Tom Burkhalter writes dramatic stories in the tradition of James Jones, W.E.B. Griffin and C.S. Forester that share a no-nonsense view towards war and an attention to substance that is extraordinary.
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Among historical fiction readers who enjoy WWII action and WWII aircraft, author Tom Burkhalter has gained a reputation for realism that goes far beyond the ordinary. He has an uncanny talent for taking readers back in time, placing them squarely into the very center of the action. In every novel Burkhalter writes, edge-of-the-seat air war scenes are blended with tactical mastery to create not just a great novel, but also an immersive experience.
All of Burkhalter's books are enhanced by an unparalleled level of technical and historical detail, based on rock solid research and real world expertise. He maintains a laser-sharp focus on providing the reader with an experience - one that will project them into the very heart and soul of WWII. In addition to James Jones, W.E.B. Griffin and C.S. Forester, his writing style has been compared to Louis L'Amour, David Baldacci and Vince Flynn.
Burkhalter has received rave reviews for all of his books. Many of these reviews have come from readers of historical fiction.
One reviewer said, “Buy it, read it and tell everyone you know. Tom Burkhalter is as good as Clancy and Griffin.” Mark Lardas, writing in the Daily News of Galveston County, wrote of the first book, Everything We Had, that it “feels like a book which could have been written in the 1950s or 1960s by a veteran of the Pacific War.”
Top 500 Reviewer Dee Arr said, "Mr. Burkhalter has an incredible command of airplane knowledge, and is able to describe how each plane works, the sights and sounds one would experience if flying the planes in the book, and even adds items that spice up the action, such as the height when the atmosphere begins to play havoc with the engine and may possibly cause it to stall. This is the author’s five-star element."
But the reviews that really hold weight are those that come from veterans who have actually been there and done that. What do veterans have to say about the series?
Brilliant! The books that are part of Tom Burkhalter's 'No Merciful War' series are, without exception, rare gems that are entertaining, historically spot on, and a joy to read. Tom has not only created a cast of characters who are as real as the officers and enlisted men I have had the privilege of serving with, he leaves you wanting to see more of them. Even more impressive is his ability to succinctly depict the tactical and technical aspects of aerial combat. A must-read for anyone interested in the Pacific War when victory was far from certain.
Harold Coyle - Author of Team Yankee
Characters that stay with you!
I give a 5-star rating to each book in this series.
I appreciate Burkhalter's extensive research; that hard work made this novel come to life.
(Air Force veteran)
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I'm a Tom Clancy and John Grisham fan. I love the way these guys use rich detail to help tell the story and help me "feel" and "see" what I am reading about. Tom Burkhalter is that kind of story teller. He's in their class. I'm reading Tom's second book now and will give it as glowing a review. Tom is not an author wannabe. He's the real deal. A master story teller and meticulous researcher. I'm going to read all of his books. Yup, he's that good!
Robert T. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fictional account of FEAF World War II
My Great Uncle was a member of the 19th Bomber Group who died in a Japanese hell ship. This book gave me better insights into his experience.
Richard E. Kurtz
5.0 out of 5 stars The begining of World War 2 in the Philipines
ok for people who normally read non- fiction history only but occasionally like to read a good novel based on history. This novel tells the story of two Army Air Corps pilots in Manila during November and December 1941. One brother flies a P-40 and the other is the pilot on a B-17. Almost every sentence has factual technical references such as manifold pressure of the B-17's radial engines or the oil pressure of the Allison inline engines of the P-40'S.
Ernest L. Levin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Generation, Indeed!
This was like listening to one of my uncle’s (now deceased) reminiscences of his years in the Philippines during and after MacArthur. Remarkable research.
JR Hafer, aviation writer
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine historical fiction novel
Now what I personally like about historical fiction is the blending of setting and historical fact with an engaging story line to produce a work that is educational and informative as well as entertaining. And this author has done his homework! The flying scenes are not too technical, so a non-aviator can enjoy reading this book without getting lost in the jargon. But it will also keep the seasoned fliers interested and entertained. In fact they will both hastily keep turning the pages!
5.0 out of 5 stars An early WWII drama about those who fought when there was hardly anything to fight with
Burkhalter shines however in bringing the reader's attention down to the level of understanding the intricate logistics, flying procedures, effect of flight experience, and mechanics of air to air, and air to ground battle, from the airman's point of view - as in, that of pilot, gunner, and navigator. Burkhalter writes with a sense of knowing these vintage World War II airplanes inside out, and should, given his post for many years as one of the curators of the Hickory Aviation Museum, and writer and editor of its monthly newsletter.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Research and GOOD WRITING!
I am now into Book #4 of this series "No Merciful War," and must say this is some of the best fact-based military history fiction I've ever read. Author Tom Burkhalter's research is outstanding, his characters believable, and given my personal knowledge of the Pacific islands involved and the campaigns fought there, all details ring true. I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Burkhalter's Everything and Snowball Bang on
Brought back memories of working on R-1820s on Spookys and R-3350s for AC-119s. Later on 18 deployments to Incirlik from Torrejon these two yarns are as real as it gets. Fighter crews (Pursuit & Attack) still talked that way 69-72. Burkhalter is one or has lived with them! An Air Force W.E.B. Griffin.
Bob Waterfield, NREMT USN(ret)
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read . History told thru fiction!
Characters were believable. History told thru fiction. Life and death struggles of the beginnings of WW2. Highly recommend this series.
Books in the No Merciful War series by Tom Burkhalter include:
Everything We Had: a Novel of the Southwest Pacific Air War, November-December 1941
Japan surrounds American possessions in the Philippines with overwhelming force on three sides. The US Army desperately attempts to reinforce the Philippines garrison, but the armed forces of Imperial Japan may attack at any moment. Two brothers, Jack and Charlie Davis, are pilots in the US Army Air Forces. When they are sent to the Far Eastern Air Forces in the Philippines, they must depend on every ounce of courage, training, and skill they have to survive the coming war.
A Snowball’s Chance: a Novel of the Pacific Air War, January-February 1942
The victorious Japanese come south in overwhelming numbers, heading for the rich oil fields of Dutch possessions in Java and Borneo. The Allies send Jack and Charlie Davis and their friends, outnumbered and in obsolescent airplanes at the end of a long vulnerable supply line, to help the British and Dutch attempt to stop the Japanese Army and Navy. As the Dutch say, “Luck to the fighters!”
Boxcar Red Leader: a Novel of the Pacific Air War, May 1942
The Imperial Japanese Navy sails to invade Port Moresby, the last Allied base between the Japanese and Australia. If the Japanese take Port Moresby, Australia’s supply line to the United States will be cut. Jack Davis is sent to Port Moresby to command a flight of untrained young pilots flying a dangerous airplane no one wants, the P-39D Airacobra. Charlie Davis, now flying the B-17E Bronco Buster II, flies dangerous reconnaissance missions looking for the Japanese fleet. The Allies have lost the Philippines and Java. Can they hold Port Moresby?
Thanks for the Memories: a Novel of the SW Pacific Air War July-September 1942
It is July 1, 1942. The United States has been fighting in the Pacific for nearly seven months. The Japanese advance halted west of Australia at the island of Timor, and from Timor the Japanese stage bombing raids on Darwin. In the north, the Japanese hold the former Australian possessions of New Ireland and New Britain, including the town of Rabaul in the north of New Britain. Holding Rabaul gives the Japanese possession of Simpson Harbor, a deep-water port that the Japanese turn into a formidable forward base, swarming with Zeros and antiaircraft weapons. Rabaul begins to earn an evil reputation among the bomber crews of the USAAF and RAAF who fly there.
The New Kids: A Novel of the Air War on the Home Front August-September 1942
Military romance takes center stage in The New Kids, 5th book in master storyteller Tom Burkhalter’s No Merciful War series. Brothers Jack and Charlie Davis, survivors of nine months of vicious air fighting, return home to the challenges of long-deferred love, of living with memories of war, and of passing on lessons learned in combat to new pilots training for a much different air war over Europe. They may have survived the Pacific, but the war has only begun.
Shoestring's End: a Novel of the Pacific Air War, Dec 1942 - March 1943
Shoestring’s End begins as the disastrous year of 1942 ends. The Japanese toehold on the northern New Guinea coast, remnant of their advance almost to the gates of Port Moresby, has nearly been wiped out. The Japanese focus their efforts on reinforcing their forward base at Lae, on the Huon Gulf. The mission of the 5th Air Force is to cut off Lae. They must do this while fighting at the end of a shoestring, a supply line ten thousand miles long, using airplanes like the much-patched B-17E Bronco Buster II or the worn P-39D Airacobras of the 35th Fighter Group. New airplanes and new tactics arrive in an uncertain trickle. The Allied infantry, Australian and American, based in New Guinea, are exhausted from fighting and jungle diseases. If the Japanese reinforce Lae, the outcome of the war in the SW Pacific will remain unpredictable.
Tom Burkhalter is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at boxcarred3gmail.com. All of his books are available at major book retailers. More information is available at his website at http://www.thomasburkhalter.com.
About Tom Burkhalter:
Tom Burkhalter was born in Georgia. His parents could never decide if the first word he ever said was “airplane” or “star”. He lives in Hickory, NC, where he volunteers at the Hickory Aviation Museum and pursues his omnivorous tastes in reading.