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Subject: Military History Bookshelf for February, 2012 rss

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Larz Welo
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I'm back and posting this one! I love Indonesia...gives me an edge on greeting the new day/month/year early. I just finished my "night watchmen" with some of the guys from the community and I am still a little wound up so I'll post this now.

I am still working on A Peace to End All Peace, which has been really informative. It seems like a lot of decisions were made by people who really didn't know anything. As a cultural researcher here in Indonesia I find this idea fascinating...maybe I could work for some government somewhere and tell people a bunch of stuff that I don't really know...total awesome! Still only about a third of the way through this one.



I've also been working on Landscape Turned Red, which has been my primary endeavor lately. I'm trying to finish it so that I can leave it here and not worry about it taking up luggage space. I'm still just in the first couple of chapters, but it's been really good so far. Not really a whole lot new to learn, but always good to get a deeper perspective.



My Audio-book for this month continues to be Shelby Foote's The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume 2 and 3. I am currently stalled out on the Battle of Chickamauga. The narrative flow is confusing, probably because the majority of the battle was incredibly confusing. I'm going to pause this and read up on the battle on Wikipedia and then continue with the aftermath. There will be some good chances to work on this one some more because between now and then end of the month I've got two trips (to Jakarta and Surabaya), and some serious driving around locally to do.

I've got a goodreads.com account as well, and would love to be your friend on that site as well...

What have you been reading lately? Post up a mini-review and let us know what you all thought?
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Will (JR) Todd
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I'm about halfway through Enemy At The Gates by William Craig. It's been very interesting so far as the style is personal accounts from both sides of the battle as well as a sort-of overview of events at times.
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Brian Morris
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Picked this up cheap on Amazon almost on a lark. Turned out to be one of those serendipity purchases. A really fascinating look at the history of Arlington covering everything from Lee's time living there to the controversy over the Vietnam War's Unknown Soldier. Highly recommended.
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Brian Morris
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greatredwarrior wrote:

I've also been working on Landscape Turned Red, which has been my primary endeavor lately. I'm trying to finish it so that I can leave it here and not worry about it taking up luggage space. I'm still just in the first couple of chapters, but it's been really good so far. Not really a whole lot new to learn, but always good to get a deeper perspective.


A good corollary to this is The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 by Ezra Carman and Thomas Clemens. Also the soon to be published Maps of Antietam by Bradley Gottfried.
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Russell/Karen Morse
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my reading list this month:

Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power by John France

With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 by David Stevenson
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Chris B
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Jon
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I am going through one of my reading lulls. Due, in part, to the copious amount of rules I have been pouring over.

Poking my way through the latest "Medieval Warfare" magazine, the focus this time being the Normans in the Mediterranean. I am learning stuff (always cool).

Book-wise I have How the North Won, Why the South Lost the Civil War and Keegan's The American Civil War beside my bed. The fact that I have started up a PBEM session of For the People is just a coincidence I am sure. In all honesty I am not sure if I am going to read any of these tomes at this time as I need to space my readings on the subject.

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Alfred Wallace
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Military History Bookshelf for February, 2012
Capt_S wrote:
Book-wise I have How the North Won, Why the South Lost the Civil War and Keegan's The American Civil War beside my bed.


John Keegan has written several good books. He also wrote The American Civil War. If you want a brief, military-heavy introduction to the war, I recommend the Osprey essential history over this one.

EDIT: "Why, Alfred?"

Honestly, I forgot why I hated it. It came in the mail, I sat down with it, it seemed pretty crummy with a once-over, other scholars I rang up also thought it was crummy. I put it aside, sold it, and forgot about it. But I found this. For those not in the know, James McPherson likes...I won't say he likes almost anything, but he likes a great many books. He is very charitable. You'll find a blurb from him on the back of many books out there. So when James McPherson doesn't really like a book...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/books/review/McPherson-t.h...

But seriously: If you want a short, accessible, military history of the war, you (and my students last semester) will be well-served by the Osprey book. It's written by top folks, has lots of pictures and maps, and is good stuff. It'll be a good reference while you're reading How the North Won and Why the South Lost.
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Jon
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Thanks Alfred. Folks I spoke to did not like his book on intelligence either.

Good thing he has written some of my favourites in the past, like The Mask of Command. At least there are those to fall back on.

EDIT: That was a scathing review which I felt he was pained to write (the reviewer that is). Sad in some ways.
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Cpl. Fields
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In preparation to play RAF, which arrived in the post yesterday.
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Jonathan N. "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Only read one book this month, but it was a long one (over 600 pages)!



Excellent book, I knew next to nothing about the Korean War and I picked this up at my local Habitat for Humanity and decided to rectify that situation. He expertly weaves the political backgrounds, the generals backgrounds, the strategic overviews, and the first hand accounts of the men on the ground into one flowing story. To understand the American politics behind the war he also presents the Russian, North Korean, and Chinese going ons as well. It is (as most books of this kind are) a sad read as well, the amount of human life wasted because of political aspirations and fear is horrible. Excellent in depth overview (if that makes sense) of the war in my opinion.
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Jur dj
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zuludawn wrote:
Overy's Battle of Britain cover

In preparation to play RAF, which arrived in the post yesterday.


d'oh! up there in my to read list. long time since I read Deighton's account, but Overy has a different approach
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Brian Morris
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jurdj wrote:
zuludawn wrote:
Overy's Battle of Britain cover

In preparation to play RAF, which arrived in the post yesterday.


d'oh! up there in my to read list. long time since I read Deighton's account, but Overy has a different approach


Going to pick this up. Read Deighton's book last year after someone posted it to this list and thought it was fantastic. Not a huge WW II buff but I find Britain during the war to be very interesting.
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Pete Belli
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Ten Million Bayonets: Inside the Armies of the Soviet Union a 1988 reference book by wargame designer and former SPI staff member David C. Isby.
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Bob
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A little light reading heading my way...
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Leo Zappa
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Still working my way through...


Good book, though not what I was expecting. The book deals much more with the major personalities (Nimitz, Yamamoto, Roosevelt, Churchill) than I anticipated, though I think that's all to the good. I'm gaining a great deal of insight into these characters (I'm especially intrigued by the picture that the author paints of Admiral Ernest King, a picture much more nuanced than I imagined).
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Brian Morris
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desertfox2004 wrote:

Good book, though not what I was expecting. The book deals much more with the major personalities (Nimitz, Yamamoto, Roosevelt, Churchill) than I anticipated, though I think that's all to the good. I'm gaining a great deal of insight into these characters (I'm especially intrigued by the picture that the author paints of Admiral Ernest King, a picture much more nuanced than I imagined).


I think when it comes to military history people seem to approach it two different ways. Some enjoy the tactical aspects of it more while others enjoy the personal/political aspects of it.

For myself I generally enjoy the latter. I read the tactical civil war books of course but I've always been more interested in the commanders, what they were thinking and how they interacted. I'd rather read about the commander and how he dealt with the situation rather than how the specific units maneuvered on the battlefield. Mind you there is no right or wrong way to study history and to truly delve into one side you have to have a good understanding of the other as well. We're all just drawn to different aspects of it.

I actually find in my interest in manned space flight it's the same way. I belong to a forum with a number of authors and people who took part in the Apollo program. I find I especially enjoy studying the astronauts, the engineers, controllers and how they all meshed together while other tend to enjoy delving more deeply into the hardware. Very similar situation.
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David Janik-Jones
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Just picked up Beevor's book on the Stalingrad siege.
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Jim Ransom
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in the Hands of Fate by Dwight Messimer. The story of the men and planes of PatWing TEN Dec 41 to May 42. Filling in a hole in my knoowledge of the valiant struggle of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and the other ABDA allies.

Compelling stuff every wargamer interested in WW2 PAC theater should study.
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Joey Konyha
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Bouncing back and forth between



and



with a bit of http://www.amazon.com/US-Submarine-Losses-World-War/dp/B0026... interspersed, as this months obsession is Silent War while waiting for High Frontier and the expansion (on back orderangry) to arrive.
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Alfred Wallace
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MonteCristo23 wrote:
Bouncing back and forth between



and



with a bit of http://www.amazon.com/US-Submarine-Losses-World-War/dp/B0026... interspersed, as this months obsession is Silent War while waiting for High Frontier and the expansion (on back orderangry) to arrive.


If you're interested in their prey, get a library copy of Mark Parillo's book on the Japanese Merchant Marine. Why the library? Well:

http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Merchant-Marine-World-War/dp/...
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M Evan Brooks
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Still working my way through



It started out well, but degenerated due to a lack of maps. Also, the author contends that Ludendorff lacked operational perspectives while seeking tactical gains and then often criticizing OHL for improperly exploiting tactical gains.

For February.



and



I have actually read the last book, but am taking both on a forthcoming trip to Israel this month.






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Sean McCormick
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DaveyJJ wrote:


Just picked up Beevor's book on the Stalingrad siege.


One of the most engagingly written pieces of military history I've ever read.
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Jeremey M
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seanmac wrote:
DaveyJJ wrote:


Just picked up Beevor's book on the Stalingrad siege.


One of the most engagingly written pieces of military history I've ever read.


Definitely the best I've read. I'm presently looking for Beevor's piece on the Spanish Civil War, hoping it's just as good!
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Alfred Wallace
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sendinthetanks wrote:
Definitely the best I've read. I'm presently looking for Beevor's piece on the Spanish Civil War, hoping it's just as good!


It's not bad. Not as analytical or comprehensive as I'd like, but it's well-written and should leave you knowing more about the war than when you started. I'm certainly glad I read it.
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