Current Reading - October 2019

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Current Reading - October 2019

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Editado: Out 16, 2019, 9:15pm

Most of the works I've read this month were as much social history and political science as military studies but Armoured Warfare: A Military, Political and Global History (A-) is pretty much pure history of warfare and the author delivers the solid academic-grade introduction to the subject that he intended. The main problem is that it's rather weak in terms of the American contribution to the mechanization of war; though perhaps that just indicates that Searle has a book on American military theory in mind.

Editado: Out 16, 2019, 3:52pm

Thoroughly enjoying Frederick Taylor’s very well written Dresden Tuesday 13 February 1945. What is it that makes the horrors and suffering of all out war in the closing months of the Third Reich’s existence so fascinating ?

Out 18, 2019, 5:20pm

Completed Ordeal by Exocet: HMS Glamorgan and the Falklands War 1982 by Ian Inskip, a first person account by the navigation officer of the ship. Fairly good, lots of small details that get missed in the general histories of the war.

Out 23, 2019, 12:49pm

>2 TomCat14: "What is it that makes the horrors and suffering of all out war in the closing months of the Third Reich’s existence so fascinating ?"

That's a great question. I think it has to do with trying to figure out the motivations people would have had to continue fighting and dying and allowing the destruction of their cities when they were well past the point that there was any hope at all that holding out would bring them anything other than more death.

In the American Civil War, which is the only comparison that comes quickly to mind, the leaders of the Confederacy up until the very end, I think, were still hoping that, if they could just keep the battle going, the North would finally get sick of it all and offer terms that would win the Southerners at least some of what they'd been fighting for. But in World War 2, the Allies had made it clear that there would be no political solutions on offer and that total surrender was the only way the war would end.

At least that's the way I understand those two situations. I'm sure there are lots of subtleties, if that's the right word in such a case, that I've left out.

Editado: Out 23, 2019, 1:15pm

Never underestimate the Nazi commitment to iron will above all else and the sheer refusal to quit. Also, many of these folks knew they had no future so they might as well fight to the end. There's also a new book in English on suicide and the German mindset at the time that one hopes will offer some insight; Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself by Florian Huber.

Editado: Out 23, 2019, 3:39pm

>5 Shrike58: "Never underestimate the Nazi commitment to iron will above all else and the sheer refusal to quit."

I don't underestimate that, certainly, but I was thinking more of the ordinary citizen and soldier. The book you've offered here looks fascinating. Thanks for that. I recently read a very good novel, All for Nothing by German author Walter Kempowski about that final days before the Russian occupation in eastern Prussia. Kempowski lived through the times he was writing about. One of the factors that book highlights was the German sense of denial of what was about to befall them, even as they could hear Russian artillery just over the horizon.

Editado: Out 25, 2019, 12:24pm

There was almost always an authority figure who was prepared to abort another "stab in the back" with the termination of an internal enemy.

Stormtroopers is very enlightening on how this mindset was indoctrinated into the general population by the SA.

Nov 7, 2019, 1:32am

I finished reading "Turning Point - the Battle for Milne Bay 1942" by Michael Veitch.

At the Battle of Milne Bay Australian soldiers and airmen fought and defeated Japanese forces in the defence of vital airfields constructed by US Army engineers at the Eastern tip of Papua New Guinea. An interesting read about a largely forgotten battle.