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I'm currently getting stuck into another of Richard Overy's excellent volumes:

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Along with David Edgerton, Overy is one of those historians that anyone with an interest in aircraft should read about the way that politics and ethics are inseparable from the technology. Both writers wear their learning lightly and are immensely readable.

 

On the subject of other kinds of mazes, this proved irresistible:

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Addenda: Since finishing the Overy book I have to say that it did not turn out to be the opus that I had anticipated from the opening chapters. It is worth reading but - in the latter stages particularly -  frequently carpet-bombs you with statistics to a disorientating degree. A reminder of how important it is to read and compare a body of work about a subject, rather than privilege the perspective of a single author.

 

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37 minutes ago, TheBaron said:

I'm currently getting stuck into another of Richard Overy's excellent volumes:

cover.jpg.rendition.400.615.png

Along with David Edgerton, Overy is one of those historians that anyone with an interest in aircraft should read about the way that politics and ethics are inseparable from the technology. Both writers wear their learning lightly and are immensely readable.

 

 

The Bombing War is a superb book. This one got me back into modelling, as it mentions a lot of aircraft used in WWII.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

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I'm currently reading my way through the Petersburg Campaign of the American Civil War (just in case we have a rematch coming*).

 

I just finished Steven Sodergren's The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns, and am now reading John Horn's The Siege of Petersburg: The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864. The Union's Army of the Potomac reminds me a great deal of my other favourite army, the Anglo-Canadians in northwest Europe during the Second World War. Both faced opponents who have generally received more laudatory treatment than they themselves have; both are often regarded as hapless and having to win by sheer weight of numbers (though both were closer in size to their foes than many realize); and both persevered through frustrations and disasters to break their much-vaunted foes beyond any hope of recovery. 

 

 

 

* Not really. And besides, we whipped 'em once, we can whip 'em again.

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I have volume 1, but didn't have time to read it before the movers came.

But let's start volume 2, as anyway those books are made of small stories.

Beside, I can't wait much longer when I've an unread Phantom book nearby.

 

IIRC, I didn't heard very good returns concerning volume 1 (was it over here?), so let's hope that volume 2's better.

 

grub_p10.jpg

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On my hols with typical British weather so started my new book. It's PAINTING THE SAND by Kim Hughes GC. About EOD in Afghanistan with a little back story. Gripping thus far and makes you think just how brave these people are

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Just finished Last Hope Island: Britain, occupied Europe and the brotherhood that helped turn the tide of war by Lynne Olson. Some of the topics she covers are well known, notably the Englandspiel, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and Operation Market Garden but much of the book was new to me, particularly the politics. For example I'm ashamed to say I had no idea of the part the Poles played in breaking Enigma. Recommended as a fascinating insight into an aspect of WW2 that has often been overlooked.

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'A Higher Call' by Adam Makos. An encounter between a Bf109G and a B-17F............

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19 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

'A Higher Call' by Adam Makos. An encounter between a Bf109G and a B-17F............

A superb book.

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Just finished this one a little while back.

Fascinating stuff.

 

I saw the volcano myself long ago on my way from Australia to the Philippines.

 

Krakatoa-_The_Day_the_World_Exploded_cov

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Searching through online retailers for a particular volume earlier I realised that I have now reached an age where I've seen all possible combinations of laudatory phrases from reviews used on the covers of books as an enticement to buy.

 

It's like a vacuous game of Scrabble where you can only use variants of words like nice or buy.

 

Much more eye-catching if publishers simply made up unbelievable pairings, like John Terry commenting approvingly on a book about lichen, or Donald Trump on a guide to ethics...

 

 

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Well 'The End is Nigh' was horrible, so I am taking a break from the apocalyptic stuff. I always wanted to read Cuore, and finally found an english version online.

 

De-Amicis-e-Cuore.jpg

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Just about to launch into "Njinga, Breaking the Cycle", in which Kate Leeming, an Aussie lass, cycles from the western most point of the African continent, in Senegal to the eastern most point, on the cost of Somalia. An official UN backed expedition to promote the decade of sustainable growth. I've long liked this kind of read & had ambitions as a young man to do an overland trip, though by 4wd rather than push bike. Alas, I never did other than as a passenger in the back if a truck but enjoy reading about overland travel of any sort & era..

Steve.

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Following on from Last Hope Island which I mentioned a few posts ago I've just finished Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War 1940-45 by Leo Marks.   I'd say it's probably the best WW2 memoir I've ever read - warm, humane, funny, gripping and deeply moving.  It's incredible to think that Marks was only in his early 20s when the events he describes took place. After he left the SOE Leo Marks became a professional writer (he wrote the screenplay for the infamous 1960 film Peeping Tom) and unlike many memoirs the quality of the writing itself is a delight.

 

I must try to track down a copy of London Calling North Pole by Marks's great adversary, Major Hermann Giskes of the Abwehr, to get the other side of the story

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Reading "The Spinx Mystery" by Robert Taylor and Olivia Temple.........presents facts on the age of it.  they reckon it was there before the Ice Age...Water erosion lines show that it was under water for many years and they have  found from core samples, sea shells embedded in the structure and yet........................, theres no water erosion on any of the pyramids............really interesting mystery

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55 minutes ago, Skodadriver said:

I've just finished Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War 1940-45 by Leo Marks.

Your mini-review has now ensured this being added to the library - thank-you!

Tony

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Spent July trying to read "Kleine deutsche Geschichte" (A Short History of Germany) in German, of course, but was too difficult (a lot of new Vocabulary). So, I read Orwell's "Why I write", a short book with four articles published on or around WWII.

 

Now I'm reading "The German Genius", by Peter Watson, a cultural history of Germany, starting right after the Thity Years War, 1648. Very interesting.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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I've just finished a surprisingly - no, extraordinarily good book on the Altamont concert given by the Rolling stones in 1969.

 

I had thought I had a fair idea of the - errr ....less than moral behaviour of managers, record companies, and bands themselves, but when I read this book I think I literally had the breath knocked out of me by the descriptions of the awful behaviour of some of the Stones, and their "managers" and hangers on.

 

It is, IMO, you have any interest in the music of the '60's, almost an essential read. (Altamont by Joel Selvin.)

 

I've also just finished James Holland's Dam Busters. I thought I knew the story of the raid, having read Brickhill's book and seen the film, but was I mistaken! A compelling read, one which at times had me twitching in my seat wanting to shout at the "higher ups" who seemed determined to stop it in its tracks.

 

Then I finished Shock and Awe, a history of glam rock by Simon Reynolds, an entertaining romp through the '70's of T Rex, Bowie, Sparks, The Sweet, etc. which had me putting on my various CD's of the era.

 

I'm now reading Their Finest, a novel of the British film industry during the blitz and aftermath of Dunkirk, and toying with the idea of re-reading It, by Stephen King, but I think I'll get started on The Thirties, by Juliet Gardner, a decade I have hardly any knowledge of.

 

Next military book? Probably the Silent Deep, though Max Hastings' the secret war is tantalizingly close to the top of the book stash!

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I'm re-reading the aviation books I read as a teenager at the moment, trying to get early versions rather than those that have been edited with hindsight. I'm about to finish " They gave me a Seafire " by Mile Crossley ( although I was a little more than a teenager when it was first published ) about 25% of it is appendices, but very informative. You can tell he had a test pilot background from his technical and aerodynamic explanations of the limitations of the Seafire in carrier operations.

Next will be either " Nine Lives " or  " The Big Show " depending on which versions are available.

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French book for a change.

Jean had the chance to fly both the Mirage III and IV, even ejecting from IVA n°2 AA off Corsica.

A very nice book so far, I wish more AdA pilots will think about doing the same (Not ejecting, writing their bio!).

 

pilote10.jpg

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Next will also be in French.

An in-depth (really) study of this tragedy, written by an AdA air traffic controller.

 

le_mys10.jpg

 

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The Sunday Times Culture magazine has reviews in it today of two books that I am sure will be of interest to many Britmodellers.

 

The first is  Air Force Blue, by Patrick Bishop reviewed by Max Hastings. His review wants me to go out and read the book now!

 

The second is Munich by Robert harris, whose Fatherland is still one of my favourite "war" books ever (along with the Cruel Sea, SS GB, HMS Ulysses, The Making of the Atomic bomb (not strictly a war book, but the best history of the Mnahatten Project I think that has ever been written), by Richard Rhodes and The Eagle Has Landed) reviewed by Dominic Sandbrook, whose review, again, makes me want to go out and buy the book now.

 

I know books, like music, films and art are intensely personal, and what one poperson may recommend another may dislike, but I am sure I am preaching to many of the converted here who will read these books because they like the authors.

 

Both are out in hardback now, and I am not employed or sponsored by either author or publisher ;- )

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15 hours ago, Whofan said:

The Sunday Times Culture magazine has reviews in it today of two books that I am sure will be of interest to many Britmodellers.

 

The first is  Air Force Blue, by Patrick Bishop reviewed by Max Hastings. His review wants me to go out and read the book now!

Yes, I think that looks just the ticket.

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Just finished One mans window by Denis Barnham. (Later republished as Malta Spitfire Pilot).

In April 1942 this newly married Flt Lt wannabe artist was, at short notice, bundled onto the

USS Wasp and ferried out to the Med to fly his Spitfire out to Malta.

His 200 flying hour tour there ended in June. In between he suffered attacks of conscience,

mental anguish due to lack of post from his wife, and as with others there, 'Malta dog' a nasty

form of dysentry.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. Apparently he left the RAF in 1945 and went on to become an art teacher.

:poppy:

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On 17/09/2017 at 8:48 AM, Antoine said:

Next will also be in French.

An in-depth (really) study of this tragedy, written by an AdA air traffic controller.

 

le_mys10.jpg

 

 

Looks fascinating. Is there an English translation available?  I'm afraid my French is on the poor side of inadequate

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