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munster8 (Cumbria UK)

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Red Tape Glaven, Men's Ankle Boots, Brown (Brown), 12 UK (46 EU)
Red Tape Glaven, Men's Ankle Boots, Brown (Brown), 12 UK (46 EU)
Price: £30.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money, 5 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Much paler than in the photos but with judicious use of a darker polish I am much happier with their look. Fit is OK - they are a little long, but spot on for width, so overall I am happy. These represent great value for money and I would happily recommend them to others - sound construction, comfortable out of the box and polish up nicely!


Hell's Gate: The Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket, January-February 1944
Hell's Gate: The Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket, January-February 1944
by Douglas E. Nash
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars What the book says = 5 stars; but a lack of maps and poor editing drag it down to 3, 15 April 2015
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I have become more interested in the Eastern Front in WW2 of late and, having had my interest piqued by some Internet articles on the battle, thought that this book would be worth investigating. It is a physically impressive book in hardback, a 'coffee table' book which packs in a wealth of photos and some useful maps in its nearly 400 pages. Many of the photos are portrait shots of (mainly but not exclusively) officers mentioned in the text, but the more interesting ones for me were the shots of the soldiers in action. These illustrate well the difficult conditions both sides faced, as well as telling some fascinating visual stories - particularly striking were the photos of German soldiers probing for mines with sticks (which also brought to mind images of British soldiers doing the same in Helmand!) and of 4 Germans positioning their Pak 40 behind the only cover they can find on the frozen step - a small, leafless bush!
The text itself tells the story of the battle in a generally engaging style. It is largely from the German perspective and is very detailed - Nash has clearly done masses of research - but as a result it sometimes can be a little overwhelming. However, this is a small price to pay for the thoroughness with which Nash covers events, and overall I found this a much more immersive read than Nipe's similarly comprehensive 'Last Victory in Russia', and one which sustained my interest more readily. Nash's desire to cover everything can sometimes be a little confusing, and he can occasionally be a little inconsistent in some of his details, but ultimately what emerges is a fascinating and comprehensive account of the battle.
Despite this, there are two frustrating drawbacks. Firstly, the maps, or rather the lack of them. The ones that are included are sound and give a broad brush strokes overview, but there are not enough of them, nor do they feature all of the places mentioned in the text, making forming a mental picture of the battle lines a 'guess-timate' exercise. Given that the battles for these small villages and towns were crucial in the formation of the pocket, it is a shame that more maps showing their location, the movement of the troops and direction of attacks are not included.
Secondly, the book would have benefitted substantially from better proof-reading. Too often the flow of the narrative is disrupted by a typo or by poor grammar/punctuation. Again, this is a shame as it detracts from what is otherwise a very good book.
I am glad I bought the book? Overall, yes, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the Eastern Front in general or the Cherkassey Pocket in particular. It is just that with a little bit more thought and effort from the publisher the story would have got the presentation it deserved.


Princess Bride (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray]
Princess Bride (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Cary Elwes
Offered by RevisionNet
Price: £22.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die., 15 Nov. 2013
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Just one outstanding and memorable line of dialogue from a film that is a joy to watch again and again and again. I first saw this film when it was released in 1988 or '89 only because we had missed the start of another film and never have I had a happier accident. This is one of those rare films that adults and children can watch together and get equal pleasure from. It is a simple fairy story elevated by its humour, razor-sharp dialogue, and willingness to subvert the genre. Above all, it is a great story wonderfully told. It is also worth remembering that long before he worked on The Lord of the Rings, Bob Anderson choreographed the hilarious yet intricate duel between Wesley and Inigo -a sign that there is real quality in this film. Is there a chance you will not enjoy this film? Inconceivable!


Hitler's Last Gamble: Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 to January 1945
Hitler's Last Gamble: Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 to January 1945
by Trevor N. Dupuy
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, if dry, account with a wealth of TO&E information, 11 Oct. 2013
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The account of the battle itself is perfectly satisfactory, if a little dry at times. I still prefer Charles B MacDonald's more immersive account, not least because it does not shy away at times from painting a less robust picture of American command during the battle (witness the very different treatment of the commander of the 14th Cavalry in either book). However, where this book really stands out is in the wealth of information about the armies involved in the battle - everything from unit organisations and strengths to type of equipment to combat losses. This book also offers some interesting analyses of certain Bulge 'controversies', such as the relative quality of either side's soldiers, the role of Pieper in the Malmedy massacre and the performance of the opposing commanders. Not sure I fully agree with all of its conclusions, particularly the rather grudging acknowledgement of Montgomery's role (although the latter is rightly castigated for his self-serving pronouncements during the campaign). Also, the praise of Bradley and Hodges is a bit too fulsome for my tastes (in this regard I find Max Hastings to be a more convincing read), but overall this is a worthy addition to a Bulge aficionado's library.


Battle of the Bulge 1944 (1) - St Vith and the Northern Shoulder: Battle of the Bulge Pt. 1 (Campaign 115)
Battle of the Bulge 1944 (1) - St Vith and the Northern Shoulder: Battle of the Bulge Pt. 1 (Campaign 115)
Price: £1.15

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good book ruined by Kindle format, 30 Aug. 2013
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The book itself is fine in terms of content and quality of writing. However, one of, if not the, key attractions of this series by Osprey are the double-page map spreads summarising key actions. In the Kindle format, these maps have been chopped up, so that you can only view segments of the whole. Not only does this remove a key feature (the overview), but the text and the sections of the map they refer to are often on different segments, requiring much disruptive switching back and forth. I cannot recommend this format - buy it in hard copy if you value the maps. I wish I had.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2014 1:04 PM BST


Albion: The Last Companion
Albion: The Last Companion
by Patrick McCormack
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling vision of Arthurian Britsin, 26 Dec. 2012
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It is a travesty that these books have not come to the attention of a wider audience. McCormack eschews many of the familiar trappings of the Arthurian story whilst retaining certain key ingredients and in doing so creates a believable setting of a decaying post-Roman Britain sliding inexorably into extinction, it's one hope lost at Camlann. A cracking story and a refreshing take on the Arthur mythos. The third book - The Lame Dancer - was sadly never published but is available as a free pdf download. All three in the series are highly recommended!


The Dark Knight Rises [2012] [Region Free]
The Dark Knight Rises [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to Nolan's Batman story, 26 Dec. 2012
At first viewing, I thought the movie good but overshadowed by (and a lot slower than) The Dark Knight and the Joker. However, The Dark Knight Rises grows in stature with repeat viewing, and brings new depth to both the Batman story envisioned by Nolan and to the characters themselves. Whilst the second movie is for me the most completely realised story, the third is not that far behind.


Company Commander
Company Commander
by Russell Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in leadership, 2 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Company Commander (Paperback)
A compelling account of leadership in the harshest of circumstances. Not surprisingly, the author does not look at the wider context of the 'war on terror' but rather focuse on the reality of what that phrase means on the ground in Helmand. I found his reflections on what he understood leadership to be and involve most interesting, and this willingness to critically self-evaluate lifts this book beyond being simply about conflict and making it of relevance to anyone wishing to develop their own leadership capacity. The author drives home the responsibility attendant upon the exercise of leadership, and the sense of isolation that this can impose, but another (for me at least) crucial lesson to be learnt from this account is how important compassion and a sense of care for others is in exercising leadership. Recommended to anyone interested both in the reality of warfare in Afghanistan and in the exercise of leadership.


No True Glory: Fallujah and the Struggle in Iraq: A Frontline Account
No True Glory: Fallujah and the Struggle in Iraq: A Frontline Account
Price: £17.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating mix of frontline action and politics, 20 July 2012
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I got this knowing very little of the events of and surrounding the fighting in Fallujah and West's book has more than corrected the gaps in my knowledge. As an ex-Marine, he clearly has an affinity for the troops he writes about, and the book is probably at its best when he is describing the combat experiences of the soldiers. However, West does not neglect the political context, as he also conveys the disconnect between the multiple and at times conflicting political interest groups involved, both back in the USA as well as in Iraq. A few maps would have been useful to get a sense of the geography (Google Maps came in handy), but otherwise this comes highly recommended.


The Town [DVD] [2010]
The Town [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good film indeed - but 'Heat' still rules the roost!, 14 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Town [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
'The Town' is a very good film indeed (and it does make you wonder what Affleck was up to for so many years). It is well-paced, has a compelling story and excellent characters. There are many similarities to 'Heat': a suitably ambiguous bad guy (one scene romancing his girlfriend and the next brutally beating up someone he believes has threatened her) wanting to get out but commited to one last job, an unsuspecting girlfriend, a driven cop determined to bring Affleck and his crew to justice and not to fussy about some of the methods he uses, not to mention the shootouts. However, 'The Town' is not just 'Heat-lite' and tells its own story well and convincingly. For me though, Heat still regins as THE heist movie, for its scale and scope, its artistry, the outstanding performances from the cast (although Renner and Affleck are really not far behind)and the epic shootout (any film where Andy McNab is credited as an advisor is always goiong to impress on the realism/accuracy front). Well worth the money.


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