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What Are You Reading?

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Mahross, Feb 1, 2004.

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  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Any knowledge was he much in charge or working the Shermans that were damaged as I recall him saying something like that, clearing the previous crew from the tank walls? He said that a hit Sherman might be repaired but if the electric components inside were broken it was of no use trying?
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    He was a lieutenant and did not work on vehicles.
    His job mainly seemed to consist of identifying damaged and destroyed vehicles, compiling a report, driving back to rear echelon of the divisional maintenance train, and then arranging for replacements.
    There was on incident where he was the senior officer of a large group of partially manned replacement tanks that were being moved forward immediately after Falaise.
    The group was commandered to defend a road junction against a possible attack by German forces that never materialized.
     
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  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Just noticed I had left some 60 pages unread from " Rommel's intelligence in the desert campaign". Interesting book. Should take one evening. Written by Hans-Otto Behrendt.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Find it hard to agree more with Jeff's assessment.
    A book that's had an impact on 'Internet armour discussion' out of all proportion to its actual worth.
    As a simple memoir from a very narrow perspective, it could have been a decent little book, but absolutely convinced Ambrose was responsible for spinning it up to something far greater than the sum of its parts. (Or Cooper was indulged in some very unconvincing views, though I suspect the former.)
    Probably too late now to learn just what the starting point was, though I'd guess a slender 'veteran memoir'.

    And as for the frankly utter cack stuff about M26 being ready & Sherman being chosen by evil/incompetent commanders (even Patton, who had no impact on such decisions anyway) - just no. It's a view so easily discounted as to be laughable, but you still see it widely repeated.
    ('Landing craft; a splendid starting point for dismantling the arse-gravy therein...)

    Jeff's 4/10 rating is generous.
    A bad book, co-written by a bad historian (with a lucid literary style) that's poisoned the well for anyone grasping about in M4/Armour history. I genuinely wish it would just go away, and anyone relying on it too aggressively as a source can be readily dismissed as having made almost no effort to understand the subject.

    I'm not keen.
    Can you tell?

    ~A
     
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  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Was curious if you'd elaborate on this thought.
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    We touched on it here:
    http://ww2f.com/threads/why-didnt-the-us-standardize-the-t23e3.28741/#post-392312
    And maybe in more depth here:
    http://ww2f.com/threads/why-the-m26-pershing-come-late-into-the-war.75196/#post-860311

    Essentially, the effort to gather LCTs (and other LC) for Normandy had been immense, worldwide & exceptionally difficult.
    Introducing a larger machine at that point as Cooper/Ambrose emote about, ready or not (it wasn't), would have thrown pretty much the entire armoured aspect of the invasion into chaos. Less tanks per craft, landing tables changed, different logistical support, etc. etc.
    Normandy was a close-run thing. Such a change would not have been a minor consideration.
     
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  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I just finished :
    [​IMG]

    Finding Your Father's War, Jonathan Gawne, 2006, Casemate,341pp, photos, charts, appendices

    I bought this book because it looked like it could be a good resource and it is for the average person who is researching ancestors who have served in the armed forces of the United States. It is well organized and author seems to go out of his way not to speak above the reader's understanding and prior exposure.

    The book provides good information on the background, organization, and composition of various military units and would be especially useful for the novice who knows nothing about military organizations.

    Other chapters discuss the various records produced and how to find them. The author provides good insight to access public records at locations such as NARA in St Louis and the Carlisle Barracks and give good tips on what to expect from the staff. Also included are addresses, both brick and mortar and electronic of all the locations where pertinent records might be found.

    All in all, I consider this valuable resource for the individual researching their ancestor wartime experience and would especially useful for the novice who would not even know where to start.

    Also, throughout the book, there are additional books and reference materials listed in text boxes. Some of the books, I am familiar with and they are excellent resources themselves, so I suspect the other listed books are also.

    10/10 A must for the novice researcher and a good addition for the knowledgeable historian.
     
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  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  9. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  10. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  11. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]

    Biak-Zambo
    , Lincoln Peters, 1999, Xlibiris Corporation on behalf of Lincoln Peters, 224pp. No photos or maps.

    I'll be upfront about this book. I did not finish it.

    I bought it from an online seller thinking it was a first person account of the fighting at Biak Island and Zamboanga, Philippines.

    Alas, it isn't.

    As I read through the first chapters, I kept thinking it was reading like a novel and it kept passing from the 3rd back to the 1st person, intimately detailing conversations between people the author would not have privy to. Also, none of the names seems to match the author's, although it was written as though the author was there. About 1/3 the way through book, the war ended and the story transitioned into the main two characters' post-war lives.

    After a few more pages of jumping back and forth between the 1st and 3rd person narratives and dialogue, I finally fully read the back cover. The very last line of the lengthy description was this little blurb "This is not an autobiography but many of the battle scenes I write about were actually experienced by me. I was a rifleman in the third platoon of I. Co.162nd Regiment of the 41st Infantry Division during WWII." It was then I flipped to the copyright page and see "This is a work of fiction."

    As the manuscript wasn't good anyway, I quit reading it at this point. I didn't care that one of the characters had just murdered his wife and that the other always seemed to have girl problems after coming home. I'm not going to say the book sucked, but you can draw your own conclusions.

    1/10 and that is generous.
     
  13. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I've read several of Holland's books. He's a good writer and the level of detail he provides is a real plus. I suspect you'll find you enjoy this book. Be sure to let us know what you think.
     
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  14. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Agreed. I enjoyed his work on the war in Italy.
     
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  15. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The New York Time Complete World War II: The Coverage of the Entire Conflict. Edited by Richard Overy.

    "Includes DVD-ROM with 98,367 NEW YORK TIMES articles."

    NYT has always been my go-to. When I was at Purdue I spent countless hours reading the first-hand reports. One guy claimed the Japanese had shelled USS Augusta, and then failed to tell the US people about it. (It was front page news on NYT.) Another one said that his father's ship had sailed up and down the English Channel with all available lights on, trolling for U-boats so FDR could have his war. (The cruiser was delivering Admiral Leahy, the new American ambassador to the Vichy French. The rules of war state neutral ships must be well lit at night in combat zones. I guess FDR was sneaky enough to follow the laws?)
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Just finished re-reading Tameichi Hara's book, "Japanese Destroyer Captain". (Fred Saito and Roger Pineau were also listed as co-authors.) I liked it better the second time because of my more complete understanding of the conflict. Pre-war he contributed heavily to IJN's torpedo tactics. He was also in most of the major battles in the Solomons. In this book he was very critical (for a Japanese) of the Japanese leadership-especially Yamamoto! When I read this the first time in, I believe, the 1980s, I became aware of the many blunders and lost opportunities the Japanese high command made. Later reading of other authors only reinforced what Hara wrote.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
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  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finished this about a week ago:

    [​IMG]

    Mother Was A Gunner's Mate, Josette Dermody Wingo, 1994. Bluejacket Books, 234pp, photos ISBN 1-55750-960-3

    As you can probably deduce from the title, this is autobiography of a WAVE, detailing her stateside service in the Navy during WWII.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book. Well written, it held my interest and I found it hard to put down. Ms. Dermody discusses her time in the service, providing interesting tid-bits from the perspective of woman in what was a strongly man's service at the time. She seemed to maintain a lively attitude about the issues facing her as a female, without dwelling on the problems or painting with a broad brush.

    She spent her active service in San Francisco, training sailor to shoot the 20mm Oerlikon. There is only so much she could say about the day-in day-out drudgery of that task, but she manages to give the reader a good feel about it. She talks about her off-duty activities and describes her associates well, such that the reader can feel they know them well.

    9/10, a good addition to my bookshelf.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I
    I read this one a year or so ago and enjoyed it also.
     
  20. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Faye Schulman's A Partisan's Memoirs. A Polish Jew, she was the sole survivor of a pogom that wiped out her family.
     

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