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Author Topic: What are you currently reading ?  (Read 277730 times)
JeffNNN
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 103


« Reply #2625 on: 12 April 2018, 09:06:38 PM »

Just finished “The Tsar’s Last Armada” by Constantine  Pleshakov .It covers the voyage of the Russian Fleet to Tsu Shima. It is good on the politics and the actual voyage, together with internal issues within the fleet. The weakest part is the description of the battle itself, particularly as there isn’t an actual plan of the battle. It also covers the subsequent lives of the main protagonists. He’s drawn on a lot of Russian archives for it.

One particularly interesting issue he mentions is that if the original squadron had not had to wait for other old and effectively useless coast defence battleships they would PDF’s have arrived before the Japanese Fleet had repaired all the damage it had suffered from battle or wear and tear.

Overall I’d recommend it if you’ve also got or read something else on the actual battle.
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kipt
Captain
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Posts: 396


« Reply #2626 on: 27 April 2018, 03:36:14 AM »

Finished "Clash of Fleets: Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914-18" by Vincent O'Hara and Leonard Heinz 9who has designed several war games, with an emphasis on naval).

While this doesn't list ever action between ships in WWI, it seems to list most of them.  It briefly covers the larger battles (eg Jutland) but has a wealth of detail for smaller actions.  It lists the weather conditions, the missions of each side and the ships, with a short narrative of what happened.

It does it by year and by area; North Sea, Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Non European waters.

It starts with a discussion of the fleets at the start of the war, then each year and then a summing up.  There are ship silhouettes for each navy listing names, armament, protection and speed, as well as engine type.

We do GQIII naval rules and have started with the WWI set, "Fleet Action Imminent", so this book will give a never ending source of combats.

Really enjoyed it.
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fsn
General
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Posts: 7748



« Reply #2627 on: 27 April 2018, 07:40:31 AM »

I'm wading my way through the first 4 Yeoman books by Robert Jackson (£6.99 Kindle edition).

I think of them as the sort of thing you would graduate to fom Commando comics. Ripping yarns with only a hint of the inplausible (Yeoman being the only pilot with an aircraft in Tobruk during the siege) but wth some sense of the harsh realities of war. I don't know Jackson's background, bu he does write as someone who has stepped in a plane for more than being whisked off on an 18-30 to Ibiza.

In some ways Jackson is a worthy successor to RE Johns and the proper Biggles books - by which I mean the First World War stuff - "Biggles Learns to Fly" and "The Camels are Coming".

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Lord Oik of Runcorn
(You may refer to me as Milord Oik)

Oik of the Year 2013
Oik of the Year 2014
Prize for originality and 'having a go, bless him', 2015
3 votes in the 2016 Painting Competition!

15mm is dead. It just doesn't know it yet.
Leman
General
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Posts: 9324



« Reply #2628 on: 27 April 2018, 11:57:27 AM »

1914 rules by Great Escape Games. In a nutshell activity is based on the use of command chips (so many allocated per turn, then lost as units are lost). The chips are used to order an action. Almost all activity is either moving, firing or a combination. Even a lance charge by cavalry is classed as firing. Morale is accrued and this leads to losses. Enemy can react in your turn and try to seize initiative and/or move/fire. There are also cards, from which a hand of four is drawn to be used throughout the game, eg Push on Lads - initiative is automatically won at the start of the turn. There are small brigade packs to go with the game - Britain, France, Belgium, Germany. The figures appear to be compatible with Kallistra 12mm. See no reason why Pendraken figures could not be used instead, but I would avoid mixing them.
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
fred.
Major General
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Posts: 4482



WWW
« Reply #2629 on: 27 April 2018, 12:43:00 PM »

Thanks for the info on the 1914 rules. I’d seen these and have been trying to find out a bit more about them, there seems to be very little info on them.
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kipt
Captain
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Posts: 396


« Reply #2630 on: 28 April 2018, 04:28:03 PM »

Finished "Kitchener: The Man Behind the Legend" by Philip Warner.

This is a very good book about his life and exploits.  An adventurer in his early days and seemed to be a very solid person overseeing the British and Commonwealth entry and first part of WWI.

Well written so easy to read.  enjoyable.
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Leman
General
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Posts: 9324



« Reply #2631 on: 28 April 2018, 08:03:48 PM »

Teenage Tommy by Richard Van Emden. This is an edited account (from tape recorded interviews) of a 16 year old trooper in the 4th Dragoon Guards. Ben Clouting joined up, aged 15, in 1913 and so the first chapter deals with training and barracks life in the pre-war professional cavalry. The overall impression was of great camaraderie - less comfortable but in some ways a bit how I experienced university life, ie a fair amount of high jinks and drinking. The book goes into a lot of detail about the first shot of the BEF on the continent in WWI, as it was fired by a member of the 4th DG. The book also goes into great detail about the British cavalry charge at Audregnies 24th August 1914. This is turning out to be a terrific read, much more gripping than the standard histories, and of course some cracking scenario ideas.
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
kipt
Captain
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Posts: 396


« Reply #2632 on: 06 May 2018, 06:54:20 PM »

Finished "How Navies Fight: The US Navy and its Allies" by Frank Uhlig, Jr.

While this is an overview from 1775 to the Falklands, it is extremely well done.  His writing style is easy to read and his narrative is always interesting.  I enjoyed the part about how the politics really interfered with the navy's role in command of the sea concerning Vietnam.

His WWI and WWII descriptions are succinct but full of data.  The ACW is well covered.

He ends each chapter with a discussion of what a navy's role should be and how well it was accomplished.  Have command of the sea so your merchants and transports can sail and so the enemy's cannot.  Also to put ground troops on an enemies shore and supply them there.

Good read.
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Steve J
Lieutenant General
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Posts: 6288


« Reply #2633 on: 06 May 2018, 07:41:58 PM »

Over the Battlefield: Operation Goodwood by Ian Dalgish. So far an excellent read with loads of great images to help explain the course of the Operation. Also of note is how accurate the maps were, as they are often side by side with aerial shots. Perfect detail for us gamers.
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kipt
Captain
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Posts: 396


« Reply #2634 on: 08 May 2018, 04:01:28 AM »

Finished an interesting little book "Tactical Examples, V1, the Battalion (1877)" by Hugo von Helvig, translated by Lumley Graham.  Part of the Kessinger Legacy Reprints series.  Helvig was a Bavarian major o the General Staff, and gave these examples, not from the official drill books or regulations, but has worked out "as he thinks best a series of tactical problems".

There are 30 examples, all dealing with a battalion alone or with some cavalry.  Each example gives a premise, and then goes through several periods with diagrams showing what the battalion (and its skirmishers and companies) what do.

The first example is "1 battalion against 1 battalion, each battalion consisting of 4 companies.  It goes through 12 periods, using 10 figures to describe the actions the battalion commander could take.

The last example, number 30, is "1 battalion and 2 squadrons as escort of a considerable force of artillery against 2 companies and 4 squadrons.  The action is described in 11 periods and figures.

It could make an interesting scenario set for those with more skirmish level troops.  The companies would need to break into skirmishers and 3 divisions (one of which is the skirmish although in some case the entire company goes to skirmish).  I'm not set up for that.

The booklet was more interesting than I first thought and I would recommend it.  I bought it through Caliver Books.
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Steve J
Lieutenant General
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Posts: 6288


« Reply #2635 on: 08 May 2018, 06:52:08 AM »

Sounds an interesting booklet and will investigate further Smiley.
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Terry37
Major
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Posts: 519



« Reply #2636 on: 08 May 2018, 02:09:31 PM »

Finished the four books (so far) in the Orbs series by Nicholas Smith, and have just started his book "The Biomass Revolution". I am very fond of his works and this one has already caught me. Can't wait for my copy of "Hell Divers III" to arrive, but it's not releasing until May 15th.

Also reading select chapters in "The Bavarian Army in hte Thirty years War", which has some excellent info about that period and specifically about uniforms being used (more than I thought).

Terry
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Ace of Spades
Lieutenant Colonel
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Posts: 868



« Reply #2637 on: 10 May 2018, 03:13:43 PM »

In preparation of my new project I just finished 'Three Years With Quantrill' ; the story of John McCorkle who rode with William C Quantrill during the guerilla war in Missouri during the ACW and also read 'Ride around Missouri' from the Osprey 'Raid' series. One of the bigger operations in the area by more or less irregular forces.
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kipt
Captain
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Posts: 396


« Reply #2638 on: 14 May 2018, 03:20:52 AM »

Not strictly a book, but it took a while to read all the rules.

A friend gave me the boxed game "Fear God and Dreadnought" by Clash of Arms Games.  It was missing the rules but I was able to get them from Clash Of Arms for the cost of postage (great service!).

The box contains 4 counter sets of ships and some planes for WWI, as well as a "Jumpstart" booklet to let you get into the game using an example narrative, a scenario Supplement (107 pages) and a Data Annex from August 1914 - November 1918, with ship, plane, airship, gun, etc statistics.  It is another 143 pages.

The rules are another 128 pages and essentially describe naval warfare during WWI.  Very well done.  Super detailed with many examples.  Guns (obviously), torpedoes, mines, bombs, rockets, amphibious assaults, coastal batteries, navigation, weather, etc.  It has a lot of good information but I think would be hard to play these rules as they are SO detailed.  I liked it for the information and data statistics, but will stick to GQIII and "Fleet Action Imminent" for naval games.
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fsn
General
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Posts: 7748



« Reply #2639 on: 14 May 2018, 07:48:35 AM »

Oooooh! That sounds dangerous for poor Nobby!

Does it have *gulp* fleet lists?

Nobby likes fleet lists. Nobby likes technical data.  

Nobby doesn't need another project!

But Nobby really likes fleet lists.  drooling
« Last Edit: 14 May 2018, 08:02:34 AM by fsn » Logged

Lord Oik of Runcorn
(You may refer to me as Milord Oik)

Oik of the Year 2013
Oik of the Year 2014
Prize for originality and 'having a go, bless him', 2015
3 votes in the 2016 Painting Competition!

15mm is dead. It just doesn't know it yet.
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