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Against the Grain

Colonel Henry M. Lazelle and the U.S. Army

James Carson

Henry Martyn Lazelle (1832-1917), born in Enfield, Massachusetts, the son of a farmer, orphaned at the age of four, and raised by a succession of relatives and family friends, was the only cadet in the history of the U.S. Military Academy to be suspended and sent back a year (for poor grades and bad behavior) and eventually return as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. After graduating from West Point in 1855, he scouted with Kit Carson, was wounded by Apaches, and spent nearly a year as a "paroled" prisoner-of-war at the outbreak of the Civil War. Exchanged for a Confederate officer, he took command of a Union cavalry regiment, chasing Mosby's Rangers throughout northern Virginia. The early days of Reconstruction brought him to the Carolinas. Later he represented the U.S. at British Army maneuvers in India and commanded units and posts in the Far West and the Dakotas during the relocation and ravaging of the American Indian nations. Due in part to an ingrained disposition to question the status quo, Lazelle's service as a commander and senior staff officer was punctuated at times with contention and controversy. In charge of the official records of the Civil War in Washington, he was accused of falsifying records, exonerated, but dismissed short of tour. As Commandant of Cadets at West Point, he was a key figure during the infamous court martial of Johnson Whittaker, one of West Point's first African American cadets. Again, he was relieved of duty after a bureaucratic battle with the Academy’s Superintendent. Lazelle retired in 1894 as Colonel of the 18th U.S. Infantry at Fort Bliss, Texas, where his Army career had begun 38 years earlier. Along the way, he authored articles on military strategy and tactics, took up spiritualism, and published two books on the relationship between science and theology.

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Air Officer Commanding

Hugh Dowding, Architect of the Battle of Britain

John T. LaSaine, Jr.

Hugh Dowding was born in 1882 at the apex of British imperial power. He graduated from Winchester and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1900. After a dozen years of adventurous, active service as a gunner on the fabled North-West Frontier of the British Indian Empire, Dowding earned a coveted place at the British Army Staff College, Camberley, and then gained his “wings” as a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilot in 1914. During the first year of the Great War, Dowding served in combat as a pilot, and on the staff of the RFC Headquarters in France. Promoted to squadron command, he led both a technical testing squadron back home in England and an operational squadron at the front. In 1936, Dowding was assigned the critical task of reorganizing the Air Defense of Great Britain as the first Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the new RAF Fighter Command.

Dowding remained at the head of Fighter Command through the first year of World War II. He is widely credited with preventing the dismantling of British air defenses during the Battle of France in the spring of 1940, defying pressure from the British Army, Britain’s French allies, and His Majesty’s Government to send the bulk of the RAF’s frontline fighters to the Continent in what Dowding predicted would be a futile effort to stem the German onslaught. While holding back as many of his best fighter aircraft as he could, in June Dowding deployed 11 Group, under his hand-picked lieutenant, Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, to repulse the Luftwaffe over Dunkirk, covering the evacuation of some 338,000 British and French troops from the Continent.

As the Luftwaffe began gradually building up to an all-out air offensive against Great Britain, Dowding marshaled his outnumbered command with skill and caution, accurately assessing the enemy’s available strategic options. During the ensuing three months of fighting known as the Battle of Britain the integrated air defense system organized and trained by Dowding, guided by his operational concepts, fought the vaunted Luftwaffe to a standstill in daylight air-to-air combat. In October, the Germans abandoned their attempt to win a “decisive battle” for air superiority over England, turning instead to the protracted campaign of attrition by nighttime area bombing known as the Blitz. The historical significance of Dowding’s life and military career rests primarily on two elements. First, as the original AOC-in-Chief, RAF Fighter Command, he directed the initial planning, organization, training, and equipment of the world’s first truly integrated air defense system. Second, he directed the operations of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, the first sustained engagement between independent air forces in military history, and one of the campaigns whose outcomes turned the course of World War II. Dowding was thus not only one of the master builders of air power, but also the only Airman to have been the winning commander in one of history’s decisive battles.

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Albert Sidney Johnston

Soldier of Three Republics

Charles P. Roland

" With a new foreword by Gary W. Gallagher Selected as one of the best one hundred books ever written on the Civil War by Civil War Times Illustrated and by Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society A new, revised edition of the only full-scale biography of the Confederacy's top-ranking field general during the opening campaigns of the Civil War.

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Alexander

Invincible King of Macedonia

Tsouras, Peter G.

Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.), who reigned as king of Macedonia for only thirteen years, set a flame of conquest that introduced the dynamism of Hellenism to the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian worlds. Re-creating their ossified cultures, he established a standard of leadership and military conquest that the most successful of Roman emperors, medieval knights, and steppe barbarians would never truly match. Julius Caesar wept that he could not surpass Alexander, while Napoleon could only dream of such invincibility. Alexander had the great fortune to be born the able son of Philip II, one of the most talented men of war and politics produced by the Hellenic world, who created for Alexander the foundation of the Macedonian state and army that would be the tools of his future greatness. AlexanderÆs invincibility was the product of his profound genius - the perfection of body, boundless energy, imagination, daring, intellect, and vision in one man. He was a master tactician, strategist, logistician, diplomat, and statesman, with an ability to win the affection and quick obedience of others. Even his enemies fell victim to his valor and charm. His personal attributes and accomplishments were so far removed from those of ordinary men that he achieved almost superhuman status within his lifetime. Above all, he was the preeminent man of war. Even today, as the noise of battle rattles Kandahar, a city in Afghanistan that Alexander named for himself, war clings to his name.

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Alexander P. de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power

Libbey, James K.

Today, air power is a vital component of the U.S. armed forces. James Libbey, in Alexander P. de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power, highlights the contributions of an aviation pioneer who made much of it possible.

Graduating from the Imperial Russian Naval Academy at the start of World War I, de Seversky lost a leg in his first combat mission. He still shot down thirteen German planes and became the empire's most decorated combat naval pilot.

While serving as a naval attache in the United States in 1918, de Seversky elected to escape the Bolshevik Revolution and offered his services as a pilot and consulting engineer to the U.S. War Department. He proved inventive both in the technology of advanced military aircraft and in the strategy of exercising air power. He worked for famed aviation advocate Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, who encouraged the naturalized citizen to patent his inventions, such as an in-flight refueling system and a gyroscopically synchronized bombsight. His creative spirit then spurred him to design and manufacture advanced military aircraft.

When World War II broke out in Europe, de Seversky became America's best-known philosopher, prophet, and advocate for air power, even serving as an adviser to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. The highlight of his life occurred in 1970 when the Aviation Hall of Fame enshrined de Seversky for "his achievements as a pilot, aeronautical engineer, inventor, industrialist, author, strategist, consultant, and scientific advances in aircraft design and aerospace technology."

This book will appeal to readers with a special interest in military history and to anyone who wants to learn more about American air power's most important figures.

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Alvin York

A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne

Douglas V. Mastriano

Alvin C. York (1887--1964) -- devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I -- is one of America's most famous and celebrated soldiers. Known to generations through Gary Cooper's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 1941 film Sergeant York, York is credited with the capture of 132 German soldiers on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne region of France -- a deed for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

At war's end, the media glorified York's bravery but some members of the German military and a soldier from his own unit cast aspersions on his wartime heroics. Historians continue to debate whether York has received more recognition than he deserves. A fierce disagreement about the location of the battle in the Argonne forest has further complicated the soldier's legacy.

In Alvin York, Douglas V. Mastriano sorts fact from myth in the first full-length biography of York in decades. He meticulously examines York's youth in the hills of east Tennessee, his service in the Great War, and his return to a quiet civilian life dedicated to charity. By reviewing artifacts recovered from the battlefield using military terrain analysis, forensic study, and research in both German and American archives, Mastriano reconstructs the events of October 8 and corroborates the recorded accounts. On the eve of the WWI centennial, Alvin York promises to be a major contribution to twentieth-century military history.

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An American Heroine in the French Resistance

The Diary and Memoir of Virginia D'Albert-Lake

Judy Barrett Litoff

This fascinating book tells the remarkable story of an ordinary American woman's heroism in the French Resistance. Virginia Roush fell in love with Philippe d'Albert-Lake during a visit to France in 1936; they married soon after. In 1943, they both joined the Resistance, where Virginia put her life in jeopardy as she sheltered downed airmen and later survived a Nazi prison camp. After the war, she stayed in France with Philippe, and was awarded the Lgion d'Honneur and the Medal of Honor. She died in 1997.Judy Barrett Litoff brings together two rare documents-Virginia's diary of wartime France until her capture in 1944 and her prison memoir written immediately after the war. Masterfully edited, they convey the compassion and toughness of a nearly forgotten heroine as they provide an invaluable record of the workings of the Resistance by one of the very few American women who participated in it.An indelible portrait of extraordinary strength of character . . . [D'Albert-Lake] is sombre, reflective, and attentive to every detail.-The New Yorker A sharply etched and moving story of love, companionship, commitment, and sacrifice. . . . This beautifully edited diary and memoir throw an original light on the French Resistance.-Robert Gildea, author of Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation, 1940-1945 At once a stunning self-portrait and dramatic narrative of a valorous young American woman . . . an exciting and gripping story, one of the best of the many wartime tales.-Walter CronkiteAn enthralling tale which brims with brave airmen and plucky heroines.-David Kirby, St. Petersburg Times

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An American Rabbi in Korea

A Chaplain's Journey in the Forgotten War

Written by Milton Jehiel Rosen and translated and edited by Stanley Russell Rose

During the height of the Korean conflict, 1950-51, Orthodox Jewish chaplain Milton J. Rosen wrote 19 feature-length articles for Der Morgen Zhornal, a Yiddish daily in New York, documenting his wartime experiences as well as those of the servicemen under his care. Rosen was among those nearly caught in the Chinese entrapment of American and Allied forces in North Korea in late 1950, and some of his most poignant writing details the trying circumstances that faced both soldiers and civilians during that time.

As chaplain, Rosen was able to offer a unique account of the American Jewish experience on the frontlines and in the United States military while also describing the impact of the American presence on Korean citizens and their culture. His interest in Korean attitudes toward Jews is also a significant theme within these articles.

Stanley R. Rosen has translated his father's articles into English and provides background on Milton Rosen's military service before and after the Korean conflict. He presents an introductory overview of the war and includes helpful maps and photographs. The sum is a readable account of war and its turmoil from an astute and compassionate observer.



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An American Soldier in World War I

George Browne

George “Brownie” Browne was a twenty-three-year-old civil engineer in Waterbury, Connecticut, when the United States entered the Great War in 1917. He enlisted almost immediately and served in the American Expeditionary Forces until his discharge in 1919. An American Soldier in World War I is an edited collection of more than one hundred letters that Browne wrote to his fiancée, Martha “Marty” Johnson, describing his experiences during World War I as part of the famed 42nd, or Rainbow, Division. From September 1917 until he was wounded in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in late October 1918, Browne served side by side with his comrades in the 117th Engineering Regiment. He participated in several defensive actions and in offensives on the Marne, at Saint-Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne.

This extraordinary collection of Brownie’s letters reveals the day-to-day life of an American soldier in the European theater. The difficulties of training, transportation to France, dangers of combat, and the ultimate strain on George and Marty’s relationship are all captured in these pages. David L. Snead weaves the Browne correspondence into a wider narrative about combat, hope, and service among the American troops. By providing a description of the experiences of an average American soldier serving in the American Expeditionary Forces in France, this study makes a valuable contribution to the history and historiography of American participation in World War I.

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Architect of Air Power

General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force

Brian D. Laslie

At age 36, Laurence S. Kuter (1905--1979) became the youngest general officer since William T. Sherman. He served as deputy commander of allied tactical air forces in North Africa during World War II and helped devise the American bombing strategy in Europe. Although his combat contributions were less notable than other commanders in the Eighth Air Force, few officers saw as many theaters of operation as he did or were as highly sought-after. After World War II, he led the Military Air Transport Service, Air University, Far East Air Forces, and served as commander-in-chief of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). Despite these accomplishments and others, however, Kuter remains widely underappreciated.

In Architect of Air Power, Brian D. Laslie offers the first biography of this important but unsung pioneer whose influence can be found in every stage of the development of an independent US Air Force. From his early years at West Point to his days at the Air Corps Tactical School to his leadership role at NORAD, Kuter made his mark with quiet efficiency. He was an early advocate of strategic bombardment rather than pursuit or fighter aviation -- fundamentally changing the way air power was used -- and later helped implement the Berlin airlift in 1948. In what would become a significant moment in military history, he wrote Field Manual 100-20, which is considered the Air Force's "declaration of independence" from the Army.

Drawing on diaries, letters, and scrapbooks, Laslie offers a complete portrait of this influential soldier. Architect of Air Power illuminates Kuter's pivotal contributions and offers new insights into critical military policy and decision-making during the Second World War and the Cold War.

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