Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 693878 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5460 on: July 04, 2021, 03:20:50 PM »
I'm reading it on Kindle, so I don't know. One moment...

Okay, the kindle page I bought it from/through, says 923 pages. However, 25% of that are (mostly) appendix documents and endnotes and other support things. So somewhere around 690 pages of main text.

TGA is roughly the events of 1941.

If you want to get hardcore, you should start back with A History of the English Speaking Peoples, in four volumes (that's the Kindle link); then The World Crisis, in five volumes; then The Second World War in six volumes. (World Crisis has a variable number of volumes depending on how it's bound; I've seen unabridged sets ranging from two volumes to six.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5461 on: July 04, 2021, 05:24:18 PM »
Jeez that sounds extremely hardcore. But I am going to guess that Churchill is an incredible writer, eh?
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5462 on: July 04, 2021, 07:45:10 PM »
Just finishing "The Pioneers" by David McCullough.

https://www.amazon.com/Pioneers-Heroic-Settlers-Brought-American/dp/1501168681/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1625448553&sr=8-1

The title seems a bit misleading. The book is not about the great westward expansion after the Civil War.

The book is really about the settlement of the Ohio River valley in the late 1700s and early 1800s. And for that, the book opened up a whole series of stories I had not heard before.

The book has some great insights into the historical importance of places like Marietta (named after Marie Antoinette), Ohio, the first large settlement in the Northwest Territory. One of the town's major founders was Rufus Putnam, a Revolutionary War General. in fact, most of the early settlers were Revolutionary War Veterans who had been given land by Congress for their service. 

Or the story of Gallipolis, Ohio, on the Ohio, River. The town was founded by a group of French immigrants (Gallipolis named for the Gauls) who were duped by an American and a British huckster who sold them fake deeds to Ohio land. When the French (about 600 of them) arrived and found out that their land "purchase" was worthless they fell into despair. George Washington took pity on them and worked a deal with the legitimate "Ohio Company" to settle them downriver from Marietta.

There is also the fascinating story of Aaron Burr's "plot" to have the Ohio territory secede from the Union. Seems like after shooting Hamilton, Burr was a busy man...hatching conspiracies including trying to find ways to set himself up as Emperor of Mexico...things like that (he even went to France at one point to sell the idea).

Then there was a push by Thomas Jefferson to have the State Constitutional Convention make Ohio a slave state; in the end, the slave question lost by only one vote.

Anyway, some really great stories about a chapter of history I did not know...I completely enjoyed it.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2021, 08:03:02 PM by ArizonaTank »
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5463 on: July 05, 2021, 01:11:45 PM »
About to start Rommel’s Desert Soldiers - Afrika Korps by Major K.J. Macksey, M.C. Originally published in 1968 this yellowed, dry and brittle copy is from 1976 and smells like an old man.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5464 on: July 05, 2021, 09:51:56 PM »
^ Apt!  :D

(But does it allow a bonus to the Italians if they can cook their pasta? ;) )

Re Churchill's writing talent: I'd say he's about average, or a little above: he can turn a colorful phrase on occasion (as his speeches, which he composed himself, testify), but it doesn't happen often. My impression is that he was more colorful as a casual speaker, based on reports from other people about things he said off the cuff.

His viewpoint, however -- in the sense of his observations (metaphorically and sometimes literally!) from where he stands, and has stood, in the world and in his studies of the history which he and his people have lived -- provide the key interest of his works. I can read a history of the English-speaking peoples from many authors (and have on occasion ;) ), but none of them have his perspective. So, your valuation will be proportionate to how much you appreciate any importance in his position as a key part of living history himself. But if you're looking to enjoy his writing, I'd expect disappointment: he won't be incompetent, but don't get your hopes up.

(To be fair, much of this stems from his WW1 and WW2 memoirs being largely based on official texts he sent out to various people. Naturally the first set, on the history of the Island up to the turn into the 20th century, doesn't have any of that, so it improves the average quality of prose.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5465 on: July 05, 2021, 09:52:46 PM »
Just finishing "The Pioneers" by David McCullough.

That does sound surprisingly great!  :bd:
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5466 on: July 05, 2021, 11:08:20 PM »
^ Apt!  :D

Re Churchill's writing talent: I'd say he's about average, or a little above: he can turn a colorful phrase on occasion (as his speeches, which he composed himself, testify), but it doesn't happen often. My impression is that he was more colorful as a casual speaker, based on reports from other people about things he said off the cuff.


I'm just finishing a book on the Battle of Omdurman where Churchill famously rode with the 21st Lancers in the "last great British cavalry charge."

He wrote a book about the campaign that got him into hot water with senior British Army commanders because it apparently was too critical of them. The book was called, "The River War An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan."

A year later, when Churchill went to South Africa for the Boer War, he got the cold shoulder from many commanders because of "River War."

Ultimately a good politician, Churchill cleaned "River War" up and republished it two years later, removing all of the "personal opinions"...  It is that cleaned up 2nd Edition that is the one that is easily available "on-line."

However, the 1st Edition, harder to find, is the one I want to read since it would be the juicy one.

Anyway, a next good read for me will be "River War."
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 08:29:06 AM by ArizonaTank »
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Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5467 on: July 06, 2021, 06:10:10 AM »
Churchill just above average?!? Crazytalk. In my mind he should be one of the greatest writers ever! I'll have to read something by him eventually.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5468 on: July 08, 2021, 06:14:22 AM »
About to start the new and not stinky 'The Armour of Rommel's Afrika Korps - Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives' by Ian Baxter.
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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Offline Tripoli

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5469 on: July 08, 2021, 08:01:36 AM »
I'm doing some research into the Falkland Islands War.  Right now, I've started "Amphibious Assault Falklands: The Battle of San Carlos Water" by Commodore Michael Clapp, the amphibious commander for the operation.   Its a technical book, but thus far an excellent professional-level study of the command, logistical and doctrinal issues.  Thus far, I would recommend it as a companion read to "One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander".
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 11:00:05 AM by Tripoli »
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5470 on: July 08, 2021, 10:20:38 AM »
I've often wondered Trip, the Brits sailing from Britain to the Falklands, would that make it the longest Amphibious Op. in History?
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Offline Tripoli

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5471 on: July 08, 2021, 11:16:09 AM »
I've often wondered Trip, the Brits sailing from Britain to the Falklands, would that make it the longest Amphibious Op. in History?

It might very well be.  Operation TORCH was only about 3200 nm, while OPERATION CORPORATE (the Falklands) is 6400 nm great circle from Southhampton to Port Sanley.  This doesn't even take into account the Ascension Island or South Georgia legs of the trip.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5472 on: July 08, 2021, 08:24:21 PM »
 :wow:
"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 #5473 on: July 09, 2021, 07:59:19 AM »
About to start 'Vehicles of the Long Range Desert Group 1940 - 45' by Gavin Mortimer, Henry Morshead and Irene Cano Rodriguez (Osprey New Vanguard series).
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5474 on: July 09, 2021, 10:15:56 AM »
You're really on a, 'North Africa' thing aren't you? Nothing wrong with that at all. Just don't get your, 'Crusaders' mixed-up with your, 'Battle Axes'.  ;)
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.