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  • Currently reading Cobra II, "the inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq." Too early to say much about it, except that it's interesting.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • Russia, early 1942 At Charkov, the wounded survivors of elite SS Assault Regiment Wotan, have been forced to surrender. Von Dodenburg, their second in command, knows the plans of a further Soviet attack. It is vital he should get them back to Army headquarters. But how? He is wounded and is under close guard. Now, the survivors begin the March of Death back to the rear, dying like flies in the snow. Von Dodenburg despairs. But he has not reckoned with those two old running mates Sergeant Schulze and Corporal Matz. Together the two of them a handful of those who have escaped the debacle at Charkov plan to rescue their beloved C.O. They fight Cossacks, the women's 'Legion of Sudden Death', and Partisans, along with all the other hazards of the terrible war in Russia. Will they succeed, against all the odds - so that von Dodenburg can live to fight another day?
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      • Alan Furst's A Foreign Correspondent is the latest in his series of pre-WWII espionage stories in Europe centered in Paris. He has reinvented the genre matching, if not exceeding, Eric Ambler. Many of his stories center around average people caught up in deciding to take a side in the fight against Fascism--it's all there in his series--sabotage, espionage, resistance, NKVD, emigres fight to survive in dislocated world, and, yes, romance(Furst has known French women). His character development and atmosphere cannot be captured by a car-crashing and T&A Hollywood approach to stories.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • Finally finished 'Crossing the Suez' this weekend. The political diary portion was a pain to read, and probably could be skipped. The book does a great jon describing the planning, preparation, and execution of the operation though. Also does a good job of showing planning a mission based on your capabilities. The thing I didn't like about the political portions was that he seemed to be covering his *ss and pointing the finger at others. We will probably never know the truth about the decision to attack to the Sinai passes. He does make a pretty good case for himself though. I highly recommend the book. It is a quick read. It only took so long b/c I set it aside after getting tired of reading the political diary section.

          I have about 160 pages left in "Panzer Battles", then it is probably off to the Civil War for a while, with an excursion into the Franco-Prussian war.
          "When they get in trouble they send for the sonsabitches." - Admiral King

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          • Reading more fiction still... FInished Red Storm Rising... decent book... read this Young Adult book about a woman with no sense of fear joining the FBI. I've started Dan Abnett's Double Eagle and then I should get on to Flags of our Fathers by Bradley.
            The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -Carl Jung

            Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

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            • Well because of summer reading for school i'm currently reading multiple books. I have to read the first 2 chapters of A Survey: American History by Alan Brinkley, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Those are for school. For fun i'm reading Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir by Joseph R. Owen and The Complete Idiots Guide to the American Revolution. Fun stuff
              I dare do all that may become a man; who dares more is none. - Macbeth

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              • Just finishing Silent Steel: The Mysterious Death of the Nuclear Attack Sub USS Scorpion.. Very interesting book about the loss of the Scorpion, and how it was found. Puts a human face on this tragedy.
                I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.
                --William T. Sherman

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                • This is a brutal and compassionate story, the biography of a powerful man without a country, one of the world's stateless persons, who has lived a heroic adventure on three continents. Most of his friends have failed to meet this world's challenges and are buried in unmarked graves in Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Viet Nam, Burma and North Africa. But he survives. Not only that, but he remains strong and undefeated. He was one of the half-million Storm Troopers left alive in Hitler's Germany when the war ended. He has cut the blood mark of the SS from his arm, but he is marked by the SS to this day and is shadowed by it. I have written the account from his point of view throughout, telling it just as he told it to me, even retaining some elements of his style and writing it in the first person. He has read the manuscript and testifies to its truth. Edward Hukov was a man who for 15 years had made daily decisions not so much on the basis of right or wrong as on the basis of life or death. Hukov volunteered for the French Foreign Legion on 25 October 1945 and was sent to Side-bel-Abbes for training. He was made sergeant and awarded the Croix de Guerre. This narrative begins in the fall of 1944 with Hukov on the Western Front. He arrived in Indochina on 12 March 1946 and, in late December of 1946, he deserted the Legion. For 21 harrowing days, he fought his way through jungle and swamp, waging a constant battle with insects, fever and waist-high water. Finally Hukov reached the Thailand border, and Bankok, where he was permitted to remain.
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                  • We Were Soldiers Once...and Young - Lt. Gen. Hal Moore

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                    • "Guests of the Ayatollah" by Mark Bowden;

                      About 1/2 way through it and so far so good, it is more of an account so far, with some reflection. This brings back some memories, I was a teen at the time and I remember how mad my dad and uncle where at the time, both where ready to go back on active duty, but only if they would be allowed to go fight.

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                      • MacGarrigle, George L. Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967.

                        A truly fantastic book for anyone interested in combat operations in RVN, the level of detail in unbelievable, part of the US Army in Vietnam series edited by the CMH.

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                        • 'With the Old Breed'

                          Originally posted by TheBigRedOne
                          If the Pacific Theater is your interest, I think you'll enjoy Sledge's book. I'm currently borrowing it from a guy at work who was in the Marines during the Gulf War. It's a very straight forward desciption of the conditions those men faced against a very determined Japanese foe.

                          I'd recommend it highly.
                          Started E. Sledge's book: 'With the Old Breed' today.
                          It's description of Marine training and battle on Peleliu and Okinawa in 1944 and 1945 with the First Marine Division (The Old Breed) hits me indeed as forcefully as all critics promised it would.
                          BoRG

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

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                          • Finished "Why the Germans Lose at War: The Myth of German Military Superiority" by Kenneth Macksey. The provacative title got me and the author made his points fairly well. Overall I found it a bit dry though. You may be able to find the hard cover in the $9.99 discount section at Barnes & Noble now that the paperback is out.
                            Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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                            • Now I'm on Flags of our Fathers.... Black Sheep Squadron is my list next...
                              The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -Carl Jung

                              Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

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                              • Originally posted by DS1(SW)ret.
                                "Guests of the Ayatollah" by Mark Bowden;

                                About 1/2 way through it and so far so good, it is more of an account so far, with some reflection. This brings back some memories, I was a teen at the time and I remember how mad my dad and uncle where at the time, both where ready to go back on active duty, but only if they would be allowed to go fight.
                                I finished today, very good book. I would recommend it to all.
                                Rory

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