Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pacific War Book Sweepstakes!


With the airing of HBO's "The Pacific" complete, millions of viewers were able to see one vision of the U.S. Marines' combat in the Pacific during World War II. Now, Zenith Press and esteemed military historian Eric Hammel would like to bring the real images of the Pacific War to you!

Zenith Press is offering visitors of “Zenith Press…The Blog” an opportunity to win one of a three prize packs containing two of Eric Hammel's critically acclaimed illustrated histories of the U.S. Marines legendary march across the Pacific -- Pacific Warriors: The U.S. Marines in World War II and Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle.

You can enter the contest one of two ways (see below)

Contest entry:
1) Become a Fan of Zenith Press on Facebook AND share your thoughts
about the combat of the U.S. Marines in the Pacific as a comment on the Zenith Press Facebook page (under the contest post).


2) Send us an email with your name and reply email address to “zenith (dot) press (at)” AND share share your thoughts about the combat of the U.S. Marines in the Pacific.

Deadline for entries is 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, August 8, 2010. We will pick the winners on August 9, 2010.

Follow Zenith Press’ Facebook page and/or Zenith Press…The Blog to learn about future book contests, learn about new releases, read exclusive book excerpts, and much more!

*Terms & Conditions – This contest is for the two-volume set of Eric Hammel’s Pacific Warriors and Iwo Jima to 3 contest winners drawn at random. Books will be new and provided by the publisher. All entrants must complete the entry task(s), or in case of any issues an email to zenith (dot) press (at) One entry per household. All information provided will be kept confidential. Entries must be received by Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time. Contest winners will be drawn at random and notified after the close of the contest. The books will be shipped directly to the winners. US & Canadian residents only.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Military Snapshots - Approaching Binh Son

U.S. Marines cautiously approach the village of Binh Son (1) in the Que Son Valley on April 21, 1967, during Operation Union I. The battle would become much enlarged as the Marines committed assets to deal with a very large enemy force. Operation Union I would last nearly a month and prove costly to both U.S. and North Vietnamese forces. Photo courtesy of USMC, from Road of 10,000 Pains: The Destruction of the 2nd NVA Division by the U.S. Marines, 1967 by Otto J. Lehrack.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zenith Slide Show - A Hundred Feet Over Hell

From 1968-1969, a select group of aviators strapped into the cockpits of their two-seat, propeller-driven Cessna O-1 Bird Dogs and went to war in Vietnam. As forward observers, they flew hundreds of feet above one of the deadliest battlefields in modern history, all in an airplane no larger than a small pickup truck. In the process, they saved the lives of thousands of American servicemen. They were pilots. They were heroes. They were the Catkillers. A Hundred Feet Over Hell tells their story.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Military Snapshots - Bristol's Bastards at Camp Shelby

Specialist Nick Maurstad and the fellow members of the 1st Brigade of the 34th Infantry Division -- the "Red Bulls" -- stand on the parade field at Camp Shelby. Maurstad and the men of the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry fought alongside the Marine Corps in Anbar province through the deadliest period of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bravo Company earned the nickname "Bristol's Bastards" after USMC Colonel George Bristol, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Regiment, adopted this band of fierce warriors as one of his own. Photo courtesy of Minnesota National Guard, from Bristol's Bastards: In Iraq with the 2nd Battalion, 136 Infantry of the Minnesota National Guard by Nicholas Maurstad and Darwin Holmstrom.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From the Pages - War Stories of D-Day

The German military, who had long expected the Allied invasion of France, were well aware of the threat posed by paratroopers and glider infantry. In the following excerpt from War Stories of D-Day: Operation Overlord: Jun 6, 1944, Clinton Riddle of the 325th Glider Infantry describes his first taste of battle aboard a U.S. glider on D-Day.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our training in England was more or less routine—close-order drill, forced march, double timing, hand-to-hand combat training, firing ranges, glider rides, field problems both day and night, inspections, and parades. We became famous later on as the 82nd became the Honor Guard in Berlin.

On May 29, we packed up and moved by trucks to Leicester. From there, we went by train to near Ramsbury. June 2 was spent in studying sand tables and maps of the French coast. We were also shown the location of some of the gun emplacements. All of our movements were confined to camp. We couldn’t talk to anyone except our closest friends.

June 4 and 5 were days of just waiting in camp. The preparations had been made and everything was moving toward a departure in a few hours. My uniform for battle was combat jacket and pants, steel helmet with a first-aid kit tied in the front of the helmet, GI shoes and leggings with a trench knife strapped on my leg, combat pack with rations, shelter half, M1 rifle, ammunition belt, canteen, and a small American flag on the right shoulder of my jacket. I also carried some extra ammunition and a gas mask.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Aviation Snapshots - MH-53J Pave Low III

The MH-53J Pave Low III heavy-lift helicopter is the largest and most powerful helicopter in the Air Force inventory, and the most technologically advanced helicopter in the world. The Pave Low is equipped with armor plating, a combination of three 7.62mm miniguns or .50 caliber machine guns, and a retractable in-flight refueling probe, as seen here. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force, from Leave No Man Behind: The Saga of Combat Search and Rescue by George Galdorisi and Thomas Phillips

Friday, July 9, 2010

From the Pages - Iftach Spector and the Attack on the USS Liberty (from "Loud and Clear")

On June 8, 1967, in the midst of the Six Day War, Israeli fighter planes and motor torpedo boats attacked an unidentifiable naval vessel in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula. What was believed by pilots to be an enemy ship would, in fact, turn out to be the USS Liberty, a neutral United States Navy technical research ship.
          While senior Israeli government and military officials list the Liberty incident as a tragic case of mistaken identity, some sources claim the attack was premeditated; an effort to prevent what was viewed by the Israeli military as a “spy ship” from reporting on Israeli intentions during the Six-Day War.
          Iftach Spector was one of the first pilots involved in the attack on the Liberty. In the following exclusive excerpt from his book, Loud and Clear: The Memoir of an Israeli Fighter Pilot, Spector replays the tragic and confusing events of June 8, 1967.

On the fourth day of the Six-Day War, my two-ship section, code-named Kursa, was sent to patrol over the Suez Canal. My wingman was Lieutenant Y. The Mirage fighter I flew had been armed for aerial combat with one Matra 530 air-to-air, French-made heavy missile, and two 30mm cannons with antiaircraft explosive rounds.
           On our way westward I observed again, as in the morning, a big ship cruising off El-Arish, an Egyptian town on the Sinai coast where battles were still taking place. And again, as in the morning, I reported it to central control. This ship stood out like a sore thumb in the empty sea, and every pilot who passed had reported her, so I was not surprised when there was no particular reaction to my report. We continued to the west, looking for some MiG activity.
           For a time we circled over the Suez Canal with nothing happening, and then we got a call from air control. The controller ordered us to leave our patrol area and go check the identity of a ship that was sailing off El-Arish. It was instantly clear that the vessel was the same one we had seen before; it was the only ship around. So we turned north and headed out to sea, and after some vectoring I saw her again in the distance. I set my wingman in a swept-back formation and approached her.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Military Snapshots - 155mm Howitzer at Camp Fallujah

Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, located at Camp Fallujah, provided 155mm howitzer support. Here the photographer caught the round "on the way" as it left the tube. Photo courtesy of 04111-M-3658J-006, from Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq by Dick Camp

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweepstakes Winners! - "Road of 10,000 Pains"

Congratulations to our "Road of 10,000 Pains" sweepstakes winners, Sam McGowan of Missouri City, TX, Jodi Lotsen of Clifton, CO, and Tony Geraghty of Georgetown, IN!

Each will receive a free copy of
Road of 10,000 Pains by Otto Lehrack -- an amazing oral history of the USMC's grueling victory over the 2nd NVA Division in the Que Son Valley in 1967.

We would like to extend a big "thank you" to all who entered our latest sweepstakes. Stay tuned to "Zenith Press...The Blog" and our Facebook page for future sweepstakes opportunities, as well as the latest book excerpts, author interviews, photo features, and new release information.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Military Snapshots - Captured Weapons at Hill 29

From 1967-1968, few American squadrons in Vietnam rivaled the fighting spirit and battlefield accomplishments of the 1/1 Cav. In that time, soldiers in the squadron earned a Medal of Honor, four Distinguished Service Crosses, and thousands of Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts during savage battles in places like Tam Ky, the Que Son Valley, the Pineapple Forest, Hill 34, Cigar Island, and Tien Phuoc. In this photo, Major Don Lundquist (left), Capt. Dave Roessler (middle), and an unidentified trooper from the 1/1 Cavalry examine captured weapons at Hill 29, also known as "Hawk Hill," in 1968. Photo courtesy of Charles Nathan Boyd, from Search and Destroy: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Viet Nam, 1/1 Cav, 1967-1968 by Keith Nolan