December 2018 reading

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December 2018 reading

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2Karlstar
Dez 12, 2018, 2:09pm

Just finished this one from Early Reviewers:

Operation Columba--The Secret Pigeon Service: The Untold Story of World War II Resistance in Europe
What an amazing book! Who knew that pigeons were used so extensively in WW2 as carriers of messages?

Did you know that as just part of Operation Columba, the British dropped 16,000 pigeons into Western Europe, trying to get information about the enemy? Pigeons returned with valuable intelligence, especially concerning German radar and listening stations and V-1 and V-2 launch sites.

Did you know that pigeons were also used as emergency message carriers for downed bombers and were used by the USA in Europe as well and that they were also used in the Pacific Theater?

Believe it or not, there was extensive competition between the multiple British military organizations trying to use pigeons to gather intelligence, some of which made the various efforts less effective. Partially due to this contention and confusion, the Germans were able to return false messages via the pigeon service and later via radio.

I thought this was surprisingly interesting, well written and engaging to read. I actually expected it to be boring, but it really was mostly about the people involved, including a very brave group of Belgian patriots. Great stuff.

3jztemple
Dez 13, 2018, 6:09pm

Finished an interesting, if somewhat disjointed Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York by Thomas M. Truxes. While the focus is on New York City, the theme of the book is the illicit trade carried on by the British American colonies with the French during the French & Indian War (aka the Seven Years War). It jumps back and forth in time a bit, but there is a Chronology in the back of the book that helps out. There is also large cast of characters to keep track of, but again there is a Glossary of Persons in the back. There is also a Glossary of Terms and a final section of Statues, Proclamations, and Orders in Council. Definitely recommended if you have an interest in Colonial America and especially those circumstances that lead up to the Revolution.

4Shrike58
Dez 19, 2018, 2:04pm

Finished up The 1929 Sino-Soviet War over lunch; very good for examining N.E. China as a snake pit of great power military competition.

5jztemple
Dez 22, 2018, 10:18pm

Completed a very interesting, although very technical, Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 by D. K. Brown. It is focused on ship design and policy and assumed a pretty strong background in naval terminology and British history, but well worth the effort to get through.

>4 Shrike58:, I've added that book to my various wishlists!

6AndreasJ
Dez 26, 2018, 9:31am

Got started on Sumption's Trial by Battle, the first part of what's supposed to eventually be five of his Hundred-Years'-War series. Liking it this far.