Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 592302 times)

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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5160 on: August 28, 2020, 11:48:12 AM »
^How is it? Looks pretty good from the Amazon description.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5161 on: August 28, 2020, 12:54:32 PM »
Just started it. 600 Pages. Brand new history, copyright 2020. I'll let you know what I think.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5162 on: August 28, 2020, 01:40:17 PM »
I also got the "official word" that my 3 week WW1 battlefield tour for September was cancelled.

Sorry to hear that. It sounded like it would have been a great trip.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5163 on: August 28, 2020, 02:05:04 PM »
Cool thanks Slash.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5164 on: August 30, 2020, 01:26:08 PM »
Currently reading Samurai and Ninja - The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth that Shatters the Bushido Mystique by Antony Cummins.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5165 on: August 30, 2020, 02:24:18 PM »
Awww Man! Don't be shattering my mystiques. There always be somebody up in here shattering mystiques.  #:-)
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5166 on: August 30, 2020, 03:03:26 PM »
The truth is actually more interesting in this case. Its a very good book, read almost 100 pages so far today.
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5167 on: September 02, 2020, 07:20:52 PM »
Just finished Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815 From Elba to Ligny and Quatre Bras Volume I by John Hussey

https://www.amazon.com/Waterloo-Campaign-1815-Ligny-Quatre/dp/1784381969/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=john+hussey&qid=1599093278&sr=8-1

This is an excellent operational / strategic dive into the Hundred Days campaign of 1815. The book covers the troop dispositions, message traffic and the difficulty that each of the armies had during the opening of the campaign. The book really shines at the operational level, making me think that this is what it would be like if David Glantz wrote Napoleonic books. The book tends to lean towards the British side, but the Prussians and French are well discussed. The book basks in operational details of supply, logistics, communications and intelligence. You can tell that the author really has a love for the material.

A few things I learned

1)  The Saxon contingent of the Prussian Army rebelled in May, 1815, causing significant command and control issues for Blucher. It also meant that Blucher had a significant part of his forces tied up in securing the mutiny.
2)  A French division commander (de Bourmont) and five of his staff defected to the Prussians on the night before Ligny. The next day, a French ADC from another division also defected. These should have given the Prussians a bunch of good intelligence on Napoleon's troop dispositions, but the information gained was not exploited.
3)  Wellington famously said that Napoleon had "buggered" him by getting the jump on the Allies at the opening of the campaign. The book goes into exhaustive detail proving that this was so. Wellington had indications of French intentions early in the campaign, but inexplicably he did not move until it was almost too late.
4)  Poor coordination caused the temporary loss of an entire French corps on June 16th (the day that Ligny and Quatre Bras were fought). Poor intelligence, had Napoleon thinking that Ney only faced 3,000 troops at Quatre Bras. So without consulting Ney, Napoleon pulled an entire corps away from Ney at the height of the Battle of Quatre Bras to reinforce the Ligny battle. The corps (D'Erlon's), got halfway to Ligny when Ney ordered them back. Because of the confused orders, the corps stopped in the middle. They were no good to either Ney or Napoleon. Ney might have won at Quatre Bras if he had had that corps. Then again, Ney was a near crazed wild-man so probably would have lost Quatre Bras anyway.
5)  Support for Napoleon in France was far from universal. There was a significant rebellion just at the cusp of being put down when the campaign opened. Napoleon had to send about 10,000 troops to put it down, at a time when he needed every available musket in Belgium.

Anyway, I recommend this book for anyone wanting a deep dive into the opening of the campaign. As in the title, Volume one only goes through Ligny and Quatre Bras.  But I definitely have Vol. II in my reading list.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 07:28:28 AM by ArizonaTank »
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5168 on: September 03, 2020, 06:25:31 PM »
About to begin The Dark Side of Japan - Ancient Black Magic, Folklore, Ritual by Anthony Cummins.
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Offline al_infierno

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5169 on: September 07, 2020, 11:23:45 PM »
I've started reading Don Quixote again.  Still holds up in all its hilarity.


Does anyone have any suggestions on some good reading about the Pike and Shot era?  I'm looking for some good historical texts about warfare generally between 1500-1720.  Readability isn't a huge concern, but I'd rather not read a straight-up academic paper.  No particular conflicts in mind, but obviously Euro-centric is my preference :)
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Offline Anguille

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5170 on: September 08, 2020, 03:12:13 AM »
Reading the second book of the Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy: "Dark force rising".

Offline twitter3

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5171 on: September 08, 2020, 08:16:29 AM »
I've started reading Don Quixote again.  Still holds up in all its hilarity.


Does anyone have any suggestions on some good reading about the Pike and Shot era?  I'm looking for some good historical texts about warfare generally between 1500-1720.  Readability isn't a huge concern, but I'd rather not read a straight-up academic paper.  No particular conflicts in mind, but obviously Euro-centric is my preference :)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book:

 https://www.amazon.com/Battle-that-Shook-Europe-Poltava/dp/1780764766

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5172 on: September 08, 2020, 08:31:34 AM »
Currently reading Life Along the Hudson by Allan Keller.
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5173 on: September 08, 2020, 12:00:10 PM »
I've started reading Don Quixote again.  Still holds up in all its hilarity.


Does anyone have any suggestions on some good reading about the Pike and Shot era?  I'm looking for some good historical texts about warfare generally between 1500-1720.  Readability isn't a huge concern, but I'd rather not read a straight-up academic paper.  No particular conflicts in mind, but obviously Euro-centric is my preference :)

I had a similar question a few weeks back and I came up with this list. But I haven't got around to looking at any of them yet.
https://panzerde.blogspot.com/2016/12/pike-shot-reading-list-i.html
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Offline airboy

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5174 on: September 08, 2020, 12:46:24 PM »
I read 50% of Alistaire Cooke's "The American Home Front, 19411942," stopped, and deleted it from my kindle.

The book discusses his travels as a young, foreign correspondent around the USA after Pearl Harbor.  It is poorly edited, he visits a lot of farms but knows little about agriculture, and spends far too little of his time recounting detailed conversations with US civilians.  A quick, off the cuff take by someone who is young and who does not understand the people or the economy very well is not that interesting.

When he occasionally gives detailed observations and recounts detailed conversations - it is very good.  His discussion of the guards at the Capital when Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war against Japan was quite good.  There were one or two other places where he lets people speak for themselves in detail instead of giving his off the cuff observations in the first half of the book.

He spends a lot of time with farmers and food processing plants.  Regretfully, he knew little about agriculture and gave snap comments about things he did not know much about.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about the book was his observation that a foreign correspondent cannot gain the "pulse of the people about the war" on a brief visit where they talk to a couple of people."  This is a valid point and I enjoyed reading about this - the first two times it is covered.  On the third and subsequent discussion of the same topic without any real new observation it grew tiresome.  This was an editing problem by the publisher since Mr. Cooke was unable to edit this.

My guess is that Mr. Cooke decided this manuscript was not that good and did not submit it for publication during his life.  Or, the publication was rejected by publishers and the rejection was forgotten.

There are usually good reasons why unpublished manuscripts by famous authors were not released.  When was the last time some discovered recording by a musical group was found after the fact and it was actually good compared to their released work?