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Any recommendations for books? - 6/14/2001 8:28:00 AM   
SunDevil_MatrixForum

 

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I was just curious if people could tell me what are some great books on the WWII subject. Thanks.

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- 6/14/2001 8:56:00 AM   
DELTA32

 

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There are literally hundreds of thousands of books written on all aspects of WW2. Military, political, biographical, economic aspects of the War. There are current books, out of print books, US Government books (some really neat ones...you find them at US Gov bookstores), book on all subject areas regarding the War. My suggestion to you is to travel to your nearest bookstore(s) and browse to your hearts content. But, be prepared to pay some heavy duty cash for hardbacks. They can easily be $35 and up....easily. Anyhow...scan the book selection (Borders has a great selection, some of the best I've seen), see what you are drawn to, and buy one or a dozen. Good hunting, and good reading. Delta 3-2

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- 6/14/2001 9:29:00 AM   
Don

 

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There have also been huge threads about this in the past with many books being listed. Try a search and you may find those threads! I think I have bought every book that was ever mentioned. :rolleyes:

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- 6/14/2001 11:15:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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Sun Devil, I'll be happy to give you a list of books if you will give me some more details. Are you interested in general history of World War II, an overview of the war? Do you want books that are small unit engagements, ideal for scenario design? Does a particular theater of war interest you..East Front, West Front, North Africa, Italy, Pacific, Far East? Which ones interest you the most? Are you thinking of buying these books, or just trying to find them in a library? If planning to purchase a few books, how much can you invest? Give me a little more on what you are looking for and I'll pop a list up for you.

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- 6/14/2001 2:03:00 PM   
Tombstone

 

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I have found that any book that David M. Glantz has been involved in is excellent. They tend to focus on Soviet stuff, but his books on Kursk are really good. Tomo

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- 6/14/2001 3:12:00 PM   
Nemesis

 

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Do you mean fiction or fact? When it comes to facts, my personal favourite is the six-part "World War 2" (if I remember correctly. "Toinen Maailmansota" in finnish). It covers all fronts (Pacific, Atlantic, Europe, Africa). It starts from the rise of Nazis, and it ends in Cold War. It has ALOT of maps, equipment descripitons, photographs, background info.... It has everything! In fact, me and my brother are arguing who gets to keep those books when the time comes. Well, I guess that I could buy new set if needs be. I just hope that they are still available. And if they are, I think they are pretty damn expensive. And being a finn, I have to mention William R. Trotters "A Frozen Hell". A book about the finnish Winter War. It gives you a look at a different kind of war.

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- 6/14/2001 10:32:00 PM   
SunDevil_MatrixForum

 

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Thank you for all the responses. Wild Bill, My situation is kind of funny. I thought that I knew a lot about the subject of WWII, and then I find this company from the Underdogs website and realize that my WWII understanding is more of an overview and general than specific. I've been reading the posts/discussions on this board and I'm amazed with the amount of information that people have on this subject. Now back to your questions. I'm interested in every theatre of the war except for maybe the Eastern Front. The Far East was just really the Japanese fighting the French and British soliders and the American special forces right? Anyway, mostly about specific divisions and tactics to make this game a little easier to understand and play. I have a basic understanding of units and tactics to employ. I will most likely go to the library first to look at topics and will slowly buy books as I go along. My budget right now could be $100. I'll appreciate any help you can provide. "In Arduis Fidelis" Is this latin? If so what does it say. The only latin phrase I know is: Lector et Emergo. I struggle and I come through. Again thank you for your help.

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- 6/14/2001 10:46:00 PM   
FrankyVas

 

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Go to your local used book store. There you will probably find more books on WW2 that you can shake a stick at. Also, they are ususally pretty cheap. Frank V. p.s.: By the way, the U.S. Marines and the British did most of the fighting in the far east.

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- 6/14/2001 11:09:00 PM   
Nemesis

 

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quote:

Originally posted by SunDevil: I'm interested in every theatre of the war except for maybe the Eastern Front.
No eastern front? You would be ignoring the most important front of the war! I personally think that some of the most interesting battles took place in the eastern fron (Kursk and Stalingrad come to mind). And the sheer scale and brutality of the war there was something not seen elsewhere. The fact is that the germans lost the war in the east. But of course, we all have our personal taste (even in warfare!).

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- 6/14/2001 11:28:00 PM   
lnp4668

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Nemesis: No eastern front? You would be ignoring the most important front of the war! I personally think that some of the most interesting battles took place in the eastern fron (Kursk and Stalingrad come to mind). And the sheer scale and brutality of the war there was something not seen elsewhere. The fact is that the germans lost the war in the east. But of course, we all have our personal taste (even in warfare!).
I thinks he means the war between Japan & China/Burma/Indochina (have to read between the lines :) )

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- 6/14/2001 11:34:00 PM   
Paulus Pak

 

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If you want a good literature mixed with good history about western front I can recommend STEPHEN E. AMBROSE ("CITIZEN SODLIERS") and CORNELIUS RYAN ("The LONGEST DAY", "A BRIDGE TOO FAR"). They wrote best books I've ever read.

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- 6/14/2001 11:43:00 PM   
Wild Bill

 

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Hey SunDevil! Good reply! The slogan "In Arduis, Fidelis," was one that was sent to me by a fellow gamer as encouragement in a time when I was undergoing some unwarranted pressure from a small group of recalcitrant gamers. It means "In Adversity, Faithfulness." It meant a lot to me then and it still does. It appears not everyone loves the old Colonel :( , but I've learned to live with that. I adopted it for the Raider byword. Now as to books. You've made it pretty clear what you are looking for. Depending on where you are, (large city, small town), take Frankie's advice. Check used book stores. A couple of years ago, on a whirlwind vacation while visiting my brother we stopped at a Mall in Virginia for a meal. I spied a used book store and since I love books (I have about 1500 books on military history - 20th Century - a growing collection of the last 10 years), I sneaked over while waiting for our meal to be served. What a boon! I found all kinds of books, some for which I had searched and could not find (out of print). I ended up with about $700 (16 books!) worth of books for $80! I wish you such luck. Especially watch for used book sales at malls, etc. I got antoher $500 worth of books (14 volumes) some totally out of print for as low as $1. My total cost was $35! Liubraries also sell off old books for nearly nothing. Keep checking. I'm assuming you are beginning your library so I'll try to give you a list that would eat up that $100 pretty quick. You need a good general history of WW2. You should be able to find all of these at Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble. And there are others. I'll list a few at the end, plus whatever bookstores you have where you live. There are two that are excellent for general history and inexpensive (paperback). Delivered from Evil, Robert Leckie (997 pages) runs about $20 or... There's a War to be Won (The US Army in WW2), Geoffery Perrett (about $10 -smaller but very complete!). Next,a good Atlas. These vary in price but you need some maps to find places mentioned in these books. Some books have good maps. Most don't. The best one for your need would be The Historical Atlas of WW2, Pimlott (about $20) or The Times Atlas of WW2 (I got this one on sale at B&N for $10). The next thing is a list of a few books with details on battles. Here are my suggestions. Look for authors. Anything by Bryan Perrett, Robert Leckie, George Forty, Stephen Ambrose or John Keenan are good. They are ALWAYS good. Watch for those names. Some books to consider: Iron Fist, Perrett Against All Odds, Perrett Impossible Victories, Perrett Last Stand, Perrett Seize and Hold, Perrett Against the Panzers, Karamales Death Traps, Cooper (3rd Armored Division) Six Armies in Normandy, Keenan Steel Inferno, Reynolds (German Point of View) Of course the standards of Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge too Far, The Longest Day, and The Last Battle. The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo, Johns A Dark, Bloody Ground, Miller The Texas Army, Wagner A Time for Trumpets (the Bulge) McDonald Most of these are available in paperback, which is ideal for a limited budget. You could probably get 8-12 good ones total for the $100 you are ready to spend. Now some classics you'll want to always look for: Any books by Paul Carell The US ARMY IN WW2 (about 30 volumes) These are a must for any collector - the classics on US participation from North Africa to the end of WW2. I just head the Scholars Bookshelf has some of these on sale for 8.99 each. Unbelievable! Grab 'em. They retail at the US Govt Printing Office for $35-50 each. These are what is known as "The Green Books." Anything by Fletcher Pratt, SLA Marshall, Eric Hammel, George Forty, And on and on. But now THIS is turning into a book. Good luck and let us know what you finally get! :D http://www.amazon.com/ (If it can be found, they can find it!) http://dogbert.abebooks.com/ http://www.sonic.net/~bstone/aberdeen/ http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/ http://www.scholarsbookshelf.com/ (This is where they have those books at such a great price, US ARMY in WW2) http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/online/Bookshelves/WW2-List.htm http://www.jjfpub.mb.ca/products.htm (Good, but expensive) http://home.fuse.net/nafziger/ (Great orders of battle and TOEs) http://www.merriam-press.com/ http://www.militaria.com/ http://www.pacificapress.com/ http://www2.army.mil/cmh-pg/online/Bookshelves/books-era.htm This is enough for now. Wild Bill

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- 6/14/2001 11:48:00 PM   
Nemesis

 

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quote:

Originally posted by lnp4668: I thinks he means the war between Japan & China/Burma/Indochina (have to read between the lines :) )
Oh yes. Well, I agree, it is a bit boring battle. There are no big manouvers or anything like that. Conpared to the Big Three (West front, East Front and Pacific), the Far East doesn't seem as interesting.

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- 6/15/2001 12:10:00 AM   
SunDevil_MatrixForum

 

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Well, I just started up the game for the first time today, and I must say that I was speechless. I've obviously gotten over that but now all I can say is WOW! Everyone at Matrix games did a great job on this game and its FREE! I will have no problem endorsing or buying future products from this company. If Matrix is ever looking for more testers, programmers or researches, I will sign up in a hurry. Wild Bill, Thank you for your very informative posts, you just gave me a new hobby. :)

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- 6/15/2001 12:25:00 AM   
Peregrine Falcon

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Nemesis: Oh yes. Well, I agree, it is a bit boring battle. There are no big manouvers or anything like that. Conpared to the Big Three (West front, East Front and Pacific), the Far East doesn't seem as interesting.
Well, I disagree here. A little while ago I did some research for my next big PBEM-battle (Burma/1945), and I suddenly noticed that there were in fact, lots of interesting battles and such in Burma. After a week or so, a book was already coming from Amazon.Com 'Tales By Japanese Soldiers' (Burma 1942-1945) (by John Nunneley/Kazuo Tamayama) Rare stories. Not published before, either in Japanese or English. --------(concerning SPWAW...)------------ So...how many Burma-based scenarios are there in SPWAW 5.0? Three? Ten? Two? If I remember correctly - ONE. And I thought you guys are WWII experts ;) Where is Myitkyina? Meiktila? Mandalay? Kohima? :mad: Burma was part of WWII, and should not be ignored - more than 300,000 soldiers died there! (but it is ignored by most, so I shut up now :( )! [ June 14, 2001: Message edited by: Peregrine Falcon ]

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- 6/15/2001 12:47:00 AM   
Nemesis

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Peregrine Falcon: Well, I disagree here. A little while ago I did some research for my next big PBEM-battle (Burma/1945), and I suddenly noticed that there were in fact, lots of interesting battles and such in Burma. [ June 14, 2001: Message edited by: Peregrine Falcon ]
Well, of course Burma was important! Without it, Japan would have invaded India! It was important, and there were important battles and alot of lives were lost. But there weren't similar big manouvers as we saw in Europe and Pacific. The battle there seemed more chaotic with no solid frontlines. Yes, I guess I also underestimate the war in Burma. But it just doesn't have the same sex-appeal as the other theater of operations.

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- 6/15/2001 3:05:00 AM   
Don

 

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When you find books that you want but they are too expensive, give www.militarybookclub.com a try. They have a deal where you get 4 books for 98 cents, and I used that to get 3 of Nafzigers OOB books and a 6-book set on Gettysburg, all worth almost $300 for about $12 including shipping. Then you have to buy only 4 books and they are discounted. I've been pretty happy with them, and have not gotten any books I did not want.

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- 6/15/2001 4:56:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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Nothing more stirring in military drama than the saga of the "Chindits" or "Merrill's Marauders!" I hope to do a whole series of scenarios on that theme. There is one scenario even now in SPWAW, called "Flying Chindits." You should give it a try. It is scenario #35 In fact, there is a plethora of Pacific scenarios, including the Guadalcanal and the Tulagi Campaigns, with more to come! Here are a few of them included in SPWAW Scen016 The Bushmasters Scen018 Brave Men of Betio (hard) Scen020 Angels of Los Banos Scen035 Flying Chindits Scen048 The Raiders Hold Scen050 Jungle Rats Scen068 Water to Blood Scen076 A Marine Ordeal Scen082 Blood Soaked Trail Scen090 Hospital Heroes Scen091 Chiang's Nightmare Scen118 A Marine Moment Scen125 Latecomers Scen131 A Marine Proving Ground Wild Bill

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- 6/15/2001 4:58:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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It was my pleasure, SunDevil. I'll definitely keep that offer in mind :D Good reliable testers are not that easy to find. I do have a great team of testers both inside and outside the Raider group. In my mind, they have ALL proven to be worthy of the Raider name. Good luck with your books. Let me know if I can help with any other ideas. Wild Bill

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- 6/15/2001 5:57:00 AM   
gators

 

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Sun devil a book that may change your opinion of the Burma campaign is Field Marshall Slim's memoirs. I don't believe there was a more underrated general in WW2. I also think Slim cared more for his troops than the average general of any nationality. The mix is interesting there were British troops from several parts of the empire, India, Burma, West Africa, East Africa,England,Ieland, Scotland, and Wales. There were American and Chinese troops serving in the Burma area as well. The Axis troops included some Indian troops fighting with the Japanese. It's not dull!

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- 6/15/2001 6:39:00 AM   
parusski


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Hey folks, do not forget Winston Churchill's five volume history of wwII. It is outstanding and gives a politicians inside pov., david

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- 6/15/2001 7:20:00 AM   
sven


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"Good reply! The slogan "In Arduis, Fidelis," was one that was sent to me by a fellow gamer as encouragement in a time when I was undergoing some unwarranted pressure from a small group of recalcitrant gamers."(Wild Bill) Man that is my family motto. My surname is Howell. It is a good one. My family name is in the Doomsday in England. Ahh the joys of ancestry. You are well loved Wild Bill by the silent majority.

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- 6/15/2001 7:26:00 AM   
sven


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quote:

Originally posted by Nemesis: Oh yes. Well, I agree, it is a bit boring battle. There are no big manouvers or anything like that. Conpared to the Big Three (West front, East Front and Pacific), the Far East doesn't seem as interesting.
To each their own :D, I like it more than Ivanfest.

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- 6/15/2001 12:43:00 PM   
Randy

 

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:cool: SunDevil, the Osprey series of books are pretty good. They have Campaign/battle series, New Vanguard Series (armored vehicle) and Men At Arms Series (OOB/troops). They have really good maps and tons of photos. I just got the Campaign Series of Tarawa. Pretty good. They're about $20.00. Enjoy. Semper Fi Randy

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- 6/15/2001 5:25:00 PM   
dmccartin

 

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If you want a German perspective of war from Divisional level the book "Panzer Battles" rains high on my list. After all with out it as a guide, Schwarzkopf's planning for the America Blitzkrieg of Iraq would not of been possable. IMHO Dan

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- 6/15/2001 6:24:00 PM   
Heartland

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Wild Bill: Anything by Bryan Perrett, Robert Leckie, George Forty, Stephen Ambrose or John Keenan are good. They are ALWAYS good. Watch for those names.
Comment on Ambrose. Personally I never bought anything by him since I've heard a bit too many dubious quotes and cases of selective blocking of facts to consider him a very good historian. Over in the "Art of Wargaming" part of the forums there was a discussion on him recently. Here's the quote from the post: The History Channel was running a program about D-Day last night which featured a lot of commentary from Mr. Ambrose. I was aware that he is of the rah-rah school of American history, but the following comment blew my mind: He was describing some action a few miles inland and talking about how the American troops involved TOOK THE INITIATIVE, because they were free thinkers from a democracy, whereas the Germans in the same situation would have been on the horn to HQ and awaited further instructions, they being sons of a dictatorship. !!!! It's pretty amazing that, even on a channel dedicated to history, this kind of obvious untruth gets bandied around, and by one of the most well known American historians, to boot. Anyways, just rambling on, didn't really write this to slam an authour I never bought anything by! What I really meant to do was point out two volume classic that so far hasn't been mention, Erickson's "The Road to Stalingrad" and "The Road to Berlin", the best detailed overview on the German-Soviet battle on the east front available. Add in Glantz' books to "zoom" specific battles, and you're set as far as the east front goes.

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- 6/15/2001 8:30:00 PM   
Les_the_Sarge_9_1

 

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First, I noticed a comment about the Military Book Club here on this thread. More about that in a minute This is my submission of some good titles to seek in a dusty used book store, or on the shelves of a large well stocked book retailer. Tank War 1939-45 by Janusz Piekalkiewicz from Blandford Press (excellent day to day history af armour conflict, bias on armour related events). Tanks of WW2 by Chris Ellis from Octopus (great visual book as it was made for modellers needing accurate painting details). Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles by Ian Hogg and John Weeks from Burlington Books (this tome is saturated in the popular and the obscure). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles 46 to Present (which was 80's at best then) Steven Zaloga and one other author cant remember name I mention those titles because of their armour biased info and we are all tread heads here right. If you dont have Jim Dunnigans books A Quick and Dirty Guide to War; How to Make War; How to Stop a War....well why not they are required reading after all. While I hesitate to promote a product here, the ASL manuals Design Your Own vehicle/ordnance notes have an unusually high level of technical interest. And while you might not have access to a decent local model store, they are perhaps the best places to find high end armour literature. If you know the title of the book you should locate an online option to supply the item. I buy either from the Military book club for efficiency, or a local model store Kieths Hobby Shop (well actually its all the way down in Toronto, but its the only hobby store worthy of mention in southern Ontario that I know of). You who know the club might not have ever thought of this. When you get your 4 obligatory books ordered resubscribe. It allows you to get yet another 4 books for next to nothing. Now any dolt can see this effectively reduces the costs as a whole. Couple that with some strategic thinking, and you can deliberately buy 4 expensive books for the intro offer and buy 4 cheap books for your obligation. And yes it does work and yes I have been doing this for several years. It is also possible to get your new re subscribe books right out of you club bullateins as well. All you have to do is understand that you have to communicate with the club by phone and ask the right questions. All things considered (thats an expression of mine too dang it, people always go looking for the problem) they are a good business to deal with. And one more perk, I dont have to deal with UPS heheh (had to insert that comment).

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- 6/16/2001 3:03:00 AM   
Don

 

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Hi Les, Good comments about The Club. A friend of mine told me about them at a time when I was looking for Nafziger's books so it worked out great. I couldn't believe they let me pick the 6-book Gettysburg set as a 98 cent selection since it sold for $100, but they did! I see the UPS comment - are you on the Voodoo Computer forum by any chance? They are in Alberta, and are having BIG problems with UPS right now. One guy just had his new $4000 computer delivered as a box of parts, and I mean UPS absolutely destroyed it. Very anti-UPS on that board right now! :eek:

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Post #: 28
- 6/16/2001 6:32:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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Many thanks, Sven! I appreciate the good thought. And in reference to the Pacific-Far East, that area of war in WW2 has always been my predilect one. You are also right about Slim, one of the underrated unknowns of the war. Wild Bill

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