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Jon E. Lewis is a writer and historian. His many previous books include bestsellers The Mammoth Book of the West, The Mammoth Book of Polar Journeys, The Mammoth Book of True War Stories and World War II: The Autobiography. He lives in Herefordshire, England, with his partner and children.
Jon E Lewis has culled eye-witness accounts from over 180 first-hand witnesses, they come from all nationalities, male and female, at sea, in the trenches or toiling in the fields. Their words echo from 100 years ago, a witness to the horror and waste of war. Like for Like Reading The First World War: A Very Short Introduction, Michael Howard World War One: A short History, Norman Stone
This selection of the very best writing on Everest begins with the first attempts and continues, via Mallory's failed bid and Hillary and Tenzing's triumph, to the disasters of recent years. It features 35 white-knuckle accounts of climbing on the world's highest mountain, with all the tragedy and triumph of humankind's striving for the top of the world, by those who know the 'Death Zone' best - the climbers themselves. But this is much more than just the best of exhilarating first-hand accounts of climbing on Everest. It includes the full history of the conquest of Everest, and provides an evocative portrait of the cruel, natural beauty of Chomolungma, 'The Mother Goddess of the World'.
Voices from the Napoleonic Wars reveals in telling detail the harsh lives of soldiers at the turn of the eighteenth century and in the early years of the nineteenth - the poor food and brutal discipline they endured, along with the forced marches and bloody, hand-to-hand combat. Contemporaries were mesmerised by Napoleon, and with good reason: in 1812, he had an unprecedented million men and more under arms. His new model army of volunteers and conscripts at epic battles such as Austerlitz, Salamanca, Borodino, Jena and, of course, Waterloo marked the beginning of modern warfare, the road to the Sommes and Stalingrad. The citizen-in-arms of Napoleon's Grande Armee and other armies of the time gave rise to a distinct body of soldiers' personal memoirs. The personal accounts that Jon E. Lewis has selected from these memoirs, as well as from letters and diaries, include those of Rifleman Harris fighting in the Peninsular Wars, and Captain Alexander Cavalie Mercer of the Royal Horse Artillery at Waterloo. They cover the land campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars (1739-1802), the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and the War of 1812 (1812-1815), in North America. This was the age of cavalry charges, of horse-drawn artillery, of muskets and hand-to-hand combat with sabres and bayonets. It was an era in which inspirational leadership and patriotic common cause counted for much at close quarters on chaotic and bloody battlefields. The men who wrote these accounts were directly involved in the sweeping campaigns and climactic battles that set Europe and America alight at the turn of the eighteenth century and in the years that followed. Alongside recollections of the ferocity of hard-fought battles are the equally telling details of the common soldier's daily life - short rations, forced marches in the searing heat of the Iberian summer and the bitter cold of the Russian winter, debilitating illnesses and crippling wounds, looting and the lash, but also the compensations of hard-won comradeship in the face of ever-present death. Collectively, these personal accounts give us the most vivid picture of warfare 200 and more years ago, in the evocative language of those who knew it at first hand - the men and officers of the British, French and American armies. They let us know exactly what it was like to be an infantryman, a cavalryman, an artilleryman of the time.
By 1969, following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, over 500,000 US troops were 'in country' in Vietnam. Before America's longest war had ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975, 450,000 Vietnamese had died, along with 36,000 Americans. The Vietnam War was the first rock 'n' roll war, the first helicopter war with its doctrine of 'airmobility', and the first television war; it made napalm and the defoliant Agent Orange infamous, and gave us the New Journalism of Michael Herr and others. It also saw the establishment of the Navy SEALs and Delta Force. At home, America fractured, with the peace movement protesting against the war; at Kent State University, Ohio National Guardsmen fired on unarmed students, killing four and injuring nine. Lewis's compelling selection of the best writing to come out of a war covered by some truly outstanding writers, both journalists and combatants, includes an eyewitness account of the first major battle between the US Army and the People's Army of Vietnam at Ia Drang; a selection of letters home; Nicholas Tomalin's famous 'The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong'; Robert Mason's 'R&R', Studs Terkel's account of the police breaking up an anti-war protest; John Kifner on the shootings at Kent State; Ron Kovic's 'Born on the Fourth of July'; John T. Wheeler's 'Khe Sanh: Live in the V Ring'; Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh on the massacre at My Lai; Michael Herr's 'It Made You Feel Omni'; Viet Cong Truong Nhu Tang's memoir; naval nurse Maureen Walsh's memoir, 'Burning Flesh'; John Pilger on the fall of Saigon; and Tim O'Brien's 'If I Die in a Combat Zone'.
In this encyclopedic book, Lewis provides insights into the origins, training, tactics, weapons and achievements of special forces and special mission units throughout the world, focusing particularly on US and UK forces. He also looks at the codes that that bind the members of these elite units together. He reveals training secrets in everything from wilderness survival to hand-to-hand combat. In doing so, he draws extensively on biographies, autobiographies, training manuals, interviews and press coverage of key operations. The elite forces covered include: The British Army's Special Air Service (SAS), established in 1950, which has served as a model for the special forces of many countries. Its counter-terrorist wing famously took part in the hostage rescue during the siege of the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980. The Parachute Regiment, the airborne infantry element of 16 Air Assault Brigade, which spearheads the British Army's rapid intervention capability. It is closely linked to United Kingdom Special Forces. The US Navy's SEALS (Sea, Air, Land Teams), trained to conduct special operations in any environment, but uniquely specialised and equipped to operate from and in the sea. Together with speedboat-operating Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen, they form the operational arm of the Naval Special Warfare community, the Navy component of the US Special Operations Command. Their special operations include: neutralizing enemy forces; reconnaissance; counter-terrorism (famously in the killing of Osama bin Laden); and training allies. The US Army's Delta Force: The Special Mission Unit, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), known simply as Delta Force, the Army component of Joint Special Operations Command. Its role is counter-terrorism, direct action and national intervention operations, though it has the capability to conduct many different kinds of clandestine missions, including hostage rescues and raids. The US Army Rangers, a light infantry combat formation under the US Army Special Operation Command. The Green Berets - motto: 'to free the oppressed' - trained in languages, culture, diplomacy, psychological warfare and disinformation. Russia's Spetsnaz, whose crack anti-terrorist commandos ended the Moscow theatre siege, and who have a reputation for being among the world's toughest and most ruthless soldiers. Spetsnaz units saw extensive action in Afghanistan and Chechnya, often operating far behind enemy lines. Israeli Special Forces, especially Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13), whose motto, in common with the rest of the Israeli military, is 'Never again', a reference to the Holocaust. They are particularly adept at the specifically Israeli martial art Krav Maga, which they dub 'Jew-jitsu'.
The extraordinary and compelling story of the 6th of June, 1944, and the Battle for Normandy is told here through first-hand testimonies from civilians and soldiers on both sides. It features classic accounts by soldiers such as Rommel and Bradley, together with frontline reports by some of the world's finest authors and war correspondents, including Ernest Hemingway and Alan Melville. Highlights of this unique collection include the break-out from Omaha beach as told by the GI who led it, a French housewife's story of what it was like to wake up to the invasion, German soldiers' accounts of finding themselves facing the biggest seaborne invasion in history, a view from the command post by a member of Eisenhower's staff, combat reports, diaries and letters of British veterans of all forces and services, and accounts of the follow-up battle for Normandy, one of the bloodiest struggles of the war.
Twenty true stories of covert military operations, from raids into Laos by elite unit MAC-V-SOG to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War to the US Navy SEAL 6 operation Neptune's Spear in Abbottabad which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Lewis shines a light on the 'shadow war' units that conduct clandestine operations and tells in full and fascinating detail the most daring missions of the last fifty years, from the the Sayeret Mat'Kal/Mossad 'Wrath of God' mission to assassinate those behind the Munich Olympic massacre of Olympic athletes to the Delta Force mission in Somalia using Black Hawk helicopters which went so tragically wrong.
The Western, though a singularly American art form, is one of the great genres of world literature with a truly global readership. It is also durable despite being often unfairly maligned. Ever since James Fenimore Cooper transformed frontier yarns into a distinct literary form, the Western has followed two paths: one populist - what Time magazine famously billed 'the American Morality Play' - capable of taking many points of view, from red to redneck, but always populist, with a sentimental attachment to the misfit; the other literary - eschewing heroism, debunking with unsettling candour many of the myths of the West. It can sometimes be difficult to draw a sure line between the two forms, but both are represented in this outstanding collection which includes stories by Rick Bass, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Larry McMurtry, Mari Sandoz, Christopher Tilghman, and Mark Twain, among many others.
Alien AbductionSome 2,740 US citizens claim to have been abducted by aliens each day. That's an incredible 2% of a population of 300 million. Surely statistically some of these cases must bear truths?Area 51It is rumoured that Area 51 houses the UFO disc found at Roswell, as well as other crashed alien spaceships. What is the truth?The Babylonian BrotherhoodTwelve-foot lizards from the planet Draco have colonized Earth and seek world domination.Crop CirclesMade by intelligent beings from elsewhere, or earth-bound pranksters?Face on MarsWas the image of a humanoid face 1.5 miles long by 1 mile wide purposefully constructed or is it simply an accidental resemblance?Hollow EarthThe Earth is hollow and houses a surreptitious advanced civilisation.Majestic 12Evidence found about a group of military officials, scientists and intelligence officials set up in 1962 to study alien technology. Legitimate or bogus?Men in BlackMysterious figures who seek to conceal UFO identity. They appear at a witness's house after a sighting and remove all physical evidence before threatening the witness to remain silent. Are they really government agents?Nazi Moon BaseDuring the Second World War the Germans sent a successful mission to the moon, made a lunar station and built an underground base in Antarctica for space exploration research.Project BluebookSince December 1969 there has been no official US government body actively investigating UFO sightings. But what about unofficially?Rendlesham ForestDid an alien spacecraft land at Rendlesham Forest in 1980?RoswellIn 1947 an extra-terrestrial spacecraft with alien occupants landed in New Mexico. Allegedly, this event was covered up by the US military, but why?Shag HarbourIn October 1967 an unidentified flying object was seen floating on the waters of Shag Harbour. Even following thorough investigation, no explanation has ever been given for this.
Everyone loves a good conspiracy. From the Jonestown massacre and the Philadelphia experiment to Nazi gold and the moon landing, there are umpteen conspiracy theories that even the least sceptical of us can recall and discuss at length. Entire libraries have been furnished and internet forums filled with this cultural phenomenon in which complex threads are weaved together to explain seismic events in our recent history. Indeed, there are few things more captivating than a well-research, convincing argument that flies in the face of perceived knowledge. So follow Jon E. Lewis down the rabbit hole and look at our political system from a different perspective. Controversies include: - Bar Codes - Can it really be that these codes apparently indicate 666; the mark of the devil and his coming cashless economy?- The Bilderberg Group - An annual polite discussion on current affairs or a forum in which policy with worldwide implications is shaped? - Bohemian Grove - To some, this is a private camping site dubbed 'the greatest men's party on earth', while other's regard it as opportunity to win friends in high places and to secure jobs or contracts. What really goes on at Bohemian Grove when the elite gather?- Bush-Bin Laden Connection - Is it possible that George W. Bush made errors of judgement pre 9/11 because of his family's ties to the Bin Laden's? Is it possible that 9/11 could have been prevented?- Cancer - Is there a cancer cure which is being suppressed by pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishments to keep their multibillion-dollar industry thriving?- Club of Rome - Is it true that the Club of Rome wish to use war, disease and famine as the main ways to eliminate "e;useless eaters"e;?- Jonestown - Was this a mass suicide, or was it mass murder intended to cover-up mind-control experiments?- 1969 Moon Landing Hoax - Were all the Apollo landings an astronomical hoax?- Nazi Gold - Did US authorities turn a blind eye to $3 million stolen by its own troops?- Philadelphia Experiment - Did the US Navy cover up invisibility experiments which went hideously wrong?- Ronald Reagan - Did George Bush seek to assassinate Ronald Reagan?- The Royal Institute of International Affairs- To what extent do they influence world agendas?- Star Gate - What is the truth behind the CIA's psi-operations in the 1970s?
The Dead Sea ScrollsWhy was it so important these documents should not be seen? What ancient historical secret was so big that it had to be buried forever?FreemasonsIs this group of seemingly innocuous middle-aged men linked to almost every evil perpetuated? Are they really just an eccentric bunch of patriarchal do-gooders, or are they in fact sinister agents of satanic forces?The Gunpowder PlotWhy is it that we reserve particular scorn for Guy Fawkes when there were six other men involved?Knights TemplarThe Knights Templar allegedly found the Holy Grail in their excavations of the temple in Jerusalem. Did they survive the cull of the 14th century and live on today as guardians of the Holy Grail?Opus DeiIf Opus Dei's only aims are charity and the 'sanctifying of work', why does it need its secretive independent status as a personal prelature?Pope John Paul IOn the 26th August 1978 a new pope was elected. 33 days later this man was found dead, leaving an alarming trail of inconsistencies and seeming lies told by the Vatican themselves. Why was there no post-mortem, and why within twenty-four hours was his body embalmed?The Priory of SionDoes this French secret society protect the blood-line of Christ?The Protocols of the Learned Elders of ZionThe truth behind the book in which powerful Jews supposedly set out the secret means to rule the Christian world.The Rosicrucian'sDoes this philosophical secret society seek to take over the world?Satanic Ritual AbuseSatanists ritually abuse children and nobody has the power to prevent it due to their infiltration into the police force and politics.The Temple Mount PlotAre Freemason's and Jews collaborating in a plot to destroy Islamic holy sites on Jerusalem's Temple Mount?
This mammoth book brings together some of the modern world's most head-scratching deaths and disappearances, from the murder of rap royalty Tupac Shakur to Princess Diana's car crash in Paris, via the poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko and JFK's assassination.Is it possible that prisoners of war remain left behind in Vietnam? Could the most famous musician in the world stage his own death and recede into an ordinary life? Investigating these quesitons and more, this book is an A-Z of unsolved mysteries, cover-ups, conspiracies and bizarre crimes, bringing together famous names as disparate as Tupac, Elvis, Dr David Kelly, Malcolm X and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
7/7Is the government covering up evidence of bungling by the intelligence services before the 7/7 bombings in London?9/11Did George Bush stage the 9/11 attack, or at least purposefully allow for it to occur so he could generate support to invade Afghanistan for reasons linked to the oil industry? And was Flight 93 shot down on the order of the White House before it could reach its target? Or was it really al-Qaeda acting alone?HAARPIt is said that HAARP camouflages the most destructive weapon ever created. Is it really possible that this is what this 33-acre site is concealing?The Lockerbie BombingInitially it was assumed that Libya had a clear motive for the Lockerbie bombing, revenge for the 1986 US Air Force raid on the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. But the truth is inevitably far more complex.The Madrid Train BombingsWhat is the truth behind this atrocity in Spain?Oklahoma City BombingsIs the fact that the FBI failed to investigate McVeigh's connections with the Militias, and the fact that they held back 3,000 pages of documents enough to prove the Oklahoma City bombing was orchestrated by them?Pearl HarborDid President Franklin D. Roosevelt conspire to bring about the attack on US forces at Pearl Harbour?The Port Chicago ExplosionWhat was the real cause of this explosion?The Rainbow WarriorFrench DGSE agents alleged to have sunk this Greenpeace ship. How much of this is true, and if it is, why did they do it?Roberto CalviIn 1982 "e;God's banker"e; was found dead, swinging from Blackfriars Bridge in London. As Calvi had been under enormous pressure it was assumed he had killed himself. But twenty years on, the case was reopened and revaluated, producing somewhat different findings.The Sovereign Military Order of MaltaDoes the Order moonlight as an intelligence broker?TWA Flight 800Why did this plane explode over the Atlantic?
Black HelicoptersBlack helicopters are believed by some to be used for the surveillance of patriotic groups opposed to the takeover of the United States by foreign powers. Those sinister, silent, Black Hawk Down-style copters are hard to miss, but what exactly is their role?The British Royal FamilyAccording to Lyndon LaRouche, the British royal family are imperial masters of the planet. Is it possible that Satan lives in Buckingham Palace?The IlluminatiSo powerful are the Illuminati that they are said to mastermind events and completely control world affairs, but how much do we actually know about them?Le CercleA transnational, clandestine cabal of influential individuals, the group prides itself on complete anonymity. Only a handful of articles are known to have been written about the group, so what do we really know about them?MK-ULTRAWhat went on under MK-ULTRA? And did anybody ever receive reasonable compensation?New World OrderHow powerful is this group that seek to enable a one-world government?Omega AgencyThe Omega Agency and its allies, the aliens, are devising a plan to restore the planet's environment after the OA take over New World Order dictatorship.P2 (Propaganda Due)Did P2 set out a plan for a fascist coup in which unions would be banned and the media would be placed under state control?Skull and Bones"e;It's so secret we can't talk about it,"e; George W. Bush said on the membership of Skull & Bones. Does this organisation control the US?
The history of Ancient Rome has been passed down to us through official accounts, personal letters, annotated words of great orators and the considered histories of powerful men. It is found on inscriptions, in private memoirs and official reports from every corner of the Empire. Over 150 pieces are collected in this autobiography of Ancient Rome, from the written accounts of Caesars and slaves, generals and poets on major battles, conspiracy and politics to the minutiae of everyday life and includes amongst them: How to keep a slave, by Cato the Elder; The Life of a Roman Gentleman by Pliny the Younger; Gang Warfare in Rome, by Cicero; a Chariot Fight, by Julius Caesar; Female Athletes and Gladiators, by Juvenal; the Eruption of Vesuivius, by Pliny the Younger; Nero Murders Britannicus, by Tacitus; On Going to bed with Cleopatra, by Mark Antony; Homosexuals in Rome, Juvenal; Alaric the Visogoth Sacks Rome,by Jordanes; The Great Fire of Rome, by Tacitus; Gladitorial Shows, by Seneca; Two Days in the Life of an Emperor's Son, Marcus Aurelius.
A remarkable series of over 200 eye-witness accounts taken from diaries, letters, speeches, interviews and memoirs of those who were there: pilots, sailors, generals, infantrymen, war correspondents and leaders. These include Spitfire pilot Richard Hillary's account of bailing out of his plane in the Battle of Britain; a German sailor's view of HMS Royal Oak being torpedoed at Scapa Flow; insights into Rommel's ailing health from a lieutenant in the Afrika Korps; famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle's account of GI meals during Operation Torch; Anne Frank's recollection of the rounding up of Jews in Amsterdam; the last letters home from anonymous German soldiers in Stalingrad; the view from a Japanese cockpit over Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; a German officer's memories of the airborne assault on Crete in May 1941; the firestorm following the bombing of Dresden in July 1943 in the words of a German woman; a lieutenant in the 1st Airborne Divsion's eyewitness account of the fighting in Arnhem; Martha Gellhorn on the aftermath of the Battle of the Bulge; a British tank officer crossing the German border on 28 February 1945; on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea; an Allied intelligence officer being executed by the Japanese; the tunnels of Iwo Jima; and a kamikaze pilot's final letter.
In London: The Autobiography the life of the capital is told, for the first time, by those who made it and saw it at first hand. From Roman times to the 21st century, Londoners and visitors to the city have recounted the extraordinary events, everyday life and character of this unique and influential city - from politics, culture, sport, religion, and reportage. This book brings to vivid life the human trial of the capital including invasions by the Vikings, the brutal execution of Sir Thomas More, the sight of a whale swimming up the Thames and the rebuilding of St Paul's by Sir Christopher Wren, as well as the everyday life of the city. Includes contributions from George Orwell, Martin Amis, Dr Johnson, Karl Marx, Winston Churchill, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Virginia Woolfe, George Melly, Tacitus, Samuel Pepys and many others. Packed with personality and character, this book is a must-buy for anyone interested in London as well as a wonderful story of the city at the heart of the nation. Praise for Jon E Lewis: 'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's Army 'Harrowing, funny and often unbelievable book.' Daily Express [A] compelling tommy's eye view of war from Agincourt to Iraq' Daily Telegraph