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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Started to read "Salvo!"by Bernard Edwards. Utter tosh. Contentless. No real details. More like a windy, aspirating third party recapitulation of battles not described in detail. In discussing the Battle of Nov 12 (Guadalcanal) his analysis is utterly tomfoolish. His conclusion "Naive overconfidence in radar" is completely 180 degrees wrong. The problem was precisely that the USN commodore (Callaghan) put his command on the ship with the LEAST capable radar in the TF he commanded.

After reading about two battles and recognizing that not only do I know much more about the battles but also that he just got his facts wrong I stopped reading. Fortunately it was a freebie. Off to the recycling bin with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:16 am 
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wulfir wrote:
Bergström used to focus on the air war and tends to give a lot of weight to air operations IMO.
I have his Barbarossa and Ardennes books (in Swedish) - large A4 size things. The Ardennes one is rich in details but also somewhat American critical. Bergström is for example example unimpressed by the advance of Patton's 4th Armored Division during the Bulge...

Bergström however gives a lot of praise for Cornelius Ryan's reserach on Market Garden, but thinks his book was rushed and more of a first draft sort of thing (as Ryan was ill and died shortly after it being published).

One thing Bergström claims is that all allied divisions on Sept 17 failed to advance on important objectives (bridges), and maybe especially the US 82nd Abn - where the commander Gavin is presented as overly cautious and responsible for making serious priority errors. This being because he opted to airland a full arty bn instead of his Glider infantry regiment and deploy most of his forces in defence of the Groosebeek Heights against non-existing Germans in the Reichswald (in the early stages of the operation).

I have a couple of books on Market Garden and they tend to present Gavin as a very able leader. Fished out Ryan's A Bridge Too Far to compare and the 82dn Abn:s role in the initial stages is presented in a much more positive light here ("...first time ever in history a full arty bn was airlanded!" etc)...
What was the complaint about Patton's 4th Army, IIRC Patton got high marks for his fast turn around, he did choose the wrong route thinking the Germans would be waiting for him on the other?

As for the airborne commanders, one American commander said (paraphrased): "It's going to take a lot of luck, but we've had a lot of luck so far." Maybe they were worried?


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:52 am 
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abradley wrote:
What was the complaint about Patton's 4th Army, IIRC Patton got high marks for his fast turn around, he did choose the wrong route thinking the Germans would be waiting for him on the other?


Not the 4th army (Patton commanded the 7th and later the 3rd Army) - it was in regards to the advance of the 4th Armored Division during the Bulge (one of Patton's divisions). I have that particular book up at the cabin, I'll give you the details when I get a chance to look into it some more...

abradley wrote:
As for the airborne commanders, one American commander said (paraphrased): "It's going to take a lot of luck, but we've had a lot of luck so far." Maybe they were worried?


Sort of. Bergström argues that they were unnecessarily worried given the weak German resistance and initial strength.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:39 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
abradley wrote:
What was the complaint about Patton's 4th Army, IIRC Patton got high marks for his fast turn around, he did choose the wrong route thinking the Germans would be waiting for him on the other?


Not the 4th army (Patton commanded the 7th and later the 3rd Army) - it was in regards to the advance of the 4th Armored Division during the Bulge (one of Patton's divisions). I have that particular book up at the cabin, I'll give you the details when I get a chance to look into it some more...

abradley wrote:
As for the airborne commanders, one American commander said (paraphrased): "It's going to take a lot of luck, but we've had a lot of luck so far." Maybe they were worried?


Sort of. Bergström argues that they were unnecessarily worried given the weak German resistance and initial strength.
OK, thanks for the info, I'll let you get back to enjoying the holidays.

Best


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:21 am 
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Quote:
The Winds of War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winds_of_War#Overview
Overview

The novel features a mixture of real and fictional characters that are all connected to the extended family of Victor "Pug" Henry, a fictional middle-aged Naval Officer and confidant of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The story arc begins six months before Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939 and ends shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, when the United States and, by extension, the Henry family, enters the war as well.

Wouk interspersed the narrative text with epistolic "excerpts" taken from a book written by one of the book's fictional characters, German general Armin von Roon, while he was in prison for war crimes. Victor Henry translates the volume in 1965 after coming across Von Roon's German version. While the texts provide the reader with a German outlook at the war, Henry occasionally inserts notes as counterpoint to some of von Roon's statements.
Read this long, long ago. Great stuff ... Wouk's works are always great.
Quote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winds ... miniseries)
The Winds of War is a 1983 miniseries, directed and produced by Dan Curtis, that follows the book of the same name written by Herman Wouk. Just as in the book, in addition to the lives of the Henry and Jastrow families, much time in the miniseries is devoted to the major global events of this period. Adolf Hitler and the German military staff, with the fictitious general Armin von Roon as a major character, is a prominent subplot of the miniseries. The Winds of War also includes segments of documentary footage, narrated by William Woodson, to explain major events and important characters.

It was followed by a sequel, War and Remembrance, in 1988, also based on a novel written by Wouk and also directed and produced by Curtis.[1]
You can find the mini series at

Perfect cast and adaption.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Went up to the cabin to shovel some snow. Brought home my copy of:

Image

Ardennerna 1944-1945: Hitlers vinteroffensiv ("The Ardennes 1944-1945: Hitler's Winter Offensive")

It's a pretty hefty piece - 500 pages, A4 format.

11 Chapters that moslty focus on various sectors of the Bulge front.

Some of Bergström's writing that will annoy the hell out of American fanbois:

*The Americans did better in the early defensive phase, than the later stages when they were on the offensive.

*The weak German flanks were of greater importance to the loss of offensive power than the initial (stubborn) American resistance or German supply problems.

*The 6. SS Panzer-Armee failed in their task due to bad leadership and poor training among the bulk of the troops.

*The 5. Panzerarmee outclassed American units, esp. in tank combat, when no Allied air was present.

*Luftwaffe in the West could not contest the Allied air superiority but a large force of veteran Luftwaffe units existed in the east and were not used to reinforce the offensive. Had this force with its concentration of experienced pilots been deployed in the west it would have influenced the ground battle.

*The fate of the Ardennes offensive was finally decided on January 12, 1945 - when the First Ukranian Front launched itself on the German defences in southern Poland.

*The Ardennes offensive could not turn the tide of WWII - not even under ideal conditions. It is debatable if the Germans could have finished off the Allied armies north/Northeast of Antwerpen if they had managed to reach it. Greater German success could however have led to the Western allies meeting the Red Army further west than was the case.

and

Monty did just fine. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:13 pm 
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I am currently reading "Finland's War of Choice - The Troubled German-Finnish Alliance in World War II" by Henrik O. Lundue

I think some posted this book earlier.

I am about 13% of the way into it.

One of the most interesting sections with regard to Finnish war aims that I have seen thus far:

Quote:
The stated Finnish war aims were limited to the recovery of territories lost during the Winter War; hence they refer to the conflict from 1941 to 1944 as the “Continuation War.” However, it is patently obvious from statements and events both before and during the war that they hoped to come out of the war with much more than the territories lost in 1940.

The most ambitious statements of Finnish aspirations appear to be those given by President Ryti to Ambassador Schnurre in October 1941.2 He let it be known that Finland desired all of the Kola Peninsula and all of Soviet Karelia with a border on the White Sea to the Gulf of Onega (Ääninen). Also included in his wishes were Ladoga Karelia and that the future border should then proceed along the Svir River, the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, and finally along the Neva River to where it entered the Gulf of Finland. 3 Within a couple of weeks of this statement, Ryti told Ambassador Blücher that Finland did not want a common border with the Soviet Union after the war and he requested that Germany annex all territory south of the Archangel region. 4 The views that Ryti expressed in October 1941 may be what prompted Hitler to tell Foreign Minister Witting the following month when he came to Berlin to sign the Anti-Comintern Pact that Germany favored an expansion of Finland to the east, to include the Kola Peninsula as long as Germany shared in the mineral resources. Witting told Blücher after his visit to Berlin that it was necessary for Finland’s security to hold on to the captured territories.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:50 pm 
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I am not reading this book (yet) but thought that I would post it here for those that might be interested:

https://www.strategypage.com/bookreviews/1610.asp

Quote:
Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-46. Updated and Expanded, by D. M. Giangreco

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2018. Pp. xxx, 554. Illus., maps, tables, appends., notes, index. $35.00. ISBN: 1682471659.

Ending the War in the Pacific

D.M. Giangreco’s 2009 book, Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947, set the gold standard for research on the end of World War II in the Pacific. This new edition of the authoritative work has been greatly expanded and updated, and provides further insights into the context of Allied decision making in the conflict’s final months, with fascinating new research regarding Soviet planning and participation in the war against Japan.

True to his title, Giangreco argues that the pending invasion of Japan would have been an extremely bloody affair. Far from accepting defeat, the Japanese armed forces had accumulated thousands of kamikaze aircraft, a wide variety of suicide naval craft, an army of approximately three million men, and a rapidly expanding home defense force comprised of armed civilians. Although Japanese planners anticipated heavy losses, they believed that they could extract so high a price from the Allies that they would be able to secure an acceptable negotiated end to the war.

While the US and British were confident in their ability to win, they were deeply concerned about the costs of victory. This fatalism was underscored by American defense planners, when they ordered an additional 500,000 Purple Heart decorations in anticipation of massive losses, a stockpile so large it proved sufficient to cover American casualties in wars over the next 50 years.

Based on this grim reality, Giangreco argues that the atomic bombs were an unexpected blessing because they ended the "mutual suicide pact", almost certainly saving lives on both sides. Although this claim runs counter to much of the recent scholarship regarding the need for the atomic bombs, the wealth of primary source evidence convincingly documents the likely costs of an Allied invasion of Japan and puts Allied decision making into a proper strategic context.

In addition to fresh source material and some minor rewrites for readability, the new version vastly expands on the US-Soviet relationship during the war’s final months. Contrary to much of the prevailing scholarship, which claims that the US used the atomic bombs to intimidate the USSR and preclude their entry into the war, Giangreco demonstrates that the US actively sought Soviet participation.

This fascinating claim is well documented in two new chapters which argue that US Lend-Lease aid and political concessions at Potsdam were part of a coherent strategy to ensure that their Soviet ally would be a full partner in what was projected to be a costly invasion of the Japanese home islands. Rather than a race against time to avoid a Soviet invasion, this work demonstrates that the US was racing to get the Soviets into the war. For these new perspectives on Soviet involvement in the war alone, this new edition of Hell to Pay is worthy of purchase, as it provides a much needed reassessment of the US-Soviet relationship during World War II and new insights into origins of the Cold War.

The updated version of Hell to Pay is a must read for any student of World War II as Giangreco has greatly improved on his already impressive work.



Note: Hell to Pay is also available in several e-editions



Our Reviewer: Dr. Daniel, visiting assistant professor at the Embry-Riddle College of Security and Intelligence, in Prescott, Arizona, where he researches and teaches at the nexus of political science, political theory, and military history, was the editor of 21st Century Patton, selections from the writings of George S. Patton that not only offer insights into the generals thoughts on war, but suggestions for the modern commander as well. His earlier reviews include one for the first edition of Hell to Pay.

---///---
Reviewer: --J. Furman Daniel, III






Amazon Kindle edition:
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN ... dredyearsw

$22.99

For those that have the Nook from Barnes and Noble (or the Nook app on various devices), this same book is availabe for $19.99 at Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hell-t ... 82471661#/

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:07 am 
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A couple of WW2 books, one is a novel based on the author's experience, the other is a fake.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:49 pm 
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abradley wrote:
A couple of WW2 books, one is a novel based on the author's experience, the other is a fake.


From the City from the Plough - sounds interesting. Once (years ago) read I John Podlaski's Cherries - which IIRC was supposedly based on the author's own Vietnam service but written as a novel because the publisher said it was the only way it was going to get published...

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