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  • Don Maddox
    started a topic What are you currently reading?

    What are you currently reading?

    The Bear and the Dragon, Tom Clancy.

  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Just finished Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad - Hampton Roads 1862. Tonight, will begin on Confederate Ironclad 1861-65 and after that, Union River Ironclad 1861-65. All of these are Osprey volumes. Concise but very informative.
    Prior to reading the above, I had already started on British Battleships of the Victorian Era by Norman Friedman. I'm resuming that one.
    Next in the queue is Before the Battlecruiser - The Big Cruiser in the World's Navies 1865-1910, by Aidan Dodson.
    After that, I've got River Gunboats - An Illustrated Encyclopaedia by Roger Branfill-Cook.

    All three are from Seaforth Publishing in the UK and of considerable substance. The first two in particular will take me some time to work through, based on maybe 30 minutes of reading time each night when I go to bed. (I find that half-an-hour or so of reading helps me get to sleep).
    Unlike the first two, the River Gunboats encyclopedia will not be a "read it all from cover to cover" job but is still an impressive work.

    Of course, apart from the pleasure of learning while I read, this is also to help me prepare for the next Warships Tournament. I wasn't sure whether or not I should be including river gunboats at all until I read the information on the book's jacket, which gave a brief summary of just how much important work these vessels performed in the age of steam.

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  • 1claire
    replied
    Just started reading The Poppy War by R.F Kuang. It talks about trauma, forgotten history, and the power of fiction to produce radical empathy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Capt AFB
    replied
    "Malta Spitfire" by Canadian fighter ace George Beurling. Very interesting read.

    Malta was a far more brutal air battle site during WW2 than the Battle of Britain. Many Canadian and other Commonwealth airmen fought there.

    Beurling was the epitome of the individual professional fighter pilot, to a point that he would be able to fire the exact number of rounds at a determined distance at an enemy aircraft to bring it down.

    His individualistic attitude as being a loner and not wanting to work with a wingman brought much grief to himself from his superiors in England, prior and after Malta. But in Malta, he was the Spitfire pilot that caused a lot more grief to the Axis then his chain of command.

    South African Ace "Sailor" Malan, one of his superior, said that he would have like to give Beurling is own Mustang fighter aircraft to fight the enemy over Germany - "He would either have been killed or end the war as the pilot with the greatest number of Axis aircraft destroyed" or words to that effect.

    His individualistic attitude and not lack of teamwork would get the better of him, and in October 1944, he received an honourable discharge from the RCAF.

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Just finished Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad - Hampton Roads 1862. Tonight, will begin on Confederate Ironclad 1861-65 and after that, Union River Ironclad 1861-65. All of these are Osprey volumes. Concise but very informative.

    Leave a comment:


  • Capt AFB
    replied
    Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
    Just finished reading Jean Laterguy's "The Centurions", a novel about French paratroop officers experience as PoW in Indochina after Dien Bien Phu and then go on to fight the revolutionaries in Algeria.

    Great mix in the cast of characters,coming from all walk of life in France. Really well written. Made me think of WEB Griffin style, although perhaps a bit more grittier and intellectual.

    Looking forward to read the sequel "The Praetorians."
    Found time to read "The Praetorians." A good sequel to "The Centurions", with a bit more action towards the end of the book.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jannie
    replied
    I recently found on my local library's books for sale shelf the three volume set of The Civil War: A narrative by Shelby Foote in large format paperback. They have a reissue date of 1986 in them. I got them for a dollar apiece. So I am now about half way through volume one. This will be my main reading project for this year. That man can write. I generally read somewhere around 100-110 books a year of the light romance and murder mystery type. So I don't think I will get anywhere near that this year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Sixty Minutes For St. George, a novel about the WWI raid on St. Nazaire.

    Leave a comment:


  • OttoHarkaman
    replied
    00441569_medium.jpg
    "A Concise History of Kentucky" James C. Klotter, Freda C. Klotter

    004fb9d9_medium.jpg
    Borderland Narratives : Negotiation and Accommodation
    in North America’s Contested Spaces, 1500-1850

    by Andrew K. Frank and A. Glenn Crothers

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    The Cherokee Struggle to Maintain Identity in the 17th and 18th Centuries William R. Reynolds

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Originally posted by Martok View Post
    My wife bought me this for Christmas. It was a gift with both thought and emotion factored in.

    ....
    Ironic, isn't it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tuebor
    replied
    John R Schindler's Fall of the Double Eagle: The Battle of Galicia and the Demise of Austria-Hungary.

    So far it has been fairly good, with a good description of the A-H army post 1866. Just now at the mobilization stage, and here I felt it was a little light. Prit Buttar seems to have done a bit more as I recall. The book itself is being told from the A-H POV, which is obvious given the ultimate hypothesis of the book. Little or nothing on Russia so far. Not quite there yet though.

    Tuebor

    Leave a comment:


  • Martok
    replied
    My wife bought me this for Christmas. It was a gift with both thought and emotion factored in.

    6606206-01.jpg

    Leave a comment:


  • Martok
    replied
    I don't have much time for reading of late, but when I do I am working through this:

    a-feast-for-crows.jpg

    Interesting to note where the book differs from the series.

    Leave a comment:


  • SRV Ron
    replied
    I've been actually writing some books that have been posted on the Ark Community Forum creative section and on the Ark Diaries Facebook page.

    I did one on a Vietnam Special Forces patrol that found a cave in the Central Highlands only to end up on an Ark. (The actual cave was discovered in 2008 and is one of the largest in the world.)

    My current work is a continuation of the lost Training Flight 19, who have now returned to a destroyed Earth far in the future. A short clip of when the flight vanished off of Ft. Lauderdale in 1945.

    From the last radio transmission sent, the following was heard, “All planes close up tight. We’ll have to ditch unless landfall…when the first plane drops below ten gallons, we all go down together.” A few minutes later, the Avengers’ last radio communications were replaced by an eerie buzz of static.*

    Lt. Tylor has now ordered everyone to fly close together as he leads the way descending down to the surface of a very rough sea. The weather front has become strangely glowing as the five aircraft, now almost out of fuel, have closed into a tight formation as they descend to ditch the planes in the sea. Radio communication between the aircraft soon become impossible due to something that is now jamming all reception. The sea itself is glowing like a lighted landing field in spite of the very rough conditions 50 mph+ winds, have created on the surface. The glow gets brighter as the five aircraft descend towards the stormy surface. A strange noise sounding like a high pitch whine fills the cockpit of each plane as it reaches the point of being painful. Their electrical systems soon fail resulting in the engines shutting down. Then, suddenly, a blinding ball of light engulfs all five aircraft rendering everyone unconscious.

    Chapter 2. The Portal

    In a flash, Lt. Tylor and the 13 other crewmen of Training Flight 19, find themselves lying face up on a rusting metal floor inside a gigantic alien looking hanger. Its floor is littered with grass and strange plants of all kind. There is no signs of their aircraft or any signs of a crash landing. Their flight suits are missing along with all personal items that they had on them. They find themselves naked as the smell of burning electrical wiring hangs in the air. A massive electrical shorts crackles like lightning around the three huge rings that form some sort of tunnel in that giant hanger. They quickly go out leaving strips of color in each ring that are glowing in red, green, and blue.

    In the corridor way down in the distance, an explosion lights up the chamber like a giant spotlight, then dies out as debris is seen falling down from that direction. The ground starts shaking as bits of stone, crystals of various color, and pieces of wood hit the metallic floor around them. Then, all is quiet save for the sound of the wind echoing through the cavern above, the hum of some strange alien machinery, and the sounds being made by several strange prehistoric creatures in the distance.

    The weather in this massive cavern turns out to be quite hot and sticky. Giant trees, huge mushrooms, and vines of various types are seen growing along the rusting metallic walls down below this raised ramp like structure. Unfamiliar plants, tall bamboo, ferns, grasses, heavy moss, and smaller mushrooms are growing everywhere among and between the rusting metal plates and support beams. A glowing firefly, the size of a house cat, goes flying by. Other alien looking creatures, some with glowing spots on their sides and spike plates, are seen walking in the distance. In spite of their being naked, the crews of Flight 19 soon find themselves sweating profusely due to the stifling heat and humidity.

    “What the frack just happened?” ask Gunner George Daryol from Lt. Tylor’s crew as he gets up off of the still shaking floor. “Where’s my clothes and flight gear? Where in the fracking hell are we? How did we end up in this weird fracking place?”

    “How the frack should I know!” a naked Lt. Tylor answers back in frustration. “All I saw was that strange fracking light coming towards us when I glided my plane down to the sea after its electrical systems went to hell and the engine died.”

    “Maybe, if you had flown your fracking plane West as you were ordered to, we would be home by now,” shouts a naked Captain Powell in anger as he gets up off the still shaking floor.

    “Just how in the fracking hell could we have been over the Florida Keys as you claimed?” asks an extremely pissed off Captain Shrivers. “Our target area is completely in the opposite direction from Ft. Lauderdale.”

    “My muther fracking Compass was screwed up after we reached Hens and Chickens Shoals!” Lt. Tylor shouts back at them.

    “As the experience flight leader, you’re suppose to know where the hell you are going.” yells Ensign Bossman. “If your fracking compass were screwed up as you claimed, why didn’t you pass on flight leadership to Captain Powell? What was your navigator doing? Sleeping on the job?”

    “I heard the radio message ordering you to fly West,” yells Private Grobbal. “Why did you continue to fly East when you were ordered to change course?”

    The argument continues to intensify until it is suddenly interrupted by a loud blood curdling scream from some creatures running towards them from behind. Turning to face the sound, the 117 flight crew find themselves under attack by three prehistoric bipedal predators that are over twice their size.

    “What in the fracking hell are those---Ayyyyy...!” screams Sgt. Gulliver as a large bipedal predator leaps on top of him, pinning him to the ground. The huge lizard bites off his hand when he tries to protect his face, then disemboweled him with a claw hook on its foot and starts eating him alive.

    “RUN!” Scream Captain Powell as he gets over the shock of seeing Sgt. Gulliver being ripped to pieces by one of the huge lizard. “Head for those trees!”


    Leave a comment:


  • 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, 13:11.

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