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The Theory Of Everything [Blu-ray] [2015]
The Theory Of Everything [Blu-ray] [2015]
Dvd ~ Eddie Redmayne
Price: £13.00

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eddie Redmayne is Stephen Hawking, 28 Feb. 2015
This great movie and also great story deserve the praise; and Eddie Redmayne has earned his Oscar. Stephen Hawking's book "A brief history of time" which featured in the film and which was based on much of his work at Cambridge popularised science and made it approachable for the masses in the late eighties and early nineties - in time for the rise of the computers. Suitably inspired by my copy of "A brief history.." I went to see Stephen Hawking at a sell-out lecture in central London in 1995 attended by several thousand people. The talk was delivered by an unfazed Stephen Hawking from a wheelchair using his well known voice synthesiser and though he was "talking" about ground-breaking theoretical physics, the Big Bang, Black Holes and the Universe in general his sense of fun and mischief kept the audience entertained throughout. This mischievous character of Stephen Hawking was conveyed very much by Eddie Redmayne as he played the wheelchair bound Hawking.
Twenty years on this movie was great to see to learn more about the great man and family. Jane Wilde his first wife took much of the burden of taking care of him upon herself and the movie is based on her work. Since they met at Oxford just before Hawking's condition was diagnosed and were together 30 years her book gives much insight into the important moments in their lives including being the parents of three children.
Thoroughly recommended.


You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes
You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes
by Chris Hadfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Hadfield's view on the world, 19 Feb. 2015
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Marvellous book by a down to earth astronaut. The book is full of amazing photographs and images of our world.


Station 43: Audley End House and SOE's Polish Section
Station 43: Audley End House and SOE's Polish Section
by Ian Valentine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the Polish Secion of SOE in WW2., 3 Feb. 2015
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This is the little known story of the Polish section of SOE. Several hundred Poles were trained and parachuted into German occupied Poland during the war. They became known as the "Cicho Ciemni" the Silent & Unseen who performed acts of sabotage and resistance against the Germans while struggling against all the odds.

When the Soviets entered Poland SOE operatives became hunted by the NKVD no less than they had been by the Gestapo.


Gruesome Harvest: The Allied Attempt To Exterminate Germany After 1945
Gruesome Harvest: The Allied Attempt To Exterminate Germany After 1945
by Ralph Franklin Keeling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Book that includes Knowledge Missing from the Accepted Narrative of History, 3 Feb. 2015
This book should be necessary reading in schools to balance out all the anti-German education children receive there. That is not to say that Germans 1939 - 1945 are were responsible for many heinous things however if what is in this book as laid out by the Potsdam accord and the Morgenthau plan is the peace impossed on Germany then there certainly should be a rethink of what is taught in schools at this is totally missing,

We do have the Holocaust narrative which tends do dominate much of our knowledge of wartime events. The broader and therefore truer wartime and post-war history of central and eastern-Europe which was a true descent into hell is absent. The tens of millions of Germans and east-Europeans, Poles and Russians have become a brief foot-note to history.


The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering
Price: £7.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Academic Work that looks at the post-war treatment of the of the Holocaust., 28 Jan. 2015
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Excellent academic work that looks behind the scenes of the machinations regarding the post-war legacy of the Holocaust.

It is beyond doubt that survivors of the Holacaust, indeed all survivors of that era should be treated with due deferrence. Norman Finkelstein looks with scrutiny at the organisations which have grown up around one aspect of World War 2 - The Holocaust, the mass murder of the Jews - and questions whether their agenda and the methods they employ against countries or organisations in their cross-hairs is for the benefit of survivors or if there is another agenda.

Additionally Finkelstein highlights the fraud of Holocaust survivor individuals such as Jerzy Kosinski who fabricated and exaggerated supposedly semi-autobiographical experiances during the war in his book "The Painted Bird" with tales of gross mistreatment by East European peasants. He was actually rescued and well treated by a Polish Catholic family at great risk to themselves. This didn't stop his book being used as a history book in some US educational institutions and treated as factual.

I thoroughly recommend this work written by an academic heavyweight who himself is the son of Holocaust survivors who looks at serious distortions of the Holocaust aspect of WW2 where overall some 50 million died.


Armies of the Russo-Polish War 1919-21 (Men-at-Arms 497)
Armies of the Russo-Polish War 1919-21 (Men-at-Arms 497)
by Nigel Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality work from Osprey on the Russo-Polish war of 1919-21., 31 Dec. 2014
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Good quality Osprey work. Includes history, uniforms and events on the Russo-Polish war when Poland almost lost her newly found independence after 123 of occupation and division between three super-powers of the era.


The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II
The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II
by Viktor Suvorov
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.50

5.0 out of 5 stars School history books will need to be re-written., 31 Dec. 2014
The respected writer Viktor Suvorov goes into detail about the strength a deposition of Soviet forces prior to WW2. The reason for this is to provide evidence for the reader to rethink the accepted version of the way history is presented by mainstream history and media sources. The writer has gleaned this information from Russian language sources, many of which were classified or difficult to access or only partially available.

Some points;

1/We are taught that Soviet land forces, air force and tanks were badly organised, badly led and obsolete that is why the Germans were so successful initially with operation Barbarossa. Looking at the specifications of the Soviet tanks it turns out that far from being obsolete they were more powerful, more advanced and substantially more numerous than the Germans. In fact in 1941 the Soviets had more tanks than the rest of the worlds armies combined including 4000 amphibious tanks. There were 30,000 trained glider pilots and some 150,000 trained paratroopers. The Nazi's had about 60 submarines at the start of the war, the Soviets 200. The Soviets had world record breaking heavy bombers, and a massive force of low level attack bombers in place. Suvorov points out that the weapons were offensive in nature - not defensive.

2/We are taught that Stalins purge of the officer corps in the late 30's seriously affected the armies performance. In reality according to the records only a fraction were executed and many after prison returned to the ranks. For example Rokossovsky. many who were purged were of poor quality and the product of a regime keeping its own people down. Stalin needed officers that could lead his army in offensive war.

3/We are taught that Stalin was afraid of Hitler and wanted peace and security for the soviet union. That is why he provided Hitler with masses of raw materials, allowed essential raw materials to bbe shipped from inside the arvtic circle in Sweden to Germany and allowed Romanian oil to be transported to Germany. In reality without the Soviets nod and wink WW2 could not have started.

4/We are taught that the Molotov-Rippentrop pact was a last ditch attempt by the Soviets to preserve their security as the Poles had been unreasonable in allowing them access onto their territory. In fact this pact should be viewed as the Moscow Pact of 1939 to Commence hostilities against Poland. The original plan was for Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to attack together and carve up Poland. What happened was Germany attacked and the attack appeared as an aggression by the Germans only (while the soviets held back). The Germans became the fall guys for the start of WW2. When the German attack in Poland apperaed to be stalling the Soviets walked in "reluctantly" to safeguard their interests - but in reality to also help the Germans keep up their momentum.

5/We are taught that Blitzkrieg was first used by the Germans against Poland; in reality the Soviet General Zhukov destroyed a Japanese army in August 1939 using these tactics - which were kept quiet by Moscow to keep the Soviet military capabilities secret. The victory was not mentioned.

These are just a few of the points that turn accepted history on its head. The conclusion that can be inferred from Suvorov's research is that Stalin had the Soviet Union on a war footing or near awar fooring from the late 30's -not for the purposes of defence- and had amassed a force to attack europe when an opportune moment presented itself - and that moment according to Suvorov was sometime in late 1941. Furthermore Stalin's early support for Hitler, far from being a sign of weakness was a clear example of Stalins "Modus Operandi". Use your "friends" to destroy your enemies then destroy your "friends". Hitler was to wage war against Europe with Stalins approval then Stalin was going to stab him in the back and roll on all through Europe. This is something that Stalin did with his own staff and generals.

The English Chanel meant that the Germans paused earlier than expected, (The moment to attack in the German rear would have been when they would have been tied up with the invasion of England) and then actually started winding down their war machine - but realised something was afoot when Stalin partially took over eastern Romania and positioned himself a days drive from the German oil supplies - hence operation Barbarossa.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2015 10:53 PM GMT


Quo Vadis [Blu-ray] [1951] [Region Free]
Quo Vadis [Blu-ray] [1951] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Robert Taylor
Price: £7.10

5.0 out of 5 stars The Blockbuster that Preceeded the other Blockbusters., 24 Nov. 2014
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This is the first big screen historical Hollywood blockbuster, the succes of which gave rise to films like "The Robe" with Richard Burton, "Cleopatra" with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston and "Ben-Hur" again with Charlton Heston.

The Polish American Noble prize winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz's historical epic "Quo Vadis" is lavishly brought to the big screen. Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr's romance dominates the screen while the great Peter Ustinov hams it up as the crazy lyre fiddling Emperor Nero who burns Rome and then Christians.

A classic film of the clash of Christianity with Imperial Rome.

Quo Vadis


Enigma: The Battle For The Code (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
Enigma: The Battle For The Code (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
Price: £4.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Enigma., 17 Nov. 2014
The effort to break Enigma spanned a decade involved many individuals and is covered here in much better detail some other work.

The true story of Enigma at first top secret, then the stuff of legend has the habit of going through some changes. Robert Harris's "Enigma" and Hollywoods "U-571" and most recently "The Imitation Game" all make for good entertainment, but the real story seems to continue to be elusive.


Alan Turing: The Enigma
Alan Turing: The Enigma
Price: £6.40

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, More to the Story., 15 Nov. 2014
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Interesting book and a fine film in "The Imitation Game". While the book reflects the true story the film upon which it is based sadly misses out nearly ten years of crucial work by others, including dozens of crypto-analysts employed at Bletchley Park that complemented and predated Turings.

The Poles initially got their hands on a commercial Enigma machine when a suspicious package meant for the German embassy turned up in Warsaw in 1928. The flustered Germans asked for the return of the errant parcel and the Poles obliged, but not before suspicions raised, they examined the contents. Realising that they had their hands on a coding machine they got their Cypher Bureau involved. The Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rózycki and Henryk Zygalski with help from French intelligence set about decoding the Enigma codes and broke the codes mathematically in 1932. They built reproduction machines - including the one that ended up in Turings hands in Bletchley Park and constructed the "Cypher Bombe" a form of primitive electro-mechanical automated number cruncher to help with the code-breaking and upon which Turing based his "Christopher" machine.

The film portrays Turing as the central character and mastermind behind the breaking of the code with his "Christopher" machine. In reality the system and code was broken from the nearly the outset thanks to the Poles and French. Although Enigma was regularly upgraded by the Germans and also had several versions (naval and air force)to make code breaking beyond the Poles' resources. It was at this point in July 1939 that the British became involved and let the British in on the Enigma secret.

While the film makes for a great movie this is due to much of the liberty the film makers have taken with the true story. The book is more factual and has much content of the maths and technical detail. Thus the story in film is less about Enigma or the war, but about Turing battling against a 1940's and 1950's view of what is socially acceptable.


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