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About Kevin Maurer
Kevin Maurer is an award-winning journalist and best selling co-author of American Radical and No Easy Day.
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From Kevin Maurer—the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning coauthor of No Easy Day—comes the true story of a World War II bomber pilot who survived twenty-five missions in Damn Lucky, “an epic, thrillingly written, utterly immersive account of a very lucky, incredible survivor of the war in the skies to defeat Hitler” (New York Times bestselling author Alex Kershaw).
“We were young citizen-soldiers, terribly naive and gullible about what we would be confronted with in the air war over Europe and the profound effect it would have upon every fiber of our being for the rest of our lives. We were all afraid, but it was beyond our power to quit. We volunteered for the service and, once trained and overseas, felt we had no choice but to fulfill the mission assigned. My hope is that this book honors the men with whom I served by telling the truth about what it took to climb into the cold blue and fight for our lives over and over again.”
—John “Lucky” Luckadoo, Major, USAF (Ret.) 100th Bomb Group (H)
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a world away from John Luckadoo’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. But when the Japanese attacked the American naval base on December 7, 1941, he didn’t hesitate to join the military. Trained as a pilot with the United States Air Force, Second Lieutenant Luckadoo was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England. Between June and October 1943, he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany on bombing runs devised to destroy the Nazi war machine.
With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend’s silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. Knowing far too many airmen who wouldn’t be returning home, Luckadoo closed off his emotions and focused on his tasks to finish his tour of duty one moment at a time, realizing his success was more about being lucky than being skilled.
Drawn from Luckadoo’s firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent Kevin Maurer shares his extraordinary tale from war to peacetime, uncovering astonishing feats of bravery during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history, and presenting an incredible portrait of a young man’s coming-of-age during the world’s most devastating war.
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group—known as SEAL Team Six—has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and his fellow SEAL team members as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.
In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers into the War on Terror and details the formation of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes several missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.
In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team watched as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it was possession of Sperwan Ghar, a modest patch of high ground. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters. Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened and brings to life the men who impossibly won the day—Americans and Afghans alike—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism.
Praise for Lions of Kandahar
“A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.”—Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
“One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.”—The Seattle Times
“Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar.”—San Antonio Express-News
“Bradley takes the reader into battle.”—Time
The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam.
Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.
A longtime undercover agent, Tamer Elnoury joined an elite counterterrorism unit after September 11, 2001. Its express purpose was to gain the trust of terrorists whose goals were to take out as many Americans in as public and devastating a way as possible. It was a furious race against the clock for Elnoury and his unit to stop them before they could implement their plans. Yet the techniques were as old as time: listen, record, and prove terrorist intent.
It's no secret that federal agencies have waged a broad, global war against terror, through and after the war in Afghanistan. But for the first time, in this memoir, an active Muslim American federal agent reveals his experience infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell in North America.
Due to his ongoing work for the FBI, Elnoury writes under a pseudonym. An Arabic-speaking Muslim American, a patriot, a hero: To many Americans, it will be a revelation that he and his team even existed, let alone the vital and dangerous work they have done keeping all Americans safe.
“Rock Force is a beautifully told story of war: the friendships, the courage and despair, and the terror... One of the most exciting books ever written about the Pacific War.”—Mitch Weiss, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Countdown 1945
In late December 1941, General Douglas MacArthur, caught off guard by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, is forced to retreat to Corregidor, a jagged, rocky island fortress at the mouth of Manila Bay. Months later, under orders from the president, the general is whisked away in the dark of night, leaving his troops to their fate. It is a bitter pill for a fiercely proud warrior who has always protected his men. He famously declares "I shall return," but the humiliation of Corregidor haunts him, even earning him the derisive nickname "Dugout Doug."
In early 1945, MacArthur returns to the Philippines, his eyes firmly fixed on Corregidor. To take back the island, he calls on the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, a highly trained veteran airborne unit. Their mission is to jump onto the island—hemmed in by sheer cliffs, pockmarked by bomb craters, bristling with deadly spiky broken tree trunks—and wrest it from some 6,700 Japanese defenders who await, fully armed and ready to fight to the death.
Drawn from firsthand accounts and personal interviews with the battle's surviving veterans, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Kevin Maurer delves into this extraordinary tale, uncovering astonishing accounts of bravery and heroism during an epic, yet largely forgotten, clash of the Pacific War. Here is an intimate story of uncommon soldiers showing uncommon courage and winning, through blood and sacrifice, the redemption of General MacArthur.
Until the war in Iraq, Special Forces were the military’s counterinsurgency experts. Their specialty was going behind enemy lines and training insurgent forces. In Afghanistan, they toppled the Taliban by transforming Northern Alliance fighters into cohesive units. But since that time, Special Forces units have focused on offensive raids.
With time running short, the Green Berets have now gone back to their roots.
Award-winning journalist Kevin Maurer traveled with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan, finding out firsthand the inside story of the lives of this elite group of highly trained soldiers. He witnessed the intense brotherhood, the rigorous selection process, and the arduous training that makes them the best on the battlefield. Here, Maurer delivers a compelling account of modern warfare and of a fighting force that is doing everything in its power to achieve victory.
Caught in the Chinese counterattack at Unsan-one of the deadliest American battles of the Cold War Era-Colonel Bill Richardson led an Alamo like defense of the few survivors before being taken prisoner. The North Koreans marched them through sub-zero weather without food, shelter, or medical attention to the area known as Death Valley. Enduring torture designed to break the mind and body, Richardson remained strong enough to lead his fellow prisoners in resistance, sabotage, and new plans for escape.
Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination, an intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the cold war in the unvarnished words of one of their own.
When Charlie, an American Special Forces soldier, finds out the Taliban is trying to sell a Soviet suitcase nuke to Al-Qaeda, he enlists his former interpreter-turned-contractor Ahmed Wali to help recover it. But Wali—one of the “good” Afghans—has his own problems. The first is with the local warlord, Jan, who is trying to drive him out of business; the second is with his uncle, Razaq, whose ties to the Taliban jeopardize his ability to work with the Americans. As Charlie and Wali—with the help of Felix, a morally fluid but pragmatic CIA officer—work to get the suitcase nuke off the battlefield, Air Force Tech Sgt. Canterbury starts to investigate Wali’s business. Canterbury is convinced Wali is a bad guy and arrests him for working with the Taliban. The arrest sends the whole operation awry and forces Charlie and Felix to work in the moral gray areas in order to achieve their objectives.
The Good Afghan is an exploration of identity, politics, and the story of the Afghan war and America’s nation-building experiment gone wrong.
Desde a pane no helicóptero Black Hawk - que quase fez com que a missão fosse abortada - até o comunicado pelo rádio via satélite confirmando que o alvo estava morto, a operação dos vinte e quatro homens na propriedade secreta de Bin Laden é recontada em mínimos detalhes.
Das ruas de Badgá ao resgate do capitão Richard Phillips no oceano Índico; das montanhas ao leste de Cabul ao terceiro andar do esconderijo de Osama bin Laden em Abbottabad, no Paquistão. Não há dia fácil coloca o leitor dentro de uma das mais surpreendentes tropas de elite do mundo.
Mark Owen, ex-membro do Grupo para o Desenvolvimento de Operações Especiais da Marinha dos Estados Unidos, mais conhecido como Equipe Seis do Seal, foi líder de uma das mais memoráveis operações especiais da história recente, assim como de inúmeras outras missões que nunca chegaram às manchetes.
O nome verdadeiro do autor, assim como o de todos os Seal mencionados no livro, foi trocado por motivos de segurança.