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A very good military read

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A very good military read

Old 1st May 2008, 00:59
  #101 (permalink)  
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Since the scope of the thread has now extended far beyond flying stories from 'nam, let me contribute 'Between Silk and Cyanide' by Leo Marks - a fascinating and well-written account of SOE in WW2 from the point of view of the code-master. Full of truly exceptional people...
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Old 1st May 2008, 08:58
  #102 (permalink)  
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Not thread drift, I hope, but the book (and the film) "Carve Her Name with Pride" always makes me leak around the eyes. Violette Szabo GC was one of those exceptional people.

Details here: http://www.violette-szabo-museum.co.uk/foyer.htm
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Old 1st May 2008, 12:59
  #103 (permalink)  
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Good Books

"Marine sniper"
Gunnery Sgt Carlos Hathcock - Vietnam war 93 confirmed kills - one shot one kill.
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Old 1st May 2008, 14:34
  #104 (permalink)  
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Captive Warrior about Sam Johnson, an early Thunderbird who was shot down and spent long years in NV as a POW. Johnson, now a member of the US House, is no showboat like Kerry and no loose cannon like McCain. Just a guy who did his job, came home to his wife and family and continues to support for and work for his country. Admirable...

Not a big fan of Faith of Our Fathers by McCain but still probably something that anyone studying the period should read.

Phil Caputo's A Rumor of War is an excellent read. Caputo writes true and direct. He notes, as I remember, correctly that one of the most brutal, meanest, most violent things on the face of the earth is a young Kansas teen-ager who has had enough and has decided that regardless of what happens, he is going home. That person is nothing to mess with...

Ground book but We Were Soldiers Once is another look from the ground perspective.

Thud Ridge is almost mandatory.

100 Missions North, another good read.

Over the Beach and On Yankee Station.. a Navy perspective.

Chained Eagle.. story of Alverez, the first pilot shot down over N Vietnam

Flight of the Intruder.. book better than the movie

I've not read it yet but it has gotten very good reviews. American Patriot The Life and Wars of Bud Day. Coram, the writer previously wrote the book BOYD, another good read but not focused on Vietnam.
That should keep you reading for a while...
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Old 19th Aug 2008, 04:36
  #105 (permalink)  
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For brickhistory (and others): I couldn't convince you to read a book detailing the bad news, ('Fiasco' - see my post # 73 on this thread), so here are two at the other end of the scale, and both very good reads.
'Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground' (ISBN: 1400061326) by Robert D. Kaplan, and, by the same author, 'Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground' (ISBN: 0739323423)

'Hog Pilots' is a follow on from the first book. However, I read it first and found it a marginally more enjoyable read than 'Imperial Grunts', (perhaps because it was partially about aeroplanes!!).

'brick', these two I think you'll enjoy - and for any Brit (or even Ozmate) military readers out there, I believe reading them will be something of a revelation, explaining quite a few things we all thought we knew (edited to add) about the US military.

Highly recommended.

(This is the same author who wrote 'The Coming Anarchy', which I think should be required reading for anyone entering into politics or the military in the West, particularly the U.S.)

Last edited by Wiley; 20th Aug 2008 at 08:12.
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Old 19th Aug 2008, 15:28
  #106 (permalink)  
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You have to read "Hell in a very small place: Siege of Dien Bien Phu" by Bernard B Fall, ISBN-13: 978-0306811579

Quite simply the best war book ever written. Why did the US not learn from this and fall into a similar engagement at the same place I'll never know.

Also try "Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina" by the same author
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Old 20th Aug 2008, 11:40
  #107 (permalink)  
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A really good read is David Morrell's "First Blood" which I read at one sitting years ago. The "Rambo" films have nothing in common with the book.
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Old 20th Aug 2008, 12:45
  #108 (permalink)  
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Sorry if posted before, but any of Mark Berent's books are worth a read - Steel Tiger, Rolling Thunder, Eagle Station to name but a few. Berent came up through the ranks to become a highly decorated and respected Vietnam fighter pilot. His books are fiction, but with absolute plausibility and realism, especially in the flying sequences; he also has the gift of weaving ground ops, soldiers and the whole Vietnam experience into each novel. Enjoy!
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Old 20th Aug 2008, 14:29
  #109 (permalink)  
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There is also these 2:

Life On the Line
Once a Warrior King

both great reads..................

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Old 20th Aug 2008, 20:17
  #110 (permalink)  
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Anybody know of any books from Vietnam war written by the victims of the war - ie the vietnamese? I'd like to get a different viewpoint than hollywood history.
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Old 21st Aug 2008, 13:08
  #111 (permalink)  
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Warburton's War by Tony Spooner - excellent review of a slight social misfit who really found his feet flying photo-rece spits out of Malta in WWII.

Sniper One by Dan Mills - one chapter especially shows the effect on morale of having a Spectre flying above the battle zone for the guys on the ground

RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands by Jerry Pook - I think the title was designed to get as many hits as possible on google! Either way - a good counter balance to the fighter books - acts as a good main course with David Morgan's Hostile Skies as starter.

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll - A very well written background the current situation in Afghanistan reference US, UK, Saudi, Russian, and principally Pakistani involvement.

Already mentioned but Wings on my Sleeve and Freefall are both excellent reads.
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Old 21st Aug 2008, 14:48
  #112 (permalink)  

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Charlie Don't Write.
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Old 21st Aug 2008, 15:19
  #113 (permalink)  
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Charlie Don't Write.

Now that was funny!
Old 22nd Aug 2008, 00:45
  #114 (permalink)  
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Fields of Fire

Everybody knows that that book's author is currently a U.S. Senator?

And that that the boxing match described in one of his earlier novels, A Sense of Honor, is based on an actual bout between the author and Oliver North at Annapolis?

The books are better than their titles.

Also, one might add to the list, "A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam." Not a happy fun read.
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Old 22nd Aug 2008, 00:49
  #115 (permalink)  
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Why did the US not learn from this and fall into a similar engagement at the same place I'll never know.

Because, unlike the French, AUSA and the USMC won the war militarily, only to be betrayed by politicians back home.
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Old 22nd Aug 2008, 00:53
  #116 (permalink)  
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Anybody know of any books from Vietnam war written by the victims of the war - ie the vietnamese? I'd like to get a different viewpoint than hollywood history.

That is an insult, an insult I take seriously to good men who got killed and maimed. Most of the books mentioned herein are not at all Hollywood.
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Old 22nd Aug 2008, 03:00
  #117 (permalink)  
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Back on good books. Three that I highly recommend for a holiday read and which cross the ages of conflict:

1. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield - The Battle at Thermopylae between the Spartan s and invading Persians. A fantastic read.

2. First Light by Geoffrey Wellum - Story of Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest spitfire pilot in 92 Sqn and the Battle of Britain. A brilliant story, very moving. Loved it.

3. Low Level Hell by Hugh L. Mills Jr and Robert A Anderson. The story of Mills and his exploits as a scout pilot on Loach's in the Vietnam war. I suspect that the majority of scout/recce pilots have read this one. Another great read and probably better than Chicken Hawk.


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Old 27th Aug 2008, 15:46
  #118 (permalink)  
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Just read ''The first heroes'', by Craig Nelson, excellent account of the Doolittle raid
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 19:00
  #119 (permalink)  
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My top one for this year, "Eight Lives Down" by Chris Hunter. The story of an ATO's 4 month tour in Iraq. Awesome, started at 1100 one day, didn't stop tilI finished it that evening.

Utmost respect to him, his team and his family.

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Old 27th Aug 2008, 19:13
  #120 (permalink)  
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Two books that I've really enjoyed, apart from Pirate, Private and the usual A5 glossies, are:

The Shepherd - Frederick Forsyth - only a short story about a vampire pilot on Christmas Eve but extremely well written and illustrated.

Piece of Cake - Derek Robinson - ficticious tale of WW2 Hurricane pilots in N France and back in Blighty. Caused a fair amount of controversy amongst the old 'n' bold but some of the tales must have been based on fact.
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