WWII Reading for October?
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Just read: The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guin ... by James Campbell (see my review), now reading Hitler's War in the East, 1941-1945: A Critical Assessment (War and Genocide) by Rolf-Dieter Muller (massive comprehensive bibliographies). The Admiralties.
"Hitler's War in the East" is a good read.
"Defiance: The Bielski Partisans" by Nechama Tec
Already finished this month:
"Taking Risks" Joseph Pell and Fred Rosenbaum
"Stalin's Spy" Robert Whymant
War Department's The Admiralties and Taaffe's MacArthur's Jungle war : the 1944 New Guinea campaign.
Starting on The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea-The Forgotten War of the South Pacific by James Campbell.
Army National Guard units thrown into combat without proper equipment or training isn't a new thing. Just more of the same old, same old.
In may 1940 a future U.S.President wrote a little book called Why England Slept. The President was John F. Kennedy. It was written as an answer to Winston Churchills book While England Slept.
Although I've just started to read it. it should be intesting as his father was the ambassador to England untill he was recalled by F.D.R.
It's a good read, one tough mission, with MacArthur cracking the whip on everyone.
Reading Michael Korda's excellent new biography, IKE: An American hero. I've read most of the standard Ike bio's: Ambrose, D'Este, Perrett, Blumenson, etc, but I really like this well-written, snappy volume. (I'm thinking 4stars at the moment)
re: JFK. Do I recall some controversy over whether he actually wrote that book or had it written for him? I vaguely recall but could be wrong.
The Gouzenko Transcripts an edited volume of evidence provided to the royal commission investigating Soviet spying in Canada during WWII. Very interesting. Also touches upon the various atomic espionage carried out in the US and UK.
I believe it was and expantion on his senior paper for collage. He Must have had much access to material as his father was ambassador to England till he was recalled by FDR for saying that Europe's problems were not worth the blood one bike riding American boy. So I guess he most likly had help. But it's still a good read either way. It's like Shakespear does it really matter who wrote the plays.
Just read / or watch and enjoy. Leave the rest up to up to peaple who don't have the soul just to enjoy them.
And as far as Why England Slept the observations and conclusions are just as valid no matter how much or how little help he had.
I have done some World War II reading this month, and my favorite therein is: 4370 The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 Volume Two of The Liberation Trilogy, by Rick Atkinson (read 11 Oct 2007). I have posted a comment thereon in Library Thing
Just finishing Quartered Safe Out Here by George McDonald Fraser. Wonderfully written (if strangely/refreshingly low-level - at times the author doesn't even know where his section is!) memoir of the latter stages of the Burma campaign.
At time deadly serious, and at time side-splittingly hilarious (I'm sure people on the train have been worried about me, especially when he describes how one of the old hands in the section handled the password system). Well worth a look.
RE: Quartered, I concur, great book. He really outdid his self with that. And I FINALLY have started The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944 --thumbs up already. Atkinson's quite a good writer.
I also enjoyed Quartered Safe Out Here - I like Fraser and it seems the British do these sorts of memoirs better, I have always kept an eye out for WWII memoirs from tank crewmen hoping for a first hand view of armored warfare (to balance out what all the tank generals tell us). If you haven't already read it, you may want to take a look at John Masters' memoir of the same war, The Road Past Mandalay.
Robert A. Mosher
Just tried a tagmash on
and noticed these two, which look interesting:
Another river, another town : a teenage tank gunner comes of age in combat and
By Tank into Normandy
I picked up The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 yesterday at Borders to use up my 30% off coupon. When I will be able to get to it, who knows?
I'll also recommend The Road Past Mandalay, an excellent book.
Partial list of WWII British Armoured Memoirs:
Bill Bellamy - "Troop Leader"
Ken Tout - several, incl "A Fine Night For Tanks", "Tanks, Advance!", and "Tank!"
Michael Carver - several, esp "Out of Step"
Patrick Delaforce - several, incl "the Black Bull"
Stuart Hills - "By Tank into Normandy"
Stuart Hamilton - "Armoured Odyssey"
Robert Crisp - "Brazen Chariots"
Andrew Wilson - "Flamethrower"
I have a number of these including Ken Tout's Tank! 40 hours of Battle and Tanks, Advance! Normandy to the Netherlands, 1944; Stuart Hills' By Tank into Normandy; Andrew Wilson's Flame Thrower - about the Churchill 'Crocodile' flamethrower tanks; and Robert Crisp's Brazen Chariots and The Gods Were Neutral. There is also Stephen Dyson's Tank Twins about twin brothers from London's East End serving in Churchills from 1943-45; Cyril Joly's Take These Men which includes service in Grant/Lee tanks in the Western Desert. I've recently picked up Leakey's Luck: A Tank Commander with Nine Lives edited by George Forty and Armored Crusader by Kenneth Macksey which is the biography of Percy Hobart, one of Britain's most ingenious tank officers.
There is a somewhat related and interesting memoir also in Somerset de Chair's The Golden Carpet which recounts the British campaign in Iraq in 1941.
I have also picked up some interesting novels about tanks during World War II:
Colin Forbes' Tramp in Armour is about a Matilda tank crew in France in 1940. G F Borden's Easter Day 1941 is set in North Africa. The Killing Ground by Elleston Trevor is about a Churchill tank unit during the Normandy invasion while David Holbrook's Flesh Wounds is described as an autobiographical novel about a British tank officer who commands a Sherman tank during the invasion.
Robert A. Mosher
(I think I may have overwhelmed the touchstone feature here!)
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