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Author Topic: Currently Reading  (Read 11915 times)

Leman

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2016, 09:21:07 AM »
I have restarted the Ballista series by Harry Sidebottom.

Sean Clark

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2016, 11:24:32 AM »
Anyou good? He is at Partisan signing copies of his books!

Leman

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2016, 02:46:49 PM »
He does have a habit of using Latin terminology then putting the English in parenthesis after it. This works OK in prose, but is a little irritating within speech. However, the plot lines are terrific and absolutely reek of the intrigue of the mid-C3rd Roman Empire. The first book begins with our Angle hero being sent out to face the Sassanids, as Dux Ripae, on the banks of the Euphrates. It does make me think of the phrase, "the more things change the more they stay the same", especially as at this time the Sassanids were religious fanatics attempting to bring the worship of Mazda to the whole of the known world.

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2016, 04:23:55 PM »
I have just finished reading "Down South: One Tour in Vietnam" by William H Hardwick.

The author was a US Marine 2nd Lieutenant artillery officer, serving a tour from September 1968.

He was cross-trained as both a Forward Observer for artillery and a Forward Air Controller, seeing service in both capacities in company-level operations and - rarely for an artillery officer, many of whom spent much of their tour on fire bases - received the Bronze Star for valour in the field.

This is the first Vietnam memoir I've read by an artillery officer and fond it both thoughtful and insightful.

Leman

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2016, 04:51:35 PM »
Having finished Fire in the East, the ending of which clearly sets up book two in the series, King of Kings, I have moved on to The Ottoman Endgame, which is a history of the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1924. However the bulk of the book is WWI. Having had a quick tour of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and various Balkan Wars I have now arrived at WWI. There was some pretty sharp diplomatic manoeuvring by the Turks before their entry into the war, and there is an extremely lucid account of the voyage of the Goeben and Breslau and how they were adopted into the Turkish navy, then sent out into the Black Sea to annoy the Russians as Turkey's war got underway. It is all very promising. Winston Churchill is not coming out of this very well, and we haven't even got to Gallipoli yet!

agamemnon

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2016, 06:01:45 PM »
I have to say that I tried Sidebottom but while applauding the background research and plot, I found I was mildy irritated with the Latin/English thing and his habit of insisting on saying the 'Sassinid' Persians all the time.  Surely 'Persians' would suffice...plus a few qualifying adjectives...
My six-pennorth....

Sean Clark

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2016, 12:22:44 AM »
Stormbird by Conn Iggulden.

this is the first in his Wars of the Roses series. I'm finding it pretty hard going so far at around the 130 page mark. Not sure I can continue but I hate not finishing a book. Hopefully it'll pick up soon...

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2016, 07:31:43 PM »
"Vietnam Infantry Tactics" (Osprey). I'd been tempted before but, having seen it in the flesh at Colours I gave in...

Sean Clark

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2016, 11:19:11 PM »
Let me know about that one Col. I've eyed it up before now.

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2016, 10:34:17 PM »
Sean,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this: other things came along to interrupt my reading.

Anyway, I've now finished the book, and very much enjoyed it. Like most Ospreys, it can really only scratch the surface of the topic, but I found the insights very useful.

In terms of scope, this is very much a "regular free world forces" [US, ARVN and ANZAC] book, with the very occasional nod to the opposition.

Main areas covered are:
 - brief background on the impact of the terrain and climate
 - infantry unit organisation and weaponry
 - movement on foot (following a short section on insertion by helicopter, vehicle and river)
 - small unit tactics [20 pages]

The author served with US Special Forces - in Vietnam and subsequently as a trainer for many years - which lends the whole thing a good dollop of credibility.

The text was well complemented by black-and-white photos and particularly by Peter Dennis' full-page colour diagrams of patrolling formations (squad/section, platoon & company), contact drills, ambush & counter-ambush techniques and "remain overnight" positions.

Is that enough to tempt you...?

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2016, 10:36:46 PM »
Oh - and I've now started "Vietnam Firebases 1965-73 - American and Australian Forces" - I'll post a summary of that too in due course.

Simon

Leman

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2016, 08:30:08 AM »
Just started my ancient Pan Books copy (1969) of Battles of the Boer War. I bought this book brand new in Smiths as a schoolboy, and at one point I considered giving it to a charity shop. Glad I hung on to it now.

peterctid

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2016, 10:06:40 AM »
Bosworth-Psychology of a battle . Michael Jones

Very interesting, has great background as to why the Stanley's behaved as they did and is set in the new location of the battle. Recommended.

Sean Clark

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2016, 03:09:31 PM »
Col.

Yes I'm now tempted. I have given up on the Conn Iggulden book, which is most unlike me. I'm busy studying at the minute but will look to pick up the Vietnam book next week post my exam.

Leman

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Re: Currently Reading
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2016, 04:59:46 PM »
Funny that. I also gave up on the Conn Iggulden book. I think a WoR series based on a fictional character, rather than putting words into the mouths of historical characters, would work better in a similar fashion to Sharpe and Hornblower. I was also very disappointed with the military depictions in the recent White Queen.