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Author Topic: What are you currently reading ?  (Read 397126 times)
Techno
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« Reply #3150 on: 18 November 2019, 04:57:16 PM »

Currently listening to 'oodles' of Sherlock Holmes yarns.

Driving the good lady mad, because every time Holmes says..."Consider this, Watson..."....I can't stop myself blurting out "Consider he Lilly."  Cheesy

Cheers - Phil

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fsn
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« Reply #3151 on: 19 November 2019, 08:12:32 PM »

So ... at lunchtime today I was in Waterstones Liverpool.

Let me explain.

We don't give each other Xmas presents at work. Instead we donate toys to the Radio City toy appeal. Reading the website it said that they were always short of gifts for teenagers, and that books were a good choice. Bibliophile that I am, I immediately thought that would be a good option for me.

I stood in Waterstones staring at the Young Adult section. There were books about witches and wolves and prisons and ... mushrooms. I was confused. I read the back of a couple of these books and realised that I had nothing in common with the intended audience. I was completely and utterly out of my depth.

Gentlemen, I am not ashamed to say I panicked. Confronted with such an unken unknown, I fled to an area of Waterstones more comfortable to me. 

This is a shorthand way of saying that I am currently reading the Osprey books "Castangaro 1387" and "French Armour in Vietnam 1945-54".   Embarrassed

I'm a bad Christmas fai... Christmas present buyer.
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Lord Oik of Runcorn
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FierceKitty
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« Reply #3152 on: 20 November 2019, 02:02:31 AM »

I'd have welcomed the first of those when I was a teenager...or today, come to think of it....
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kipt
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« Reply #3153 on: 21 November 2019, 02:57:14 PM »

Finished "Military Operations: Italy 1915 - 1919" which is part of the British History of the Great War and based on official documents.  This reprint by The Imperial War Museum in association with The Battery Press and does include maps in a folio in the back.

As official documents it can be rather dry reading.  More of an operational/strategic look than tactical.  The British had 7 divisions and the French had 6 divisions plus supporting troops and services (RAF) in country.  Combat for these troops was in 1918.
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Orcs
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« Reply #3154 on: 21 November 2019, 04:54:49 PM »

So ... at lunchtime today I was in Waterstones Liverpool.

Let me explain.

We don't give each other Xmas presents at work. Instead we donate toys to the Radio City toy appeal. Reading the website it said that they were always short of gifts for teenagers, and that books were a good choice. Bibliophile that I am, I immediately thought that would be a good option for me.

I stood in Waterstones staring at the Young Adult section. There were books about witches and wolves and prisons and ... mushrooms. I was confused. I read the back of a couple of these books and realised that I had nothing in common with the intended audience. I was completely and utterly out of my depth.

Gentlemen, I am not ashamed to say I panicked. Confronted with such an unken unknown, I fled to an area of Waterstones more comfortable to me. 

This is a shorthand way of saying that I am currently reading the Osprey books "Castangaro 1387" and "French Armour in Vietnam 1945-54".   Embarrassed

I'm a bad Christmas fai... Christmas present buyer.

How about "The hobbit"  its a good story not too long and the recent films have made it popular
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #3155 on: 21 November 2019, 06:00:35 PM »

fsn, I'd suggest one, or more, of the following

"A Wizard of Earthsea" - Ursula Le Guin

"Over Sea, Under Stone" - Susan Cooper

"The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" - Alan Garner

"The Giant Under the Snow" - John Gordon

"Tom's Midnight Garden" - Phillipa Pearce

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kipt
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« Reply #3156 on: 24 November 2019, 10:18:20 PM »

Finished "Battle Studies" by Ardant du Picq, a new translation by Roger J. Spiller.  I have the previous translation done in 1946 & 1958 by COL Greely and MAJ Cotton, done by Stackpole Books.  Du Picq was colonel of the 10th Ligne, part of the 1st brigade of the 1st divis1on of Marshal Canrobert's corps in the Franco-Prussian War.  The corps went to Metz and early on the 14th or 15th of August, he was mortally wounded by a Prussian shell exploding near him.  He died 4 days later.

A very interesting study of man in battle - morale, discipline and fear.  Fire, he says, was only effective by the skirmishers, throughout the history of fire arms.  Even with the best troops, fire by rank, two or three ranks, was not effective other than for morale purposes.

Good book.
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FierceKitty
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« Reply #3157 on: 25 November 2019, 01:57:26 AM »

The first three Earthsea books may be the best fantasy I've ever read.
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cameronian
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« Reply #3158 on: 26 November 2019, 09:46:19 PM »

Finished "Battle Studies" by Ardant du Picq, a new translation by Roger J. Spiller.  I have the previous translation done in 1946 & 1958 by COL Greely and MAJ Cotton, done by Stackpole Books.  Du Picq was colonel of the 10th Ligne, part of the 1st brigade of the 1st divis1on of Marshal Canrobert's corps in the Franco-Prussian War.  The corps went to Metz and early on the 14th or 15th of August, he was mortally wounded by a Prussian shell exploding near him.  He died 4 days later.

A very interesting study of man in battle - morale, discipline and fear.  Fire, he says, was only effective by the skirmishers, throughout the history of fire arms.  Even with the best troops, fire by rank, two or three ranks, was not effective other than for morale purposes.

Good book.

TBF he talked the most utter nonsense. Bears a heavy responsibility for the French doctrine in 1914.
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KTravlos
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« Reply #3159 on: 28 November 2019, 07:00:53 PM »

Finished two books

Gregory Hanlon: Italy 1636

Edward J. Erickson: Ottomans and Armenians

These books are similar in that they have parts that are exceptional and parts that are very problematic. I know Erickson personally, so keep that in mind.

Hanlon's book is 2/3rds a history of the campaign that led to the Battle of Tornaverto during the thirty years war in Italy. That part is exceptional, an excellent campaign and battle study that summarizes the most up to date work on 17th century warfare in Western Europe. Highly recommended.

The other 1/3rd is a pop psychology essay, talking about war and violence and men, and animals and what you not, citing material at least 20-30 years old, and ignoring countervailing research (Meade i.e). And a lot of du Picq (re. Cameronian). A terrible collection of foolishness.

Something similar with Erickson. A big part of the book is an overview of Ottoman and Western (Spanish, USA, British) counter-insurgency dogmas and experiences in the late 19th century, early 20th century. There is a study of the Armenian, Bulgarian and Bulgarophone Makedoniski secret revolutionary committees, that summarizes a lot of information from a rich secondary and primary literature. There is also a good summary of the Ottoman operations vs. Albanian and Yemeni rebels. The goal is for Erickson to explain the military motives for the counter-insurgency operations chosen by the Ottomans in reaction to what they perceived as Armenian general insurrection threat during the 1914-1915 period. Essentially he argues that the deployment of the Ottoman army precluded the classical Ottoman counter-insurgency strategy of deluging a rebellious region with troops, and led to the decision to emulate western colonial relocation strategies. This escalated into a general relocation strategy that led to conditions that fostered the mass death of Armenians.

The military narrative is very good, as is the discussion of counter-insurgency tactics etc. He also provides the usual summary of Turkish official military histories on battles and actions during 1915 vs Armenian armed groups.

If he argued, here is a story of why some of the military supported a relocation strategy, this would be fine. But he argues the military necessity thesis counters the extermination thesis. He has told me personally that he is not per se a denialist, but a agnositc, though he tends to accept Bloxhams cumulative radicalization thesis (I also do). But I accept Bloxham's conclusion that what happened was a genocide, while he refuses to do so. Fundamentally we disagree on a important point, and he does not really address it in the book. What happens when a decision is made on a collegiate level (which is how the CUP governed the Ottoman Empire 1914-1918) and a set of decision makers support a policy because of motivation A (security concerns) and some others because of motivation B (population engineering, eradication). My view is that this is still genocide (though not in the legal sense). Anyway big discussion. Which he kinda ignores. Especially the work of the people he says probably have the best arguments (Akcam, Dundar et, who all argue in support of a genocide).

He is clear that in all probability the CUP exaggerated the breadth and strength of a Armenian insurrection, but does not explore the motivations for that , just focusing on the shock of Van.

His book is a major contribution, but for me it is part of the genocide story rather than a counterpoint. That said definitely over the last years my views have moved to a position where I believe only a part of the CUP was seeking extermination, and they essentially used the war, and the willingness of the military and the non-genocidal part of the CUP to use a relocation counter-insurgency policy , to conduct a localized genocide of Gregorian Armenians in Eastern Anatolia. Which was wildly successful. Sure the CUP put people on trial, but largely I think they never intended to restore the expelled Armenians back to Eastern Anatolia if the war happened. I.e they might not all had sought genocide, but they sure accepted the result.

Next up, Hanlon's "The Here of Itlay" aka "The Fat Bastard" Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma and enemy of the Pope. 
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Chad
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« Reply #3160 on: 28 November 2019, 08:23:40 PM »

About to start ‘The Duke of York’s Flanders Campaign (Fighting the French Revolution 1793-1795)’. Hopefully another useful addition
To the growing interest in the Revolutionary period.
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Steve J
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« Reply #3161 on: 04 December 2019, 12:15:04 PM »

Wargames Through the Ages, Volume 3 by Featherstone. As always an excellent read and full of little gems of info and ideas.
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Terry37
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« Reply #3162 on: 11 December 2019, 05:40:30 PM »

Currently reading two books - Nicholas Smith's "Hell Divers VI " and Stephen Cullen's "In Search of the Real Dad's Army" Enjoying them both!!!

Terry
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kipt
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« Reply #3163 on: Yesterday at 03:07:25 AM »

Finished "Nineteen Stars: A Study in Military character and Leadership" by Edgar F. Puryear, Jr.  Marshal, MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton with essentially their bios.  I don't agree with some of his statements (written in 1971) and very US oriented (obviously).  He talks about the 2 division airdrop on D-Day, leaving out the Brits.

However, the characters and traits of these high ranking officers are well told, but with a bias to the officer in question (MacArthur was not egotistical -just always right -but then later the author says MacArthur did admit he was wrong when it turned out that way in the end).

Still, an interesting read.
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ianrs54
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« Reply #3164 on: Yesterday at 08:50:31 AM »

To show how well thought MacArthur was/is by the US army, there is a portait of him at West Point, its in the junior female cadet latrines.
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