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Loose Cannons (General Military)

Loose Cannons (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Donald Graeme
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


""Loose Cannons" exposes many long-held myths about military leaders and operations, from the idea that Hitler was a vegetarian obsessed by occult to the invention of the 'Mau-Mau' organization and the fact that the Japanese were trying to complete their own nuclear warhead when the Americans beat them. An outstanding trivia fact book for any military library." -"The Midwest Book Review "(February 2010)
"Frequently amusing, often silly, and on occasion interesting, Graeme Donald's "Loose Cannons: Myths, Mishaps, and Misadventures of Military History" offers a distracting romp through a series of historical myths relating to military history... Donald's dry wit contributes mightily to what makes "Loose Cannons" a fun, breezy read. It isn't scholarship (and the more persnickety at times will wail about his lack of footnotes or corroboration), but this won't detract from the enjoyment one gets from romping through these distracting, myth-busting vignettes." -Jordan Magill, "San Fra

Product Description

Who tried to bomb Japan with bats? Who invented the air-gun in 250BC? Which stories should we believe?The so-called Dambusters raid was all but ineffective; the Hurricane not the Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain; Singapore did not fall because all the guns were pointing the wrong way' and who would go to war over a game of football, a pig, or an old bucket?Oppenheimer fluffed his lines after the first atomic test; virtually every well-known quote attributed the Duke of Wellington is wrong; Churchill had a BBC voice impersonator record all his famous WW2 speeches as he was invariably too busy or too 'tired and emotional' to do it himself and no-one at the time called WW1 'The War to end all Wars'. Will you believe the truth?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 918 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846033772
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (8 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004O0TU6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,457 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Myths and misconceptions put to rights 4 July 2010
As the title would suggest, this book is ideal for those interested in the myths and misconceptions which tend to plague world history. The book contains a series of intriguing, yet relatively short articles concerning military history from around the globe. The majority of the articles included tend to focus on the period dating from the American War of Independence, leading up to the Second World War; however, there are a couple of articles which fall either side of this period.

Whilst I found the content of each article to be extremely interesting, I would have benefited from a short introduction in order to `set the scene'. Each example described the commonly held myth or misconception and was followed by the actual, sometimes unsavoury, true version of events. Generally this format worked well, but when I came across a lesser known historical event, I realised that a short introduction or opening paragraph would have been enormously useful. If the reader is extremely knowledgeable in relation to military history, then this will not be a problem. Yet if this book is directed towards a wider market, i.e. for those with a general interest in history, I believe the book could have been supplemented with short introductions.

I would still recommend this book as there were a number of included examples which I had never heard of and I am likely to expand my knowledge in these areas with further reading, but it may be advantageous to read this book with an historical dictionary ready by your side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNEXPECTEDLY BRILLIANT 24 Nov 2013
By Clive
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read quite a few of this genre of book and so expect them to be fairly entertaining but nothing special. So I was delighted to discover that this one is more than a cut above the norm. Of the 101 entries, all are fascinating (definitely no padding here) and almost all of them were new to me. Some entries just provided more detail on stuff I knew previously, although often my knowledge was very sketchy. For example, the sections on Jim Bowie and The Alamo in general were riveting. Other items, such as the bat bombs, were things that I already knew from other reading but, even then, they all had new snippets to add.

The pace and style of writing is excellent and makes very clear where evidence based fact fades into conjecture. The depth of research is very impressive indeed and all sources are properly cited. This book is a sort of 'QI' crossed with an adult version of 'Horrible Histories' and makes history fun and accessible to all. I enjoyed this book immensely, hence the five stars, and can recommend it without reservation.
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2.0 out of 5 stars On Mary Seacole, you got it wrong 30 July 2014
The account of Mary Seacole is short, but very wrong on the facts, especially where it refers to Florence Nightingale. Have a look at Seacole’s own Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands for a completely different account of her efforts to get to the Crimean War, and her relationship with Nightingale (the references I give here are to the 1988 Oxford edition).
Your page 66: “Armed with countless references and recommendations,” but in her book Seacole mentioned only one letter (77), and she got one further one in Malta, en route to the Crimea, by an army doctor she knew (85).
66: “she was surprised to find herself shunned, all doors remained closed.” But Seacole did not apply in the required manner, and when she started her informal applications, dropping in to various government offices, she was late--Nightingale and her nurses had already left (see Seacole 71-74).
“even Nightingale refused to receive her for reasons that can only be conjectured.” But Nightingale was already at the Scutari Barrack Hospital nursing! Mrs Seacole in London was busy attending to her gold-mining investments when Nightingale was organizing her team to leave!
Seacole made her own way to the war zone “where once again Nightingale turned her down.” However, when the two met (and the only account we have of this is Seacole’s, pp 90-91) Seacole asked Nightingale for a bed for the night. By that time she had decided to go on a business venture, and her business partner was already at Balaclava and their supplies ordered!
You next invent a “New British Hotel,” which “opened to the sick and injured in March 1855.” However, this did not happen.
Read more ›
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Myths repeated? 24 Jun 2010
By hussar
I wonder about the accuracy of the mythbusting when Mr Donald repeats the myth that Rourkes Drift was the single action which saw the most VC's awarded (11), when as any fule kno that this was the Battle of Inkerman 1854 (19)...
How many more errors in there?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars 10 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mostly useless info
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