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Thread: Recommended WWII Readings

  1. #61
    tankie Military Professional tankie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbmek View Post
    I have just bought, off amazon, Silent Victory, the "bible" of US Submarine ops in the Pacific. I hope to start reading it this week.
    I and many others used to read fictional ???books by a guy called Sven Hassel based upon his time on the russian front , which could i suppose have made it fact ?
    but anyway many a 2 hour stag was whiled away laughing at some of the antics the German guys got up to


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  2. #62
    Banned Military Professional Elbmek's Avatar
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    A novel is different from a factual book. Silent Hunter is a book detailing everything that went on in The Pacific War wiith US Subs, missions, patrols, etd etc. A vastly different "world" from Sven Hassel. I never even read this Sven geezer.

  3. #63
    tankie Military Professional tankie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbmek View Post
    A novel is different from a factual book.

    Silent Hunter is a book detailing everything that went on in The Pacific War wiith US Subs, missions, patrols, etd etc. A vastly different "world" from Sven Hassel. I never even read this Sven geezer.
    What a remarkable talent for stating the obvious Mike , the novel as you put it was based on the "geezers" account of his own actions , and they were a good read when out on ex with the sabre sqd,s learning to be real soldiers , but there again you wouldnt know about that would you , you were busy making tea and reading part ones and twos huh , making dsure the pay was correct , and reading rules and regs ?
    Last edited by tankie; 11 Jun 08, at 13:34.


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  4. #64
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    I finished Harry Yeide's TANK KILLERS and is almost done with THE LONGEST BATTLE. Extremely rich tactical histories on small unit egagements usually with a strong focus to regemental combat and a refreshing look at the American Army at World War II.

    Quote Originally Posted by clackers View Post
    But of course, Irving doesn't toe the line of Holocaust scholarship and has done Austrian prison time as a denier (amongst other things, he believes Himmler was the driver behind the Final Solution, and offered a cash reward if anyone could find written evidence Hitler authorized it).
    I knew that he was Holocaust denier; at one point he made a botched 'scientific' examination with a peice of concrete that he had retrieved from the ovens, send it to a lab for elemental analysis, and told everyone that the lab could not find any evidence that bodies were disposed of there. The lab subsequently refuse to endorse the results of their own analysis, because Irving didn't tell them that he was looking for human remains; subsequently the method used for disovling the concrete was one that would actually destroy whatever was left of the human cinders. He also famously sued an antideflamation league member of lible, which backfired.

    I don't know what is so controversial about pinning it on Himmler though. The big debate in Holocaust studies had divided the scholars along two lines: those who believe that Hitler concieved it, or the people that think it came out of a collective and evolutionary process from high ranking Nazis.

    While this is an interesting debate, evidence, I think, on the whole suggest a very early decision in annhilating the Jews. They have been slaughtering them in the East within weeks of Barbarossa. MASTERS OF DEATH is a very good account of that history, if one has the stomach for it.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  5. #65
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    I knew that he was Holocaust denier; at one point he made a botched 'scientific' examination with a peice of concrete that he had retrieved from the ovens, send it to a lab for elemental analysis, and told everyone that the lab could not find any evidence that bodies were disposed of there. The lab subsequently refuse to endorse the results of their own analysis, because Irving didn't tell them that he was looking for human remains; subsequently the method used for disovling the concrete was one that would actually destroy whatever was left of the human cinders. He also famously sued an antideflamation league member of lible, which backfired.

    I don't know what is so controversial about pinning it on Himmler though. The big debate in Holocaust studies had divided the scholars along two lines: those who believe that Hitler concieved it, or the people that think it came out of a collective and evolutionary process from high ranking Nazis.

    While this is an interesting debate, evidence, I think, on the whole suggest a very early decision in annhilating the Jews. They have been slaughtering them in the East within weeks of Barbarossa. MASTERS OF DEATH is a very good account of that history, if one has the stomach for it.
    Triple C,

    I'm pretty sure the bogus scientific research was done by Fred Leuchter, a monumentally stupid American who abandoned his skill at making execution equipment to engage in reaearch he was unqualified to do, for people he should never have gone within a continent of. His work was trumpeted by holocaust deniers & anti-semites such as Irving & Ernst Zundel as 'proof' that it had not taken place.

    As for Irving himself, he appears to be a skilled reasearcher. Unfortunately he is also an anti-semite, holocaust denier & Nazi sympathiser. His work may be of some value to historians in the field who know enough about the sources to tell when he is distorting facts to fit his prejudices. Unfortunately I don't think any of us qualify.

    If you want some good work on the holocaust Saul Friedlander, Raul Hilberg & Robert Browning are excellent.

    Here are some comments from Richard J. Evans, a respected historian tasked to analyze Irving's work for the trial you alluded to. The link I post contains the whole (VERY lengthy) report as well as virtually all relevant documentation to the trial. I have only read bits, but they leave little doubt about the unreliability of Irving's work.

    HDOT : Irving v. Lipstadt : Defense Documents : David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition

    This examination of Irving's work has demonstrated that there is abundant evidence of his beliefs and activities since 1988 as a Holocaust denier; that is to say, he has actively propagated the view that the Holocaust as conventionally understood did not happen. According to Irving, there were no functioning gas chambers, there was no systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazis, the number of Jews killed by the Nazis in the Second World War did not amount to more than a few hundred thousand at most, and the evidence on which historians have relied for their accounts of the Holocaust was fabricated by the Allies during the war and further invented afterwards in the interests of sustaining the new state of Israel. Irving has manifold connections with well-known Holocaust deniers in a number of countries, and uses his website to propagate Holocaust denial on the Internet. He has repeatedly implied that such antisemitic outrages as did occur under the 'Third Reich' were the responsibility of the Jews themselves, who in his view gave rise to them as a result of various acts of provocation which they committed. And he has consistently sought to portray the crimes of the 'Third Reich' during the Second World War as no more serious, indeed possibly a good deal less serious, than the crimes, if that was what they were, committed by the Allies most notably the bombing of German cities.
    Irving frequently fails to provide proper source references, is often vague about the documents he claims to have used, and sometimes appears to cover his tracks by making it particularly difficult for his readers to track his sources down.
    Not one of his books, speeches or articles, not one paragraph, not one sentence in any of them, can be taken on trust as an accurate representation of its historical subject. All of them are completely worthless as history, because Irving cannot be trusted anywhere, in any of them, to give a reliable account of what he is talking or writing about. It may seem an absurd semantic dispute to deny the appellation of 'historian' to someone who has written two dozen books or more about historical subjects. But if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian. Those in the know, indeed, are accustomed to avoid the term altogether when referring to him and use some circumlocution such as 'historical writer' instead. Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history for his own political purposes; he is not primarily concerned with discovering and interpreting what happened in the past, he is concerned merely to give a selective and tendentious account of it in order to further his own ideological ends in the present. The true historian's primary concern, however, is with the past. That is why, in the end, Irving is not a historian.


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  6. #66
    Regular Trajan's Avatar
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    Really good 'What If' type WWII book that I found rather good:

    Downing, David The Moscow Option Military Book Club, 2001
    [Wasting Space]

  7. #67
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    One historian whose name I do not remember called Irving out; for someone who had so much access to third reich history and declare that the holocaust did not happen require a lot of intellectual dishonesty.

    Thanks for the suggested book list! Will certainly check them out.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  8. #68
    Patron Proyas's Avatar
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    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Inside the Third Reich are my two favorites.

  9. #69
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    I am reading Carlos D'Este's biographies on Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life. Both are critical, highly interesting analysises of their subjects personality, generalship, their successes and failures... I will post a question about one of the books else where.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  10. #70
    Military Professional sappersgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
    Really good 'What If' type WWII book that I found rather good:

    Downing, David The Moscow Option Military Book Club, 2001
    I looked it up on Amazon and ordered a used paperback copy really cheap at $5.49 including shipping and handling. It arrived today and I find it is a hardback (plus) but more interesting the inside cover is marked "LIBRARY USS VANCOUVER". I'm imagining some sailor or Marine whiling away time at sea reading this book.
    Reddite igitur quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo
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  11. #71
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    Just finished reading Adam Tooze's massive 800 page ''Wages of Destruction'' and it makes you stop and think- how the heck did Nazi Germany last as long as it did?

    You'd have to say they were destined to lose.


    As it says in the review.... Tooze's subjects are the sinews of war, the finances, raw materials and industrial production which powered Hitler's bid to win by force Germany's place in the sun.

    And he shows conclusively that Nazi economics were as delusional - and as dangerous - as the rest of the regime's fantasies.

    Tooze shows how grotesquely unequal the ramshackle Reich was to the task of global, or even continental, domination.


    His analysis shows that the regime consistently failed to produce the quantity and quality of armaments that its own assessments demonstrated it needed. Iron ore and steel shortages meant that the demands of the three services regularly went unmet. Dönitz argued that with 300 U-boats he could achieve decisive success against British shipping, but Germany started the war with just 32 capable of operating in the North Atlantic, falling to 25 by the summer of 1940.

    He challenges the notion of a Nazi economic miracle in the 1930s. Clearly unemployment fell sharply and inflation was contained. Germany benefited from the world recovery, as did Britain and France.

    Employment was boosted by a huge rearmament programme, while prices were controlled by a high exchange rate and, increasingly, by administrative fiat. But the exchange rate depressed exports, industry was severely constrained by import restrictions and, by the time of the Anschluss, the Government had all but exhausted its foreign exchange reserves. The need to seize Austrian gold and dollars to finance rearmament was important in the timing.

    He shows, too, that some of the regime’s supposed industrial achievements were no such thing. Few of the trumpeted “Volks” products were successful. The people’s radio set, the Volksempfänger, was uncompetitive “with only tiny numbers finding buyers abroad”.

    And the Volkswagen? A design triumph, certainly, but priced far too high for its market. “Not a single VW was ever delivered to a civilian customer during the Third Reich” even though many had paid large deposits — they were compensated in the 1960s after a long legal battle. So there was no Wirtschaftswunder in the 1930s.

    On Speer....

    The man Tooze credits with keeping the Nazi show on the road until even he ran out of it, was not a Hitler increasingly withdrawn from the enormities he had unleashed, but his sorcerer's apprentice, the munitions minister Albert Speer. Slippery Speer bears the guilt for prolonging the war with his ruthless determination to keep Germany's faltering factories turning out their indifferent armaments for as long as they did.

    He fooled his judges at Nuremberg, just as he did subsequent biographers, with his pose as the tortured Nazi-with-a-conscience, but Tooze's damning pages leave no doubt that he should have been hanged very high indeed.


    Some of the dramatic increase in wartime armament output, which looks positive in his charts and tables, was achieved through vicious exploitation of captured prisoners and concentration camp victims.


    It sums up... Hitler's Germany was always too hampered by shortages of raw materials, notably crude oil and rubber but also iron ore and coal, animal feed and fertiliser, foreign currency and even labour, to attempt an independent industrial and commercial existence in peace, let alone a campaign of European conquest. For all the ingenuity of cynical opportunists such as Hjalmar Schacht, at the Reichsbank until 1939, and Speer, at Armaments after 1942, Germany passed through a succession of hair-raising financial and resource crises that hampered its armies and helped to bring on the final collapse.

    A fascinating read.

  12. #72
    Herodotus
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    My first exposure to WWII "scholarship" or books was Delivered from Evil by Robert Leckie:
    http://www.amazon.com/Delivered-Evil.../dp/0060158123

    Certainly not the greatest WWII historian but he does cover all facets of the war, with a focus on Guadalcanal. A good intro book for an eighth-grader.

  13. #73
    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    oops .

    what does copyright 2000 mean?? that it expires in 2000?
    Last edited by omon; 20 Feb 09, at 04:25.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

  14. #74
    Herodotus
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    Quote Originally Posted by omon View Post
    oops .

    what does copyright 2000 mean?? that it expires in 2000?
    It means the book was written then, or the copyright was renewed that year.

  15. #75
    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
    It means the book was written then, or the copyright was renewed that year.
    thanks.
    does it ever expire?
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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