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Read any good books lately?

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  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, April 14, 2016 11:58 AM

MJames70

I'm surprised you were able to finish Shattered Sword. The authors hot tears of rage that the Japanese lost the battle smear the ink on nearly every page...

That's a bit of a hyperbole, wouldn't you say?  "Hot tears of rage that the Japanese lost"?  I think that's a completely unfounded statement.  Nowhere do they express or imply that they wished the Japanese had won.  Rather, they do a very good job of explaining how the Japanese operated, based on Japanese source material rather than Fuchida's account, and I think they do an excellent job of clarifying and even debunking assumptions about the battle, long held by readers here in the West.

John Lundstrom does a similar job, equally well, of describing our Navy's operations in the first year of the Pacific War.

There's no partisanship, only exposure of sources not previously used.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:03 PM

MJames70

While I feel some of the points raised in it were valid, I still feel in overall tone it was an apology piece for the Japanese loss, that sought on many occasions to dismiss American skill, bravery, tactics, and strategy as a factor in the US victory in favor of 'woe is me' bad fortune to the Japanese. And in many ways was just as jingoistic as Lord's Incredible Victory, just from the opposite side. Your mileage may vary. Whether the internet agrees with me or not is not a factor in my feeling the book was overrated. 

 

 
That, too, is completely untrue.  Parshall & Tully actually say the opposite, that their book is not intended in any way to detract from the bravery and heroism of our Navy, nor of the Japanese.  I'll find the reference in the book tonight and post back with it.
 
It is hardly a book "jingoistic" in favor of the Japanese.  It certainly doesn't paint them in a good light in terms of their political and naval strategy, born of the 1905 victory over the Russians.  Instead, it examines how the events in that war twisted their outlook and led ultimately to Pearl Harbor.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:14 PM

In my opinion, Shatterd Sword is not apologizing for the Japanese nor degrading the heroic actions of the US Navy during the Midway battle.  Our men fought bravely, as did the Japanese.  I found the research on the way the IJN fought their ships and planes telling, and actually highlighted the impressive force that the IJN brought to the battle.  It also shows how they wasted the opportunity in an overly complex and convoluted battle plan where the different units couldn't support each other.  In addition, it also points out how unprepared the US Navy was to fight its carriers in a fleet action, as shown by how the attacks happened over a period of hours instead of concentrating over minutes.  I've often commented that in some ways, our own ineptitude worked in our favor, since we kept the IJN launching and recovering its CAP instead of prepping a strike.  I also loved the fact the book reads like the authors are telling the story, as opposed to a dry textbook feel.  However, to each their own. 

John

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:21 PM

For a really long book covering familiar territory, the authors injected a little humor.

An example, and I can't quote because I took the book back to the library (EDIT: I'm going to buy a copy)

At the end of the initial chapters on the set up and disposition of forces, the strike mission and the return where a second strike is initiated, it's early morning on the 4th of June.

The next chapter begins with something to the effect that...

"The reader at this point must refrain from the picture of Dauntless dive bombers dropping out of the sun to wreak destruction, but instead go and pour a tall glass of spirits and settle in for a long but necessary description of Japanese carrier deck spotting, as it makes a great deal of explaining what's to come", or something like that.

My daughter the theater pro calls that adressing the fourth wall.

I wish I could write half that well.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Sunday, April 17, 2016 10:10 PM

The actual quote is as follows.

We pardon our readers for having turned the previous page with the understandable expectation of finding Dauntlesses hurtling downward from the heavens, only to discover that a brief but necessary piece of business remains before we get to the "exciting part". 

Its my favorite line in the book.   

One further thought, while Fuchida's account is much more dramatic, knowing the truth makes the history much more real.  The sacrifice of the TBDs and the penny packet attacks by the Army Air Corps kept the Japanese busy all morning.  That is what allowed the decisive blow from the dive bombers to be decisive.  The truth does nothing to detract from the individual courage of any of the participants, instead it shows the reality of what they did without the un-needed drama.  I would argue it honors them more than a dramatic fantasy.

John

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, April 17, 2016 10:42 PM

Certainly. The point was made that while the Japanese CAP was well equipped, well staffed and effective, they were worn down by a more or less constant series of attacks across at least 150 degrees of ocean, over a three or four hour period. And Wolfhammer, there WAS a part about a tall glass of spirits.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Monday, April 18, 2016 9:12 PM

sigh.....

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Monday, April 18, 2016 9:14 PM

I have started a new book which I am enjoying about VT18 flying Avengers off of the Intrepid.  The author is writing in part about his dad, and the research seems pretty good so far.  We are just about to blast the Musashi.  More to come.

John

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 1:15 AM

I'm guiding my wife through Vietnam literature.

We watched the Rory Kennedy documentary about the fall of Saigon, and she's reading "Catfish and Mandala".

She read a book she really liked called "The Eaves of Heaven".

I'm in between books, but watched the Nova series on the Vikings.

Current model project- the type 21  U Boat.

I have a couple of the usual walkarounds, both in print and online.

Waiting for a clue for the next read.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: providence ,r.i.
Posted by templar1099 on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 5:43 AM

Finished: The Sixth Extinction;Elizabeth Kolbert, re-reading Prescott's Conquest of Mexico/Conquest of Peru.

"le plaisir delicieux et toujours nouveau d'une occupation inutile"

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:41 AM

Nothing earth shattering,but an interesting account

  • Member since
    April 2015
  • From: Detroit, MURDER CITY
Posted by RudyOnWheels on Thursday, April 21, 2016 12:10 PM
For those interested in The war In North Africa and Italy, I enjoyed "An Army At Dawn: the war in north Africa 1942-43" and "Day of Battle: War in Italy 1943-44" By Rick Atkinson, I will start "the Guns at last light: The war in Western Europe 1944-45" by the same author, as part of the "Liberation Trilogy". I have enjoyed the first two., they were both excellent. Rudy
  • Member since
    January 2014
Posted by gobobbie on Thursday, April 21, 2016 2:42 PM
Just finished Justice at Nuremburg. It is a very good detailed look at the trial of the leading ***. Just when you think you have heard it all a few pages later you come to understand what sick people they were.
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, April 22, 2016 12:22 PM

gobobbie

...the trial of the leading ***.

The nannyware strikes again!

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, April 22, 2016 1:13 PM

the Baron

 

 
gobobbie

...the trial of the leading ***.

 

 

The nannyware strikes again!

 

Yes, because if we can spell out the acronym used for the National Socialist German Workers Party we will all become goose stepping black shirt wearing racist war mongers... Wink

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, April 22, 2016 1:26 PM

It's so that the trolls can't insult other members in online flame wars. Nazi for instance is ok.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, April 22, 2016 1:50 PM

But I bet I could call you a commie in such a flame war, hypothetically speaking... Wink

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, April 22, 2016 6:06 PM

Yep, but if you're interested in reading the Great American Novel, don't try to find Moby ***...

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Thursday, April 28, 2016 8:01 PM

All, just finished Intrepid Aviators about VT18 and the sinking of the Musashi.  Its a pretty interesting read.  Turns out the author's dad was one of the first to hit the Musashi, and was shot down for his troubles.  His crew was killed, and he was stranded on an island until he built a raft and was eventually picked up by some Philipino resitance fighters.  He even participated in a fire fight with the fighters.  Its a good read, and seems well researched.  I'm currently reading a very scholarly book on the Luftwaffe before and during WWII and how they were essnetially doomed to failure.  Its called The German Air Force 1933-1945  An Anatomy of Failure by Matthew Cooper.  He examines the role of the leadership (or lack there of) of the Luftwaffe and how they and the political leaders mismanaged the air force to its eventual ruin.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  My next book will be Hell's Gate by David Weber.  There is finally a third book in that series out, and I need to get caught up.

John

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, June 26, 2016 10:58 AM

I'm about 1/4 of the way through "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay".

While I don't read much fiction, I'm enjoying this one so far.

(Always thought about being a cartoonist, as I have a reasonable sense of humor and like to draw).

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:40 PM

All, Finished The German Air Force 1933-1945  An Anatomy of Failure by Matthew Cooper.  Interesting perspective on why certain aircraft were developed and others were not.  A bit different from what we are used to hearing about that topic, but it makes sense.  Got caught up on the Hell's Gate series by David Weber and am now reading the third book in the series.  So far, its as good as I expected. 

John

  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by rooster513 on Monday, August 22, 2016 8:37 AM

I just finished "Out of the Depths" by Edgar Harrell on the sinking of the Indianapolis. Really quick read from the perspective of someone who was there, his struggles and how his faith helped him through such a trying time. I must confess ignorance of this event before reading the book, but I'm glad my eyes have been opened. Shows just how little I know of the "lesser known" events of WW2 & history in general.

-Andy

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Monday, August 22, 2016 7:17 PM

I have read "In Harms Way" about the sinking of the Indianapolis.  Its quite the tragedy, but an interesting read. 

John

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by EnzoA on Friday, August 26, 2016 9:32 AM

I found a book on Mercenaries in my grandma's house, it used to belong to my uncle. Took it home with me yesterday, it has some detailed info on their involvement in Croatia, Africa and how they operate. Its an interesting book. 

THEY ARE THE PANZER ELITE

BORN TO COMPETE NEVER RETREAT!

GHOST DIVSION!

LIVING OR DEAD! ALWAYS AHEAD! FED BY YOUR DEAD!

 

-Sabaton, Ghost Division

 

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Friday, September 2, 2016 12:59 PM

"Resurrection Day" by Brendan Dubois. A "what if" of how the USA would have looked in 1972 if the Cuban Missile Crisis had instead turned into the Cuban War. General Curtis LeMay under a modified name is present as well as all the Kennedy Administration using their actual names. The ending is kind of a gut twister and the main characters description of what we did to Russia I didn't believe until I came across a PDF detailing the US/USSR comparison of nuclear forces in October 1962. 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, September 2, 2016 2:08 PM

Half-way thru Antony Beevor's Ardennes-Hitler's Last Gamble,it's very good.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, September 2, 2016 2:12 PM

Interesting... reminds me of a mid 1980's novel titled "Warday" with a similar aftermath set in the 80s

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, September 12, 2016 11:45 AM

I've finished reading 2 books - both highly recommended reads.

 

Fighter Group - basically about the Blue-Nosed Bastards of Bodney.  A great read!

 Untold Valor: Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crews over Europe in World War II by Robert Morris.

If you think Switzerland was a safe, neutral country during WW2, guess again. Chapter 2 (or is it Chapter#?) tells the story of one Dan Culler who endured far horrible conditions/treatments while interned at Wauwilermoos internment camp.

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:50 PM

I left off reading "Monuments Men".  It's a thick book but goes into a lot of things they left out of the movie.  Unfortunately, with my eye situation, I'm having a little trouble reading it.

  • Member since
    April 2016
  • From: N. Burbs of ChiKawgo
Posted by GlennH on Monday, September 19, 2016 5:26 PM
"Wives of Los Alamos" Drove around the back roads there a couple years ago and you still can't help but wonder what goes on behind all those warning signs posted at the various sections.

A number Army Viet Nam scans from hundreds yet to be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestdreams/albums/72157621855914355

Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

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