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Sad King Billy
Jan 27, 2006

Thats three of ours innit...to one of yours. You know mate I really think we ought to even up the average!

I notice that the old war literature thread went into the archives. I'm after some recommendations for new books to read so selfishly, this new thread has been created.

I've can recommend the following books. You've probably read most of them.

Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser
A recounting of his experiences in Burma during WW2. I got a real sense of the characters who served with him and it is telling that he held onto his hate for the Japanese long after the war ended.
Fraser wrote the Flashman series and his ability as a storyteller shines through here.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
A troubling semi-biographical novel about a Marine Lieutenant in Vietnam. This book hit e hard and is a must-read.

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam
This is the only history of the Korean War that I have read but it is great. A really good balance between fact and drama.

Blind Mans Bluff by Christopher Drew and Sherry Sontag
This book was recommended to me by this forum. It made fantastic listening while I jogged in the Cornish countryside. Describes declassified sub-operations during the Cold War, very tense and I was hooked.

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer
The {possibly) true-life memoirs of a Grossdeutchsland Division soldier from WW2. Even if it isn't true it is very affecting.

and for balance, here is a book to avoid.

Devil's Guard by George Robert Elford
Ex-SS men turn up in Vietnam and fight in the Foreign Legion. Among other things they are super efficient, defeat Viet Cong political officers in debate and tie hostages to jeeps to prevent them being fired on. We could learn a lot from the Nazis when it comes to fighting insurgencies.
Sickeningly pro SS and laughable with it.

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UP THE BUM NO BABY
Sep 1, 2011

Man-oh-man, Cowboy looks like a bag of leftovers from a V.F.W. barbecue. Of
course, I've got nothing against dead people. Why, some of my best friends are dead

Sad King Billy posted:

Devil's Guard by George Robert Elford
Ex-SS men turn up in Vietnam and fight in the Foreign Legion. Among other things they are super efficient, defeat Viet Cong political officers in debate and tie hostages to jeeps to prevent them being fired on. We could learn a lot from the Nazis when it comes to fighting insurgencies.
Sickeningly pro SS and laughable with it.

Sad King Billy
Jan 27, 2006

Thats three of ours innit...to one of yours. You know mate I really think we ought to even up the average!


That is the point the book tried to get across. "The French had no idea how to deal with insurgents until we showed them how it was done in Russia and the Ukraine."
I certainly don't agree with it.

Syrian Lannister
Aug 25, 2007

Oh, did I kill him too?
I've been a very busy little man.


Sugartime Jones

The Dead Hand Dead Hand, also known as Perimeter, is a Cold War-era automatic nuclear weapons-control system used by the Soviet Union. General speculation from insiders alleges that the system remains in use in the post-Soviet Russian Federation as well.

The Last of the Tin Can Sailors The true story of the naval battle of San Bernardino Strait. Philippines during WWII. A last ditch battle of navy Destroys and Destroy escorts against Japanese heavy cruisers and battle ships. defending the USCarriers from destruction.

Command and Control History of American nuclear issues.

15 Minutes: Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation More a history of SAC and alert crews

PookBear
Nov 1, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 17 hours!


uh the nazis dealt with partizans by just killing villages so no I don't think we could learn anything from the loving nazis

PookBear
Nov 1, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 17 hours!


https://twitter.com/dril/status/831...2776576?lang=en

Syrian Lannister
Aug 25, 2007

Oh, did I kill him too?
I've been a very busy little man.


Sugartime Jones

45 ACP CURES NAZIS posted:

uh the nazis dealt with partizans by just killing villages so no I don't think we could learn anything from the loving nazis

Oradour-sur-Glane is the famous / infamous one.

Sad King Billy
Jan 27, 2006

Thats three of ours innit...to one of yours. You know mate I really think we ought to even up the average!

45 ACP CURES NAZIS posted:

uh the nazis dealt with partizans by just killing villages so no I don't think we could learn anything from the loving nazis

Look at what I put directly beneath that statement
Sickeningly pro SS and laughable with it.

I'm not agreeing with what the Nazis did, I totally disagree with it.
That is the books stance. That is why I put it down as a book to avoid.

Terrible Robot
Jul 2, 2010

FRIED CHICKEN


Slippery Tilde

Syrian Lannister posted:

The Last of the Tin Can Sailors The true story of the naval battle of San Bernardino Strait. Philippines during WWII. A last ditch battle of navy Destroys and Destroy escorts against Japanese heavy cruisers and battle ships. defending the USCarriers from destruction.



Came here to recommend this one. Absolutely phenomenal story. Since I was beaten to the punch on that I'll recommend Neptune's Inferno by the same author, about the Battle of Guadalcanal.

And hell, Ship of Ghosts is also an amazing book (and is also written by Hornfischer) about the often-forgotten USS Houston, which was sunk in the very early months of the US' involvement in the war. Her survivors were captured and sent to Burma, where they suffered hellishly for the duration.

Syrian Lannister
Aug 25, 2007

Oh, did I kill him too?
I've been a very busy little man.


Sugartime Jones

^ picked it up last thread recommendation but never read it. Just started reading it today

Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

Johnny Pussy?


Love these threads.


Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Anthony Tully and Jonathan Parshall. Incredibly good book about the Battle of Midway told primarily from the Japanese perspective. Dispels many of the myths about the battle, primarily that the Japanese were only minutes/seconds away from launching a fatal strike against the American Carriers. Also goes into great detail about just how hamstrung the IJN's carrier aviation arm was after only six months of war, and whereas the USN learned many lessons and applied them prior to the battle, the IJN ignored or missed many lessons that could have arguably turned the battle to their favor. Highly recomend this.


Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy. Three book series about the U.S. Army's operations in the ETO and North African theaters of WW2. First book in the series, An Army at Dawn won the Pulitzer.

Crucible of War by Fred Anderson. Another Pulitzer award winner about the Seven Years War and the prelude up to it as well as laying the groundwork for what would eventually lead to the American Revolution. The first chapter had me by it's talons due to it's description of Washington's first taste of combat in the Ohio valley and what lessons he took from it.

Echoing Blind Man's Bluff, The Coldest Winter and Matterhorn as well. I'll probably add a bunch of WW2 stuff later on because I read way too much to make my history degree feel semi useful.


As far as books to avoid, gonna go with On Killing by Dave Grossman. While his thesis starts out sounding plausible ("People naturally don't want to kill people, so obviously, we have to find ways to remove that hesitation from soldiers"), it quickly turns to poo poo as Grossman relies heavily on S.L.A. Marshall's flawed combat studies from WW2 and Korea (as another GIPer put it best, Marshall's goal was to get US Military leaders to change their training methods to be more combat oriented instead of relying on calisthenics and shooting at square targets all the time, so he essentially bullshitted his studies to force through training changes in time for Vietnam). Book takes a spectacular turn into shitsville when Grossman leaves his lane as a psychologist and attempts his hand at being a sociologist and hypothesizes that the only reason we see so much violence in inner cities and with young people is due to violent movies, video-games and rap music. No, I'm not kidding. Grossman is a loving weirdo and I hate his book and everyone who's ever recommended it to me.

Radical 90s Wizard
Aug 5, 2008

~SS-18 burning bright,
Bathe me in your cleansing light~


If there's one thing that people have loved since time began, it's killing stuff, Dave Grossman sounds like a real dumbass.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES


SLA Marshall: Did you ever intentionally shoot at an enemy soldier

Motor-T POG that never saw combat: Nope!

SLA Marshall: Ah-ha! He intentionally missed!

The Rat
Aug 29, 2004

You will find no one to help you here. Beth DuClare has been dissected and placed in cryonic storage.


Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman is probably the most significant book I've read. Russian long form novel centered around the battle of Stalingrad. Fictional, but the author was a Soviet war journalist who was there, as well as in one of the first death camps liberated. Highly recommend it. Very long, but worth it.

McNally
Sep 12, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


SLA Marshall's work in Europe during WWII was incredibly suspect and even the people who were working for him were all "uh yeah we don't know where he's getting this information from, he didn't take that many notes."

A great example would be how he wrote up the assault on Brecourt Manor, as depicted in Band of Brothers. He interviewed then-Lieutenant Winters in a room full of Winters' superiors, so Winters decided to give a matter-of-fact account that avoided anything that would sound like he was trying to talk himself up. As a result, when Winters said that members of E and D companies participated in the assault, Marshall wrote that Winters assaulted the German guns with 200 men.

Burning Beard
Nov 21, 2008

Choking on bits of fallen bread crumbs
Oh, this burning beard, I have come undone
It's just as I've feared. I have, I have come undone
Bugger dumb the last of academe


To Purge this Land with Blood This is a great biography of John Brown. You will love him more after this. He broke up far larger groups through sheer willpower.

America's First battles: 1776-1965: An edited volume from the former head of the Army's Military History Center. It details how badly America hosed up nearly every first single battle that we fought. Come for Bull Run, stay for Kasserine Pass. Which was a complete clusterfuck that will never, ever get a movie made about it. Patton doesn't count because he replaced the guy who failed.

Into Oblivion: The Story of Pioneer Battalion 305: Complied from the records of the senior officer to survive, Jason Mark records the history of a completely normal Wehrmacht unit composed of reservists as they get sent from a cushy assignment in France to Stalingrad. Only 20 or so men made it out with 9 or 10 more released in the '50s. A fascinating account of what happened to most German units at Stalingrad. Also, not cheap, get it through your library.

For Country and Corps: The biography of OP Smith, CO of the 1st Marine Division at the Chosin Reservoir. OP is like Mr. Rogers if Mr. Rogers was a Marine General. Extremely competent and so mellow as to be overlooked, he guided the Marines out of Chosin. Seriously, this guy is a leader and what a leader should be. The book is written by his adopted daughter. It's great.

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Big Horn: Regarded as a excellent introductory volume on the battle it details both sides very well. Donovan is not biased towards anybody, which you often find in LBH literature. I used this for the Staff Ride Guide I wrote and am submitting to Army Press. Great book!

Sacrifice on the Steppe: Story of the Italian Alpine Division sent to Russia as part of Mussolini's alliance with Hitler. They fought hard without adequate equipment in freezing conditions for nothing. Really brings home the futility of war.

Nothing Remains But to Fight: By Ian Knight. About the battle of Rourke's Drift in 1879. The fight the movie Zulu was based on. Great photos and Ian Knight is regarded as the guru of the battle the Zulu War. 86 men against 4000 Zulus and both sides fought like hell.

The British Army Cookbook-1914: Want to see how the BEF fed itself in WW1? If you account for size most recipes can be cooked today. Who wouldn't want Treacle Tarts or Salt Beef and Dumplings?

MRC48B
Apr 2, 2012



A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight, Robert J. Mrazek

US Berder Patrol
Jul 11, 2006

I joined the Navy and all I got was this hideous paunch.


Can anyone recommend something about Simon Bolivar or about the Latin American wars for independence? I have access to a university library.

Dr. Kyle Farnsworth
Apr 23, 2004

"He's a great baker. He's Betty Crocker. He makes the best peanut butter cookies ever."

I'm not an ex-military goon but I love lurking war history threads and while picking up some of the stuff y'all suggested, I found:

James Falkner's book on The War of Spanish Succession. Apparently it has some typos but it's also less than 2bux today.

Matchlocks to Flintlocks covers the early gunpowder era in Europe and is also less than 2bux today.

And Mercenaries and their Masters covers the mercs of Italy, which, if you've read the milhist thread, is thoroughly engrossing. If not, these are the guys that will frequently line up with you, then go "lol, sorry, the other guys paid us more". It is also less than 2 bux today.

As Nero Danced
Sep 3, 2009

Alright, let's do this


Most of my readings recently were related to the cold war. KGB: The Inside Story By Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky is a beast of a book that I admit I didn't read the whole thing, but what I did read was pretty interesting. Gordievsky was the highest ranking Soviet defector (a colonel) and kind of showed the west just how paranoid the Soviet leadership had gotten by the 80s.

I also liked The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1983-1991 by Don Oberdorfer. The same guy also wrote two books about Vietnam called Tet! and Last Reflections on a war, but I haven't read either of those yet. He also had one about the Korean War called Two Koreas.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


McNally posted:

SLA Marshall's work in Europe during WWII was incredibly suspect and even the people who were working for him were all "uh yeah we don't know where he's getting this information from, he didn't take that many notes."

A great example would be how he wrote up the assault on Brecourt Manor, as depicted in Band of Brothers. He interviewed then-Lieutenant Winters in a room full of Winters' superiors, so Winters decided to give a matter-of-fact account that avoided anything that would sound like he was trying to talk himself up. As a result, when Winters said that members of E and D companies participated in the assault, Marshall wrote that Winters assaulted the German guns with 200 men.

Weren't the paratroopers scattered to hell and back even at that point during overlord

McNally
Sep 12, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Milo and POTUS posted:

Weren't the paratroopers scattered to hell and back even at that point during overlord

Apparently nobody told that to SLA Marshall.

Abongination
Aug 18, 2010

Life, it's the shit that happens while you're waiting for moments that never come.


Pillbug

I plugged this last literature thread but

In great spirits : the WWI diary of Archie Barwick

Amazing ww1 diary of a Australian soldier that fought from 1914 till the end of the war. Barely edited and he fought in pretty much every major Aussie action from Gallipoli to the western front.

He managed to capture the essence of “mate-ness” and never complains despite the awful conditions he and the troops are living in.

He’s got a great writing style and this is without a doubt my favourite book.

Also just finished

The last stand of fox company

A detailed look at the marines holding open a pass during the start of the withdrawal from North Korea, absolutely devastating conditions they are fighting in and the results. Got a great narrative structure.

Abongination fucked around with this message at 04:36 on Mar 13, 2019

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Mark of the Lion

History of Charles Upham, the only combat soldier who ever won two VC's and lived to tell about it.
It's a great book, because the guy is completely insane.

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



Relentless Strike: The Secret History of JSOC by Sean Naylor

A very good, unapologetic look at US Special Operations starting at the Iranian Hostage Crisis. I think it had been recommended in a previous version of this thread and I seriously, SERIOUSLY thought most of the poo poo y'all said about SEALs were exaggerations. This book, combined with Not a Good Day to Die by the same author about Operation Anaconda made me realize that no, they're just loving bugshit crazy/stupid.

Sad King Billy
Jan 27, 2006

Thats three of ours innit...to one of yours. You know mate I really think we ought to even up the average!

MA-Horus posted:

Relentless Strike: The Secret History of JSOC by Sean Naylor

A very good, unapologetic look at US Special Operations starting at the Iranian Hostage Crisis. I think it had been recommended in a previous version of this thread and I seriously, SERIOUSLY thought most of the poo poo y'all said about SEALs were exaggerations. This book, combined with Not a Good Day to Die by the same author about Operation Anaconda made me realize that no, they're just loving bugshit crazy/stupid.

I bought this due to the recommendation in the previous thread. It is a very good book.

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012



The Arnheiter Affair, by Neil Sheehan

Incident in Vietnam that was the inspiration for Wouk's Caine Mutiny, and a good read for anyone who hates khakis generally.

Rules of the Game, by Andrew Gordon

It's nominally about Jutland, but in a larger sense it's about organizations and how they're run.

shame on an IGA
Apr 8, 2005



Speaking of Neil Sheehan, Bright Shining Lie is a great dive into how completely hosed up the South Vietnamese government and military were at every level

Barrakketh
Apr 19, 2011

Victory and defeat are the same. I urge you to act but not to reflect on the fruit of the act. Seek detachment. Fight without desire.

Don't withdraw into solitude. You must act. Yet action mustn't dominate you. In the heart of action you must remain free from all attachment.

The Note Books of Captain Coignet
The self-written autobiography of an Illiterate peasant that rises to the rank of Captain in Napoleon's Old Guard. Coignet fought in every major battle from 1799 to Waterloo under Napoleon. This is the story of a man who captures Austrian artillery batteries by himself, stabs Prussian officers in the face for honour's sake, unhorses Russian generals, and is an intimate witness at some of the most pivotal moments of the Napoleonic Era. He survived 16 campaigns and 48 major battles without a scratch. When first published, his story was so wondrous people thought it was a fabrication until many veterans and historical figures corrobated that, yes, Coignet did exist and, yes, he did do all he wrote. Without exaggeration, Jean Roch Coignet was to Napoleon what Ramirez was to COD: MW2.

Barrakketh fucked around with this message at 18:30 on Jun 11, 2019

UP THE BUM NO BABY
Sep 1, 2011

Man-oh-man, Cowboy looks like a bag of leftovers from a V.F.W. barbecue. Of
course, I've got nothing against dead people. Why, some of my best friends are dead

Sad King Billy posted:

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam
This is the only history of the Korean War that I have read but it is great. A really good balance between fact and drama.

I've been listening to the audiobook and I can't say enough good things about it.

gently caress MacArthur

Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

Johnny Pussy?


UP THE BUM NO BABY posted:

I've been listening to the audiobook and I can't say enough good things about it.

gently caress MacArthur

gently caress Ned Almond, too.

Hail Ridgeway.


Started reading Rick Atkinson's The British Are Coming, pretty good so far.

Also TIL; Franklin was fully in favor of keeping the colonies in the control of England until the Crown started calling him a traitor and called him to a meeting with a bunch of lords where they proceeded to publicly berate him. He set sail for Philly like a week later.

UP THE BUM NO BABY
Sep 1, 2011

Man-oh-man, Cowboy looks like a bag of leftovers from a V.F.W. barbecue. Of
course, I've got nothing against dead people. Why, some of my best friends are dead

Just finished the audiobook of Hell in a Very Small Place by Bernard B. Fall, and holy poo poo is that a fantastic book about the siege of Dien Bien Phu. A favorite moment of mine involved the commander of French paratroopers on the ground argued with the paratrooper command in Hanoi over jump qualifications for combatants going into the valley, because they were constantly under-manned and had a hard time finding specialists that were jump qualified.

quote:

"On the other hand, Langlais insisted that basically a parachute was just a handy way of getting out of an aircraft in mid-air and could be used by any reasonably agile man who had jumped off a streetcar. Langlais turned out to be right."

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



Barrakketh posted:

The Note Books of Captain Coignet
The self-written autobiography of an Illiterate peasant that rises to the rank of Captain in Napoleon's Old Guard. Coignet fought in every major battle from 1799 to Waterloo under Napoleon. This is the story of a man who captures Austrian artillery batteries by himself, stabs Prussian officers in the face for honour's sake, unhorses Russian generals, and is an intimate witness at some of the most pivotal moments of the Napoleonic Era. He survived 16 campaigns and 48 major battles without a scratch. When first published, his story was so wondrous people thought it was a fabrication until many veterans and historical figures corrobated that, yes, Coignet did exist and, yes, he did do all he wrote. Without exaggeration, Jean Roch Coignet was to Napoleon what Ramirez was to COD: MW2.

So he's the French Sharpe, but real?

Hotel Kpro
Feb 23, 2011

owls don't go to school

Fun Shoe

Abongination posted:

I plugged this last literature thread but

In great spirits : the WWI diary of Archie Barwick

Amazing ww1 diary of a Australian soldier that fought from 1914 till the end of the war. Barely edited and he fought in pretty much every major Aussie action from Gallipoli to the western front.

He managed to capture the essence of “mate-ness” and never complains despite the awful conditions he and the troops are living in.

He’s got a great writing style and this is without a doubt my favourite book.


I read this book, I concur with the above statements although it's not quite favorite of all time.

But gently caress does he give a great description of day to day life in trench warfare. That poo poo sounded worse than hell

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012



Kenneth Pollack's Armies of Sand may not be as one-theory-to-explain-everything as the author was hoping for, but it's a fine read.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Seeing as Matterhorn was already posted

.. I'll recommend "One Bullet Away - the making of a marine officer"

It's by Nathanial Fick (invaded Iraq with force recon, is portrayed on Generation Kill), and it's a pretty interesting glimpse into the mind of someone reflecting about war in the modern age.

SpaceSDoorGunner
May 4, 2018



Tias posted:

Seeing as Matterhorn was already posted

.. I'll recommend "One Bullet Away - the making of a marine officer"

It's by Nathanial Fick (invaded Iraq with force recon, is portrayed on Generation Kill), and it's a pretty interesting glimpse into the mind of someone reflecting about war in the modern age.

It’s good to read both because you get the perspective of both the squad level and the platoon/company level at the same time, and Fick was one of the most liked officers

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



SpaceSDoorGunner posted:

It’s good to read both because you get the perspective of both the squad level and the platoon/company level at the same time, and Fick was one of the most liked officers

And he actually seemed like a "good" officer (as much as the nobles can be good)

I just finished Armor. The Crow stuff was pretty meh but Felix...I loved the descriptions of The Engine.
Now I'm into The Forever War.

UP THE BUM NO BABY
Sep 1, 2011

Man-oh-man, Cowboy looks like a bag of leftovers from a V.F.W. barbecue. Of
course, I've got nothing against dead people. Why, some of my best friends are dead

Forever War is the best

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ded
Oct 27, 2005

Kooler than Jesus

The Big Show: The Classic Account of WWII Aerial Combat

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Show-Cla...k/dp/B07NJ9DRCX

Logs of a Free French pilot with the RAF in Spitfires and Tempests turned into a semblance of a story. It does not mince words and is a bit dreary. He was sent in to a lot of bad attacks.

Free on kindle unlimited.

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