ARRAY(0xa655cd80)
 
Profile for Mr. R. J. Roberts > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. R. J. Roberts
Top Reviewer Ranking: 289,361
Helpful Votes: 66

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. R. J. Roberts (U.K.)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
RAF Evaders: The Complete Story of RAF Escapees and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945
RAF Evaders: The Complete Story of RAF Escapees and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945
by Oliver Clutton-Brock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 35.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and very interesting, 24 Sep 2012
I came across this volume in a bookshop and it was immediately a 'must-have'. In 'RAF Evaders', Mr Clutton-Brock provides a very interesting and in-depth account of the stories of thousands of RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RNZAF, free Polish, etc. aircrew who were forced to parachute into - or crash land in - German-ocupied Europe between 1940 and 1945. Over two thousand individual stories are recounted and they are all fascinating. Mr Clutton-Brock conveys very well the challenges faced by airmen who, in the space of a few minutes, have gone from the relative safety of an aircraft to the loneliness of a county under occupation or, in many cases, to being alone on German soil. It's hard to imagine the scale of the challenge faced by aircrew in such circumstances.
Mr Clutton-Brock's book highlights the bravery of the aircrew and also that of the people of the German-occupied countries in Western Europe who helped them; such help being provided despite the grave risk of punishment by the Germans. Mr Clutton-Brock's history also explains how escape lines were penetrated by the Germans, or compromised by traitors (the Sgt Cole story is particularly interesting). Thoroughly recommended.


Operation Barbarossa 1941: Army Group South Pt. 1 (Osprey Campaign)
Operation Barbarossa 1941: Army Group South Pt. 1 (Osprey Campaign)
by Robert Kirchubel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, interesting and insightful, 9 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Traditionally, Western historians have accepted the (German-influenced) view of a victorious Heer stopped at the gates of Moscow by a bitter winter for which it was inadequately prepared. Contrary to that view, this volume demonstrates that, from the first day of the campaign, the Germans were hindered by poor supply, by a lack of mechanization and by indecision at a strategic level. Also highlighted is the resolute defence offered by many Soviet soldiers - a defence which brought Russia the time and space necessary to defend Moscow and launch a destructive counter offensive. Despite the dramatic German victories of the spring and summer of 1942, I took from these three volumes a picture of a Wehrmacht fought to a halt by December 1941; arguably the first 'defeat' experienced by the Heer.
As other reviewers have commented, these volumes are excellent examples of the Osprey 'Campaign' series. They contain a good mix of strategic overview and tactical commentary and, as a result, are an interesting and entertaining read. Recommended.


True Grit [DVD] (2010)
True Grit [DVD] (2010)
Dvd ~ Jeff Bridges
Price: 3.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but almost a frame for frame remake of the original, 10 July 2011
This review is from: True Grit [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Please refer to the title of my review. It says it all! The film is good but it is the same film as the original John Wayne film. This is a remake for people who disdain Wayne and would not like to admit to enjoying his films.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2011 12:41 PM BST


The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time
The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time
by Peter Ackroyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot be read, just dipped into, 14 Mar 2011
I should like to warn prospective readers that the accounts that make up this volume are generally so short as to make it impossible to read the book smoothly. One jerks from one very short story to another. I take it that Mr Ackroyd has reproduced the ghost stories, verbatim, from the original sources; they are generally poorly told and, except in a few cases, not very unsettling and/or scary (and I am, as a rule, easily scared!).


Johnny Red : Falcons First Flight
Johnny Red : Falcons First Flight
by Tom Tully
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic comic story, 29 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I was a boy, three comic stories really gripped my imagination: The Tough of the Track, Charley's War and Johnny Red. Charley's War is rightly regarded as a classic. However, for me, Johnny Red was the first story to reflect the savage nature of war, conveying the desperate and often horrific nature of Russia's fight for survival in the early years of World War Two.

My appreciation of the gritty and historically accurate portrayal of conflict seen in Johnny Red may be based on hindsight. At the time I first read Johnny Red, the story was (and remains) simply a cracking read, packed with action and founded on the well-paced and interesting story of a working class British pilot - Johnny Redburn - fighting with the Red Air Force in defence of the Soviet Union. The story is also founded on the brilliant artwork of two of the UK's best comic artists; Joe Colquhoun and John Cooper (John Cooper took over illustrating Johnny Red after Colquhoun had moved onto drawing Charley's War). Colquhoun drew the instalments of Johnny Red found in this volume; I'm looking forward to seeing some of John Cooper's work in future volumes.

One of the real pleasures of this first volume of Johnny Red is looking at the level of detail in Colquhoun's drawings. Since reading the story, I have re-read several parts just to admire the artwork. It's a real tribute to Colquhoun that he was able to create such beautiful illustrations, on a weekly basis, for so many years.

I hope that Titan will release more of Johnny Red. The story deserves to become as successful as the re-printed Charley's War. I recommend this volume without reservation.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 12, 2011 8:52 AM GMT


Aircraft of the Third Reich: Arado to Focke-Wulf v. 1
Aircraft of the Third Reich: Arado to Focke-Wulf v. 1
by William Green
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 53.71

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Green's masterpiece re-issued and improved - recommended, 14 Sep 2010
Many of us are familiar with the original editons of William Green's classic 'Aircraft of the Third Reich'. This new version (volume one of three) retains Mr Green's interesting and authoritative text and adds many new photographs, diagrams and aircraft cutaways. The presentation of Mr Green's work is also much improved; the text is cleanly laid out (in the original editions, the text is closely packed and, sometimes, difficult to read) and the illustrations are clearly defined. A very welcome addition to the work is the presentation of a large nubmer of aircraft colour-schemes, very useful for the aircraft modeller.

The first part of this volume provides a definative essay on the rise and fall of the Luftwaffe. The rest of the volume is a comprehensive review of the aircraft of the manufacturers Arado to Focke Wulf (including, inter alia, Airspeed, Bachem, Blohm & Voss, Consolidated, Dornier and Fieseler).

The aircraft histories are detailed but clear. As an example, the progression from the Do17 to the Do215 and Do217 is clearly laid out, including the details of sub types (such as missile carriers, night-fighters, high altitude bombers, reconnaisance, etc). The part of the volume that deals with the Fw190, its sub-types and derivatives (the D9 and Ta152) are particularly impressive.

This new volume is a relatively expensive book. However, having purchased it, I am sure that it will be my first, and often referred to, point of reference for German aircraft of WW2.

Highly recommended!


The Ploesti Raid Through the Lens
The Ploesti Raid Through the Lens
by Roger A. Freeman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.42

5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive account of the famous raid, 22 Jan 2010
As one would expect with an 'After the Battle' publication, this account of the famous USAAF raid is both comprehensive and very interesting. The volume covers the history of the raid, beginning with the earliest attacks by the Soviet air force, at the outbreak of World War Two. RAF plans to raid Ploesti are also discussed and there are many photographs of the oil works, taken both in the pre-war period and, during the war, from RAF photo-recon aircraft. The preparation of the raid is covered in detail, including photographs of low flying practice in North Africa (where RAF anti-aircraft gunners accurately predicted the loss rate the attacking force could expect to suffer). There are also copies of the route planners, and of the 3d models of the Ploesti site. The raid itself, and the German/Roumanian reaction to the same, is the exciting feature around which the book is based. There are numerous photographs taken from B24 aircraft, during the raid itself, often from a very low level (in one photograph, a refinery worker can be seen flattened against the ground for cover. Other photographs show, at low level, German AAA sites). Mr Freeman has linked all of the photographs to the maps/plans of the Ploesti site, enabling the reader to follow the course of the raid, as it happened. There are also a good number of photographs from German and Roumanian sources, many illustrating the fate of individual aircraft involved in the attack. Mr Freeman also provides an aircraft-by-aircraft account of the fate of each of the raiders, including details of those killed or made POW. In summary, I recommend this volume to all those with an interest in the air war in World War 2.


Bloody Streets: The Soviet Assault on Berlin, April 1945
Bloody Streets: The Soviet Assault on Berlin, April 1945
by Stephan Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a definitive history of the Berlin campaign, 8 Jan 2010
I echo Mr Olsen's view of this excellent book. Personally, it is the detailed account of the origins, planning and execution of the assualt on Berlin that is most interesting, in particular those chapters about the battle for the Seelow heights. This book contains the most detailed account of the Seelow battle that I have read. There are photographs from a wide range of sources, many of which I had not seen after 30+ years of reading everything I can find about the Second World War! I found one photograph particularly thought provoking, that showing the disposition of German forces at the end of the war; they are almost everywhere except Germany - one wonders what the Germans might have achieved by a concentration of their forces to defend Greater Germany. The outcome would not have been in doubt but the war may well have lasted a lot longer.
This book is expensive. However, it is clearly a labour of love for Mr Hamilton and I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone interested in the period.


Welsh Sailors of the Second World War
Welsh Sailors of the Second World War
by Terry Breverton
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Testament to the heroism of the RN and Merchant Navy, 9 May 2009
Many people are familiar with the 'strategic' facts of the war at sea; the convoy battles, the merchant tonnage sunk and the U-boats lost. Phil Carradice and Terry Breverton have brought together a very diverse range of personal accounts and achive-based evidence to illustrate the human side of the story. For me, the most fascinating stories are those of the survivors of sinkings, adrift in open lifeboats, without food or drinkable water. One account, 'The Loss of the Anglo Saxon' tells the harrowing tale of the survivors of a sinking being adrift in the Atlantic for 70 days. Another part of this book details the contribution of the port of Barry to the war effort; 360 seamen from Barry were killed in the course of WW2. The age of some of the dead - 15 and 16 year olds - is a shock and the book helps to highlight the sacrifice they made. I wish I could write eloquently enough to do this fantistic book justice. As well as being a very insightful history, this book is testament to those who gave their lives to save our island from oppression.


The Third Reich Then and Now
The Third Reich Then and Now
by Tony Le Tissier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 44.95

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating detail on the origins, rise and fall of the Third Reich, 6 Nov 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Books about the Third Reich are commonplace. However, Tony Le Tissier has used the familiar 'Then and Now' format to produce an outstanding contribution to the history of the 1933-45 period. This is a big (479 pages) and expensive book but it is essential reading for all serious historians of Nazi Germany. The scope of Mr Le Tissier's book is amazing; every aspect of the Third Reich is addressed in detail. I cannot think of one volume which would provide the reader with detailed information about the Feldherrnhalle 16 and the annual commemoration (in the period in question) of their deaths, of the homes in which Hitler lived (with photographs of each home, many of which have not previously been widely published)and of the building works of the Third Reich. Diverse subjects such as labour and welfare organisations of Nazi Germany and the post war de-nazification process are also addressed. Mr Le Tissier does not avoid the horror of the Concentration Camps and euthenasia programmes; these subjects receive the same detailed attention as others. Persons intending to visit Germany will find this volume an essential guide to the physical remains of the Nazi period. I recommend this book very highly.


Page: 1 | 2