war.
Lee planned to isolate part of the Union Army, crush it, and then destroy the only supply base the remaining Federals had. To do so, he had to move thousands of troops hundreds of miles, bringing multiple forces together with intricate timing, all without the Yankees or their spies finding out. The largest and most important of these battles occurred at Gaines’ Mill.
Called upon to take a hill at the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga, the untested 22nd Michigan Infantry helped to save General George H. Thomas’ right flank. Formed in 1862, the regiment witnessed slavery and encountered runaways in the border state of Kentucky, faced near starvation during the siege of Chattanooga and marched to Atlanta as General Thomas’ provost guard.
This history explores the 22nd’s day-to-day experiences in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. The author describes the challenges faced by volunteer farm boys, shopkeepers, school teachers and lawyers as they faced death, disease and starvation on battlefields and in Confederate prisons.
Immigrant American soldiers played an important, often underrated role in World War I. Those who were non-citizens had no obligation to participate in the war, though many volunteered. Due to language barriers that prevented them from receiving proper training, they were often given the most dangerous and dirty jobs.
The impetus for this book was the story of Matthew Guerra (the author’s great-uncle). He immigrated to America from Italy around age 12. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1918 and shipped to France, where he joined the 58th Infantry Regiment of the 4th “Ivy” Division and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. Wounded in the Bois de Fays, the 22-year-old Guerra died in a field hospital.
At the time of the Revolutionary War, a fifth of the Colonial population was African American. By 1779, 15 percent of the Continental Army were former slaves, while the Navy recruited both free men and slaves. More than 5000 black Americans fought for independence in an integrated military—it would be the last until the Korean War.
The majority of Indian tribes sided with the British yet some Native Americans rallied to the American cause and suffered heavy losses. Of 26 Wampanoag enlistees from the small town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, only one came home. Half of the Pequots who went to war did not survive. Mohegans John and Samuel Ashbow fought at Bunker Hill. Samuel was killed there—the first Native American to die in the Revolution.
This history recounts the sacrifices made by forgotten people of color to gain independence for the people who enslaved and extirpated them.
Captain Ernie Blanchard left for work January 10, 1995, a successful officer. Respected by superiors and subordinates, his personal and professional values seemed perfectly aligned with the institution he served, the United States Coast Guard. By day’s end his career was finished.
At a speaking engagement at the Coast Guard Academy, Blanchard’s icebreaker—a series of time-tested corny jokes—was met with silence. Within hours, an investigation was underway into whether his remarks constituted sexual harassment. Several weeks later, threatened with a court-martial, he shot himself.
The author investigates Blanchard’s “death by political correctness” in the context of the turmoil surrounding the U.S. Armed Forces’ gender inclusion struggles from the 1980s to the present.
The Vermont Brigade, sometimes referred to as the “First Vermont Brigade” or the “Old Brigade,” fought its first full-brigade engagement in the Seven Days’ battles. The leaders, as well as the rank and file, were inexperienced in warfare, but through sheer grit and determination they made a name for themselves as one of the hardest-fighting units in the Army of the Potomac.
Using soldiers’ letters, diaries, and service and pension records, this book gives a soldier’s-eye-view of the Virginia summer heat, days of marching with very little rest or nourishment, and the fear and exhilaration of combat. Also included are the stories of 29 men that were wounded or killed and how the tragedies affected their families.
For President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 was a year of calamity, including the hijacking of the USS Puebloin international waters off North Korea. After a fierce attack by the North Korean Navy, the lightly armed spy ship was captured and its 83 crewmen taken hostage, imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year before being released.
How and why did the Navy, the National Security Agency and the Johnson administration place the Pueblo in such an untenable situation? What drove Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s autocrat, to gamble on hijacking a ship belonging to the world’s most powerful nation?
Drawing on extensive research, including summaries of White House meetings and conversations, the author answers these questions and reviews the events and flawed decisions that led to Pueblo’s capture.
Mid-flight noncombat mishaps and blunders occur frequently in the USAF during training and utility flights—sometimes with the loss of life and regularly with the destruction of expensive aircraft. In one extreme case, a $2.2 billion B-2 Spirit bomber crashed soon after takeoff and was destroyed.
The events surrounding such accidents are gathered by USAF investigators and a report is published for each case. The author has collected these reports, including some made available following FOI (Freedom of Information) requests to U.S. air bases, and rewritten them in language accessible to the general public.
The causes—bird-strikes, joy-riding, unauthorized maneuvers, pilot disorientation, an unseen binoculars-case blocking the plane’s joystick, unexpected moisture in an air-pressure gauge—are often surprising and, at times, horrifying.
Through a reliance on nuclear weapons, President Eisenhower hoped to provide a defense strategy that would allow the U.S. to maintain its security requirements without creating an economic burden. This defense strategy, known as the New Look, benefited the U.S. Air Force with its focus on strategic bombing. The U.S. also required European missile bases to deploy its intermediate range ballistic missiles, while efforts continued to develop U.S. based intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Deploying such missiles to Europe required balancing regional European concerns with U.S. domestic security priorities. In the wake of the Soviet Sputnik launch in 1957, the U.S. began to fear Soviet missile capabilities. Using European missile bases would mitigate this domestic security issue, but convincing NATO allies to base the missiles in their countries raised issues of sovereignty and weapons control and ran the risk of creating divisions in the NATO alliance.
Between 1817 and 1864, sixteen officers were assigned as Commandants of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. They played an important role in training the officers who would serve on both sides of the Civil War.
Historians criticize the program as antiquated for its time: A course in Napoleonic strategy and tactics that did not account for rifled weapons or the particularities of terrain. Yet these commandants made changes to the program, developed new textbooks and instructed cadets who became field generals.
The biographies of the commandants are presented along with their contributions to the Academy, notable graduates and other military service.
Robert Lovett grew up in Texas, went to Yale, and earned his wings as a naval air force hero in World War I. He played a key role in the development of the Army Air Force in World War II. His emphasis on strategic bombing was instrumental in defeating Hitler’s Germany.
During his postwar State Department service, he was influential in initiating the Marshall Plan, the formation of NATO and planning the Berlin Airlift. He served as Truman’s Secretary of Defense during the Korean War, was a consultant for his friend Dwight Eisenhower and served John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Between tours of duty in Washington, he was an international banker on Wall Street. This first complete biography covers his life and career in detail.
The U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group investigated atrocities committed in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. These young Americans—many barely out of their teens—gathered evidence, interviewed witnesses, apprehended suspects and prosecuted defendants at trials held at Dachau. Their work often put them in harm’s way—some suspects facing arrest preferred to shoot it out.
The War Crimes Group successfully prosecuted the perpetrators of the Malmedy Massacre, in which 84 American prisoners of war were shot by their German captors; and Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny, aptly described as “the most dangerous man in Europe.” Operation Paperclip, however, placed some war criminals—scientists and engineers recruited by the U.S. government—beyond their reach. From the ruins of the Third Reich arose a Nazi underground that preyed on Americans—especially members of the Group.
World War I began in August 1914—the United States did not enter the conflict until April 1917. During those nearly three years of neutrality, a small number of Americans did experience the horrors of the war zones of Europe. Some ran for their lives as refugees while others, like journalists and doctors, headed toward the fighting. Missionaries in Persia (Iran) and the Ottoman Empire became witnesses to both the Armenian genocide and the persecution of Assyrian Christians. This history focuses on the war from the perspective of ordinary people who found themselves in the midst of what was then the most destructive and bloody war in history.
The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarlandunder the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!
From 1861 to 1865, the American Civil War saw numerous technological innovations in warfare—chief among them was the ironclad warship. Based on the Official Records, biographical works, ship and operations histories, newspapers and other sources, this book chronicles the lives of 158 ironclad captains, North and South, who were charged with outfitting and commanding these then-revolutionary vessels in combat. Each biography includes (where known) birth and death information, pre- and post-war career, and details about ships served upon or commanded.
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.