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  • This is an authentic account–often in their own words–of German infantry aces, common foot soldiers who were thrust into a blazing maelstrom of bloody horror such as the world had never seen. They faced the savage onslaught of fire-belching tanks at Kursk and carried wounded comrades hundreds of yards to safety through a hail of bullets. They fought alone behind enemy lines, tackled a foe vastly superior in numbers, and served as machine gunners in a thousand dangerous actions. On the frozen Russian steppes, under the scorching African desert sun, in the final desperate battles, they were outnumbered and outgunned, and faced impossible odds. Here are the fascinating stories of the men who stared death in the face during some of the most brutal battles ever waged.

    Details the combat experiences of 8 German infantry soldiers: 2 Waffen SS; 1 paratrooper; and, 5 army. Each soldier receives a separate chapter with an additional chapter on infantry tactics. It was the hard-fighting infantry that was the backbone of the German armed forces. This book features lots of exciting accounts of small-unit actions on different battle fronts.
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    • Originally posted by GCoyote
      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.
      Yeah, I read that book as well. While I agree with his ideas, I think he could have made a stronger case with more detailed analysis. This book was quite short and examined the rise of Prussia, the First Reich, WW1 and WW2, all in a thin book! I won't be surprised if some readers are unconvinced by his arguments.

      The book by Milton Shulman "Defeat in the West" covered much of the same arguments, but with more indepth analysis and details. It is a much older book, but I think it is better, and I believe his arguments still stand. Basically, his arguments is that while Germans were very good fighters, their neglect of key aspects of the art of war cost them dearly. In particular, they neglected the important aspects of intelligence and logistics. On the other hand, the Allies were able to exploit better intelligence (note: Shulman wrote this book before the code breaking efforts against Enigma was declassified, but this reinforced his arguments) and logistics to compensate for their weakness in operational aspects. He also made a strong case that while the Germans were superior operationally at the start of the war, the Allies eventually learnt from their mistakes to become operational masters themselves, and decisively defeated the Germans on the battlefield.

      Another book which I found very useful is "Why the Allies Won" by Richard Overy. Richard Overy's contribution to military history is the examination of the myth of economic determinism - i.e. the idea that German inevitably lost because the Allies had larger economies. He showed that this was not the case. Germany came close to winning on a few occasions at the start of WW2, when in fact it had a larger economy than the British and the Soviets combined. He demonstrated that the Allies won because they made better use of intelligence, had better logistics, were led by more capable political leaders, and made correct decisions about which technology to pursue to win the war. By contrast, the Germans neglected maxising their production, had lackluster logistics, and poured large amount of resources into immature technology that would not contribute much to the war before it ended. And, of course, their political leaders were both corrupt and idiotic!

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      • FREAKONOMICS by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

        Best non-fiction, non-military history book I've read in ages!

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        • I'll have to check these out . . .

          Originally posted by Ogukuo72
          . . . The book by Milton Shulman "Defeat in the West" covered much of the same arguments, but with more indepth analysis and details. It is a much older book, but I think it is better, and I believe his arguments still stand. Basically, his arguments is that while Germans were very good fighters, their neglect of key aspects of the art of war cost them dearly. In particular, they neglected the important aspects of intelligence and logistics. On the other hand, the Allies were able to exploit better intelligence (note: Shulman wrote this book before the code breaking efforts against Enigma was declassified, but this reinforced his arguments) and logistics to compensate for their weakness in operational aspects. He also made a strong case that while the Germans were superior operationally at the start of the war, the Allies eventually learnt from their mistakes to become operational masters themselves, and decisively defeated the Germans on the battlefield.

          Another book which I found very useful is "Why the Allies Won" by Richard Overy. Richard Overy's contribution to military history is the examination of the myth of economic determinism - i.e. the idea that German inevitably lost because the Allies had larger economies. He showed that this was not the case. Germany came close to winning on a few occasions at the start of WW2, when in fact it had a larger economy than the British and the Soviets combined. He demonstrated that the Allies won because they made better use of intelligence, had better logistics, were led by more capable political leaders, and made correct decisions about which technology to pursue to win the war. By contrast, the Germans neglected maxising their production, had lackluster logistics, and poured large amount of resources into immature technology that would not contribute much to the war before it ended. And, of course, their political leaders were both corrupt and idiotic!
          As an instructor noted years ago, the Wehrmacht had significant initial advantages in training, doctrine, and tactical preparation. The difference between the Germans and the allies in these areas was at its peak at the beginning of the war. Once the allies began to gain combat experience they used it to improve their own training and doctrine. Every day the war dragged on the gap between the two sides narrowed.
          Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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          • Baa Baa Black Sheep by "Pappy" Boyington... I dunno want I want to read next.... I might just pick a book at random!
            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 GCoyote
              As an instructor noted years ago, the Wehrmacht had significant initial advantages in training, doctrine, and tactical preparation. The difference between the Germans and the allies in these areas was at its peak at the beginning of the war. Once the allies began to gain combat experience they used it to improve their own training and doctrine. Every day the war dragged on the gap between the two sides narrowed.
              You're absolutely right.

              The Germans were superior to the Allies in all operational areas. They had developed better doctrines, gave their men better training, and prepared them better for battle. In comparison, the Allies were in bad shape following the terrible neglect of their armed forces after WW1. (David Fraser called the British Army at the beginning of WW2 a 'rusting sword' that was expected to perform miracles. This assessment could hardly be bettered.)

              It is interesting to note that best prepared force (aside from naval forces) on the Allied side was the RAF's fighter command, which had developed excellent doctrine, weapons, and command and control structures. This helped the fighter command to defeat the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

              It is worthwhile to ponder what might have been if the British Army and the French had been similarly well prepared for war. Would Hitler have been able to achieve what he had in 1940?

              If you want peace, prepare for war!
              Last edited by Ogukuo72; 08 Aug 06, 23:04.

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              • I just finished reading Prisoner's Dilemma, which is a biography of
                Mathematician John Von Neumann. It talks about his life as well as game
                theory which was his brainchild, and how both were involved in the Cold War.


                Interesting factoid learned from the book. George Bush isn't the first to
                advocate preventive war. In the late 40's and early 50's there was a group
                that advocated preventive war against the Soviets before they would be
                able to catch up in the arms race.

                Overall the book is very interesting and I highly recommend it. It is a great
                introduction to the mathematical subject of game theory as well as being a
                pretty good biography.

                Now I am back to finishing up Panzer Battles with about 100 pages to go.
                "When they get in trouble they send for the sonsabitches." - Admiral King

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                • The Big Red Machine by Stephen Clarkson, an explanation of why the Liberal Party of Canada has dominated Canadian politics and been the most successful party in Western democracy. The Liberals have been in power for 78 out of the last 110 years in Canada.
                  There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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                  • New book

                    I am reading Sniper on the Eastern Front, the Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross recipient. So far this is a great book, very well written from a Snipers point of view. Pretty gruesome look into life on the front line, lots of respect for some Russian crews but also lots of hate for them as well.
                    Highly recomended reading but be warned not for the tame of heart.

                    I will try and do a full review when everything else is complete.

                    CD
                    "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                    • I'm reading "Iron Coffins" by Herbert Werner. It's about his time in U-Boats during WW2. It's an older book, copyright June 1969. Werner starts his career as an officer on U-557, commanded by Ottokar Paulssen. He later commands two U-Boats himself. (U-415 & U-953)

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                      • An excellent history of the First World War.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                        • Just started Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael Oren
                          Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                          Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                          • Originally posted by GCoyote
                            Just started Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael Oren
                            That's a good book. I've read it and recommend it highly.

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                            • Is that the one called Bombs, Bagels and Bullets?
                              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                              • Originally posted by GCoyote
                                Just started Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael Oren
                                It's on my bookshelf...hopefully moving to the top of the list soon.

                                I just finished Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror by Lt. General Thomas McInerney USAF (Ret) and Maj. General Paul Vallely USA (Ret). Not very rigorous...but entertaining.

                                I just started The Chicken Little Agenda: Debunking the Experts Lies by Robert Williscroft. The author is a former US Navy submarine officer. He has BS degrees in meteorology and oceanography and MS and PhD's in engineering. It's a potpourri of my favorite subjects. From the green-hadists to terrorism to the philosophy of Ayn Rand and everything in between...

                                From Amazon.com:
                                From the Publisher
                                "What if I told you there was a book that even a person with no scientific knowledge could read and understand that would dispel all your fears about "global warming", nuclear energy, "ozone holes", and much of what the daily media tells you poses a terrible threat to the Earth and you? What if I told you the book was written by a retired submarine officer with a B.S. in oceanography and meteorology from the University of Washington and a M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from California Coast University? What if I told you that, after reading 'The Chicken Little Agenda'...you would be the best informed, smartest person in the room when some idiot began to tell everyone that the Earth was doomed, there’s no way to provide electricity without producing greenhouse gases, blah, blah, blah! This is hands-down the best book I have read in a very long time when it comes to explaining and debunking the kind of nonsense in Al Gore’s new film or the cover stories of Time and other so-called news magazines. Do yourself a very big favor and read it.

                                About the Author
                                Dr. Williscroft is a retired submarine officer, deep-sea diver, businessman, writer, and life-long adventurer. Among other activities, he spent 22 months underwater, a year in the equatorial Pacific, three years in the Arctic ice pack, and a year at the geographic South Pole. His articles appear regularly in mensnewsdaily.com and in the popular online periodicals Defense Watch Magazine. He received his B.S. in oceanography and meteorology from the University of Washington in 1969, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from California Coast University in 1980 and 1983, respectively.
                                Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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