January 2016 reading

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January 2016 reading

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1rocketjk
Editado: Jan 4, 2016, 2:49pm

Thought I'd kick the year off here. I finished Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence. There were a few passages I could have lived without, especially some of the later descriptions of landscape, but all in all I feel like, even taking Lawrence's narrative with a certain grain of salt, I learned a whole lot about this aspect of World War One and about Middle East history in general. I'm very glad I worked my way through this long version rather than settling for the edited down version published as Revolt in the Desert.

2jztemple
Jan 5, 2016, 10:42pm

3Shrike58
Jan 12, 2016, 11:30am

Hmmm, I'll have to bring this to the attention of my colleagues.

4Jestak
Jan 12, 2016, 3:29pm

I am currently reading Agent of Destiny by John S. D. Eisenhower.

5jztemple
Jan 12, 2016, 5:51pm

>4 Jestak: I have that on my to-read list. I've read the biography by Timothy D. Johnson and besides that one and the Eisenhower one I also have the bio by Allan Peskin. You know you are doing too much impulse buying and swapping when you have three Winfield Scott biographies!

6jztemple
Jan 12, 2016, 6:12pm

Finished a short one: Lancaster Bomber by D. B. Tubbs (Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century Weapons Book no. 30)

8Shrike58
Editado: Jan 27, 2016, 10:55am

Apart from some Osprey booklets I've finished up A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet (B), in which the author tries to come to terms with the likelihood of her beloved grandfather having participated in major atrocities during World War II in Lithuania. To be honest, this book is more an exercise in self-examination by the author than an examination of historical events.

9jcbrunner
Jan 21, 2016, 5:43pm

Starting the year by a cheap translated reprint about the army of Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, Maria Theresia und ihre Armee, by one of my favorite military historians, Christopher Duffy. At 5 EUR for the reprint, one can hardly complain. Still I wish they had managed to get the basic translation errors corrected from a book now 40 years in print (a "full general" is a "General" in German, "Vollgeneral" does not exist except in the form of "Volltrottel", i.e. moron).

Duffy makes a great argument how Maria Theresia's army was open to (foreign) talent as the local nobility was opposed either to the state or the Habsburgs. Thus, men from all Europe flocked to serve under Austria's banner (among them many Scots, and Irish "Wild Geese" though that label is technically reserved for those in French service clad in gray uniforms while Austrians traditionally wore white coats).

2016 is also the 150th anniversary of Königgrätz 1866 which the three nations concerned (Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic) will try to ignore. I am also reading The Road To Koniggratz: Helmuth von Moltke and the Austro-Prussian War 1866 which starts with a sketch of Moltke's life and his crucial experiences in Ottoman service where learned handling prickly and often incompetent superiors.

I am looking forward to Osprey's M48 Patton vs Centurion which is selling the India-Pakistan War of 1965 as a confrontation between US and British tanks as a special Campaign title would probably not fly off the shelves. Vienna's Panzergarten (tank garden) in the military museum displays both a M47 and a bridge-layer Centurion. Today, India and Pakistan rely on locally produced/upgraded Chinese and Russian tanks.