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  #1  
Old 19 Dec 12, 12:11
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Ripping Yarns !

OK ladies and gentlemen, I need a couple of WW2-related books for the new year that will be easy reading on the beach between sips of my favourite beverage and checking out the local ‘scenery’ without having to refer to maps or googling so I can better understand what the hell they’re talking about. Although an interesting read my bookmark for ‘Wages of Destruction’ has been stuck somewhere near page 100 for over 6 months, I think it’s time to cleanse the mental palate and reinvigorate the interest.

Which page-turner got your pulse racing so much that you just couldn’t put it down or wait to read again?

I’ve never read any of the book versions of the classic movies that I loved as a kid so those would considered. Leaning towards historical accounts but fictional could work as long as they aren’t too far-fetched. To give you examples, to me ‘Guns of Navarone’ or even ‘Where Eagles Dare’ seemed some-what plausible. I considered ‘Inglorious Basterds’ as a little too overboard and so had a harder time enjoying the movie as perhaps others.

So please give me your Ripping-est!

p.s. – …and preferably something under 25 bucks (I’m a cheap bastard)!
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  #2  
Old 19 Dec 12, 13:41
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You might enjoy the books of R. Adm Edward Ellsberg:

Under the Red Sea Sun
The Far Shore

or

Robert Crisp's The Gods Were Neutral

or

Nicholas Monsarrat's The Cruel Sea which was also made into a movie.

For German views:

Berlin Dance of Death Helmut Altner

Russian:

Tank Rider Evgeni Bessonov

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 19 Dec 12 at 14:56..
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  #3  
Old 19 Dec 12, 14:48
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Oh canuck... you are not cheap .
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Old 19 Dec 12, 15:06
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Thumbs up

'Men at Arnhem' by Tom Angus/Goeffrey Powell.
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  #5  
Old 19 Dec 12, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuckster View Post
OK ladies and gentlemen, I need a couple of WW2-related books for the new year that will be easy reading on the beach between sips of my favourite beverage and checking out the local ‘scenery’ without having to refer to maps or googling so I can better understand what the hell they’re talking about. Although an interesting read my bookmark for ‘Wages of Destruction’ has been stuck somewhere near page 100 for over 6 months, I think it’s time to cleanse the mental palate and reinvigorate the interest.

Which page-turner got your pulse racing so much that you just couldn’t put it down or wait to read again?

I’ve never read any of the book versions of the classic movies that I loved as a kid so those would considered. Leaning towards historical accounts but fictional could work as long as they aren’t too far-fetched. To give you examples, to me ‘Guns of Navarone’ or even ‘Where Eagles Dare’ seemed some-what plausible. I considered ‘Inglorious Basterds’ as a little too overboard and so had a harder time enjoying the movie as perhaps others.

So please give me your Ripping-est!

p.s. – …and preferably something under 25 bucks (I’m a cheap bastard)!
The Foresight War by A G Williams (the ammunition expert) is a great little Alternative History of WW2.

Reviews here.



http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Foresigh...5947782&sr=8-1
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  #6  
Old 19 Dec 12, 17:34
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Evan Mawdsley's December 1941: Twelve Days that Began a World War. Total page turner, even if you know much of the history already. Here is a piece of a review from H-Net:

Quote:
Moving deftly from London to Berlin to Tokyo to Rome to Moscow to Singapore to Manila to Washington and to other distant locales, Mawdsley reviews the unfolding events largely through the eyes and decisions of the principal leaders--Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, and Japan's embattled warlords--none of whom could anticipate the eventual outcome. The Japanese may have come the closest to sensing the future, even as they launched their high-risk operations against Hawaii and Malaya, convinced that Washington's trade embargo "threatened the very existence of our empire," as Premier Tojo Hideki put it, and thus justified a gamble that might result in national suicide (p. 11). Noting that the Germans had "never pressed Tokyo for a direct attack on America," Mawdsley points to the irony of Hitler's jubilation when news of Pearl Harbor reached him in his East Prussia headquarters on the evening of December 7 (p. 22). Having just returned from overseeing Wehrmacht operations in Russia and erroneously thinking that a Pacific war would prevent Americans from concentrating on a Europe First strategy, the German dictator denounced the "Anglo-Saxon Jewish-capitalist world," called President Roosevelt a liar and aggressor, and gratuitously declared war on the United States before a cheering Reichstag on December 11 (p. 252).

Back in Washington, Roosevelt had promised the British as early as December 1 that if Japan moved against Malaya or the Dutch East Indies "we should obviously all be together," even though he would need a few days "to get things into political shape here" (p. 73). Despite the debacle at Pearl Harbor, which Mawdsley attributes as much to misperceptions and mishandling in Washington as to unpreparedness in Honolulu, Roosevelt followed up his "Day of Infamy" speech with a stirring "Fireside Chat" where he proclaimed that "there is no such thing as security for any nation--or any individual--in a world ruled by the principles of gangsterism" (p.226). After inferring from "Magic" intercepts that Hitler intended to declare war, the president waited two more days for Hitler to act
before announcing that "the long known and the long expected has taken place," whereupon Congress voted for war against Germany and Italy with only one abstention (p. 253). In Mawdsley's words, Roosevelt had begun what Henry Luce called "the American Century" with all its global commitments (p. 215).

As for Churchill, who famously "slept the sleep of the saved and thankful" the night he was told about Pearl Harbor, the prime minister had to face "the full horror" of losing the _Repulse_ and _Prince of Wales_ to Japanese torpedo planes off the Malayan coast two days later (pp. 177, 238). In what Mawdsley calls an example of "mirror imaging," Churchill dispatched the two doomed warships to Singapore in the mistaken expectation that they would mimic the German battleships _Bismarck_ and _Tirpitz_ by tying down enemy units and forcing "the already overstretched Japanese to think twice about further mischief" (pp. 81, 83). When the deterrent became the target for destruction, as did the U.S. Pacific fleet in Oahu, it opened the way for Japan's conquests from Singapore to the Solomon Islands over the next six months. Notwithstanding subsequent counteroffensives in the Pacific and Burma in 1942-43, Japan's thrust southward "had a permanent effect. European colonial power was never effectively restored" (p. 284).

Mawdsley also elucidates key parts of the story through the observations of lesser players, especially those who kept diaries, such as Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels who dutifully recorded the sinister link between Hitler's decision for war against America and "the destruction of the Jews [that] must be its necessary consequence" (p. 263). The Wannsee Conference in January 1942 would flesh out the details of the looming Holocaust. Another perceptive diarist was Britain's ambassador to Washington, Lord Halifax (E. F. L. Wood), who lost a bet to his wife when the "Japanese balloon" went up earlier than he had predicted (p. 120). The one scenario that might give the Japanese "cause for pause," Halifax noted on December 3, was "if things are really going [bad] against the Germans in Russia" (p. 92). Unfortunately, U.S. diplomats had rejected any eleventh hour modus vivendi that might have continued negotiations for another month, and General Georgii Zhukov's successful counterattack came too late for Tokyo's leaders to take notice.

A similarly well-placed witness was the commander of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, Admiral Thomas H. Hart, who fulminated into his diary after meeting with his British counterpart in Singapore on December 6: "my Government has assured the British of armed support in any one of four contingencies.... And not a word to me about it" (p. 156). Unwilling to approach Congress until shots were fired, President Roosevelt had made commitments to London via Lord Halifax without alerting his military chain of command to the specifics. Thus did Hart, his army counterpart General Douglas MacArthur, and the commanders at Pearl Harbor do their best to improvise in the absence of complete information. Mawdsley even suggests that, however "arrogant, blinkered and ignorant of aviation" MacArthur may have been, he was "not to blame" for U.S. bombers in the Philippines being destroyed on the ground several hours after Pearl Harbor. Instead, Mawdsley faults "the men in Washington," including "to some extent the President himself," for pursuing "a half-baked strategy which provided the Philippines with aircraft but inadequate bases" (p. 194). Nonetheless, despite all the blunders accompanying the outbreak of war in the Pacific, Halifax mused in his diary: "I can't imagine any way in which they [the Japanese] could have acted so as to more completely rally ... and infuriate American opinion" (p.176).
Here is the full review: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrow...wXwWQUc4N4q9uA
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  #7  
Old 19 Dec 12, 19:22
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Oldies but goodies that got me interested in WWII as a kid and that I still reread for the excellent prose and exciting speed of the narrative:

Incredible Victory and The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord

But Not in Shane by John Toland

Mr. Roosevelt's Navy by Patrick Abbazia

The Last Lion, by William Manchester

How the Allies Won and The Battle of Britain by Richard Overy
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  #8  
Old 19 Dec 12, 21:27
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I've looked up a number of these books and it looks like they are all great recommendations and just the type of reading I was looking for!

Many thanks to all!

I'll probably end up getting a few of them. The hard part will be picking out just a couple in the next few days so they deliver in time before heading south.
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Old 19 Dec 12, 21:30
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Quote:
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Oh canuck... you are not cheap .
Well I know the Scots on my mum's side would more likely refer to it as being frugal as opposed to being...Hey wait a second!
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Old 20 Dec 12, 02:00
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War in a Stringbag is a great read. it can be bought at amazon.ca here. Unfortunately to get it in your price range it'll have to be used.
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Old 20 Dec 12, 02:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuckster View Post
OK ladies and gentlemen, I need a couple of WW2-related books for the new year that will be easy reading on the beach between sips of my favourite beverage and checking out the local ‘scenery’ without having to refer to maps or googling so I can better understand what the hell they’re talking about. Although an interesting read my bookmark for ‘Wages of Destruction’ has been stuck somewhere near page 100 for over 6 months, I think it’s time to cleanse the mental palate and reinvigorate the interest.

Which page-turner got your pulse racing so much that you just couldn’t put it down or wait to read again?

I’ve never read any of the book versions of the classic movies that I loved as a kid so those would considered. Leaning towards historical accounts but fictional could work as long as they aren’t too far-fetched. To give you examples, to me ‘Guns of Navarone’ or even ‘Where Eagles Dare’ seemed some-what plausible. I considered ‘Inglorious Basterds’ as a little too overboard and so had a harder time enjoying the movie as perhaps others.

So please give me your Ripping-est!

p.s. – …and preferably something under 25 bucks (I’m a cheap bastard)!
I really enjoyed Tobruk The Great Siege Reassessed by Frank Harrison who was an Radio Operator during the full length of the siege I found it a great eye opener there are maps threw the book as well so yeah u should check it out
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Old 20 Dec 12, 08:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuckster View Post
OK ladies and gentlemen, I need a couple of WW2-related books for the new year that will be easy reading on the beach between sips of my favourite beverage and checking out the local ‘scenery’ without having to refer to maps or googling so I can better understand what the hell they’re talking about. Although an interesting read my bookmark for ‘Wages of Destruction’ has been stuck somewhere near page 100 for over 6 months, I think it’s time to cleanse the mental palate and reinvigorate the interest.

Which page-turner got your pulse racing so much that you just couldn’t put it down or wait to read again?

I’ve never read any of the book versions of the classic movies that I loved as a kid so those would considered. Leaning towards historical accounts but fictional could work as long as they aren’t too far-fetched. To give you examples, to me ‘Guns of Navarone’ or even ‘Where Eagles Dare’ seemed some-what plausible. I considered ‘Inglorious Basterds’ as a little too overboard and so had a harder time enjoying the movie as perhaps others.

So please give me your Ripping-est!

p.s. – …and preferably something under 25 bucks (I’m a cheap bastard)!
My long standing favourite, 'The longest day', the book NOT the film. lcm1
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Old 21 Dec 12, 07:53
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I really enjoyed this book
http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=GE7ZTK5VGN4C
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Old 21 Dec 12, 08:23
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Thumbs up

This one's a good 'un... written as a novel by a bloke that was a Sergeant in the XXI Independent Parachute Company.

916aRvsViwL__AA1500_.jpg

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Old 21 Dec 12, 08:39
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I must try and get that,same age,same time,same place. lcm1
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