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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 11th Dec 2009, 02:50
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My favourite from Vietnam:

"One day in a Long War" - Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price...it is based on the first day of the Linebaker bombing campaign...the whole book covers ALL missions flown that day, including Randy Cunningham's stoush with 3 Migs in which he became an ace..fantastic book.

"Flying Through Midnight" - John T Halliday....a man who wanted to fly jets in the USAF gets sent to a top secret unit in Thailand, for operations in Laos, flying an old, delapidated C-123 in top secret missions. The book takes a while to get into, until you get to the main mission on the book, and then you just can't put it down and you can't believe what he writes. I managed to google the places he talks about and even some of the people he mentions...all amazing stuff.

"Well done, those Men" - if you want an insight into what the Australian conscript went through in Vietnam, this is your book.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 03:35
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Magnum!

By one of our own, Brickhistory, formally of the US politics thread. About the Wild Weasils of the USAF during Desert Shield/storm.

Excellent read!

Still looking for a good (and accurate) read about the CSAR boys in Vietnam.
Any suggestions?
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 03:53
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WestCoast,

Try:

Leave No Man Behind: The Saga of Combat Search and Rescue

or

Rescue of Streetcar 304: A Navy Pilot's Forty Hours on the Run in Laos
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 07:55
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By Hoodie: "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."

Another vote for this book. A good read which describes the action and the context well but also describes the angst and insecurities that can also occur. Very honest, & Dave Morgan is not the only SHAR pilot who sufered PTSD after the conflict - I wonder how many Servicemen will be found to be suffering from this long after current (and recent) conflicts are over.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 11:51
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Good Reads

Trafalgar - Mark Adkin The Nelson touch.
Zulu - Saul David Rorke's Drift etc.
The Charge - Mark Adkin The real reason the Light Brigade was lost.
A Day of Battle - David Ascoli Why the French should have won the Franco Prussian war.
Dreadnought - Robert K Massie The causes of WW1.
Castles of Steel - Robert K Massie Jutland etc.
Sagittarius Rising - Cecil Lewis RFC in Flanders
The First Day on the Somme - Martin Middlebrook.
The Battle for Spain - Anthony Beevor Spanish Civil war.
Spitfire - Leo McKinstry.
Barbarossa - Alan Clarke Germany in Russia.
We Were Soldiers Once, and Young - Harold Moore & Joseph Galloway Yanks in 'Nam.
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 17:46
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fighter

I've just started reading Fighter by Len Deighton.
I like Deighton's spy novels and I'm hoping this true story will have the same "zing"!
If nothing else there are some cool photographs!
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 21:16
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SAR in Vietnam

Try to find "North SAR" by Gerry Carrol.

A novel about USN SAR crews in Vietnam and a really terrific read. I put the author on a par with Mark Berent.

Carrol also wrote another excellent book about USN fliers in Vietnam but its name now escapes me.

Polecat
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Old 11th Dec 2009, 21:37
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Among my favorites....

"Terror in the Starboard Seat"....WWII Mozzie crew account written by the Canadian Navigator....excellent book...full of laughs as well as a great account of operations.

Robert's Ridge by Malcolm McPherson....excellent recounting of a very bad day in Afghanistan. Should be required reading for all military folks.

Hamburger Hill...the fight for Nui Ap Ba by US Para's in Vietnam

Last Stand of Fox Company...Tells the story of a USMC unit holding off vastly superior Chinese forces during the Chosin Resevoir campaign in Korea.

Five Years to Freedom....By Nick Rowe, an American SF Officer captured during the early days of the Vietnam War and who escaped five years later as he was being taken to a place where he was to be executed. He was murdered by the New People's Army (NPA) in the Philippines years later.

When Hell Was In Session.....Life as a POW held in North Vietnam
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 18:37
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November4

Note your comments re Stephen Ambrose, was not aware of that issue. Read Wild Blue too.

Chickenhawk by Mr Mason is worth a look. Tried many times to get hold of his sequel with no luck. Anybody read it?.
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 18:46
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I second "Terror in the Starboard Seat." Very funny, very frank look at WWII Mossie ops.


My favorite and the start of my fascination with night fighters - "Night Fighter" by C.F. Rawnsley and Robert Wright.

Rawnsley was John Cunningham's radar operator (RO) during their faltering experiments in Blenheims, the business-like transition to the Beaufighter and the professionalism of the Mosquito. Quite funny as well.

"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes. Very interesting technical/political/human interest weaving of the project.


For fiction, try "Once An Eagle" by Anton Myrer.

Last edited by brickhistory; 12th Dec 2009 at 21:05.
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 07:34
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West Coast - Have you read Merrit's "Cheating Death"? It's a great account of flying Spads on CSAR escort duties.

Tarantonight, I've got a copy of "Chickenhawk-Back in the World". There is some flying stuff in it, but it concentrates on a number of doomed business ventures, writing "Chickenhawk" and the ill-fated drug smuggling voyage. Although not strictly an aviation book, I found it a fascinating read. You're welcome to borrow it - PM me with contact details.

If you're up for it try "The Psychology of Military Incompetence".....
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 08:07
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Evalu8tor - sorry to be picky, but I think it is entitled "On the Psychology of Military Incompetence". Makes it easier to find with the "On" - I know as I had the same problem when asking a library to find it. It is well worth the read, as is "The Thin Yellow Line" .
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 08:28
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WanderOO - thanks for the correction! My copy is not to hand this morning.

Brick -have you read Rhodes' follow up book, "Dark Sun"? Much along the same lines with interesting comments on the Teller/Openheimer spat and on Fuchs' spying.
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 09:14
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I've just finished Spitfire on My Tail -A View from the Other Side by Ulrich Steinhilper & Peter Osborne. A very interesting book indeed - what struck me was how abysmally poor Luftwaffe fighter communications were at the beginning of WW2. Galland evidently thought that wing waggling was sufficient and that radio was unnecessary.

Some insight as well into the character of much of the Luftwaffe remote from the swaggering Nazis - for example, when they invaded France they were told that any looting from civilian property would carry the death penalty. Some humanity as well - several French farmers had run off and left their cattle to their own devices, many of which were in a great deal of pain having not been milked for days. So the 'brutal Hun' actually flew in some serving farm hands to look after them rather than let them die in agony.

And if you thought the RAF drank a lot.....
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 18:09
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Films....not books....but really well done both!

"Sophie Scholl:The Final Days"

"Katyn"
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 19:58
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West Coast - Have you read Merrit's "Cheating Death"? It's a great account of flying Spads on CSAR escort duties.
Just put it on my Christmas list. Hope Santa comes through!
Thanks
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 12:02
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Three books that impressed me. Not perhaps war books of the conventional kind - ie no shootybangs. But, in their way, great reads.

Field Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke's War Diaries. It gives an extraordinary insight on how the war was fought at the top. As CIGS, he had meetings with Churchill every day, sometimes more than once, and had on occasion to spend much effort on riding him off some of his more extreme schemes. We were lucky to have generals of his calibre.

'To War with Whitaker', by Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly. As a new bride, she followed her husband out to the Middle East at the beginning of the war and, despite official regulations ordering Yeomanry wives home, stayed out there after her husband had been made a POW. She had various jobs, ending with being PA to Jumbo Maitland, who rose to become allied C-in-C Mediterranean. She met all the major players in the theatre at the time, but the real story is of her amazing tenacity and guts in the face of official opposition (and incompetence)

Finally, one of the best books I've read. 'Between Silk and Cyanide', by Leo Marks, is the story of a young Jewish only child (his father was the owner of 84 Charing Cross Road) who, thanks to a great interest and ability with codes, became the head of codes for SOE. It is immensely funny, sometimes tragic, contains much about codes and lots of poetry. Don't let that description put you off; believe me, it's worth reading. I have lent my copy to several people; without exeption, I think, they've immediately gone out and bought their own copy.
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Old 15th Dec 2009, 11:19
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Schiller -I'll second that re "Between Silk and Cyanide" -one of my favourite books ever
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Old 16th Dec 2009, 00:05
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And if you thought the RAF drank a lot..
Indeed. When the RAF moved into ex-Luftwaffe bases in Germany in 1945, they were surprised to find what can only be described as purpose-built 'vomitoriums' in the gents' loos.

Shades of the Romans and their habit of sticking a feather or a finger down the throat so they could keep feasting.
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 12:44
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"In The Company of Heroes" by Michael J. Durant.....Personal account of the TF 160th Night Stalker Pilot captured in Mogadishu.

"Not A Good Day To Die....The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda" by Sean Naylor......very compelling reading. Not very flattering to the US Command structure and choice of Joint Force Commanders.
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