The United States Merchant Marine has a tradition of being in the forefront of every American military action and has served with distinction in every conflict. New York Times bestselling author Brian Herbert chronicles the amazing exploits of these gallant seamen, assembling a fascinating array of data from historical documents, government records, diaries, and interviews with surviving veterans. This brilliant history details the heroism, self-sacrifice and grim determination that have always been the hallmark of the United States Merchant Marine. Herbert also reveals one of the great injustices of American history. The civilian fighters of the Merchant Marine performed feats of extraordinary bravery during World War II; they were the lifeline of the entire Allied war effort, delivering troops, materiel, food, fuel, and every essential needed for victory over the Axis. In doing so, the Merchant Marine suffered losses so high that the casualty rates were kept secret. At war's end, the men and women of every other service branch were honored by parades and given medical and educational benefits--but the members of the Merchant Marine, who were so vital to our victory, have received neither the benefits nor the recognition they deserved. Herbert is part of a growing movement across the United States to right the wrong. The Forgotten Heroes is a history of these unsung heroes and a plea for justice. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In the many historical accounts of D-Day, the Navy, Coast Guard and merchant marine, who transported troops to the invasion beaches and supported the attack, are often given scant attention. Film clips of landing craft unloading men into the surf and battleships firing on enemy emplacements are familiar yet comparatively little is known about the contributions of the marine services and what they accomplished during the Normandy Invasion. This book describes the Allied naval command structure for Operation Neptune and offers a comprehensive look at integrated offshore operations--how they were organized, who the sailors were and what they experienced.
“Vividly drawn and emotionally gripping." —Daniel James Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat From the author of The Ghost Ships of Archangel, one of the last unheralded heroic stories of World War II: the U-boat assault off the American coast against the men of the U.S. Merchant Marine who were supplying the European war, and one community’s monumental contribution to that effort Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery—but it sent an unusually large concentration of sea captains to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), U.S. merchant mariners all, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets. And they were easy targets—the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. Hitler was determined that his U-boats should sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore. As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Through their experiences we have eyewitnesses to every danger zone, in every kind of ship. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys—only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they'd returned to safety. The Mathews Men shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields—often the U.S. merchant mariners’ life-and-death struggles took place just off the U.S. coast—but also takes us to the landing beaches at D-Day and to the Pacific. “When final victory is ours,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, “there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.” Here, finally, is the heroic story of those merchant seamen, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews.
The noted historian John Keegan called World War II "the largest single event in human history." More than sixty years after it ended, that war continues to shape our world. Going far beyond accounts of the major battles, The Library of Congress World War II Companion examines, in a unique and engaging manner, this devastating conflict, its causes, conduct, and aftermath. It considers the politics that shaped the involvement of the major combatants; military leadership and the characteristics of major Allied and Axis armed services; the weaponry that resulted in the war's unprecedented destruction, as well as debates over the use of these weapons; the roles of resistance groups and underground fighters; war crimes; daily life during wartime; the uses of propaganda; and much more. Drawn from the unparalleled collections of the institution that has been called "America's Memory," The Library of Congress World War II Companion includes excerpts from contemporary letters, journals, pamphlets, and other documents, as well as first-person accounts recorded by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The text is complemented by more than 150 illustrations. Organized into topical chapters (such as "The Media War," "War Crimes and the Holocaust," and two chapters on "Military Operations" that cover the important battles), the book also include readers to navigate through the rich store of information in these pages. Filled with facts and figures, information about unusual aspects of the war, and moving personal accounts, this remarkable volume will be indispensable to anyone who wishes to understand the World War II era and its continuing reverberations.
World War II could not have been won without the U.S. Merchant Marine. Crewed by civilian seamen in peacetime and carrying much of the nation's ocean-borne commerce, the Merchant Marine became the "fourth arm of defense" in wartime, providing vital support for beachheads in all theaters of operation. Twenty World War II Merchant Marine veterans are featured in this oral history. Most had at least one ship torpedoed, bombed, shelled or mined out from under them--some of them two. Some became prisoners of the Japanese for the duration of the war, working on the infamous River Kwai Bridge. Many spent time on lifeboats or flimsy rafts under harsh conditions; one--Donald Zubrod--endured 42 days in a lifeboat with several others before their eventual rescue, close to death. American merchant mariners suffered a casualty rate that was a close second to the Marine Corps during the war.
The Historical Dictionary of World War II: The War against Germany and Italy relates the history of this war through a chronology, an introductory essay, maps and photos, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has more than 300 cross-referenced entries on the countries and geographical areas involved in the war, as well as the nations remaining neutral; wartime alliances and conferences; significant civilian and military leaders; and major ground, naval, and air operations. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about World War II.
This book details the Liberty ships and the Emergency Shipbuilding Program during World War II. For the first time, comprehensive information is provided about the builders, the namesakes, and the operators under one cover. Included is a list of all 2,710 Liberty ships delivered by U.S. shipyards, giving each ship's namesake and detailed descriptions of the companies that built the ships and the steamship companies that operated them during the war. This book also details the formation of two shipyards in South Portland, Maine, the Todd-Bath Iron Shipbuilding Co. and the South Portland Shipbuilding Corp. South Portland's shady operations were investigated by the U.S. Congress and resulted in the merger of both companies into the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in April 1943. Also featured is the Jeremiah O'Brien. Built by New England Ship in 1943 and one of only two operational Liberty ships left in the world, its service history and crew information are given along with its postwar restoration and return to Normandy in 1994.
The gripping story of a chemical weapons catastrophe, the cover-up, and how one American Army doctor’s discovery led to the development of the first drug to combat cancer, known today as chemotherapy. On the night of December 2, 1943, the Luftwaffe bombed a critical Allied port in Bari, Italy, sinking seventeen ships and killing over a thousand servicemen and hundreds of civilians. Caught in the surprise air raid was the John Harvey, an American Liberty ship carrying a top-secret cargo of 2,000 mustard bombs to be used in retaliation if the Germans resorted to gas warfare. When one young sailor after another began suddenly dying of mysterious symptoms, Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Alexander, a doctor and chemical weapons expert, was dispatched to investigate. He quickly diagnosed mustard gas exposure, but was overruled by British officials determined to cover up the presence of poison gas in the devastating naval disaster, which the press dubbed "little Pearl Harbor." Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower acted in concert to suppress the truth, insisting the censorship was necessitated by military security. Alexander defied British port officials and heroically persevered in his investigation. His final report on the Bari casualties was immediately classified, but not before his breakthrough observations about the toxic effects of mustard on white blood cells caught the attention of Colonel Cornelius P. Rhoads—a pioneering physician and research scientist as brilliant as he was arrogant and self-destructive—who recognized that the poison was both a killer and a cure, and ushered in a new era of cancer research led by the Sloan Kettering Institute. Meanwhile, the Bari incident remained cloaked in military secrecy, resulting in lost records, misinformation, and considerable confusion about how a deadly chemical weapon came to be tamed for medical use. Deeply researched and beautifully written, The Great Secret is the remarkable story of how horrific tragedy gave birth to medical triumph.