The Thanksgiving Book Orgy -1 reply

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jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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11th April 2005

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#1 10 years ago

Ah, they came - my quarterly WWII book pigout. Nine books to lead me into Christmas. Over the last couple of years or so I began doing more specialized reading in the ETO. Of course I read a lot of works about American units in Europe as well as memoirs. Looked at the Eastern Front, several memoirs of German soldiers. Did a lot of air war, concentrating on US bombing and fighters, and battle of Britain. When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on about Pacific Theater, but other than Eugene Sledge's With The Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa (if you read only one book about the USMC in the Pacific, make it this one) I haven't read much on it in the last 10 years or so.

Books of the current crop: 1. The Germans In Normandy - Richard Hargreaves 2. The Battle Of Kursk - David Glantz and Jonathan House 3. The Few - Alex Kershaw 4. Alamo In The Ardennes - Jon McManus 5. Red Storm On The Reich - Christopher Duffy 6. The Last Battle - Cornelius Ryan 7. The Fall Of Berlin - Anthony Read and David Fisher 8. The Last 100 Days - John Toland 9. The Bulge - Danny S. Parker

The only generally acknowledged classic is the Cornelius Ryan book, although after reading Anthony Beevor's book I think Beevor is probably the leading English writer on Berlin now. Toland's Berlin book came out almost simultaneously with Ryan's (1966) and it will be interesting to see if his book has been unfairly overlooked today, or if maybe it hasn't aged so well. David Glantz is the leading expert English-language writer about the Red Army in WWII - I've never read him and trust he's reliable. Disappointed in Alex Kershaw's The Few - like an idiot I confused it with another book and thought I was getting (yet another) RAF in the Battle of Britain book, but this is about only Americans flying in the RAF. Kershaw did The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter, which was an excellent description of the combat of a single Intel platoon in Losheim, but he really put a lot of post-battle fluff in it to make it book-size. Alamo In The Ardennes is a look at some of the lesser-known Bulge fights by not-so-famous units - no 101st Airborne or Eisenborn Ridge in here. The Bulge I got through E-bay ($10 for a new book, large book), and it's odd at first glance. A day-to-day history of Allied and German actions, it has all kinds of very detailed maps (many of battalion-level actions) and many pictures. The pages are slick and the print is sharp, but the pictures look like they've been transmitted across a 1945 teletype - they're horribly dark and fuzzy. Well, it was printed in Hong Kong. It may have been $10 down the drain, we'll see.

I'll surface again with a report.




Coca-Cola

[130.Pz.]A.Aussen

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28th August 2006

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#2 10 years ago

jumjum;40437682. The Battle Of Kursk - David Glantz and Jonathan House

I'll surface again with a report.

Read this one first!:naughty:




Von Mudra

Lo, I am Mudra, za emo soldat!

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25th September 2004

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#3 10 years ago

Of those, I have only read Fall of Berlin, an excellent book. Unfortunately, us college students don't quite have the funds to go to borders and buy out tons of books, plus my interests recently have turns to late 1800s/early 1900s USA, with books on Theodore Roosevelt, Devil in the White City, Andrew Carnegie, the Filipino Insurrection, and the like. Also I have a broadening interest in Australian Colonization, with the book "A Commonwealth of Thieves"




jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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11th April 2005

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#4 10 years ago

Okay, Coke, Glantz it is - I'm still finishing up John Keegan's Six Armies In Normandy.

Yep, vM, one of the few advantages to being an old fart is (somewhat) more money and a lot more time. ;)




JustPlainLucas

Quagmire "Giggity Giggity"

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19th November 2007

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#5 10 years ago
Coca-Cola;4043775Read this one first!:naughty:

Is there a limit on a sig size?




stylie

Mas stylie por favor...

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13th April 2005

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#6 10 years ago
JustPlainLucas;4044269Is there a limit on a sig size?

JPL are you a philly boy?




JohnWalker

The Few. The Proud.

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14th November 2004

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#7 10 years ago

*cleans lube off bookmark* I have come thoughly dis-prepared for this thread.




It's Happy Fun Ball!

aka Killed in First Minute

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21st October 2005

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#8 10 years ago

Ouch, the only author I recognized on that list was Ryan, and I don't think that much of him. Don't get me wrong, he is a great writer. But as far as I know, he only writes popular history. He's not a real historian. He also wrote "A Bridge too Far" and (I think) "The Longest Day".




JustPlainLucas

Quagmire "Giggity Giggity"

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19th November 2007

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#9 10 years ago
stylie;4044500JPL are you a philly boy?

No and never will be :beer:




jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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11th April 2005

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#10 10 years ago
Killed in First Minute;4045088Ouch, the only author I recognized on that list was Ryan, and I don't think that much of him. Don't get me wrong, he is a great writer. But as far as I know, he only writes popular history. He's not a real historian. He also wrote "A Bridge too Far" and (I think) "The Longest Day".

Oh, there's not a single writer, other than Sir John Keegan, of any book I've ever commented on here who is a true historian - they're popular historians at best. (Glantz might fight me over that; I've never read him but for some reason I think he may claim to be an academic.) It has nothing to do with their research, because some of them do tremendous work; it has more to do with the rigorous academic style that true "Historians" use - massively footnoted, and usually written in a deadly, ponderous style. To them, William Shirer (Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich) is a "popular historian", and so he is, technically. But I can generally tell who is reliable and who is not, regardless of their "popularity".