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Thread: What Book Are You Reading?

  1. #976
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    Albany Rifles's Avatar
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    Great book, Asty.

    The guy had big brass ones.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

  2. #977
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    TR was truly amazing. Suffered the death of his mother and wife within days (if I recall correctly). Managed to come out of the Amazon after a botched exploration. Haven't read the book yet, but hope to soon. Still working my way through Churchill's WW!! quartet.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Just finishing Weber's In Fury Born , with Killing Lincoln waiting in the wings.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  4. #979
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    currently reading an older Civil War book, one of the classics by Bruce Catton: Grant Moves South.

    one of the things which fascinate me is that I've read a lot of books regarding Grant as The General, the one whom broke the Army of Northern Virginia.

    but not so much about Grant the jumped-up Colonel-- he had been a captain in the regulars before getting out, but then when war broke out he got himself a Colonelcy (and later Brigadier's star one whole month later) thanks to his Congressman as well as his own hard work.

    and in this month Grant turned around a troubled regiment, while learning a few important lessons of his own.

    in one case, Grant was assigned to deal with a Confederate guerrilla leader in his area of operations. it had been a while since the Mexican War so when Grant got his orders he was quite nervous, on the verge of panicky- not sure how his new command would react in fighting. he just elbowed aside his nervousness (later writing that he "lacked the moral courage" to call a halt to think things over) and just bulled ahead..only to find that the guerrillas had run off after hearing of his advance.

    and from that aspect "it dawned on Grant that Harris had been at laest as afraid of him as he himself had been of Harris; an aspect of the situation which, he confessed, had not occurred to him before."
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #980
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    asty:

    The same incident is recounted by Grant in his autobiography. His admission of human frailty in the encounter reminds of something I heard in a Texas oil town years ago after a street fight that didn't happen, "they was both scared, and the guy who didn't run was glad of it."

    Have you read Grant's autobiography? It's well worth the read.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    not yet, definitely on the reading list for 2017.

    still plugging through the Catton. I forgot how good he was, and how much effort he put into demolishing the 'Grant was a drunken butcher' canard put out by the Southern revisionists whom were in full force in the 1960s.

    the amount of backbiting and CYA and petty jealousy going on in the Union armies in the West was quite remarkable. after Grant's shattering win at Ft Donelson, the devastated Confederate forces were allowed almost two months to recover and put an army back together while Halleck, Buell, McClellan, and Grant jostled for position.

    ---

    next book after this will be the 1992 classic "Truman" by David McCullough.

    on a more fictional side, i highly enjoyed the "Witcher" novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. great reading over the holidays.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #982
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post

    Have you read Grant's autobiography? It's well worth the read.
    The historian H.W. Brands who wrote The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace said of Grant's autobiography, it was the best of all the presidential memoirs due to it contents and that it had nothing to do with his time in the presidency.

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    Hello, I am new to this forum (really looking forward to discussions here).
    Currently I'm reading Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.

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    Been reading 'Harold The Last Anglo Saxon King' by Ian W Walker during last week of holiday. Alot of speculation - did Harold visit Rome/collect Edward the Exile from Hungary etc but quite good on the political background leading up to 1066.

  10. #985

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    ARMOR AND BLOOD-The Battle Of Kursk.

    2013 by Dennis E. Showalter, a professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Builds a bit on Glantz/House's seminal work from 1999. More anecdotes regarding non-elite formations than read heretofore in previous histories where everything leads to the ultimate clash at Prokhorovka.

    Still looking for an account of the mountain of small unit actions occurring across that battlefield on both sides of the salient. The amateur historian still does not have a view of standard Heer and Red Army infantry division strengths or, obviously, subordinate regiments and battalions. Which had truly been rebuilt and rehabilitated? How was this done? What divisions were chosen for personnel replacement and upon what basis?

    The prevailing conception is that the German Army, for instance, was "rebuilt" in the spring of 1943 prior to Kursk and then further augmented by a vast array of Tigers, Panthers and Ferdinands. It appears, however, that the only relief most Heer infantry divisions received was a reduction in local combat operations. In effect, between late March and early July these units rested but were not flushed full with trained replacements who then were further drilled upon arrival.

    Nope. From what I can tell most German infantry divisions could count on about 3,000 or so trigger-pullers spread between (usually) seven battalions and three regiments. That was before the battle ensued. It only got worse from there, particularly in the 9th Army's sector where infantry divisions carried the brunt of the initial assault against the main Soviet defenses. Divisions like 78th Sturm, 86th, 292nd and 6th Infantry division were right in the middle of those assaults and began to immediately evaporate.

    Kursk remains for me the most compelling combat narrative of World War II. Massive in numerical size yet constricted to a very defined battlespace. A battlespace, btw, whose dimensions would prevent the German Panzer divisions from doing that which they so excelled-seek weak points, infiltrate and envelope/exploit. No room for that at Kursk. Both geographically defined battle sectors and density of defenses precluded such.

    Oh well, my search continues for the definitive small unit account of Kursk.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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