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Subject: Military History Bookshelf for February, 2012 rss

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David
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sendinthetanks wrote:
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!

Have to agree, an amazing read. One of my all time favorites. Currently reading:

Would very much like to see this Conflict of Heroes: Isle of Doom – Crete 1941 get published.
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Jonathan N. "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Snowman wrote:
sendinthetanks wrote:
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!

Have to agree, an amazing read. One of my all time favorites. Currently reading:

Would very much like to see this Conflict of Heroes: Isle of Doom – Crete 1941 get published.


Stalingrad, Berlin, D-Day, and The Spanish Civil War by Beevor are all excellent! Crete is winging its way to me from a seller in Oregon via Amazon and will be one of the few books (A Time for Trumpets is going too thanks to ya'lls recommendations!) Im taking with me when I move to Israel. Looking forward to reading it!
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Greg Sager
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Just finished reading a book I last read 40 years ago,"The Last Battle" by C. Ryan. Geez I'm old.
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Jim Ransom
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Moron Tom wrote:
Just finished reading a book I last read 40 years ago,"The Last Battle" by C. Ryan. Geez I'm old.


Oldie...but goodie! (At least the book is! whistle) As are The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far. I always thought these 3 were "must haves" for a WW2 library.
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Pete Belli
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The Collapse of the Soviet Military by William E. Odom

Time has passed this volume by... but I was primarily interested in the first chapters covering the European situation in the early 1980s.

The book includes a chapter which offers one of the best descriptions of Marxist-Leninist military policy and the Soviet philosophy of war that I've read.

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Pete Belli
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Claws of the Bear: The History of the Red Army from the Revolution to the Present by Brian Moynahan

Like the previous book I mentioned, this 1989 volume is quite dated. However, it has excellent chapters on the Warsaw Pact in the 1950s 1960s, and 1970s.
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Philip Thomas
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London
London
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Shadow of the Sultan's Realm: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle Easr by Daniel Allen Butler.

Don't be fooled by the glib (and occasionally inaccurate) generalisations in the opening chapters, this is well worth reading as an account of WWI in the Middle East and subsequent events up to 1923.
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Joe R

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Two suggestions for your reading pleasure. First, for a completely different view of WW2, but an important one, try Hitler's Empire -- How the Nazis Ruled Europe by Mark Mazower. This is not alternative history, but is a look at, no surprise, how the Nazis treated their conquered territories. Interestingly, their attitude was wildly different in different places. And not always for racial reasons. Interesting book.

Of course, if you like this, there is always Wages of Destruction by Tooze. I have recommended this in the past, but if Hearts of Iron 2 ever fascinated you, you must read this book.

But second Three Armies on the Somme by William Philpott is an absolute must for anyone interested in WW1. This is revisionist history at its best. The author tells the story of the THREE armies on the Somme -- and makes a good argument that the one that most historians ignore (the French) actually had the best of the battle, learned the most and achieved the most.

He also tells the story of how the story of the Somme was told -- how the story got hijacked by a number of vested interests for political purposes. For someone whose early introduction to wargaming and specialist military history was heavily influenced by BH Hart, this was a further nail in the coffin of Hart's military reputation. But at the same time, a further episode in understanding the depth of feeling that made Hart's mostly baneful influence on the British military more understandable.

But don't let this explanation take you astray, Three Armies is a great book, very engaging and insightful on what was going on in all three armies as well as on the battlefield.
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Alfred Wallace
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Good to see some occupation history on here...

If you liked Hitler's Empire for the big picture, you might find his previous book, Inside Hitler's Greece, interesting for a more in-depth case study.
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B. Marsh
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I just read Company Aytch, I think this is my fourth read on this book. All time civil war classic, it never gets old. This version included some previously unpublished material from the Watkins family, basically Sam's notes and other material that was edited out of the book. Didn't really make a difference in the read, still the same book. [ImageID=51Bz8hwzHKL_AA240]
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Steve Trauth
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Historical fiction, true - but well, I am not overly versed in the rise of Gaius Marius ...



First Man in Rome ... I might probably go onto the next one after this one (The Grass Crown) -which I think it probably about Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (based upon the context of the title).
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Peter Millen
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A book for the general reader but very interesting to me.
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Mark Tomlinson
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Just acquired:











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Wendell
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My WIF buddy Chris has lent me



I'm only about 30 pages into it (the invasion fleet is still in Virginia) but so far it's interesting. I know very little about Operation Torch and the conquest of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.
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Jim Ransom
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wifwendell wrote:
My WIF buddy Chris has lent me



I'm only about 30 pages into it (the invasion fleet is still in Virginia) but so far it's interesting. I know very little about Operation Torch and the conquest of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.


A good read, as is the follow up The Day of Battle. Still waiting for his last one to complete the trilogy.
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Arnaud MOYON
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Very good reading!
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Jur dj
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jpr755 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
My WIF buddy Chris has lent me


I'm only about 30 pages into it (the invasion fleet is still in Virginia) but so far it's interesting. I know very little about Operation Torch and the conquest of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.


A good read, as is the follow up The Day of Battle. Still waiting for his last one to complete the trilogy.


The brilliant bits are about Yanks and Tommies taking the piss out of each other. I'm always fascinated by the Torch attempts to get into Tunisia, including paradrops and nifty negotiations with local French forces. They almost got there before the Germans could reinforce.

With hindsight, it actually proved better the German first invested a quarter of a million troops there that did little to delay the invasion of Italy and could be bagged a few months later.
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Mark
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Slowly working my way through this: Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I



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Alfred Wallace
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aysi wrote:
Slowly working my way through this: Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I





I heard Neiberg give a talk on part of this when he came to my school to talk to us Military History/Modern Europe grad students and faculty. The talk focused on (basically) newspaper reactions to the events leading up to WWI, showing how they reacted with a singular lack of nationalism. My problem was that all his newspapers were left-wing; no Le Figaro, no Daily Telegraph. Most of his diarists were socialists.

He's a top scholar, so presumably his source base for the Real Book is much broader, but it was a somewhat disappointing talk.

(Haven't read the book.)
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Steve Trauth
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Military History Bookshelf for February, 2012
Snowman wrote:
sendinthetanks wrote:
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!

Have to agree, an amazing read. One of my all time favorites. Currently reading:

Would very much like to see this Conflict of Heroes: Isle of Doom – Crete 1941 get published.


I recently got super-lucky and found Beevor's Crete book, at of all places a lapidary show -in decent shape where someone wanted all of 20 cents Australian for it. The only other book on history there was something about a short history of the Byzantine Empire for the same price -so I had to grab that as well. My luck isn't normally that good.
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Mark
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[q="aysi"]
Quote:

I heard Neiberg give a talk on part of this when he came to my school to talk to us Military History/Modern Europe grad students and faculty. The talk focused on (basically) newspaper reactions to the events leading up to WWI, showing how they reacted with a singular lack of nationalism. My problem was that all his newspapers were left-wing; no Le Figaro, no Daily Telegraph. Most of his diarists were socialists.

He's a top scholar, so presumably his source base for the Real Book is much broader, but it was a somewhat disappointing talk.

(Haven't read the book.) [q]



The book does look to be very well researched at this stage-just finished the 4th chapter. He uses French Public Opinion and Foreign Affairs by Carroll a fair bit in these early chapters, mainly for the Le Figaro/Calmette content. The Daily Telegraph and the Times are also referred to in their coverage of the assassinations in June, where they were only on the front page for a day or two.

The strong reliance of the socialist view in the book so far, and I suspect will remain throughout, is his belief that they formed the major opposition to the nationalist/militarist factions that often tried to turn the various crisis at the time, into something the vast majority of Europeans did not want. This is the foundation of his book: Europe did not want to go to war, the Europeans believed that there were safe guards employed by their governments, that had proved successful in the past avoiding war, and a very small minority, not necessarily in charge, proved to be the influencing factor that started the war.

A very interesting read.

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Jur dj
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aysi wrote:
[q="aysi"]
Quote:

I heard Neiberg give a talk on part of this when he came to my school to talk to us Military History/Modern Europe grad students and faculty. The talk focused on (basically) newspaper reactions to the events leading up to WWI, showing how they reacted with a singular lack of nationalism. My problem was that all his newspapers were left-wing; no Le Figaro, no Daily Telegraph. Most of his diarists were socialists.

He's a top scholar, so presumably his source base for the Real Book is much broader, but it was a somewhat disappointing talk.

(Haven't read the book.) [q]



The book does look to be very well researched at this stage-just finished the 4th chapter. He uses French Public Opinion and Foreign Affairs by Carroll a fair bit in these early chapters, mainly for the Le Figaro/Calmette content. The Daily Telegraph and the Times are also referred to in their coverage of the assassinations in June, where they were only on the front page for a day or two.

The strong reliance of the socialist view in the book so far, and I suspect will remain throughout, is his belief that they formed the major opposition to the nationalist/militarist factions that often tried to turn the various crisis at the time, into something the vast majority of Europeans did not want. This is the foundation of his book: Europe did not want to go to war, the Europeans believed that there were safe guards employed by their governments, that had proved successful in the past avoiding war, and a very small minority, not necessarily in charge, proved to be the influencing factor that started the war.

A very interesting read.



This is in line with the argument in Herwig Decisions for War 1914-1917. He argues that in many cases the decision making process was separated from public opinion and that those making the decisions were in many cases convinced war was inevitable and that they were going to lose out if they didn't act now.
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Roger Smith
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I first encountered it 30+ years ago and since then have borrowed it numerous times from various libraries. I'm so excited to finally have my own copy!

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Jason Sadler
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I am returning to the work of David Glantz and reading Barbarossa Derailed. I just finished War Without Garlands, a book with a similar focus on Army Group Centre and the drive on Moscow.
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Doug Adams
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Ashitaka wrote:


A little light reading heading my way...


I finished those four books in late January and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Now reading Eugene Sledge's With The Old Breed, which is marvellous. He writes very well, and it's easy to see why this is considered a classic.
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