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  • #143584

    I’ll go first:

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    #143587
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Interesting. I think the last books I read on the FP War were Michel Howard’s and David Ascoli’ Day of Battle: Mars La Tour.

    I wonder if scholarship has moved on?

    I take it you mean military/wargames books?

    Hitler – Kershaw (Kindle in one volume, abridged) –  just started.

    Gareth Glover’s Waterloo: Myth and Reality about two thirds through – excellent. I thought there was no point reading anything else on Waterloo. I was wrong.

    We Were Soldiers Once and Young- Moore and Galloway – style is a little odd in places but a good read for those interested in Vietnam. A shed load of casualties and odd it was seen as a pro forma for future operations. What did it really achieve? A different concept of how to wage war without the appreciation of the political/cultural fall out.

    Fortescue’s History of the British Army, (Read bits before but I’m aiming to read the whole thing beginning to end – wish me luck!)

    #143590
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    The Polish Air Force At War: The Official History Vol.1 1939-1943

    Kangaroo Squadron: American Courage in the Darkest Days of World War II

    The Arabian Nights

     

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #143591

    Matterhorn. Excellent novel about the Vietnam War.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #143592
    irishserb
    Participant

    Slowly working my way through the first volume of Khrushchev Remembers.

    #143596
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    About half way through “Hellenistic And Roman Naval Warfare 336 BC – 31 BC” which is giving a more detailed account of naval campaigns and ship numbers and sizes of the period than I remember seeing anywhere else. Not a casual read but I’m enjoying it so far.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #143597
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    …the first volume of Khrushchev Remembers.

    I read that back in the 1970s when it was new, then re-read it a few months ago. Seeing the movie The Death of Stalin set me to re-reading my shelf of books on Stalin and his minions. When KR was first published there were doubts about its authenticity, but I think it’s the real thing, based only on my own intuition. On the second reading, it’s a fascinating and terrible confession of a life of cognitive dissonance. Khrushchev participated enthusiastically in some of the greatest crimes against humanity, later denounced those crimes without taking personal responsibility, and apparently remained an idealistic and believing Communist through it all and until the end. What terrible things humans are capable of.

    I apologize if that was political. Sometimes the mouth must speak the words that are in the heart.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #143599
    irishserb
    Participant

    Zippyfusenet, I appreciate the thoughts.  I have all three volumes and am finding the first book to be fascinating on many different levels.  I read a lot of the discussion about the validity of the books and about what was omitted and whatnot.  It is a fascinating window into history, part of a much larger Cold War project.

    #143616

    Interesting. I think the last books I read on the FP War were Michel Howard’s and David Ascoli’ Day of Battle: Mars La Tour. I wonder if scholarship has moved on? I take it you mean military/wargames books? Hitler – Kershaw (Kindle in one volume, abridged) – just started. Gareth Glover’s Waterloo: Myth and Reality about two thirds through – excellent. I thought there was no point reading anything else on Waterloo. I was wrong. We Were Soldiers Once and Young- Moore and Galloway – style is a little odd in places but a good read for those interested in Vietnam. A shed load of casualties and odd it was seen as a pro forma for future operations. What did it really achieve? A different concept of how to wage war without the appreciation of the political/cultural fall out. Fortescue’s History of the British Army, (Read bits before but I’m aiming to read the whole thing beginning to end – wish me luck!)

    Its a brilliant up to date analysis that dispels a lot of myths particularly on Bazaines efforts. It uses Howard and Ascoli as sources but builds on them in modern analysis. It also demolishes Wawros scathing analysis of Bazaine and uses the evidence of Bazaines trial as well, as some other Marshals truly didn’t believe Bazaine was to blame. Frossard does not come out of this well. And Ladmirailt’s failure at Mars La Tour to capitalise on his successes is discussed.  It really is a fascinating read. Highly recommend it.

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    #143620
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Thanks Rhys, looks like I’ve got some more reading lined up!

    #143621

    Thanks Rhys, looks like I’ve got some more reading lined up!

    I’m also currently listening to an audio book whilst painting that is a newish history of the 100 days campaign – Waterloo by Tim Clayton. Fascinating stuff. Kind you say, Waterloo has been done to death but again this is a more reasoned modern analysis of all that happened and casts Orange in a new light – dispelling some of the myths about his incompetence. It also gives me a new appreciation of Blucher and Brunswick.

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    #143622

    To Zippyfusenet:

    You have a lot of interesting and varied reading there!

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    #143623
    Geof Downton
    Participant

    Does this count?

     

    …otherwise it’s rather heavier going…

    Preparation for Biblical Sands II; David the Giant Killer…

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #143624

    Matterhorn. Excellent novel about the Vietnam War.

    Ive read Max Hastings account of Vietnam not that long ago – fascinating stuff. The war the Americans won in all but name and then withdrew. One of the horrible things for US forces is learning about the political limitations placed on US air operations – resulting in unnecessary losses. I will look out for this book. Keen to read more.

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    #143625

    Slowly working my way through the first volume of Khrushchev Remembers.

    I have never read this but it sounds fascinating. I will add it to my wish list.

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    #143626

    Does this count? …otherwise it’s rather heavier going… Preparation for Biblical Sands II; David the Giant Killer…

    Asterix always counts! Always! And then some serious heavyweights. I remember watching the Asterix cartoons and loving them!

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    #143627
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    …the first volume of Khrushchev Remembers.


    I have never read this but it sounds fascinating. I will add it to my wish list.

    I recommend having a firm grasp of Stalin-era events and personalities before tackling Khrushschev Remembers. The book is not a purposeful memoir, but rather edited notes from a series of long conversations with Khrushschev in his retirement. The old man rambles around and leaves a great deal out.

    I have recently read Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands for a modern view of  the collectivization famines and the terror, and Robert Conquest’s Stalin, Breaker of Nations for a biography of  the monster himself.

     

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #143639
    John D Salt
    Participant

    My most recent military historical reading has been dipping into

    – Don’t Cry for me, Sergeant Major. Robert McGowan and Jeremy Hands’ personal memoir of the Falklands War. Still funny, and a useful corrective to people who think of Max Hastings primarily as a military historian.

    – The Tanks. Kenneth Macksey’s history of his regiment, the RTR, since 1945, and a bit different from most of his books. A very useful perspective of Cold War history from the British Army’s, and specificially the RTR’s, point of view. Having read a library copy many years ago, I had to acquire a copy for information on battlesight shooting, as embodied in the Battle Range Technique.

    – M60 vs T-62. Lon Nordeen and David Isby’s contribution to the Osprey “Duel” series. Again specifically acquired for information on battlesight shooting, which the authors seem to believe is an Israeli invention, that apparently being where the US forces got the idea from. Not a bad book, but the hard data seems to be mostly duplicate material from Isby’s earlier works.

    The last book I read in a proper old-fashioned start-at-the-beginning-and-go-on-to-the-end way seems to have been another Osprey, Matthew Moss’ “The PIAT”, which taught me a couple of new snippets about the beast.

    I blame the acquisition of this last book on the members of this forum, as I had to buy “The Anti-Tank Rifle” in the same series by Steve Zaloga to inform a discussion on here, and then it was hard to avoid adding “Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck” (Gordon Rottman) , “The Bazooka” (Gordon Rottman again), and “The PIAT”.

    The last more-text-than-pictures military-history-related book I read was Robert C Stern’s “Big Gun Battles: Warship Duels of the Second World War”, an interesting account worth filletting for numerical information. There was a bit of a wobble early on when the glossary erroneously defined the FAA as being “the afloat component of the RAF”, which it wasn’t at any time relevant to the book, but Mr. Pciky didn’t find anything else out of order.

    Ther rest of my reading seems to have been software engineering, wading through Pratchett and Baxter’s “Long Earth” series, and an unusual dollop of poetry.

    All the best,

    John.

    #143640

    …and a useful corrective to people who think of Max Hastings primarily as a military historian.

    Go on then, why don’t you like Max Hastings?

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    #143653
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    Struggling with most books at the mo…  Tablet change is impacting the mind badly this time but only another 4 or 5 weeks till things settle with luck!

    Trying to cope with any off 750+ pages of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel (having seen the Amazon series), Last of the Mohicans, One Hour Wargames and a couple of cheap GW books (Cadia Falls and Gaunts Omnibus – both £1.99 specials).  Seems I can handle a couple of pages but then either get lost in the story or drift off to do something else.

    Feels like the only book(s) I can concentrate on are ones I’ve read before so I’ve also got Elizabeth Moon Vatta series on the go as well but even then, anymore than 5 or 10 pages is my limit for now.

    So for now it’s a bit 

    #143654
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Rereading Ben Aaronovitch’s River of London series for the 7th time. Currently on The Hanging Tree.

    #143655
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Go on then, why don’t you like Max Hastings?

    I don’t like him because of his honking pomposity, his well-attested reputation as a bully (“Hitler Hastings”) from his days as editor of the Telegraph, and the fact that I find his politics extremely unpleasant (not that far more unpleasant aren’t now on offer).

    I don’t think he deserves his reputation as a war correspondent, which he later parlayed into a second career as a populariser of military history, for the reason given in “Don’t Cry for me, Sergeant Major”: his own copy, alone among the contributions of all the reporters in theatre, was the only copy to be transmitted home at the moment of victory in Stanley, under what under the most extremely charitable assumptions possible were highly suspicious circumstances. Worse, to gain his tag as “The first man into Stanley”, he risked the ceasefire, and hence the lives of the soldiers he was accompanying, in pursuit of his own personal vanity.

    I don’t think he is a very good miitary historian because his work seems to lack originality and tend towards journalistic sensationalism. I was not very much taken with his attempts to appear controversial by justifying the actions of the Waffen-SS in his “Das Reich”; I was still less pleased by his statement that British Commandos routinely murdered prisoners, an accusation for which he provided no shred of evidence. His “Overlord” struck me as a popularised re-write ofthe relevant volume of the official history, but with an almost gloating emphasis on the disbandment of the 6th Duke of Boots, presented as if this incident had never been heard of before. Without wishing to appear unoriginal myself, I am not the only person who finds Hastings’ research unoriginal: see https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161744

    Still, there are people who think Dan Snow is a military historian, and some people still trust Alan Clark and Paul Carrell as reliable sources.

    All the best,

    John.

    #143659
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant
    #143661
    Geof Downton
    Participant

    Still, there are people who think Dan Snow is a military historian…

    Well, there’s Dan Snow, but I wasn’t aware of any others…

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #143662

    Go on then, why don’t you like Max Hastings?

    I don’t like him because of his honking pomposity, his well-attested reputation as a bully (“Hitler Hastings”) from his days as editor of the Telegraph, and the fact that I find his politics extremely unpleasant (not that far more unpleasant aren’t now on offer). I don’t think he deserves his reputation as a war correspondent, which he later parlayed into a second career as a populariser of military history, for the reason given in “Don’t Cry for me, Sergeant Major”: his own copy, alone among the contributions of all the reporters in theatre, was the only copy to be transmitted home at the moment of victory in Stanley, under what under the most extremely charitable assumptions possible were highly suspicious circumstances. Worse, to gain his tag as “The first man into Stanley”, he risked the ceasefire, and hence the lives of the soldiers he was accompanying, in pursuit of his own personal vanity. I don’t think he is a very good miitary historian because his work seems to lack originality and tend towards journalistic sensationalism. I was not very much taken with his attempts to appear controversial by justifying the actions of the Waffen-SS in his “Das Reich”; I was still less pleased by his statement that British Commandos routinely murdered prisoners, an accusation for which he provided no shred of evidence. His “Overlord” struck me as a popularised re-write ofthe relevant volume of the official history, but with an almost gloating emphasis on the disbandment of the 6th Duke of Boots, presented as if this incident had never been heard of before. Without wishing to appear unoriginal myself, I am not the only person who finds Hastings’ research unoriginal: see https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161744 Still, there are people who think Dan Snow is a military historian, and some people still trust Alan Clark and Paul Carrell as reliable sources. All the best, John.

    I have to confess, I wasn’t aware of his antecedence. The only book of his I have read is Vietnam – I picked the hardback up cheap in Tescos when I was doing a spot of shopping and I hadn’t read that much on Vietnam and thought it would be a good place to start. I enjoyed it and I didn’t find it pompous – maybe he has improved? I Thankyou for the information however, and I am now going to read the article you kindly provided a link to.

    I don’t really enjoy Dan Snow from a personal point of view. I am not aware of the others you mention either. I asked the question because I was generally and genuinely curious.

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    #143663

    Struggling with most books at the mo… Tablet change is impacting the mind badly this time but only another 4 or 5 weeks till things settle with luck! Trying to cope with any off 750+ pages of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel (having seen the Amazon series), Last of the Mohicans, One Hour Wargames and a couple of cheap GW books (Cadia Falls and Gaunts Omnibus – both £1.99 specials). Seems I can handle a couple of pages but then either get lost in the story or drift off to do something else. Feels like the only book(s) I can concentrate on are ones I’ve read before so I’ve also got Elizabeth Moon Vatta series on the go as well but even then, anymore than 5 or 10 pages is my limit for now. So for now it’s a bit

    Sorry to hear that – hope things improve sooner rather than later. I have been there with meds. It took a while to even find the right ones that actually helped.

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    #143664

    Zippyfusenet:

    I will definitely getting the books you kindly recommended as I can afford to. Thanks for the recommendations.

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    #143665

    Rereading Ben Aaronovitch’s River of London series for the 7th time. Currently on The Hanging Tree.

    7th time!? You must really enjoy it. Though I used to do this with Terry Pratchett Discworld novels.

    I’ve not heard of this series – will have to have a look if it’s that good.

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    #143667
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    They are that good, Chaosium will be doing a Roleplaying Game based on them. I plan to snap it up when it’s out.

    #143669

    Matterhorn. Excellent novel about the Vietnam War.

    Ive read Max Hastings account of Vietnam not that long ago – fascinating stuff. The war the Americans won in all but name and then withdrew. One of the horrible things for US forces is learning about the political limitations placed on US air operations – resulting in unnecessary losses. I will look out for this book. Keen to read more.

     

    Honestly not political here: what would a U.S. victory have looked like? I ask because my old history prof, Al McCoy, was of the opinion that the U.S. DID win Vietnam, at least according to its own objectives as measured by what four presidents actually fought for.

    So what kind of victory would the U.S. have had win in order to win “in name”?

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #143673
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I’ve found that since WWII the USA seems to have a shining record of ‘winning’ whilst not actually winning.

     

    Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars 1&2, Afghanistan…

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #143684
    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve been working my way through Rick Atkinsons Liberation Trilogy covering the US Army in Europe from Operation Torch to VE Day.

    I also read Lion Rampant by Robert Woollcombe. A memoir of 6 KOSB from D-Day until the end of the war and I’ve just finished re reading The Silmarillion. Now I know a bit more about Anglo Saxon history and Norse mythology it all makes much more sense and there are some really cracking stories in there which would made great films. Way better than The Hobbit at any rate.

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #143690
    deephorse
    Participant

     

    Ah, Peter Elstob.  His book on the Battle of the Bulge was probably the first ‘war book’ that I read cover to cover, donkey’s years ago.  I don’t know how accurate it is/was, but I remember it conjuring vivid pictures of the action in my mind.  I would read it again if it wasn’t for the fact that my copy is the paperback, and it would probably crumble into dust if taken off the shelf, it’s that old.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #143693
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I m re-reading ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring up the Bodies’ as I have been promised the third one for Crimbo.

    It’s been a long time since I read a Booker prize winner. Longer still when I read one with Pleasure – and I don’t think I have felt quite as much pleasure simply reading since I first read Macaulay’s History of England.

    #143699
    vexillia
    Participant

    A recent charity shop find. Not really my favourite theatre but it’s a ripper as in he rips into every general involved. Cracking read.

    Martin Stephenson :: Work | Blog | Auctions

    #143701
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Does this count?

     

    It certainly does! The Asterix series was one of the set texts for my Archaeology course at University. The Head of Department considered Getafix a useful antidote to the view of druids purveyed by modern “tree-hugging” wannabes.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #143706
    Gone Fishing
    Participant

    Asterix and the Goths has always been one of my favourites in the whole series. I wish there was a range of Goths that looked like them: pickelhaubes, horns and huge moustaches!

    As for reading, I’m a hundred pages into Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake. Delightfully weird stuff. Next up is Gormenghast.

    #143709
    Thuseld
    Participant

    Part way into the first book. I mean, it is okay. It is in the first person though, which I find utterly annoying.

     

     

    #143725
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Tally-Ho!

    #143726
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

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