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Reviews Written by
G. B. Dennis "Gordon" (Bristol, UK)
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Hitler's Rocket Soldiers
Hitler's Rocket Soldiers
by Murray Barber and Michael Keuer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 25.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pointless effort, 31 May 2013
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The moral in this story is that for all the effort expended, the effects were pinpricks. And apparently, according to several passage in this book, those at the sharp end were well aware of that.

A interesting book, but some of the accounts are very similar so there is quite a bit of repetition.


Jet Harris: In Spite of Everything
Jet Harris: In Spite of Everything
by Dave Nicolson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opportunities missed, 31 May 2013
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A complex story mixing the triumph and tragedy of Jet Harris - triumph in becoming a founder member of the Shadows, then two No.1's with Tony Meehan; tragedy as the bottle got a grip on him, followed by triumph in later life as he dried out and kicked the booze for good.

It emerges in the book that the saintly Cliff was not all that saintly, having an affair with Jet's first wife. The quotes on this subject from the late Tony Meehan don't pull any punches.

The book is noteworthy for it's essays by various people including musicians, friends and Jet's fourth wife Janet about Jet and their various relationships with him. A very readable book.


Destiny or Chance Revisited: Planets and their Place in the Cosmos
Destiny or Chance Revisited: Planets and their Place in the Cosmos
by Stuart Ross Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chance indeed, 31 May 2013
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A very disappointing book, especially given it's authors impressive credentials. The argument jumps around all over the place, and you get the picture in the end but you really have to work at it. The author is dogmatic in his conclusion that the possibility of extra terrestrial life is zero, but doesn't present an unbiased account of his own assumptions in reaching that conclusion.


Project Terminated
Project Terminated
by Erik Simonsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What if?, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Project Terminated (Hardcover)
A lot of information in here about projects that didn't happen. Of particular interest is the section on the X-20 DynaSoar. There are some interesting insights into Robert Macnamara and his obsession with ICBMs, which lead to the demise amongst other things of the B-70 and the F-108.

Also a very good section on the Canadair CF-105. For British readers, there is a section on the TSR-2 although there is little new here that hasn't been already published elsewhere.

In keeping with the 'what -if' theme of the book, there is some excellent speculative original artwork from the author (e.g. of a CF-105, TSR-2 and B70 flying in formation) and some period photography.


The Race for Hitler's X-Planes: Britain's 1945 Mission To Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology
The Race for Hitler's X-Planes: Britain's 1945 Mission To Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology
by John Christopher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How it was and how it mighthave been, 31 May 2013
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An interesting account centered around the somewhat maverick character of Sir Roy Fedden,one of the foremost engineers the UK produced in the first half of the 20th century. Shows how the Americans plundered the German research on an almost industrial scale and the British attempted to do the same but on a shoestring. Also a good reference book for many German projects, with all the information gathered in a common format in one book.


The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market
The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market
by John Kohl
Edition: Paperback
Price: 26.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 31 May 2013
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This book is packed with helpful information and case studies - invaluable to those communicating technical information in safety-critical situations.


Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher Von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race
Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher Von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race
by Wayne Biddle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly there, but you have to dig for it, 15 Feb 2010
Despite one famous Britsh comentator stating in print that he believes Wernher Von Braun's assurances that he was unaware of slave labour being used in the V2 prgram, this book confirms my long held suspicions that all was not good in Von Braunn's background. He joined the Nazi party before WW2 broke out, not in 1940 as he stated. Not only was he in the SS, he was of relatively high rank (Major). He must at the least have "known" what was going on - he was a very senior manager in the Peenemunde project from it's start until the Nazi capitulation. Von Braun's title of "Professor" was granted by Hitler himself. One French former inmate of the Dora concentration camp is also quoted in the book of being brutally assaulted by Von Braun personally. An innocent bystander he certainly was not. His claim that he was "really only interested in space travel" is exposed as a sham, and given the number of people driven forcibly to death building the V2, it is a monstrous sham.

The book also shows how after the war the US Government turned a very blind eye to the Nazi activities of Von Braun and his boss, General Walter Dornberger. And not just the US government; at least one British learned institution honoured Von Braun in the early 1950s. The book makes clear how Von Brauns charisma, flare for self promotion and showmanship allowed him to exploit not only Hitler and Himmler but also three US Presidents.

Having said that, I found the book difficult to read for one overpowering reason, that is that the footnotes, instead of being more conevntionally simply referring to sources, are in numerous instances whole tracts of texts, often stretching to half a page. A lot of this should be in the main text which would both make the main text more readable and the footnotes easier to use.

I also found the book's sub-title somewhat misleading: "Wernher Von Brown, the Third Reich, and the Space Race". The first two topics are covered in detail but I felt that the third topic was not dealt with nearly as well. Although the book makes clear the US government turned a blind eye, it doesn't make clear that the whole of Operation Paperclip (the project to import the German scientists to the US) was based on flagrant disregard of US immigration law. It also fails to identify the individuals responsible for this (it certainly can't have been just one person), and those reponsible for the continued disinformation in the 1950s and 1960s, although a couple of the photo captions hint at this.

Despite these criticisms, I value this book, and most of what you need to know is there provided you are prepared to dig for it.

Gordon B Dennis


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