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What Are You Reading?

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

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  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]

    Infantry Battalion Surgeon, Salerno to San Pietro, Carlton J. Guild, 1991, Vantage Press, 156pp ISBN 533-09164-0

    This book started very promising. It is a well written, engaging book that follows the service of the author - to a point.

    The author was a volunteer battalion surgeon assigned to the 36th Infantry Division and he does a great job of providing a narrative of his training and transport to North Africa, where they were engaged in more training. With this, he provides an excellent account, to include the landings at Salerno and well into the beachhead. He followed the narrative as his battalion begin to fight their way to Monte Cassino, describing the mountain fighting in good detail. Unfortunately, when the got to San Peitro, he quit keeping his diary and subsequently finished the book at that point, providing only a short paragraph to complete the war.

    I enjoyed the book, just wished he had been able to finish the war. I feel like it probably could have been an outstanding memoir of the battalion surgeon at war. As it is, it is a good read that leaves the reader hanging.

    In reading the dust cover, I learned that after retiring from practice, he moved from New York City to the town I currently live near in Alabama and worked as the medical director at a nearby VA hospital. He died here and is buried in the national cemetery just north of us.

    7/10
     
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  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Last week, I finished:

    [​IMG]

    Big Week, Six Days That Changed The Course of World War II, Bill Yenne, 2012, Berkley Caliber, 274pp, photos, maps, glossary, bibliography, index. ISBN 978 0 425 25575 9

    Generally I do not care for books of this, preferring first person accounts. But, and that is a big but, I enjoyed this tell of the Big Week in February, 1944, where a sustained air attack resulted in heavy damage to the German aircraft industry.

    The author spends a good deal of the early part of the book discussing the various events and factors that went into week's bombardments. He gave a sobering discourse on the build up of US strategic airpower and the unsustainable losses incurred in 1943 on raids such as Ravensburg and Schweinfurt, outlining what went wrong and why.

    The authors writing style was engaging and he held my attention well. He told the story of several individual men and the widespread heroics they displayed. There is a lot of good information for the scholar, without irritating hyperbole, but is written such that the novice would enjoy it also.

    9/10 Would Read Again.
     
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  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Finally:
    [​IMG]

    Aces High, Bill Yenne, 2009, Berkley Caliber, 330pp, photos, maps, appendices, index, ISBN 978 0 425 23230 9

    This book tells the saga of the "rivalry" between Richard Bong and Tommy McGuire and their combat in the South Pacific. One of the blurbs on the back cover stated it had "...all the elements of an old-school Hollywood blockbuster..." and I would tend to agree. The book was very engaging and seemed to me to paint a pretty good story of the race to 40 victories and all of the drama that played into each man's service.

    The author's writing was engaging and easily kept me turning the page. He provided enough maps to help the reader keep up with where each man was and provided enough background without getting bogged down in it, to assist the reader in understanding the men and their service.

    I highly recommend this good story.

    10/10 Get It Read, Get It On Your Bookshelf.
     
  4. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I'm reading The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn. You may know he was grabbed and locked up right from the front in East Prussia. I've just been reading about how when the war ended, they suddenly got so many more prisoners, mostly ex-POWs. They lamented, "If only I'd known." the ones who didn't lament were the "Vlasov men."
    He also talks about the Cossacks the British handed over to be killed.
     
  5. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  6. The MP

    The MP New Member

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    Just finished Rhineland: the Battle to End the War by Denis and Shelagh Whitaker.
    41H9fGh8-ZL._SL500_.jpg
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    upload_2022-8-21_22-36-43.jpeg

    My current read.
     
  8. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I just got my copy today. I'll make my review when I'm done.
     
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  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I've read that book several times; it is a classic in my humble opinion. Robert Sherrod was a correspondent for Time and Life magazines, and as you stated he made the landing.
    We lived in the Tarawa Terrace subdivision of base housing at Camp LeJeune; I went to Tarawa Terrace Elementary School. It was 1968 and I was ten years old. My dad had just come back from Vietnam. He'd been shot through the elbow and hit in the face with shrapnel, so he had a lot of medical appointments and had to rehab his arm every day so he could get full extension of it again. Because he was on limited duty he was assigned as division personnel officer. I used to go to work with him and he'd drop me off with his Master Sergeant that was in charge of supply. He was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, he'd been one of Carlson's Raiders (2d Raider Battalion), made the Makin Raid, the long patrol on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan. He made Pusan, Inchon, Seoul and the Chosin Reservoir in Korea and not sure where in Vietnam. He'd teach me stuff and tell me sea stories and I'd run fetch gear off the shelves to help his supply Marines. Over the summer he surveyed enough 782 gear to equip me and a fireteam of friends for playing Army (Marines). When it came time to secure for the day, he and my dad would stop at one of several bars on the way home for a beer and I'd get a Shirley Temple (Sprite or Ginger Ale, a little lemon juice, some maraschino cherry juice from the cherry bottle and a cherry). Every bar we drank at would have the Sgt. Tom Lovell painting of the Battle of Tarawa hanging behind the bar. I was surrounded by references of the battle but didn't really know anything about it. One day when I got to work the old Master Sargeant brought me a copy of Sherrod's book "Tarawa: The Story of a Battle", I took it home and devoured it. I was in awe. I couldn't believe the old Sargeant had survived such an event, he had a new mythical status in my eyes, right alongside Achilles, Ajax, Davy Crockett (every kid had seen the Wonderful World of Disney Davy Crockett shows) and Sgt. York. One episode from the book has always stood out in my mind. Sherrod was walking around the island after the battle trying to understand how they'd won. He came across a Marine whose job was to plant a landing marker to guide the follow-on waves. He'd been hit in the surf but drug himself to the seawall to plant his marker where he'd died. Sherrod thought that it was each Marine doing his assigned task, whatever the cost, because other Marines were depending on him that won the fight.
    Thanks for bringing back fond memories Lou, I have the Lovell Painting hanging over my computer desk, and I'm going to dig out Sherrod's book and read it again.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    I think I have read it too, borrowed from a library one or two years ago. And I have read also 'Carriers in Combat', by C.G. Hearn, and 'Sunburst' by M.R. Peattle, which deals with Japanese naval aviation between 1909 and 1941. I recommend it, it's technically detailed and it has a section dedicated to aircraft in service in the IJN in that period, with drawings and specifications. Not many books deals in such detail with interwar aircraft that didn't make it to WW2.

    Right now I'm reading another novel of the 'Kirov' series by John Shettler, '1943'. It's alternate history with very far fetched premises, but with in-depth descriptions of battles, campaigns and technical details of weapon systems, some historical and some hypothetical. Much of the novels read like a military history of alternate versions of WW2. '1943' is dedicated to the Pacific war. In this AH, the Pacific War begun earlier, some ships cancelled by the Washington Treaty were built together with others entirely fictional. The Japanese skipped the Midway operation and invaded the Fiji Islands, allied with Vichy France (so they hold New Caledonia and the New Hebrides). Maybe it appeals to my childish side, but I love the series. Many of the novels describe battles between modern warships and tanks against WW2 ones, for instance a battle between the Yamato and an 'upgraded' version of the Russian 'battlecruiser' Kirov (hence the name of the series).
     
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  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    In the book, how did Yamato do? I'd imagine if Yamato was around until the Kirov's era, she'd have upgraded sensors and likely would ship some guided missiles. similar to what occurred in real life with the Iowa's. Kirov's best bet would be to use its 5kt speed advantage to stay away from Yamato. Then again the tendency of Soviet ships to suffer mechanical failures when hard used might leave her vulnerable for Yamato to run down.
     
  12. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    Well, I would prefer to avoid posting spoilers in case somebody here wants to read it. But:
    *******************************************************************************************************

    The Yamato it's the one from 1942, and the souped-up Kirov (bigger and meaner than the real one and even sporting armor and multiple 6" turrets) pounds it with anti-ship missiles and forces it to retreat heavily damaged but not in danger of sinking. Shettler's Kirov doesn't have hypersonic missiles however.

    There are many other cool fictional battles, including ships like the H-41 battleships and the 'never-were' BC Invincible, and even a battle between the Kirov and Halsey's giant TF from late WW2 and another one between Kirov and the Japanese fleet of 1908 under Admiral Togo. Also a modern British brigade equipped with Challenger 2 vs Rommel AK :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  13. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    PS: I spelled the author's name wrong: it's John Schettler, not Shettler.
     
  14. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Current read. I believe it's my first in the CBI. The OSS was more important than I knew
    PRO04449348.jpg
     
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  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Just to be different: Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey.
     
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  16. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    Ok, let's reveal our little dirty secrets... :D Recently I've read Dinosaur Hunter by Steve White:
    Dinosaur Hunter by Steve White (2015)

    CONGRATULATIONS
    Your application for a Mesozoic hunting license has been successful!

    Before you travel back in time and charge headlong into a pack of prehistoric big game, we strongly advise that you read the following guidebook. It will provide you with information crucial to success — and survival! Learn the basic facts of the geography, climate and environmental conditions of the five Mesozoic hunting reservations on the offer. Discover the huge variety of dinosaurs that stalk these times, with tips on identification, tracking, and the best weapons to bring them down! Finally, this guide contains first-hand accounts of some of the hunters who have braved these conditions and lived to tell the tale.
    LET THE HUNT BEGIN!
    :cool::p
     
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  17. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I just saw this and wondered, why they chose that picture for the cover. Those are wounded Marines, with a Corpsman on a tank in Hue City, Vietnam in 1968, not soldiers in Italy in WWII. Sounds like except for not finishing his wartime experience it was a good read based upon your representation. If I had come across it in the bookstore, I probably would have passed on by because the cover picture doesn't match the story subject. Usually, that tends to be an indicator that the contents are not very well done.
    BTW, I know that you interviewed and were quite close to some of the 30th ID WWII veterans, I've seen you post about them. Did you ever take any of them to the VA for appointments? If so, you might have met the author when he was medical director there and never even realized, it! Small world.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2022
  18. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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  19. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    2292740b-9f54-4cc9-9989-d3d5c734b353.eb7a8b8c737fe41ec98cc8bdbdc16322.jpg

    My current read. Takes place primarily in Italy, but the main characters are part of Churchill's "ungentlemanly" warriors. Since I'm only about a third done there promises to be further tasks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2022
  20. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I never looked at cover closely. I have strong suspicions someone did the graphic work and made little effort to find an appropriate photo.
     

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