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Operation Thunderbolt

Author : Saul David
ISBN : 9781444762525
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 15 MB
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*By the historical consultant to the major motion picture Entebbe* 'The definitive work on the subject....This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian' New York Times Book Review 'It's a brilliantly orchestrated book, wonderfully rich in detail, but at the same time roaring along at a heart-thumping pace...' Mail on Sunday 'A brilliant, breathless account that reads like the plot of an action movie.' Sunday Telegraph This edition is updated with new material on recent discoveries. On 3 July 1976 Israeli Special Forces carried out a daring raid to free more than a hundred Israeli, French and US hostages held by German and Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The legacy of this mission is still felt today in the way Western governments respond to terrorist blackmail. Codenamed Thunderbolt, the operation carried huge risks. The flight was a challenge: 2,000 miles with total radio silence over hostile territory to land in darkness at Entebbe Airport in Idi Amin's Uganda. On the ground, the Israeli commandos had just three minutes to carry out their mission. They had to evade a cordon of élite Ugandan paratroopers, storm the terminal and free more than a hundred hostages. So much could have gone wrong: the death of the hostages if the terrorists got wind of the assault; or the capture of Israel's finest soldiers if their Hercules planes could not take off. Both would have been a human and a PR catastrophe. Now, with the mission largely forgotten or even unknown to many, Saul David gives the first comprehensive account of Operation Thunderbolt using classified documents from archives in four countries and interviews with key participants, including Israeli soldiers and politicians, hostages, a member of the Kenyan government and a former terrorist. Both a thrilling page-turner and a major piece of historical detective work, Operation Thunderbolt shows how the outcome of Israel's most famous military operation depended on secret diplomacy, courage and luck-and was in the balance right up to the very last moment.

Publications Combined Russia S Regular And Special Forces In The Regional And Global War On Terror

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Over 2,400 total pages ... Russian outrage following the September 2004 hostage disaster at North Ossetia’s Beslan Middle School No.1 was reflected in many ways throughout the country. The 52-hour debacle resulted in the death of some 344 civilians, including more than 170 children, in addition to unprecedented losses of elite Russian security forces and the dispatch of most Chechen/allied hostage-takers themselves. It quickly became clear, as well, that Russian authorities had been less than candid about the number of hostages held and the extent to which they were prepared to deal with the situation. Amid grief, calls for retaliation, and demands for reform, one of the more telling reactions in terms of hardening public perspectives appeared in a national poll taken several days after the event. Some 54% of citizens polled specifically judged the Russian security forces and the police to be corrupt and thus complicit in the failure to deal adequately with terrorism, while 44% thought that no lessons for the future would be learned from the tragedy. This pessimism was the consequence not just of the Beslan terrorism, but the accumulation of years of often spectacular failures by Russian special operations forces (SOF, in the apt US military acronym). A series of Russian SOF counterterrorism mishaps, misjudgments, and failures in the 1990s and continuing to the present have made the Kremlin’s special operations establishment in 2005 appear much like Russia’s old Mir space station—wired together, unpredictable, and subject to sudden, startling failures. But Russia continued to maintain and expand a large, variegated special operations establishment which had borne the brunt of combat actions in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and other trouble spots, and was expected to serve as the nation’s principal shield against terrorism in all its forms. Known since Soviet days for tough personnel, personal bravery, demanding training, and a certain rough or brutal competence that not infrequently violated international human rights norms, it was supposed that Russian special operations forces—steeped in their world of “threats to the state” and associated with once-dreaded military and national intelligence services—could make valuable contributions to countering terrorism. The now widely perceived link between “corrupt” special forces on the one hand, and counterterrorism failures on the other, reflected the further erosion of Russia’s national security infrastructure in the eyes of both Russian citizens and international observers. There have been other, more ambiguous, but equally unsettling dimensions of Russian SOF activity as well, that have strong internal and external political aspects. These constitute the continuing assertions from Russian media, the judicial system, and other Federal agencies and officials that past and current members of the SOF establishment have organized to pursue interests other than those publicly declared by the state or allowed under law. This includes especially the alleged intent to punish by assassination those individuals and groups that they believe have betrayed Russia. The murky nature of these alleged activities has formed a backdrop to other problems in the special units.

The Use Of Force In International Law

Author : Tom Ruys
ISBN : 9780198784357
Genre : Law
File Size : 21. 65 MB
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Since the adoption of the UN Charter in 1945, the use of cross-border force has been frequent. This volume invites a range of experts to examine over sixty conflicts, from military interventions to targeted killings and hostage rescue operations, and to ask how powerful precedent can be in determining hostile encounters in international law.

Great Wartime Escapes And Rescues

Author : David W. Mills
ISBN : 9781440859168
Genre : History
File Size : 87. 68 MB
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Students, military historians, and casual readers will all find this compelling collection useful in learning about escape strategies, hostage situations, and rescue operations during times of conflict. • Provides readers with a global collection of wartime rescues and escapes • Offers a broad review of rescues and escapes from multiple conflicts across history • Includes engaging sidebars that augment the entries • Provides readers with an extensive resource list for further reading

The Cold War The Definitive Encyclopedia And Document Collection 5 Volumes

Author : Spencer C. Tucker
ISBN : 9781440860768
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 72 MB
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This sweeping reference work covers every aspect of the Cold War, from its ignition in the ashes of World War II, through the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Cold War superpower face-off between the Soviet Union and the United States dominated international affairs in the second half of the 20th century and still reverberates around the world today. This comprehensive and insightful multivolume set provides authoritative entries on all aspects of this world-changing event, including wars, new military technologies, diplomatic initiatives, espionage activities, important individuals and organizations, economic developments, societal and cultural events, and more. This expansive coverage provides readers with the necessary context to understand the many facets of this complex conflict. The work begins with a preface and introduction and then offers illuminating introductory essays on the origins and course of the Cold War, which are followed by some 1,500 entries on key individuals, wars, battles, weapons systems, diplomacy, politics, economics, and art and culture. Each entry has cross-references and a list of books for further reading. The text includes more than 100 key primary source documents, a detailed chronology, a glossary, and a selective bibliography. Numerous illustrations and maps are inset throughout to provide additional context to the material. Includes more than 1,500 entries covering all facets of the Cold War from its origins to its aftermath, including all political, diplomatic, military, social, economic, and cultural aspects Incorporates the scholarship of more than 200 internationally recognized contributors from around the world, many writing about events and issues from the perspective of their country of origin Offers more than 100 original documents—a collection that draws heavily on material from archives in China, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union Provides hundreds of powerful images and dozens of informative maps detailing specific military conflicts and movements of various groups Includes a detailed chronology of important events that occurred before, during, and after the Cold War

Fighting At The Legal Boundaries

Author : Kenneth Watkin OMM, CD, QC
ISBN : 9780190457990
Genre : Law
File Size : 25. 77 MB
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The international law governing armed conflict is at a crossroads, as the formal framework of laws designed to control the exercise of self-defense and conduct of inter-state conflict finds itself confronted with violent 21st Century disputes of a very different character. Military practitioners who seek to stay within the bounds of international law often find themselves applying bodies of law-IHRL, IHL, ICL-in an exclusionary fashion, and adherence to those boundaries can lead to a formal and often rigid application of the law that does not adequately address contemporary security challenges. Fighting at the Legal Boundaries offers a holistic approach towards the application of the various constitutive parts of international law. The author focuses on the interaction between the applicable bodies of law by exploring whether their boundaries are improperly drawn, or are being interpreted in too rigid a fashion. Emphasis is placed on the disconnect that can occur between theory and practice regarding how these legal regimes are applied and interact with one another. Through a number of case studies, Fighting at the Legal Boundaries explores how the threat posed by insurgents, terrorists, and transnational criminal gangs often occurs not only at the point where these bodies of law interact, but also in situations where there is significant overlap. In this regard, the exercise of the longstanding right of States to defend nationals, including the conduct of operations such as hostage rescue, can involve the application of human rights based law enforcement norms to counter threats transcending the conflict spectrum. This book has five parts: Part I sets out the security, legal, and operational challenges of contemporary conflict. Part II focuses on the interaction between the jus ad bellum, humanitarian law and human rights, including an analysis of the historical influences that shaped their application as separate bodies of law. Emphasis is placed on the influence the proper authority principle has had in the human rights based approach being favored when dealing with "criminal" non-State actors during both international and non-international armed conflict. Part III analyzes the threats of insurgency and terrorism, and the state response. This includes exploring their link to criminal activity and the phenomenon of transnational criminal organizations. Part IV addresses the conduct of operations against non-State actors that span the conflict spectrum from inter-state warfare to international law enforcement. Lastly, Part V looks at the way ahead and discusses the approaches that can be applied to address the evolving, diverse and unique security threats facing the international community.

Crucible Of Hell

Author : Saul David
ISBN : 9780316534659
Genre : History
File Size : 69. 8 MB
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From the award-winning historian, Saul David, the riveting narrative of the heroic US troops, bonded by the brotherhood and sacrifice of war, who overcame enormous casualties to pull off the toughest invasion of WWII's Pacific Theater -- and the Japanese forces who fought with tragic desperation to stop them. With Allied forces sweeping across Europe and into Germany in the spring of 1945, one enormous challenge threatened to derail America's audacious drive to win the world back from the Nazis: Japan, the empire that had extended its reach southward across the Pacific and was renowned for the fanaticism and brutality of its fighters, who refused to surrender, even when faced with insurmountable odds. Taking down Japan would require an unrelenting attack to break its national spirit, and launching such an attack on the island empire meant building an operations base just off its shores on the island of Okinawa. The amphibious operation to capture Okinawa was the largest of the Pacific War and the greatest air-land-sea battle in history, mobilizing 183,000 troops from Seattle, Leyte in the Philippines, and ports around the world. The campaign lasted for 83 blood-soaked days, as the fighting plumbed depths of savagery. One veteran, struggling to make sense of what he had witnessed, referred to the fighting as the "crucible of Hell." Okinawan civilians died in the tens of thousands: some were mistaken for soldiers by American troops; but as the US Marines spearheading the invasion drove further onto the island and Japanese defeat seemed inevitable, many more civilians took their own lives, some even murdering their own families. In just under three months, the world had changed irrevocably: President Franklin D. Roosevelt died; the war in Europe ended; America's appetite for an invasion of Japan had waned, spurring President Truman to use other means -- ultimately atomic bombs -- to end the war; and more than 250,000 servicemen and civilians on or near the island of Okinawa had lost their lives. Drawing on archival research in the US, Japan, and the UK, and the original accounts of those who survived, Crucible of Hell tells the vivid, heart-rending story of the battle that changed not just the course of WWII, but the course of war, forever.

The Force

Author : Saul David
ISBN : 9780316414517
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 35 MB
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Hailed as "masterly" (Wall Street Journal), "a monumental achievement!" (Douglas Brinkley), "a mesmerizing read" (Bing West), and "an essential part of anyone's library" (Doug Stanton), The Force tells the riveting, true story of the group of elite US and Canadian soldiers -- mountainmen, lumberjacks, hunters, and explorers -- who sacrificed everything to accomplish a crucial but nearly impossible WWII mission. In December of 1943, as Nazi forces sprawled around the world and the future of civilization hung in the balance, a group of highly trained U.S. and Canadian soldiers from humble backgrounds was asked to do the impossible: capture a crucial Nazi stronghold perched atop stunningly steep cliffs. The men were a rough-and-ready group, assembled from towns nested in North America's most unforgiving terrain, where many of them had struggled through the Great Depression relying on canny survival skills and the fearlessness of youth. Brought together by the promise to take part in the military's most elite missions, they formed a unique brotherhood tested first by the crucible of state-of-the-art training-including skiing, rock climbing, and parachuting-and then tragically by the vicious fighting they would face. The early battle in the Italian theatre for the strategic fort cost the heroic U.S.-Canadian commando unit-their first special forces unit ever assembled-enormous casualties. Yet the victory put them in position to continue their drive into Italy, setting the stage for the Allies' resurgence toward victory in WWII. The unit, with its vast range of capabilities and mission-specific exercises, became a model for the "Green Berets" and other special forces groups that would go on to accomplish America's most challenging undertakings behind enemy lines. Knitting first-hand accounts seamlessly into the narrative-drawing on interviews with surviving members and their families; the memoirs, letters, and diaries of Forcemen; and declassified documents in the American, Canadian, British, and German archives -- The Force tells a story that is as deeply personal as it is inspiring.

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