434 pages, 30 of 30 reviews are 4 or 5-star
In this unforgettable narrative of D-Day, Joseph Balkoski describes the minute-by-minute combat as it unfolded on Omaha Beach, allowing soldiers to speak for themselves as they recall their attempts to maneuver bombers through heavy cloud cover, the claustrophobic terror aboard transports, and the relentless fire that greeted them on the beach. Equal parts oral history and meticulous reconstruction, Omaha Beach is the closest the modern reader can get to experiencing the Normandy landings firsthand.
412 pages, 39 of 55 reviews are 4 or 5-star, previously free
Real war stories told by real soldiers for readers who want to know what it was like to be in the thick of battle. These are riveting combat narratives about the weapons and warriors of some of history’s bloodiest conflicts. Each book is a gritty, action-oriented account of life and death in the heat of battle. Original titles as well as long out-of-print gems will explore conflicts ranging from the blood-soaked fields of the Civil War to the current war on terror and everything in between. The books are published as high-quality and affordable trade paperbacks, making them terrific editions for all who are interested in military history.
WWII began with a metallic roar as the German Blitzkrieg raced across Europe, spearheaded by the most dreaded weapon of the 20th century: the Panzer. No German tank better represents that thundering power than the infamous Tiger, and Otto Carius was one of the most successful commanders to ever take a Tiger into battle, destroying well over 150 enemy tanks during his incredible career.
Illustrations: 51 b/w photos; 3 maps; 50 illustrations
400 pages, 23 of 24 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free
Have we made things right with our Vietnam Veterans? It’s been almost one-half century since American involvement in this unpopular war, but after reading Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, readers understand why author S.D.Sawyer has written this novel and asked this question.
Inspired by real-life experiences of the author and her husband, this historical fiction mines the personal histories of protagonist Tom Barrington and other soldiers during this turbulent period. Tom arrived at his first assignment, The Old Guard, in Arlington, VA, in December, 1967. Months later he was ordered to Ranger School, and finally deployed to Vietnam. His young wife, Meg, juggled her career as a new teacher while adapting to regulations required of an Army wife, before entering the foreboding world of the Waiting Wife.
Wounded half-way through his tour, Tom went from combat on a jungle trail to surgery in Japan, to enrollment at a small college back home. Anti-war demonstrations and protests cordoned off returning veterans from what should have been safe soil. Ignored by institutions and support networks that had offered care to returning soldiers in past decades, these veterans could never have prepared for a peacetime home front that would prove as perilous and haunting as the theater of war they had faced in Southeast Asia.
Sawyer presents a hard contrast between the repeatedly tested valor of such noble heroes, and the chilling response to them from this once-proud country. Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening possesses a sense of time and place that foreshadows issues still facing military families. Its tone and details make it resonate with those who lived during this era as well as future generations who will only learn of these conflicts from a history book.
Bravery and commitment to America are not limited to times of triumph and national celebration, but remain steadfast and true in the face of protracted engagement, ambiguous mission and uncertain outcome. In this tribute to our soldiers, S.D. Sawyer invokes a call for the America of today to awaken to what Vietnam War era soldiers have lived through, and realize—many still need to be welcomed back home.
no reviews, Lending Enabled
*Includes the entire text of Cleburne’s 1864 letter proposing to free the Confederacy’s slaves.
*Includes pictures of Cleburne and important people, places, and events in his life.
*Includes maps of the battles Cleburne fought in, including Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.
“As between the loss of independence and the loss of slavery, we assume that every patriot will freely give up the latter…” – Patrick Cleburne, 1864
During the Civil War, the eyes of the nation usually stayed fixed to the Eastern theater, where Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia constantly bedeviled the Union Army of the Potomac and its many commanders. Instrumental to that success at places like Second Manassas and Chancellorsville was Lee’s corps commander Stonewall Jackson, who became one of the most popular and respected generals of the Civil War.
Despite the Confederates’ success in holding off the Union’s offensives in the East, however, the Union made steady progress in the Western theater, winning battles like Shiloh, capturing New Orleans, and sealing off the Mississippi River at Vicksburg. Like the Union generals in the East, Confederate generals in the West were either mortally wounded in battle (Albert Sidney Johnston) or proved ineffective (Braxton Bragg, John Pemberton). One of the only bright spots in the West for the Confederacy was Irish immigrant Patrick Cleburne, whose successes earned him the nickname “Stonewall of the West”. Where so many Confederates were failing, Cleburne’s strategic tactics and bold defensive fighting earned him fame and recognition throughout the South, even leading Lee to call him “a meteor shining from a clouded sky.”
Unfortunately for Cleburne, he is also remembered today for reasons other than his battlefield successes. Cleburne was tasked with leading an assault that he heartily opposed during the Battle of Franklin near the end of 1864, but he obeyed the command and was killed in the assault within the Union lines. The general was so legendary even among Union soldiers that the valuables on his body were looted before his body came back to Confederate lines Upon hearing of his death, Cleburne’s old corps commander noted, “Where this division defended, no odds broke its line; where it attacked, no numbers resisted its onslaught, save only once; and there is the grave of Cleburne.”
Cleburne is also remembered for a bold and novel idea that he proposed to the Army of Tennessee in 1864. Realizing the Confederates’ deficiency in manpower and resources, Cleburne suggested freeing the South’s slaves so that they would fight for the Confederacy. It was such a radical idea that the Army buried it, and even when the Confederacy was on its last legs entering 1865, it could not muster the political support to emancipate some of their slaves to fight.
The Stonewall of the West: The Life and Career of General Patrick Cleburne chronicles the life and career of the Stonewall of the West, analyzing his record in the war and assessing his legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events in his life, you will learn about General Cleburne like you never have before, in no time at all.
93 pages, 1 of 1 reviews are 2-star, Lending Enabled
*Includes pictures of Sheridan and important people, places, and events in his life.
*Includes a Table of Contents
“A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping.” – Abraham Lincoln describing Phil Sheridan
In the most popular narratives of the Civil War, Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman are celebrated as the Union’s most successful generals and men who revolutionized total warfare with the use of scorched earth tactics. Sherman’s March to the Sea continues to be one of the most famous campaigns of the war, and he is still widely reviled in the South because of it.
Lost in this common narrative is the fact that Sherman’s March was preceded by a scorched earth campaign that made Virginia howl, led by “Little Phil” Sheridan. The 5’5 Sheridan was one of the smallest and toughest fighters in the Union Army, whose capabilities as both a general of infantry and cavalry made him one of the most valuable and versatile officers in the North. A close associate of Grant’s in the West, Sheridan was so critical that Grant brought him east in 1864 and gave him command of the Union cavalry to face off against the vaunted JEB Stuart.
Despite his successes in the West and during the Overland Campaign, Sheridan’s most famous campaign was in the Shenandoah Valley, which had seen much fighting and Stonewall Jackson’s famous 1862 Valley Campaign. In 1864, however, Sheridan and his Army of the Shenandoah defeated Jubal Early and systematically destroyed the economic infrastructure and viability of the Valley, which had been considered the “breadbasket” of Virginia during the war’s earlier years. Residents of the Valley simply referred to Sheridan’s campaign as “The Burning”.
After Sheridan’s cavalry proved instrumental in surrounding Lee’s army and forcing its surrender at Appomattox, Sheridan had cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Union generals of the Civil War. But he was far from done. During Reconstruction, he was a military governor responsible for trying to pacify Southern civilians in the wake of the Civil War, and it should come as no surprise that Sheridan and Southerners didn’t see eye to eye. Sheridan himself famously stated, “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell.” Sheridan also ran afoul of President Andrew Johnson, who later removed him from his post.
The tough and acerbic Sheridan was also one of the highest ranked officers who fought the Indian Wars in the decades after the Civil War. Notorious for uttering “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead”, which has since been misattributed into more generalized and bigoted forms, Sheridan’s biographers have taken pains to try to point out that Little Phil wasn’t a racist, though there can be no denying he ruthlessly waged war on the Great Plains to subdue Native American tribes.
Enemies on the battlefield rarely got the best of Sheridan, but his hard living finally caught up with him around the end of the 1880s, when Sheridan, in his 50s, began suffering massive heartattacks. By the time he died in 1888, he had been General-in-Chief and Commanding General of the U.S. Army, the very upper echelons of the military, and he was celebrated as one of the Civil War’s foremost heroes.
Little Phil: The Life and Career of General Philip Sheridan provides a comprehensive account of the fighting general’s military career, but it also humanizes “Little Phil”, the quintessential military man. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events in his life, you will learn about Phil Sheridan like you never have before, in no time at all.
I have not read any of these books, so they may not be any good. Some of the books from previous Free Book posts are still available for free. If you want to see all free books as they come out you should follow Books on the Knob on their RSS or Twitter Feed. Or Ireaderreview or the many free book threads on Amazon’s Message Boards.
As always please check to make sure the books are still free before you “buy” them, especially from Amazon. Prices can change quickly. This may be a one day offer. Pick it up quick. If you do buy a book and realize later you have been charged for it, here is a guide on how to return a kindle book.