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  • "Charlemagne", by Roger Collins. Often called "The Father of Europe".
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

    Comment


    • SS WIKING, the darker secrets...

      I am reading a real eye opener for me as a Finn (Well half a Finn, but that's where I live).

      It is called simply> SS WIKING the history of the fifth ss division 1941/1945 ISBN> 1-86227-174-7

      Here was a book that shattered the myth that the Finnish volunteers in Wiking were simple waffen ss troops, and had nothing to do with the atrocities the Einzatz gruppen carried out, along with some other units like say, SS Totenkopf.

      Well there was killing of Jews as a punishment when the Westland regiments leader was killed (the very regiment that the Finn reqruits were placed in).

      I must dig deeper and quote just one passage from page 47 'In the course of an action carried out in Rudjina and Trojanov, 26 jewish Communistws and (ahem) saboteurs were seized and shot. In the centre of the big square a gallows was erected for two Jewish Murdreres who were hanged there.'

      This leaves out the much larger executions of the Jews in the area where the Regimental commander was shot.

      I know that Finns served in Westland regiment, and if this is true (and he does quote other authors), then the official Finnish line for the people for the last sixty years has been lies.

      Rather like the myth that was shattered unfortunately too late a couple of years ago, that Finland didnt kill, or assist the Nazi Germans to kill any jews, exept a token, eight lithuanians who were trying to plead for exile in finland in 1942, a unfortunate but necessary sacrifice to placate the Nazis from hunting Finnish jews.

      (Now, there is some truth in this, as over three hundred jews were fighting against Russia in the continuation war of 41-44 along with the Germans, granted far away from the german north lappland front).

      But, a shocking truth came out, only to be more shocking to me that the media and people just shrugged their shoulders when it came out.

      The ammount of Jews of all kind of refugee ect, wasnt the 'unlucky eight' that I had grown up in beliveing, but actually two to three thousand (all documents exterminated when the invasion attempt of Russia in summer of 44 seemed a possibility.

      It seems that the Finns, although kind to their own Jewish population, were not so kind to foreign jews, and the so called 'clean' SS Wiking, wasnt so clean after all, there is more evidence of maltreatment of Jews, and hiwis.

      But all in all, the comparison to the einzazgruppen, and the fact that when these small executions of the immediate invasion of Barbarossa that paled by comparison with what happened a month or two later, and continued for a couple of years, I must add that wermacht was present too in these first executions.

      Back to the action, it\s quite well documentetd, exept the man makes mistakes as far as the Finns are conserned the writer tells the story of the indution and training of the green 1000 strong battalion of Finns, what he leaves out though is that the number of Finns was 2000, and half of them who were already blooded in the winter war, were instantly put in the German combat units, only the young Finns got the 'from the start treatment' and were thus probably recorded more stringently.

      The other thousand just went into the fray, where as the 'greenhorns' joined the division came to the front in the winter deadlock of 41-42.

      Otherwize good reading, and not too deep not too shallow, with nice large pictures.

      If you order it from amazon, you get an offer for a same series book (usually about the 12th ss, I guess that book isnt selling so good, but you can get the Leibstandarte one too offered, I ordered the Totenkopf div book too, but havent got to reading it.

      They are hard cover, and a reasonably good worth of money colletable kind of book.
      "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

      If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

      Comment


      • In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front - Gottlob Herbert Bidermann, Derek S. Zumbro (Editor)

        The Punic Wars - Adrian Goldsworthy

        Trafalgar: The Biography of a Battle - Roy Adkins

        My next major purchase will be

        Battlecruiser HMS "Hood": An Illustrated Biography 1916-1941 - Bruce Taylor
        Last edited by c00k1e; 29 Jun 05, 11:16.
        Stephen.

        'Why be a cog in the machine, when you can be a spanner in the works.'

        Comment


        • Originally posted by 17poundr

          Any suggestions on a good book about the whole Afganistan, and especially Iraq cituation, I have a Tom Clancy-Gen Franks collaboration about op Iraqi freedom in my shelf that I havent go to, somehow, though, the thing that Clancy, who wrote quite interesting fact books about the different service branches of the US Military forces, that were good on reading about the different equipment that was faithfully described in each book (I have read 'fighter wing-a guided tour', and 'Armoured cav-a guided tour'.
          They are good for the facts on the kit that these groups use, the airforce one espcecailly blows your mind when you think what their ordnance's distructive power is nowadays!

          Mr Poundr.
          Dont know if this one will meet your requirements but I have the following on my shelf (Unstarted yet)

          Rules of Engagement: A Life in Conflict - Tim Collins

          Synopsis
          From the moment Tim Collins's speech to his men in Iraq was made public, he became more than an army colonel. He spoke to a world that was confused, at best, as to the motives for war, and gave some explanation - at last - for the need for this war and gave counsel on how it should be approached. Full of drama, thought and humour, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT describes in graphic and thrilling detail not only Tim Collins's time in Iraq in the lead up to war and during the war itself, but looks back on a life's experience in the army. He talks for the first time about the accusations of war crimes levelled against him and reveals the truth about US behaviour during the conflict. A snap shot of history, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is an absorbing tale that will stand the test of time and is a moving lesson in the humanity that lies behind a country at war.
          Stephen.

          'Why be a cog in the machine, when you can be a spanner in the works.'

          Comment


          • Originally posted by c00k1e
            Dont know if this one will meet your requirements but I have the following on my shelf (Unstarted yet)

            Rules of Engagement: A Life in Conflict - Tim Collins

            Synopsis
            From the moment Tim Collins's speech to his men in Iraq was made public, he became more than an army colonel. He spoke to a world that was confused, at best, as to the motives for war, and gave some explanation - at last - for the need for this war and gave counsel on how it should be approached. Full of drama, thought and humour, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT describes in graphic and thrilling detail not only Tim Collins's time in Iraq in the lead up to war and during the war itself, but looks back on a life's experience in the army. He talks for the first time about the accusations of war crimes levelled against him and reveals the truth about US behaviour during the conflict. A snap shot of history, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is an absorbing tale that will stand the test of time and is a moving lesson in the humanity that lies behind a country at war.
            I saw that in the shops today and I am thinking of reading it.

            If I do though I'll probably pick it up in the local Library rather then fork out 15 euros for it!
            http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

            Comment


            • I am about a quarter of the way through:

              Tigers in the Mud - Otto Carius

              Comment


              • Just picked up The Ghosts of Medak by Carol Off, looks good and from what I've been told by those who were there it's fairly accurate.
                What God abandoned, these defended,
                And saved the sum of things for pay.

                A.E. Housman
                [ 1859-1936 ]

                Comment


                • Recently started "A Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy" by N.A.M. Rodgers This is a detailed study of life in the British Navy in the middle part of the 18th century so particularly applicable to the Seven Year War period. It is based on original source research and, as the author points out, the data may or may not be consistent with the Napoleonic period as he did not include that data in his reseach.

                  Rodgers is one of the most prominent naval historians in England and is writing is very accessible to the average non-academic reader. During this period, the British Navy was the largest industrial enterprise in Europe. Most of the books focuses on the details of shipboard life including the complexity of reporting arrangements and administration with most specialists having direct reporting arrnagements separate from the Naval chain of command. For instance the Master Gunner was responsible directly to the Ordinance Board which was responsible for ordinance in both services including control of army artillery officers.

                  Beyond the complex organizational structure which worked remarkably well the book focuses most on crew structure, life on board ship, etc. With various tid bits such as why specialists were called idlers ( they were not assigned watch duty so they were the only people on ship who got more than 4 hours sleep), what the penalty was for lookouts who did not spot something before seen by the officers on deck (remaining at the mast head for a double watch) etc.etc. All in all a far less onerous life than painted by Hollywood, especially in the context of other opportunities for folks with similar skills. There were no known cases of seamen leaving the Navy to work in the merchant fleet. While in the Navy the averaged between 2 and 4 hours sleep, in the merchant fleet one often went two or three days without sleeping due to the dramatically lower manning ratios per ton of ship. Food, dependability of Captians, etc. etc. was also far better in the Navy than the merchant fleet. For British sailor impressment often meant an improvement in ones situation.

                  So, if you are curious about what the sailing Navy was really like this is a good window into that "wooden world".
                  Boston Strong!

                  Comment


                  • The rivers of war
                    Eric flint's Alt. history of the war of 1812 .
                    Very good with Flints usually flair for realistic characters.
                    Virtute Et Armis
                    Toerag

                    Comment


                    • Combat History of the 82nd Airborne in WWII

                      Just finished Liri Valley by Zuehlke

                      Am 1/3 finished with All American, All the Way - Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in WWII. Excellent so far!

                      Good reading!
                      John

                      Comment


                      • Band of Brothers
                        100 Decisive Battles
                        The Art of War
                        The Tactician

                        "Just drive down that road, until you get blown up"- Patton talking to reconnaissance troops.

                        "To throw bombs from an airplane will do as much damage as throwing bags of flour. It will be my pleasure to stand on the bridge of any ship while it is attacked by airplanes."
                        - Newton Baker, US minister of defense (1921)

                        "Submarines are safer than aircraft.....the proof in this fact is that there are more aircraft in the water than submarines in the sky."- Joke from somewhere

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                        • Rommel's War in Africa, by Wolf Heckmann


                          Part of a boxed set I saw in Sam's Club for too good a price to resist; other titles were Enemy at the Gates and Decision in Normandy, by Carlo D'Este (There may have been a fourth book, but the boxed set is a few thousand miles away!)

                          Comment


                          • "Above All, Courage" -Max Arthur
                            It conatins a series of personal accounts and stories from the Falklands war. It is rare that I read something that feels this revealing, moving and above all authentic.

                            "Alfa Sierra" -Lars A karlsson
                            A edited diary of the accounts of a platoon during their time in Bosnia-Hercegovina 93-94. Its in Swedish, but you can all hope that it gets translated someday because you would certainly like it. Its a real account of when heroics borderline stupidity and the constant struggle against boredome. The surreal life of peacekeeping, everything from coping with mental patients, as well as getting caught in ambushes and pounded by russian ATGM´s.
                            "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

                            Comment


                            • Bought this in Sorrento, Italy a couple of weeks ago while on holiday:

                              Guerra Civile

                              1943 1945 1948

                              Una Storia Fotografica


                              by Pasquale Chessa

                              It's a photographic account with text in Italian of how the War effected Italians and the infighting and bloodletting that convulsed Italy as the various factions vied for control.

                              Some of the photos are quite gruesome.
                              http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

                              Comment


                              • Aeneid by Virgil.
                                Interesting challenge. I don't have the contextual knowledge to make sense of much of it. Thank goodness for the internet and search engines. It's interesting to read an account of the fall of Troy from a heroic and very very early perspective.

                                The Face of Battle by John Keegan
                                Yup, I am ashamed to say I have not yet read any Keegan. Although four of his books sit on my shelf. I picked this up today because I am beginning a game of Waterloo. I am lacking in my knowledge of the battle. So, the current ACG and this book will be my primers.
                                AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                                The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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