What are you reading right now?

Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-1918: The Diary of Sergeant Albert Simpkin MM. Amazon, edited by D. Venner. Was given an old Library copy of this War Diary by the local community shop, saving around £12. It's amazing what Libraries withdraw from their shelves. Sign of the times maybe.

It's about a Manchester man's exploits with Kitchener's 37th Inf Div in France, from 1915 to Armistice. Albert survived WWI without a scratch and his transcript ran to nearly 500 pages. First published by Pen and Sword, 2015 it's got itineraries, a few photos and maps. Also a bit of info on WWI motorcycles.

ALBERT EDWARD SIMPKIN – THE DIARIST | Diary of a Despatch Rider


Pic credit Warfare - Featured Articles - Diary of a Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18.

Monument to the 37th British Division - Monchy-le-Preux - Remembrance Trails of the Great War in Northern France

Albert Simpkin on his army issue Triumph Model H, Triumph Trusty. "It handles rather heavily compared with my light Douglas machine."
 
Probably the right place to post my question ................ i would be interested if any of my learned ARRSE brothers could recommend any books about the last 100 days in WW1. Thanks.:salut:
EDit: Dumb shit sees it as WWII, not WW1!

No Man's Land by John Toland
Hundred Days: The End Of The Great War by Nick Lloyd

Shout if you want electronic version.
Cannot do 100.
But the last five?
Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II - Nicholas Best


also Hitler’s Last Days - Bill O'Reilly - gives a pretty good summation of post D-Day, the Bulge etc etc etc
 
Last edited:
EDit: Dumb shit sees it as WWII, not WW1!

The Last 100 Days by John Toland
Hundred Days: The End Of The Great War by Nick Lloyd

Shout if you want electronic version.
Cannot do 100.
But the last five?
Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II - Nicholas Best


also Hitler’s Last Days - Bill O'Reilly - gives a pretty good summation of post D-Day, the Bulge etc etc etc
EDit: Dumb shit sees it as WWII, not WW1!

No Man's Land by John Toland
Hundred Days: The End Of The Great War by Nick Lloyd

Shout if you want electronic version.
Cannot do 100.
But the last five?
Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II - Nicholas Best


also Hitler’s Last Days - Bill O'Reilly - gives a pretty good summation of post D-Day, the Bulge etc etc etc
Thank you , greatly appreciated. This is what i love about ARRSE .:)
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
I've just finished re-reading "Dirty Wars - The World is a Battlefield", by Jeremy Cahill. I first read it about three years ago, but again I was horrified at the extreme lengths to which the Septics went to thoroughly and comprehensively fück up so many countries. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and quite a few others. It's a tale of total disaster very much against the advice of recognised experts.

The book tells the story of how political meddling in other countries' internal affairs was gradually taken out of the hands of the CIA and handed over to the military in the form of JSOC. The two folks determinedly following that end were Dick(head) Cheney and Ronald Dumbsfeld. In addition, they also began using highly dubious outfits like Blackwater to give the US authorities plausible deniability. The actions of many other criminals (McCrystal, McRaven, Petraeus et al) are also examined for the blame they have in infinitely worsening an already really bad situation.

If anyone really wants to trace the causal chain of why various parts of the world are in such a shite state at the moment, they only need to read this highly recommendable book.

MsG
 
I've just finished re-reading "Dirty Wars - The World is a Battlefield", by Jeremy Cahill. I first read it about three years ago, but again I was horrified at the extreme lengths to which the Septics went to thoroughly and comprehensively fück up so many countries. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and quite a few others. It's a tale of total disaster very much against the advice of recognised experts.

The book tells the story of how political meddling in other countries' internal affairs was gradually taken out of the hands of the CIA and handed over to the military in the form of JSOC. The two folks determinedly following that end were Dick(head) Cheney and Ronald Dumbsfeld. In addition, they also began using highly dubious outfits like Blackwater to give the US authorities plausible deniability. The actions of many other criminals (McCrystal, McRaven, Petraeus et al) are also examined for the blame they have in infinitely worsening an already really bad situation.

If anyone really wants to trace the causal chain of why various parts of the world are in such a shite state at the moment, they only need to read this highly recommendable book.

MsG
I think if you delve a bit further it was actually the Briitish Empire that started '' fecking things up'', from China to Palestine, from India to the Americas.
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
I think if you delve a bit further it was actually the Briitish Empire that started '' fecking things up'', from China to Palestine, from India to the Americas.
That's pretty short term delving, by the way.

The book isn't about the who invented it, it's about the what and the when.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-1918: The Diary of Sergeant Albert Simpkin MM. Amazon, edited by D. Venner. Was given an old Library copy of this War Diary by the local community shop, saving around £12. It's amazing what Libraries withdraw from their shelves. Sign of the times maybe.

It's about a Manchester man's exploits with Kitchener's 37th Inf Div in France, from 1915 to Armistice. Albert survived WWI without a scratch and his transcript ran to nearly 500 pages. First published by Pen and Sword, 2015 it's got itineraries, a few photos and maps. Also a bit of info on WWI motorcycles.

ALBERT EDWARD SIMPKIN – THE DIARIST | Diary of a Despatch Rider


Pic credit Warfare - Featured Articles - Diary of a Despatch Rider on the Western Front 1915-18.

Monument to the 37th British Division - Monchy-le-Preux - Remembrance Trails of the Great War in Northern France

Albert Simpkin on his army issue Triumph Model H, Triumph Trusty. "It handles rather heavily compared with my light Douglas machine."
I enjoyed this book.
 
As I may have said before, I like a bit of fiction reading at night. Fiction at night, non-fiction by day.

I have finally got round to starting a book by an author I have had on my 'to read' list for a while, Colin Cotterill. Who is Colin Cotterill? I hear you ask. Let him tell you himself: New Home

I am reading the first in a series featuring Dr Siri, this is how Colin Cotterill introduces this character:

15.Cl.gif


This is how the book starts:

Tran, Tran, and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds. The warm night air rushed against their reluctant smiles and yanked their hair vertical. They fell in a neat formation, like sleet. There was no time for elegant floating or fancy aerobatics; they just followed the rusty bombshells that were tied to their feet with pink nylon string. Tran the elder led the charge. He was the heaviest of the three. By the time he reached the surface of Nam Ngum reservoir, he was already ahead by two seconds. If this had been the Olympics, he would have scored a 9.98 or thereabouts. There was barely a splash. Tran the younger and Hok-the-twice-dead pierced the water without so much as a pulse-beat between them. A quarter of a ton of unarmed ordnance dragged all three men quickly to the smooth muddy bottom of the lake and anchored them there. For two weeks, Tran, Tran, and Hok swayed gently back and forth in the current and entertained the fish and algae that fed on them like diners at a slow-moving noodle stall.
 
Max Hastings' "The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945".

Pretty good so far - I'm about a quarter of the way through at the moment. MI6 and its boss, Menzies, have come in for a severe kicking; Richard Sorge has also shown up, apparently, he was a bit of a shagger, and everyone seems to be reading everyone else's' codes - though the Allies aren't telling each other about it yet.
 
Jutland: The Unfinished Battle by Nicholas Jellicoe.

I put off buying this book last year instead relying on two other volumes (in the one book) about the battle. As esteemed AARSERs' will know, Nicholas Jellicoe is the grandson of Sir John Jellicoe who commanded the Grand Fleet in that battle and consequently I felt that there may be more than a hint of bias. I am happy to say I was wrong.

The author gives a lot more detail about the development of both navies, the histories of the commanding officers of both navies and the political developments that shaped both sides to the battle. Far more detail than I have read anywhere else. In discussing the careers of Jellicoe and Beatty he also gives a lot of detail. Both men showed much bravery during the Boxer rebellion in China where both were wounded; Jellicoe in fact was not expected to live.

The other thing that is made very clear is that both Jellicoe and Beatty received a lot of support; Jellicoe on the back of a very distinguished academic and career achievement and Beatty on a good career performance but average academic performance. Both men had Churchill's favourable attention and owed their respective commands at the battle to him.

At this stage I am about a 1/4 into the book and enjoying it immensely.

 
I've got three on the go atm.

Bloody Belfast - Ken Wharton. Read it before & i've owned it for a while. Having a re-read as I'd exhausted my unread pile. Nothing much to say. Usual excellent stuff.

Picked this up from the local library..........

Forgotten Voices of the Desert Victory

His nibs, Julian Thompson is the author. Fair few similar style of books out there on the 'Voices' premise. I really like the way they are put together. I've got a real interest in the desert campaign at the moment too so its excellent stuff.




I downloaded a Kindle freebie a while ago..........

Zombies in London & a useless tw@t

Its still there buckshee but i'm not enjoying it too much. The 'hero' is a chopper. A total wet lettuce. He's stuck in the top floor of his house in London while the zombie apocalypse kicks off around him. He's got a broken leg & can't move with it in cast. Fair enough. He's an ex-political lobbyist cum party activist with the life skills of an amoeba it seems.

The book is written as journal entries & its works very well but I'm hoping our hero ends up being eaten by the hordes. While its boring to have a gung-ho hero who's got all the kit, the skills & drill needed to survive a zombie outbreak, this flips it entirely on its head to the point that when dipshit finally leaves his house to try & find other survivors once his leg is getting better & he's more mobile, he's about as much use as chocolate fireguard. Book is still good though so its worth a read. If he gets killed & we end up with someone different to follow around or he turns into someone with a degree of common sense by the end of it, i'll read the next one in the series.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Just finished The Last Broomsquire by Martin Hesp.

Loosely based on the trial and subsequent hanging of "Handsome Johnny" Walford in Somerset in 1789, my interest was first piqued as a teenager on holiday in the area (which I have visited almost every year since) when I got hold of a copy of Jack Hurley's book "Murder and Mystery on Exmoor". It turns out Martin Hesp was a young journalist at the West Somerset Free Press when Hurley was editor, and the story obviously grabbed his attention too.

The tragic events leading to John Walford's execution are unfortunately all too real, but Martin Hesp weaves the facts into a historical novel, introducing other well known contemporaries such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He freely admits to taking liberties with history, but taken as a work of fiction it is, by turns, gripping, heartbreaking, and wonderfully descriptive of the Quantocks and Exmoor.

@greyfergie just a bit more info for you.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
£1? 50p? 2009 Penguin ppbk of RV Jones' 'Most Secret War'. Back cover says it all really:

Jones 001.jpg


Jones, Physics doctorate at 22, had great trouble getting Scientific Intelligence facts upstairs through what he called 'hierarchical attenuation'. As a result many more civilians died in the Blitz than might have been, and many, many casualties in Bomber Command could have been avoided. Hs problem was that he was too young for the leadership who were senior and therefore 'knew better' although Churchill, when Jones got into meetings with him, recognised that Jones was right and the others were guessing. Turf wars and personalities (Lindemann vs Tizard etc) also contributed to this. Jones (mouldy CBE knocked down from a CB) was ill-rewarded for what he did for us. The courage of the agents in occupied countries who fed back information is well recorded.

A rich and fascinating story, with no end of fascinating tales and anecdotes, which I read long ago but oddly had no sense of deja vu when reading it again. Confidently 6 out of 5 for ARRSErs.
 

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