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What Are You Reading?

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Mahross, Feb 1, 2004.

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  1. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Currently reading Michael Smith's The Emperor's Codes. A look at British efforts to break the Japanese codes in WW2.
     
  2. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    My wife manages the book donations at the local library and brought home what may be a gem today. "BERLIN DIARY : William L. Shirer" CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in 1940 when he decided there might be a book in the diary he had kept in Europe during the 1930s—specifically those sections dealing with the collapse of the European democracies and the rise of Nazi Germany. Hand written inside the front cover is To Doug V From Emily & Clyde December 25, 1941.
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Funny. I was an extra in War and Remembrance in the scene where Eisenhower visits the paratroopers on D-Day. Scene was maybe 90 seconds long but took all day to film.
     
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  4. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Reading James H. Willbanks' "Danger 79er: The Life and Times of Lieutenant General James F. Hollingsworth."


    Willbanks, Danger 79er.jpg
     
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  5. Christian Belena

    Christian Belena New Member

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    Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company, 1998.

    Goodman, Jack. While You Were Gone. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1946.

    Gardiner, Juliet. Wartime: Britain, 1939-1945. London, UK: Headline Book Publishing, 2004.
     
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  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I was laboring through Beetle, The Life of General Walter Bedell Smith. by D.K.R. Crosswell, 2010. Five hundred pages into it and finally had enough and put it down. It is not that it was a bad book; I just didn't need to continue to wade through the excruciating details of every meeting, gathering, discussion, briefing, or planning session Smith was involved in, either as a member or that he might have heard about. The specter of hacking my way through another 500 pages was just more than I could bear. It would probably serve well as a source or research collection for a dissertation or similar work.

    4/10 Will probably never finish it and will try to pawn it off onto some other rube.

    I then picked up Hell From the Heavens, by John Wukovits, 2015. It is story of USS Laffey and its fight in April,1944, when it survived being dived on by 22 Japanese kamikazes off of Okinawa. It is an excellent book and you guys out there that enjoy stories of the naval war in the PTO should thoroughly enjoy it.

    10/10 Will read it again sometime.

    I am now reading The Battle of Leyte Gulf 23-26 October 1944 by Thomas J. Cutter. 1994. It is too early in the book to have an opinion of it other than to say that, while it is not necessarily directed to the WWII novice, it is not too many steps above that. In that is only about 300 pages, I'm not sure how much depth it can delve into in that number of pages, while still explaining elementary concepts.

    X/10 too early to evaluate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  7. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Thanks for the warning on the Bedell Smith book. I'll avoid it.
     
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  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Was looking through the books I had downloaded on to my kindle and saw that I had a copy of A Time to Stand. While I've read a fair number of short pieces about the Alamo hadn't read a book on it. I found it quite interesting but not sure how it stands up to other accounts.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I read Hell From the Heavens. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read Code Girls by Liza Munday. It's a history of the women in the US involed in breaking Enigma and the Japanese Purple cipher. An interesting look at an important development. Currently reading Philbrick's three volume set on the American Revolution. Abour 1/2 way through the first volume Bunker Hill.
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Beetle was arranged oddly to me. The book started off with his life after the war to this death, which took maybe a hundred pages. It then circled back to his birth, childhood, early army career, mid-army career, then WWII. Best I can figure from what I read is that he was an a$$hole, but he was Ike's a$$hole who could get things done.
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    After some postal shenanigans, this looks interesting.
    Written by some American. :cutie:

    I dunno. Coming over here, creating detailed-looking and well-illustrated books about our military.

    IMG_20190329_193129258.jpg
     
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  12. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    I could give a make and model, if only I hadn't moved. ..disarray
    I'll get my books back into arms reach, if I decide to stay in the ghetto.
    records or books....hmmm
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    When I was in college quite a few of my friends were raving about the Flashman books. I read one or two and enjoyed them but was not by anymeans overwhelmed by them. Then I read The Steel Bonnets and was thoroughly impressed. For years I've been meaning to read his (George MacDonald Frazier) WW2 books The General Danced at Dawn and Quartered Safe Out Here. Finally started on the latter. Haven't got much passed the introduction but enjoyed that as well as found it made a number of points worth considering.
     
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finished The Battle of Leyte Gulf 23-26 October 1944 by Thomas J. Cutter. 1994 a few nights ago.
    It was a good read and i enjoyed the book. Cutter used several good sources, such as US and Japanese diaries and postbellum memoirs that were interesting to me.

    8/10 Recommend

    I am now reading Victory at Mortain, Mark J. Reardon, 2002.
     
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  15. scott livesey

    scott livesey Member

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    Latest buys include:
    Shadows in the Jungle by Alexander about the Alamo Scouts in New Guinea and PI. Based on interviews with surviving members and limited written records. Interesting read. 7/10
    Normandy Crucible by Prados about Normandy from July 25 to August 20. Will make no one happy as he has many issues with how Monty, Ike, Brad, Georgie, and the rest of the boys carried out the last two weeks of the Normandy battle. Makes an effort in explaining how Ultra decryptions influenced the battle. An appendix on war gaming the last two weeks of the battle and possible outcomes. Spoiler alert, appendix is basically how badly the Germans are defeated. 9/10
    Red Sun Setting : The Battle of the Philippine Sea by William Y'blood. A classic. Outstanding. 10/10
    The Elusive Enemy : U. S. Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet by Ford. Hard to read. Jumps from 1941 to 1944 to 1944 in same page. Lots of minor errors such as VF-10 was not at Midway. Easy to see why I got a new copy for $4. 3/10
    Crossing the Line : A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey by Kernan. Autobiography of a TBF ground crewman and gunner. Survivor of Hornet sinking. Was in present when Butch O'Hare died. Good read, what you would expect from a Yale English professor. 9/10
    Attack on Pearl Harbor by Zimm. Title says it all. outstanding read. 10/10
    the old sailor
     
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  16. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I just picked up 'The Battle of Arnhem' by Antony Beevor.

    I had 30 mins to kill in the middle of a rain/snow storm yesterday, so the bookstore was my choice of shelter from the elements. Small, local bookstore and while I could easily walk out of there with 10 books, I was a good Musso and only walked out with the one. Hardcover, so must be pretty new. I am not familiar with the Author or any of his other books (of which there are a few, all on WW2). I plan to start reading later today when work gets quiet.
     
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I did not finish Victory at Mortain, Mark J. Reardon, 2002. for reason explained in another thread (stupid me).
    I read Japanese Destroyer Captain, by by Hara and also talked about it in another thread (again, stupid me) Great book, BTW. Highly recommend it.

    I am now reading Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die by Giles Milton, Picador 2019.
    I really don't like the title at all, but the book is quite good. It is scheduled to be released next month and I am reading an advanced copy from January I got through Librarything.com.

    The book is a series of vignettes starting a few days prior to June 6, 1944 and ending late that day and tells the story of the Normandy landings through stories about individuals and the parts they played. I reads sorta like first person account but I am not sure if the author actually talked each person or used primary documents to construct and tell their story.

    Regardless, the book is good and I am enjoying it greatly. There is a moderate amount of repetition for the knowledgeable reader, but by in large, it adds a lot of new content that I have no found before in other books.

    No maps or photos, but that could because it is an advanced copy. There are still edits visible in it and I have found an error with paragraph construction that I suspect has probably been found and fixed.

    As I said above, the books is supposed to be released next month in the US.

    Overall, I give it a 8/10, deducting one point because of the ridiculous title.
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Oh, I forgot. In between the above books, I read Escape from Davao, John D. Lukacs, Caliber, 2010.

    Great book, highly engaging and held my attention throughout most of the book, even when going through the end of the Bataan Campaign and the horrors suffered by the American and Filipino prisoners at hands of those animals of the IJA 14th Area Army. I don't like reading about their suffering' it grieves me so.

    I knew little to nothing about the escape and its effect on US policy concerning the atrocities inflicted by the Japanese.I must admit the book got a bit slow when later when discussing the political wranglings, but I guess it needed to be told how Roosevelt squelched the stories of the torture and murder inflicted on captives of the Japanese.

    If you served at Dyess AFB, Texas, you will want to read this book to learn about the man for whom the air base was named - Medal of Honor recipient, Maj (later Lt Col) William Dyess.

    9.5/10 Outstanding.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    After finding some, uh, errors, I may have spoken too soon.

    He spent part of a paragraph describing the HItlersage, then called it an "M42" and saying it was water cooled.

    Later he describes several Sexton being knocked out by "mortars." These were Sexton's off of Gold beach commanded by Ronald Palmer. In the course of the discussion, he calls the vehicles "halftracks." I figured it was highly possible that the Sexton could be knocked out by mortars, being open topped. But when he describes how Palmer and his crew knocked out the weapon that hit the other Sextons, it was obvious from the narrative they were not attacking a mortar but a anti-tank gun.

    Then on the next page he quotes Palmer instructing the gunner to "Put it in the upstairs right window. He stated Palmer was telling the loader this as "another mortar was loaded into the gun." Is this a term used in the UK for projectiles in a gun?

    The last issue is just a pet peeve of mine. He talks about a British soldier reloading his Sten by putting another "clip" in. I thought a Sten was loaded by inserting a magazine.

    7/10
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  20. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    No, it's not.....:( I think that the only armoured mortars around on D-Day were the Spigot 'Dustbins' of the Churchill AVRE's.
     
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