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Guest Hans Engström

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I was getting very worried that I was the only one..It's not worth money but our local liberary got it and it was an amusing, if not creepy read. Good to hear that I'm not the only one who thought that way.

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Finished Vice Admiral James Calvert's "Silent Running" published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The then younger officer's duty aboard the U.S.S. Jack, a W.W. Two submarine. A very good, easy-to-read book. Also finished Commander Peter Cremer's "U-Boat Commander" published by the Naval Institute Press. From what I have read Commander Cremer was one of the few, maybe the only one, who skippered a U-boat, and survived, from 1941-1945. Not quite as good as "Silent Running", it reads more like a hurried narrative.

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Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific by Eric M. Bergerud

 

This is in basically an excellent book that had terrible editing.

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I've been eyeing that book for a while, undecided whether to get it or not. Is the edit job that bad that I shouldn't get it? Or is it good enough to keep it as a reference for that area of study?

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It's hard to say. The book has some great material in it -- a lot of excerpts of interviews with veterans that illustrate the author's points. It's too long and the editing is really crappy. You ought to check out the reviews on Amazon. The general consensus there is that even with its flaws, the book is worth purchasing and reading.

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M109 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 1960-2005

Steven J. Zaloga, illustrated by Tony Bryan

 

The M109 is one of the most important, long-lasting and prolific US Army weapon systems, yet has been obscure. This is the first book about it. Steven Zaloga does his usual excellent job in the well-liked New Vanguard format from Osprey Publishing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished a biography on Wolfgang Luth, the first U-Boat commander to receive the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Survived the war only to be shot by a sentry by mistake a week or two after it ended. Now I'm starting Iron Coffins. Someday I'll get back to Castles of Steel again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been catching up on some back issues of Wings and Airpower magazines.

 

I also have read F-8 Crusader in Action by Jim Sullivan, published by Squadron/Signal Publications. This book was originally published in 1985 and has just been reprinted with apparently no changes from the original. The book does a nice job of covering each of the different models, with nice line drawings and photographs and superb cover art. There are a lot of typographical errors which mar the publication. There is also no operational history. Considering that the F-8 was a major participant in the Vietnam War and in some ways more successful than its replacement the F-4 Phantom II, this is a major omission. There is also no mention of the AIM-9C version of the Sidewinder, which was used only by the F-8. Also missing is the NASA use of the F-8 for the DFBW and Supercritical Wing programs, which were significant. Summary: if you want to make a scale model of the F-8 and want information on configuration and markings, this is a good book. If you want to understand the airplane and how it was used, look elsewhere. In fairness, the book is inexpensive enough that if the subject interests you, it is worth buying for Don Greer's color illustrations alone.

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Guest Hans Engström

InfR Grggrupp, or, translated, Infantry Manual for Recoillessrifle squads.

 

In case anyone's wondering, I have a class to teach this weekend.

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Reading Sean Naylor's account of the Anaconda op NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE. I know it was discussed breifly on this site.

 

Great read. Like BHD good. Really eye opening. Blames CENTCOM for much of the problems in the "Ad-hocracy" like command structure and political restrictions on artillery and force structure.

 

Great example of what a few spec operators can do when allowed to be at the right place at the right time.

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Reggiane Fighters in Action by George Punka, published by Squadron/Signal Publications.

 

A superb book about the rather obscure family of Italian WWII fighters. Lots of technical and operational information. I'm amazed that the author was able to dig up this information and the photographs. This book is definitely more interesting than yet another book about the Fw190, Spitfire or P-51.

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There's a new Flashman out. I'm not reading it yet, but I'm sure I will when I'm in the mood for a light-hearted romp through a well-researched 19th century war. This one's set in the Ethiopian campaign of 1867.

 

Paul

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Hungry Ghosts : Mao's secret famine.

By Jasper Becker.

 

Mao, following the agrarian reforms of the USSR, sets up agricultural communes, expecting to increase output and create a communist workers paradise. Because of the imagined efficiencies of the communes, grain returns are many times last years, and local cadre leaders inflate the numbers so they look good. The net result is all grain is taken from the farmers and they are left to starve for about 3 years while cadre & PLA search for all the hidden grain they must have.

 

The book covers in detail the impact throughout the country and attempts to explain why this was not covered in the western press. They figured that the final death tolls were somewhere between 30 & 50 million starved to death, when enough grain was available to save them.

 

The book also covers how the same thing is probably happening in North Korea.

 

 

 

http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=3917

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I'm working my way through Patrick O'Brian's [/i]Master and Commander novels. I'm hung at #14; Books-A-Million doesn't have it, though they have all the others (19 in the series, plus a work in progress when O'Brian died). At the end of #13, Aubrey and his crew are stranded on a desert island after their ship ran aground and was destroyed by a typhoon. As the book closed, Aubrey stated his intention to build a schooner from the wreckage. Oh, yes, most of the gunpowder was ruined.

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Hello,

 

anyone can recomend "Rising Tide."

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Got this book. Interesting/informative read on Soviet sub development. With nice pix included. Tells alot of the failures and successes of the Soviet sub force. Goes all the way up to the Kursk.

 

I'm working my way through Patrick O'Brian's [/i]Master and Commander novels.  I'm hung at #14; Books-A-Million doesn't have it, though they have all the others (19 in the series, plus a work in progress when O'Brian died).  At the end of #13, Aubrey and his crew are stranded on a desert island after their ship ran aground and was destroyed by a typhoon.  As the book closed, Aubrey stated his intention to build a schooner from the wreckage.  Oh, yes, most of the gunpowder was ruined.

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Lucky you got any MaC books there. Over here, he's conspiciuosly absent in our book shelves (even the pricey bookstores that pride themselves in having "hard-to-find" books doesn't have any of O'Brian's MaC series)

 

In between studying, I found time to read and finish Hampton Side's "Ghost Soldiers" (second time - finally found my book after two years being lost), and read another book on the Cabanatuan Raid, this time by Breuer ("The Great Raid on Cabanatuan"). Of the two, I found "Ghost Soldiers" a better read. Breuer's book focuses alot on what happened outside the prison camp, i.e. WW2 and the underground ops. However, Breuer's book mentioned some underground ops that helped the POWs at Cabanatuan which Sides' didn't mention.

 

Was reading "Battle for Manila" by Connaughton, Pimlott and Anderson. Found it a bit dragging. The book is disorganized IMO. Could've been better with better editing. However, reading it never fails to make me angry at the Japanese Naval Infantry that did alot of the atrocities in Manila.

 

Found meself reading "The Astronomer's Universe" by Herbert Friedman. For astronomy, it's ye olde book (1990 published). Still find it interesting reading.

Edited by TomasCTT
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Recently finished two excellent books -

 

The AEF & Coalition Warmaking: 1917-1918 by David F. Trask

 

Generals and Politicians: Conflict Between France's High Command, Parliament and Government, 1914-1918 by Jere Clemens King

 

Now I am in the middle of

 

France and the Great War 1914-1918 by Smith, Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker

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I've just finished reading "Trinity's Child" by William Prochnau, obviously the book the movie "By Dawn's Early Light" was based on.

 

Just wondering if anybody else has read it and their opinions? I found it extremely enjoyable but the anti-war message was laid on a little too thickly in places.

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Finally got my hard-drive replaced. For the weeks prior to this I've re-read the Louisana State University Press's "Handbook of German Military Forces" and Yves J. Bellanger's "U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1943-45, Volume one--Organization, Doctrine and Equipment." This book gives the T.O.&E. of all units in said division, equipment worn, etc. Just finished Thomas E. Woods, Jr's.book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." Also known as the P.I.G. book on U.S. history. I'll have to order more books from the bibliography from this book.

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Got a lot of sci-fi books lately. Friend of my nephew gave it to the former, and it's just stacked in his house. Some of them he gave it to me.

 

Currently reading "There will be war", a collection of mil-fi/mil-sci-fi short stories by various authors. Editor is Pournelle. I always see his name in this forum but can't recall his "standing" - is Pournelle a good sci-fi author? How'd you rate him?

 

Enjoying said book. Some of it are not short stories but rather excerpts of articles on missile defense. Book is quite old - mid-80s IIRC. But reading the articles on missile defense reminded me of the current one.

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Got a lot of sci-fi books lately.  Friend of my nephew gave it to the former, and it's just stacked in his house.  Some of them he gave it to me.

 

Currently reading "There will be war", a collection of mil-fi/mil-sci-fi short stories by various authors.  Editor is Pournelle.  I always see his name in this forum but can't recall his "standing" - is Pournelle a good sci-fi author?  How'd you rate him?

 

Enjoying said book.  Some of it are not short stories but rather excerpts of articles on missile defense.  Book is quite old - mid-80s IIRC.  But reading the articles on missile defense reminded me of the current one.

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Jerry Pournelle is one of my favorite military science fiction writers. Unfortunately, he hasn't written much (any?) since the '80s. His background is Political Science, and he is an AF vet. His "Co-Dominium" series featuring John Christian Falkenberg's Mercernary Legion are very entertaining reading, as is the "Janissaries" trilogy. He also co-authored several books with Larry Niven. He also started a "shared universe" series called "War World" which is a "Co-Dominium" spinoff.

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Guest aevans
Jerry Pournelle is one of my favorite military science fiction writers.  Unfortunately, he hasn't written much (any?) since the '80s.  His background is Political Science, and he is an AF vet.  His "Co-Dominium" series featuring John Christian Falkenberg's Mercernary Legion are very entertaining reading, as is the "Janissaries" trilogy.  He also co-authored several books with Larry Niven.  He also started a "shared universe" series called "War World" which is a "Co-Dominium" spinoff.

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Pournelle was Army Artillery in Korea. He has indeed not written much SF since the 80's, concentrating mostly on his proto-blog and magazine stuff. He is too old-fashioned and conservative for most current fans, as demonstrated regularly at LASFS meetings, where he exposes the cognitive dissonance of the utopian/socialist/idiotarian ones.

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