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Books by Gerry Van Tonder

  • Korean War: Allied Surge

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: CBKNX
    Paperback
    Cold War crescendo: in the author's first three volumes in a series on battles of the Korean War, North Korean forces cross the 38th Parallel, rolling back US and South Korean forces into a small corner of the Korean peninsula. Months later, commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) in Korea, General Douglas MacArthur, launches a daring counteroffensive invasion at Inchon, enveloping North Korea. Despite a warning from Beijing that it will intervene if US forces cross the 38th, MacArthur uses the UN's conditional authorization to land elements of the US X Corps at Wonsan and Riwon in North Korea. The Eighth US Army and South Korean forces capture the North Korean capital, P'y?ngyang, while American paratroops make the first combat jump of the conflict at Sunch'?n and Sukch'?n, cutting the road to the Chinese border. While MacArthur's ground forces edge closer to the Yalu River, and the general having designs of chasing the retiring North Koreans across the river into China, in October 1950 the Chinese politburo immediately deploys 200,000 members of the 13th Army Group of the newly titled People's Volunteer Army (PLA) on a pre-emptive defensive' operation into North Korea.
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  • Inchon Landing

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BXIOQ
    Paperback
    Inchon, a dramatic Cold War event: in the first two volumes in the author's series on battles of the Korean War, North Korean ground forces, armour and artillery cross the 38th Parallel into South Korea, inflicting successive ignominious defeats on the ill-prepared US-led UN troops, pushing them ever southward into a tiny defensive enclave the Pusan Perimeter on the tip of the Korean Peninsula. General Douglas MacArthur, Second World War veteran of the South East Asia and Pacific theatres, meets with considerable resistance to his plans for a counteroffensive, from both Washington and his staff in South Korea and Japan: it is typhoon season, the approaches to the South Korean port city of Inch'?n are not conducive to amphibious assault, and it will leave the besieged Pusan Perimeter in great danger of being overrun. However, the controversial MacArthur's obstinate persistency prevails and, with a mere three weeks to go, the US X Corps is activated to execute the invasion on D-Day, 15 September 1950. Elements of the US Marine Corps land successfully on the scheduled day, and with the element of surprise on their side, immediately strike east to Seoul, only 15 miles away. The next day, General Walker's Eighth US Army breaks out of Pusan to complete the southerly envelopment of the North Korean forces. Seoul falls on the 25th. MacArthur's impulsive gamble has paid off, and the South Korean government moves back to their capital. The North Koreans have been driven north of the 38th Parallel, effectively bringing to an end their invasion of the south that started on 25 June 1950.
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  • Irgun

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BUJGM
    Paperback
    In October 1944, the US Office of Strategic Services described the Irgun Tsvai Leumi - National Military Organization - as 'an underground, quasi-military organization with headquarters in Palestine ... fanatical Zionists who wish to convert Palestine and Transjordan into an independent Jewish state ... advocate the use of force both against the Arabs and the British to achieve this maximal political goal'. In 1925, Ze'ev Jabotinsky founded the Revisionist Zionism organization, whose secular, right-wing ideology would lead to the formation of the Irgun and, ultimately, of the Likud Party. Commencing operations in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1931, Irgun adopted a mainly guarding role, while facilitating the ongoing immigration of Jews into Palestine. In 1936, Irgun guerrillas started attacking Arab targets. The British White Paper of 1939 rejected the establishment of a Jewish nation, and as a direct consequence, Irgun guerrillas started targeting the British. The authorities executed captured Irgun operatives found guilty of terrorism, while deporting hundreds to internment camps overseas. As details of Jewish genocide - the Holocaust - emerged, Irgun declared war on the British in Palestine. Acts of infrastructural sabotage gave way to the bombing of buildings and police stations, the worst being the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem - the hub of British operations and administration - in July 1946, killing ninety-one. Freedom fighters or terrorists - Irgun was only dissolved when the independent Jewish state of Israel was born on 14 May 1948\. This is their story.
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  • Echoes of the Coventry Blitz

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BPXBS
    Paperback
    Smoke rises in the City of Three Spires, the smouldering remnant of the Nazi hate. Coventry and England will remember and repay'. From August 1940, Hitler's Luftwaffe mercilessly and indiscriminately bombed cities and towns in Britain. The historic West Midlands city of Coventry did not escape the carnage as, night after night, high-explosive and incendiary bombs rained down on the hapless production centre of cars, munitions and aero engines. Today, the iconic shell of Coventry's once majestic medieval cathedral offers a silent memorial of remembrance to that dreadful night. For the city's residents of now, it is a poignant echo of a violent and destructive part of their history. With carefully selected photographs, Gerry van Tonder tells the story of Coventry's blitz through a series of 'ghost' photographs, where historic wartime images are blended with their modern counterpart to create a fascinating window in to Coventry's past. Also drawing from contemporary press accounts of the Coventry Blitz, this book presents a totally unique comparative insight into the Nazi bombing of Coventry in the Second World War.
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  • SS Einsatzgruppen

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BOLWF
    Paperback
    In June 1941, Adolf Hitler, whose loathing of Slavs and Jewish Bolsheviks knew no bounds, launched Operation Barbarossa, throwing 4 million troops, supported by tanks, artillery and aircraft into the Soviet Union. Operational groups of the German Security Service, SD, followed into the Baltic and the Black Sea areas. Their orders: neutralize elements hostile to Nazi domination. Combined SS and SD headquarters were set up in Riga (northern), Mogilev (middle) and Kiev (southern), each with subordinate units of the SD, the Einsatzgruppen, and lower echelons of Einsatzkommandos. Communist and Soviet NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) agents were targeted, and from August 1941 to March 1943, 4,000 Soviet and communist agents were arrested and executed. In addition, far greater numbers of partisans and communists were shot to ensure political and ethnic purity in the occupied territories. Einsatzgruppe A, under Adolf Eichmann, executed 29,000 people-listed as 'Jews' or 'mostly Jews'-in Latvia and Lithuania in the early stages of the operation. In the Einsatzgruppe C report for September 1941, there is a comment, '50,000 executions ???foreseen??? in Kiev'. In five months in 1941, Einsatzkommando III commander, Karl Jager, reported killing 138,272 (48,252 men, 55,556 women and 34,464 children). The Einsatzgruppen were death squads-their tools the rifle, the pistol and the machine gun. It is estimated that the Einsatzgruppen executed more than 2 million people between 1941 and 1945, including 1.3 million Jews.
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  • Sheffield's Military Legacy

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BNYQX
    Paperback
    In the century following the Norman invasion, a castle was built at the confluence of the rivers Sheaf and Don, an early recognition of Sheffield s strategic importance. Destroyed in the thirteenth century during the Second Barons War, a second castle was built on the site, but in 1647, it was ordered to be demolished immediately after the cessation of the Civil War, thereby negating any future tactical use by either Parliamentarian or Royalist. Steel production and downstream manufacturing would, however, be perpetually embedded in the military legacy of this seat of industrial innovation and production. The Vickers steel foundry was established in Sheffield in 1828\. Following the manufacture of the factory s first artillery in 1890, Sheffield expanded to find itself a leading supplier in the First World War, feeding the military with shells, artillery, naval guns, armour plating, aircraft parts, torpedoes, helmets and bayonets. Sheffield s contribution to the British war machine in the Second World War quickly attracted the attention of Nazi Germany. In December 1940, in an operation appropriately codenamed Schmelztiegel, or Crucible, Sheffield suffered two major raids aimed primarily at steel and munitions factories. A proud tradition of answering a call to the colours spawned the 84th Regiment of Foot, the Loyal Independent Sheffield Volunteers of the 1700s, the Hallamshire Rifle Volunteers raised in 1859, and the Sheffield Squadron, Yeomanry Cavalry. The 1899 1902 Anglo-Boer War would also have an enduring legacy: the Sheffield Wednesday football stadium was named Spioen Kop, while local road names include Ladysmith Avenue and Mafeking Place. On 1 July 1916, the Sheffield City Battalion fought in an heroic and costly, but hopeless, action on the Somme to capture the village of Serre. Through the Second World War right up to Afghanistan, Sheffield s men and women in uniform have not been found wanting. Sheffield s rich military legacy portrayed in this publication is drawn from a cross section of representative units, home and foreign actions, uniformed personalities, barracks at the hub of musters, the calibre of gallantry including six Victoria Crosses as well as the immortality of names on memorials, such as the Sheffield Memorial Park in France.
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  • North Korea Invades the South

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BMPCR
    Paperback
    When the world held its breath It is more than 25 years since the end of the Cold War. It began over 75 years ago, in 1944 long before the last shots of the Second World War had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe with the brutal Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on, unwittingly or not, in conflict zones such as Syria, Somalia and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was Korea Without warning, at 4.00 a.m. on 25 June 1950, North Korean artillery laid down a heavy bombardment on the Ongjin Peninsula, followed four hours later by a massive armoured, air, amphibious and infantry breach of the ill-conceived post-war border that was the 38 north line of latitude. At 11.00 a.m., North Korea issued a declaration of war against the Republic of Korea. Three days later, the South Korean capital, Seoul, fell. The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war. A week after his reaction to the North Korean invasion, US President Harry S. Truman, in compliance with a UN Security Council resolution, appointed that iconic Second World War veteran, General Douglas MacArthur, commander-in-chief of forces in Korea. The first in a six-volume series on the Korean War, this publication considers those first few fateful days in June 1950 that would cement north south antagonism to this day, the pariah state that is communist North Korea a seemingly increasing threat to an already tenuous global peace.
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  • Malayan Emergency

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BLGQE
    Paperback
    When the world held its breath It is 25 years since the end of the Cold War, now a generation old. It began over 75 years ago, in 1944 long before the last shots of the Second World War had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe with the brutal Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on, unwittingly or not, in conflict zones such as Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was Malaya By the time of the 1942 Japanese occupation of the Malay Peninsula and Singapore, the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) had already been fomenting merdeka independence from Britain. The Japanese conquerors, however, were also the loathsome enemies of the MCP s ideological brothers in China. An alliance of convenience with the British was the outcome. Britain armed and trained the MCP s military wing, the Malayan People s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA), to essentially wage jungle guerrilla warfare against Japanese occupying forces.With the cessation of hostilities, anti-Japanese became anti-British, and, using the same weapons and training fortuitously provided by the British army during the war, the MCP launched a guerrilla war of insurgency. Malaya was of significant strategic and economic importance to Britain. In the face of an emerging communist regime in China, a British presence in Southeast Asia was imperative. Equally, rubber and tin, largely produced in Malaya by British expatriates, were important inputs for British industry. Typically, the insurgents, dubbed Communist Terrorists, or simply CTs, went about attacking soft targets in remote areas: the rubber plantations and tin mines. In conjunction with this, was the implementation of Mao s dictate of subverting the rural, largely peasant, population to the cause. Twelve years of counter-insurgency operations ensued, as a wide range of British forces were joined in the conflict by ground, air and sea units from Australia, New Zealand, Southern and Northern Rhodesia, Fiji and Nyasaland.
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  • Nottingham's Military Legacy

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: BGJHV
    Paperback
    Two years after landing on English soil in 1066, William of Normandy erected a strategic castle at Nottingham, thereby creating an enduring military nexus through to the modern era. On 22 August 1642, in his endeavours to quash Parliamentarian insurrection in the Midlands, King Charles raised his standard over Nottingham Castle, a rallying call to all Royalists to support their monarch. Loyalty to the Crown was, however, divided, and before long Parliamentarian forces garrisoned the castle. Late in the eighteenth century, a town troop of Yeomanry was raised in Nottingham, the foundation of the future South Notts Yeomanry. The yeomanry assisted regular troops by helping restore peace during the so-called Bread Riots of 1795, at a time when many of the town s men had been committed to military duty during the French Revolutionary Wars. Five troops of the town s yeomanry were again called up for service during the civil unrest of the Luddite Riots of 1811 18. This pattern of service continued over several decades. Evolving into a regiment, the yeomanry were repeatedly deployed against civil dissenters the Nottingham Riot, and the Reform Bill and Chartist Riots.After seeing combat during the Peninsula Wars in 1815, in the latter half of the 1800s, the 59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot formed part of a British invasion force into Afghanistan from India, to curb Russian interventionism in this remote and desolate region. The outbreak of war in distant South Africa in 1899 placed enormous strain on Britain s military capability. From Nottingham and other county towns, regiments of yeomanry, Hussars and Sherwood Rangers were dispatched to the hostile environment of the African veld. Nottingham s sons then answered a call to arms in their thousands, only to also perish in their thousands on the Godforsaken soils of France and Flanders during the holocaust that was the Great War. Through the Second World War to the present, Nottingham s military units underwent successive phases of metamorphosis from infantry to anti-aircraft and searchlight formations, followed by the relatively recent absorption into a regional entity: the Mercian Regiment. Today, Nottingham s castle and surrounds bear the symbols of a rich and diverse military legacy symbols of remembrance, of tribute, and of a tableau of military pride from ancient times.
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  • Berlin Blockade

    Gerry Van Tonder

    Product Code: AZNAL
    Paperback
    When the world held its breath It is 25 years since the end of the Cold War, now a generation old. It began over 75 years ago, in 1944 long before the last shots of the Second World War had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe with the brutal Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on, unwittingly or not, in conflict zones such as Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was Berlin. Allied agreements entered into at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam for the carving up of post-war Berlin now meant nothing to the Soviet conquerors. Their victory had cost millions of Russian lives troops and civilians so the hammer and sickle hoisted atop the Reichstag was more a claim to ownership than success. Moscow s agenda was clear and simple: the Western Allies had to leave Berlin. The blockade ensued as the Soviets orchestrated a determined programme of harassment, intimidation, flexing of muscle, and Socialist propaganda to force the Allies out. Truman had already used the atomic bomb: Britain and America would not be cowed.History s largest airborne relief programme was introduced to save the beleaguered city. In a war of attrition, diplomatic bluff and backstabbing, and mobilizing of forces, the West braced itself for a third world war.
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