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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Döden vid Raatevägen ("Death on the Raate Road") by Teemu Keskisarja.
(Original title: Raaka tie Raateeseen)

Another book on the defeat of the Soviet 163. and 44. Divisions during the Winter War. The author a broad outline of the battle(s) and dives into certain aspects in some depth that are less touched upon in more military focused books (fighting in "wilderness terrain", "The Red Rider", the civilians caught by the invasion/Juntusranta/the use of the "living compass", Vinogradov, military courts and the executions of spies/traitors etc). Interesting, unsentimental - but IMHO people who are less familiar with the fighting could use a more detalied account to go with this book.

Three Molotov Coctails out of five...


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:54 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
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Döden vid Raatevägen ("Death on the Raate Road") by Teemu Keskisarja.
(Original title: Raaka tie Raateeseen)

Another book on the defeat of the Soviet 163. and 44. Divisions during the Winter War. The author a broad outline of the battle(s) and dives into certain aspects in some depth that are less touched upon in more military focused books (fighting in "wilderness terrain", "The Red Rider", the civilians caught by the invasion/Juntusranta/the use of the "living compass", Vinogradov, military courts and the executions of spies/traitors etc). Interesting, unsentimental - but IMHO people who are less familiar with the fighting could use a more detalied account to go with this book.

Three Molotov Coctails out of five...

Keskisarja... heavy stuff...

I have to read that one. The original.

PS. I hope that nothing of Keskisarja poetry is not lost in translation...

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:37 pm 
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I like Mika Kulju. Here's a podcast, mostly in English with Kulju:



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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:09 pm 
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2017 Reading
https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/56542.html
Posted by David Foster on December 20th, 2017 (All posts by David Foster)

Some books I’ve read during the year and consider very worthwhile…

Tom Jones and other works, by Henry Fielding. Somehow I had never previously read Fielding (who wrote between 1728 and 1755)…now that I have, I am very impressed. Interesting characters, clever and intricate plotting, many passages that are very funny, and the author, I think, shows great insight into human behavior. (In addition to his literary efforts, Fielding served as a magistrate and is credited with establishing London’s first professional police force, popularly known as the Bow Street Runners.)

Fielding sometimes breaks out of the narrative, most notably in Tom Jones, and addresses himself directly to the reader. In one rather touching passage, he explains why he has taken the trouble to write the book–certainly for money, he says, but also “with the hopes of charming ages yet to come. Foretel me that some tender maid, who grandmother is yet unborn, hereafter, when, under the fictitious name of Sophie, she reads the real worth which once existed in my Charlotte, shall from her sympathetic breast send forth the heaving sigh”

In addition to Tom Jones, I’ve also read his Amelia, Joseph Andrews, and the wonderfully-titled An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews. All are IMO well worth reading.
---------------------------------------------
Harmony, by Chicago Grrll Margaret Ball. This is a series, encompassing three books.

With the development of interstellar travel, humanity had the chance for a fresh start. The colonization of a new planet was carried out with the explicit intent to create a society that would avoid the miseries of the past, that would be based on the principle of harmony.

(Think about a society designed from the ground up by someone like Hillary Clinton.) Of course, it works out about as well as utopian projects usually work out.)

For those who don’t fit in to the Harmonious society, there is exile to a colony known as Esilia. Book 1, Insurgents, is focused on the Esilian struggle for independence against the forces of Harmony. Gabrel, a leader of the independence movement, seizes Isovel, daughter of the commander of the invading forces, as hostage.

In Book 2, Awakening, the protagonist Devra is an unlicensed child, who never should have been allowed to be born. In an attempt to overcome the stigma of her very existence, Devra makes a point of extreme conformity to Harmony’s rules and expectations. But when one of her students is threatened with ‘medical rehabilitation,’ she finds herself questioning her role as a good Harmony citizen.

In Book 3, Survivors, Harmony’s society is approaching collapse. Jillian, a soap opera star in holodramas, has been largely insulated from the impoverishment that is afflicting so many. When a farm boy named Ruven comes to the city to plead for better terms for his dairy cooperative, she uses her acting skills to teach him how to appeal to the emotions as well as to logical thought.
--------------------------------
A Balcony in the Forest, by Julian Gracq. In preparing for the German onslaught which actually came in May of 1940, the French general staff made some serious errors. One was to view the heavily-wooded sector of the Ardennes as basically impassible by major forces. Hence, the French did not fortify this sector to anywhere near the level of the Maginot Line sector, further to the southeast; furthermore, the troops sent to hold the Ardennes were mostly what one writer referred to as “class B divisions composed of middle-aged reservists.”

The protagonist of Gracq’s novel is one of these middle-aged reservists, a dreamy sort of man named Lieutenant Grange, who is assigned to command a blockhouse and a small group of soldiers. It is the period of the ‘phony war’, and Grange has a hard time believing that the war will ever become hot. He finds that he loves the Ardennes, though, and his assignment gives him a great deal of satisfaction–especially when he meets a local girl named Mona and things develop rapidly between them.

A strange, almost surrealistic book, with some beautiful descriptive writing. A commenter at Goodreads remarked that the Ardennes is portrayed as “a mythic forest, by definition unreal, must also be indifferent to human beings- eternity doesn’t bother itself with trifles- and Grange is but a reclusive watchman on this magic mountain during this staggeringly brief period of months closing shut like the jaws of a wolf devouring a faun.”

Available at Amazon, both Kindle and paperback.

This post to be continued.
Haven't read any of these, sound interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:19 am 
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Read "Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates" on a flight from Newark. Quick read. Informative. Jefferson's stance influenced European powers to stop paying ransoms and bribes....unfortunately, Hussein recently reinstated the practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:38 am 
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jack t ripper wrote:
Read "Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates" on a flight from Newark. Quick read. Informative. Jefferson's stance influenced European powers to stop paying ransoms and bribes....unfortunately, Hussein recently reinstated the practice.


Why would Obama ever want to follow the precedent set by a rich white slaveholder?

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:40 am 
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Slaget om Holland (Battle of Holland)
1: Pansar och fallskärmsjägare (1: Armour and Paratroopers)
by Christer Bergström

Published 2017

This is the first part of two dealing with the fighting in the Netherlands 1944 by the Swedish military historian Christer Bergström – primarily known for his focus on air operations. The book deals with Operation Market Garden between basically the start on September 17th until the allied entry into Nijmegen on the 19th. Claims to challenge many aspects of the history of Market Garden as previously presented.

The book includes QR codes – frist time I've seen these and a map of Market Garden printed on the inside of the detachable cover – first time I've seen this too.

Rich in detail, but some claims will need to be cross checked I think.
Pro-Monty, American critical.

Four red baretts out of five.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:41 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
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Slaget om Holland (Battle of Holland)
1: Pansar och fallskärmsjägare (1: Armour and Paratroopers)
by Christer Bergström

Published 2017

{Snip}
Did a Amazon check on the book, no English translation listed yet, plenty of other titles including,
The Ardennes, 1944-1945 Kindle Edition
by Christer Bergstrom (Author) 4+/5 stars, 2.99 Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/Ardennes-1944-19 ... 364&sr=1-1

Am debating getting it, altho I've read a million books on the Bulge. Maybe more ;)

Your "Pro-Monty, American critical." intrigues me. Have been anti Monty since reading '
Desert Generals – April 1, 2003
by Correlli Barnett (Author) , $5.57 kindle https://www.amazon.com/Desert-Generals- ... 0785815910

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:55 pm 
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abradley wrote:
Am debating getting it, altho I've read a million books on the Bulge. Maybe more ;)

Your "Pro-Monty, American critical." intrigues me. Have been anti Monty since reading '
Desert Generals – April 1, 2003
by Correlli Barnett (Author) , $5.57 kindle https://www.amazon.com/Desert-Generals- ... 0785815910


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)...


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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:07 pm 
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Spionskolan: Finlands hemliga agentverksamhet under andra världskriget
(The Spy School: Finland's Secret Agent Operations during WWII)
by Mikko Porvali

This book deals with the Finnish efforts at parachuting in "converted" former members of the Soviet Red Army into the Soviet Union, primarily to spy on the military equipment being transported from Murmansk. It surprised me that they had such an interest in the city of Vologda wich is quite a long ways from the Finnish front. Almost 100% failure rate as far as is known, most spies being caught by the NKVD in a matter of days or hours, many simply gave up as soon as they were back in the USSR. Author claims that some stuff is still secret and that if only one spy out of the 200 or so that were sent in did actually function the whole enterprise was worth it.

Four parachutes against the Soviet night sky, out of five.


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