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The impossibly moving story of how Judy, World War Two's only animal POW, brought hope in the midst of hell.
Praise for Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author Damien Lewis' SAS mission series:'One of the great untold stories of WWII' - Bear Grylls on SAS Ghost Patrol'The untold story' - Daily Mail on SAS Nazi Hunters'A tale of bravery against desperate odds' - Sunday Times on Churchill's Secret Warriors'True adventures laced with staggering bravery and sacrifice' - Sun on Hunting the Nazi BombAn impossible mission in wartime Italy: the next explosive bestseller from Damien Lewis.In the hard-fought winter of 1944 the Allies advanced northwards through Italy, but stalled on the fearsome mountainous defences of the Gothic Line. Two men were parachuted in, in an effort to break the deadlock. Their mission: to penetrate deep into enemy territory and lay waste to the Germans' impregnable headquarters.At the eleventh hour mission commanders radioed for David 'The Mad Piper' Kilpatrick to be flown in, resplendent in his tartan kilt. They wanted this fearless war hero to lead the assault, piping Highland Laddie as he went - so leaving an indelible British signature to deter Nazi reprisals.As the column of raiders formed up, there was shocking news. High command radioed through an order to stand down, having assessed the chances of success at little more than zero. But in defiance of orders, and come hell or high-water, they were going in.Damien Lewis's new bestseller tells the incredible story.
The Sunday Times No.1 bestseller. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps. From the very start their tasking earned the nickname 'Operation No Return'. Caught in a ferocious ambush by thousands of die-hard fanatics from Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen, plus the awesome firepower of the 5th Corps' heavy armour, and with eight of their vehicles bogged in Iraqi swamps, M Squadron launched a desperate bid to escape, inflicting massive damage on their enemies. Running low on fuel and ammunition, outnumbered, outmanoeuvred and outgunned, the elite operators destroyed sensitive kit and prepared for death or capture as the Iraqis closed their deadly trap. Zero Six Bravo recounts in vivid and compelling detail the most desperate battle fought by British and allied Special Forces trapped behind enemy lines since World War Two. It is a classic account of elite soldiering that ranks with Bravo Two Zero and the very greatest Special Forces missions of our time.
'I have always been fascinated by that charismatic hero of the Resistance, Josephine Baker, but it turns out I didn't know the half of it. Lewis' story-telling blew my mind. Again.' - Dan Snow'A story of incredible bravery in the face of tyrants who invaded a free and democratic nation, this will have powerful resonance today.' - Tim Spicer'An eye-opening, pulse-quickening history. Josephine Baker led a wartime double life of extraordinary jeopardy and Damien Lewis's needle-sharp narrative is jagged with suspense. Yet he also writes with great warmth and sensitivity, creating a powerfully moving portrait of a woman who fought prejudice and hate in all its forms.' - Sinclair McKay'A gripping true story of a remarkable heroine. The details of Josephine Baker's espionage for the Deuxieme Bureau, the French military intelligence agency during the war, make for a fascinating read in Damien Lewis's meticulously researched account' - Deborah CadburyDuring WW2, Josephine Baker, the world's richest and most glamorous entertainer, was an Allied spy in Occupied France. This is the story of her heroic personal resistance to Nazi Germany.Prior to World War II, Josephine Baker was a music hall diva renowned for her singing and exotic dancing, her beauty and sexuality; she was the most highly-paid female performer in Europe. When the Nazis seized her adopted city, Paris, she was banned from the stage, along with all 'negroes and Jews'. Yet, instead of returning to America, she vowed to stay and to fight the Nazi evil. Overnight she went from performer to Resistance spy.In The Flame of Resistance best-selling author Damien Lewis uncovers this little known history of the famous singer's life. During the years of the war, as a member of the French Nurse paratroopers - a cover for her spying work-- she participated in numerous clandestine activities and emerged as formidable spy. In turn, she was a hero of the three countries in whose name she served: the US, the nation of her birth; France, the land that embraced her during her adult career; and Britain, the country from which she took her orders, as one of London's most closely-guarded special agents. Baker's secret war embodies a tale of unbounded courage, passion, devotion and sacrifice, and of deep and bitter tragedy, fueled by her own desire to combat the rise of Nazism, and to fight for all that is good and right in the world.Drawing on a plethora of new historical material and rigorous research, including previously undisclosed letters and journals, Lewis upends the conventional story of Josephine Baker, revealing that her mark on history went far beyond the confines of the stage.
'An incredible story, and so well told' Bear Grylls'A must read. Honesty, integrity and real experience that puts you in the thick of the action.' Billy BillinghamThere were three patrols that fateful January 1991 morning: Bravo One Zero, Bravo Two Zero and Bravo Three Zero. It was the opening hours of the Gulf War and the SAS were flown deep behind enemy lines to hunt down Saddam's Scud missiles, the use of which threatened a Third World War.The men of Bravo One Zero stepped off the chopper, took one look at the flat desert devoid of any cover and decided no way were they deploying into all of that. But Andy NcNab's famed Bravo Two Zero patrol did deploy, with fatal results - all bar one being captured or killed.And then there was Bravo Three Zero. These men were different. Thought differently. Acted differently. Treating as gospel the SAS's saying 'any fool can be uncomfortable', they deployed with vehicles, and while there was nowhere to hide they could make a dash for the border if desperate.Even as warnings came in that McNab's patrol was on the run, Bravo Three Zero remained undetected - the furthest Coalition forces behind Iraqi lines. Slipping through enemy positions, a string of targets were taken out. But with the desert turning bitter and snow starting to fall, they were forced to fight a running battle against the elements as much as the enemy.Though overshadowed by the fate of Bravo Two Zero, the achievements of this highly-decorated patrol are the stuff of elite forces legend. Now, for the first time, SAS veteran Des Powell reveals their story in gritty, blow-by-blow detail. Written with acclaimed military author Damien Lewis, this is a tale of edge-of-the seat daring deep inside enemy lands. Brutal, savage, unrelenting - prepare to be blown away, in a tale that proves utterly the SAS motto - who dares wins.'You thought you knew the full story. You were wrong. Roll off the chopper with Des Powell and the SAS operators of Bravo Three Zero and go behind enemy lines on one of the Gulf War's earliest and most dangerous missions. It's time to get after it!' Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL Sniper and #1 New York Times bestselling author of In the Blood
SAS Great Escapes tells the story of seven of the most dramatic and daring escapes executed during WWII by what is arguably the world's most famous military fighting force - the SAS.
SAS Great Escapes tells the story of seven of the most dramatic and daring escapes executed during WWII by what is arguably the world's most famous military fighting force - the SAS.With each story comes a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride in classic Damien Lewis style - readers join individual escapees and experience events through their own words, taken from contemporaneous diaries, mission reports, debriefings and letters - recapturing the most terrifying and exhilarating moments of their lives.These tales of almost unbelievable derring-do reveal the most desperate of times, when men were cornered by the enemy and were forced to fight their way out of certain death or capture. Around every corner, upon every decision and every movement lurked the possibility of discovery.
'Riveting. Extraordinary. A real-life thriller.' Dan Snow'Truly revelatory. The SAS at their very finest in WWII, and after, hunting down the Nazi war criminals.' Mark 'Billy' Billingham'In June 1944 my father, Captain Patrick Garstin MC, led a band of warriors into war to help liberate Europe. He paid the ultimate price, as did others in his patrol. But with gritty determination, the SAS brought their killers to justice. I was one year old when my father was executed, so sadly never knew him. This amazing book has filled in so many gaps, and it commemorates all those consigned by Hitler to the Nacht und Nebel; the night and fog.' Sean Garstin'This spellbinding account brings to life the exploits of a brave band of warriors, one of whom was my uncle, Colonel Blair 'Paddy' Mayne DSO, who commanded the SAS for much of WWII. He led his men on numerous behind-the-lines missions, and this compelling read does their memories full justice.' Fiona Ferguson, nee Mayne'So much more than just a war story... While it involves death and suffering and terrible acts of cruelty, it also highlights the enduring qualities of courage and loyalty, of kindness and humanity, resourcefulness and resilience - qualities of which today's world is much in need.' Amy Crossland, daughter of Major Eric 'Bill' Barkworth, Chief of the SAS War Crimes Investigation TeamJune 1944: the SAS parachute deep into occupied France, to wreak havoc and bloody mayhem. In a country crawling with the enemy, their mission is to prevent Hitler from rushing his Panzer divisions to the D-Day beaches and driving the Allies back into the sea.Led by Captain Patrick Garstin MC, a man supposedly invalided out of the military due to his war injuries, rarely had a wilder bunch of raiders been assembled. Dispatched on the personal orders of Colonel Blair Mayne DSO, this elite band included gritty former miner Thomas 'Ginger' Jones, John 'Rex' Wiehe, 'banned' from frontline combat due to his war wounds, plus Serge 'Frenchy' Vaculik, who's journey to escape the enemy and join the SAS beggared belief.Having blown to pieces scores of prize targets, Garstin's patrol executed one of the most daring escapes of the war ... only to fall victim to shocking betrayal. Captured, imprisoned and tortured terribly by the Gestapo, they faced execution in a dark French woodland on the orders of Hitler himself. But miraculously, two would escape, triggering one of the most-extraordinary Nazi-hunting operations ever ...Summer 1945: with WWII officially over one team embarked upon a shadow war all of their own. Armed with knowledge earned first-hand in the torture chambers of the Gestapo, the race was on to bring to justice the Nazi war criminals who had murdered their brothers in arms. In a deniable, deep-cover operation backed by Winston Churchill himself, the 'the Secret Hunters' would expose Nazi Germany's darkest crimes, doggedly tracking down those they most sought.Breathtaking and exhaustively researched, SAS Band of Brothers is based upon a raft of new and unseen material provided by the families of those who were there. It reveals an epic of courage, maverick-spirted daring and bloody betrayal, plus the gripping quest for vengeance and justice that lasted through to 1948 and beyond.
In the Afghan wild lands, British and American special forces soldiers ate, slept, fought and died alongside each other - working in close-knit units the likes of which have rarely been seen since the Second World War.
The incredible story of the radar wars: Britain's most secret battle.
An impossible mission in wartime Italy: the next explosive bestseller from Damien Lewis.
The World's Smallest Dog with the World's Biggest Heart
The Ultra-Secret Unit That Posed As Nazi Stormtroopers The Most Daring Mission Ever Undertaken
A story of heartfelt devotion and companionship
1976, war-torn Beirut. An unknown band of armed men blast their way into the Imperial Bank of Beirut. Over the next 48 hours they load up three trucks with gold bullion, and the raiders and the loot disappear forever. But whilst the heist went like clockwork, they are forced to hide the loot and make their getaway.
This book chronicles the story of the single most daring Special Forces operation since World War Two - Operation Barras; Operation Barras, the rescue mission, was a combined force of 100 Paras, twelve members of the Special Boat Squadron, helicopters from the Navy and RAF and, spearheading the operation, 40-strong D squadron of the SAS.
In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man's-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey together, one that would bind them for the rest of their lives. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled the approaching Nazi forces. The other, a lost soul of a different sort - a Czech airman, flying for the French Air Force but soon to be bound for the RAF and the country that he would call home. Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German Shepherd after being shot down during a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert his charge, he hid the dog inside his flying jacket as he made his escape. In the months that followed the pair would save each other's lives countless times as they fled France and flew together with Bomber Command; the puppy - which Robert named Ant - becoming the Squadron mascot along the way. Wounded repeatedly in action, shot, facing crash-landings and parachute bailouts, Ant was eventually grounded due to injury. Even then he refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master's return from every sortie.By the end of the war Robert and Ant had become very British war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the 'Animal VC'. Thrilling and deeply moving, their story will touch the heart of anyone who understands the bond that exists between one man and his dog.
For three decades one of the most secretive units in the British military has been a mystery force known as X Platoon.Officially there was no X Platoon. The forty men in its elite number were specially selected from across the Armed Forces, at which point they simply ceased to exist. X Platoon had no budget, no weaponry, no vehicles and no kit - apart from what its men could beg, borrow or steal from other military units.For the first time a highly decorated veteran of this specialised force - otherwise known as the Pathfinders - reveals its unique story. Steve Heaney became one of the youngest ever to pass Selection, the gruelling trial of elite forces, and was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations - serving on anti-narcotics operations in the Central American jungles, on missions hunting war criminals in the Balkans, and being sent to spy on and wage war against the Russians.The first non-officer in the unit's history to be award the Military Cross, Steve Heaney reveals the extraordinary work undertaken by this secret band of brothers.
'Being a JTAC is the closest a soldier on the ground in the midst of battle can get to feeling like one of the gods - unleashing pure hellfire, death and destruction' - Duncan FalconerMeet Sergeant 'Bommer' Grahame, one of the deadliest soldiers on the battlefield. He's an elite army JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller- pronounced 'jay-tack') - a specially trained warrior responsible for directing Allied air power with high-tech precision. Commanding Apache gunships, A10 tank-busters, F15s and Harrier jets, he brings down devastating fire strikes against the attacking Taliban, often danger close to his own side. Due to his specialist role, Sergeant Grahame usually operates in the thick of the action, where it's at its most fearsome and deadly. Conjuring the seemingly impossible from apparently hopeless situations, soldiers in battle rely on the skill and bravery of their JTAC to enable them to win through in the heat of the danger zone. Fire Strike 7/9 tells the story of Bommer Grahame and his five-man Fire Support Team on their tour of Afghanistan. Patrolling deep into enemy territory, they were hunted and targeted by the Taliban, shot at, blown-up, mortared and hit by rockets on numerous occasions. Under these conditions Sergeant Grahame notched up 203 confirmed enemy kills, making him the difference between life and death both for his own troops and the Taliban.
The Apache attack helicopter is the British Army's most awesome weapons system. Deployed for the first time in Afghanistan, it has already passed into legend. The only thing more incredible than the Apache itself are the pilots that fly her. For the first time, Apache Dawn tells their story - and their baptism of fire in the unforgiving battle of Helmand province. Their call-sign was 'Ugly' - and there was no better word for the gruelling 100-day deployment they endured. Day after day, four of the Army Air Corps' finest pilots flew right into the heart of the battle, testing their aircraft to the very limit. Apache Dawn takes the reader with them on a series of unrelenting and brutally intense combat missions, from daring, edge-of-the-seat rescues to dramatic close-air support in the white heat of battle.Bestselling author Damien Lewis has been given unprecedented access to these heroic aircrews and to the men on the ground whose lives they saved. It is an astounding story of bravery, skill and resilience in the face of unbelievable odds. And it is the story of the Apache itself - the ultimate fighting machine.
Mende Nazer's happy childhood was cruelly cut short at the age of twelve when the Mujahidin rode into her village in the remote Nuba mountains of Sudan. They hacked down terrified villagers, raped the women and abducted the children. Mende was them. She was taken and sold to an Arab woman in Khartoum. She was stripped of her name and her freedom. For seven long years she was kept as a domestic slave, an 'abid', without any pay or a single day off. Her food was the leftover scraps and her bed was the floor of the locked-up garden shed. She endured this harsh and lonely existence without knowing whether her family was alive or dead, for seven long years. Passed on by her master, like a parcel, to a relative in London, Mende eventually managed to escape to freedom. Slave is a shocking first-person insight into the modern day slave trade. It is also a fascinating memoir of an African childhood and a moving testimony to a young girl's indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.
From bestselling true military author Damien Lewis: the incredible story of the radar wars, Britain's most secret battle.'Nail-biting action all the way - the explosive true story' - Mark 'Billy' Billingham'A true story that reads better than any thriller' - Dan Snow'One of the most important special forces books written. It traces the daring, ingenuity and sheer courage that is the foundation of the modern service' - Colonel Tim CollinsIn the winter of 1941 an alien-seeming object was captured in a death-defying dash by an RAF reconnaissance pilot flying a lone unarmed Spitfire across the French coast. Balanced upon the cliffs near Le Havre was what appeared to be a giant convex dish, directed across the Channel at the war-torn British coastline.With Britain's cities being pounded by fearsome bombing raids, teams of experts studied the photograph worriedly. Might the dish constitute a highly secret form of radar - one that had the capacity to tip the balance of the war decisively in the enemy's favour? If so, Nazi Germany would have leapfrogged British technology many-fold.A top-secret mission was devised to steal what had become known as the 'Wurzburg Dish' after Enigma intercepted coded German messages. Appropriately christened Operation Biting, this was to be the first-ever Allied raid using airborne forces. Commanded by legendary Major John 'Johnny' Frost, he demanded blind loyalty from his band of piratical raiders. 'A wild crew ... they looked horrible,' he admitted. Each and every rehearsal had proved disastrous; it was a suicide mission in all but name.On the French coast agents of the Special Operations Executive - Churchill's shadowy ministry for ungentlemanly warfare - risked all to map the target's defences. At the eleventh hour, two unwelcome additions joined Frosts's crew. One was a shadowy German cloaked in mystery; the other a British radar specialist who could not be allowed to fall into enemy hands. Relying on files declassified for the purposes of writing this book, eyewitness testimony, and working with the families of key figures involved, Lewis reveals an untold epic of daring, ruthless rule-breaking and ferocity, coupled with bravery and ingenuity beyond measure. The results of Operation Biting would resonate throughout the war and beyond, changing the course of twentieth-century history.
The World's Smallest Dog with the World's Biggest HeartSmoky the Brave is the extraordinary, touching and true story of a heroic dog and her adoptive masters in the jungles of the Pacific War. In February 1944, as Japanese military advances threatened to engulf Australasia, a tiny, four-pound Yorkshire terrier was discovered hiding in a Japanese shell scrape amidst the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea. The GIs who discovered her presumed she had been some kind of Japanese army mascot, but it soon turned out that she understood neither commands rendered in Japanese nor English. A mystery, she was adopted by Corporal William 'Bill' Wynne, an air-crewman with the US 5th Air Force's 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.Living in Bill Wynne's tent, sleeping on a piece of green felt salvaged from a card table,and sharing his rations, Smoky became the de facto mascot of the regiment. She went on to fly numerous photo-recce and air-sea rescue missions, cocooned in a soldier's pack hanging next to the machine-guns used to repel marauding Japanese fighters. She was awarded eight battle stars, surviving dozens of Japanese combat raids on Papua New Guinea, and braving a typhoon that ravaged Okinawa. After saving Wynne's life by warning of a falling shell, as their landing craft approached an enemy-held beach - a shell that killed the eight men that Wynne was standing beside - he nicknamed her the 'angel from a foxhole'. In one of her most famous exploits Smoky parachuted using a special rig designed to fit one of the world's smallest but toughest dogs.In perhaps her most heroic exploit of all, Smoky ran a cable through a seventy-foot pipe no wider in places than four inches, to enable telephone lines to be run across the recently occupied airbase of Luzon. Her efforts saved hundreds of ground-crew from being exposed to enemy bombing, preventing injury and loss of life. Amongst her many other awards,she was given the PDSA's Certificate for Animal Bravery or Devotion in 2011, a relatively new class of PDSA award.
"e;A must read for all Damien Lewis fans"e; Compass ---------------------------------------------------------The most explosive true war story of the 21st Century It is the winter of 2001. A terror ship is bound for Britain carrying a horrifying weapon. The British military sends a crack unit of SAS and SBS to assault the vessel before she reaches London. So begins a true story of explosive action as this band of elite warriors pursues the merchants of death from the high seas to the harsh wildlands of Afghanistan. The hunt culminates in the single greatest battle of the Afghan war, the brutal and bloody siege of an ancient mud-walled fortress crammed full of hundreds of Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Fighting against impossible odds and bitter betrayal, our handful of crack fighters battle to rescue their fellow soldiers trapped by a murderous, fanatical enemy. ---------------------------------------------------------"e;The most dramatic story of a secret wartime mission you will ever read"e; News of the World "e;The author has been given unprecedented access"e; Zoo "e;Gripping"e; Eye Spy
This book chronicles the story of the single most daring Special Forces operation since World War Two - Operation Barras; the attempted rescue by the SAS of the British Forces who were being held captive by guerrilla gang the West Side Boys in the Sierra Leone jungle. The West Side Boys were a strange-looking bunch, wearing pink shades, shower caps, fluorescent wigs and voodoo charms they believed made them invulnerable to bullets - an impression re-enforced by ganja, heroine, crack cocaine and gallons of sweet palm wine. In 1999 a twelve man patrol of Royal Irish Rangers, who were training government troops in Sierra Leone, were captured and held hostage by the West Side Boys. They were held prisoner in a fortified jungle hideaway, with severed heads decorating the palisades, defended by some 400 heavily armed soldiers. Operation Barras, the rescue mission, was a combined force of 100 Paras, twelve members of the Special Boat Squadron, helicopters from the Navy and RAF and, spearheading the operation, 40-strong D squadron of the SAS. Against amazing odds the hostages were rescued - over 150 of the enemy were killed. Operation Certain Death is a thrilling true story of all out war. No hostages taken. Blood-letting on a vast scale inflicted on a very blood-thirsty enemy. A gripping piece of true military history, perfect for fans of action adventure stories and anyone interested in the top secret division of the British Army.
'The Night Manager meets Narcos' Saul David'To catch this criminal took incredible courage and skill. This is James Bond meets Jason Bourne' Bear Grylls'This is the book that warned us years before the Ukraine invasion about the power and reach of Moscow's Merchants of Death... Should be on the bookshelf of every Western anti-narcotics officer and not a few spies. No clich this time - this is truth which really does trump fiction' Euan Grant, UK former intelligence analyst for ex-Soviet states.Russian billionaire Viktor Bout was the world's foremost arms dealer. Known as the 'Merchant of Death' he was both "e;Public Enemy No. 1"e; to the global intelligence agencies who hunted him and a ruthless criminal worth a fortune. He was also a former KGB officer and a tool of the Kremlin.For decades Bout had eluded capture, building up a labyrinthine network of airlines rushing weapons to dictators, rebels, despots and terror groups worldwide. An enemy of the free nations of the world and a top global sanctions buster, Bout was hunted by MI6, INTERPOL, the CIA, the NSA and more. Holed up in Moscow - from where he masterminded the sale of anything from AK47s to state-of-the-art helicopter gunships and anti-aircraft missiles - he was shielded by a Russian state that was a partner in his dark dealings. In short, Bout appeared utterly invulnerable and beyond hope of capture.Step forward former SAS man Mike Snow, AKA 'The Bear'. After serving in the world's most famous special forces unit, Snow had worked as a bush pilot in war-torn Africa, where he'd got to know Bout well. Via a secretive, shadow network, Snow was approached by the US Drugs Enforcement Agency. The DEA agents had one question for him: was Snow able to get Bout - the Lord of War?This is the incredible tale of OPERATION RELENTLESS, the top-secret mission masterminded by Snow and a handful of DEA operatives - a manhunt that ranges from the steamy jungles of Colombia to the ice-bound streets of Moscow, and from horrific bloodshed and tyranny in Afghanistan to a snatch operation like no other. Based upon the first hand testimonies of those who were there, award-winning author Damien Lewis reveals a story that reads like an impossible thriller, but every word is true