Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now
Profile for Dr. Watson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Dr. Watson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 111,123
Helpful Votes: 305

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Dr. Watson

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
Shingle Street
Shingle Street
by James Hayward
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars War Thriller is Pure Fiction, 31 July 2010
This review is from: Shingle Street (Paperback)
James Hayward, author of "Bodies on the Beach," has given us a fictional account of a German invasion of England in early WWII. Although he admits it is a story of fiction, it has all the elements of a war thriller, which will keep you turning the pages.


Blood, Sweat and Arrogance: The Myths of Churchill's War
Blood, Sweat and Arrogance: The Myths of Churchill's War
by Gordon Corrigan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched and Recommended, 23 July 2010
I knew when I started reading this book that other reviewers/Court Historians would blast away at the author. I was not surprised. I notice that every time an author does competent research into certain myths of British history, there will be a torrent of critical response from his readers. Not from me, if the facts are in order and the research has been property conducted. I find Gordon Corrigan has done a masterful job of exploding the myths of Churchill, before and during WWII. That Churchill had no real combat experience may come as a surprise to many readers of this book. How the British were hoodwinked by the German military in their rearmament program in the run-up to the war is presented in expert detail. The fact was, Chamberlain did want to rearm, but his view was stifled by public opinion.

The history of a war is written by the victors. After WWI, Stanley Baldwin said, "Winston has written a big book about himself and called it The Great War." Likewise, Churchill published his own history of WWII in six volumes and it was his own perception of it. By getting there first, he ensured that his interpretation of what happened and why it happened became the accepted version. So, anyone who disagreed was written off as an appeaser and incompetent. This is why there are many Court Historians of British history, who, brought up, on this time-honored version of what happened, who will be ready to disagree when, say, a Gordon Corrigan comes along with an opposing view and supportive facts. (This happens to be the case with those Court Historians who have written their glowing books/reviews of that Chateau/Donkey General Haig of WWI infamy).

If the British think Churchill was the man who won the war, he was also the man who, by his political actions between 1919 and 1929, by his unwillingness to trust professionals; by his unshakeable belief that he knew better than anyone else how his nation's efforts should be directed, was very nearly responsible for losing that war. Consider the author's excellent points: Churchill's conduct as First Lord of the Admiralty during the Norway campaign was disastrous; his demands to sink the French fleet at Mers el Kebir unnecessary; his insistence on sending troops to Greece when Britain was under no legal or moral obligation to do so; his constant harassment of Middle Eastern commanders to go on the offensive, when they knew they needed to wait; his insistence on an Italian campaign which then go so bogged down that it was neither a distraction from Normandy nor an enabler of a Balkan front...all dissipated what few assets Britain had and wasted lives to little avail.

This book adds much information to the discussion of the role of Churchill prior to, and during WWII. Highly recommended.


MacArthur and Defeat in the Philippines
MacArthur and Defeat in the Philippines
by Richard Connaughton
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MacArthur Myth Dispelled, 19 July 2010
All the Seven Deadly Sins are here rolled into one man, the American Caesar, the Actor, Doug-out-Doug MacArthur. This man should have been court-marshaled after he allowed the Japanese to attack on December 8, 1941, with out resistance. His vanity and over-weaning pride always stood in the way of his making correct decisions, and not just in the Philippines. But the author gives us the whole sordid story of his sorry performance in the Philippines prior to and after the Japanese attacked. No stone is left unturned as we learn that he was only interested in his, him, and himself; even at graduation from West Point, selecting the Engineers, just because he had been told it would help him rise rapidly in rank. He was a mother's boy, (she lived near the Plain in order to keep an eye on him), who was so paranoid, that he saw others as either inferiors or competitors. He had the ability to talk nonsense with confidence, which served not only to delude others, but also he. He was a man of impulses and moods, often insensitive to reason and logic. He was temperamental to the last degree...a prima donna of the first order. He was adroit and dramatic, and knew exactly how to play his cards to win his public. His persona was everything, having persuaded Quezon to allow him the title "Field Marshal" with another uniform of his own design. This man who had tried to fool President Quezon that the Japanese wouldn't want to attack the Philippines, would, after the war, insist that it was the boldness of his defense plans which had prompted the Japanese attack!

Connaughton lays the ground work for his subject by looking a MacArthur's malfeasance in WWI. The description of his self-made uniform (one of his nicknames was the Beau Brummell of the AEF: he wore no helmet, carried no gas mask or weapon, except a riding crop!); is an appropriate inclusion here, in addition to descriptions of his buck-passing mentality under General Pershing. We get a sense of a man who was obsessed with his own public image, in his vindictive performance dealing with the Bonus Army. I have consistently used the word "performance," because, in my opinion, that's what he was good at: acting.

Of course, he was good in the bedroom as well, having a mistress, "Dimples" Cooper, who he brought back with him and ensconced in a Washington area apartment; later having to pay big bucks to get back his love letters from her. Further instability of his family life is evidence by his divorce from a woman who was previously divorced, and had been a mistress of General Pershing; and his later re-marriage, which produced one son, who, we must suppose, was so humiliated by his father's antics, that he later changed his surname, and now lives in obscurity in New York City. Rumor has it he is gay. That MacArthur had an affair is not surprising, given the leniency he allowed his enlisted troops to have while on their single un-accompanied tours in the Philippines: they were allowed to live with native women away from the barracks. Many of the men, on second tours, lived with Filipino girls in their villages. Enlisted men bought or built for $50.00 their own "nipa" huts. MacArthur thus allowed and condoned his men living with one woman in the villages. Alcoholism and venereal disease were reported as endemic in the 31st Infantry. Living off the base with a temporary partner served, in his mind, to reduce the incidence of both, and so a food allowance was paid to encourage this form of cohabitation.

Included are details about the Japanese spies that abounded everywhere, and what was not done about it. Also, attention is paid to MacArthur's hand-picked staff; one that provided him loyalty over expertise. It was more of a court than a staff. A number of them mentioned had shared characteristics: each carried a chip on both shoulders, each was sometimes childishly sensitive, and each was convinced that MacArthur was the greatest man who ever lived.

His relations with the Navy brass were not good; this was in opposition to the excellent relationship between Admiral Kimmel and General Short in Hawaii. Power and authority both within the Commonwealth and its links to America were tangled, exacerbated by the continuous and trivial machinations of MacArthur. And MacArthur's mannerisms were not the most enduring when dealing with those he disliked: out of his blazing ego poured a steady torrent of self-centered oratory: elegant, polished and sculpted. His voice crackled and shuddered with taut emotion, lightning flashed from his eyes as he paced nervously, leaving his visitors to listen with apprehensive dismay and discomfort.

The author gives many, well-researched, instances of MacArthur's pettiness. If he did attend a dinner with Quezon, which was rare, he would not attend if the seating arrangements were not to his liking. He quibbled over any felt slight, including whether Quezon was entitled to a 21-gun salute. He plainly relished idolatry. He stayed in his ivory tower of the Manila Hotel penthouse; visitors reported that his skin had pallor; had trembling hands; and the vanity which required him to comb his thinning black hair from left ear to right, thereby covering a large bald spot. MacArthur was a showman and his only salvation from forced retirement came, when the Philippine Army was called into the service of the United States. MacArthur was like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes; called to command; there was no one else available.

Excellent research continues as the author gives the reader a very detailed review of the nine hours following the attack on Pearl Harbor...after MacArthur had been notified, and directed BG Sutherland not to allow MG Brereton in to see him with his request to send up the air force and attack the Japanese on Formosa, before they did the same to Clark Field, et.al. The loading of bombs had to await MacArthur's orders, which were not forthcoming until 11 am....too late. After the war, MacArthur of course, denied Brereton's version of events, but the papers and files, since discovered, tell the truth. Despite many hours advance warning, and having had the Magic intercept and decoding means (which Admiral Kimmel and General Short were denied by Washington), U.S. air power in the Philippines was virtually neutralized on the first day of the war! MacArthur continued to state that his was to defend the Philippines, not attack! He was under the delusion that the Philippines would remain neutral. This is also confirmed by the author in the discovery of a conversation between Quezon and General Eisenhower. Some Clare Boothe Luce papers recently found, also confirm MacArthur's refusal to act. Another author, William H. Bartsch, has also explored MacArthur's inability to act. December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor (Texas A & M University Military History)

As the author states, there should have been a high level investigation of MacArthur following the Philippine debacle on December 8th. Other generals were called to account for their shortcomings in the first months of the Pacific war, but he never was. His "return" became an obsession. His insistence on conquering all of the Philippines in 1945, ended in a needless effort that cost thousands of lives and much damage. Manila was destroyed in order to be saved: for every Japanese defender, ten natives in the city died...the majority to American firepower. He vision was distant, emote, suspicious, and egocentric. In his thinking, in his performance, he was a 19th century imperial warrior; a self-proclaimed expert on Far Eastern affairs. His self-delusion would remain throughout his years during the Korean Conflict. But, even Eisenhower would admit, America was in the early stages of a war, and needed a hero, and MacArthur was handy. This is a book not to be missed.


Legerdemain: Deceit, Misdirection and Political Sleight of Hand in the Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
Legerdemain: Deceit, Misdirection and Political Sleight of Hand in the Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
by David, K. Bowman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Overview of Theories with No Answer, 18 May 2010
The author presents a tour d'force of all the current theories, in tantalizing detail, on Amelia Earhart's disappearance, but adds no new research of his own, to the current literature. After 390 pages, prior to the myriad Appendices, the author finally states his own opinion in 21 pages: that nothing in the literature proves Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, survived or returned to this country. He commends the enthusiasts' "longtime efforts" but pours cold water on all their theories.

Each chapter ends with the author questioning each piece of evidence. Calling most of it "amateurish." Too bad he doesn't write 390 pages of his own research, instead of criticizing what others have done; even trying to undermine the "confession" of a Priest about Amelia aka Irene Bolam, who, in his younger years, was lucid and was not in dementia. Mr. Bowman seems to have tunnel vision when it comes to cherry picking the theories.

I was immediately suspicious, when reading the "praise" on the back jacket cover, from the in-laws of Guy and Irene Bolam, who both certainly had a lot to hide, as evidenced by Guy and Irene's avoidance of interviews, and especially when Irene dropped her libel suit against Major Gervais when she was told by the judge in the case, to be fingerprinted, or "put up or shut up;" and she refused to be fingerprinted. What did she have to hide? I don't think it's a coincidence that this woman and her husband moved around the country, like checkers on a checkerboard, avoiding interviews with Major Gervais. Nor is it coincidence that neither the "99's" nor "Zonta" organizations list them on their membership roster, yet were introduced to Gervais (at the banquet he was invited to speak at concerning his recent AE research),as being important to the organization; then they were reluctant to have their picture taken, then disappeared before Gervais spoke to the group. Coincidence? Don't think so. There's a lot of smoke in this fire, and it's not a smokescreen, except that from some who continue to cover up the truth, including government agencies. You know...even some people write books to throw authors off the trail of serious research.

I agree with Joe Klass, who wrote a positive Amazon review of this book, because he's right that this book is a compendium of all the evidence/theories current; but he didn't mention the stinging criticism that the author dishes out to each researcher, and what about Bowman's own evidence, original research, and examination of primary sources? All he gives us is questions, and no answers. I was wondering if this book is a "Legerdemain" of sorts, tantalizing clues from others' research, but nothing original by this author.

And where are the footnotes for the statements he makes in disagreement with those so-called theories? And why does the author rely so heavily on a mysterious Dr. Alex Mandel, a supposed authority on U.S. Naval matters, but lives in a foreign country, with no information given the reader on what area his degree is in or where he went to school? I find this entirely unsatisfactory and suspect. The author has given us 21 pages containing a lot of "maybe" but no definitive research of his own.


Amelia Earhart Survived
Amelia Earhart Survived
by Rollin C. Reineck
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Amelia Earhart did Survive, 11 May 2010
The author draws on many eyewitness sources, and has expertly delved into primary source files, including those connected to Henry Morgenthau, FDR, et.al., to present the most compelling case that Amelia Earhart did survive and did return to the U.S. and took an assumed name. There is too much here to discount as hot-air; and especially if you get to see the addendum recently done, titled, "Final Chapter," you will become convinced that this is the truth. As one who early on discovered the secret FDR White House tapes, before the American Heritage article by another historian, the Dictaphone tape of Morgenthau cannot be discounted. Folks who are still looking for the missing plane off Howland Island, will never find it there! It landed where the eyewitnesses said it did. Isn't it significant that Amelia never wanted to be fingerprinted, even after death! I believe that the "AE" so-called experts who condemn this book and others like it, are connected somehow, to either a foundation receiving money trying to locate the missing plane off Howland, or with the government and took an oath of secrecy, and have to state the contrary. I couldn't put this down. All the facts are laid out in meticulous order, with photo forensic evidence that proves that Earhart came back to the U.S. and assumed a new identity with the help of a Catholic priest, who told the truth, before he died. The book also includes radio equipment evidence that supports other evidence that Earhart did not land at Howland Island, but turned North. Also included is the evidence given by now deceased Admiral Chester Nimitz and by a Earhart family member who confided that Earhart was not just going to fly around the world, but included a secret military mission as well. I especially like how the author lays out the evidence, and then summarizes it after each chapter. The story is also substantiated by further research by writer/US Major Air Force, retired, Joe Gervais and Joe Klass Amelia Earhart Lives: A Trip Through Intrigue to Find America's First Lady of Mystery A great read for anyone wanting to know the TRUTH about the survival of Amelia Earhart. My highest recommendation.


The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
by James Bradley
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Cruise to Nowhere, 9 May 2010
The author indicates on his promotional website (but not in the book), that he obtained a degree at age 23, in East Asian History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; but was it a Bachelor's with a major in history, a Master's, or Doctorate? I have to wonder after reading this book, if he majored in history at all; did he take any courses in Historiography? His book does not show proper research: the footnotes are from many of the same secondary sources; there is no bibliography; obvious mistakes abound, as pointed out by other reviewers too numerous to mention here; many statements are made with no footnote, as to their source. Consider these examples: his statement that "McKinley paced his Executive Mansion office by day and needed sleeping pills at night." Where does he get that from? On another page, he portrays Russia, which Japan defeats, as "a White Christian power." His diatribe about James Polk and Texas history is not correct. About TR's secret treaty with Japan, he states "...one historian advanced the curious argument that the agreement wasn't important because Roosevelt didn't mention it in his autobiography." Who is the "historian?" There is no footnote for this source or for countless others. This is poor scholarship indeed. He does not distinguish between fact and fiction. I take issue with his continual degrading use of "Japs," "White Christians," and "Others." He also obviously hasn't read original source material concerning Taft. He has a vitriolic axe to grind, and it's obvious that he is angry at our early history, our entry into WW II, and current situation with respect to Iraq. I understand he's planning to write another "history" on FDR and China....and what does he intend to say that FDR did?....Oh my...help me!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2015 10:15 PM BST


Mannock: The Life and Death of Major Edward Mannock VC, DSO, MC, RAF
Mannock: The Life and Death of Major Edward Mannock VC, DSO, MC, RAF
by Norman L.R. Franks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Contribution to Often Overlooked Ace, 6 May 2010
Being familiar with both of the authors' work, I thank them for giving us a further look into the life of Mick Mannock. Although many will find some areas only briefly touched upon, this book goes a long way in presenting a better picture/representation of Mick Mannock. There is much for 21st Century military leaders to consider here, especially how MAJ Mannock tutored the younger pilots under his supervision, and allowed some to take credit for "kills." A great read and very informative.


A Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of the Market Garden, the Arnhem Operation, September 1944
A Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of the Market Garden, the Arnhem Operation, September 1944
by David Bennett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closer to the Truth, 1 May 2010
We have at last, an excellent exposition of the poorly planned/executed Operation Market-Garden. All the key players are examined, warts and all. Thankfully, this book is not a Monty ("it was 90% successful") whitewash. This poorly planned operation was poorly executed by bumbling idiots who passed the buck to Polish General Sosabowski, a handy scapegoat, who early on, questioned the wisdom of the planning. Although I'm usually a Monty devotee, in this case, I must say he was not up to this task that was so quickly and poorly planned. The author reveals the vanity and ineptness of many of the other key players in the Arnhem drama. British General "Boy" Browning, deserves special mention and condemnation, at his collaboration with others in a determined effort to ignore the Dutch intelligence, which revealed a formidable German presence in the area being planned for British operations. It was also Browning who did the dirty work of blaming Sosabowski for Monty's debacle, the only individual who should have taken responsibility. It is now clear that Sosabowski was blamed for not relieving the trapped British airborne division above the Rhine, details how the British botched the relief efforts, while stating afterward that they should have followed Sosabowski's plan, which at the time they very angrily rejected. Just how the 4,500 British paratroopers were evacuated? Well, hidden for a long time, and now revealed: by a single company of Canadian engineers, a fact never fully accepted by British historians. Browning, of course, was taking orders from the vain Monty, who should ultimately be held responsible. But Browning was a devious manipulator and a poor planner; and his attitude toward the Americans was so typical of other senior British commanders: treating them with a patronizing condescension. The author also more fully and correctly presents the U.S. airborne involvement in the operation.

Instead of criticizing this author's book, reviewers should look beyond its title, at the expert evidence presented, and check out the sources presented. As is often the case, critics will take aim at a writer who reveals the truth, which has been encased and enshrined in previous histories as myth.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2011 10:36 PM BST


Robin Hood - Complete Series 3 Box Set [DVD]
Robin Hood - Complete Series 3 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Armitage
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not a Series 4?, 28 April 2010
All of the Robin Hood episodes are excellent. But...the series ended too soon. The production, which had rave reviews, should have continued. I'm thinking of Foyle's War, that was recently re-started with a 6th series, due to popular demand. Certainly, Robin Hood could also, with a different plotline; perhaps not dying of the poison after all. Location a problem? Then move to site in England or Ireland. The "scene/story has already been set" with the principals, and now, new areas of interest can be explored; Richard's return, etc. Excellent scenery, actors...but the series ended too soon.


Boy Dominic - The Complete Series [DVD] [1974]
Boy Dominic - The Complete Series [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Murray Dale
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £8.75

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Complete Series, 4 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I agree with several reviewers that this is an excellent program. However, this is NOT the complete series as advertised. There is a sequel with the same actors titled simply "Dominic," which aired in 1976. Taken together, the 1974 episodes and the 1976 episodes would comprise the "Complete Series." Viewers should be aware that this 1974 DVD with 13 episodes is NOT the complete series, and to put this on the DVD cover is misleading. There are a total of 21 episodes.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2015 7:46 AM GMT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9