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Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/18/2020 10:36:43 PM   
wodin


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it's Aug 1941 on the East Front, and first Panthers are mentioned, and I thought give it the benefit, maybe a typo meant Panzers..but then Tigers mentioned next...oh hum...end of book there and then.

I hate bad research in historical war fiction..hate it..

Infact I can't get my head around this sort of thing...you go to all the effort to write a novel but seem to know nothing much about the subject matter..why bother?

< Message edited by wodin -- 9/18/2020 10:38:06 PM >


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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 7:12:13 AM   
warspite1


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Yep, that's pretty irritating, although its worse when that happens and the book you've bought is supposed to be historical fact......



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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 10:05:14 AM   
demyansk


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I agree, I only read non fiction and still find problems.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 10:21:02 AM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

it's Aug 1941 on the East Front, and first Panthers are mentioned, and I thought give it the benefit, maybe a typo meant Panzers..but then Tigers mentioned next...oh hum...end of book there and then.

I hate bad research in historical war fiction..hate it..

Infact I can't get my head around this sort of thing...you go to all the effort to write a novel but seem to know nothing much about the subject matter..why bother?

Hear, hear.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 10:22:03 AM   
Orm


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Perhaps you could name the author so I could avoid him?

Edit: Or have you posted a review to read on your site? Goes there to check.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 11:28:05 AM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: demyansk

I agree, I only read non fiction and still find problems.

Perhaps you're living in an alternate reality?

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 11:53:57 AM   
Massattack

 

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I totally agree. Verisimilitude in both historical fiction, and movies is so important. Nothing destroys the
drawing in of the reader/viewer so much as an aberration. What might appear a minor or unnoticed error to the uninformed
becomes rather more glaring to us history nuts! Wrong tanks in Battle of The Bulge, wrong aircraft in Japanese
colours in Tora Tora Tora, etc. I recently read an otherwise quite good historical fiction book which mentioned
one of it's lead characters reading the morning newspaper in March 1940, headlines "Another night of
heavy bombing over London"............

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 1:54:47 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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Check this frak out from Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures
quote:

Such men I had never seen. Like him I had slain, they were tall and massive with red or yellow hair and beards and fierce light eyes. But they were not clad in mail from head to foot like the Crusaders. They wore horned helmets and shirts of scale mail which came almost to their knees but left their throats and arms bare, and most of them wore no other armor at all.

Robert E. Howard is overrated.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 2:21:40 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Was reading a book on the Battle of the Bulge, I think written by an American author. Seemed ok, until the book has photos of Patton tanks.

Ruined it for me immediately. Credibility right in the garbage can.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 2:36:38 PM   
DeepBlack

 

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If ignorance is bliss then knowledge is agony?

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 2:48:41 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

it's Aug 1941 on the East Front, and first Panthers are mentioned, and I thought give it the benefit, maybe a typo meant Panzers..but then Tigers mentioned next...oh hum...end of book there and then.

I hate bad research in historical war fiction..hate it..

Infact I can't get my head around this sort of thing...you go to all the effort to write a novel but seem to know nothing much about the subject matter..why bother?

I recall going through something similar when reading horror novelist Stephen King's book, The Dead Zone.

When the lead character Johnny comes out of of coma, he finds he has been cursed with a psychic gift when he grabs his doctor's hand. He sees the doctor's memories of the 1939 invasion of Poland, complete with a German Tiger tank gunning down civilians. A vehicle which of course, did not enter service until late 1942. Not to mention that someone who was a child at the time of the invasion likely wouldn't to be able to differentiate a Tiger from a Lynx.

I went ahead and finished the novel anyway. It wasn't a war novel and I figured WW2 armor probably wasn't Stephen King's strong suit to begin with.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 2:55:40 PM   
Rebel Yell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin



Infact I can't get my head around this sort of thing...you go to all the effort to write a novel but seem to know nothing much about the subject matter..why bother?


Because people don't know what they don't know.




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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 3:18:41 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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This seems to be a common issue with all media. Some definitely worse than others.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/19/2020 3:40:43 PM   
RangerJoe


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It is also a fault of the editing staff, proof readers, and such who don't know the subject. I read where someone had actually tracking down information that had been recited and referred to by many knowledgable and respected people but found it to be incorrect. Someone stated something that was in error and the others repeated it, referencing the work that had the error but no one actually went to the original source.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 4:44:50 AM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

It is also a fault of the editing staff, proof readers, and such who don't know the subject. I read where someone had actually tracking down information that had been recited and referred to by many knowledgable and respected people but found it to be incorrect. Someone stated something that was in error and the others repeated it, referencing the work that had the error but no one actually went to the original source.

Example: one US Army general claiming that Sherman (or American tanks in general) is not meant to fight enemy tanks. When generals make mistakes (or opinions?) like that, wouldn't it be fair to give novelists some leeway.

< Message edited by Kuokkanen -- 9/20/2020 4:45:49 AM >


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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 12:57:02 PM   
MrsWargamer


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But the Sherman WASN'T meant to fight enemy armour. Sadly it was a doctrine, that wasn't well thought through.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 3:01:16 PM   
Rebel Yell


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And here we have a perfect example of people not knowing what they don't know.

Myths of American Armor

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 4:06:53 PM   
76mm


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I recently read a book by a well-respected WWII historian, and throughout the whole book he kept referring to the 7.5 mm guns on the German tanks. "Missed it by that much".

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 5:55:33 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I recently read a book by a well-respected WWII historian, and throughout the whole book he kept referring to the 7.5 mm guns on the German tanks. "Missed it by that much".


That is probably because Americans usually use the mm for guns while the Germans would use cm for guns. It may not have been the historian, it may have been a proofreader or an editor.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 5:57:43 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

But the Sherman WASN'T meant to fight enemy armour. Sadly it was a doctrine, that wasn't well thought through.


Too true. It was supposed to be the tank destroyers job. Patton understood that but others did not. It was only when the Sherman had a higher velocity gun that it did better attacking enemy tanks.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 7:18:26 PM   
AndySfromVA

 

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It annoys me when I see wacky errors of history in novels, which happens all the time. Not only in a military context but also with respect to dates, aspects of everyday culture supposedly available at the time and, worst of all, the historically erroneous use of slang. Language changes over time and characters in a novel taking place in the 1950's shouldn't talk like people in the present day, but many writers don't pay attention to things like that.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 8:13:31 PM   
RangerJoe


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What really insult me is when people complain about the word usage from before by equating it to the word usage today when the meaning and usage has changed.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 9:00:10 PM   
AndySfromVA

 

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I assume you're not referring to anything in my comment.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 9:53:23 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

Check this frak out from Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures
quote:

Such men I had never seen. Like him I had slain, they were tall and massive with red or yellow hair and beards and fierce light eyes. But they were not clad in mail from head to foot like the Crusaders. They wore horned helmets and shirts of scale mail which came almost to their knees but left their throats and arms bare, and most of them wore no other armor at all.

Robert E. Howard is overrated.

He lived for all his life in a small Texas town with limited resources and still he tried to do the best possible research for his historical tales. I guess we can't pretend perfection from someone who wrote one hundred years ago.

Anyway, Howard's strength is in the writing. No one could describe a weird landscape, a battle or an action scene the way he did. Howard was less baroque than Lovecraft (and, in a way, less literate), but he was both rich and direct in his writings (writings that, it is worth remembering, include MUCH MORE than Conan - Conan actually being a series that he began and left unfinished during the last years of his brief life).

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/20/2020 10:33:57 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AndySfromVA

I assume you're not referring to anything in my comment.


I was not and I still am not. In particular, I think of Tom Sawyer and especially Huck Finn.

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/21/2020 1:00:30 AM   
Gilmer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

Check this frak out from Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures
quote:

Such men I had never seen. Like him I had slain, they were tall and massive with red or yellow hair and beards and fierce light eyes. But they were not clad in mail from head to foot like the Crusaders. They wore horned helmets and shirts of scale mail which came almost to their knees but left their throats and arms bare, and most of them wore no other armor at all.

Robert E. Howard is overrated.

He lived for all his life in a small Texas town with limited resources and still he tried to do the best possible research for his historical tales. I guess we can't pretend perfection from someone who wrote one hundred years ago.

Anyway, Howard's strength is in the writing. No one could describe a weird landscape, a battle or an action scene the way he did. Howard was less baroque than Lovecraft (and, in a way, less literate), but he was both rich and direct in his writings (writings that, it is worth remembering, include MUCH MORE than Conan - Conan actually being a series that he began and left unfinished during the last years of his brief life).



Hear hear!! I grew up reading Robert E. Howard. He may or may not have done very well on historical accuracy, but he could damn well spin a yarn that would keep me mesmerized. His short stories on the Crusades were gems, if you ask me. If he was writing in the day of the internet, or easy international travel, or easy research, then I may be less forgiving. But, from what I understand he basically grew up poor and probably wasn't very "international".

If they made movies that followed his stories more truly, and used some of the quotes in his books, those movies would be far better.

I still go back and re-read his Conan short stories. All safely tucked away on my Kindle. not to mention his El Borak stories, some Bran Mak Morn stories, and his Strange Tales (I think that was the name of the magazine that published a lot of his stories).

< Message edited by Gilmer -- 9/21/2020 1:03:15 AM >


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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/21/2020 2:27:10 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gilmer
But, from what I understand he basically grew up poor and probably wasn't very "international".


He wasn't "poor", and he actually was considered "worldly", but strictly by the people who lived in backwater Texas around 1930. After all he was the author "published by New York magazines". He, however, always refused to move to more cosmopolitan places: Howard's windows on the World were his pen pals.
quote:


I still go back and re-read his Conan short stories. All safely tucked away on my Kindle. not to mention his El Borak stories, some Bran Mak Morn stories, and his Strange Tales (I think that was the name of the magazine that published a lot of his stories).

And some wonderful stories for the "Cthulhu Mythos" - which, it is worth mentioning, weren't written only by Lovecraft, but by a whole group of writers who considered them "open source" or such. Lovecraft himself wrote Howard's eulogy when he took his life.

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

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RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/21/2020 8:48:01 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe


quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

But the Sherman WASN'T meant to fight enemy armour. Sadly it was a doctrine, that wasn't well thought through.


Too true. It was supposed to be the tank destroyers job. Patton understood that but others did not.

I request a source. Because Nicholas Moran here explains with scans from doctrine manuals (tank destroyer one too) that it is tank's job to support infantry in offense against whatever the enemy has along the way, and tank destroyer defends against attacking enemy armour. And war time films, like this, say the same thing.

Yes, Mr. Moran mentions a general who said tank should not fight another tank. Wasn't popular opinion at the time and didn't make it to doctrine. Like enemy would care about the general's opinion anyway.

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

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Post #: 28
RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/22/2020 2:55:06 AM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe


quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

But the Sherman WASN'T meant to fight enemy armour. Sadly it was a doctrine, that wasn't well thought through.


Too true. It was supposed to be the tank destroyers job. Patton understood that but others did not.

I request a source. Because Nicholas Moran here explains with scans from doctrine manuals (tank destroyer one too) that it is tank's job to support infantry in offense against whatever the enemy has along the way, and tank destroyer defends against attacking enemy armour. And war time films, like this, say the same thing.

Yes, Mr. Moran mentions a general who said tank should not fight another tank. Wasn't popular opinion at the time and didn't make it to doctrine. Like enemy would care about the general's opinion anyway.


quote:

The Army didn’t intend for its own tanks to specialize in defending against enemy panzers. The new armor branch wanted to focus on the same kind of bold armored attacks the Germans were famous for.


https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-armys-world-war-ii-tank-destroyers-waste-time-or-17527

This one as well, although it does not like me to cut and paste from it:

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a416377.pdf

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Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

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― Julia Child


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Post #: 29
RE: Nothing ruins a historical war fiction novel than.... - 9/22/2020 9:08:15 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

quote:

The Army didn’t intend for its own tanks to specialize in defending against enemy panzers. The new armor branch wanted to focus on the same kind of bold armored attacks the Germans were famous for.


That's what I said!

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 30
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