War fiction and non-fiction 2 Talking Books

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War – non-fiction

Boiler suits, bofors and bullets. 1999. Read by multiple narrators, 1 hour 49 minutes. TB 12334.

This is a collection of personal reminiscences from people who worked at the Collaro Factory during World War II. Bombed out of its London Factory for a second time in 1939, Collaro moved to Langley Mill in Derbyshire. The reality of working in an ammunition factory is only part of the story. Waving goodbye to sweethearts, dancing the night away at the town hall, 'sanding' their legs to make them look tanned and singing along to Joe Loss and Glenn Miller is the other side of the fascinating story. Never previously documented, this is an opportunity to visit a world you might never have known existed. TB 12334.

Submarine: an anthology of first-hand accounts of the war under the sea, 1939-1945. 2007. Read by Jon Cartwright, 21 hours 42 minutes. TB 16770.

In this oral history collection, submariners of almost all the participating nations recall their service. There are chapters on how submarines were worked, on life aboard and on the particular perils of the service - depth charges, being rammed, staying submerged for many hours. There is also a chapter for each year of the war, with tales from the submariner's perspective. Among the best are: one Royal Navy stoker who remembers hearing that his boat had been sunk and he'd been counted as dead; a U-Boat commander who describes swimming for 49 hours; and an American submariner who recalls returning to Pearl Harbour after the attack. TB 16770.

We, also, were there: a collection of recollections of wartime women of Bomber Command. 1985. Read by Elizabeth de Silva and David Banks, 8 hours 16 minutes. TB 7529.

Ackerman, Diane

The zoo-keeper's wife. 2008. Read by Suzanne Toren, 10 hours 58 minutes. TB 17016.

A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. When Germany invaded Poland, stuka bombers devastated Warsaw - and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes. TB 17016.

Allen, Charles

The savage wars of peace: soldiers' voices 1945-1989. 1990. Read by Jonathan Oliver, 13 hours 12 minutes. TB 8561.

"The Savage Wars of Peace" is a fighting soldiers' view of military campaigns, as recounted in their own words to historian Charles Allen. Drawing on the spoken recollection of over 70 military figures of all ranks, these unique first hand accounts give a rare insight into the closed ranks of the British Army, its hierarchies and rituals and the bonds that unite fighting men. TB 8561.

Allison, William

The monocled mutineer. 1978. Read by Raymond Sawyer, 7 hours 8 minutes. TB 6575.

As the British Army became locked in the terrible carnage of Passchendaele in 1917, a huge body of troops mutinied at the main base camp of Etaples, a small French Channel fishing town. With the crucial phase of the battle about to begin, the command gave in and the revolt ended. At the centre of the trouble, two extraordinary characters were in conflict: a private with a record, Percy Toplis, and Brigadier-General Thomson, both equally mad in their own ways. TB 6575.

Ambrose, Stephen E

Band of brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. 2010. Read by Tim Jerome, 12 hours 40 minutes. TB 18335.

A description of life in the Easy Company, 101st Airborne Division, US Army, from the time of their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory. Drawing on interviews, journals and letters, the author tells - often in their own words - the story of these American heroes. Contains strong language and passages of a sexual nature. TB 18335.

Andrews, Kenneth Raymond

Drake's voyages: a re-assessment of their place in Elizabethan maritime expansion. 1967. Read by David Broomfield, 6 hours 36 minutes. TB 405.

Asbridge, Thomas S

The Crusades: the war of the Holy Land. 2010. Read by Alistair Maydon, 31 hours 11 minutes. TB 17326.

In the eleventh century, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed this First Crusade, Islam and the West fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars, both firm in the belief that they were at God's work. This book tells the story of this epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims, reconstructing the experiences and attitudes of those on either side of the conflict. TB 17326.

Ashcroft, Michael

Special Forces heroes: extraordinary true stories of daring and valour. 2008. Read by Jon Cartwright, 10 hours 30 minutes. TB 16660.

This book tells the stories of forty heroes, all awarded bravery medals for their conduct during Special Forces missions over the last 150 years. These are men who would die for their country, no questions asked. With many incredible stories from particularly the Second World War, including the Cockleshell Heroes and other conflicts from the twentieth century, such as the Iranian Embassy siege, this collection of real action adventure brings Britain's wars to life. Contains strong language. TB 16660.

Barker, Ralph

That eternal summer: unknown stories from the Battle of Britain. 1990. Read by Ronald Markham, 7 hours 48 minutes. TB 8414.

In the summer of 1940, the most critical battle of the Second World War was fought over the fields and towns of southern England. In this book Ralph Barker has unearthed 12 untold but unforgettable stories of men without whose selfless tenacity Britain would not have survived. This is a book full of tragedy and courage. TB 8414.

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