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Robert Lyman - Author

About the Author

Robert Lyman is a respected military historian and his previous books include The Longest Siege: Tobruk and the Battle for Africa, 1941, Slim, Master of War and Operation Suicide. He lives in Berkshire, England.

Featured books by Robert Lyman

The Jail Busters The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho

The Jail Busters The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2015

In February 1944, the French Resistance in the Amiens area was in turmoil. Its strength had been decimated by German aggression and the work of a number of traitors in their midst, and hundreds of its members languished in the city's formidable jail, awaiting an almost certain death at the hands of their captors. When two Allied intelligence officers were incarcerated alongside them it became clear that immediate action was imperative. What followed was a precision air attack on the prison, of hitherto unrivalled daring, carried out by the RAF's elite 2nd Tactical Air Force. These pilots' bravery and skill created a breach in the prison's walls that allowed the Nazi's captives to break free. Whilst many were recaptured, and controversy over the true reasons for the raid's authorisation rages to this day, Operation Jericho remains one of the most audacious and innovative missions ever flown.

Other books by Robert Lyman

The Rise of the Third Reich The Takeover of the Continent in the Words of Observers

The Rise of the Third Reich The Takeover of the Continent in the Words of Observers

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/12/2018

A vivid social history of Europe, as the Nazi menace casts a shadow over the continent. The Rise of the Third Reich is a poignant and powerful portrait of the years 1939 to 1941, which witnessed the march towards the greatest manmade catastrophe the world has ever experienced. The narrative follows events from 3 September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to Pearl Harbor and America's declaration of war in December 1941. It is told from the fresh perspective of expatriate Americans caught up in the exploding conflict. Uniquely, the book uses their contemporary accounts, to record a time when British and other nationalities were barred from Nazi-occupied territory, but US citizens could travel and report what they saw. They describe the foreboding, fear and suffering caused by the Nazi invasions. These were years of increasing calls for American intervention, as Britain faced its darkest days, and held off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, yet remained vulnerable. Meanwhile, European nations fell one after another, and Hitler's power extended from the Mediterranean to the Baltic. Acclaimed historian Robert Lyman brings together a wide range of encounters, conversations and memories. The individuals range across the social spectrum, from the great singer, dancer and activist Josephine Baker to young volunteers in the RAF, such as aces James Goodison, Art Donahue, and the wealthy playboy Billy Fiske - the first American volunteer in the RAF to die in action during the Battle of Britain. The story unfolds as the war drags the whole of Europe and a reluctant United States into the maelstrom.

Among the Headhunters An Extraordinary World War II Story of Survival in the Burmese Jungle

Among the Headhunters An Extraordinary World War II Story of Survival in the Burmese Jungle

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2016

Flying the notorious Hump route between India and China in 1943, a twin-engine plane suffered mechanical failure and crashed in a dense mountain jungle, deep within Japanese-held territory. Among the passengers and crew were celebrated CBS journalist Eric Sevareid, an OSS operative who was also a Soviet double agent, and General Joseph Vinegar Joe Stilwell's personal political adviser. Against the odds, all but one of the twenty-one people aboard the doomed aircraft survived- it remains the largest civilian evacuation of an aircraft by parachute. But they fell from the frying pan into the fire.Disentangling themselves from their parachutes, the shocked survivors discovered that they had arrived in wild country dominated by a tribe with a special reason to hate white men. The Nagas were notorious headhunters who routinely practiced slavery and human sacrifice, their specialty being the removal of enemy heads. Japanese soldiers lay close by, too, with their own brand of hatred for Americans. Among the Headhunters tells- for the first time- the incredible true story of the adventures of these men among the Naga warriors, their sustenance from the air by the USAAF, and their ultimate rescue. It is also a story of two very different worlds colliding- young Americans, exuberant apostles of their country's vast industrial democracy, coming face-to-face with the Naga, an ancient tribe determined to preserve its local power based on headhunting and slaving.

Among the Headhunters

Among the Headhunters

Author: Robert Lyman Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2016

Flying the notorious "e;Hump"e; route between India and China in 1943, a twin-engine plane suffered mechanical failure and crashed in a dense mountain jungle, deep within Japanese-held territory. Among the passengers and crew were celebrated CBS journalist Eric Sevareid, an OSS operative who was also a Soviet double agent, and General Joseph "e;Vinegar Joe"e; Stilwell's personal political adviser. Against the odds, all but one of the twenty-one people aboard the doomed aircraft survived-it remains the largest civilian evacuation of an aircraft by parachute. But they fell from the frying pan into the fire.Disentangling themselves from their parachutes, the shocked survivors discovered that they had arrived in wild country dominated by a tribe with a special reason to hate white men. The Nagas were notorious headhunters who routinely practiced slavery and human sacrifice, their specialty being the removal of enemy heads. Japanese soldiers lay close by, too, with their own brand of hatred for Americans.Among the Headhunters tells-for the first time-the incredible true story of the adventures of these men among the Naga warriors, their sustenance from the air by the USAAF, and their ultimate rescue. It is also a story of two very different worlds colliding-young Americans, exuberant apostles of their country's vast industrial democracy, coming face-to-face with the Naga, an ancient tribe determined to preserve its local power based on headhunting and slaving.

The Real X-Men The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-1945

The Real X-Men The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-1945

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2016

The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes - 'Chariots' - and 'X-craft' midget submarines in British naval service during WWII, and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels. The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today's Special Boat Service, the SBS. Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed. The Real X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed, nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.

The Real X-Men The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-1945

The Real X-Men The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-1945

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/09/2015

The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes - 'Chariots' - and 'X-craft' midget submarines in British naval service during WWII, and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels. The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today's Special Boat Service, the SBS. Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed. The Real X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed, nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.

The Jail Busters The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho

The Jail Busters The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2015

In February 1944, the French Resistance in the Amiens area was in turmoil. Its strength had been decimated by German aggression and the work of a number of traitors in their midst, and hundreds of its members languished in the city's formidable jail, awaiting an almost certain death at the hands of their captors. When two Allied intelligence officers were incarcerated alongside them it became clear that immediate action was imperative. What followed was a precision air attack on the prison, of hitherto unrivalled daring, carried out by the RAF's elite 2nd Tactical Air Force. These pilots' bravery and skill created a breach in the prison's walls that allowed the Nazi's captives to break free. Whilst many were recaptured, and controversy over the true reasons for the raid's authorisation rages to this day, Operation Jericho remains one of the most audacious and innovative missions ever flown.

Into the Jaws of Death The True Story of the Legendary Raid on Saint-Nazaire

Into the Jaws of Death The True Story of the Legendary Raid on Saint-Nazaire

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2014

It is the night of 28 March 1942. Royal Navy and British commandos are poised to assault the German-held port of Saint-Nazaire in what will be one of the most audacious and daring raids of the Second World War. The plan is simple: to drive an old destroyer, packed with three tons of explosive, at full speed into the outer gate of the Normandie dock. The aim is to destroy the base from which the formidable battleship Tirpitz would be able to devastate the convoys supplying Britain from the United States. 'Operation Chariot' was to be dramatically successful, but at a great cost. Fewer than half the men who went on the mission returned. In recognition of their valour, eighty-nine decorations were awarded, including five Victoria Crosses. Into the Jaws of Death is the true story of how the decisive courage of a small group of men changed the course of the war.

Operation Suicide The Remarkable Story of the Cockleshell Raid

Operation Suicide The Remarkable Story of the Cockleshell Raid

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/2013

At nightfall on December 7 1942, twelve British canoeists arrived by submarine off the coast of France, tasked with infiltrating the dockyards of Bordeaux, and wreaking havoc with the German shipping they found there. Manning fragile 'cockles' through the turbulent waters of the Bay of Biscay, and making an assault on a port bristling with German soldiers ordered to execute any Allied Commando they captured, their prospects looked bleak. It was fully expected that all would die in the attempt. Featuring a cast of characters ranging from Blondie Hasler, the ingenious and courageous leader of the raid, to the Comtesse de Milleville, who risked outrageous danger as she ran a secret resistance network, Operation Suicide is an enthralling account of one of WWII's most iconic missions.

Japan's Last Bid for Victory The Invasion of India, 1944

Japan's Last Bid for Victory The Invasion of India, 1944

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/09/2011

Robert Lyman's deep knowledge and understanding of the war in Burma, and the great battles at Kohima and Imphal in 1944, are well known. In this book he uses original documents, published works and personal accounts to weave together an enthralling account of some of the bitterest fighting of the Second World War. Not only does he use British sources for his research but he has also included material from the Naga tribes of north-east India, on whose land these battles were fought, and from Japanese accounts, including interviews with Japanese veterans of the fighting. Thus he has been able to produce what is arguably the most balanced history of the battles that were pivotal in ending the Japanese empire. Fergal Keane, journalist and author of Road to Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 wrote to the author saying 'What a triumph! I finished it last night. You have done a wonderful job. I only wish I'd read it before writing my own book!' He goes on to say 'Robert Lyman is one of the great writers about men and war and in this book he has succeeded in conveying the courage, genius and folly of an epic struggle. I cannot think of a writer engaged in the subject of the Second World War who can match Lyman for his integrity or the soundness of his judgements.'

Kohima 1944 The Battle That Saved India

Kohima 1944 The Battle That Saved India

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/11/2010

In March 1944, the Japanese Army launched Operation U-Go, an attack on Assam in India intended to inspire a rising against British rule. A month earlier the Japanese had launched Operation Ha-Go, which was intended as a feint to draw British attention away from the Imphal area. But British forces employed new defensive techniques to counter the Japanese infiltration tactics. These tactics were again employed on a larger scale when Imphal and Kohima were surrounded during Operation U-Go. Kohima took place in two stages. From 3 to 16 April, the Japanese attempted to capture Kohima Ridge. As the small garrison held out against fierce and repeatedly desperate attempts by the Japanese 31st Division to destroy them, so the British 2nd Division fought to break through and relieve them. Then for over two months British and Indian troops counter-attacked to drive the Japanese from the positions they had already captured. The battle ended on June 22 when British and Indian troops from Kohima and Imphal met at Milestone 109, thus ending the siege.

The Longest Siege Tobruk: The Battle That Saved North Africa

The Longest Siege Tobruk: The Battle That Saved North Africa

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2010

Beginning on 10th April 1941, and lasting for 240 days, the siege of Tobruk is a mesmerising tale of human endurance and heroism. It is an epic story of extraordinary resilience as the Libyan port's 24,000 defenders met increasingly desperate attempts by Rommel's Panzer divisions to break through the hurriedly thrown-up defences. It was a battle of bayonets and grenades against tanks, of David versus Goliath. The eventual allied victory came against overwhelming odds, plus the morale sapping knowledge that the defenders were surrounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by Hitler's men and machines (who, only the year before, had brought Western Europe to its knees). Tobruk was defended in the main by the Australian 9th Division, followed by the British 70th Infantry Division who then linked up with the advancing 8th Army. The Royal Navy also played an important role in Tobruk's defence. By December 1941 Rommel had been beaten and forced to withdraw his forces from Cyrenaica. The siege was lifted and the exhausted, gallant defenders able to march out in triumph.

The Generals From Defeat to Victory, Leadership in Asia 1941-1945

The Generals From Defeat to Victory, Leadership in Asia 1941-1945

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/06/2008

From General Yamashita's blistering capture of Singapore in early 1942 to the final decisive victory by General Slim at Rangoon four years later, this scintillating account of war in Asia analyses the effectiveness of the Japanese, British and American commanders who lead their forces in defeat and victory during the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War. In The Generals, Robert Lyman looks at the role of the generals on both sides of the conflict and analyses their influence on the desperate struggle between both sides in what the British describe as 'the Forgotten War'. The ability of a general to inspire and motivate his men, and lead them to success, was crucial for victory but it took several years before the British were able to field leaders of the calibre necessary to defeat the Japanese. The personality of each commander had a direct impact on the outcome of battles, the formulation of strategy and the determination or otherwise of soldiers to fight to the bitter end. Through the stories of Yamashita, Perceval, Hutton, Irwin, Mountbatten, Stilwell, Mutaguchi and Slim, Lyman tells the gripping story of the war in the Far East through the perspective of the command and leadership abilities of the men who were responsible for the deployment of many hundreds of thousands of men in the titanic struggle for mastery in Asia during the Second World War. Reviews for Slim, Master of War: 'This is a first rate book . . . a beautifully written and carefully researched account.' Dr Richard Holmes 'Lyman is good on strategy . . . he is also astute on what it took to fight the war on the ground.' Sunday Times 'This significant book . . . is a much needed and scholarly addition to the literature of the Burma War.' Soldier Magazine Reviews for First Victory: 'In this excellent book, Robert Lyman... reveals the fascinating story of the forgotten desert battles that fundamentally changed the course of World War Two.' Military Illustrated His moving account of human beings, often tested beyond reason, should be read by all who aspire to lead in battle. Major General DM Naylor CB, MBE.

First Victory: 1941 Blood, Oil and Mastery in the Middle East, 1941

First Victory: 1941 Blood, Oil and Mastery in the Middle East, 1941

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/05/2006

It is commonly held that Montgomery's 1942 victory at El Alamein was the turning point in Britain's fortunes during the Second World War - that it was 'the end of the beginning' (Churchill). However, Robert Lyman reveals here how in the summer of 1941, beleaguered British forces put together a series of largely forgotten victories in Iraq, Syria and Iran that secured crucial supplies of oil and curbed dangerous German expansion in the region. It's an exciting story of victories achieved against the odds - fraught negotiations between London, Cairo and New Delhi, hastily assembled troops and campaigns fought and won in harsh desert conditions. The siege of the RAF base at Lake Habbaniya in Iraq is a brilliant example of this, and forms one of the most exciting passages in the book. 1941 could have been the year in which Britain lost the war - Lyman reveals here how close we came.

Iraq 1941 The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad

Iraq 1941 The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/02/2006

The events in Iraq in 1941 had crucial strategic consequences. The country's oil reserves were a highly coveted prize for the Axis powers, and its location provided a corridor in the defence of Palestine and the Suez Canal. Had Iraq fallen to the Axis powers, Britain could have lost its foothold in the Middle East and the Mediterranean and risked losing World War II. This book examines the strategy and tactics of the Iraq campaign, the role of the Indian Army and the Arab Legion, the nature of expeditionary warfare and the complementary roles of air and land power.

Slim, Master of War Burma, 1942-5

Slim, Master of War Burma, 1942-5

Author: Robert Lyman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2005

General W J Slim achieved something no one believed possible. Appointed to lead what was soon to become the famous 'forgotten' 14th Army in 1943, at a time when British units in the Far East were defeated and demoralised, within six months he had dealt the first death blow to the Japanese Army. This - the battle of Kohima and Imphal - was the largest single defeat of the Japanese on land in the Second World War and led to their complete destruction in Burma by August 1945. So, how did he do it? And why is he not better known? Slim did not fit the British military mould. Like Patton he was a manoeuvrist: he fought differently, seeking victory by cunning and guile, starkly different from how the British Army foughts its wars at the time. Like the legendary soldier T E Lawrence, Slim was an exponent - long before it became fashionable - of mission command, giving his subordinates their head and encouraging initiative and imagination at the lowest levels of command. But above all Slim was a soldier's general - it wasn't just his men who revered him, but his equals too: Mountbatten, with whom he bonded in a way unparalleled in South East Asia Command, and Stilwell, another maverick, who would serve under no other British commander but him. They were not wrong; he was a singular man, a supreme commander, who remains worthy of our respect.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.robertlyman.com

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