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N. Clarke "genco1901" (Birmingham, England)
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Eastern Approaches (Penguin World War II Collection)
Eastern Approaches (Penguin World War II Collection)
Price: £5.03

1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon's customer service is garbage., 25 July 2015
Despite clear indications to the contrary and a correctly-functioning Kindle, this content would not download even after repeated attempts. I have requested a refund and will dispose of the Kindle forthwith, before buying a paper copy of this classic book - made of error-free paper. Amazon's customer service is garbage.


High Season In Nice
High Season In Nice
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Academic? Not a bit of it..., 7 Mar. 2014
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At first glance this looks like an academic retrospective of Nice's contribution to riviera tourism, but it is simply astonishing; far from a bone-dry treatise this is a lively, snappy and funny review of Nice's growth from an isolated hilltop village on the coast of the Kingdom of Savoy, to its eventual inclusion in modern France, its patronage by English and Russian aristocracy, and finally its resurgence as the modern capital of the Riviera, a place that is not quite French and not entirely Italian, but exudes a special quality of its own. The story charts the rise and fall of the great hotels, the part the city played in two world wars, its quasi-feudal status under the dubious mayoral leadership of Jean and Jacques Medicin, and after the latter's departure, how it cleaned up its image in time to cope with a new influx of sun-seekers. If you're on the way there read this and it will all fall into place.


The Nazi Occult (Dark Osprey Book 1)
The Nazi Occult (Dark Osprey Book 1)
Price: £4.83

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird science, 28 Jan. 2014
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The occult history of the Third Reich underpinned many aspects of its belief system, and was ultimately culpable in the persecution - and extermination - of millions. While the more esoteric aspects of this history are rooted in hard facts, the internet is full of frankly bonkers theories about UFOs, werewolves and armies of zombie soldiers. Thankfully, this book does not reinforce the appalling revisionist history that surrounds Nazi science, and adds a healthy dose of fantastical speculation to ensure that we are reading fiction, mixed with some fairly unpalatable facts about the regime's obsession with eugenics, racial profiling and all the rest of the theories that have been consigned to the dustbin of history. This is an energetic and entertaining read, and my only criticism is that it doesn't go far enough in implicating the role of Himmler's occult obsession with the holocaust. There is one story missing from the book that would help to rebalance this: the alleged disappearance of a Gestapo agent in the genizah of Prague's Old-New Synagogue while investigating the legend of the Golem. What a righteous conclusion that would have been.


GENUINE CZECH/RUSSIAN ARMY OFFICER DOCUMENT MAP MESSENGER BAG
GENUINE CZECH/RUSSIAN ARMY OFFICER DOCUMENT MAP MESSENGER BAG

4.0 out of 5 stars Cold War Stalwart, 16 Dec. 2013
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Showing a bit of proper Cold War dust here and there, these were issued to the East German army and although they look like leather, they are in fact made of robust plastic in a mottled brown textured leatherette. They are not as nice as the Soviet ones, which have better fittings and are made of nicer material, but the inner pouch will hold a tablet and the strap is very robust. Padded map window has a padlock on it - Eastern Bloc armies were paranoid about maps and only officers were issued with them, to be kept under lock and key and away from the prying eyes of the other ranks. Good value and great for carrying administrative gear, although a bit small for a full-size laptop.


The SBS in World War II: An Illustrated History (General Military)
The SBS in World War II: An Illustrated History (General Military)
Price: £0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neglected story of a famous outfit, 10 Dec. 2013
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Compared to its sister regiment which was reinstated after the war and became the modern SAS, the original SBS occupies less space on the bookshelf due to its creation as a subsidiary unit of Special Forces, its postwar disbandment, and its re-establishment as a secretive company, squadron and later service of the Royal Marines. This book deals with the origins of the service as it split from the SAS after David Sterling's capture, and was then re-roled, not always successfully, to raiding duties in the Aegean sea. What is apparent is the exceptional quality of the photos, and the text makes rattling good history - In many instances the reader is left with the distinct impression that these units existed for the purpose of filling the wartime headlines with positive news of derring-do, and glosses over the fact that the units themselves contained many questionable individuals who made calamitous errors of judgement. While honouring the undoubted bravery of this all-volunteer force and its achievements, this book goes a long way towards exploring the senseless waste of lives that came from poor decision making at company level. Unfortunately, Osprey seem to have fallen into a habit of taking their source text from some very peculiar reminiscences and anecdotes, resulting in a lot of typos, spelling inconsistencies and errors in technical terms (often relating to weapons, names and titles of regiments and units, and place names) that mar the reader's experience, and let down the quality of Osprey's recent publications. Nice book but far more research is needed to do this subject justice.


The Men Who Stare At Goats
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Price: £4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, and prescient, 18 Nov. 2013
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Jon Ronson's treatise on psychic spying has been somewhat diluted by its fictional film version, which conflates and dilutes many of the characters and episodes that feature in his original book. What is common to both, however, is the sense of unworldliness that possessed the US Government after 9/11 and the sheer weirdness of the solutions that were sought in order to overcome that challenge. It's just a pity that Ronson, as a talented outsider, can't really construct a linear narrative exposing the darker spin-offs of this weird science; the first half of the book is compelling but the second half consists of conspiracy theories that are only loosely related to the US psychic warfare programme. It is not his fault; a lot of this stuff would be buried far beyond the reach of an ordinary journalist, and the military machine being what it is, the endless buffer of bureaucracy will ensure that the real story is buried for many more years.

Ronson's attempts to patch together an evolutionary history of the "First Earth Battalion" put him at loggerheads with some of the strangest and most egotistical characters that have ever graced the pages of military history: far from being tight-lipped about their "powers" they seem to be on a partial ego trip and delight in drip-feeding tit-bits to journalists. Feted by gun-lobbyists and conspiracy theorists alike, it is scarcely credible that a standing army could have given some of these crackpots the time of day. Yet, damaged by its experiences in Vietnam and crushed by its failure to achieve a decisive victory in the "war on terror", US military policy has taken a number of disturbing turns that are the real source of worry here, beyond the comic opera of spoon-bending parties, goat abuse, and telepathy. Thanks to Ronson's work future generations will look back on these events as the consequences of doctrinal failure, rather than a scientific attempt to evolve military strategy beyond its current limits, which have proven to be all too fallible.


G10 Nylon Nato Watch Strap PAN AFRICA (22mm)
G10 Nylon Nato Watch Strap PAN AFRICA (22mm)
Offered by Monkey Swag
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch, 14 Nov. 2013
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The only problem is that for those of a slender wrist, it's quite long, and could benefit from trimming. It's in the colours of the Rifles so anyone looking for a nice keepsake for a relative who served in the LI/RGJ/D&D/RGBW need look no further!


Blackthorn Knobstick
Blackthorn Knobstick
Offered by Phoenix Walking Sticks
Price: £55.70

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stick, 3 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Blackthorn Knobstick
As each stick is an individual it's a little pointless trying to find fault in an entirely natural product. But this is a solid bit of blackthorn which has been cut and tempered to the right length. Looks smart enough to cut across Hyde Park with, as well as trips to Ireland!


The Navy Seal Workout: The Compete Total-Body Fitness Program: The Complete Total-body Fitness Program
The Navy Seal Workout: The Compete Total-Body Fitness Program: The Complete Total-body Fitness Program
by Mark De Lisle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for upper-body development, 2 Jan. 2008
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As you might expect, Mark De Lisle's book is a little biased towards the physical prejudices of US Navy SEAL teams; think huge biceps, enormous shoulders and the like. It doesn't really cover the finer details of cardiovascular development needed for the selection programmes of other military forces, and the nutritional information looks a bit dodgy (seemingly photocopied from a Department of Defense handout?). However, the advice on stretching and warming-up is excellent - 'never stretch a cold muscle' - and the illustrations are very good, if a little campy. So, if you need to work on those abs after the yuletide turkey has gone the way of the dodo, and be shipshape for summer, I can thoroughly recommend this guide.


The Unit - Season 2 - Complete [DVD]
The Unit - Season 2 - Complete [DVD]
Dvd ~ Scott Foley
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £14.89

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bigger budget brings better sense of perspective to The Unit, 5 Dec. 2007
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Although this reviewer was already very impressed by the quality of the writing and attention to detail of the first series of CBS's 'The Unit', I was pleased to see that the producers had secured a bigger slice of the financial cake to expand the 'world' in which this shadowy outfit operates, allowing for a greater diversity of terrain and characters. Although already on top of their game militarily speaking, the guys - and gals - of the 303rd Logistical Studies Group are at breaking point; Mack's promise to Tiffy that he would not re-enlist becomes a u-turn, and the fall-out has consequences for their children; Bob and Kim face a crisis when he is 'tapped-up' by a government agency; and Colonel Ryan's decision to marry in haste allows him to repent at leisure. On the real battlefield, the action sequences are well-written and, as always, the attention to detail is great. The best of the episodes deals with Bob's attempt to survive after a helicopter crash while reflecting on his experiences during Selection, while the weakest is set in a garden centre that ostensibly passes for Borneo, and unintentional laughs ensue. Hence, the loss of a star; but don't let that put you off - this is thoughful, well-written blokes' telly that also retains an appeal for the ladies.


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