What are you reading

  • What WWII books are you reading?

    Thanks to Tall Paul, I’m currently reading Nomonhan 1939 A detailed account of the battle between the Japanese IA and the Soviet Far East Army. It’s a great read.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Evening Worsham.
    Nothing at the moment, as I am (happily) in a Civil War rut at the moment.
    My wife did buy me: Ardennes 1944, by Antony Beevor. I might read it once I have finished: Five Tragic Hours, the Battle of Franklin, by McDonough and Connelly.

    The Ardennes offensive has always been a favourite of mine. Panthers, (King) Tigers and the best armoured reserves Germany had at the time; well, you know me!
    Enjoy your read.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Recently finished Boris Johnson’s “The Churchill Factor”. Rather enjoyed it. An evaluation of the case for and against Churchill’s status in history, rather than a biography.

    Recommend it!

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Currently reading Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front, 1941-1942, by Robert Forczyk.

    Not too far into it yet, but it’s a great read so far. The author is an ex-tanker, so he adds some nice flavor to the reading into what the tank crews themselves had to worry about, mechanical errors, etc., that we might not think about while reading about events from a much more macroscopic look at them. He’s certainly done his research as well.

  • 2017 '16 '15

    “The Taste of War” by Lizzie Collingham. Pretty interesting. Seems to be well researched as well. Talks about how much food the warring powers had. I always knew Japan’s logistics were a mess, but it’s amazing they did as well as they did. Was also surprised the Brits starved so many Indians.

    Anyway some good reads on here. Always have wanted to find out more about the Japanese Soviet conflict in the late 30s. All I could ever find were a couple articles here and there in other books.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    The Rum and The Fury!!!  By our own Karl J Runft!

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914” by Margaret MacMillan.  An interesting overview of the decades leading up to WWI, and an interesting sketch of the personalities – some famous, some less so – who were involved.  I haven’t quite reached the end, so I’m reserving judgment for now on her conclusions, but I have doubts about her argument (which is implicit in the title) that Europe was, with minor exceptions, at peace in those decades.  In the second half of the 19th century, every major or rising power (including the US and Japan) went to war at some point with at least one other major (or declining) power – so this was hardly what I’d call peace, even though it didn’t involve conflicts on the scale of the Napoleonic Wars.  One notable feature of the book, which is only a few years old, is that she draws parallels between the events she describes and current-day events, for instance between the unstable situation which existed in the Balkans at the beginning of the 20th century and the unstable situation which exists in the Middle East at the beginning of the 21st century.

  • Just started Shanghai 1937, Stalingrad on the Yangtze

  • I thought was exceptional was


    It felt the frustration that those serving in the ABDA forces. The overwhelming odds while the Japanese surrounds
    and crushes island after island.

  • Hitler a biography by ian Kershaw.
    next is the rise and fall of the third reich by that guy a long time ago
    then the book I think its called clash of reds - how the reds beat the germans

  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I just finished Spandau, the Secret Diaries by Albert Speer. He writes about serving the 20 year sentence in Spandau prison after the war. Pretty fascinating reading about someone like former head of state and admiral Karl Doenitz getting mad about others using his favorite broom, Rudolf Hess’ eccentricities, etc.

  • @Der:

    I just finished Spandau, the Secret Diaries by Albert Speer. He writes about serving the 20 year sentence in Spandau prison after the war. Pretty fascinating reading about someone like former head of state and admiral Karl Doenitz getting mad about others using his favorite broom, Rudolf Hess’ eccentricities, etc.

    Sounds great.

  • @Der:

    I just finished Spandau, the Secret Diaries by Albert Speer. He writes about serving the 20 year sentence in Spandau prison after the war. Pretty fascinating reading about someone like former head of state and admiral Karl Doenitz getting mad about others using his favorite broom, Rudolf Hess’ eccentricities, etc.

    My Uncle mention that there is a rumour that Rudolf Hess in Spandau was not Rudolf Hess.
    I also recall that there is speculation that “Hess” was not capable of committing suicide in
    the way he did.
    My Uncle recalls that there was no scar on “Hess” contradicting his non-Spandau medical records.
    As i recall the scar pertained to an operation.

    I cannot remember the specifics as i was told about near 10 years ago.

  • D-Day by Antony Beevor - probably one of the more well known books by one of the more well known writers out there. All of Antony’s books are great in my opinion. He manages to show what was happening in great detail while keeping it engaging. I would recommend it greatly.

  • Customizer

    Reading through all the Flashman novels again.

    Also just started Starship Troopers with a view to inspiration for my Space game.

    On Hess, a former doctor in Spandau has claimed a false Hess was inserted.


    Mind you, he also claims that Hitler was stangled by his valet.


  • To anyone thinking of buying William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, I recommend the paper version over the eBook. If you own a wood burning stove, the paper version can be used to heat your home.

    Shirer strongly opposed the American anti-communist movement, and had little patience with, or tolerance for, those who wished to reduce the (considerable) influence communists had on the American government and American media. Shirer denied that he himself was a communist.

    Whether one believes the denial or not, Shirer’s book contains as many lies, half truths, fabrications, misinterpretations, and selective omissions as one would expect from a communist. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a work of fiction.

    If you do choose to read this book, it will also be necessary to read a number of other books to correct the lies and distortions Shirer spreads.

  • I started reading The Russo- Germany War 1941-1945. I first read the book in 1999.

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    In order to get an accurate account of the war, I’m reading William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich because of so many well written and researched passages…

    No wonder why this book has stood the test of time and remains an excellent reference book. I think it won some awards for debunking that bogus account of Churchill and FDR being more evil than Hitler and making excuses for what Hitler did as if he was forced into Genocide by “Germany being starved” ( except for Hermann Goering-He still ate Fried Chicken).

  • Back when I was in high school, I devoted a considerable amount of time to reading Shirer’s 1400 page time. More than once, I might add. The book was worth the time, I’d felt, because I was getting the real scoop on WWII. The New York Times book review said so!

    But then I saw some assertion–I don’t remember which one–debunked. I felt a little surprised, but did not question the veracity of the book as a whole. Then I learned of some key datum which Shirer had omitted from his book. Shirer can’t use the space constraint excuse, because the book is 1400 pages long and contains plenty of content of relatively minor importance.

    I also began wondering why Shirer had omitted any reference to the crimes against humanity committed by the Soviet Union before, during, and after the war. On the other hand, the New York Times (which had given him that favorable book review) had also denied the Ukrainian famine, while doing its best to get the U.S. to fight on the same side as the Soviet Union. Neither Shirer nor the New York Times gave a fig’s leaf for absolute truth. That much is clear. They both had the same (very specific) political agenda. There is a reason why Shirer had been blacklisted as a communist in the 1950s, and that reason does not involve any honesty or good character on Shirer’s part. If there are those here who want to be lied to, so that they can more effectively spread lies to others, Shirer’s book will give them everything they want and more. I personally have grown tired of being lied to, manipulated, and used by America’s narcissistic, immoral, self-centered ruling class. But if there are others here who enjoy that experience, who am I to judge?

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Well not WWII books, but if you love history:

    Just finished Conquerors by Roger Crowley. Excellent. The story of Portugal’s fifteenth and sixteenth century forays into the Indian Ocean. A tiny country which deployed avaricious ferocity to carve out the first European global empire. I found it particularly interesting as I knew so little on this subject.

    Now reading The War of Wars by Robert Harvey. A single volume (well - 900 pages) history of the British / French Revolutionary and Napoleonic War. Apparently proportionately more people died in this war than in either WWI or WWII.

  • Currently reading The First World War by Hew Strachan.

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Reading a 1928 circular published by the Republican Party. It claims if Hoover was elected, he would provide a Chicken in every pot and even has a few recipes provided by Hoover on how to prepare it. Never realized what a smart man he was. Should have imparted his thoughts in History books.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    Currently reading The First World War by Hew Strachan.

    If you enjoy the book (which I’ve never read), you might want to pick up the DVD of the documentary television series into which it was made. I’ve seen it and it’s pretty good.

  • I tend to get stuck on either a subject of interest or an author and read my way through a list until I’m sick of it.

    I finished Clay Blair’s two volumes on U-boats (The Hunters, The Hunted) which essentially covered every recorded sortie during the war, including personal information of both sides. Fascinating and exhausting.

    That peaked my interest in British X-craft, so I grabbed a copy of Target Tirpitz, which peaked my interest on both the Bismarck, Nazairre Raid as well as manned torpedoes, so I have a few books either on hold at the library or on the way in the post while I finish Tirpitz.

    I’ve been reading about WWII for about 20 years now and every book opens a whole new interest or bit of the war I haven’t heard of before.

    My wife wonders why I don’t read fiction, but this stuff is wilder than anything any author could invent.

  • Hirohito’s War: The Pacific War 1941-1945 by Francis Pike.

    Then, moving back to the war in Europe with The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson.
    The final book in The Liberation Trilogy.

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