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Those Who Dare

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The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler's war machine by British forces - under the command of a U.S. soldier - "Those Who Dare" is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler's war machine by British forces - under the command of a U.S. soldier - "Those Who Dare" is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment volunteers his expertise to help slow their advance. What unfolds is a blend of military guerrilla tactics, suspense, humour, cultural and social commentary, and war buddy camaraderie - plus a little romance between the American GI and the widowed Lady Jane Seaborn. Along the way readers meet such colourful characters as Captain David Niven in MO-9 and Captain 'Geronimo Joe' McKoy with his Travelling Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium. The author - a decorated combat veteran - covers the details of war extensively, from the five points of contact of a parachute landing fall to descriptions of a British raider's A-5 flinging ferries before the first 12-gauge shell casing hits the floor. As the novel ends, Major Randal's men, fresh from Operation Tomcat in France, learn they will deploy via sea transport within 48 hours on their next mission.


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The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler's war machine by British forces - under the command of a U.S. soldier - "Those Who Dare" is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler's war machine by British forces - under the command of a U.S. soldier - "Those Who Dare" is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment volunteers his expertise to help slow their advance. What unfolds is a blend of military guerrilla tactics, suspense, humour, cultural and social commentary, and war buddy camaraderie - plus a little romance between the American GI and the widowed Lady Jane Seaborn. Along the way readers meet such colourful characters as Captain David Niven in MO-9 and Captain 'Geronimo Joe' McKoy with his Travelling Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium. The author - a decorated combat veteran - covers the details of war extensively, from the five points of contact of a parachute landing fall to descriptions of a British raider's A-5 flinging ferries before the first 12-gauge shell casing hits the floor. As the novel ends, Major Randal's men, fresh from Operation Tomcat in France, learn they will deploy via sea transport within 48 hours on their next mission.

30 review for Those Who Dare

  1. 4 out of 5

    HARRY L WINTERS

    Excellent Introduction to the Series! This is an amazing fast moving fictional story based on non-fictional research about the beginnings of British commando tactics at the outset of WW2. The author sets the action rolling as he recounts the opening actions at the pullout from Dunkirk seen through the eyes of a brave young American Calvary Lieutenant John Randall. Randall is sent in at the French port of Calais to organize & execute a diversionary slowdown to buy time for allied soldiers trapped Excellent Introduction to the Series! This is an amazing fast moving fictional story based on non-fictional research about the beginnings of British commando tactics at the outset of WW2. The author sets the action rolling as he recounts the opening actions at the pullout from Dunkirk seen through the eyes of a brave young American Calvary Lieutenant John Randall. Randall is sent in at the French port of Calais to organize & execute a diversionary slowdown to buy time for allied soldiers trapped at Dunkirk to be rescued. From that point on the author creatively builds his story almost seamlessly, giving the reader an in-depth view as to how quickly Britain's civilian populace & military had to react and respond to the new massive war machine poised on the coastlines of France and Europe. The author gives the reader first hand insight into the complex set of problems and solutions that people from all walks of life were faced with by the onslaught of the Nazi Germany. This is a fascinating and enthralling novel that moves with a flawless energy yet is based on exhaustive research and realism. Excellent reading!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carlton Phelps

    Exciting Read Love, hard training and secret missions against the Nazis. All of the parts make a fine book to read. I didn't check but these missions sounded like they really happened. They were protected under the classification of need to know only, so who knows. Great adventures at each turn of the pages will keep you entertained.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book kept my interest from the first page to the last. If you like military fiction then this is a book for you. Well written. This was the first book I have read by this author and look forward to reading more of his books

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    An intimate look at a small bit of what war is like. I enjoyed this book so much that I went and watched Band of Brothers, which I had been avoiding because the WWII theme is just too much for me sometimes. The description of how this special search-and-destroy unit was formed hit home with me. I don't think we understand, ever, how random history can be. Someone gets a great idea, and its fate is in the hands of the whimsical nature of the powers-that-be. It's brilliant strategy and innovation An intimate look at a small bit of what war is like. I enjoyed this book so much that I went and watched Band of Brothers, which I had been avoiding because the WWII theme is just too much for me sometimes. The description of how this special search-and-destroy unit was formed hit home with me. I don't think we understand, ever, how random history can be. Someone gets a great idea, and its fate is in the hands of the whimsical nature of the powers-that-be. It's brilliant strategy and innovation struggling to happen against the powerful forces of politics and bedfellows. History is fascinating! said the person who has studied history more than any other subject. It was an easy sell on this one, it goes without saying. I would read it again, just to make sure I understood exactly what happened.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rick Colburn

    Outstanding Very good book on the beginning and setup of the covert operations teams that would later turn into the British S. A. S. And other teams such as Delta Force and NAVY SEALS

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Ann Maynard

    England at its best! This book gave me a new perspective on what England went through during World War II. They fought hard to keep the Germans out of their country. Luckily, they never succumbed and the war ended without their experiencing invasion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bill K

    Wow! Great Book Historical fiction at its best. Really enjoyed this book. Well researched. Great characters. Terrific story. I could not put it down and I finished it in one day. Excellent!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Martin Pingree

    This was a truly fun read for those of us inclined to enjoy war stories. Very well written, engaging characters and a supreme plot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stanley McShane

    Heroes seldom heralded Hard training pays off in this historic review of Great Britain in crisis. Training and opportunity reward this group of excellent patriots. A quick read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    The story opens with the final weeks of the German Army slashing through France in hopes of encircling and capturing the entire BEF. Calais must be held to allow the force attempt an escape from the doomed continent and hopefully be allowed to rebuild and someday carry the fight back to Europe. Lt. Randal and his 30 Brigade were ordered home. Their orders were changed. His men would become the rearguard and attempt to slow down the thrust of the XIX Panzer Korps. Not an easy task. Randal knows t The story opens with the final weeks of the German Army slashing through France in hopes of encircling and capturing the entire BEF. Calais must be held to allow the force attempt an escape from the doomed continent and hopefully be allowed to rebuild and someday carry the fight back to Europe. Lt. Randal and his 30 Brigade were ordered home. Their orders were changed. His men would become the rearguard and attempt to slow down the thrust of the XIX Panzer Korps. Not an easy task. Randal knows they can’t take them on head-to-head so he forms his group into a guerilla force, dubbed Swamp Fox Force. Using tactics he learned in the jungles of the Philippines, he explains to his unenthused unit how they are going interrupt the advance by sniping at tank commanders, cutting communication and delaying the arrival of supplies. For four days, they raided the 10 Panzer Spearhead with remarkable results. With the inevitable on the horizon, Randal was give orders to blow that last bridge west of Calais. Think of the scene in “Saving Private Ryan” where they bridge at Ramel, France. There’s one big difference, this bridge is packed with refuges. This act will haunt him. Arriving back in England he finds out he’s going to heading up a Commando Force. Meet David Niven, that’s right the actor and the fictitious, The Lady Jane Seaborn, a Wild West Entertainer-Captain “Geronimo” Joe McKoy, Pamela Plum-Martin and you have the makings of a decent wartime novel. And yes ladies, there a few potential budding love relationships The majority of the tale goes over the training and planning of building this new elite unit, now dubbed, The Strategic Raiding Force. Watching this group mature and become implemented into the fray was interesting. I believe all the problems associated with a ground-up unit were well covered and believable. All the characters were well rounded and established We do get to see three fledgling operations put to the test to test the new tactics: Operation Buzzard Plucker-the sniping of German Pilots, Comanche Yell-disrupting rail traffic and Operation Tomcat-knocking out a lighthouse and capturing any important documents. All three are fun and exciting. Came across a smattering of grammatical errors. They didn’t interrupt the flow, but what did the section where the print was all in blue. And then there’s location, 5241-kindle reference, where is says, “include map here.” Where’s the map? Still pondering whether I’ll continue with the series. Three and-a-half stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rellim

    Audible. ebook available via Kindle Unlimited. Those Who Dare is exactly what it purports to be – a lot of military, some suspense and humor with a hint of romance. Phil Ward’s first book in the Raiding Forces series feels like part Ken Burns documentary (that’s not an insult, I love Ken Burns) and part 1950’s radio program. Detailing the creation of the Raiding Forces, this centers mostly around Lieutenant John Randal but there is a huge cast that we get to know, root for, and love. The romance Audible. ebook available via Kindle Unlimited. Those Who Dare is exactly what it purports to be – a lot of military, some suspense and humor with a hint of romance. Phil Ward’s first book in the Raiding Forces series feels like part Ken Burns documentary (that’s not an insult, I love Ken Burns) and part 1950’s radio program. Detailing the creation of the Raiding Forces, this centers mostly around Lieutenant John Randal but there is a huge cast that we get to know, root for, and love. The romance does not progress beyond a peck on the cheek and Lady Jane Seaborn proves an enjoyable Peggy Carter to John Randal’s Steve Rogers. My only complaints were: * the author used rank and full names nearly every time a character was mentioned. It gets tedious. * the military drum sound effect between each section. It’s a lot of drumming. Even with that I truly enjoyed this production and am looking forward to the next book, Dead Eagles. This is duet narration. Miles Meili narrates the bulk of the story with Shauna MacDonald performing any female speaking parts. Meili & MacDonald give us an impressive range of voices, accents, and personalities. It was wonderful and I’m thrilled they’ll be narrating the rest of the series. Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers): Very brief mentions of wartime death. Not graphic. I received a free copy of this audiobook from Audiobooks Unleashed and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Norbury

    Interesting book. I enjoyed the detailed account of a US army officer fighting with the Brits early in WW II. But the story was about 95% "telling, " and only 5% showing, which breaks a "cardinal rule" of writing--show don't tell. However, this storytelling was overall quite entertaining, so that wasn't a significant detraction. WWII fans will enjoy this book the most. Others, maybe not. There is a distinct lack of tension since the main character never seems to have a personal or professional s Interesting book. I enjoyed the detailed account of a US army officer fighting with the Brits early in WW II. But the story was about 95% "telling, " and only 5% showing, which breaks a "cardinal rule" of writing--show don't tell. However, this storytelling was overall quite entertaining, so that wasn't a significant detraction. WWII fans will enjoy this book the most. Others, maybe not. There is a distinct lack of tension since the main character never seems to have a personal or professional setback and there is little or no conflict or competition between characters. But this longish story held my attention well enough for me to read to the end, and overall, I liked the story. My one complaint was the constant use of complete names and ranks of all the characters continuously throughout the book. Even only saying "Major Randal" instead of the typical "Randal" or "John" would have been better than the constant use of "Major John Randal" over and over again. The same holds true for the dozen or so other characters who had significant roles in the book. The custom with the majority of authors is to use either first or last name only, so reading "Captain the Lady Jane Seaborn," (for example) a dozen times or so per each chapter in which she appeared got very tiresome and significantly slowed the book's pace.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    Those Who Dare by Phil Ward is the first book in a series of novels about British raiding forces in World War II. Led by Lt. John Randall, an American officer who joined the UK forces early in the war, these brave volunteers engaged in dangerous hit-and-run attacks against German installations in occupied France. A former cavalry officer, Randall brought guerilla tactics and an American can-do attitude to the buttoned British forces, in the process learning to lead in combat, while at the same t Those Who Dare by Phil Ward is the first book in a series of novels about British raiding forces in World War II. Led by Lt. John Randall, an American officer who joined the UK forces early in the war, these brave volunteers engaged in dangerous hit-and-run attacks against German installations in occupied France. A former cavalry officer, Randall brought guerilla tactics and an American can-do attitude to the buttoned British forces, in the process learning to lead in combat, while at the same time, dealing with his growing affections for the hard core British baroness, herself trained in clandestine warfare, and who is working to elevate the position of women in the hide-bound British system. This novel is meticulously researched, and the author does a masterful job of weaving actual historical personalities into his fictional narrative. Military details are on the money, and used in such a way that they don’t disrupt the narrative or flow of the book. Characters are fully fleshed out, and the reader comes away from the book with a sense that you ‘know’ them. If you like military fiction, you’ll love this book. While there are some oddities in formatting in the e-book version, they do not detract from the pleasure of reading well-crafted military fiction.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Newell

    "Those Who Dare" was an exceptional book. The plot was immersive, complex and believable. Characters were extremely well drawn, (I cared what happened to them while reading). This was fiction set at the very beginning of WWII, and as such could have just devolved into action scenes loosely based on historical events, but the author did his research and introduced material in a believable way that realistically expands the typical reader's knowledge of how life could have been for a protagonist i "Those Who Dare" was an exceptional book. The plot was immersive, complex and believable. Characters were extremely well drawn, (I cared what happened to them while reading). This was fiction set at the very beginning of WWII, and as such could have just devolved into action scenes loosely based on historical events, but the author did his research and introduced material in a believable way that realistically expands the typical reader's knowledge of how life could have been for a protagonist in that real situation and time. The book also contains a dash of romance, keeping it classy, all set in a very immersive military plot. I have a military background and was impressed with the accurate detail used in planning and training conducted by the characters in this story, without it devolving into a dry history. I highly recommend this book and will keep it on my re-read list.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

    Mystery, suspense, covert actions, some romance, soldier camaraderie, secret missions, and life and death during WWII. I won a hardback signed copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I am under no obligation to write a review and do so voluntarily. Now I am passing this book onto my son, a US soldier since 2001 with 82nd Airborne who has deployed seven times between 2003 and 2012. I hope he will enjoy the story and I am sure his life experiences in war, he will be able to relate to this bo Mystery, suspense, covert actions, some romance, soldier camaraderie, secret missions, and life and death during WWII. I won a hardback signed copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I am under no obligation to write a review and do so voluntarily. Now I am passing this book onto my son, a US soldier since 2001 with 82nd Airborne who has deployed seven times between 2003 and 2012. I hope he will enjoy the story and I am sure his life experiences in war, he will be able to relate to this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert W Jenkins

    Engrossing and Educational Starts out with the evacuation of Calais and Britain’s darkest hour and then, through character development, shows the creation of its special forces. Although its credibility is often stretched to the breaking point it’s a very engrossing tale. Ends with a great victory for its raiders. It is very early in the war and nothing good is happening until this and a few other victories by the lead characters. Engrossing. Couldn’t put it down.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill Barnes

    Excellent Real characters, real people, real situations. Depicts the earlier days of WWII. Also tends to poke fun at the English pomposity of titles earned by birth. Also shows the resilience of a tiny Island nation never doubting that the stuff upper lip would see them to victory.

  18. 4 out of 5

    michael pilgrim

    very interesting I have read military books,,some just war stories, some just military thrillers. but this book has to be one of the best, if not THE BEST, military thriller. I was feeling that this book woold be continued, but mr ward managed to wrap it up and tie a very neat bow. I am looking foreward to the next one in the series. mike pilgrim

  19. 5 out of 5

    Richard C. Holt

    Really a Great War Story I was not sure I would have enjoyed this story but I was wrong. To Phil Ward I say keep it so people can how the English people over came a really bad situation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Cowart

    Great first in series This historical fiction Is based on British special forces from the beginning of WWII. The mix of combat with the political intrigue of British espionage and defense makes a good read. I hope to read the full series to follow all the characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cain

    Riveting If you have ever had the privilege of knowing one of these great warriors you will know they are as tough as nails and say little of what they did in the war. This book brings to life the training and sacrifice they made to stop the Nazi machine.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jim Calhoun

    Very interesting Very interesting book. I would like to know some of the names came from, like plum-martin. But it a very enjoyable story. I will read the next one to see if the interest level is as good thank you for a VERY GOOD read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    We lived in a time of isolation, not involved in the world at war at the beginning of WW2. At the start there were Americans who felt called to duty supporting the British. I enjoyed the characters, stories, and concept of those who dared

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cherye Elliott

    Wow Read the reviews and thought this book is for me. The research was great. I love reading books that are fiction based on nonfiction. The plot, situations, reactions you almost feel like you are there. So informative. Enjoy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruairí Gildernew

    Ripping good read Really enjoyable tale of WW2 bravery and derring do. The conception of the Comanche yell had me laughing till I cried. A real page turner.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Haymon

    Great historical novel Well written. Action packed and detailed. Worth your time. Easy read and attention keeping. If you love WWII novels, you'll love this

  27. 5 out of 5

    Louis Bruno

    Loved It! Written with incredible authenticity THOSE WHO DARE has humor, excitement, romance and everything else you could want. Looking forward to the next installment!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Gibson

    j Just ok Not what I expected. A little disappointed to be honest. For me, there was too much cheerio and all that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thom Kay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Although the book is fun to read, it is mostly focused on the preparation and organizational side of “those who dared”. The combat sections where too few and far between...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Moxley-Knapp

    Very interesting stories. Seem well researched. A bit repetitive, and the second volume has quite a few typos. Still, an enjoyable read.

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