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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment?

 
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/6/2017 2:40:44 AM   
Mike Dubost

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Dubost

All of the recent posts about Munich made me go back and dig up Failure of a Mission by Sir Neville Henderson (the UK ambassador to Germany at the time). I bought the e book a few years ago. It makes very interesting reading. It is definitely not the standard perspective/received wisdom on the events. Yeah, as a memoir, it can't be called unbiased, but so what? You know what you're getting.

He was clearly a believer in Appeasement. I think it really was from an honest devotion to diplomacy and a fear of Communism, not a devotion to Fascism. In any event, the book does give you his views on the issues.
warspite1

I don't think that a charge of 'devotion to fascism' has ever been directed at anyone in the British or French government circles that were responsible for pursuing an appeasement policy. The path of appeasement was more about doing whatever was necessary to avoid another war - particularly so given the all too recent memories of the trenches and the ruinous war that led to the slaughter of so many young Frenchmen and those from the Commonwealth.



The charge has not been leveled against most of them. It may be different in UK history books, but in the US, Sir Neville has a less savory reputation.

In his book, he mentions certain journalists referring to him as "our Nazi ambassador", and some passages in his book reveal an ... unwholesome degree of sympathy for dictatorships in general and "the great social experiment which was being tried in Germany" (his words, not mine) in particular. For example, "The mistake which was too easily made abroad was to condemn everything that was Nazi just because its ideology was contrary to ours..." Or, "Nor are all dictatorships even if prolonged reprehensible."
One could make a case through selective quotation that he was too friendly to the Nazis. Of course, to do so would be to ignore other passages in which he denounces Himmler, the Gestapo, the indoctrination of German youth, and the concentration camps. In respect to that last, it is important to note that this is not post-war hindsight, the work being copyright 1940, and that he mentions a conversation on the camps with Goering during his (Sir Neville's) tenure as ambassador.
In the end, I think we are more or less in agreement on this one, but the point is that it is not a given that all would be.

If you have not read it, I do recommend it as a look at the events of 1937-39 through a different lens than the typical history.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/9/2017 4:53:37 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

4 new naval books of note, 2 from each war:

'Securing the Narrow Sea: The Dover Patrol 1914-1918' by Steve R. Dunn.

'The War In The North Sea: The Royal Navy And The Imperial German Navy 1914-1918' by Quintin Barry, 608 pages.

'Doomed Before the Start: The Allied Intervention in Norway 1940. Volume 1: The Road To Invasion and Early Moves' by Niall Cherry.

'The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters: Linchpin of Victory 1935-1942' by Andrew Boyd, a hefty 496 pages.

I haven't read any of them.
warspite1

Of these I currently have the last under review. As you said about the O'Hara book above, I am not sure what there is new to say about WWI naval battles so the first two don't appeal.

Amazon allows you to read some passages from the third on your list. I cannot say I am particularly impressed with the author's style - the sentences are too long and its a bit all over the place. In addition I think Geirr H Haarr's German Invasion of Norway and the Battle for Norway are the last word on that campaign.

And so to the last book on the list. I am interesting in this but I don't really get the premise of the book. 1935-42 seems an odd period to be writing about, and I am really not sure what the author is getting at. Why is this period the 'linchpin of victory'? He is also suggesting that Force Z was not Churchill's fault but the Admiralty's. This flies in the face of what I have read previously, but I am certainly curious to understand why he has come to that conclusion. One 5-star review on Amazon, but that might just be the author! I will continue to monitor this one.

warspite1

Well, with no obvious worthwhile books on the Western Front to go for, I've taken a chance on the last book on that list

The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters: Linchpin of Victory 1935-1942
(Boyd)

I've not yet finished the first chapter and boy, am I glad I bought this! So far, very thought provoking, and extremely well written, it definitely looks at the RN between the wars through a different lens than most recent works. I do not agree with a few things - but will wait and see where he goes with those - but he certainly challenges the 'accepted' view of the service during the period.
warspite1

I've put this on hold for a short while as I am reading In Passage Perilous (O'Hara) about the two unsuccessful Malta convoys in 1942 that preceeded 'Pedestal'. As always from this author, the book is proving a good read and he makes some interesting points, but I find myself disagreeing with his overall view of Italian performance.


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/9/2017 8:47:40 AM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Just finished Caliban's War, the third book in The Expanse series. The SyFy series is integrating the first and second books' worth of materials into the plotline-it's interesting to keep ahead of it by a bit.

I bought the first three books of this series and begun on book one and it is a good read so far.

But, alas, my book reading has been grinding to a almost complete stop. For some reason I can not muster any energy to read. Even though I have several good books waiting to be read.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/9/2017 10:24:13 AM   
durangokid


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Val McDermid - The Last Temptation (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 3)

First rate series of crime novels, but you need a strong stomach!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8741.The_Last_Temptation?ac=1&from_search=true

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/9/2017 11:24:23 PM   
demjansk


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I am reading this book after listening to the John Batchelor Radio show.

A Most Dangerous Book.

By Christopher Krebs
Tactics's Germania from the Roman Empire to The Third Reich.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/14/2017 2:35:43 AM   
warspite1


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Just finished In Passage Perilous (O'Hara) about the 1942 Malta convoy operations - particularly Harpoon and Vigorous and Pedestal. As expected from this author, the book was easy to read and well presented. As expected I found myself at odds with the author's conclusions, but it is good to read books from the 'opposite viewpoint'.

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England expects that every man will do his duty.
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/22/2017 1:13:51 PM   
warspite1


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So back to The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters. I cannot tell you how good a book this is. It's not an easy read, but its absolutely fascinating.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 2:27:17 PM   
JessK

 

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Regeneration by Pat Barker. interesting things, that I never came to think about actually. look on the war from a different perspective

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 4:06:17 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 4:07:53 PM   
Chickenboy


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Are we talking something akin to "Shattered Sword", but with more Limeys? That level of superlative detailed excellence (the book writing style, not the Limey part) would convince me to give it a whirl if so.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 4:14:09 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?
warspite1

I cannot tell you.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 2351
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 4:21:13 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Are we talking something akin to "Shattered Sword", but with more Limeys? That level of superlative detailed excellence (the book writing style, not the Limey part) would convince me to give it a whirl if so.
warpsite1

Sadly it is full of Limey's and Churchill and stuff - give it a very wide berth.

In all seriousness I will reserve final judgement until I've read it all, and will do a review of it - probably in the OT thread about Italy in the WITP-AE thread. Why there? Well what the book does bring home is just how difficult it must be to make a plan when the thing you are making a plan for is impossible to actually allow for and cover off......

The intention originally was not to defend the Med, but that plan got kind of by-passed. But the simple fact is, had it not, and the Far East plan as originally envisioned been enacted - a large chunk of the RN could well have found itself at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or somewhere similar.

Intriguingly of course a case can be made for quite the opposite! More to be revealed



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 4:57:28 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Are we talking something akin to "Shattered Sword", but with more Limeys? That level of superlative detailed excellence (the book writing style, not the Limey part) would convince me to give it a whirl if so.
warpsite1

Sadly it is full of Limey's and Churchill and stuff - give it a very wide berth.

In all seriousness I will reserve final judgement until I've read it all, and will do a review of it - probably in the OT thread about Italy in the WITP-AE thread. Why there? Well what the book does bring home is just how difficult it must be to make a plan when the thing you are making a plan for is impossible to actually allow for and cover off......

The intention originally was not to defend the Med, but that plan got kind of by-passed. But the simple fact is, had it not, and the Far East plan as originally envisioned been enacted - a large chunk of the RN could well have found itself at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or somewhere similar.

Intriguingly of course a case can be made for quite the opposite! More to be revealed




My rather cheeky initial response may have obscured my question, so I'll ask it again for clarity: What about the way the book is written thus far has elicited your 'absolutely fascinating' commentary from before? Is it analogous to the way "Shattered Sword" approached the battle of Midway-engrossing detail work?


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 4/24/2017 5:17:05 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Are we talking something akin to "Shattered Sword", but with more Limeys? That level of superlative detailed excellence (the book writing style, not the Limey part) would convince me to give it a whirl if so.
warpsite1

Sadly it is full of Limey's and Churchill and stuff - give it a very wide berth.

In all seriousness I will reserve final judgement until I've read it all, and will do a review of it - probably in the OT thread about Italy in the WITP-AE thread. Why there? Well what the book does bring home is just how difficult it must be to make a plan when the thing you are making a plan for is impossible to actually allow for and cover off......

The intention originally was not to defend the Med, but that plan got kind of by-passed. But the simple fact is, had it not, and the Far East plan as originally envisioned been enacted - a large chunk of the RN could well have found itself at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or somewhere similar.

Intriguingly of course a case can be made for quite the opposite! More to be revealed




My rather cheeky initial response may have obscured my question, so I'll ask it again for clarity: What about the way the book is written thus far has elicited your 'absolutely fascinating' commentary from before? Is it analogous to the way "Shattered Sword" approached the battle of Midway-engrossing detail work?

warspite1

Yes, its is one of those books you pick up, start reading and within a few sentences you just know - this is the sort of book I want to marry and have its babies.

The one thing that strikes me like a thunderbolt so far is the lack of any real mention of the carrier threat. The thinking is all about battleships. Maybe that is simply reflective of the time. What I have to remind myself of are the years that these opening chapters encompass. Because the KB was around at the start of Pacific war, it is easy to forget that we are talking many years before hand. Even then the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm were falling behind but of course it wouldn't have been so apparent.

In addition the R-class were a liability during the war of course - and it was soon realised the old tarts would have to be placed in backwaters for their own safety. Again though, the age of the fast battleships was only just starting.

It was obvious at the time - even with knowledge then available - that the RN was up poo creek without a certain implement to aid them on their way, but I think if the Admirals trying to put together pre-war plans had known what was actually coming, they would all have sought early retirement in 1938....


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/4/2017 7:32:11 PM   
warspite1


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Courage Alone I've been looking for a (hopefully) decent book on the Regia Aeronautica for ages....




Attachment (1)

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/4/2017 8:39:22 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?

quote:

The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters


I looked on Amazon, it got one review of five stars. I'll wait for the Kindle version.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/4/2017 8:41:59 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?

quote:

The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters


I looked on Amazon, it got one review of five stars. I'll wait for the Kindle version.
warspite1

Three 5-stars on Amazon over here.

It's not an easy book and the subject is pretty dry....but I love it!


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/5/2017 12:16:06 AM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?

quote:

The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters


I looked on Amazon, it got one review of five stars. I'll wait for the Kindle version.
warspite1

Three 5-stars on Amazon over here.

It's not an easy book and the subject is pretty dry....but I love it!



You said you couldn't tell!

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/5/2017 6:24:02 AM   
Zorch

 

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'The Washington Conference 1921-1922'. Admirals vs politicians in 10 essays.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/5/2017 6:46:42 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I cannot tell you how good a book this is.


How good a book is it?

quote:

The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters


I looked on Amazon, it got one review of five stars. I'll wait for the Kindle version.
warspite1

Three 5-stars on Amazon over here.

It's not an easy book and the subject is pretty dry....but I love it!



I've read several David Glantz books, so I think I could handle it :)

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/6/2017 9:13:18 PM   
Orm


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Reading The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski.

And a Swedish book about the wars between 1945 and 2000.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/11/2017 5:37:46 PM   
warspite1


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For bed timing reading I am looking at Bloody Shambles, Vol. 1: The Drift to War to the Fall of Singapore

This is a 3-volume set and looks at the air war over southeast Asia in the opening months of 1942. I will see what I think of this volume before considering the other two.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



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Post #: 2362
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/11/2017 6:36:58 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm
And a Swedish book about the wars between 1945 and 2000.



Were there *any* Swedish wars between 1945 and 2000?

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/11/2017 8:03:20 PM   
mikkey


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Ken Bell - 100 Missions North: A Fighter Pilot's Story of the Vietnam War

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/13/2017 9:48:10 AM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm
And a Swedish book about the wars between 1945 and 2000.



Were there *any* Swedish wars between 1945 and 2000?

The book is written in Swedish and, as far as I know, it isn't translated to English. The conflicts, or wars, that are included in the book are from all parts of the world, with a focus on the conflicts that had a cold war aspect.

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Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb -- they're often students, for heaven's sake. - Terry Pratchett

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/13/2017 2:30:54 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm
And a Swedish book about the wars between 1945 and 2000.



Were there *any* Swedish wars between 1945 and 2000?

It's a *very* thin book.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/14/2017 4:17:16 PM   
Zorch

 

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Anyone (meaning Warspite) read 'Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea'? Looks interesting.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/14/2017 7:11:13 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Anyone (meaning Warspite) read 'Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea'? Looks interesting.
warspite1

No, I'd like to but I have had a bit of a book fest in the last few months so will no be making any new purchases until I've read what I've got. Please let me know though if you take the plunge.


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England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805



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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 5/15/2017 2:56:51 AM   
Greybriar


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I just finished reading The King Without a Kingdom, book 7 in The Accursed Kings series by Maurice Druon. Next up is Hitler's War, book 1 of The War That Came Early series by Harry Turtledove.

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