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  • Proconsul
    replied
    I'm currently reading Disaster at Stalingrad by Peter Tsouras. I'm tempted to quit however. I'm a fan of Alternate History, and I can accept when the premises are stretched (even VERY stretched, like in the Kirov series). However I like the military aspects realistic and well researched. This book started promising but became disappointing after a while. SPOILERS follow!

    Basically the premise is that Germany adopts a more aggressive naval strategy to block the Allied convoys to Russia. So they decide to make an all out effort against convoy PQ-17 with all their major naval units, in order to completely destroy or capture the convoy. The Allies accept the challenge, and the Home Fleet, reinforced by US vessels, move to intercept the Kriegsmarine. And here is where the problems start. The description of the ensuing battle and the tactical/technical details are extremely unrealistic IMO. Basically an already damaged (by carrier aircraft) Tirpitz with only 3/4 of its main guns working takes on and defeat two KGV British battleships, sinking one. Meanwhile the Washington single-handled wrecks the twins (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) without sustaining any serious damage, then steps in and sinks the Tirpitz at close range by blowing up its magazines. It doesn't help much the Allies however, since the Luftwaffe and U-boote inflict crippling damage to the Allies fleet and the Germans succeed to sink part of the convoy and to capture the rest, bringing the merchantmen back to port.

    With all respect to Mr Tsouras, the battle he describes is BS. There is no way that an already crippled Tirpitz could take on two KGV, let alone sink one in a relatively short time. In the battle of the Denmark Strait the Prince of Wales gave the Bismarck almost as much as it got, even if its main armament was malfunctioning. And sinking a modern battleship by gunfire alone is a very difficult and very slow process, barring magazine explosions or other special circumstances. Also, contrary to what Tsouras writes, German naval shells in WW2 weren't especially good, they had a high percentage of duds. Maybe he mixes it up with WWI, where the inferiority of British shells was an important factor at Jutland.

    Also, Washington alone defeating the twins without incurring serious damage seems quite unlikely. While they may not have been able to sink it, the concentrated fire of so many 280 mm guns could have crippled her in many ways. Even more unrealistic the Washington blowing up the Tirpitz magazines. The armor scheme of that class was especially designed for short range combat, to protect the vitals in the ship bowels, even if it let the upper sections of the vessel vulnerable. I'm not saying it's completely impossible, but the Bismarck was pounded for hours by the RN to a burning wreck without the magazines blowing up. Maybe Tsouras is an expert of land rather than naval warfare, still on internet there is a plethora of information easily available, from naval forums where these issues are discussed at nauseam, to detailed analysis from experts like Bill Jurens. Anyway I think the book can still be fun to read for those who are interested in warfare on the Eastern Front.
    Last edited by Proconsul; 02 Dec 18, 14:11.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    I have started the series, but I have lost a bit of interest in these books. The first few were good, maybe I have read a poor one?

    Pruitt

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  • R.N. Armstrong
    replied
    I'm into the 7th book of James L. Nelson's novels of Viking Age (825 A.D.) Ireland. The battle descriptions, plot line, character's adventures, and smooth, fast narrative reminds me of Cornwell's "Sharpe's Rifles" series.

    The first novel title is "Fin Gall" (Light Strangers) which is Gaelic for Norwegian vikings (Dubh Gall (Dark Strangers) is Danes). Recommend reading books in order based on character development and characters that come and stay, as well as the villains who come and go.

    Great escape reading, can't put them down, and I'm losing sleep.
    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 08 Nov 18, 08:40.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    I am almost finished with War of the Wolf.

    Pruitt

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  • ktnbs
    replied
    This book is quite a fun read.
    Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History by Simon Winder.


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  • Capt AFB
    replied
    ''The Gliders' by Alan Lloyd

    I neat book that I found in a used book store. I good read if you are curious about gliders use in WW2. The book focuses more on the British Glider Pilot Regiment in Western Europe, but does provide some coverage of German and American use of gliders, and about their use in Burma.

    The major flaw with the book is that sometimes the author jumps from one story to the next, in the same page, without a logical flow - Flying a Horsa glider over Normandy and then jumping without explanation to landing a Waco in Burma!!


    I also found time to read Chris Ryan's ''Strike Back''...

    Those who read my past critics know that I find Chris Ryan's novels quite disappointing as I feel the author sometimes does not do his homework (driving and fighting from a tank with a one-man crew, comes to mind), but Strike Back was a entertaining read. I was not going to read Ryan books anymore because of my past disappointment, but ''Strike Back'' was accumulating dust at home and figure I read it while waiting for my next Amazon order...Hmm! after reading Strike Back, I may give Ryan another chance as an author!
    Last edited by Capt AFB; 08 Nov 18, 16:03.

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  • Capt AFB
    replied
    I found Cornwell's War of the Wolf in the book store.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Did you mail order or find it at a book store?

    Pruitt

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  • Capt AFB
    replied
    Picked up the latest Bernard Cornwell's book about the Uhtred saga "War of the Wolf".

    As always, it was a quite interesting read. IMO it is possibly one of Cornwell's better writing - Great story.

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  • Tuebor
    replied
    The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report.

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  • Tsar
    replied
    Wow, to return this to a lighter, less grim note I've been reading "Uncompromising Honor" by David Weber.

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    ^ More likely the programmer of that AI algorithm is making the political statement.
    With a look into the Holocaust, consider checking out Hans Kammler, whom designed Auschwitz and later camps and their "enhancements". Along with eventual direction of many production and research projects involving slave labor from the camps. I've provided some material and many links/books/sources to check out in this thread;
    Tech Plunder ~ Loot & Booty

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  • MarkV
    replied
    I'm in the middle of an MA in WW2 Studies to match the WW1 one I took a couple of years ago. If all goes well in just over a year I'll have a 2nd MA (or is that an MA and bar? ). Currently in the Holocaust module which is grim. Thus I have been reading a lot of material on the workings of the 3rd Reich much of which has been purchased both 2nd hand and new via Amazon. As a result the Amazon algorithm keeps posting recommendations on books it "thinks" I might like to buy, mainly on subjects relating to Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich Eichman etc In the middle of the latest slew of recommendations is 'Fear - Trump in the White House'! Is the Amazon AI making a political statement?

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  • G David Bock
    replied
    Recently finished: "A Short History of Nearly Everything ~ A Journey Through Space and Time" by Bill Bryson (one of my favorite authors). Admitted, only focused upon science and knowledge, not civilizations and empires, but still a 570+ page fascinating read on the course of human knowledge discovery. Along with Bryson's usual humor and wit, a great romp through human discovery over the past centuries/millennia.
    https://www.bookdepository.com/Short.../9781784161859
    https://carsonsbookshop.co.nz/p/hist...space-and-time

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  • 17thfabn
    replied
    I just read "The Day of the Panzer".

    It follows L company 15th Regiment 3rd U.S. Infantry Division and the attached Tank Destroyers, Tanks and Cannon platoon. It gives a quick back ground of the unit from North Africa, Sicily and Southern France.

    It concentrates on the small battle at Allan France.

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