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Titles to Look Out For:
[In Alphabetical Order]
1995. Armoured Odyssey. 8th Royal Tank Regiment in The Western Desert 1941-1942. Palestine, Syria, Egypt 1943-1944, Italy 1944-1945 by Stuart Hamilton MC
1993. At All Costs: Stories of Impossible Victories by Bryan Perrett
1870. Great Battles of the British Army (illustrated) by George Routledge
1992. Her Majesty's Vietnam Soldier by Guy Bransby
1999. Nine Battles to Stanley by Nicholas Van Der Bijl
1977. The Rambling Soldier edited by Roy Palmer
1994. Special Men and Special Missions: Inside American Special Operations Forces 1945 to the present by Joel Nadel and J. R. Wright
1996. Twenty-five Years in the Rifle Brigade by William Surtees

`
Hamilton, Stuart MC and Liardet, Major-General H. M. (introduction); 'Armoured Odyssey. 8th Royal Tank Regiment in the Western Desert 1941-1942. Palestine, Syria, Egypt 1943-1944, Italy 1944-1945. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1995, Tom Donovan, hbk
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About this book/synopsis: Stuart Hamilton wrote this book because he wanted to record what it was like to be a member of a tank crew in the heat and dust of battle in the Western Desert and in the arduous terrain of the Italian campaign and this is his gripping account of his service as a tank commander with the 8th Royal Tank Regiment in North Africa, Syria and Italy with the 8th Army. At the end of the war he was still with the Regiment he had gone overseas with in 1941-one of only three of the original officers to survive.

Also, until now, there has existed no satisfactory record of 8th RTR - a regular regiment - in the Second World War. The result is an "incredibly thrilling and vivid narrative which takes the reader right into Hamilton's tank, with tracer bullets whipping round the turret and German tanks just yards away. We read, too, of the change a man and a regiment undergo from being green newcomers to grizzled veterans, along with insights into the author's own state of mind and body as the campaign progresses

About the Author: Major Stuart Hamilton MC enlisted in the March of 1936 in the Royal Tank Corps at Bovington Camp, intending to obtain a cadetship to Sandhurst from the ranks. This was going to be a difficult task, since only 30 cadetships were granted each year.
In 1937, he joined 5th RTR at Perham Down, only to meet misfortune in 1938 when he was badly burned in a tank accident and hospitalized for four months.
Later rejoining 5th RTR, he requested an interview with his Colonel-in those days you just didn't do this-and asked what had happened to his application for a commission. The answer was that it had been filed and forgotten. As it turned out, he was recommended for a cadetship at Sandhurst in September 1939, but war broke out and prevented him from taking this up. Instead he went to an OCTU and was commissioned in July 1940.

He spent several months with the 1st Army Tank Bde HQ and was then posted to the 8th RTR and remained with them until the end of the war. In 1942, he was awarded the Military Cross in the Western Desert and was mentioned in despatches in 1944 and awarded the Polish Cross of Valour in 1945 both for gallant services in Italy. He was demobilised in March 1946, almost 10 years to the day of his enlistment

Perrett, Bryan. 'At All Costs: Stories of Impossible Victories' published in 1993 in Great Britain by BCA (Book Club Associates), in hardback with dustjacket, 223pp. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access a prebuilt search for this title on Amazon UK
1993, BCA, hbk
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  • At All Costs: Stories of Impossible Victories [top]
    Written by Bryan Perrett
    First published in 1993 in Great Britain by Cassell Publishers in hardback
    Reprinted in 1993 in Great Britain by BCA by arrangement with Cassell, in hardback with dustjacket, 223pp

About this book/synopsis: Published in 1993 by BCA in hardback (with dustjacket), 223pp, this volume looks at 11 true stories of the battlefield - each a testament to exceptional bravery in the face of superior odds. In each case, the situation was desperate, the objective dangerous, the odds against success dauntingly high. The 'at all costs' mission on the battlefield is usually brought about by the desperate need to attain an objective or maintain a current position, whatever happens and is often inspired by motives as diverse as a desire for survival, revenge, personal gain, professionalism and self-sacrifice for the greater good, or for a cause. Put a troop of soldiers in this position and it can inspire examples of human bravery above and beyond the call of normal duty -some would say beyond sanity.

Chapters:
Introduction; acknowledgements;
1. The Drums of Minden - 1st August, 1759
2. Valleys of Death: Balaclava, 25th October 1854
3. The Walls of Delhi 1857
4. For Want of A Nail: Little Round Top, 2nd July 1863
5. Von Bredow's Death Ride: Vionville - Mars-La-Tour, 16 August 1870 AND The Prussian Guard at St-Privat, Gravelotte-St-Privat, 18 August 1870
6. March into Infinity: The Desert Column, Gordon Relief Expedition, 1884-5
7. The Arras Counter-Attack, 21st May 1940
8. The Taking of Longstop: December 1942-April 1943
9. Across the Waal: The Fight for the Nijmegen Bridge, 20 September 1944
10. Jump on Corregidor, February 1945
11. Goose Green 27-29 May 1982; A Postscript; Select Bibliography; Index

No author, 'Great Battles of the British Army', published in circa 1870 by George Routledge & Sons, hardback, 565pp, with six chromolithographs. No  ISBN. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1870 (?), George Routledge & Sons
Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon

No author, 'Great Battles of the British Army', published in circa 1870 by George Routledge & Sons, hardback, 565pp, with six chromolithographs. No  ISBN. Condition: good, but vintage with slight pull to binding just inside the front cover and some scuffing and rubbing to the edges and corners of the book - particularly on the back cover. The first few and last pages all have age spotting to them (small brown spots -hardly noticeable - caused by tannins in the paper, a by-product of ageing!). Price: £26.00, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1870?, George Routledge, different edition & exterior. Marbled edge of text block, pastedowns and ffep & rfep

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  • Great Battles of the British Army (illustrated) [top]
    Published (and written/compiled?) by George Routledge and Sons in red cloth hardback, publication date unspecified, but likely to be about 1870, 565pp.
    Contains six chromolithographs. The frontis one has a tissue cover.
    Both the spine and the front cover have an embossed design featuring (on the front) two British Army soldiers round a camp-fire most likely on sentry duty. The top of the design features a helmet and selection of weaponry. The background of the design is in black, the figures and items are the colour of the cloth and the titling on both the front and spine are in gilt panels with the lettering in red

    **We are always looking out for copies of this book - let us know if you wish to sell one**

Contents: The book has no preface-the author has chosen to preface the book with some choice parliamentary speeches of two distinguised English statesmen (Right Hon. W. Windham, in the House of Commons 1806 and The Earl of Derby on the Funeral of the Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords 1852)

The chromolithographs are (in order):
Frontis (with tissue cover): Meeting of Sir Colin Campbell and General Havelock
1. Cressy
2. Blenheim
3. Wolfe on the Heights of Abraham
4. Fuentes d'Onoro
5. Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava

Battles Covered:
A.D. 1066-1346
Crecy, 1346
Poictiers, 1355
Azincourt, 1415
A.D. 1422-1513
Battle of the Spurs, 1513
A.D. 1513-1702
Schellenberg, 1704
Blenheim, 1704
Ramilies, 1706
Oudenarde, 1708
Wynendale, 1708
Malplaquet, 1709
Almanza, 1707
Dettingen, 1743
Fontenoy, 1745
Clive and Victories in India, 1746-1752
Clive at Arcot, 1751
Plassey, 1757
A.D. 1746-1759
The Heights of Abraham and the Capture of Quebec, 1759
A.D. 1760-1800
Alexandria, 1801
Maida, 1806
Indian Warfare
Assye, 1803
Delhi, 1803
Laswaree, 1803
Argaum, 1803
Peninsular War, 1808-1813
Rolica, Wellington's First Battle in the Peninsula, 1808
Vimeiro, 1808
Sir John Moore's Campaign, 1808-1809
Coruna, 1809
Wellington Campaigns, 1809
Talavera, 1809
Wellington Campaigns, 1810-1811
Fuentes de Onoro, 1811
Albuera, 1811
Barrosa, 1811
Campaign of 1812
Salamanca, 1812
Campaign of 1812 (cont.d)
Campaign of 1813
Vittoria, 1813
Campaign of 1813 (cont.d)
Battles of the Pyrenees, 1813
Orthez, 1814
Toulouse, 1814
Quatre Bras, 1815
Waterloo, 1815
Nepaulese War, Battle of Mukwanpoor, 1816
Battles of Nagpoor, 1817
Corregaum, 1818
Burmese War
Rangoon, 1824
Battles of the Golden Dagon Pagoda, 1824
War in Scinde-Meeanee, 1843
The Sixh War-Moodkee, 1845
Battle of Ferozshuhur, 1845
Aliwal and Sobraon, 1845
Russian War, Battle of the Alma, 1854
The Battle of Balakalva and the Charge of the Six Hundred
The Battle of Inkermann
The Indian Mutiny, origin of the mutiny, 1857
The Fight for Delhi
The Struggle at Cawnpore
The Relief at Lucknow
The Abyssinian Expedition

British Army Books on Amazon:

Famous British Battles:

Bransby, Guy. 'Her Majesty's Vietnam Soldier', published in 1992 in Great Britain by the Self Publishing Association in hardback with dustjacket, 286pp, ISBN 1854211676. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1992, SPA, hardback
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  • Her Majesty's Vietnam Soldier [top]
    Written by Guy Bransby
    First published in 1992 in Great Britain by The SPA Ltd (Self Publishing Association), Units 7/10, Hanley Workshops, Hanley Road, Hanley Swan, Worcestershire, England, UK. Published in hardback with dustjacket, 286pp, ISBN 1854211676. Original UK retail price: £14.95

Contents/synopsis: Initially an unlikely soldier, the young Guy Bransby finally determined that he wanted to fight for the Western Ideal-at the front lines. Since that time, he has served in Vietnam, Cambodia, Kashmir, Northern Ireland and the Falklands-the only British soldier to have fought in all of these campaigns-and has totalled nearly six years in military action. Few would argue that he has not achieved his aspirations. In this book, the first of a trilogy, Bransby describes his training in the UK, his eventual compulsion to fight in Vietnam and his service out there as one of the few participating British soldiers. It was on the expiry of his contract with the RA in Germany in 1969 that Bransby resolved to serve in Vietnam.

To do this, he joined the Royal New Zealand Artillery and, after a few months as an instructor in Papakura Auckland, he was posted as an Artillery Forward Observer with the ANZAC infantry in the Phuoc Tuy province of Vietnam. He served there for nearly 1 year. In 1971, Bransby returned to Vietnam as a Green Beret (the US Special Forces) in the Binh Dinh province, where he met with a totally new kind of war, perhaps more horrific than any other seen in the 20th Century.

With an irrepressible sense of humour and a strong empathy with human nature, Guy Bransby survived the Vietnam War and rightly earned the respect of American and Colonial Forces. Although he comes across as a whimsical and eccentric Englishman, his story unfolds itself on the battlefield itself telling of comradeship, heroism and horror... and "Dear John" letters; so his style is not the normal "tough" style of war reporting and storytelling.

Chapters
Foreword and Prologue
Part 1
A Passage Through the British Army

Part 2. The Anzac at Nui Dat

Part 3. The Green Beret at Vinh Giat

Epilogue

About the Author:
Guy Bransby was born in Esher, Surrey in 1942 and was educated for the most part at Ottershaw, a boarding school in Surrey.

He attended Mons Officer Cadet School and then served at Fallingbostel with the Rhine Army until his contract with the British Army concluded in 1969, upon which he joined the Royal New Zealand Artillery, twice finding himself posted to Vietnam

When all the allied troops left Vietnam in early 1973, Guy Bransby went back to New Zealand to continue his job as instructor. When the India-Pakistan conflict blew up about Kashmir in 1974, Bransby found himself posted to the NZ contingent serving with the UN military mission to that conflict. He remained there until 1976.

After 1976, he was in Fiji and New Zealand, returning to Britain in 1980 when he joined the Royal Air Force Regiment. He then served in Northern Ireland and in 1982 in the Falklands War.

The author has received decorations from the US and the Republic of Vietnam, but British regulations prevent him from wearing them on British Uniform

Books on the Vietnam War:


1999, Leo Cooper, hbk
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  • Nine Battles to Stanley [top]
    Written by Nicholas van der Bijl; with a foreword by Major General Julian Thompson
    First published in 1999 in Great Britain in hardcover with dustjacket by Leo Cooper (Pen & Sword), 265pp, ISBN 0850526191
    Jacket design: Roni Wilkinson

About this book/synopsis: When the Falklands War erupted into existence in early April 1982, it was such a surprise that for many people they can name what they were doing at the time the news broke.

There have been many opinions and books written about the Falkland's War, but Nicholas Van Der Bijl's account is set apart by its objectivity - Van der Bijl served with the Intelligence Corps 'down south' in the Falklands and this gives him the ability to expertly examine and comment on the Argentinian's strengths and weaknesses, and this makes the book a thoroughly balanced work not only using the author's own experience but combining it with the vast quantity of research he has unearthed on the subject.

The major battles of the conflict that led up to the British victory are described in a very readable and authoritative way; and he does not pull any punches or preserve any sacred cows - and this is very evident in his graphic description and assessment of the SAS attack on South Georgia.

Chapters:
Foreword; Glossary; Rear Admiral Busser's Address to the Argentine Landing Forces on 1st April 1982; Recovery; Acknowledgements;

1. The Road to War
2. The Capture of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
3. The Defence of Las Malvinas
4. The Second Battle of Grytviken
5. British Offensive and Advanced Forces Operations
6. The Landings in San Carlos Water and the Defence of the Beachhead
7. Goose Green
8. Breakout
9. The Battle for the Outer Defence Zone
10. The Battle for the Inner Defence Zone
11. Surrender and the Final Battle
12. Postscript

Appendixes:
1. Composition of Combined Task Group 317.8 (The Task Force)
2. Combined Task Unit 317.8.4 (The Landing Group - 3rd Commando Brigade)
3. Composition of Land Forces Falkland Islands 2 April - 14 June 1982
4. Army Group Malvinas
5. Army Group Puerto Argentino
6. Army Group Littoral
7. Orders of Battle
8. British Casualties in direct support of ground operations
9. Argentine casualties in direct support of ground operations
10. Interpretation of Captured Document - 3 June 1982

Bibliography; Index

About the Author: Nicholas Van Der Bijl joined the Intelligence Corps in 1970 and travelled widely for the next 20 years on military security and intelligence duties seeing service in Belize, Brunei, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Jordan, Korea, the US and West Germany - in addition to the South Atlantic. When he retired from the British Army, he pursued a career in security management, enjoying married life with wife and daughter in Bristol

Other books on the Falklands War:

Palmer, Roy (ed.), 'The Rambling Soldier', published in 1985 in Great Britain in paperback by Alan Sutton Publishing, 310pp, ISBN 086299246X. Condition: good, with some wear to the front cover, such as rubbing to edges. A very decent copy. Price: £6.99, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1985, Alan Sutton, pbk

Palmer, Roy. 'The Rambling Soldier: Military Life Through Soldiers' Songs and Writings. Life in the Lower Ranks 1750-1900', published in 1977 in Great Britain by Peacock Books (Penguin) in paperback, 310pp, ISBN 0140471030. Condition: Good, nearly very good. Clean, tidy and well looked-after, although the hinge of the front cover feels weak. Price: £11.50, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1977, Penguin Books, pbk

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  • The Rambling Soldier: Military Life Through Soldiers' Songs and Writings. Life in the Lower Ranks 1750-1900 [top]
    Edited by Roy Palmer
    First published in 1977 in Great Britain by Peacock Books (Penguin Books) in paperback, 310pp, ISBN 0140471030. Cover design by Jones Thompson. Cover Painting 'The Girl I Left Behind Me' by Charles Green, 1840-1898. Original price when first published: £1.75; Australia $3.95; and Canada $3.95
    Published in 1985 in Great Britain by Alan Sutton Publishing, 310pp, ISBN 086299246x . Original price when first sold: £5.95
    Special Points To Note About This Book:
    1. It covers the period from the Seven Years' War onwards to just short of the Boer War
    2. It's divided into four parts: entrance to the army; military life; battle; and homecoming
    3. Many of the extracts printed in this wonderful book are from unpublished sources
    4. Some are reprinted for the first time since their original appearance - e.g. the Oxford soldier's journal, not seen in print from 1770 to 1977 when this book came out.
    5. Pages 287-294 give notes on the contributors (in alphabetical order) and all the details of the prose sources
    Recommended Reading: Rank and File by T. H. McGuffie [1951, Hutchinson]

About this book/synopsis: "If any gentlemen, soldiers or others have a mind to serve Her Majesty, and pull down the French king; if any prentices have severe masters, any children have undutiful parents; if any servant have too little wages, or any husband too much wife, let them repair to the noble Sergeant Kite, at the sign of the Raven in this good town of Shrewsbury..." Such patter of the recruiting sergeants could be heard in the market squares of Britain throughout the century and a half (1750 - 1900) covered by this book. Attracted by the prospect of adventure, of a steady -if small- income and a fine uniform, men flocked to the army in their thousands. There, despite the low pay and the meagre food, these raw recruits were transformed through constant drill and severe punishments into the soldiers that fought in the American War of Independence, in the campaigns against Napoleon, in the Crimea and in numerous small colonial wars. Roy Palmer has brought together songs and ballads from the period, and interspersed them with the writings (from letters, memoirs, etc) of many soldiers, as well as contemporary prints, and photographs, to give a vivid first-hand account of life in the lower ranks at this time, answering the question - what was life really like for the common soldier? What did they go through? What were their thoughts and emotions; what was life at this time really like? Extracts are taken from the work of twenty-nine soldier-writers. All served in the ranks, though two became officers.

A few - Cobbett, Somerville, Blatchford - later made a living largely by the pen, but most remained obscure. Several are anonymous, and we know of them only from what they have written. Unless much has been lost or remains undiscovred, it seems that few rank and file soldiers of the 18th Century wrote of their experiences. However, the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars produced a mass of writing, much of it published during the succeeding ten or twenty years. Perhaps social change and a shift in taste produced a market for such work. The important thing here is that once established, the pattern continued throughout the 19th Century.

A great deal was written about the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and the numerous colonial "small wars", as they have been termed; with the two World Wars of the 20th century seeming to produce far less material [this point of view is as of 1977; much has been published since then]. Much of the material (e.g. Coppard's) in the book was not written with publication in mind; rather it came from private diaries, journals or family papers which only came to light due to chance discovery or meticulous detective work by researchers looking for true accounts from those who were there at the conflicts in person. Private Metcalfe's chronicle of his service in India during the time of the mutiny was not published until nearly a century after he had written it.

Such writings are often honest, unpretentious, starkly direct; sometimes bitterly critical and staunchly patriotic at the same time; men that are fighting, yet long for peace at the same time. Men who endure the horrors around them - fighting to survive; and coping with fatigue, hardship, sickness and danger.

This book also covers music about military life- a lesser known side of the army. Many people are aware of and know the music that accompanies marching, drills and perhaps even battle, but actual songs about the life of a soldier are not well known; yet such music is very important to soldiers. There is a sub-culture of music based on parody; revealed by such works as John Brophy and Eric Partridge's 'The Long Trail: Soldiers' Songs and Slang 1914-18' (1965, Deutsch) and the production 'Oh, What a Lovely War' [also in book form]. Readers interested in the songs should also take a look at Lewis Winstock's book 'Songs and Music of the Redcoats 1642-1902' (1970, Leo Cooper), which looks at materials actually sung and played on the march, in camp and occasionally in combat. It is believed that some songs were actually written for and by civilians and show the relationship between the soldier and the society he/she serves.
Readers should note: Some of the songs are from before the period covered by the book, but are current during that period; others originate during the period, but continue after it.

The narratives and ballads should together show a picture of the army through the eyes of its rank and file soldiers; and through the ordinary people and society in general: a military social history.

Contents
Introduction

1. Gone for a Soldier
-Boiled Beef and Cabbage Three Times a Day by Samuel Hutton
-The Grenadiers' March
-The Marquis of Granby's March
-A Small Bounty of Six Pounds by Thomas Jackson
-Light Horse
-Jone's Ramble from Grinfelt to Oudham
-Fifteen Masters - Twelve Civil, and Three Military by John Menzies
-I Much Admired the Appearance of a Soldier by Thomas Gowing
-The Young Recruit; or, Thirteen Pence a Day
-The Militia Called Up by James Hawker
-The Bold Militia Boy
-The Queen's Shilling by Edwin Mole
-The Recruiting Sergeant
-A Born Idealist by Robert Blatchford
-The Scarlet and the Blue
-The Only Life Open to Me by a Kent Soldier

2. A Soldier's Life
-The Soldier's Alphabet
-The Pangs of Hunger by William Cobbett
-Dressed for Parade by John Shipp
-Rigged Out in Regimentals by John Menzies
-Not a Fighting Machine by Robert Blatchford
-The Soldier's Life in his Barrack by Thomas Jackson
-The Hungry Army
-Duties and Amusements by J. Macmullen
-A Soldier's Life
-A Wise Decision? by William Robertson
-Muddley Barracks
-Recruits' Drill by Robert Blatchford
-A Remarkable Circumstance by Peter Henly
-The Drum Major
-Punishment Scots-style by G. Penny
-John White
-Farrier Simpson, Do Your Duty by Alexander Somerville
-The New Deserter
-Stern Duties by Rifleman Harris
-McCafferty
-A Military Execution by J. Macmullen
-A Court-Martial A Week by Kent Soldier
-Chobham Camp
-The Soldier's Cloak

3. The Cannons Roar
-Officers, Serjeants, Drums and Women by Oxford Soldier
-Hot Stuff
-The Death of General Wolfe
-Death was in Every Step by Samuel Hutton
-The True Lovers; or, The Queen's Command
-North Americay
-A Song: Composed by the British Soldiers after the Fight at Bunker-Hill
-The Female Drummer
-A Soldier's Life of Honour by Benjamin Miller
-The Banks of the Nile
-I Could Hardly Stand in the Ranks by John Green
-Lord Wellington
-To March on Monday Morning by Thomas Jackson
-An Unpleasant Dream by Thomas. S.
-War against a Domestic Enemy by a Chelsea Pensioner
-The Meeting at Peterloo
-General Campbell
-Deadly Strife by Corporal Ryder
-The Indian War
-Farewell to Manchester by Thomas Gowing
-A Good Sound Drubbing by Thomas Gowing
-Battle of Alma
-Someone has been Blundering by Thomas Gowing
-Balaclava
-One of the Horrors of War by Sergeant Taffs
-The Great India War
-I Shall Be Glad to Settle Down by Fred

4. The Wars are all over
-I Would that the Wars were all Done
-Six Pitched Battles, Four Sieges, Several Expeditions by Roger Lamb
-Bonnie Woodha'
-A Serious Mutiny by G. Penny
-The Athole Highlanders' Triumph
-The Most Splendid Soldiers in the World by Rifleman Harris
-The Forfarshire Sodger
-An Object of Pity by John MacFarlane
-Chelsea Quarters
-Adieu to Soldiering by Benjamin Miller
-A Real Britisher by T. Presterne
-The Soldier's Death
-The Soldiers' Wives' Complaint
-The Bonny Light Horseman
-A Mighty Poor Recompense by Thomas Jackson
-The Tradesman's Complaint
-Street Campaigners by Henry Mayhew
-The Lass of Swansea Town
-They Did Not Know Me by Corporal Ryder
-The Late India War
-Thank God that We are Alive by John Wightman
-Such is the Grateful Public by Henry Metcalfe
-The Soldier's Return from India
-I Took My Discharge by Edward Hyde and Gunner Cox
-Those Happy Twenty-five Years by Edwin Mole
-Just Twenty-five by Emily Leggett

Sources:
1. Illustrations; 2. Songs; 3. Prose Extracts: a) Soldiers' writings; b) Other Works
Bibliography: 1. Books Consulted; 2. Futher Reading
Recordings; Acknowledgements
Index of Song Titles and First Lines
General Index



Life in the British Army

The Redcoats

Marching Songs

Soldiers' Wives

Nadel, Joel; and Wright, J. R. 'Special Men and Special Missions: Inside American Special Operations Forces 1945 to the present', first published in 1994 in Great Britain by Greenhill Books in hardback with dustjacket, 256pp, ISBN 1853671592. Condition: Very good clean & tidy 1st Edition. DJ not price-clipped. Price: £6.00, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard price (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1994, Greenhill Books, hbk
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  • Special Men and Special Missions: Inside American Special Operations Forces 1945 to the present [top]
    Written by Joel Nadel and J. R. Wright
    First published in 1994 in Great Britain by Greenhill Books, London and in the U.S. by Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania. Published in hardback with dustjacket, 256pp, ISBN 1853671592. Cover design by David Gibbons
    Categories: 1. Special Forces (Military science)-United States-History-20th Century. 2. United States-History, Military. I. Wright, J. R. (Jon R.) II. Title.

About this book/synopsis: This book charts the history of America's Army, Navy and Air Force special operations, which have been and are known to be involved with exciting, high-risk, high-profile missions; and it is these activities that are detailed here through gripping, first-hand accounts. Some of these operations have never been described in print before. The book includes authentic oral accounts from special operations veterans, official after-action reports and information from other sources, all combined to provide the most detailed and complete history ever of the past half century (looking back from publication in 1994 that is) of special operations such as the U.S. Navy's Special Boat Units and SEAL platoons taking action in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean Basin, Latin America and the Middle East.

Army special forces teams penetrated into the jungles of Vietnam to train indigenous tribesmen and conduct direct action missions against Viet Cong political and military structures. The targeted key Cuban activities for attack by conventional forces before Grenada was invaded and during the Gulf War, they provided advice to Central Command as well as being instructors to Arab forces allied to the United States.

US Air Force AC-130 Spectre special operations gunships were used to devastating effect against the North Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh trail in the 1960s, and in the 1990s, the advanced spectre gunships were used in the 1990s over Iraq wreaking havoc against Iraqi fortified positions. Special Boat high-speed craft and Navy SEAL platoons conducted daring raids agains hostile Vietnamese, Panamanian and Kuwaiti shores in their respective conflicts, carrying out reconnaissance and infiltrating beach defences.

Interestingly, this is thought to be the first book that looks at the history of special operations in relation to each other. With the recent establishment of the US Special Operations Command to synchronise the services' special operations, and recent successful missions, this book comes at the right time to give a proper understanding of the US special forces capabilities

Chapters:
Preface; Chronology of Special Operations Covered in this Work

Part I. The Early Years: 1776 - 1959
1: From Seine to Saigon: Special Operations in the Cold War Transition 1776-1959
Special Operations in WWII 1941-1945
The Cold War Transition
Korean Interlude 1950-1953
Guerilla Warfare Plans in the European Union Theater 1952-1960
Southeast Asia 1956-1959

Part II. Forging the Capability: The Vietnam Years 1960-1975
2. Phoenix from the Ashes: The Rebirth of Special Operations 1960-1975
Khruschev's Challenge - 'Wars of Liberation,' 1961
President Kennedy's Initiative, 1961
The Vietnam Conflict, 1945-1961
Low-Intensity-Conflict (LIC) Doctrine
Escalation and De-escalation of 1965-1975
Military assistance command (Vietnam) - studies and observation group
Conclusion

3. America's Best: Army Special Operations in Vietnam 1959-75
Special Forces Accession and Training
Advisors: The Lone Wolves, 1957-75
Border Camps, 1964
The Greek Letter Projects: Special Reconnaissance, 1965-7
The Mike Forces, 1966
Rangers, 1968-9
Military Assistance Command (Vietnam), Studies and Observation Group
Strategic Direct Action: The Son Tay Raid, 1970
Conclusions

4. Maritime Strike Force: The Advent of Naval Special Warfare 1943-1975
UDT/Frogman Training, 1943-61
Specialized SEAL Training from 1961
UDT/Frogman Operations, circa 1965
Indigenous Special Warfar Organizations
Unilateral SEAL Operations, 1966-71
Riverine Interdiction
POW Rescue Operation, 1972
Conclusions

5. Fire from the Sky: The Genesis of Air Force Special Operations, 1961-75
Jungle Jim, 1961
Fixed-Wing Gunships, 1961-75
AC-47 'Spooky'
Gunship Support to Special Forces Border Camps, 1965-6
Air Force Support to MAC(V)SOG
AC-130 Spectre
AC-119G/K Shadow/Stinger
Psychological Operations (Psyops)
Special Operations Outside Vietnam, 1961-6
Conclusions

Part III. Hardening the Steel: Transition and Evolution 1975-86
6. Battles of Influence:American Special Operations in Transition 1975-86
Harbinger of the Future: Assault on the Mayaguez, 1975
The Presidency of Jimmy Carter, 1977-81
Iran, 1979-80
Rebuilding Special Operations Forces, 1981-3
Privately Funded Special Operations, 1984
Lebanon, 1982-4
Grenada, 1983
A Unified Command for Special Operations, 1986

7. Battles of Influence: Army Special Operations in Transition, 1975-86
Hostage Rescue, 1975-9
The Iran Hostage Rescue Mission, 1979-80
Rebuilding the Capability, 1981-3
Grenada, 1983
Conclusions

8. Battles of Influence: Naval Special Warfare in Transition 1975-86
Coastal Piracy: The Mayaguez Operation, 1975
The Transition of Naval Special Warfare, 1975-83
Air Operations
Combat Swimming
Swimmer Delivery Vehicles
Surface Operations
Combatant Craft
Grenada, 1983
Lebanon, 1983-4
Latin America, 1981-6
Conclusions

9. Battles of Influence: Air Force Special Operations in Transition, 1975-86
Mayaguez, 1975
Iran Hostage Rescue Mission, 1979-80
Consolidation of Air Force Special Operations, 1983
The Drug War, 1983-5
Grenada, 1983
Conclusion

Part IV. Honing the Edge, 1987-92
10. The New Order: Special Operations in a Multi-Polar World 1986-92
Panama, 1989-90
Special Operations Forces Organization, 1987-93
The Gulf War, 1990-1
Kurdish Relief, 1991-3
Conclusions

11. Swords to Plowshares: Army Special Operations in the New Order 1986-92
Panama, 1989-90
The Gulf War, 1990-1
The Kurdish Uprising, 1991-3
Conclusions

12. Naval Special Warfare in the New Order 1986-92
Persian Gulf Operations, 1987-90
Panama, 1989
Philippine Insurrection, 1990
The Gulf War, 1990-1
Conclusion

13. Air Force Special Operations in the New Order 1986-92
Panama, 1989
Air Force Special Operations Command, 1990
The Gulf War, 1990-1
Conclusions

Part V. Epilogue
14. Special Operations in the Next Century
Recent Special Operations
The Future of Special Operations

Glossary; Select Bibliography; Index

Other Special Forces Books:

Books about Special Ops

Special Boat Ops

The SAS

Surtees, William. 'Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade', published in 1996 as a new edition in Great Britain by Greenhill Books, Lionel Leventhal Limited, in hardback, 455pp, ISBN  1853672300. Condition: Very good, clean & tidy copy with some very slight marks to the bottom of the front cover and the bottom of the book. Dustjacket in v.good condition and not price-clipped. Price: £29.55, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge, currently £2.75 for UK orders, more for overseas customers
1996, Greenhill Books, hbk
In stock, click to buy for £29.55, not including p&p

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  • Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade [top]
    Written by William Surtees, Quartermaster
    First published in 1833 in Great Britain by William Blackwood, Edinburgh and T. Cadell, London
    Reproduced in 1996 as a new edition, in Great Britain by Greenhill Books, Lionel Leventhal Limited, exactly as the original edition, complete and unabridged with the addition of a new introduction by Ian Fletcher, and Indexes (from 1973) by Laurence V. Archer. This new edition is No. 30 of the Napoleonic Library. Jacket design by Lynda Jones
    Consists of 19 chapters from enlisting as a private soldier in 1795 into the Northumbria Militia to his return home due to ill health, taking advantage of Lord Palmerston's Bill and retiring on full pay

About this book/synopsis: The men of the 95th Rifles (as the Rifle Brigade was originally known) produced some of the finest first-hand accounts written about the Napoleonic Wars. William Surtees' Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade is one of these examplary accounts sitting comfortably alongside other famous memoirs such as those penned by John Kincaid and George Simmons. The book captures the esprit de corps, the initiative, the courage and the glamour of the troop.

Sharing the dangers of many a battlefield, Surtees provides valuable eyewitness descriptions of fighting in the Peninsular War. He relates episodes as dramatic as you'd find in the wonderful novels penned by Bernard Cornwell about the legendary Richard Sharpe - fictional hero of the 95th. The feats that Surtees describes are all the more impressive in that they are true.

He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with comrades such as Tom Plunkett, a crack shot who helped drive back an enemy advance by getting close enough to shoot dead the French general Colbert. He describes another incident where a sergeant and a few followers crept past a French sentry to seize and break dozens of muskets piled in front of a house before returning to their own lines unharmed. There is also the incredible tale about Daniel Cadoux's stand against overwhelming odds on the bridge over the river Bidassoa at Vera.

Surtees also describes his baptism of fire with the 56th Regiment in the Netherlands under the Duke of York in 1799. He was also involved in an abortive expedition into Northern Germany in autumn 1805 and a successful incursion with Sir Arthur Wellesley into Copenhagen against the Danes in 1807. After the Peninsular War ended in 1807, Surtees made his way into North America to fight in the last stages of the 1812-1814 war against America. In this account, his sense of frustration at the mismanagement of all these operations is palpable and he makes some incisive comments on the conduct of the British commanders in America and contrasts their ineptness with Wellington's professionalism in the Peninsula.

The author served in Ireland and Nova Scotia in peace-time. He eventually left the army in 1826 due to declining health and died in 1830 at the age of forty-eight

 



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