What are you currently reading ?

Started by goat major, 03 November 2012, 06:40:05 PM

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pierre the shy

Quote from: toxicpixie on 09 May 2022, 10:44:40 AMBit less "we won really but they cheated" and "there were never any Nazis anywhere *I* commanded!"?

Yes I'm sure they were all only obeying orders too  :-\  ;) 
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fred.


QuoteBit less "we won really but they cheated" and "there were never any Nazis anywhere *I* commanded!"?
I think they were already peddling that line by March 1945


Recent events do make me re-evaluate Soviet WWII effectiveness - how much was a good story told by them vs how good did they actually get? Kept a lot of people employed (on both sides) during the Cold War.
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toxicpixie

Quote from: fred. on 09 May 2022, 12:28:54 PMI think they were already peddling that line by March 1945


Recent events do make me re-evaluate Soviet WWII effectiveness - how much was a good story told by them vs how good did they actually get? Kept a lot of people employed (on both sides) during the Cold War.

You could write a book on that ;)
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Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

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kipt

Finished "If It Takes All Summer: The Battle Of Spotsylvania" by William D. Matter.

A good book about this part of the campaign and specifically the battle.  Many unit narratives with several maps; good tactical combats.  350 pages before the appendices which include the OB for both sides (no unit strengths however), a discussion of the acrimonious exchange between Sheridan and Meade and what happened to the oak stump left after an oak tree was shot through by rifle fire.  (The tree was about 20 inch in diameter and the stump is in the Smithsonian).

Good ACW book.

Rhys

10 May 2022, 08:13:18 AM #3905 Last Edit: 10 May 2022, 08:24:55 AM by Rhys
Quote from: fred. on 09 May 2022, 12:28:54 PMRecent events do make me re-evaluate Soviet WWII effectiveness - how much was a good story told by them vs how good did they actually get? Kept a lot of people employed (on both sides) during the Cold War.
I'd argue that in WW2 they were as good as we think, possibly better. Certainly they mastered operational art, which Germans failed to do.
I would recommend the 3 book "set" by Pritt Buttar, covering the war for Ukraine from November 1942 to the destruction of army group south in late 1944.
On a Knifes Edge, Retribution and The Reckoning. The Soviet high command was brave enough to learn from its mistakes (and successes). In the accounts I'm always struck how the initial attacks always picked unit boundaries (from division to army level) and used sequential attacks to wear the German reserves down by running them around dealing with successive attacks.
As to their effectiveness in the 1970's/80's I've always wondered how an army full of men raised in Eastern Europe austerity would have reacted on seeing their first mall or supermarket. I believe the entire offensive may well have bogged down in an orgy of looting that would have required a sizable number of KGB barrage battailions to get back on track.
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Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

Quote from: Rhys on 10 May 2022, 08:13:18 AMAs to their effectiveness in the 1970's/80's I've always wondered how an army full of men raised in Eastern Europe austerity would have reacted on seeing their first mall or supermarket. I believe the entire offensive may well have bogged down in an orgy of looting that would have required a sizable number of KGB barrage battailions to get back on track.

That certainly happened in 1918 with the March offensive - German troops stopped to loot the extensive British supplies. As to the current situation it's very reminisant of the 39/40 Winter War in most respects.
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DecemDave

Quote from: Rhys on 10 May 2022, 08:13:18 AMI've always wondered how an army full of men raised in Eastern Europe austerity would have reacted on seeing their first mall or supermarket.

I've had the same thought re N. Korea if it invaded the South. 

toxicpixie

Quote from: Rhys on 10 May 2022, 08:13:18 AMI'd argue that in WW2 they were as good as we think, possibly better. Certainly they mastered operational art, which Germans failed to do.
I would recommend the 3 book "set" by Pritt Buttar, covering the war for Ukraine from November 1942 to the destruction of army group south in late 1944.
On a Knifes Edge, Retribution and The Reckoning. The Soviet high command was brave enough to learn from its mistakes (and successes). In the accounts I'm always struck how the initial attacks always picked unit boundaries (from division to army level) and used sequential attacks to wear the German reserves down by running them around dealing with successive attacks.

Yes, I'd agree. They were able to hit unit boundaries and drive deep, pocketing or sending Nazi formations fleeing in large part because their Recce was *excellent*.

And unlike German Recce, concentrated on actual Recce - instead of being used as a fire brigade/reserve/spearhead.

The "they cheated and hit us 10:1!" is partially true - those isolated bits were positions the Russians had determined were *crucial* and needed to be taken *now* - so spending 100 men to take them saves 1000 in the coming week.

What the Germans seldom mention is that that attack allows a Soviet force to completely dislocate and send running/pocket ever larger German formations. Just like Blitzkrieg ;)
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toxicpixie

Oo, books. Just re-read Poul Andersens "Three hearts, three lions" fantasy novel, very good. You can see where D&D pinched its Law vs Chaos axis/conflict from :)
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kipt

Finished "The Carnage was Fearful: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862" by Michael E. Block.  A previous book I reported on here, "Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain" is referenced in the bibliography.  That is a better book on the battle.  This book is almost done as a Staff Ride, where modern routes and stopping areas are delineated.  If you get to Cedar Mountain, this current book would be helpful, and it does explain the battle well.

kipt

Finished "To Rescue The Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, The Fragile Union, And The Crisis Of 1876" by Bret Baier.  He is a commentator on Fox News (which I DO NOT listen to) but has done 3 other books on US Presidents.  An interesting read with the emphasis on Grant's political life.  Fairly done.

Couple of errors on the military portion: Grant was not the first Lieutenant General (Scott was) and Picket had nothing to do with Longstreet's day 2 attack at Gettysburg.