Books – Suggested

Bookshelves

These are books I haven’t read, but would like to.

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Gunfire: British Artillery in World War II – Stig H. Moberg Pound sign

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I think this looks really interesting. It essentially focuses on the Royal Artillery and covers how artillery resources were established, developed and used in WW2. The blurb says it is “profusely illustrated throughout with photos, maps, plans, graphs, charts and diagrams”. I’m a sucker for a good diagram!


 

 

Falklands Gunner – Tom Martin Pound sign

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Rather like the artillery book above, this one looks really interesting. Its sub-title is ‘A day-by-day personal account of the Royal Artillery in the Falklands War’.

The account comes from Second Lieutenant Tom Martin, who was a Command Post Officer with 29 (Corunna) Field Battery RA, one of the five gun batteries that landed on the Falklands. The six 105mm Light Guns of 29 (Corunna) Field Battery fired the first Fire Mission of the conflict and continued to fire until the Argentinian surrender.

While I think about it, I have a copy of Kenneth Privratsky’s ‘Logistics in the Falklands War’ which covers another less well covered aspect of the war. I’ll put it in the recommended section when I have a moment.


 

German Infantry – Haynes Manual Pound sign

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I love & applaud the way, years ago, Haynes moved from their workshop manuals for cars to applying the same format, with its cutaway drawings, to aircraft, tanks & ships… and now an even wider range of topics. Clever stuff! And just in the nick of time. Hands up everyone who has used a Haynes manual to change a clutch (I did once!) or fix a carburetor since the millennium…? Thought so!

I’m listing this one, because it’s one I’d like to read. Particularly because it appears to cover ‘Tactics’ and not just the usual ‘Organisation’ and ‘Weapons’ in WW2.


 

All Present And Accounted For – Capt Steven J. Craig Pound sign

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This looks like an interesting tale of extraordinary skill and endurance miles from rescue. I didn’t know anything about this incident till I read this book review in Global Maritime History.

In 1974 a US Coastguard cutter, the USCGC Jarvis, dragged her anchors and grounded in atrocious weather in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. This is the true story of that event and the month long efforts it took to save the ship and crew.


 

The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes: The Story of George Scovell Pound sign

blankI stumbled across this book by Mark Urban (yes, that Mark Urban – the Diplomatic Editor for BBC 2’s Newsnight), and found myself absolutely engrossed in it.

George Scovell turns out to be a 19th century version of Alan Turing. By cracking and part-cracking the codes that Napoleon and his generals used to communicate during the Peninsula War, he was able to steer his boss Arthur Wellesley, the Earl (at that point in his career) of Wellington, towards victory in such crucial engagements as the Battle of Salamanca 1812.

It has made me want to re-visit parts of Portugal & Spain to ‘walk the history’.


 

Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness – Sinclair McKay Pound sign

blankblankWith an estimated 25,000 victims, the Allied bombing of Dresden in Feb 1945 still remains one of the most controversial attacks of WW2.

This account by Sinclair McKay focuses on the experience of those on the ground in a minute-by-minute account from the start of the four RAF & USAAF air raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, to the all-clear and aftermath. At the same time he tackles the tricky subject of morality in war.


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