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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 Patron  

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    The book on Halsey is in my queue. Let me know what you think of it. When I finish, we can compare reactions.
     
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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It was reprinted by Pen & Sword in 2014 under the title "The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse _ The End of the Battleship Era"
     
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  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Another good book on the subject is "Down to the Sea: An Epic Story of Naval Disaster and Heroism in World War II" by Bruce Henderson. The focus of this book is primarily on the 3 destroyers that were sunk during the typhoon.
     
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  4. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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    Just about to start Twilight of the Gods by Ian W. Toll. I really like his style. I had read previously, Pacific Crucible and lately, The Conquering Tide. I read rather slowly. In the latter, he does a marvelous job on Tarawa and the battle for Guadalcanal, where among other facts, tells how and why the Japanese army had to pull out, hungry, disease ridden, lice infected, due to inadequate supplies. The U.S. Navy saw to that. Also he gives a great account of the carnage experienced by the Marines as they had to be chest high approaching and in the water when landing off Tarawa due to the landing craft getting hung up on the reefs. I had taken a break two thirds the way through The Conquering Tide (I am strange in some ways) and read two other short books; Sea Assault (previously Shinano) and Dunkirk, Operation Dynamo. I also have another book sitting on the shelf by Ian Toll, Six Frigates and the founding of the U.S. Navy, which I have yet to read.
     
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  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Winning Wars: the enduring nature and changing character of victory from antiquity to the C21st edited by Matthais Strohn. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Q225121/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb This is very much the product of CHCR the modern British Army think tank. Food for thought and ammunition to confuse....

    Matthias also has advanced the argument that Germany's strategic position was improved by WW1.
     
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  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I think you'll enjoy The Conquering Tide. I just finished it. I think Toll writes well. I have to get Six Frigates.
     
  7. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Oof! Yes, I meant Twilight. Toll writes well.
     
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  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have finished
    [​IMG]

    The story and information provided was good. Lt Robert Edlin of A Co, 2nd Ranger Battalion, gave an accounting of his time in Europe in a mostly chronological format and including memories of his life before and after the war. He spoke his earning a DSC, when he and 3 other soldiers forced the surrender of the 850-man Graf Spee Battery in Britany, near Brest. I got the impression he was a better wartime soldier than a peacetime one, and was in his element leading small groups of men performing specialized missions.

    The book did not appear to have been edited properly, if at all. There was numerous layout issues throughout and it appeared to be arranged pretty much as he spoke. I was left with the impression the two authors knew very little of WWII combat and the US Army in general. I didn't think they spent much time (if any) talking with Edlin and relied on his comments to link the stories.

    There were a large number of pictures throughout the book of Edlin and the men of the platoon. Interestingly enough, there were a significant number of ETO photos, I would venture nearly half of the total in the book, from a soldier in the company that was never once mentioned elsewhere in the book. He was in group photos, photos of he and Edlin or he and other men who were mentioned. I found it odd that while he provided a large number of the books graphics, he was for the most part ignored in the manuscript.

    6/10
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I am now reading:
    A Corporal's View of World War II, by Fred W. Purdy, 2002 Professional Press, 120 pages
    This appears to be a locally produced book with no ISBN.
    I have read the first chapter and it is not holding my interest.
     
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  10. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    I put down Wayne Jett's The Fruits of Graft about the Fed Res for lighter reading, Matt Rothera's My Voyage with Ozzie. It's based on his growing up with his grandfather and his grandfather's diary which he kept while as a sailor aboard the USS Missiouri.
     
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  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finished A Corporal's View of World War II, by Fred W. Purdy, 2002 Professional Press, 120 pages.

    It seemed to be written for a specific audience, I suspect an electorate, as the author was a long-term mayor.

    There was very little content in it specific to his experience with a large portion of book devoted to strategic and operational history far beyond what he would have been exposed to and he never did reveal what unit he was with. Best I could figure he was in signals, either in the 4th Infantry Division or VII Corps. He made a slight reference to a TD battalion one time, but I can't be arsed to try to find it now.

    He made a claim that he drove into Paris 23 Aug 1944 with Col James H. O’Neill (Third Army Chaplain) and one his (Purdy's) friends. He said he drove around Paris and didn't see any German soldiers, eventually ending up a few block from Cholitz's HQ. He also claimed to have spent time with some French girls while there. You can make you own decision about all that.

    There are several photos, with many wartime combat photos that I have seen elsewhere before. Some of the photos are captioned to have been made by a friend of his and that he was with him when the photos were made, yet he never mentions being near combat in the book. There is a photo captioned "... German Panther tank is inspected." The tank was quite obviously a Stug III, Aufs G. There is another photo of engineers trying to bring in equipment on a rubber boat -you've seen the series of photos may times - with the man struggling ashore with other men assisting him in. Purdy attributes the photo to Robert Capa and that it occurred on June 6th. Uh, it didn't.

    The book was just weak on so many levels. I would read a page and think it couldn't get any worse. Then I would turn the page and it would.

    0/10 - Wished I had not read the book, or bought it for that matter. I'm not even sure I am going to keep it and have a friend accidentally try to read it. I want to keep my friends.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I will start this one this weekend
    [​IMG]

    A Private's Diary, Donald A. Edwards, 1994, 575 pages. ISBN 0963970607

    This book feels different from the previous. I have higher expectations; it sure can't be any worse.
     
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  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]

    This book is turning out to be surprisingly good. He was a messenger for E/335IR/84ID.

    While not always at the absolute sharpest end of the stick, he was daily close enough to the pointed end to be shot at and have to dodge artillery.

    He apparently kept excellent notes in his diary, to include names and hometowns of even people he met incidentally.

    He did not like his first company CO, disparaging him regularly and describing his martinet-like behavior. I thought he used a pseudonym for him as the name sounded over the top, as though he was comparing him to a Nazi - Von Schrilz. I kept reading other men's names so I looked up Von Shrilz in Find a Grave. Low and behold, he DID exist, as were many other men he mentioned, some in good terms and some in less than glowing terms.

    I am about 2/3 the way through the book and it is almost 600 pages. I don't think he left anything out.
     
  13. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Thank you Slipdigit. I may have to pick up that book. E. Blount (Inside the Battle of the Bulge) was a member of the 84th. He wrote another book (can't recall the title) but both were good.

    Presently reading an Englander's (Ralph Reuth) book on Rommel, Rommel: The End of a Legend. Found it at the library bookstore at $7 and thought, why not? It revisits Rommel and the Nazis. Our perspective of Rommel was largely shaped by Desmond Young and especially his Chief of Staff, Hans Spiedel who wanted to protray Rommel as a gallant foe who opposed Hitler. The book I'm reading seems to show the strong connecting starting with Rommel's initial meeting with Hitler (Rommel commanded the Goslar garrison) to command of Hitler's Escort. Only 1/4 the way through that book.
     
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  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I sorta understood Rommel Lost a lot of trust in Hitler when the latter ordered the Axis troops continue the battle in El Alamein instead of retreat. However he never was part of the July 20 coup even when asked to join but he never revealed it either. The fact he lead the Hitler escort shows he believed in Hitler and quite possibly was a believer in nazism. Did he change his mind? I guess we never know. I think in a way he is like Speer. Believer but not as true in faith as Model for example. Just my thought about him.
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm about halfway through Halsey's Typhoon. So far, the number of mistakes made is incredible. Certainly I would not like to have been in a destroyer or destroyer escort in those conditions.
     
  16. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finished:
    A Private's War, Donald A. Edwards, 1994, 575 pages. ISBN 0963970607
    mentioned above.

    An excellent book and I encourage those of you who are interested in the infantryman's view of the war in Europe to try to find a copy to read.

    As I noted earlier, it is nearly 600 pages and while some parts were not quite as interesting as others, it never dragged. The author apparently kept a detailed diary and made an effort to write down the names of the people with whom he had conversations with. Although not intended or arranged as such, it could make a good resource for someone people and places of the 335th/84th.

    His group of 8 messengers had one killed, two wounded, with two more slightly wounded that did not require evacuation. While they were on Elbe, he talked to the messengers of the 116th/29th and they related that they were the third group of messengers for their battalion.

    There area a good many photos and excellent maps throughout, including on16" x 20" folding map in an envelope attached to the inside cover.

    10/10 Highly Recommend.
     
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  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finished:
    A Private's Diary, Donald A. Edwards, 1994, 575 pages. ISBN 0963970607
    mentioned above.

    An excellent book and I encourage those of you who are interested in the infantryman's view of the war in Europe to try to find a copy to read.

    As I noted earlier, it is nearly 600 pages and while some parts were not quite as interesting as others, it never dragged. The author apparently keep a detailed diary and made an effort to write down the names of the people with whom he had conversations with. Although not intended or arranged as such, it could make a good resource for someone people and places of the 335th/84th.

    His group of 8 messengers had one killed, two wounded, with two more slightly wounded that did not require evacuation. While they were on Elbe, he talked to the messengers of the 116th/29th and they related that they were the third group of messengers for their battalion.

    There area a good many photos and excellent maps throughout, including a 16" x 20" folding map in an envelope attached to the inside cover.

    10/10 Highly Recommend.
     
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  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Next in line:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    A Japanese Stuka! Interesting. I'm sure our guys would have knocked them off like crazy, but still, interesting.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Also a third book I bought from the same book seller in the net:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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