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Subject: Military History Bookshelf, October 2012 rss

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Larz Welo
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Katy
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Greetings comrades!

It has been far too long since I have graced this thread with my presence. Between my 3 month old son, and starting up school this Fall I was a bit preoccupied with anthropology and family. However, I’m back and I have something to say!

I have finished the following since last I posted:



A very thorough, quite honestly dull, account of the flight of the Confederate Government from the Fall of Richmond to the capture of Jefferson Davis. Chapters 2-6 were a depressing drag, mostly because it is hard not to feel bad for the hardships of a defeated government on the run. But, the detail was too much, too many cabinet members are arriving and leaving all the time that it is difficult to keep track of the ones you don't already know well. Not a thrilling read.

However, the first chapter, which summarized the activities of Jeff Davis in 1865, before the defeat at Petersburg, and the final chaper, where the author very clearly and accurately presents some of the key ideological, emotional and spiritual experiences of the South People which grew into the Lost Cause is brilliant.

Not sure it is worth a read, but despite the author's proneness to detail, it is not a terrifically exciting story. I appreciated his analysis and would just look for a more exciting topic next time.


I also read,


Which I must say is easily worth a skip. This 50 page booklet from Osprey is much more about the fashion and style of the Italian Army in World War 1 than anything to do with their weapons, equipment, or command structure. The brief historical overview at the start was nice, because it spent some time unpacking the Italian effort in Albania and the Balkans, and their continuing struggles with Libyan rebels, but it didn’t make it worth it at all. I’ll keep my eyes open for something better, but I’m not really on the quest right now either.

I am currently reading:

Which I’m almost finished with, but just can’t seem to kill off the last 20 pages.


Which is really pretty easy to read and will probably be finished by next month.


Which is just so large. I’m loving it, but with school and the new baby I haven’t been able to read this more than occasionally.


And this, which was given to me by my brother yesterday. It’s a graphic novel so shouldn’t be too difficult to polish off in a week or so.



So, what have you been reading? Was it worthwhile? Share with us!

Oh, and keep the discussions polite please!
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Cezary Domalski
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Preparing to playing SPQR i'm reading this two books:


I find both highly readable and I may recommend it. Especially Richard A. Gabriel work.
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Jon
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I am still sitting amidst my piles of unpacked books. Not so surprisingly, I am not reading any of them! Sigh... In fact, I am in the throes of a reading slump that has carried on now for months. I just cannot concentrate enough to stick to one title, read it to completion and then start another. It is rather frustrating.

There are some new books arriving in the next day or two, so perhaps one of those will hook me. These include The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Catherine the Great (a Massie title) and Iron Kingdom. All of which have graced this thread in the past.

Feeling figgity....
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Michael Gill
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Capt_S wrote:
I am still sitting amidst my piles of unpacked books. Not so surprisingly, I am not reading any of them! Sigh... In fact, I am in the throes of a reading slump that has carried on now for months. I just cannot concentrate enough to stick to one title, read it to completion and then start another. It is rather frustrating.

There are some new books arriving in the next day or two, so perhaps one of those will hook me. These include The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Catherine the Great (a Massie title) and Iron Kingdom. All of which have graced this thread in the past.

Feeling figgity....


I know the feeling. Sometime I just get burnt out on military history (blasphemy, I know) and have to cleanse my palate with silly off topic stuff.
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Nigel Swan
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I have just started reading Afgantsy. The Russians in Afghanistan 1978 to 1989
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Jon
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Varduk wrote:
I have just started reading Afgantsy. The Russians in Afghanistan 1978 to 1989


I was eyeballing that one Nigel. Once you feel you can pass along some thoughts about, please share. Thanks.
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Kyle Seely
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Still reading this one:





But this one is queued up:



That cover is pretty gruesome, but some horrifying things happened in that war, so...



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ian morris
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Just finished reading Black Hearts, by Jim Frederick, about the 101st Airborne in Iraq, and an incident that happened there.


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Jan van der Laan
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Als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.
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At the moment still busy in:


The (poor) Dutch translation of:


A great read indeed!

Lined up are:



and



The long, wet and cold autumn evenings will be enjoyable once more!
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Kristopher
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I am currently in the midst of Bevin Alexander's "How Wars are Won: 13 Rules of War from Ancient Greece to War on Terror." Mostly tactical rules/examples such as feigned retreat and striking at an enemy's weakness. Very interesting as I am attempting to learn/relearn wargaming (though it is quite obviously post-9/11, written in 2002, and seems to have an overwhelming recent terrorism feel to it, to its detriment in parts.)

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Tom Rybak
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I am reading this right now on the recommendation of Terry Simo and some new boardgame he just had released. It is a very enjoyable read. Contains lots of personal stories (from letters and recorded interviews) of those involved giving a great picture of the campaign.


Having already read this book I am really able to follow the writer's flow. This one is an overview of the development of air technology and tactics throughout the war whereas Hart's covers the air campaign over Arras in March through May 1917. Franks is not required to get through Hart but puts you on the same page. Hart is interesting enough on his own.

T
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David Lopez
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First part of a trilogy on the 1809 campaign, all three books are on my bookshelf.

I just hope it is as good as his 'With Eagles to Glory', one of the best Napoleonic military history books I have read.
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James Lowry
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TankBoy wrote:
Should have this one done by this weekend


Hmm... that's a subject I'd like more on. How is it?
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Cezary Domalski
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Toastiness wrote:


First part of a trilogy on the 1809 campaign, all three books are on my bookshelf.

I just hope it is as good as his 'With Eagles to Glory', one of the best Napoleonic military history books I have read.


I think that all three are the best books about 1809 campaign. You should not be dissapointed.
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Steve Trauth
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I started this a few days ago- but I will probably finish it his month.
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Andy Daglish
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Jan van der Laan wrote:
At the moment still busy in:



the podcast is here: http://cdn.bbcmagazinesbristol.com/bbchistory/audio/HistoryE....

I'd say its a mixture of errors and conformity gone mad. Did the Germans have the best leaders? Yes they did.

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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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I forgot I also just started slowly making my way through Robert Leckie's "The Wars of America" - a book that's been on my would-like-to-see-if-I-could-read-sometime-but-don't-really-have-the-time-to-read-it-cause-gosh-it-looks-rather-dry-and-dull list.

There is apparently a newer edition, but this one only goes though 1965 I think.

Gosh, was I wrong! Everything that the Bevin Alexander book I'm reading gets wrong in the history narrative (dry and forgettable) this guy makes right. Currently reading about the colonial, pre-American wars. (Really? How could I be interested in that?) But boy he sure makes it readable and interesting, and inserts this touch of wry ironic humor throughout.

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K G
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I'm reading bits and pieces of "Doctors Under Hitler," a pretty chilling story of how a government and its ideology can warp both the scientific method and customary notions of morality.




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James Lowry
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Finished reading
a couple days ago.

It actually a very nice book. In the introduction, Turnbull points out, "the figure of the lone samurai, whose popularity is never in doubt throughout history, stands in direct contrast to what are perceived as the essentially group-led values of Japanese society." Instead of being a book about modern martial arts, it is actually a history of the role of individual samurai (that is the warrior aristocracy) and martial arts from the time of the Gempei War to the current day.

Naturally, at the beginning the focus is on the samurai, which then shifts as the idea of actual swordfighting schools develops, and then the idea of martial arts develops in the centuries of peace under the Tokugawa.

In all, it's an enjoyable book, that does a good job of presenting some of the social context of Japanese history.

Next up: Margaret Aston's The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe.
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Christina Kahrl
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I'm just finishing up...


and plan on moving on to...



and/or



And for a dose of fiction on the early years of the French Revolution...


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William Barnett-Lewis
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Been seeing it in these lists for months now. Then I saw it on the shelf at the library and said "Yes!!!"

One chapter in and it's lots of good fun learning.,
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Philip Thomas
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The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple.

Fascinating account of the titular leader of the mutineers in the great Indian Mutiny of 1857, heir to a 300-year old dynasty. Particularly detailed on the fighting in and around Dehli in that year.
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John Kovacs
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Just finished Torpedo Squadron Four: A Cockpit View of World War II by Gerald W. Thomas and David Thomas on my Kindle. Pretty good account of Navy carrier operations in both the Atlantic and Pacific during WWII from an Avenger pilot's viewpoint.
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Richard Panek
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I'm about half way through:


Well written, about a period that isn't covered enough, and a personage who had one of those interesting adventurer-type 18th century lives.
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Jon
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Nice!
 
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