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Dave "carbineman" (UK)

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A Soldier's Story (Modern Library)
A Soldier's Story (Modern Library)
by Omar N. Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.50

5.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING INSIGHT, 23 July 2017
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I found this book fascinating and all the more so as it was written in 1947 while memories were still fresh. The greater part of the book is taken up in the Normandy campaign which tells me that the battles fought there loomed largest in Bradley's mind. He has tried very hard to be even handed and although he admits to being a Yankee at heart I still think his measured critisms of Montgomery are not only fully justified but reflect what most people say about him apart from a handful of apologists. Well worth reading.


Rosie's War: An Englishwoman's Escape From Occupied France
Rosie's War: An Englishwoman's Escape From Occupied France
by Noel Holland
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD, 10 Feb. 2017
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Totally absorbing account definitely worth a read


Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier, 1939-45
Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier, 1939-45
by Siegfried Knappe
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 10 Feb. 2017
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Excellent first hand account that I can reccomend without hesitation.


Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross
Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross
by Albrecht Wacker
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars POOR, 10 Feb. 2017
I've read many many books about the war on the eastern front including personal accounts. Something about this just doesn't ring true and is more of a gore and blood fest written by a novelist. When I was young I read war fiction that wasn't remotely serious and to be honest if I hadn't seen the cover I would have guessed that this had been written by Sven Hassel. The short cut by which the author claims the subject of this book received the Knights cross seems highly improbable and I can find no record of this man in a book I have of knights cross holders. If this story is any way true then I apologise but for now I must dismiss it as a poor work of fiction.


Eagles Wings
Eagles Wings
by Hajo Herrmann
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING, 2 May 2016
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This review is from: Eagles Wings (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It's a fascinating insight into the workings of the Luftwaffe by someone who 'was there'. I know other reveiwers have criticised the author for being nationalistic but to be honest I found it to be a a straightforward account from a man who was serving his country , wouldn't we all be 'nationalistic' in those circumstances. He is very even handed in his account and lavishes praise on his RAF adversaries .His account of the raid on the Greek port of Piraeus and the subsequent flight to Corfu on one engine with little fuel is gripping as is the description of 'wild boar ' operations over German cities . I can't believe how cheaply you can buy this book when it is such a good read, highly recommended .


The Complete MAUS
The Complete MAUS
by Art Spiegelman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC, 18 April 2016
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This review is from: The Complete MAUS (Paperback)
Amazing ! A graphic novel that totally absorbs you. You quickly forget that the main characters are depicted as animals and get wrapped up in the story. This book has been passed around most of my family who all thought it was superb. Don't be put off by the fact it's a graphic novel - it's a true story with a very harrowing content. Tip - buy the collected edition so that you get volumes one and two combined.


The War in the West - A New History: Volume 1: Germany Ascendant 1939-1941 (New History Vol 1)
The War in the West - A New History: Volume 1: Germany Ascendant 1939-1941 (New History Vol 1)
by James Holland
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 15 April 2016
When I first saw 'The war in the west' it caught my interest as it was written by an ' acclaimed ' historian and flagged up as a 'new history ' it looked promising. Any historian should be able to tell you that you should form opinions of what happened in the past by following the evidence. I have read literally hundreds of books on WW2 and by following the evidence have formed opinions which question the conventional wisdom so often trotted out in history books and TV programmes. Against this background I eagerly started to read .... What a disappointment ! Far from being a 'new history ' this is not only the same old victors history it actually goes even further in trying to prove that everything the British had and did was better than the Germans to the point of stupidity. It's a fact that Poland was created after WW1 from land taken from Germany as part of reparations and it's also a fact that the many Ethnic Germans living there suffered at the hands of ethnic Poles ( and it's also fact that this restarted after cessation of hostilities in WW2 - see ' savage continent ' ) . Poland only resisted Germany's request to have land returned because Britain had promised to help them resist any German aggression - a promise which they knew full well they couldn't not fulfil. All if this was swept under the carpet by the author. It's also a fact that Britain declared war on Germany because of this invasion and yet Britain did NOT declare war on Russia even though they simultaneously invaded the other half of Poland. Again , this was something not really mentioned by the author in any detail.
In his efforts to explode the 'myth of a superior German army' he comes down to the details of individual weapons and uniforms. He extols the virtues of the Bren gun vs the MG34 and tries to claim the the Brens much slower rate of fire was an advantage ! Perhaps he should have spoken to some old soldiers ! My uncle served in the 6th airborne in WW2 and saw a lot of front line action. I remember him telling me how their Bren gun went ' bap bap bap' as opposed to the brrrrrrrrrr! Of the German weapons firing at them. He told me that the 'brrrrrrrrrr' sound was a cue to hit the deck fast as it was followed by a veritable hail storm of bullets. If the authors assertion were correct then all future gun development would have centred around a slow steady rate of fire but in fact the opposite happened. The later MG44 continued in production after the war and was used by armies all over the world. Modern machine guns seek to emulate the rate of fire the Germans achieved in WW2. I understand that it was more complicated and costly to make but this was a clear case of the means justifying the ends.This is just one of many, many, examples of the author not following the evidence. He even went on to claim that the British uniform was superior to the German uniform as the shorter jacket and big trouser pocket gave the British soldier more freedom of movement and useful storage space. It is true that the British uniform used less fabric but beyond that was it really superior ? If that were true then of course all armies today would be wearing a similar uniform because of its obvious advantages and yet that isn't the case . The British uniform was made of thick woollen material that had to be worn in all seasons - not much fun in the summer ! The author ignored the fact that the Germans produced a reed green denim version of their uniform for summer use which was easier on the wearer. When the Americans entered the war their standard field jacket was made of light cotton material that came to the waist. This was superseded later in the war by a jacket ,which one has to assume , the Americans felt was an improvement - non other than a much longer four pocketed combat jacket ! All British uniforms designed after WW2 have also incorporated a longer jacket so once again this is another example of the author not following the evidence. I think the German steel helmet alone was worthy of mention at this point , a superb piece of kit the shape of which is more or less copied by the armies of many major nations today the most notable being the USA. The authors arguments around the relative advantages and disadvantages of the economic and agricultural differences between the belligerent nations are compelling but not always entirely accurate. His interpretation of political actions ,again , are logical but follow conventional thinking and as always in this area can be subjective. So against the background of rubbishing the German army, it's men , it's equipment and its leadership he then forced to describe the campaign in the west which by anyone's standards , no matter how biased , was a brilliant feat of arms. Even here , however the author has to say " miraculously by 13th May, just as Guderian had predicted they ( the Germans ) had reached the Meuse ". No Mr Holland ! - a miracle would be turning water into wine, the efficient execution of a meticulous plan is something altogether different . He also says " the men of panzergruppe Kleist unquestionably conformed to the the German stereotype of myth, they were well trained, motivated well equipped and confident, and knew exactly what they had to do" . So what are we saying here Mr Holland ? That in fact the supposed myth was not a myth at all but in fact was true ? You can't have it both ways ! These continual contradictions crop up throughout the book which is really quite irritating.
The biggest problem I have with this book that having been faced with inaccuracies at the beginning and all the contradictions no matter how good the rest may be I have to wonder if the areas I am not so familiar with are entirely accurate. I do agree that economically the seeds of Germany's defeat had been sown almost from the point that Britain decided to carry on fighting however Mr Holland makes it sound like it was all so easy for the British which it clearly wasn't . I assume that Mr Holland will be following this book up with further volumes to cover the rest of the war and I can make a promise. - I won't be reading them !
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2016 4:58 PM GMT


Ruckmarsch Then and Now: The German Retreat from Normandy
Ruckmarsch Then and Now: The German Retreat from Normandy
by Jean-Paul Pallud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars ALWAYS INTERESTING, 25 Jan. 2016
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I love all of the after the battle books , the photographic comparisons of 'then and now ' are always interesting. Even though some of the comparisons are now a little dated I've had hours of fun using Google Earth at street level to find the places myself and get an up to date comparison !


The Red Line: The Gripping Story of the RAF's Bloodiest Raid on Hitler's Germany
The Red Line: The Gripping Story of the RAF's Bloodiest Raid on Hitler's Germany
by John Nichol
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIRST RATE, 25 Jan. 2016
Very well written , takes you right into the action and follows the raid using the personal stories of some of the crews , Lufwaffe pilots and German civilians. It's a similar style to Martin Middlebrooks books however having read all of Martin Middkebrooks books ,good as they are , I thought this was even better.


Lost Honour, Betrayed Loyalty
Lost Honour, Betrayed Loyalty
by Herbert Maeger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 23 Jan. 2016
I love this type of personal account and this one did not disappoint ! Great on detail including the inner conflict that the author went through. Certainly not an apologist for the SS but on the other hand he dosnt glorify them either. Well worth a read.


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