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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 10th Jun 2009, 20:12
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Books I have particularly enjoyed reading recently:

"Arctic Airmen - the RAF in Spitzbergen & North Russia 1942" - Ernest Schofield & Roy Conyers Nesbit

"Shadows - Airlift & Airwar in Biafra and Nigeria, 1967-1970" - Michael I Draper

"Rocket Fighter - The Story of the Messerschmitt Me163" - Mano Ziegler

"Ace of Aces - M T St J Pattle" - E C R Baker

Cherskiy
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Old 11th Jun 2009, 08:20
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Another two ofmy favorites - WW1 Flying and WW2 Italy

Sagittarius Rising - incredible WW1 flying tale just read again for the 6th time and better than ever.
Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby - a great observer of Tommy life during the Italian campaign.
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Old 11th Jun 2009, 13:09
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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I thoroughly enjoyed Once a Warrior King by David Donovan. He was an advisor in Vietnam, a fascinating glimpse into a little known side of the war. He was part of a MACV team leading local militia defending their own village. He became the title of the book.

My other favourite is Destroyer Captain by Roger Hill. He commanded a destroyer almost continously from 1942 to 1945, famously for being one of the ships strapped to the Ohio to bring it in to Malta. What struck me was the honesty with which he detailed how the strain of wartime command affected him.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 19:25
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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'Phoenix Squadron' by Rowland White - The Marathon journey of two of Ark Royals Buccaneer bombers to prevent a Guatemalan invasion of what was then British Honduras in 1972 -

'One bullet Away' by Nathaniel Fick - His account as a US Marines Officer in Afghan then Iraq - well written

Sea Harrier over the Falklands - 'Sharkey' Ward - I enjoyed it, although I suspect some here may disagree with the fairly biased stance

Generals: The British Commanders who shaped the World - Mark Urban - Excellent read, very interesting

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda - Lt Gen Romeo Dallaire - best book here, monumentally sad and moving, of the UN commander in Rwanda during the genocide. Makes a case for humanitarian intervention all by itself.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 16:03
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Have just come back off holiday and was lucky enough to choose '100 Missions North' by Brig. Gen. Ken Bell.
It's a cracking read, one of the best books regarding Rolling Thunder that I have read. I would even go so far to say that is the fixed wing version of Chickenhawk. The story telling and factual details are excellent, well put together and it makes for an easy page turner. He also mentions Col Jack Broughton who wrote Thud Ridge, who Ken Bell flew wingman for on a few very hairy missions, including having to get the air refuelling plane to toboggan after Ken Bells F105 flamed out due to lack of fuel. It is disappointing to read how Col Broughton was treated by the political USAF for crime of supporting his team.

I'm now looking for my next read, pref Vietnam pilot. But also does anyone know of any books written by the defenders of Hanoi? It would be interesting to read what it was like to be on the recieving end of Rolling Thunder or Line Backer. Much like Len Deightons Bomber was regarding the two sides of a bomber mission in WWII

Last edited by GPMG; 26th Jun 2009 at 17:15.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 16:31
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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I am an avid reader of military history and have shelves of books.

Lyn Macdonald's series on WW1 is a good collecton.
I also enjoyed [B]Martin Middlebrook's books on bomber command raids.

Many books have already been mentioned, I am currently reading Anthony Beevor's book on D-Day. So far so good.

One book on WW1 that I was particularly impressed by was Somme. I cannot remember who the author was as I have lent the book out. He worked I think at the Imperial War Museam, it came out a couple of years ago. What was different for me was that rather than referring to memoirs written months and years after the event he used contemporary accounts from diaries etc. This gives you a less sanitised version and makes you realise just how vicious it all was, not much room for mercy or sentimentality. The same is also apparent in Beevor's D-Day book.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 17:18
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Would it be this one by any chance?

Somme: Lyn MacDonald: Amazon.co.uk: Books
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 17:35
  #188 (permalink)  
More bang for your buck
 
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Sea Harrier over the Falklands - 'Sharkey' Ward - I enjoyed it, although I suspect some here may disagree with the fairly biased stance
Try reading RAF Harrier Ground Attack, Falklands by Jerry Pook to get a different slant on the Naval organization.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 18:58
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Just re-read Bomber Boys, then followed that up with..

No Moon tonight. DE Charlwood

Luck and a Lancaster. Harry Yates

Lancaster Target. Jack Currie


Sadly the PC world (then and now) will still not acknowledge the sacrifices of Bomber Command
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 19:48
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Some recommendations from me...

Afghanistan:

An Ordinary Soldier, by Doug Beattie MC. Just finished this, cracking read from cover to cover.

Descent Into Chaos, by Ahmed Rashid. I found this a good introduction to present-day Afghanistan, causes etc (although I haven't been there so stand by to be corrected!). I also read Koran Kalashnikov and Laptop by Antonio Giustozzi but didn't find it quite as interesting; it is a hard read.

Bosnia (Srebrenica):

Postcards from the Grave, by Emir Suljagic. Both this and Endgame by David Rohde deal with the Srebrenica massacre and though admittedly Suljagic is writing from one side of the conflict only, it brings the full scale of the atrocity home.

I'd also like to cast another vote for Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis - a classic, un-put-down-able! And if you're into fiction and like military satire, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is a cracker if you are prepared for a hard read...
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 20:48
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by green granite
Try reading RAF Harrier Ground Attack, Falklands by Jerry Pook to get a different slant on the Naval organization.
The third, and most recent, Falklands Harrier memoir is Dave Morgan's "Hostile Skies".

For my money, it's the best - and most humanly honest - of them all.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 21:25
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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timex: You might also be interested in Night After Night, by Max Lambert.
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Old 26th Jun 2009, 22:12
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Essential reading for every military operative IMO

'The Black Swan' by Nicolas Nassem Taleb

Understanding risk and randomness - a speciality for officers and airmen alike using financial trading as the vehicle to explain random events and our (humans) inability to accept random events happen. Gives many examples.

13th Valley as prev mentioned is an absolute classic - 'Don't mean nothing man, not a thing!'
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 01:29
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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"I found Thud Ridge a bit difficult to stick with." Me too. I started to read it because I fly past Thud Ridge every time I fly into Hanoi.

I'm currently reading 'Happy Odyssey', 'The autobiography of Adrian Carton de Wiart. He was wounded twice in the Boer War, six times in WW1 and three times in WW2. He fought with the White Russians against the Bolsheviks in the 1920s, with Tito's partisans in the late stages of WW2 and was a military advisor to the Nationalsits fighting against Mao Tse Tung in China after WW2. He was in three air crashes, one of which he had to swim two miles to shore (no mean feat considering he only had one arm and one eye) where he was captured but then escaped from a POW camp at the age of 60. After falling down some stairs, he ended up in hospital where the doctors removed 'enough shrapnel to make a new bomb'.

He didn't want to write Happy Odyssey, he was persuaded by his mate Winston Churchill. It's not a great read as he doesn't embellish or elaborate. For example, he forgets to mention he was awarded the VC and also married a German Princesss!

But an amazing man. He improbably died of old age at 89.
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 07:27
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Was his nickname Lucky by any chance? Or Jinx?
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 09:19
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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Actually, he was known as "Nelson" due to having the same body bits missing as the Admiral. He lost an arm, but prior to that he lost the hand on that arm in a previous wound. He knew his hand was gangrenous but the surgeon refused to remove it. So he chewed two of his own fingers off!

Despite his injuries, he says that he had a rather enjoyable war!



Evelyn Waugh used him as the model for his character Brigadier Ritchie-Hook in the Sword of Honour trilogy.
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 13:25
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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I picked up Robert Prest's book last night to check something and, seeing the note inside the back cover realised that it was published 30 years ago this year, blimey!

Mr Prest himself will be 60 this year, if he isn't already.

Doesn't seem that long ago that I was schoolboy borrowing it from the local library!
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 14:17
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing beats the series of books about Biggles.
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 15:15
  #199 (permalink)  

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Try reading RAF Harrier Ground Attack, Falklands by Jerry Pook to get a different slant on the Naval organization.
Hear,hear. Best of the lot.

I thought Morgan's was good but felt a bit uncomfortable with his paranormal take on some things


But also does anyone know of any books written by the defenders of Hanoi?
Charlie Don't Write.
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 19:02
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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A good book is one that you read and re-read. Using this formula, my votes are...

Goodbye Micky Mouse - Robert Ludlum. Good tale with realistic characters and a few surprises/twists.

Chickenhawk - Robert Mason. A short flying career from the start of flight scool to Vietnam to demob and beyond.

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller. War and satire/irony at its finest. Absolutely brilliant.
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