What are you reading at the moment?

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Gage, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Seems to be a very informative publication with views on the characters mentioned.Some of these have been frequently commentated on in the past.

    Harry Broadhurst went on to serve the RAF postwar as C in C Bomber Command and was involved in the tragic incident where on 1 October 1956 Vulcan XA 897 returning from a Australasia tour,lost control and crashed at Heathrow after undershooting the runway in bad weather and losing its undercart.
  2. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Definitely Harry, he liaised with most of the big names in the war so formed valid opinions. With regards to Bader, he was a true contemporary, knowing him before his crash as well as his WW2 service. It was interesting to read that rather put him on a pedestal and despite being a pet favourite of Leigh-Mallory's, he opted for overseas service at the end of 1940 as he didn't agree with the way they'd ousted Park and Dowding. He came across as a very head strong man, whose capabilities were clearly recognized by his superiors.
    Orwell1984 likes this.
  3. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Just started this new arrival.
    Amazon blurb:
    We'll see how much of a 'major reassessment" it is.

    As an aside, I'm still amazed there hasn't yet been a major single volume work on logistics in the Mediterranean looking at all participants yet. Seems to be a big and glaring gap given that other theatres (Western Europe, Pacific, Eastern Front) all have more than one work covering this subject.. The Med has a chapter in Supplying War (Crevald) and other articles, chapters, small studies, here and there, often looking at one participant. But no overarching work that synthesizes and compares the players.. Given that this subject.also features in a lot of notorious what ifs (Germans could take Egypt if they have umpteen more panzer divisions, logisitics be damned) such a work would also be a useful debunking tool. Especially with information on port capacity, railroads, coastal shipping , warehousing, etc all in one spot.
    Tom OBrien and Chris C like this.
  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    I found his thesis (PHd or MA, I can't remember) on line somewhere and he's been published in a couple of journals so the data should be good, I can't remember the style very well. I'd welcome a review once you are done though. Although, to be honest, my Xmas wish list is already about 3 1/2 feet of book shelves in size. :D


  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The author, Richard hammond, is due to give a webinar next Tuesday. Details and booking via:
    Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1310639159414316815
  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Just finished this one:


    I would recommend it as I thought it was full of information and obviously enormously deeply and widely researched - my only concern would be that at times I did find it all a bit overwhelming in its detail. Definitely one to be re-read though and full of tantalising sources and new interpretations of the whole "Force Z to Singapore" debate and certainly a useful corrective to an overly European perspective on British rearmament in the thirties.

    Boyd tends towards giving the Admiralty credit for its rearmament plans but does go on to blame them for a sudden rather irrational optimism re forward basing Force Z in Singapore whereas Winston was becoming more cautious. [Edited to add: A similar situation appears to be the case with the expedition to Greece in early 1941; initial pressure by Winston to do something and then later a cooling off by him, but by that time a "can-do" military aspect that drives plans forward despite Winston's nerves. Whether he had one eye on history in both cases is an interesting question.]

    In any case, I enjoyed Boyd's book sufficiently to start Marder's book covering the same period (Old Friends, New Enemies) and to wonder whether to go for something by HP Wilmot about the war in the Netherlands East Indies next or to look out for a copy of "Shattered Sword" about Midway, as I understand that included much of the same task force that took part in the raid on Ceylon in April 1942.

    I've got a worrying feeling I will need to start negotiating for an extension of my book shelves - perhaps a Pacific/SE Asia "wing"?


  7. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Thesis, Plymouth University, 2013
    This thesis will examine the British way of war as experienced by two British Infantry Divisions - the 43rd ‘Wessex’ and 53rd ‘Welsh’ - during the Overlord campaign in North West Europe in 1944 and 1945. The main locus of research centres on the fighting components of those divisions; the infantry battalions and their supporting regiments. In order to understand the way the British fought this part of the war, the thesis will consider the British Army’s history since 1918: its level of expertise at the end of the First World War; the impact of inter-war changes, and the experience of the early part of the Second World War, as these factors were fundamental in shaping how the British Army operated during the period covered in this study. These themes will be considered in the first chapter. The following seven chapters will study each of the two infantry divisions in turn, to maintain a chronological order. This is so that the experiences of each division can be examined in a logical way, from their initial experiences of combat in late June 1944 through to March 1945.
    know your enemy ;-) (sorry, but couldn´t resist)
    TTH, stolpi, JDKR and 1 other person like this.
  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Richard Hammond also did a chat on the History Hack podcast about his book.
    ltdan likes this.
  9. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    After decades studying english texts I´m able to read them without need to translate them. But LISTEN to native english speakers.....without proper subtitles I´m pretty helpless...unfortuntately
  10. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Probably because we have dialects where you have accents
  11. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    interesting: Ik mai ton bispeel en böten platt schnacken, dat is just een von vele Dialekten hier in Düütschland* :lol:
    * for example, i can speak a little flat german, this is only one of many dialects here in Germany
    TTH, stolpi and Aixman like this.
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This has arrived rather sooner than expected from Hong Kong. It's disappointing in the respect that for the post-war era (on which I'm focused) it becomes more a politico-military history and scrimps on the names, numbers and locations (which, as I've found, are very hard to pin down), but it's generally an excellent book and my browse of the section on the Fall of Hong Kong suggests that it will help develop my conception of the inherent difficulties of defending the Crown Colony from without and help illuminate factors that continued to obtain in 1948 and onward.

    More generally, I'm starting to get a grip on the geography of the place, and all those exotic names are distinguishing themselves from one another in my memory, which is a sign that 'the big picture' is starting to be assembled.

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    Chris C and stolpi like this.
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    More generally, I'm starting to get a grip on the geography of the place, and all those exotic names are distinguishing themselves from one another in my memory, which is a sign that 'the big picture' is starting to be assembled.

    View attachment 277061 [/QUOTE]

    I can definitely relate to that CF. When I first began to read about Chindit 1 and all the places involved, it was difficult to get to grips with the geography, names and overlying picture. Slowly it comes to you (with the help of maps) and before you know it, you have it all to hand, well, to brain I suppose.
  14. Grasmere

    Grasmere Active Member

    Just begun to read "The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, A True Story" by Jeremy Dronfield.
  15. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Ha! I am writing some fiction with two German-American women in it. One woman's family came from the old kingdom of Hannover (Niedersachsen) and knows Plattdeutsch. The parents of the other woman came from Wurttemberg and they spoke Schwabisch. Each woman criticizes the other's regional dialect and the other's accent when speaking standard Hochdeutsch German.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
    ltdan likes this.
  16. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Marder is great. Willmott was an idiosyncratic man and writer, but his two books about the opening phase of the Asia-Pacific war are excellent. "Shattered Sword" is simply brilliant. It tells you all you could ever need to know about the mechanics of Japanese carrier operations (which were very different from American and British procedures) and in the process it dispels many Midway myths.
    Tom OBrien likes this.
  17. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Got this one cheap at Trego Mills on my Cornwall holiday a couple of weeks ago. Very readable account of Hurricane actions split into 25 page chapters each on a different squadron. Personalities are singled out in most cases along with specific actions plus a rundown of days that were either highly successful or in some cases disastrous. Good for me in that the battle of France is covered quite extensively, leading on to the Battle of Britain inevitably along with Western Desert service. All marks of the Hurricane are covered to show it’s diversity. Only slight downers are some seriously repeated labouring regarding how rugged and stable a Hurricane was compared to a Spitfire and multiple mentions of incorrect axis loss data in some cases while acknowledging there was also duplicate claiming as would be expected.

    Attached Files:

    Chris C likes this.
  18. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Thanks - I'll move those up my long, long list of books I want for Christmas. :D


    TTH likes this.
  19. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    Anyone had a look at this new 456 page tome on WW2 logistics? Any comments good or bad? Worth adding to the library or a pass?
    Logistics in World War II
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I may have mentioned reading this before but I've had trouble focusing on finishing books lately. However I am on holiday this week and (safely) visiting my parents; one of my goals is to at least read a lot of this.


    The author mentioned here that it took 9 years to write but the research shows. I just finished the chapter about the fighting of 38 Irish Brigade for Djebel Mahdi and surrounding hills. Not only does the text go down to the company and sometimes platoon level, the author also thought to compare CWGC and medical records with the losses reported in the infantry unit WDs to show that in some cases the number of losses exceeded that reported. The chapter on the preparation for Operation Sweep highlighted the role of the RAMC and RASC amongst others and he even thought to include references to Goons Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with quotation from Milligan's memoirs.

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