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The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918 (Modern Wars)
The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918 (Modern Wars)
by Holger H. Herwig
Edition: Paperback
Price: 24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book about Germany and the Habsburg Empire in WW1, 19 Jun 2014
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Professor Herwig's study of Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I has long been recognized as the best book in any language on the subject, by revising and updating his original work he has ensured that his book will remain indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the actions and the experiences of those two powers in the war.
Indeed, this book is the last edition of a book first published on 1997, that has remained unmatched since then, this new edition includes new material on the domestic front, covering Austria-Hungary's internal political frictions and ethnic fissures and more on Austria-Hungary and Germany's position within the wider geopolitical framework.
This book begins examining how every power got involved in the war, and which war plan was prepared by them. The book , then follows the development of the conflict, with special attention to the main battles: Tannenberg, the Marne, Gallipoli, Western Front on 1915, Verdun, the Somme, Lutsk, Romania, U-boot warfare, the Nivelle Offensive, Caporetto, Operation Michael.
Three chapters of this wonderful book are dedicated to examine the effects of the total war imposed to the Central Powers .
The book is full of first hand accounts and of detailed maps; no important aspect of this terrible war is missing.
As the famous historian Hew Strachan says : " If you read one book in order to learn about the performance of the Central Powers in the war, this is it" !

The Marne, 1914
The Marne, 1914
by Holger H. Herwig
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great research book about a fundamental battle, 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Marne, 1914 (Paperback)
The book begins examining the reasons to go to war,above all for Germany and the Absburg Empire, then analyzing the war plans of all the powers involved in this world war, including even a lot of "what if"s.
The author, then, follows the development of this huge conflict , on the Western Front, until the end of the battle of the Marne, analyzing, even on this case, a lot of very interesting "what if"s .
I don't want that from these words you can think that this is just a cold detailed research book about a battle, because, instead this book is full of first hand accounts coming from a lot of war diaries written by soldiers belogning to all the possible ranks, from private to general.
Even if this book is based mainly on german sources, this book is not onesided, indeed it includes even a complete list and description of the german crimes committed in Belgium, in thev first months of war.
The author thinks that this battle is the most important of the century because if the Germans had won it, it would not have happened the birth of the Nazism (the treaty of Versailles would not have existed) and of the Comunism ( winning at the Marne, the Germans would have defeated France, and so consequently even Russia, being, on this case , a nonsense to help Lenin to reach Russia).
The maps are excellent and for sure much better than many others found in other book about WWI.
A great research book with a great soul.

Japan's Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945 (Modern War Studies)
Japan's Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945 (Modern War Studies)
by Edward J. Drea
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 27.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know about the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), 5 Jun 2014
I could begin this review saying that reading this book you will be able to understand why Japan has been able to win the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the Russo - Japanese War (1904-05) and to lose WWII, but this book gives you much more , indeed it gives the IJA's most complete history that you can possibli find.
The author explaines how happened the transition from the samurai's time to the imperial army, he gives you a complete account of all the rebellions and the attempted coups happened in the Japan's history since 1853.
At the same time the author follows the IJA's technogical and tactical evolutions.
He explaines how Japan got involved in the first Sino-Japanese War and how he won it, then he follows the birth and the development of the causes of the Russian-Japanese War and he shows all the problems and the failures met by the IJA before to effectively win this conflict.
Then coming near to WWII, he is able to show how the IJA and the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) were not able to agree which would have been to be considered the next Japan's "true" enemy, indeed the IJA was thinking about Soviet Union, and the IJN was thinking about the USA, and because of the fact that in Japan it had never existed a political or militar control about both IJA and IJN, this question has never been solved , bringing to the absurd situation that both of them wanted an huge budget to fight, each, their own "true" enemy.
So, Japan has been able to unify, even before the WWII's beginning in Europe, two groups very different groups of nations, as Soviet Union and USA and the British Empire, in an undeclared coalition against itself, when Japan began the long war against China (1931-1945).
The book is full of first hand accounts, because of the author's access to a lot of diaries; the maps are detailed and relevant.
The author brings to the discovery of an entire world, with its traditions, legends and myths.
Very, very interesting and charming.

Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944 (Modern War Studies)
Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944 (Modern War Studies)
by David M. Glantz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 32.12

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Glantz's masterpiece about a little known Soviet offensive on 1944, 26 May 2014
Who knows David Glantz , knows already which kind of marvellous books , he is getting used to write, for who doesn't know him, I can say that this book is a complete research book based on both sides of the story, absolutely fully documented and based on first hand accounts.
The story is about the failed Soviet invasion of Romania (and of the Balkans) on Spring 1944.
The Soviets were coming after 9 months of continuos successful offensives (after the battle of Kursk) and they were thinking to be unstoppable, so the Stavka chose the 2nd and the 3rd Ukrainian Fronts to invade Romania and after, all the Balkans.
Instead , they failed with huge losses.
As usual , the history is written by the winners and this offensive has been cancelled in the "official history", and as usual, David Glantz, using a lot of unknown diaries and documents, reconstruct the real development of the actions of both sides, writing another page of true deep history.

Mad Catastrophe
Mad Catastrophe
by Geoffrey Wawro
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding research book fitted with awful maps, 8 May 2014
This review is from: Mad Catastrophe (Hardcover)
The book is a very deep one , it begins from the end of the Austro-Prussian war (1866) and it follows the Austria-Hungary's history until theWWI's first winter (1914-15).
The author doesn't tell you just about a long list of wars (Austro-Prussian War , 1866; Russia and Rumania against the Ottoman Empire, 1878; First Balcanic War , 1911-12; Second Balcanic War ,1912-13; prelude to WWI and first winter of war , 1914-15), but he brings you inside the political and social life of the Habsburg Empire, to make you understand the reason to fight WWI ( from their point of view ) and the reasons why the Habsburg Empire's troops performed so badly during the war, so badly to become completely dependent from the help of the German troops.
The book is full of first hand accounts that make you feel and understand how the life was inside the Habsburg Empire.
Now let's talk about the dark side of this book at least for me: the maps are awful, because to illustrate the main austrian offensives during WWI you will see a map with no frontline or direction of movement shown . In our times this is absolutely impossible to see in a history book.
What a pity! This book could have been a five-stars work but the awful maps present here cost two stars to him.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 1:25 AM BST

Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy 1887-1941
Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy 1887-1941
by David C. Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful complete masterpiece, 16 April 2014
This book tells you the history of the Imperial Japanese Navy since her birth on 1887 until the beginning of WWII on 1941.
It describes the evolution of the strategy, the tactics and the technologies of the Imperial Japanese Navy, from this book you will be able to understand how a small nation as Japan on 1894 and on 1904 has been able to defeat two huge empires as China and Russia and how Japan , become an empire, has been able to throw himself into an unwinnable war against a huge coalition, failing completely to appreciate the real situation.
Personally I was shocked to understand that until the real beginning of WWII on the Pacific Front, the Japanese Army considered the Soviet Union as the true enemy of the Japan and Siberia as the next target for the enlargement of the Japanese empire, while the Japanese Navy saw the South-East Asia as the "eldorado" for Japan.
Here you will have a complete description of all the ships and weapon built and even the ones just planned but not built because of the Treaty of Washington.
Wonderful, complete, absolutely clarifying.
A masterpiece.

War Plan Orange: The US Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945
War Plan Orange: The US Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945
by Edward S. Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully revealing book, 16 April 2014
This book reaveals step by step the US Navy's strategy to defend the USA from every foreign naval menace , following all its evolution since 1897 until the end of WWII on 1945.
For every enemy the US Navy prepared a war plan identified by a color (Black: Imperial Germany; Red: the United Kingdom; Orange: Japan); this book examines only the war plans dedicated against Japan, that's the reason for the title's book; because , in spite of the good relationships existing between USA and Japan at least until the end of WWI, since the end of the Russian - Japanese war (1904-05) Japan had been identified as a powerful nation of warriors, whose ambitions were not so clear and so potentially Dangerous, being even the only one , whose navy wasconcentrated in the Pacific Ocean.
The book is absolutely complete, giving the day by day evolution of the US Navy's strategy; he gives a detailed description of all the most powerful officers and admirals and thier influence on the changes of strategy that happened year by year.
Wonderful ! For all the people interested how and why the US Navy behaved during WWII.

Korsun Pocket
Korsun Pocket
by Niklas Zetterling & Anders Frankson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book about the Stalingrad on the Dnepr, 15 April 2014
This review is from: Korsun Pocket (Paperback)
For a wargamer like that was very passionated about a old board game named "Korsun Pocket- a little Stalingrad on the Dnepr", this was a very interesting book because of its subject.
It tells the history of the second big envelopment , in order of time, of German forces by the Soviet troops, during WWII. It happened at the end of January 1944 ,near the banks of the river Dnepr, and it ended differently, just because near that area there were about ten panzer divisions, that were ready to intervene , inspite of the thaw that made very difficult the rescue of the surrounded troops.
This battle involved three Soviet Tank Armies and two German Panzer Korps, including the famous 1st SS Pz Division and some Soviet Guards Corps, the two sides used their newest tanks as "Josef Stalin II" and "Tiger" and "Elefant".
This is the typical book written by Mr Zetterling, I mean that is full of technical data and not so full of first hand accounts about the development of the battle. The maps are clear and detailed.
Anyway it is a good interesting book about this battle, for all the people interested about the WWII on the Eastern Front.

Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness
Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness
by Niklas Zetterling
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete order of battle of the Wehrmacht /SS/ Luftwaffe in Normandy and much much more., 15 April 2014
This book gives you the complete order of battle of the German ground forces in Normandy.
Every independent ground (Wehrmacht, SS, Luftwaffe) battalion, brigade, division is analyzed; the author, using a huge amount of official sources, the author is able to write a brief history of the unit; the available number of men, vehicles, tanks, guns, horses; the date of arrival in Normandy and all of this for almost every unit described.
Another important asset of this book is a detailed analysis of all the weapons and the tanks used by the german ground forces in Normandy,
The author is able even to give an estimate of the total losses of the German forces, and even a detailed one for every single unit described .
A part of the book is dedicated to a deep evaluation of the effect of the Allied Airforces, in the fightings in Normandy and on the movements of the German forces towards Normandy.
If you are interested about the composition of the forces, the technonogies and the weapons used by the German forces in Normandy, you really can't miss this book.

Gray Tide in the East
Gray Tide in the East
by Andrew J Heller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A consistent "what if " book about WW1, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Gray Tide in the East (Paperback)
This book is about what could have happened if , at the beginning of WW1, Germany had decided not to attack Belgium.
This is not a silly question, because , as described in the book, truly, at the least possible moment, the Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered to the troops not to cross the Belgian border, but in the reality, he changed his mind and he withdrew that order after a tough confrontation with the German Chief of Staff General Moltke.
Instead this book explore what could have happened if the Kaiser didn't change his mind: simply Great Britain would have not been able to declare war on Germany and the Triple Alliance (Germany, the Absburg Empire and Italy) would have won the war.
I agree completely with the contents of this book and I liked very much even the author's style.
I tell you more: I would have given the fifth star if the book had been a little bit longer; personally I think that every chapter is an abstract of cwhat could have been a wonderful book.
Anyway the book is original and very interesting.

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