Here are some books about World War II and other wars, recent and historical, that have crossed our desks recently.


"HELL ABOVE EARTH: The Incredibly True Story of an American WWII Bomber Commander the Copilot Ordered to Kill Him," by Stephen Frater, St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 302 pages (nf)

U.S. Capt. Werner Goering was an exceptional pilot during World War II, but he was the nephew of Herman Goering, a leading member of the Nazi party. That let to a secret order that if Capt. Goering's plane went down over Nazi-occupied territory, someone would be in the cockpit to kill him and, if possible, get the plane back home.

Jack Rencher, a B-17 instructor who was one of the Army's best pistol shots, was found to be Goering's co-pilot and the pair became unlikely friends.

"ASSIGNMENT TO HELL: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart and Hal Boyle," by Timothy M. Gay, New American Library Caliber, $26.95, 498 pages (nf)

It took two years for author Timothy M. Gay to research the lives of five journalists who covered World War II in Europe and Africa, from their diaries to exploring battlefields. These five young journalists helped honor and share the stories about the men who fought against Hitler and helped shaped the opinions of the war.

Gay had cooperation from the five mens' family, friends and former colleagues.

"SERVICE: A Navy SEAL at War," by Marcus Luttrell with James Hornfischer, Little, Brown and Company, $27.99, 364 pages (nf)

Marcus Luttrell, a U.S. Navy SEAL, tells war stories from tours to Afghanistan and Iraq and the fellow SEAL team members who helped rescue others, bringing peace to a city of fighting and the lives of SEALS and their wives.

More hardback books recently released:

"THE LAST CAMEL CHARGE: The Untold Story of America's Desert Military Experiment," by Forrest Bryant Johnson (nf): The history of how the U.S. imported camels from the Middle East in the 1850s in the Arizona and Utah territories and in the early stages of the Civil War.

"HITLER," by A.N. Wilson (nf): A biography of Adolf Hitler, including insights into his psyche and how an ordinary man rose to change the history of the world.

"CROSSING THE BORDERS OF TIME: A True Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed," by Leslie Mailand (nf): Leslie's mother, Janine Gunzburger, was 19 when her family was on the last refugee boat to leave France before the end of World War II, leaving behind her first love in France. Fifty years later, Leslie Mailand, a journalist worked to put the pieces of this love story back together and possibly reclaim the love they once had.

"ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West," by Blaine Harden (nf): This is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, born in 1982, the only known person born in a North Korean no-exit camp to have escaped at age 23 — motivated by hunger — and survived as he went to China, then South Korea and finally the United States.

"AUTOPSY OF WAR: A Personal History," by John A. Parrish, M.D. (nf): This memior looks at a physician's wartime work in Vietnam and his 40-year struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. To be released June 5.

"HUNTING IN THE SHADOWS: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida since 9/11," by Seth G. Jones (nf): The author looks at counterterrorism as he sees it in three "waves" (or cycles of expansion and contraction) since 1988 and also looks to the future of preventing terrorist attacks.

"SPIES AND COMMISSARS: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution," by Robert Service (nf): A historical look at the Bolsheviks' reign on Russia, as they sought trade agreements while spreading their revolution, and the characters, both common and famous, that shaped the nation.

"WHY SPENCER PERCEVAL HAD TO DIE: The Assassination of a British Prime Minister," by Andro Linklater (nf): Only one British Prime Minister has been assassinated, which was on May 11, 1812, also the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812.

"NEW YORK AT WAR: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear and Intrigue in Gotham," by Steven H. Jaffe (nf): Since its inception as Dutch outpost to the Sept. 11 attacks, New York City has been the target of many military attacks.

"MORE POWERFUL THAN DYNAMITE: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives and New York's Year Anarchy," by Thai Jones (nf): A century ago, there was a dramatic and violent struggle by the 99 percent of 1914 to balance out corporate power and improve the standard of living.

"MAN OF WAR: My Adventures in the World of Historical Reenactment," by Charlie Schroder (nf): Lessons from history and reenacting history through recreating battles from all eras of history.

"RED CELL," by Mark Henshaw (f): Two CIA outcasts are brought together to stop a Chinese weapon that threatens to provoke a world war.

"EXIT PLAN," by Larry Bond (f): In this third installment of thrillers featuring aviator turned submariner Jerry Mitchell, the submarine crew is charged with extracting two Iranian nationals from the country's nuclear weapon program when their efforts seem to be thwarted time after time.


"TRAPEZE," by Simon Mawer, Other Press, $15.95, 369 pages (f)

During World War II, the French Section of the Special Operations Executive sent 53 women in the field — the only women known to be trained for combat during World War II. In this historical novel, Simon Mawer uses the real experiences of several of these women and folds them into the character of Marian Sutro, 19, and a native French speaker.

At 19, Sutro finds herself in spy school, commando training and parachuting into France. However, another secret organization wants her to persuade an old flame, a research physicist, to join the Allied war effort in this story that blends fact and fiction.

More paperback books recently released:

"THE LAST HUNDRED DAYS," by Patrick McGuinness (f): It's 1989 in Bucharest and a young English student tells of an uncertain society under Nicolae Ceaucescu's reign during the cold war in Eastern Europe.

"HINTERLAND," by Caroline Brothers (f): Displaced by war in their home country, two Afghani boys ages 14 and 8 head to find a new life in England as they passed through eight countries with only the clothes on their backs and money sewn into their clothes.


"A SOLDIER'S DREAM: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq," by William Doyle (nf); "THE HOUSE OF EXILE," by Evelyn Juers (nf); "GLORY DENIED: The Vietnam Sage of Jim Thompson, America's Longest-Held Prisoner of War," by Tom Philpott (nf); "FROM SPLENDOR TO REVOLUTION: The Romanov Women, 1847-1928," by Julia R. Gelardi (nf); "SUFFER IN SILENCE: A Novel of Navy SEAL Training," by David Reid (f)