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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? - 7/30/2017 3:40:10 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 32839
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Can I just reiterate...Helion Publishing is a publisher of quality. I've yet to read a book published by them that has disappointed me in any way what so ever. Infact most of my favourite reads have been published by Helion. SO if you like the look of a book and it's published by Helion I say GET IT!
warspite1

I would say the similar about Seaforth Publishing. Obviously I can't speak for all their books but their titles I've read have oozed class - well written, well researched - what I call serious books.

And for the avoidance of doubt, no I am not on commission or have any connection to them whatsoever.


_____________________________

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



(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 2401
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/30/2017 3:48:03 PM   
wodin


Posts: 9225
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
Same goes for me and Helion:)

I will check them out Warspite:)

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Post #: 2402
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/30/2017 4:12:01 PM   
Aurelian

 

Posts: 3768
Joined: 2/26/2007
Status: offline
The Red Army and the Second World War.

_____________________________



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Post #: 2403
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/31/2017 4:35:36 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 32839
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

I've started reading The Naval War in the Baltic 1939-45 (Grooss)

Okay start - the author writes in a clearly understandable and easy to read way, but he's spent the first chapter giving a very potted history of countries that border the Baltic Sea. Not uninteresting in itself, but too little to be really useful and so not really sure that this was needed.

I read on.....
warspite1

Given all the talk of Dunkirk and, having fired up Decisive Campaigns: Warsaw to Paris for the first time, I think I will put this on hold and head back to the Western Front 1940 stylee.

To that end I have just started Dunkirk the Patriotic Myth (Harman).

warspite1

Well it's good to read books from all sides - but its not necessarily a good thing for the old blood pressure.

First couple of chapters down and I have to say the book is well written, not by any means a difficult read. But clearly the author has a particular weed up his behind and falls over himself to get dig after dig in.

As a classic example, he pointedly refers to the fact that the British did not respond to Queen Wilhelmina's request for assistance... but the French did. But having made that point he then fails to provide any context. He singularly fails to explain that French assistance was all part of Gamelin's disastrous Breda Variant that took away the French 7th Army from the reserves (and that would otherwise have been available to aid the defenders of the Meuse). i.e. the French coming to the aid of the Dutch was already in the plan - not some extra assistance that the French conjured out of thin air

Oh well, I suppose the book helped with his pension planning....


_____________________________

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



(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2404
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/4/2017 6:46:04 AM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 2928
Joined: 3/7/2010
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Two forthcoming books - 'Neglected Skies: The Demise of British Naval Power in the Far East, 1922–42 '.

'Neglected Skies uses a reconsideration of the clash between the British Eastern Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s First Air Fleet in the Indian Ocean in April 1942 to draw a larger conclusion about declining British military power in the era. In this book, Angus Britts explores the end of British naval supremacy from an operational perspective. By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period, as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.
By examining the development of Japan’s first-strike carrier battle group, the Kido Butai, Britts charts both the rise of Japan as a wartime power as well as the demise of the Royal Navy. Japan, by concentrating their six largest aircraft-carriers into a single strike force with state-of-the-art aircraft, had taken a quantum leap forward in warfighting at sea. Simultaneously, British forces found themselves outmatched in this Eastern theatre and Britts makes the case, by looking at a set of key battles, that this is where the global supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended.'


'The Royal Navy's Air Service in the Great War'

'In a few short years after 1914, the Royal Navy practically invented naval air warfare, not only producing the first effective aircraft carriers, but also pioneering most of the techniques and tactics that made naval air power a reality.
Following two previously well-received histories of British naval aviation, David Hobbs turns his attention to the operational and technical achievements of the Royal Naval Air Service, both at sea and ashore, from 1914 to 1918. Detailed explanations of operations, the technology that underpinned them and the people who carried them out bring into sharp focus a revolutionary period of development that changed naval warfare forever.'


(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2405
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/6/2017 5:48:18 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 32839
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Two forthcoming books - 'Neglected Skies: The Demise of British Naval Power in the Far East, 1922–42 '.

'Neglected Skies uses a reconsideration of the clash between the British Eastern Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s First Air Fleet in the Indian Ocean in April 1942 to draw a larger conclusion about declining British military power in the era. In this book, Angus Britts explores the end of British naval supremacy from an operational perspective. By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period, as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.
By examining the development of Japan’s first-strike carrier battle group, the Kido Butai, Britts charts both the rise of Japan as a wartime power as well as the demise of the Royal Navy. Japan, by concentrating their six largest aircraft-carriers into a single strike force with state-of-the-art aircraft, had taken a quantum leap forward in warfighting at sea. Simultaneously, British forces found themselves outmatched in this Eastern theatre and Britts makes the case, by looking at a set of key battles, that this is where the global supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended.'

warspite1

This might be an interesting book. I wonder what ‘set of key battles’ the author is going to look at? But I am not confident that this is going to be looked at in the right way (I hope I'm wrong).

quote:

'Eastern Theatre …that is where the Global Supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended'


Well no, not really. Britain’s naval supremacy ended with Washington (and was going to end even without the WNT). The UK stole a march on everyone with the Industrial revolution. As such she was able to punch above her weight for so long. But by the start of the 20th Century that was long since a thing of the past, and everyone was catching up – or had gone past the UK. Countries were right-sizing. That the UK should maintain naval supremacy forever was not even remotely possible.

quote:

By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period,


If the evolution of naval aviation is the primary analysis then it’s not clear what this book would add over and above the likes of Friedman’s Fighters over the Fleet and British Carrier Aviation or Hobbs’ British Aircraft Carriers.

quote:

as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.


He says battlefleet, but as we know from what happened, we are essentially talking about air power here. Well the Japanese didn’t go to war for more than 2 years after 1939 and I think it’s interesting to look at the World’s navies at that time i.e. not compare the RN 1939 to the IJN 1941. It’s then important to look at things on a level playing field. Doing things that way doesn't alter the outcome - but at least tells the whole story.

Of course it’s true that the RN had been hampered by the Government decision to allow the RAF to control naval aviation. That decision had only recently been reversed when war broke out. The Fleet Air Arm was small in size and with outdated bi-plane aircraft. But what aircraft did the Japanese have aboard their aircraft carriers in 1939? Indeed how many carriers did they have in 1939 (Hiryu had only just been completed when war broke out)? The blurb for the book mentioned the Japanese put their six carriers together (the British were performing multi-carrier exercises long before the Japanese), but the British development in that two year period was somewhat hampered by having three fleet carriers lost and two new armoured carriers put out of action.

The Japanese navy meanwhile were free to develop some excellent naval aircraft over the coming years – while the British were fighting for survival and much effort and resource that would have gone to the FAA was necessarily diverted to the Battle of Britain and elsewhere.

There is also the point that the British and Japanese navies had different needs.

One other point of course. Naval supremacy isn’t just about shiny battleships and sexy aircraft carriers. For an island nation, protection of sea lanes is pretty much top priority. The Japanese maybe should have spent a little bit more time, effort and resource on anti-submarine warfare…..

So yes, the Royal Navy had lost naval supremacy – as a function of the size and economic strength of the UK. But I hope this book attempts to properly explain that there is a whole lot more to the story than that. There was also something of a perfect storm that brewed up. By 1939 the British had at last got around to bringing the RN aircraft carrier fleet up to date with six armoured carriers on order and the RN had taken control of its own aircraft (although the aircraft would take time to develop - and planned stop gap purchases from the US did not come through on time). But the war - a war that was to show the critical importance of dominance of the skies - came about before the inter-war problems could be rectified. While the Japanese had time to develop her carrier fleet, the British were having to crisis manage everything in a bid to stay alive.




_____________________________

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



(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 2406
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/6/2017 8:19:32 AM   
Orm


Posts: 13936
Joined: 5/3/2008
From: Sweden
Status: offline
I am currently reading Swastika and the Crescent - Nazis in the Middle East

The book, as far as I know, is only available in the Swedish language. After the end of WWII some Germans ended up in the Middle East, and some of them were wanted for war crimes. They had many roles there. Including military advisors, propaganda specialists, and advisors to the secret police. To spice things up the cold war logic had begun by then so several seems to have been recruited as agents and therefore had some protection.

_____________________________

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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Post #: 2407
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/6/2017 8:50:02 AM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 2928
Joined: 3/7/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Two forthcoming books - 'Neglected Skies: The Demise of British Naval Power in the Far East, 1922–42 '.

'Neglected Skies uses a reconsideration of the clash between the British Eastern Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s First Air Fleet in the Indian Ocean in April 1942 to draw a larger conclusion about declining British military power in the era. In this book, Angus Britts explores the end of British naval supremacy from an operational perspective. By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period, as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.
By examining the development of Japan’s first-strike carrier battle group, the Kido Butai, Britts charts both the rise of Japan as a wartime power as well as the demise of the Royal Navy. Japan, by concentrating their six largest aircraft-carriers into a single strike force with state-of-the-art aircraft, had taken a quantum leap forward in warfighting at sea. Simultaneously, British forces found themselves outmatched in this Eastern theatre and Britts makes the case, by looking at a set of key battles, that this is where the global supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended.'

warspite1

This might be an interesting book. I wonder what ‘set of key battles’ the author is going to look at? But I am not confident that this is going to be looked at in the right way (I hope I'm wrong).

quote:

'Eastern Theatre …that is where the Global Supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended'


Well no, not really. Britain’s naval supremacy ended with Washington (and was going to end even without the WNT). The UK stole a march on everyone with the Industrial revolution. As such she was able to punch above her weight for so long. But by the start of the 20th Century that was long since a thing of the past, and everyone was catching up – or had gone past the UK. Countries were right-sizing. That the UK should maintain naval supremacy forever was not even remotely possible.

quote:

By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period,


If the evolution of naval aviation is the primary analysis then it’s not clear what this book would add over and above the likes of Friedman’s Fighters over the Fleet and British Carrier Aviation or Hobbs’ British Aircraft Carriers.

quote:

as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.


He says battlefleet, but as we know from what happened, we are essentially talking about air power here. Well the Japanese didn’t go to war for more than 2 years after 1939 and I think it’s interesting to look at the World’s navies at that time i.e. not compare the RN 1939 to the IJN 1941. It’s then important to look at things on a level playing field. Doing things that way doesn't alter the outcome - but at least tells the whole story.

Of course it’s true that the RN had been hampered by the Government decision to allow the RAF to control naval aviation. That decision had only recently been reversed when war broke out. The Fleet Air Arm was small in size and with outdated bi-plane aircraft. But what aircraft did the Japanese have aboard their aircraft carriers in 1939? Indeed how many carriers did they have in 1939 (Hiryu had only just been completed when war broke out)? The blurb for the book mentioned the Japanese put their six carriers together (the British were performing multi-carrier exercises long before the Japanese), but the British development in that two year period was somewhat hampered by having three fleet carriers lost and two new armoured carriers put out of action.

The Japanese navy meanwhile were free to develop some excellent naval aircraft over the coming years – while the British were fighting for survival and much effort and resource that would have gone to the FAA was necessarily diverted to the Battle of Britain and elsewhere.

There is also the point that the British and Japanese navies had different needs.

One other point of course. Naval supremacy isn’t just about shiny battleships and sexy aircraft carriers. For an island nation, protection of sea lanes is pretty much top priority. The Japanese maybe should have spent a little bit more time, effort and resource on anti-submarine warfare…..

So yes, the Royal Navy had lost naval supremacy – as a function of the size and economic strength of the UK. But I hope this book attempts to properly explain that there is a whole lot more to the story than that. There was also something of a perfect storm that brewed up. By 1939 the British had at last got around to bringing the RN aircraft carrier fleet up to date with six armoured carriers on order and the RN had taken control of its own aircraft (although the aircraft would take time to develop - and planned stop gap purchases from the US did not come through on time). But the war - a war that was to show the critical importance of dominance of the skies - came about before the inter-war problems could be rectified. While the Japanese had time to develop her carrier fleet, the British were having to crisis manage everything in a bid to stay alive.


Just so we open the book with an open mind.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2408
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/10/2017 2:39:19 PM   
zakblood


Posts: 15778
Joined: 10/4/2012
Status: online
well not posted in here much tbh,

but i read more when away than at home,

so i'll list my favorite writers first and progress on how many of there books i've read so far

Christopher Paolini - Inheritance Trilogy 4 books read this year

David Gemmel - Troy book one and 2 (lords of the silver bow and shield of thunder)

David Eddings - so far 6 books, but working my way through them all, in order

J.R.R. Tolkien - all read

Katherine Kerr - (excellent books and series, same as all of these tbh) Deverry 1 to 4 and a few others

L. E. Modesitt - Spellsong 1 to 3

Raymond E. Feist - only the first 10 books, epic to say the least

and a selected few others, mainly given to me or picked up somewhere where i sat, or in hotel etc




(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 2409
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/12/2017 3:14:35 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3985
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: online
limited book buying recently due to a number of very slow payers ... incl one well known British ex-politician who would like to pretend he despises that sort of behaviour.

Anyway, some money arrived so treated myself to Svetlana Alexievich's The Unwomanly Face of War. It was originally published in the mid-1980s (heavily censored within the USSR). Basically a superb series of interviews with female members of the Red Army and the Soviet partisan movement. Its an excellent handling on this type of material - I'd put it on a par with Lynn Macdonald's books on the Great War.

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to zakblood)
Post #: 2410
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/13/2017 5:06:23 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 32839
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

I've started reading The Naval War in the Baltic 1939-45 (Grooss)

Okay start - the author writes in a clearly understandable and easy to read way, but he's spent the first chapter giving a very potted history of countries that border the Baltic Sea. Not uninteresting in itself, but too little to be really useful and so not really sure that this was needed.

I read on.....
warspite1

Given all the talk of Dunkirk and, having fired up Decisive Campaigns: Warsaw to Paris for the first time, I think I will put this on hold and head back to the Western Front 1940 stylee.

To that end I have just started Dunkirk the Patriotic Myth (Harman).

warspite1

Well it's good to read books from all sides - but its not necessarily a good thing for the old blood pressure.

First couple of chapters down and I have to say the book is well written, not by any means a difficult read. But clearly the author has a particular weed up his behind and falls over himself to get dig after dig in.

As a classic example, he pointedly refers to the fact that the British did not respond to Queen Wilhelmina's request for assistance... but the French did. But having made that point he then fails to provide any context. He singularly fails to explain that French assistance was all part of Gamelin's disastrous Breda Variant that took away the French 7th Army from the reserves (and that would otherwise have been available to aid the defenders of the Meuse). i.e. the French coming to the aid of the Dutch was already in the plan - not some extra assistance that the French conjured out of thin air

Oh well, I suppose the book helped with his pension planning....

warspite1

Finished this book. Here is my review - but in summary don't rush out to buy this book

This is a very poor effort.

It avoids one star on the basis that the author writes in a very clear, easy to read style - and he makes the occasional pertinent point. But as a history of the episode, the book is - shall we be kind and say it is fundamentally flawed? Simple, basic facts are wrong - Huntziger's 2nd Army don't appear to have been involved in the defence of the Meuse apparently and there is the rather shameful - if not downright dumb - inference that 400 SS troops were massacred by the Durham Light Infantry. Then there is the contention that the fighter command had 1,400 ultra-modern fighters - which he not only mentions twice but then adds that only 100 were sent to France.....

But then, working largely from secondary sources, the author has nothing new to add and so needs an angle to sell the book. That the British sought to withdraw and in so doing did not inform the French and Belgians, is not new, and as a result the author - no doubt in order to get the book published - needs to be as sensationalist as he can. He ends up simply repeating the same thing - each time in slightly different ways - over and over.

He provides little, if anything, by way of context for decisions that were made. There is a brief chapter in which he concedes the French were responsible for the loss of the Meuse, and he also comments on the brilliance of the evacuation operation, but otherwise there is no attempt to provide any sense of balance to the piece, and the portrayal of Lord Gort does the author no credit. All French and Belgians in and around Dunkirk and beyond were apparently desperate to attack the Germans but the British simply wanted to go home. To give just one example of what the author misses out in order to make his monotonously repeated point. The author makes great play of the fact that the British supposedly cut and run at Arras for no go reason other than a wish to save their own skins. Gort's superior at that time was General Blanchard, commanding the French First Army Group. Blanchard's aide General Fauvelle had a meeting with Weygand and Reynaud in which Fauvelle confirmed to the French CinC and President that the French 1st Army was "so weak it would be unwise to expect it to ever mount a counter-attack" and that in his opinion he was expecting "a very early capitulation". The author does not mention this meeting - nor does he make any comment on the state of the French forces at the time. Similarly there is no comment on General Billotte's state of mind at the time. Balanced? I don't think so.

Many (most?) French historians today are honest enough to admit that the French were defeated by the time the British began to think of evacuation and if one wants to read properly researched books that tell the true story in a balanced, grown up fashion there are plenty of better books - and documentaries - on the subject.


_____________________________

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



(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2411
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/13/2017 4:19:47 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 22387
Joined: 6/29/2002
From: San Antonio, TX
Status: offline
Just finished Samuel Morrison's History of the United States Naval Operations in the World War II: Volume 3: The Rising Sun in the Pacific: 1931-April 1942. Dark days.

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Post #: 2412
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/13/2017 4:21:14 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 22387
Joined: 6/29/2002
From: San Antonio, TX
Status: offline
Moving on to The Most Important Thing (A business / investment book) by Howard Marks. I've seen him interviewed a couple times and he is just riveting. Like Warren Buffett.

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Post #: 2413
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/17/2017 11:58:20 AM   
XXXCorps


Posts: 316
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From: UK
Status: offline
I've just bought The Bomber Command War Diaries : An Operational Reference Book. The Kindle version is currently 99p on Amazon UK.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bomber-Command-War-Diaries-Operational-ebook/dp/B00ONZQ8AE/ref=pd_sim_351_51?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3XSXCMN9FVJC6TQPKKYS


I bought it primarily for some background reading and operational insight when playing War In The West.




_____________________________

"What kind of people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realise that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?"

Churchill

(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 2414
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/17/2017 12:55:13 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1750
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
I'm reading "What Book Are You Reading at the moment"

(in reply to XXXCorps)
Post #: 2415
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/19/2017 10:24:42 PM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 2928
Joined: 3/7/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Yogi the Great

I'm reading "What Book Are You Reading at the moment"


(in reply to Yogi the Great)
Post #: 2416
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/19/2017 10:26:19 PM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 2928
Joined: 3/7/2010
Status: offline
I forget if i already said this, but I liked Warships After Washington, about the Treaty's effect on warship design and construction.

(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 2417
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/23/2017 7:07:03 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 32839
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
I have just read one of the Osprey Campaign Series. This was on Dieppe 1942. There were a few annoying typos but that aside, these are very good introductory books for any subject.

I always wondered why they say the Allied leadership learned so much from this raid, and now I can see why. It also confirmed - as if any confirmation was necessary - that a D-Day in 1942 and even 1943 would almost certainly have been a disaster.

_____________________________

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



(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 2418
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/23/2017 7:12:05 PM   
fodder


Posts: 2332
Joined: 4/11/2010
From: Daytona Beach
Status: offline
Halfway through "Pawns of War" The loss of the USS Langley and the USS Pecos. By Dwight R. Messimer

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Post #: 2419
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