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The Greeks and Persians have been released!
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Author Topic: What are you currently reading ?  (Read 440909 times)
hammurabi70
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 124


« Reply #3270 on: 13 May 2020, 08:56:04 AM »

Churchill’s Crusade by Clifford Kinvig.  A description of intervention in the Russian Civil War.

Comment on Russian Army, 1914.

The commander in chief himself, the grand Duke Nicholas, was a man of strong character and considerable strategic ability. Supporting him were some respected and capable generals. There were others, however, whose ineptitude and carelessness beggared belief. Furthermore, the commanders were served by a poor staff: too many unsuitable and untrained young aristocrats thronged its ranks, whilst many staff-trained officers had little or no regimental experience. Weaponry and equipment were also much behind Western standards. The scale of issue of field artillery to the armies were about half that in the German service, and heavy artillery was very scarce. Reserves of rifles and ammunition for the inadequately trained conscripts were insufficient and the Russian munitions industries were poorly developed. Corruption pervaded the Army’s administrative services. Compounding these handicaps was interference from the court: from the resentful and unstable Tsarina, and from the Tsar himself, who was only with difficulty dissuaded from taking personal command of his armies. In the light of these disadvantages, it is not surprising the Russian high command had difficulty in concentrating its substantial armies to advantage on the battlefield and enabling them to fight effectively once there.

The Whites were doomed by lack of enthusiasm apart from corruption and personal enrichment against an army motivated by generations of poverty and hardship; no surprise that the British generals ultimately recommended withdrawal.  Good read for RCW aficionados.
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kipt
Major
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Posts: 555


« Reply #3271 on: 19 May 2020, 06:26:32 PM »

Finished "Losing Nelson" by Barry Unsworth.

Interesting but a bit weird for my tastes.  he main character, living in now times, essentially worships Horatio Nelson, to the extent that on the date and time of Nelson's battles, Charles (the main character) Cleasby sets out his model ships to reenact the combats.  Not a wargame as he just adjusts them to the historical action.

Charles in obsessive with Nelson and is trying to write a book about his hero.  One point bothers him and he cannot get past it.  Nelson's action with the rebels in Naples.  Did he know they were giving themselves up to the King's (Ferdinand) justice?  Charles wants to prove that Nelson was totally honorable and did not know of the duplicity.  But he can't.

Anyway, the book has us see into the mind of a person with many psychological problems.  Not my typical read but it was given to me by a friend, because of the model ships.
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FierceKitty
Field Marshal
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Posts: 10721


The dog is a peasant. The cat is a gentleman.


« Reply #3272 on: 20 May 2020, 04:06:49 AM »

You might enjoy Sontag's The Volcano Lover. I know I did.
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Steve J
General
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Posts: 8111


« Reply #3273 on: 20 May 2020, 07:05:08 AM »

'To the Gates of Richmond, the Peninsula Campaign' by S W Sears. An excellent read and wish I'd read it before 'Chancellorsville', but knowing what happened to McClellan after this campaign does make it more interesting.
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DaveH
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 134


« Reply #3274 on: 20 May 2020, 08:22:34 PM »

Just finished rereading The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury.

Still working my way through Shenandoah 1862 by Peter Cozzens and Company Aytch by Sam R. Watkins as part of my American Civil War reading.
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flamingpig0
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 91


« Reply #3275 on: 22 May 2020, 08:23:11 AM »

Blood, Sweat and Arrogance: The Myths of Churchill's War
by Gordon Corrigan

It is a good read and the author really does dislike Churchill and despise Montgomery
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hammurabi70
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 124


« Reply #3276 on: 22 May 2020, 05:14:04 PM »

Blood, Sweat and Arrogance: The Myths of Churchill's War
by Gordon Corrigan

It is a good read and the author really does dislike Churchill and despise Montgomery

A controversial book.  Your impression of it, when you have finished it, would be of interest.
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kipt
Major
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Posts: 555


« Reply #3277 on: 25 May 2020, 03:00:41 PM »

Finished "The U.S. - Mexican War" by Carol and Thomas Christensen.  This book is the companion to the Public Television Series.

Well done, many pictures, writings from both sides and uses many experts in their fields.  Expanded the US but not morally upstanding.  Many northerners did not want to add Texas and the other territories, due to the southern block wanting to add slave states, and were totally against the war on moral and ethical grounds.
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ianrs54
Playtester
General
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Posts: 7709



WWW
« Reply #3278 on: 25 May 2020, 03:10:38 PM »

Just read through "Battlegroup Northag" - look good but one or two errors.
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Sunray
Brigadier
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Posts: 2221


« Reply #3279 on: 27 May 2020, 12:56:39 PM »

My copy of Battle:Practical Wargaming by Charles Grant (Model &Allied Publications, 1970) arrived this morning. Pristine dust cover intact, no public library smell. 

Quite apart from my unashamed bask in nostalgia, and fond memories of Airfix 8th Army and Afrika Korps  HO&OO mounted with Bostic on 1/2" square bases.  And being miffed that the Germans had a very well sculpted Rommel figure who towered over everybody else - whilst the Brits lacked a Monty.
It was also a pain that the Germans had European soldiers (1705) and  loads of anti tank weapons.  The British side has a set called "Infantry Combat Group"(set 1703) that was low on accuracy and detail.  But then this was an era when the product was children's toys and not model soldiers.

All this was disappointing to the British gamer.  If he added Airfix 6pdr and 25pdr to the mix, he had to contend with a crew of  kneeling giants.

It was Grant who introduced us to Minitanks and the concept of using them with Airfix.  Since the early Airfix were close to 1/87 (Railway scale), it worked.

The book is the collection of the early articles in Meccanno Magazine, so the chapters are well arranged around topics.   It is what I need in terms of a good introduction to the wargame.  The sort of read that non gaming family members can indulge in when pressed to "roll a dice".

As I flip through the pages I am chastened by what those early 1960s gamers achieved with simple models, figures and a few bits of Ballona scenery.
 

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Raider4
Lieutenant Colonel
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Posts: 946



« Reply #3280 on: 27 May 2020, 01:44:18 PM »

My copy of Battle:Practical Wargaming by Charles Grant (Model &Allied Publications, 1970) arrived this morning. Pristine dust cover intact, no public library smell.

I believe that that's available as a free PDF on the interwebs. I know I've got it stashed on a harddrive somewhere.
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DaveH
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 134


« Reply #3281 on: 27 May 2020, 01:57:46 PM »

I think I preferred the Matchbox infantry sets to Airfix for the British and Germans in Europe, but the Airfix 8th Army and Afrika Korps were superior.

I believe that that's available as a free PDF on the interwebs. I know I've got it stashed on a harddrive somewhere.

I have it downloaded as the articles from Airfix magazine somewhere.
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Sunray
Brigadier
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Posts: 2221


« Reply #3282 on: 27 May 2020, 02:30:11 PM »

I think I preferred the Matchbox infantry sets to Airfix for the British and Germans in Europe, but the Airfix 8th Army and Afrika Korps were superior.


I can understand that. However Matchbox sets did not arrive in Woolworths until 1976.  They were 1/76 and fitted well with the Matchbox range of plastic kits.  They were made in a knowing way for wargames, as opposed to the toy syndrome that shaped the early Airfix approach in 1960/61. So for us 1960s wargamers it was Airfix or nothing in small scale. 

I can recall early games with 54mm plastic (Britains Lilliput ?) - and some from Cornflake packs - and tank/artillery  guns that fired plastic pellets via a spring.  Hong Kong made ripoff copies of the figures.

Then one day my cousin arrived with a hand copied set of the Grant rules and a dice...…….That day we stopped playing with toy soldiers and became wargamers.
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