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Author Topic: What are you currently reading ?  (Read 369097 times)
kipt
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« Reply #3090 on: 13 July 2019, 04:36:24 PM »

Finished "Military Concepts and Philosophy" by RADM Henry Eccles (retired).  He was in his later career very involved in logistics, but did command 2 submarines before WWII.  As in the title there is a lot of philosophy, but he has some interesting statements such as "logistics is the bridge between economy and the operations of combat forces" and "Business or economic factors limit the combat forces one can create.  Logistics factors limit the combat forces one can deploy".

And even though it was written in 1964 (the US is getting involved in Viet-Nam) his thoughts still apply: "...the United States has no monopoly of brains, creativity, or dedication to the concepts of civilized freedom.  Therefore while it may lead, it must no attempt to dominate."

The portion I liked best are his last two Appendices.  Appendix C - Decentralization, Initiative, and Command, and Appendix D - Further Comments on Morale and Leadership.

Bit of a slog but interesting.
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Leman
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« Reply #3091 on: 13 July 2019, 04:56:16 PM »

Since last posting I was so impressed with the free downloadable version of Tercios that I bought the full version from Caliver. This adds a variety of differentials into the mix for each troop type, plus a more granular points system, eg a few more points will make your tercio veteran and/or give it a contingent of sword and buckler men and/or give all your firearm troops muskets instead of a mix of musket/arquebus. It also puts a lot more emphasis on commanders, terrain and so on. Then there are 6 scenarios, each with a different way of calculating victory. Admittedly it was originally produced in Spanish so there are a few (very few compared to Tin Soldiers in Action) oddities in translated expression, but nothing that detracts from the actual game, plus it is the most beautifully produced rulebook I have seen since Maurice:





Please excuse the side on view. IT is most definitely not my forte.
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kipt
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« Reply #3092 on: 19 July 2019, 03:30:51 AM »

Finished "The Chief of Staff: The Military Career of General Walter Bedell Smith" by D.K.R. Crosswell.  "Beetle" Smith was a maverick, up from the ranks.  He joined in 1911 in the Indiana National Guard as a 16 year old.  Thirty nine years later in retired as a four-star general.

He was a workaholic and was Eisenhower's Chief of Staff.  This book is a great explanation of the various staff departments and a behind the scenes look about what it took to keep an army running.  The author is a bit hard on Eisenhower by the way, but shows Marshall and even Montgomery in a good light.  Regarding Eisenhower the author says "The key to understanding Eisenhower's style of leadership lies in its covert cover.  One can identify five techniques by which Eisenhower concealed the direct, [personal aspects of this leadership style: (1) the selective delegation of authority to subordinates, allowing them considerable freedom while simultaneously using them as foils to deflect criticism from himself;  (2) the insightful evaluation of friends and antagonists and the careful calculation of the help or damage they might render in any situation; (3) the avoidance of making unilateral decisions insisting upon multiple advocacy for any major policy shift;  (4) the refusal to engage in personality clashes; and (5) the intentional use of evasiveness and ambiguity to screen his actions and unbalance his critics.  Beneath the amiable "Ike" existed the hard-minded operator.  In achieving his various ends, Eisenhower worked through others, and the individual most responsible for his success was Bedell Smith."


Lots of political maneuvering in the upper echelons of command as well as international relations.  Beetle took care of a lot of that.
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fsn
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« Reply #3093 on: 19 July 2019, 07:35:37 AM »

That about sums up Eisenhower to me. I don't think of him as a battlefield general, more of a politician/administrator - having to juggle the nagging voices of each of the allied governments, excellent and American subordinates and ... the Germans. This isn't a disparaging view, I generally admire him for the way he handled NW Europe.   
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Leman
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« Reply #3094 on: 19 July 2019, 09:25:04 AM »

Over the next couple of years, sticking with the Renaissance theme, I intend to have a go at the Dutch War of 1672-78, using the LOA range and the Twiglet rules. As a start to my research I bought the Helion book on the subject of the Dutch army at this time (Century of the Soldier series) by Bruno ? This has turned out to be a bit of a Curateís egg, i.e. there are some great colour plates and descriptions of uniform colours for many of the Dutch regiments involved. The problem, though not insurmountable, is the text. The author is Italian and the text appears to be a direct transliteration from Italian, thus the phraseology is very tough on a British reader. This makes the reading, essential for research, a real hard slog. This transliteration is combined with the use of overly complex sentences of many clauses and some obscure words making parts of it read like a very poor sixth formerís history essay (you know the type - ďIíll put this sentence in to impress the teacher (without actually understanding what it means)."
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
OldenBUA
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WWW
« Reply #3095 on: 19 July 2019, 04:04:11 PM »

You probably know this already, but there is a very good blog about this war. Posts are in Dutch and in English. Maybe not as active as before, but you can find a lot of stuff here.


http://rampjaar.blogspot.com
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Leman
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« Reply #3096 on: 19 July 2019, 04:37:44 PM »

No, thatís a new one on me. Many thanks.
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Steve J
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« Reply #3097 on: 19 July 2019, 06:26:42 PM »

'Fighting the French Revolution: the Great Vendee Rising of 1793' by Rob Harper. So far a great overview of the start of the uprising, which has lots of gaming possibilities. Looking forward to getting to some of the major battles.
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kipt
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« Reply #3098 on: 28 July 2019, 12:14:12 AM »

Finished "The Roman War Machine" by John Peddie (OBE, MC, retired military).  Not that interested in ancients but this book was very well done.  The author dovetailed in some experiences with WWII which added to the interest for me.

The chapters are: Roman Generalship, Command and Control, Supply Trains and Baggage, Marching-camp Techniques, Supporting Arms and Weaponry, Waterborne Operations and Siege Warfare.

Highly recommended if you are interested in this period and particularly for those just getting in to it.
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Leman
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« Reply #3099 on: 28 July 2019, 10:50:20 AM »

Nothing on actual battlefield tactics? Seems a bit of an omission.  Confused
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
kipt
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« Reply #3100 on: 30 July 2019, 03:51:40 AM »

Leman, I didn't notice the lack of a chapter on tactics, probably because tactics are scattered through the book.

Under "tactics, Roman army" are listed attack (9 pages), defense (9 pages), set-piece battle (4 pages), on the march (3 pages), use of elephants (3 pages), withdrawal (1 page) and street fighting (1 page).  So it's there but not together.
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Leman
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« Reply #3101 on: 30 July 2019, 07:47:02 AM »

Nice to know, but if picking it up in a bookshop and looking at the contents page it might appear to be a massive omission, resulting in the book being put back one the shelf.
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
kipt
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« Reply #3102 on: 02 August 2019, 12:29:44 PM »

Finished "The Wars of Louis XIV: 1667-1714" by John Lynn.  I like this author.  His research on this and other books is very good.  Thought I might get into this period so bought the book (but decided to go back to the Western ACW next).

Louis XIV wanted to establish his Gloire when he was young and wars were the best way to do so. Later he wanted to adjust his borders to protect France.  He was not power hungry to conquer territories outside France according to the author.  He did believe in the divine right of kings hence his support of James II.

He also thought his wars would be short but each dragged on, bankrupting France in the process.  His advantage for these wars that grew was that he always had the inside track, able to move troops from one army to another.  He never lost a war.

Interesting read.
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Steve J
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« Reply #3103 on: 02 August 2019, 03:17:47 PM »

Osprey Campaign guide to the Crimean War. A nice introduction to the conflict that I know little about. Interesting to read about the action on the Danube as well as the Eastern theatre, which rarely get a mention.
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #3104 on: 02 August 2019, 06:55:57 PM »

There was action on the Danube?, I'm off to read about that!
Well there we go *spoilers*
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well done the Austrians.
« Last Edit: 02 August 2019, 07:01:27 PM by mad lemmey » Logged

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