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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 12th Jul 2021, 20:33
  #681 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 22
Here is an excellent one:
Rockets and People by Boris Chertok, soviet space engineer. Translated by NASA. 4 big parts, free to use.
It's the history of the soviet space program but includes many other historical details like the war ending in Berlin and nuclear arms history. Very well written by some key engineer himself not just some ghost writer. Not propaganda but the real thing honestly written by somebody in the know.

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Old 18th Jul 2021, 13:27
  #682 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
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Age: 73
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Just finished reading "Facing the Mountain" by Daniel James Brown....a true story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II.

ISBN 9780525557401

The book relates in detail the experiences of Japanese Americans during the times prior to, during, and shortly after Pearl Harbor and recounts in detail how poorly Japanese Americans were treated by the US Government and the American People....and also relates the combat experiences of the 100th and 442 Infantry Regiments, the 522nd Artillery Battalion, and Nisei assigned to Military Intelligence along with their campaigns in the European Area of Operations where they earned a reputation for being excellent Soldiers with a very. aggressive nature in combat.

There are lessons to be learned from this book that directly apply to some unusual contemporary thinking by some.

In the l words of the Rudy Tokiwa quoted by the Author....."You know it is coming out to be, it doesn't make no difference what you look like, it's what you're doing and what you've done for the Country that counts."

Rudy was a member of the 442nd (Go For Broke) Infantry Regiment who was severely wounded by artillery shrapnel during a combat action that saw the 442nd breach the Gothic Line in Italy....while his family was still in a "Concentration Camp" back home.

To demonstrate the gallantry of the Nisei Soldiers.....They made up 0.11 percent of Eighteen Million Americans who served in the US Military during WWII, of which 473 received Medals of Honor.....the members of the 442nd who served (18,000) they were awarded 4.4% of the MoH's awarded to all branches....21 in all.

4,000 of them were wounded or killed.

They certainly earned the Right of being called Americans.....and not "Japanese-Americans" and certainly proved their gallantry and loyalty despite the terrible treatment they and they families received.

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Old 25th Aug 2021, 15:03
  #683 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: France
Posts: 149
I have just finished reading 2 books that are set in the second world war. They are true stories set on the periphery of the war and in climates totally different; both are epics of survival at the worst of times.

They are:

Lost in Shangri-la. A True Story Of Survival Adventure And The Most Incredible Rescue Mission Of World War II

ISBN 13 9780061988356

Frozen in time. An epic story of survival and a modern quest for lost heroes of World War II

ISBN 13 9780062133434
Both by Mitchell Zuckoff

I recommend both highly
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 11:31
  #684 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,166
Biography of David Beaty MBE DFC* Winged Life

I have just read "Winged Life" the biography of David Beaty by his wife Betty Campbell Beaty and published in 2001. I discovered this marvellous book only a few weeks ago in a little old second hand book shop in Melbourne and bought the book for two dollars. It turned out to be one of the greatest books I have ever read. In years gone by I have read many of his previous books where he flew in the the RAF during WW2 and where he flew a great variety of aircraft including Wellingtons and Liberators on anti U-Boat operations over the Atlantic. His exploits against Axis aircraft and shipping during the Battle of Malta are the stuff of legends.
Beaty was a prolific writer on flying safety subjects - both wartime and peacetime. He flew for BOAC after the war. I recall reading his book The Naked Pilot where he interviewed many senior BOAC pilots asking them to describe the mistakes they had made during their flying careers. It was from those interviews - often granted reluctantly - that formed the basis of The Naked Pilot.

By chance I was visting relatives in Kent during the 1980's when someone said Beaty lived nearby. My wife and I drove to his cottage (in Sussex?) and found im tending his garden. I introduced myself as an Australian airline pilot as well as a former RAAF anti-submarine Lincoln pilot of the 1950's era and that we were visiting UK where I was on contract as a flight simulator instructor on the 737. He immediately invited us in for a cup of tea. I said I flew 737's with a South Pacific operator called Air Nauru. In that airline I had flown into many of the Pacific battle grounds of Guadalcanal, Guam, Tarawa and others. Often we carried veterans of those wars returning to old haunts. He was intrigued at my stories -more so because in those days the big battles of the Pacific and the Atlantic were so far removed from each other.

He wrote a book called Call me Captain about his time in BOAC as a copilot after the war where he flew with the classic white gloved snob captains of that era before being promoted to a command himself. It was when interviewing those personalities for his planned book The Naked Pilot that he discovered their marked reluctance to talk about their own "pilot errors."
That was understandable I said to him. I suggested to him that should he write a sequel to The Naked Pilot, perhaps he should also interview their copilots who would have seen various cock-up's by their captains.
To my surprise Beaty terminated our conversation rather abruptly and that was that. I had crossed a certain line obviously. Notwithstanding that strange incident I found Beaty to be a wonderful character in every respect and it wasn't until long after meeting him in his rose garden and having tea and a chat that I discovered his biography a few weeks ago and read of his of his wartime exploits.
I will leave it at that. But if nothing else I strongly recommend to anyone interested in WW2 aviation history to keep an eye open for The Winged Life. An absolutely enthralling read.

Last edited by Centaurus; 24th Sep 2021 at 11:45.
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Old 25th Sep 2021, 03:45
  #685 (permalink)  
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Also recommend his "The Story of Transatlantic Flight".
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Old 26th Sep 2021, 19:23
  #686 (permalink)  
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Great story, thanks for sharing.

He had a fine career as an aviation author, fact and fiction, including "Cone of silence" from 1959, made into a film the following year. The scenes inspired by the public inquiries of the 1950s are uncomfortable viewing.

List of his other books here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Beaty_(author)
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Old 30th Sep 2021, 11:52
  #687 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
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Sky Stories by Dave Unwin is another more recent good read. The variety of warbird ex-military aircraft he has flown in his job as an aviation journalist is astonishing as are his astute observations of their handling characteristics.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 05:15
  #688 (permalink)  
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Bomber by Len Deighton. Fiction
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 05:45
  #689 (permalink)  
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I can thoroughly endorse Rockets and People.
Absolutely brilliant - and will forever change your view of the Soviet space program.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 06:37
  #690 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Originally Posted by Douglas Bahada View Post
Bomber by Len Deighton. Fiction
The Radio 4 adaption (shown at the same time as the mission would have been flown) is on Youtube and bloody amazing it is too:

Edit: link is disabled by PPRuNe for some reason, just search for "Bomber Deighton"
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 15:37
  #691 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the kind words Centaurus! If anyone's interested, some of the types assessed in Sky Stories include the Spitfire Tr.9, Beech C-45, Fieseler Storch, Boeing B-17 and Bucker Jungmeister.
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 16:55
  #692 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Douglas Bahada
Bomber by Len Deighton. Fiction

The Radio 4 adaption (shown at the same time as the mission would have been flown) is on Youtube and bloody amazing it is too:
I enjoyed the book, particularly the viewpoint of the Germans in the story, not one that we normally get.

I didn’t especially rate the radio play, I found the characters in that rather thinly drawn, with the contrast between the ‘good old NCOs’ being stymied at every turn by the ‘dimwit officers’ rather cartoonish. The officers get their ‘just desserts’ in true left-wing BBC style though...
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 20:23
  #693 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 160
My suggestion for a jolly good read would be Sniper One.

Amazon Amazon

It tells the story of surviving in Al Amarah, i spent a couple of nights in the overhead of that town watching the Warriors and MBTs entering to get resupply to those holding out. At the same time, one young army driver won a Victoria cross. Fascinating to read of the conditions on the ground, the author says that the used more ammunition defending themselves than was used in the whole of the UK part of GW2, Not sure how true that is but our buddy aircraft fired a lot of 30mm shells in the two nights.
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Old 6th Oct 2021, 20:14
  #694 (permalink)  
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Michael Collins "Carrying the fire". Superb. Military. Test Pilot. Apollo 11. A defining Classic.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 02:05
  #695 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: dallas
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I am sure mentioned before but “shadows” about air war in Biafra by michael Draper incredible book
reading if for the third time
available free in the internet if you spend some time
incredible good book fascinating stories about pilots with cojones …
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 09:26
  #696 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 181
Nothing to do with Flying but a good Military read none-the-less
"The Habit of Excellence - why British Army Leadership Works" by Langley Sharpe
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 11:16
  #697 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Tall Tales of the South Pacific by John Laming. He served 18 years with the Royal Australian Air Force and flew P51 Mustangs, Vampires, DC-3s, Convair 440s Lincolns etc etc - even got his hands on a RAN Sea Fury a couple of times, and then went onto a successful civil career. An excellent read - very well written.
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 16:52
  #698 (permalink)  
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Should of course be 'Tall TAILS of the South Pacific'!
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