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  • Originally posted by Legate View Post
    Might want to take a break as soon as you finish 15. I just finished 17 and it is extremely dark.
    I thought The Boys was really grim but still read it, Walking Dead seemed too dark for me.
    ------
    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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    • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
      There's nothing like hyperbole in a title to sell a book.

      Which battle of the Somme is it about?
      No need for a smartass comment. I didn't name the book.

      I'm in no way an expert on the Somme but I assume it covers the entire campaign.

      Right now it's August entering September 1916. I've read 300+ pages and still have a couple hundred to go.
      "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

      Homer


      BoRG

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      • Originally posted by Captain General View Post
        No need for a smartass comment. I didn't name the book.

        I'm in no way an expert on the Somme but I assume it covers the entire campaign.

        Right now it's August entering September 1916. I've read 300+ pages and still have a couple hundred to go.
        The smartarse comment wasn't aimed at you but the author. There are times when some military historians think that theirs was the only army in the war, any war; hence the dig.

        Hopefully he's explained that the 1916 Somme Offensive was designed to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun (along with the Brusilov Offensive on the Eastern Front and a battle or two of the Isonzo). Both Verdun and the Somme can be explained by pointing out the commanders of the offensive forgot Clauswitz's dictum regarding the culminating point of the offensive.

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        • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
          Hopefully he's explained that the 1916 Somme Offensive was designed to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun (along with the Brusilov Offensive on the Eastern Front and a battle or two of the Isonzo). Both Verdun and the Somme can be explained by pointing out the commanders of the offensive forgot Clauswitz's dictum regarding the culminating point of the offensive.
          Actually, the Somme was not designed to relieve pressure on either the French at Verdun, nor the Eastern Front, nor the Italians. Rather, the Somme was one part of a multi-theater offensive designed to punish the Central Powers. As Bill Philpott states:

          The battle of the Somme took six months to plan and organise, and
          lasted for four-and-a-half months; not a battle as might be traditionally
          identified, more a season’s campaigning.4 It was a triumph of Anglo-
          French cooperation, despite inevitable frictions; and of allied military
          force, yet this is all but forgotten in the consuming British obsession with 1
          July 1916 and the supposed “lost generation”. The French army, despite
          their effort and sacrifice alongside the British throughout the battle, get
          barely a paragraph in English language histories of the battle,5 and their
          German adversaries get little more.6 By ignoring the French role in the
          genesis and conduct of the battle in particular, the all important context is
          lost, for the Somme was a battle that was part of an agreed allied strategy
          (including contributions by the Russian and Italians), a strategy formulated
          and managed by General Joseph Joffre, France’s commander-in-chief.

          http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592290600943262
          That said, the timing and battleplan changed significantly as a result of Verdun and the inability of the French to carry the main load of the attack.

          EDIT:
          ps
          Another solid article on the planning was done by Roy Prete: "Joffre and the Origins of the Somme: A Study in Allied Military Planning."
          http://www.southalabama.edu/history/...offresomme.pdf
          Last edited by The Ibis; 20 Jan 13, 15:35.

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          • Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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            • Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
              Actually, the Somme was not designed to relieve pressure on either the French at Verdun, nor the Eastern Front, nor the Italians. Rather, the Somme was one part of a multi-theater offensive designed to punish the Central Powers. As Bill Philpott states:



              That said, the timing and battleplan changed significantly as a result of Verdun and the inability of the French to carry the main load of the attack.

              EDIT:
              ps
              Another solid article on the planning was done by Roy Prete: "Joffre and the Origins of the Somme: A Study in Allied Military Planning."
              http://www.southalabama.edu/history/...offresomme.pdf
              The author brings up most of these points you and the previous poster mentioned.

              That being said, the book is 99% from the British point of view and has many 1st person "oral history" type reports from the participants.

              Overall, I've enjoyed reading it.
              "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

              Homer


              BoRG

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              • I'm hoping to start "The deception game;: Czechoslovak intelligence in Soviet political warfare" by Ladislav Bittman this weekend.

                http://www.amazon.com/The-deception-...Deception+game

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                • Today I bought "How America got it right" by Bevin Alexander. I never heard of him or his book, just I saw it at the market for 15 cents and bought it. Is it worth reading it?
                  Time is inside of us and we are inside time. It turns us and we turn It.
                  Vasil Levski


                  http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...91#post2139891

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                  • Originally posted by The_Hussar View Post
                    Today I bought "How America got it right" by Bevin Alexander. I never heard of him or his book, just I saw it at the market for 15 cents and bought it. Is it worth reading it?
                    I have read several books by Bevin Alexander (not the one you bought, but How wars are Won ) and though I do not rate him in the top segment, I do not really think you can go wrong with him for 15 cents.
                    BoRG

                    You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                    • Originally posted by R. Evans View Post

                      I read this and I found it a huge pile of Lost Cause BS, it was awful.

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                      • Originally posted by McMax View Post
                        I read this and I found it a huge pile of Lost Cause BS, it was awful.
                        I'll have to disagree.

                        While I'm no Lost Causer by any stretch of the imagination, I found it to be a good introduction to the entire campaign. Introduction is the key word here. It's popular history and Groom's a decent writer. There are flaws to be sure, he concentrates and gives too much credence to Grant's alleged drunkeness. And there is more of a focus on the Southern viewpoint but I can forgive that as Groom is a Southerner himself. Every writer brings a certain bias to his writing and Groom is no exception. We had a good discussion about bias in history in the ACW forum. Sears, McPherson, Foote and others all have a certain slant. Groom would be remarkable if he didn't.

                        But I haven't seen anything resembling Lost Cause BS yet, I still have about 100 or so pages to go. If anybody would have an axe to grind it would be admirers of Joe Johnston. He does not off come well in this book. Groom doesn't like him and makes no effort to hide it. He's a little more sympathetic to Pemberton by showing him to be torn by conflicting orders and an unclear chain of command.

                        All in all, I found it to be an entertaining "popular" history. It's one of those books that makes you want to go further in-depth about the campaign and that particular time of the war. And that's what, imo, popular history is supposed to do. Make you want to know more. In that Groom succeeds, just as long as you don't use it a reference, you'll be okay.

                        Edit:

                        Found this and it further backs my point.

                        In his retelling of the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, Groom captures the essence of the men who led the armies and recreates the drama of General Ulysses S. Grant’s great gamble of marching into the interior of Mississippi in order to gain that high and dry ground east of Vicksburg that had eluded him for so long. The major problem with Groom’s work, however, is that it is not a scholarly history; it is instead a story told by a great storyteller. His command of the facts surrounding events are accurate enough, but without any footnotes there is no way to check, unless you are already an expert on the campaign. He breaks no new ground and contributes nothing meaningful to the historiography. But, in his defense, I have not seen any statements by him where he claims any such mission.

                        Yet this is a very important book despite the fact that it does not approach the detailed analysis presented by such experts as Warren Grabau, Ed Bearss, and Terry Winschel. What Groom brings to the table is very simple and yet so very elusive: a wide audience. Having achieved fame and a devoted readership through Forrest Gump and later historical works, Groom, by writing on Vicksburg, opens up the events of the Western Theater to a new set of recreational readers and buffs. Having discovered the importance of the West and its crop of intriguing personalities this wider audience may want to dig deeper.
                        http://www.cwbr.com/index.php?q=4474...&Submit=Search
                        Last edited by R. Evans; 28 Jan 13, 19:35.
                        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                        • Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                          • Several weeks ago I have bought "English history in the making" by William L. Sachse - any responses for that one?
                            Time is inside of us and we are inside time. It turns us and we turn It.
                            Vasil Levski


                            http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...91#post2139891

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                            • Six Frigates



                              Six Frigates
                              by a naval historian I start to admire very much, Ian W. Toll who managed to write an highly readable account of the first years of the United States Navy (around 1800) when it practically consisted of six very well built frigates only.
                              The book's battle scenes are superb but Toll also pays ample attention to the political angle of US naval policy, how the decision to construct these six frigates was taken by the US administration, with not just an eye on defence but also on foreign commerial and domestic policy.

                              But Six Frigates is not just a well researched political account, at a different level Toll also covers the characters of the leading characters from presidents to naval captains and how they can shape the size, role and mission of their navy plus and this for me is takes the biscuit the fledgling navy's actions against Barbary pirates and the great naval powers of the day, France and Britain. While Toll is a historian he wields a novelist's pen not incomparable to how 'Master and Commander' was written.
                              Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 02 Feb 13, 14:17.
                              BoRG

                              You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                              • Six Days of War



                                Six Days of War by Michael Oren, about the...Six Day War. Good read.
                                You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

                                -- Ataturk

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