LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

James Stejskal - Author

About the Author

James Stejskal is a historian. To get background for his stories, he served 35 years with US Army Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency in many interesting places overseas. He is the author of the definitive history of Special Forces Berlin Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956-1990 and Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz. He lives in northern Virginia. This is his first novel.

Featured books by James Stejskal

Other books by James Stejskal

Special Operations in World War II

Special Operations in World War II

Author: James Stejskal Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2020

Winston Churchill famously instructed the head of the Special Operations Executive to Set Europe ablaze! Agents of both the British Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services underwent rigorous training before making their way, undetected, into occupied Europe to do just that. Working alone or in small cells, often cooperating with local resistance groups, agents undertook missions behind enemy lines involving sabotage, subversion, organizing resistance groups and intelligence-gathering. The SOE's first notable success was the destruction of a power station in France, stopping work at a vital U-boat base, and later operations included the assassination of Himmler's deputy Reinhard Heyrich and ending the Nazi atomic bomb program by destroying the heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway. OSS operatives established anti-Nazi resistance groups across Europe, and managed to smuggle operatives into Nazi Germany, including running one of the war's most important spies, German diplomat Fritz Kolbe. All missions were incredibly dangerous and many agents were captured, tortured, and ultimately killed - the life expectancy of an SOE wireless operator in occupied France was just six weeks. In this short history, historian James Stejskal examines why these agencies were established, the training regime and ingenious tools developed to enable agents to undertake their missions, their operational successes, and their legacy.

Special Forces Berlin

Special Forces Berlin

Author: James Stejskal Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2020

It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two U.S. Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets. The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the juggernaut they expected when and if a war began. The plan was Special Forces Berlin. The first 40 men who came to Berlin in mid-1956 were soon reinforced by 60 more and these 100 soldiers (and their successors) would stand ready to go to war at only two hours' notice, in a hostile area occupied by nearly one million Warsaw Pact forces, until 1990. Their mission should hostilities commence was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, intelligence tradecraft and able to act if necessary as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit that had no parallel. It left a legacy of a new type of soldier expert in unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for other deployments including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the U.S. government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told.

Masters of Mayhem

Masters of Mayhem

Author: James Stejskal Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2018

Second place in the Military History Monthly Book of the Year Award 2018 Striking where the enemy is weakest and melting away into the darkness before he can react. Never confronting a stronger force directly, but willing to use audacity and surprise to confound and demoralize an opponent. Operations driven by good intelligence, area knowledge, mobility, speed, firepower, and detailed planning and executed by a few specialists with indigenous warriors - this is unconventional warfare. T. E. Lawrence was one of the earliest practitioners of modern unconventional warfare. His tactics and strategies were used by men like Mao and Giap in their wars of liberation. Both kept Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom close at hand. This book looks at the creation of the HEDGEHOG force, the formation of armoured car sections and other units, and focuses the Hejaz Operations Staff, the Allied officers and men who took Lawrence's idea and prosecuted it against the Ottoman Turkish army assisting Field Marshal Allenby to achieve victory in 1918. Stejskal concludes with an examination of how HEDGEHOG has influenced special operations and unconventional warfare, including Field Marshal Wavell, the Long Range Desert Group, and David Stirling's SAS.

Special Forces Berlin

Special Forces Berlin

Author: James Stejskal Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/03/2017

It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two U.S. Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets. The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the juggernaut they expected when and if a war began. The plan was Special Forces Berlin. The first 40 men who came to Berlin in mid-1956 were soon reinforced by 60 more and these 100 soldiers (and their successors) would stand ready to go to war at only two hours' notice, in a hostile area occupied by nearly one million Warsaw Pact forces, until 1990. Their mission should hostilities commence was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, intelligence tradecraft and able to act if necessary as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit that had no parallel. It left a legacy of a new type of soldier expert in unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for other deployments including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the U.S. government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told.

The Horns of the Beast

The Horns of the Beast

Author: James Stejskal Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2014

In December of 1914, veteran Boer commander General Louis Botha landed his forces on the coast of German South West Africa to finish off the colony's Schutztruppe defenders. In August, the South Africans had started off badly with a disastrous battle at Sandfontein and an internal rebellion that could have torn the Union of South Africa apart. Botha's campaign would eventually lead to victory, but it would not be easy. Overshadowed and largely forgotten by the battles in Europe, this was one of the more distant and now almost forgotten episodes of World War I. But from August 1914 to July 1915, a small German force of 4,000 faced nearly 75,000 Allied troops of the Union of South Africa, Britain, and colonial Rhodesia in a fight that was pivotal in the history of southern Africa. This loss on the battlefield would cost Germany her most prized african possession and prove to be an important milestone in the history of the country that would eventually become Namibia. Britain was so concerned about the threat the German protectorate of South West Africa posed to the Empire that it requested its dominion, the Union of South Africa, occupy the territory's ports and destroy its powerful wireless stations. South African leaders were eager to take on this `urgent Imperial service' to expand their own territory. When the Germans capitulated nearly a year later, it was the first Allied victory of the war and a rallying point for the United Kingdom. It was a terrible place to fight a war. Invading troops wondered why anyone would want to live in the place, let alone fight over it. Vast deserts barred easy entry to the country; the bones of animals and humans scattered across the surface attested to their lethal nature. The South Africans had to feed and water over 100,000 horses and oxen where little fodder existed and after the Germans had sabotaged many of the water points. Meanwhile, the Germans were looking over their shoulders as the native peoples they had long mistreated tried to settle old scores through ambushes and sniping. Using primary sources, on the ground research, and accurate maps and charts of the battles, the author sheds new light on the operations of the South African Army in its first foreign war and the Schutztruppe defense of German South West Africa. The book also demonstrates the terrible cost of miscalculations by politicians and military leaders on both sides.

Author Info

Twitter Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Twitter updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more

Facebook Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Facebook updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more