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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 14th Aug 2019, 13:55
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Field Service by Robert Edric. A novel set on the Somme in 1920. The war is long over but the army has retained men to recover the dead from battlefield burial places, identify them where possible and re-inter them in cemeteries under the auspices of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is a'quiet' book, not a lot goes on, no great denouement but rather a finely drawn study of character. Over the years we have all met the officers from the commission: the colonel, his staff captain and the chaplain; also the captain, lieutenant and sergeant at the coal face.
When visiting the Somme and Flanders it didn't occur to me how the many cemeteries were originally established, this book gave me some understanding.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 19:32
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Originally Posted by Argonautical View Post
"The Earth Is Weeping" : Peter Cozzens"
The epic story of the Indian Wars of the American West. A very readable and interesting book. Nothing to do with flying but it is military. Over 500 pages but it reads very easily and gives the story from both sides. it was quite an eye opener to me just how much the disunity amongst the tribes contributed to their own downfall. Highly recommended.
I think the original title of teh thread is correct and would happily argue with anybody who tries to make this only a "flying" thread read. This is a great thread because nobody is attempting to sell anything just share what they have read.

In relation to the tribes downfall, it wasn't just disunity, it was sheer numbers. To quote an Indian Leader ( using as it was then), "If we stop and kill 30 people in a Wagon train it does not stop the White faces coming, however if we lose 10 men on an attack on a Wagon train it could be the end of a tribe, we can't replace the numbers and these maybe the hunters of food for the tribe."

Ultimately White Mans Greed was what destroyed everything.

Disgressing a little bit but Indian culture and their attitude to the Land, Animals etc made them the first Environmentalists, where as Pale Faces were happy to destory mountains with water / chemicals to obtain Gold / Silver etc.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 20:26
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Disgressing a little bit but Indian culture and their attitude to the Land, Animals etc made them the first Environmentalists
I reckon their environmental credentials are somewhat overrated, they had no qualms about driving whole herds of buffalo over cliffs when it suited them.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 22:23
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Originally Posted by Argonautical View Post
I reckon their environmental credentials are somewhat overrated, they had no qualms about driving whole herds of buffalo over cliffs when it suited them.
Which they then ate and smoked the meat, used skins for warmth etc.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 09:40
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Boeing B-17 Fortress with RAF Coastal Command - Revised, Second Edition

Robert Stitts revised 2nd addition.
Just published by MMP publications
  • ISBN-10: 8365281546
  • ISBN-13: 978-8365281548
and available from online outlets.
For 206 and 220 Sqdn and other units who flew the B17
This is a revised version of Roberts 2013 publication with additional information and pictures.
My late Father flew his 1st tour as a Flight Engineer with 220 Sqdn in the Azores and contributed to Roberts research for these books.
***
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 14:57
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The Hooligans of Kandahar, by Joseph Kassabian. On Kindle

ASIN: B07D26JRXJ

This is a very irreverent read, but many of those who have deployed to war zones are going to relate to this mob.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 21:21
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Painting the Sand by Kim Hughes. An EOD operators tour in Helmand 2009. A bit ott in places - 'this is what I was born for' etc but it describes what young soldiers, not out of their teens, went through - enough death and gore to last a lifetime. Hughes was awarded the George Cross for his actions in one incident when confronted with multiple IEDs, terribly injured men and mutilated bodies. He also demonstrates his compassion when, following a blast, he tells a shocked infantry officer 'don't worry sir, I'll get your (dead) boys out'.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 21:47
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I'm currently reading "Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific" by Admiral Lockwood (he was the commander of the US Pacific Submarine Service for most of WW II). A very good read (I've long found the sub war in the Pacific fascinating).
Currently available for Kindle for $0.99.
Amazon Amazon
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 03:23
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Which they then ate and smoked the meat, used skins for warmth etc.


The one thing we should learn from history is that of the American Indian's failure to control immigration of non-indigenous persons with different religious beliefs.
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 08:35
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Slight thread drift, but please may I suggest a couple of good military listens?

We Have Ways Of Making You Talk, by James Holland and Al (Pub Landlord) Murray. And you can forget the pub landlord persona straight away; Murray is a keen student of WW2 and knows his stuff. He is currently reading The Cauldron by Zeno - Arnhem by someone who was there - and its b*00dy riveting; a chapter a day. They also have a twice weekly podcast about anything re WW2.

13 Minutes To The Moon, by Dr Kevin Fong (ex NASA). Apollo 13, with lots of archive and interviews.

Both quite remarkable podcasts IMHO, available via iTunes.
 
Old 13th Apr 2020, 11:27
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I loved Painting The Sand - in a similar vein to "Braver Men Walk Away" ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Braver-Walk-.../dp/0002550512) and Chris Hunter's books ( www.amazon.co.uk/Chris-Hunter/e/B001I9S7QQ )

The Al Murray / James Holland podcast is at https://podcasts.apple.com/lu/podcas...k/id1457552694 and 13 Minutes to the Moon at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcas...n/id1459657136 (iTunes) or https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w27vq4km (BBC)

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Old 18th Apr 2020, 11:02
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I'm in the middle of "The Lonely Sea and the Sky" by Sir Francis Chichester. I'd always assumed he was "just" a yachtsman.. but his story is much, much more than that.
In 1929, he flew from England to Australia in a D H Gypsy Moth - then had it shipped to NZ from where he wanted to be the first to fly the Tasman Sea back to Oz (via Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island..) For the navs out there, the section where he describes how he managed to fly the aeroplane and navigate using dead reckoning backed up with sun shots is absolutely incredible.. I won't give away any more of the flying side of the story. I've yet to start reading about his solo circumnavigation of the world in Gypsy Moth IV.
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Old 18th Apr 2020, 16:29
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Volume 2 - The Tornado Years, now out, I see!
THE TORNADO YEARS THE TORNADO YEARS
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 18:57
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Read all about it

Not exactly military, but well worth a read.
"The Spy and the Traitor" by Ben MacIntyre...the Oleg Gordievsky story.
Can't put it down at the moment - it's almost like I'm on det!
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 21:08
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Just reading "A War With Russia", by General Sir Richard Shirreff, retired ex Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Written as a "history" of Russia's invasion of the Baltic States.
Book Review: 2017: War With Russia. An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command by Andrew Monaghan ? The Changing Character of War Centre
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 11:19
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Slight thread drift here...

I'm part way through Putin's People by Catherine Belton. Quite an eye opener to be sure!
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 20:47
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MightGem's post on Gen. Shirreff's book put me in mid of 'Shan' Hackett's World War Three book's, however my recommendation is his "I was a Stranger" the account of how he evaded and escaped after Arnhem, being sheltered while recovering from severe wounds by extremely brave Dutch civilians.

Next to it on my bookshelves are Noreen Riols's "The Secret Ministry of Ag. & Fish: My Life In Churchill's School for Spies" an account of her SOE service and Ewen Southby-Tailyour's "Reasons in Writing: a Commando's View of the Falklands War" both of which I found good reads. On the subject of the last I recently read Chis Parry's "Down South: A Falklands War Diary" and had difficulty putting my Kindle down (might be biased though - him being a looker and all ) .
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 11:51
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Covid reading has included Malta Spitfire Pilot by Denis Barnham. A brilliantly written account of his 10 weeks flying Spitfires from Malta in the early summer of '42. It makes my 6 weeks in the South Atlantic look like very tame!

Also Going Solo by Roald Dahl. This covers his story from the start of the war as a volunteer pilot in East Africa, through his near-fatal crash in a Gladaitor in the dessert and then flying Hurricanes in Greece as the Germans advanced ever closer.

Both rivetting stuff.

mog
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:52
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Originally Posted by PapaDolmio View Post
Favourite quote: Apparently Arthur 'Bomber' Harris and Adm Tom Phillips had served together prior to going their separate ways and frequently had animated discussions about the battleship vs aircraft debate. After one such debate an exasperated Harris said Tom, one day you'll be standing on the bridge of your battleship and it will be sunk by torpedo carrying aircraft. As you slip beneath the waves your last thought will be "That was a f*****g big mine".
Whilst not a great fan of Harris and if true, I did think it rather good.
Read Harris's own account of the Conversation in the last chapter of his own account of his life up to his retirement in "Bomber Offensive"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KTM7GSS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KTM7GSS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

He shared accommodation with Phillips while on a Joint planing team and knew Leach quite well to boot. He had a lot of time for Tom Phillips despite their disagreement's about aircraft v Battleships, which of course Harris was totally correct about. This book actually puts a lot of often quoted misquotes taken from it in context and some of Harris's views are quite surprising.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 22:49
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Just started Invasion: Uprising by DC Alden. The first volume in 2016 is an awesome alternate future fiction describing how an Islamic State with its $hit together by 2029 would invade Europe. Some of the future tech is a bit Star Trek, but the story is a rip roaring blood and guts tale. This concluding part will cover the fight back!
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