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Reviews Written by
Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK)
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Sherlock Holmes and the Chinese Junk Affair and Other Stories
Sherlock Holmes and the Chinese Junk Affair and Other Stories
Price: £2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 21 April 2016
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I am afraid this Holmes pastiche bored me fairly quickly, it just seemed fairly obvious what had happened, and the writing didn't hold enough interest for me.


Britain and the EU: In or Out?
Britain and the EU: In or Out?
Price: £0.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Necessary reading for the historical background, 21 April 2016
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Worth reading as it details clearly why we're better off in than out, but some of the articles now have a historic rather than contemporary relevance.


Target London: Under attack from the V-weapons during WWII
Target London: Under attack from the V-weapons during WWII
by Christy Campbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, detailed study of the intelligence war over the V-weapons, 21 April 2016
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This is a good and very detailed look at the V-weapon attacks on London (and Antwerp) in 1944-45. It however, important ot be clear what this book is not. It is not a social history of the attacks. In fact for Christy Campbell the real war is not the missiles exploding on London, but the battle of the competing intelligence groups and communities first to make sense of what the Germans were doing, and then to devise counters to the threat.

Fro me this rendered it slightly dry - as if the world outside the Whitehall committee rooms, Bletchley Park, or the photo interpreters at Medmenham is not there. I came to this book immediately after reading Juliet Gardiner's The Blitz - which is a book which very much does takes as its focus the voices of the public.

To be fair to Campbell his book is very strong on what it does, and he does well with the German infighting too. He has taken this route because there already exist books which have covered the impact of the V1 & 2 on the people of London, so I understand why he focused on the backroom war.

I suspect that part of the fault - if fault there be - is the publisher's understandable desire to sell the book, but in that sense the title doesn't do the book complete justice - as it really about the intelligence war over the V-weapons.

So, a good book, but for me slightly unbalanced in its focus. I wanted more from the AA crews defending London, more from the ARPs and the rescue squads more from the fighter squadrons deployed in anti-V-weapon operations.


Siegfried: The Nazis' Last Stand
Siegfried: The Nazis' Last Stand
Price: £2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Spells out how dreadful it was - but his wider judgements are often simply wrong, 5 April 2016
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A rehash of his earlier book in the Huertgen Forest battles and similar caveats apply.

As a book that gets you into the 'green hell of Huertgen' - a terrible draining series of battles that is largely unknown by many British readers, this book works. However, as others have pointed out, when it comes to strategy or analysis then this book fails badly, You simply can't take his judgements on Patton, Bradley, Monty, Eisenhower a face value.

To give just one howling schoolboy error, he cites Bradley's decision to back Patton's southern thrust (after the end of the Battle of the Bulge) in Jan/Feb 1945 - as having allowed the Russians to move further west and thus condemning many East Europeans to years of misery and occupation and communist domination.

It's a powerful and emotive clam - but it is complete rubbish. The post-war division of Germany between East and West already been decided upon months before - in September 1944 in London, check out the London Protocol.

This agreement was then merely ratified at Yalta and then at Potsdam.

In other words, the linkage between whether in early 1945 Eisenhower's forces took a Northern approach under Monty or a Southern one under Patton - in terms of saving more of Eastern/Central Europe of Soviet domination - is nonsense.

The political deal had already been done, and Whiting as a historian should have known this. Indeed, as we know, Patton's 3rd US Army would reach western Czechoslovakia - only to have to give it up again as per the Allied agreements. So Whiting's argument is nonsense.

So that's to labour the downside. If you can ignore his errors though, then this is worth looking at for its description of the sheer misery of that winter of 44/45, and it is worth reading - so long as you can pick it up cheap. But be warned the kindle edition has no maps.


The Battle of Hurtgen Forest
The Battle of Hurtgen Forest
Price: £2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars OK at tactical level, but makes howlers at strategic level, 5 April 2016
As a book that gets you into the 'green hell of Huertgen' - a terrible draining series of battles that is largely unknown by many British readers, this book works. However, as others have pointed out, when it comes to strategy or analysis then this book fails badly, You simply can't take his judgements on Patton, Bradley, Monty, Eisenhower a face value.

To give just one howling schoolboy error, he cites Bradley's decision to back Patton's southern thrust (after the end of the Battle of the Bulge) in Jan/Feb 1945 - as having allowed the Russians to move further west and thus condemning many East Europeans to years of misery and occupation and communist domination.

It's a powerful and emotive clam - but it is complete rubbish. The post-war division of Germany between East and West already been decided upon months before - in September 1944 in London, check out the London Protocol.

This agreement was then merely ratified at Yalta and then at Potsdam.

In other words, the linkage between whether in early 1945 Eisenhower's forces took a Northern approach under Monty or a Southern one under Patton - in terms of saving more of Eastern/Central Europe of Soviet domination - is nonsense.

The political deal had already been done, and Whiting as a historian should have known this. Indeed, as we know, Patton's 3rd US Army would reach western Czechoslovakia - only to have to give it up again as per the Allied agreements. So Whiting's argument is nonsense.

So that's to labour the downside. If you can ignore his errors though, then this is worth looking at for its description of the sheer misery of that winter of 44/45, and it is worth reading - so long as you can pick it up cheap. But be warned the kindle edition has no maps.


50mm EU Referendum Badge
50mm EU Referendum Badge
Offered by LJ's Partnership
Price: £1.40

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great badge, 17 Mar. 2016
Great badge, good production, easy to use - what more could one want? and it irritates the 'outers'.


59mm EU Referendum Brexit Badge
59mm EU Referendum Brexit Badge
Offered by LJ's Partnership
Price: £2.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent badge, 17 Mar. 2016
Excellent badge, does the job


The Myth of German Villainy
The Myth of German Villainy
Price: £2.99

6 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish pretending to be history, 23 Feb. 2016
Revisionist nonsense and myth-peddling. You know the kind of book it will be - there are much better books on Germany 1933-45 out there - don't waste your time with this one.


Highwayman: Ironside
Highwayman: Ironside
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dashing highwayman romp in Cromwell's England, 13 Jan. 2016
A highwayman romp - it is well enough written - and I like the attention to historicval details and the rule of the Major Generals in the 1650s, but to be honest not much happened. It felt like the prologue to the real action. It reminded me of that 1950s swashbuckler, The Moonraker, with George Baker, Sylvia Syms and John Le Mesurier. There are fights - but nobody gets shot or hurt. I wasn't really sure where the author was going with this and I got the feeling that he wasn't sure either.


Warrior in Bronze (Agamemnon Book 1)
Warrior in Bronze (Agamemnon Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great evocation of the Iliad's antihero, 26 Nov. 2015
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Years ago I read his Imperial Governor and had thought it one of the best fictional views of Roman Britain I'd read, so I was glad this is now in ebook form - and I wasn't disappointed.

I love his hard-edged approach.
Shipway always took the view that his characters needed to be true to their era, rather than follow our own views and mores. But having an anti-hero as your main protagonist can be a tricky job. You need to make sure your audience understand that you as the novelist are distancing the novel from the views of your anti-hero (you don't want your audience mistake his Bronze Age views for your own.....) On which note I see the publisher has put an LGBT warning at the front of the book. I understand why but I don't think it is strictly necessary, as I feel that people who read this are going to be able to work these things out for themselves.

To the novel. I loved it. Think of a Bronze Age Flashman - but more cynical and ruthless. And let's face it, when it comes to the Trojan War, what more anti-heroic character could you ask for than Agamemnon.

Shipway deploys considerable scholarship and it's clear he is familiar with the results of Carl Blegen's excavations at Troy (which had been published as Troy and the Trojans in 1963), as well as the wider archaeology of Mycenaean Greece itself.

Of course, once you've read this, you are going to want to read the sequel! King in Splendour (Agamemnon Book 2)


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