Operation Thunderclap and the Black March

We’re pleased to announce that Operation Thunderclap and the Black March is now available from Casemate!


In this new release, author Richard Allison describes two different aspects of the air war over Europe in World War II – Operation Thunderclap and The Black March – through the eyes of two B-17 crew members. Both crew members, one a co-pilot and the other a gunner, trained together in Missouri until they were assigned to the 91st Bomb Group in England.  Assigned to separate missions during World War II, this book explores both of their stories, one of continuous air combat and the other of capture and life on the ground.

To learn more about this new release, we talked with author Richard Allison about his book:

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to learn about the air war in Europe and I happened to have a trust client who flew combat missions.  I had previously written accounts of my own family members experiences in the military, and as my retirement date at the bank approached I asked my client (who by then had become a friend) if I could interview him and do a book about what he experienced during WWII.  He said yes, and prior to the first of several tape-recorded sessions, he furnished me with a large box of documents that he had saved and not looked at since 1943-45.   When I began putting these documents in chronological order and reading a few of the letters, I got excited – I sensed I had been given a war history treasure chest.

Someone recently asked me if my long experience as a bank personal trust officer helped me in my second career as a writer?  I responded yes, it did, as it introduced me to members of The Greatest Generation.  I had a number of trust clients, my pilot friend among them, who grew up in affluent circumstances.  These clients believed in America and fought alongside everyone else to defend her.  I wrote this book as a tribute to my trust clients and all others who served in WWII.  They had the wisdom to recognize evil and the physical courage to confront it.

What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?

I’d prefer to let the reader decide, but if I must, I offer this as an answer: my book presents both “micro and macro” viewpoints.  It juxtapositions the very small – the implication, for instance, of the European Theatre of Operations Male Officers’ Uniform, Clothing & Accessory Card in regard to rationing – with the very large – the meaning of the Yalta condition: “Hostile propaganda directed against the contracting parties or against any of the United Nations will not be permitted.”  On one level my book is war story action thriller with B-17s and Tiger tanks, etc., and on another, something completely different – an analysis of how 1945 – a critical year in 20th century history — unfolded in Europe on the international level and with such tragic results.

My book also tells the USAAF story through simultaneous eyewitness accounts: what happened in the air over Germany and on the ground.

Finally my book touches on issues existing today: the role of the chaplain corps in the military, how the military medical corps approaches the subject of combat related stress, censorship and – on the periphery — what constitutes a moral war.

Operation Thunderclap and the Black March is also available as an eBook, which you can purchase from the following retailers:

**Download a sample chapter from this great new book here.**


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Weekend Wrap-Up: AUSA and Military History Weekend

AUSA Annual Conference

Last week there were tanks, helicopters, airplanes and books all inside a glass-paned convention center as the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) hosted hundreds of defense experts and their military equipment for three days in Washington, DC. Casemate also had the pleasure of attending the Annual Meeting & Exposition where we were able to connect with journalists, authors and readers in the field.

Military men and women, foreign and domestic, came to participate in official AUSA discussions and lectures and visit the countless resources in attendance— all while making time to do some light reading! It was a delight to meet so many of our customers face to face and to hear people’s stories.


As a representative of the AUSA Book Program, Casemate showcased the AUSA-affiliated title, German Fallschirmtruppe by Karl-Heinz Golla and published by Helion & Company. The other publishers in attendance, The University Press of Kentucky and Naval Institute Press, hosted author signings as well as their own AUSA-affiliated titles.

To read about some of the lectures and meetings from the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition visit the AUSA meeting page. You can see more photos from the conference on our Facebook page here.

Military History Weekend

This year’s Military History Weekend was a hit with over 20 different vendors displaying their remarkable toy soldiers and battle scenes. There was also a chance to witness the history of the Jeep with Lee Holland of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA). All of this and more in one weekend on the outskirts of historic Williamsburg, Va.

At the show Casemate’s own Dick Camp, author of Assault from the Sky, gave two great talks describing the landings on Iwo Jima and Peleliu. Camp, a veteran of the Marine Corps, gave gripping and thorough accounts of each of these events offering a real-life view of the sand taken from the beaches for testing.


All in all, a fantastic show shared with many of our familiar readers. We hope that you enjoyed the show too! For more information and photos of the event visit www.mhwshow.com.

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Fabled Fifteen


We’re excited to announce that Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15  is now available from Casemate.

In this new release, author Thomas McKelvey Cleaver documents the Air Group’s six months at war, with details on their combat tour and daily life aboard the USS Essex during the Pacific War.

To learn more about the research and interest in this topic, we talked to Thomas McKelvey Cleaver about his experience writing this book.

What fascinates you about revisiting the past and bringing it to life in a book?   

Michael Connelly once said in an interview that “authors of non-fiction history can bring the dead back to life.” I think that’s true, and I enjoy doing it, particularly when I am able to do so by telling their real story, not the made-up stuff.

When and how did you become interested in Military history?

I grew up in a private “military museum,” of the detritus of war brought back by my ancestors – which at one time included the sword of the Sergeant of the Hessian Guard at Trenton Barracks, taken from him on Christmas Day 1776 by my ancestor – and was curious about it.  Also, being interested in airplanes, I would want to know what this or that airplane was used for, which led to reading about the wars they had been in, then asking why that war started, which led to more reading, and so on.

How much research did you do for the book?  Can you give us some tips on this?

The one good piece of advice I ever got about writing in the only writing class I ever took is that “writing should be like a bikini – enough to cover the subject.”  Research should be the same, perhaps enough for a one-piece instead of a bikini because you have to go through things you may not use in making the bikini, in order to find that out. But also, don’t get paralyzed about it.  Too much research is eventually as bad as too little, since it leads to paralysis that one can ever make full use of it.  Also, I don’t know of one single writer of non-fiction history who has not found the one thing they would really have liked to have used in the work – a week after the book’s gone to press and no changes can be made!  That kind of event forms an entire sub-genre of “writer’s stories.”  I have one of my own for “Fabled Fifteen”: the week after I was told there could be no major changes to what was in the manuscript, John Bridger’s son happened to mention while we were talking that his father’s childhood friend and squadron-mate in Bombing 15, Wendell Phillips, was still around.  Fortunately (or sadly) for history, it turned out he was one of those who has finally stopped talking about things, but he did tell me briefly that everything that needed to be said had been said by his old friend in his memoir, which I had used for research.  But still, my experience of interviews is everyone always has something more to say, and in this case it will never be said.  That happens, one lives with it.  Nothing is ever perfect.

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Filed under Aviation, Books, Military History, Naval/Maritime, Publishing, Uncategorized, World War II

A Warrior Dynasty

We’re pleased to announce the release of Henrik Lunde’s newest title A Warrior Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of Sweden as a Military Superpower, 1611-1721.


This book examines the rise of Sweden as the pre-eminent military power in Europe during the Thirty Years War in the 1600’s, and then follows its line of warrior kings into the next century until the Swedes finally meet their demise, in an overreach into the vastness of Russia.

Focusing on the Thirty Years War, which hasn’t been the subject of a book since 1969, Lunde examines the military role of Northern and Eastern Europe from the late sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century.

Ultimately, this book examines how a poor country with a population of only about 1.3 million people was able to become a military superpower against larger and more wealthy countries such as Russia, Poland, the Roman Empire, Bavaria, and Spain.

You can purchase your own copy of A Warrior Dynasty here.  The eBook edition is available from all major retailers.

Additional titles by Henrik Lunde:

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Hitler’s Last Witness – Win a Free Advanced Copy! [CLOSED]


Next month, we will be receiving copies of Frontline Books’ fascinating new title Hitler’s Last Witness: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Bodyguard.

Hitler’s Last Witness is the recollections of Rochus Misch, Hitler’s bodyguard and telephone operator who was one of the last people to see Hitler alive.  In this riveting account, Misch offers an intimate view of life in close attendance to Hitler and the final hours spent in the bunker before and after Hitler’s death.

Originally published in German in 2008, this is the first English-language edition of Misch’s memoir.  This edition also includes an introduction from Misch himself, which was written shortly before his death in 2013.

To kick off the release of this title, we are offering the chance to win an ARC (advanced review copy) of Hitler’s Last Witness.

To enter the giveaway, please visit the following link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be notified on September 5th. US Residents only.

Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends September 5, 2014. Print copies open to Residents of the US only.   Winners will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.com and be notified by email.  The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway.  We will not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.


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The Old Front Line

Old Front LineWe’re excited to announce that The Old Front Line: The Centenary of the Western Front in Pictures is now available from Casemate!

From author Dr. Stephen Bull:

The Old Front Line is a photographic record of the Western Front created a century after the war began. It gives an idea of the campaigns and forces that shaped the landscape.

The photographs in the book are a rich mixture of modern color and period images taken during and after the war. Maps help orientate the reader to the sectors of the front and its movement over time. The volume forms both a lasting record, and a handy reference for the visitor to the major monuments and trenches.

With 192 pages and over 200 photos, The Old Front Line covers the following subjects:

1. The North: Belgium and the Coast

2. The First and Second Battles of Ypres

3. Passchendaele: The Third battle of Ypres

4. Neuve Chappelle, Loos, Arras and Vimy Ridge

5. The Somme 1916

6. Cambrai, St. Quentin and with tanks to the Hindenburg Line

7. The Arrival of the Americans

8. From Verdun to the Vosgea

Pages from Old Front Line

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Filed under Author Interviews, Books, Military History, Uncategorized, World War I

Wot a Way to Run a War! Print edition available now!

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that the digital release of Wot a Way to Run a War! was back in February 2013. However, it became so popular that we decided to make it available in print!

ted in 21st squadron 1942.tif

Ted in 21st squadron, 1942

Ted Fahrenwald flew P-47s and P-51s with the famed 352nd Fighter Group out of Bodney, England, during the critical tipping-point period of the air war over Europe. A classic devil-may-care fighter pilot, he was also a distinctively talented writer and correspondent. After a typical day of aerial combat and strafing missions over Nazi-occupied Europe – and of course, the requisite partying and creative mischief on base –Ted sat in his Nissen hut at a borrowed typewriter and composed exquisitely humorous letter-essays detailing his exploits in the air and on the ground to his family back home.

But they are not the mundane missives of a homesick young man who missed his mother’s cooking. Educated as a journalist, this incurably comedic pilot detailed his aerial exploits in a hilarious and self-effacing style that combines the vernacular of the day with flights of joyful imagination rivaling St. Exupery. And he didn’t sanitize his musings: Ted enthusiastically narrates the day-to-day rollercoaster ribaldry that was the natural M.O. of the young men who were tasked to kill Hitler’s Luftwaffe. His descriptions of near-constant drinking, skirt-chasing, gunplay, gambling, and out-and-out tomfoolery put the lie to the notion of the Greatest Generation as an earnest band of do-gooders.

These collected writings are more than literary entertainment: They are a boon to military and aviation historians and also to those who study period language and culture and the science of societies at war.

The letters end dramatically when the ammunition truck that Ted was strafing exploded and knocked his Mustang “The Joker” out of the sky on June 8, 1944, two days after D-Day. The subsequent tale of his adventures with the Maquis (French Resistance) and his capture by the Germans and escape is recounted in a full-length book, Bailout Over Normandy: A Flyboy’s Adventures with the French Resistance and Other Escapades in Occupied France. Written at age 24 and recently published by Casemate, Ted’s book is a natural accompaniment to this collection of letters.

there i was 2

“So there I was . . .” A post-mission debriefing. Third from the right is Mac, Ted’s best pal and flight mate

The Maquis embraced this irreverent and whimsical American fighter pilot as one of their own, and you will too when you read Ted’s chronicle of adventures in his letters. His stories leap off the page and provide a depth, richness, and sheer enjoyment that are rare in WWII literature.

Wot a Way to Run a War!  is available from the Casemate website now.

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BAC SI: A Green Beret Medic’s War in Vietnam

Bac Si cover

We are happy to announce that Bac Si: A Green Beret Medic’s War in Vietnam is now available from the Casemate website!

Jerry Krizan

Jerry Krizan

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Special Forces A-Teams were deployed to isolated outposts or “camps” in the remote areas of South Vietnam. Their job was to recruit, train, and house members of the indigenous population while molding them into combat-ready fighting units. A-Teams consisted of up to 12 Green Beret soldiers who were experts in both combat and their individual military specialties. The role of the indigenous units, in conjunction with their American advisers, was to provide border security, counter the Viet Cong insurgency in the countryside, provide intelligence on enemy troop-strength and activities, and when necessary engage elements of the invading North Vietnamese Army.

Bac Si (the Vietnamese term for “medic”) is the story of Sgt. Jerry Krizan who was assigned to Special Forces Camp A-331 in the III Corps tactical zone, only 10 miles from the Cambodian border. Because of its proximity to a major north-south NVA infiltration route, there were constant enemy troop movements through the camp’s area of operations and A-331 itself came under attack on more than one occasion.


Barracks at Nha Trang, May 1969

The author meantime needed to accompany patrols and probes into enemy territory, not only prepared to provide aid but fight as a soldier if the squad was ambushed, or itself chose to attack. In this small-unit warfare against an expert enemy, U.S. soldiers had to survive as best they could, with their only succor a Huey, and meantime on the ground by themselves against unknown opposition.

Our Green Beret base camps were our very first line of defense along the borders of South Vietnam, and in this book, through the eyes of a medic, we learn how dire, and confusing, a role we asked our Special Forces to play during that era.

You can buy Bac Si: A Green Beret Medic’s War in Vietnam from the Casemate website now!

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Philedition eBooks – Only $4.99!

From today until August 11th, you can get the following Philedition eBooks for only $4.99!

All of the publications below are dedicated to Allied Aircraft and Units. There’s sure to be one that will catch your eye.

Make sure to take a look at all of them below.

Northrop BT-1 

Westland Whirlwind Mk.I

Grumman FF

The North American B-25 in RAAF Service

Hawker Fury (Part 1)

Curtiss F11C/BFC

Curtiss SB2C in French Service
The Grumman SF

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Filed under Aviation, Books, eBooks, Military History, Uncategorized

Malloch’s Spitfire

Malloch's Spitfire coverWe’re pleased to announce that Malloch’s Spitfire by Nick Meikle is now available from Casemate Publishers! This is the story of the pursuit of a dream. Spitfire PK350 is the only late-mark Spitfire, an F Mk 22, to have ever been restored to full flying status. She had no restrictions on her airframe and with four fully serviceable 20mm cannons, she was as good as the day she came off the production line in July 1945 near Birmingham, England.

Some fascinating insights are revealed in this account. From the test pilot who first flew her as PK350 on 25 July 1945, the reader is taken on a journey through the aircraft’s complete life, with the project’s lead engineer and most of the surviving pilots who flew her gracing the story with their memories. For two years PK350 delighted those fortunate enough to see her fly, mostly around Salisbury (Harare) airport. Then, on what was planned to be its last flight, Malloch’s Spitfire never returned to base.

In the preface to this book, Jack Malloch’s three children write: “The rebuilding of the Spitfire is an important story in the saga of Jack Malloch’s life and in telling it, Nick seems to have captured the essence of who he was: humble and unassuming, but an adventurous daredevil who, at the same time, did what he did because he believed in it. Knowing Nick over the past 15 years and spending long hours together in the cockpit, we’ve found him to be a man of absolute integrity, thorough and calm, with characteristics not unlike those of our Dad himself. We feel that through his research and a wealth of historical knowledge, he is the perfect person to tell this story. We, as a family, are extremely grateful to Nick for documenting this great chapter in Rhodesian aviation and giving us, and our children, this record.”

You can buy Malloch’s Spitfire now from the Casemate Publishers website.

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to hear about our other exciting new releases!

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