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  • Kamikaze: Japan's Suicide Samurai by Raymond Lamont Brown.

    Just started it. The writer seems to jump around a lot and could do with a more focused approach - but on the other hand he does try and give a introduction to the attitude to suicide, the development of the military attitude towards duty and sacrifice and the structure/divisions within the military. Plus so far there are quite a lot of different people mentioned - a basis for further reading perhaps. Not overly impressed so far but lets see how it pans out, still a lot to read.
    "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it"
    G.B Shaw

    "They promised us homes fit for heroes, they give us heroes fit for homes."
    Grandad, Only Fools and Horses


    • Spent a afternoon reading 'The Silver Pigs.'

      It's a PI novel set in Roman times.

      It was a enjoyable romp.
      Credo quia absurdum.

      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman


      • The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

        by Mark Bowden

        I like his clean prose style.

        Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

        Questions about our site? See the FAQ.


        • Just finished General Robert Eichelberger's "Dear Miss Em", letters to his wife during his Pacific campaigns during WWII. He reveals candid anecdotes on MacArthur's foibles.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.


          • The Red Knight of Germany by Floyd Gibbons for the 5th time. The book belonged to my grandfather who was also a WW2 Veteran and one of my best friends. We used to spend hours together discussing WW2 and history and all his hunting stories. Boy do I miss him.


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              • Just finished Red Country by Joe Abercrombie.

                Now reading No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River by Peter Cozzens.
                "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".




                • `
                  A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century - by Barabara Tuchman


                  Seems like a bit more of a history of 14th century France than of the 14th century in general so far - I'm about 1/3 of the way into it.
                  This might well be because Babs has chosen a peculiar narrative device for this work. Sort of centering her description of the era on one Enguerrand VII, the last Sieur de Coucy - a barony in Northern France - and making note of certain events in which he played a part. She regularly departs from the ongoing tale of this one fellow's life to describe other issues relevant to the time, though, and the chock-full-of-historical nuggets style ranging from the likely contents of the diet of peasants to the peculiar predilections of popes has proven quite amusing & informative.
                  " Reality is interpretation according to a scheme which we cannot escape "


                  • The Battle of Trafalgar - Geoffrey Bennett

                    I downloaded ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’ by Geoffrey Bennett yesterday. It’s free at the moment, perhaps because of the recent Trafalgar day. It was a really interesting account of the battles, weapons and ships. I would recommend it if, like me, you are interested in the mechanics of warfare and battles. Still have a bit more left to read, but would definitely say download it off of Amazon – especially if still free! Let me know what you think!

                    This is the blurb off of Amazon...


                    Off the Cape of Trafalgar, an epic sea battle was taking place which will be remembered throughout history.

                    The battle of Trafalgar has now passed into national mythology.

                    The expertise, courage and determination and confidence which gave Britain a victory of spectacular finality in October 1805 also provided her with one of her great legendary figures – a naval hero in life but much more like a national, if secular, saint in death.

                    However like the noise and smoke of battle, legends have a habit of obscuring facts and having lodged into the popular imagination are transcribed to history books.

                    In this masterly history, Geoffrey Bennett sets the battle in the context of the world-wide struggle of Napoleon, describes the ships, their crews and the tactics of the action.

                    In his scholarly but immensely readable account of the battle he discusses the preparatory manoeuvres and the mechanics of naval warfare in the age of sail.

                    'Excellent balanced accounts and judgements' Richard Hough, author of 'The Great War at Sea: 1914-18'.

                    Captain Geoffrey Bennett RN (1909-1983) served in the Royal Navy from 1923 until 1958, during which time he was for three years Naval Attache in Moscow. He is the author of several distinguished books on the history of naval warfare, including ‘The Battle of Jutland’, ‘Coronel and the Falklands’ and ‘Naval Battles of the First World War’.


                    • Originally posted by HistoryLover1 View Post
                      I downloaded ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’ by Geoffrey Bennett yesterday. It’s free at the moment....
                      Thanks for the heads-up!

                      I don't know what the Amazon link is where you are, but here it is for those of us in the U.S.
                      "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII


                      • Napoleon in Love by R L Delderfield

                        I downloaded ‘Napoleon in Love’ by R L Delderfield last night. So far, it’s a bit of a different approach towards the Napoleon narrative. The book focuses on the women in his life and how they fit into a career of military campaigns. I tend to read military accounts of his battles, but this was a welcome surprise. It’s a really interesting narrative, I would definitely recommend it if you would like to learn more about the personal life of Napoleon. Also, the eBook was free when I got it – a nice bonus! This is the blurb from Amazon. ..

                        In the summer of 1786, Napoleon met the first of the many beautiful women that would accompany him in his rise to power and fame.

                        He lived and died a romantic, moving from mistress to mistress in search of the ideal mate.

                        To the majority he was kind, generous and thoughtful, and their tears moved him to a frenzy of tenderness.

                        Why, then, did the Emperor who could inspire his soldiers to die with his name on their lips fail to inspire an equal devotion in the hearts of the women so eager for his love?

                        From penniless artillery man to the height of his power to his exile on St Helena, RL Delderfield explores the women who accompanied Napoleon’s rise and fall.

                        'Napoleon in Love' is the fascinating story of the personal life of one of Europe's most charismatic historical figures.

                        Praise for R F Delderfield:

                        “Impressive…vivid, shrewd…This book is stamped with spirit and authority” – Daily Telegraph

                        “Delderfield writes with gusto, enriching his narrative with innumerable citations from the memoirs and documents of the period and shrewd observations on the characters” – Boston Globe

                        “He has his intricate material beautifully in hand, and he writes with grace and conviction” – Library Journal

                        “It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well” – Books and Bookmen

                        “[Delderfield is] a skilled journalist, a raconteur, and a good storyteller” – Choice


                        • I just started reading Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by by S. C. Gwynne.
                          "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII


                          • I'm reading "The Lost King of France," about the Dauphin, Louis XVII, the son of Louis XVI executed during the French Revolution. They took the boy away and imprisoned him and maltreated him until he died in 1795. There is some DNA stuff that I may not find persuasive, but it's a good analysis of the French Revolution and the Terror.

                            Some very peculiar things happened with the Dauphin, and whether he escaped or not occupied people's attention for many years. There were a lot of pretenders.

                            I am also reading it so I can read Louis Bayard's The Black Tower, which is a fictional account of the history of the Dauphin.


                            • Comment

                              • Winter Fire

                                Originally posted by Major Sennef View Post
                                Frozen Hell by William Trotter.

                                A very readable book about the Russo-Finnish winter War of 1939 - 1940.
                                Though the writer sympathizes with the Finns, but then who wouldn't?
                                he gives a balanced coverage of the diplomatic and military aspects of the conflict.
                                The famous 'Motti tactics' in particular are well explained.

                                At this moment I have a preference for books that cover topics far removed from heat and flies

                                Winter Fire by William R. Trotter
                                As I was very much taken in by his previous book (above), I ventured into reading a novel by the same author set in Finland during WW2.
                                Being halfway now I consider it a hidden gem, very unlike what one would expect from a war novel though the battle scenes are excellent

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


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