Always a Soldier But Never G.I.
A World War II Soldier's Personal Journey
Emmett T. Lang
The year was 1942 and the country was united in the fight against Germany and Japan. On the home front, all industry was mobilized for war, and the draft boards were collecting young men to join the armed forces. Emmett Lang, a naive 20-year-old, wanted to be a soldier. But even after scoring a nearly perfect score in the Army General Classification Test, he was sent to infantry basic training. Despite this inauspicious beginning, Lang decided he would do his duty and take every opportunity to make his service career as rewarding and enjoyable as possible.
This is the story of Lang's Army career, an honest account that includes letters home, divisional and regimental histories, and after-action reports - with a generous dose of humorous anecdotes. Always a Soldier But Never G.I. contains stories of the action on the front lines in Europe and Battle of the Bulge, and gives an insider's personal view of the life of a World War II soldier-the hardships, adventures, and sometimes the horrors - yet Lang's story is told with wit, humor, and a love of life that cannot be suppressed.
It is a firsthand account of the action during World War II; one that I thoroughly recommend to all those interested in this conflict.
Ginchy and Guillemont
Sunday, 3rd to Sunday, 10th September 1916
Ian R Gumm
This book covers the events at the beginning of September 1916 at the villages of Gunchy and Guillemont on the Somme.
It discusses the history of the battle that took place and combines this with a battlefield tour complete with gps locations to guide you around the battlefield.
The War in Italy 1943 - 1944
John Greham & Martin Mace
Despatches in this volume include that on the Conquest of Sicily from 10 July 1942 to 17 August 1943 by Field-Marshall Viscount Alexander of Tunis; the despatch on the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, by Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean; despatch on naval operations in connection with the landings in the Gulf of Salerno in September 1943, by Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew B. Cunningham; and the despatch on operations of the Allied Armies between September 1943 and December 1944, by Field Marshal the Viscount Alexander of Tunis.
This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most significant periods in British military history.
The Battle of the Bulge
Hitler's Final Gamble
By late 1944 the Allies were poised to smash the Siegfried Line and break into Germany. Supply lines were shorter thanks to the port of Antwerp. Arnhem aside, there had been a long run of victories and there was no intelligence even from ULTRA to suggest a German counter-offensive.
So the major December attack through the mountainous Ardennes by massed Panzers and infantry took the Allies totally by surprise. Fog and low cloud negated the Allies' air supremacy, English-speaking German commandos in captured jeeps created panic and withdrawal of US forces became a near rout with morale all but broken. For ten days the situation worsened and Antwerp was seriously threatened and 21st Army Group in danger of being cut off. Clear skies for the Thunderbolts and coherent counter-attacks by rapidly deployed reinforcements turned the tide in the nick of time, so preventing a catastrophic defeat for the Allies.
All this and more is graphically narrated in this fine study of a pivotal battle, that so nearly changed the course of war.
Machine Gunner 1914-18
Personal Experiences of The Machine Gun Corps
C E Crutchley
In 1914 there were only two machine guns supporting a British infantry battalion of 800 men, and in the light of the effectiveness of German and French machine guns the Machine Gun Corps was formed in October 1915. This remarkable book, compiled and edited by C E Crutchley, is a collection of the personal accounts of officers and men who served in the front lines with their machine guns in one of the most ghastly wars, spread over three continents. The strength of the book lies in the fact that these are the actual words of the soldiers themselves, complete with characteristic modes of expression and oddities of emphasis and spelling.
All theatres of war are covered from the defence of the Suez Canal, Gallipoli and Mesopotamia in the east to France and Flanders, the German offensive of March 1918 and the final act on the Western Front that brought the war to an end.
A Century of Tank Warfare
The tank is such a characteristic feature of modern warfare that its difficult to imagine a time when its presence wasn't felt on the battlefield in some form or another. Rolling Thunder, from eminent historian and author Philip Kaplan, traces the history of the vehicle from its developmental early days on the battlefields of the Great War, to modern-day uses and innovations in response to the growing demands of twenty-first century warfare.
Featured in this volume are images of some of the most highly regarded and imposing types, such as the Chrysler-built Grant, the Skoda-built Hungarian Turan and the M-26 Pershing tank, employed so extensively during the Korean War. Tanks employed during the battles of Barbarossa, El Alamein, Kursk and Ardennes all feature, their histories depicted in words and images.
From the battlefields of the Great War to modern-day theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the history of this impressive war machine is tracked in detail.
Hitler's Atlantic Wall
This highly informative book begins with an examination of the background to Germany's primary military objectives in relation to the western end of their self-styled 'Fortress Europe' including the early foundation of shore defences in northern France.
In 1941, there was a switch in emphasis of the Atlantic Wall's role from attack to defence. Beach defences became more elaborate and the Nazi-controlled Todt Organisation began a massive building programme constructing new bunkers and reinforcing existing sites, using forced labour.
Hitler appointed Rommel to formulate Germany's anti-invasion plans in early 1944. At the same time the Allies were making extensive studies of the fortifications and preparing for the challenge of overcoming this most formidable of obstacles.
Using, in many cases, previously unpublished accounts of the soldiers on the ground this book follows Britain's 79th Armoured Division, Sir Percy Hobart's 'Funnies', as they utilised their unique weaponry in support of Allied efforts to ensure the success of the invasion. The author draws on British, American, Canadian and German sources.
Slaughter on the Somme
John Greham & Martin Mace
At 07.30 hours on 1 July 1916, the devastating cacophony of the Allied artillery fell silent along the front on the Somme. The ear-splitting explosions were replaced by the shrill sound of hundreds of whistles being blown. At that moment, tens of thousands of British soldiers climbed out from the trenches on their part of the Western Front, and began to make their way steadily towards the German lines opposite. It was the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
By the end of the day, a number of the battalions involved had met with some degree of success. Others had suffered heavy losses for no gain, whilst a few quite virtually ceased to exist. On what is generally accepted as the worst day in the British Army's history, there were more than 60,000 casualties – a third of them fatal.
In this publication, the authors have drawn together, for the first time ever, all the War Diary entries for those battalions that went 'over the top' on 1 July 1916. Written as the events of that terrible day unfolded, or immediately afterwards, the diary entries are the words of the survivors, painstakingly transcribed from the original hand-written documents. Together they form the most comprehensive and unique narrative of that day – a day which even now still touches so many families both in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Till the Boys Come Home
Major and Mrs Holt
This is a new edition of this classic book which includes, in its over 700 postcards, many new, powerful propaganda images from nations on both sides of this epic conflict. Here are cards from the Queen's Collection, cards from America, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Rumania, Salonika, Serbia... All are faithfully reproduced from the original, whether in dramatic black and white or in exuberant colour and they are all at least 100 years old. But this is not just a picture book.
Here is a rich treasure trove to be dipped into for dilettante pleasure or to be read seriously as a thematic and contemporary history of the war. These cards have been collected over many years and a good number are rare and extremely valuable, both intrinsically and for the fascinating information contained in the informative running text and in the thoughtful captions (an example appears below, just one of the over 700).
This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to sense the feelings and emotions of those who lived through, and fought in, the First World War; readers will appreciate the Twitter-like brevity of the captions, the power of the images and enjoy the chase to understand what lies behind them.