What are you reading right now?

Robme

LE
So, i’m Reading ‘The Looming Tower’ by Lawrence Right.
It’s the complete story about the fook-up that was the US secret squirrels before 11th September and the world trade towers.
Excellent easy read and a must for anybody who wants the real inside story about the clusterfook, which represented the attitude of the US, towards the threat towards them from Al Qaeda, which they had ruled out as a non-threat. Well the NSA had, but the FBI hadn’t.
If you want the run up to Zero Dark Thirty, then this real easy to read number will do it. I’m re-reading for the 3rd time due the Arabic names that crop up.
 
Im reading Berlin at the moment, so dont tell me how it ends . . . Have read a few AB books now becoming something of a fan, 'Stalingrad' is, in my view fantastic and worth anyone's time to read it.
I think we all know how it ended ........... :)
 

Awol

LE
There was a documentary on telly (Yesterday channel maybe) about the SAS and Stirling and the Raid was mentioned. Pretty interesting.

Edit- I think it was Operation Agreement.
A bit unfair for the wiki to call the raid a disaster. The assault from the desert using subterfuge and subsequent firepower was 100% successful. They secured the relevant beachhead with zero casualties, and two boats of commandos successfully went ashore. It was the subsequent failure of the RN to further reinforce the landings that caused the overall failure of the mission. It was accepted in the book that a better plan might have been to free the 32,000 Allied POWs first, to create chaos, and then to secure the beachhead. Whatever, the landborne forces achieved everything that they were supposed to.


Interestingly, it was the Germans who protected those Allied troops that did surrender from the rather angry Italians.
 
A bit unfair for the wiki to call the raid a disaster. The assault from the desert using subterfuge and subsequent firepower was 100% successful. They secured the relevant beachhead with zero casualties, and two boats of commandos successfully went ashore. It was the subsequent failure of the RN to further reinforce the landings that caused the overall failure of the mission. It was accepted in the book that a better plan might have been to free the 32,000 Allied POWs first, to create chaos, and then to secure the beachhead. Whatever, the landborne forces achieved everything that they were supposed to.


Interestingly, it was the Germans who protected those Allied troops that did surrender from the rather angry Italians.
In terms of the losses suffered by the RN, given their limited surface resources in the Med at the time, it was without any doubt a disaster. Especially the two Tribal Class destroyers. Add in the fact that Dieppe had only just gone tits up too and it's an understandable description, if a bit harsh.

However, the operation itself was probably more a miscalculation and a bridge too far rather than a disaster. Highly ambitious..... impressively gutsy but perhaps a little too much of a gamble given that combined arms operations were still somewhat in their infancy. I have no doubt that, along with the lessons from Dieppe, this one helped inform and improve the planning for the various Invasions that came later (Dragoon, Husky, Overlord etc).

The wiki is, as always, subject to the writer/editors own view and opinion.
 

exspy

LE
I also read Michael Connelly's 2018 Bosch and Renée Ballard combined offering, Dark Sacred Night. As always, even though his books follow a sort of formula I enjoyed the Bosch character who is ageing along with the rest of us. It is also good to see him sliding in Renée Ballard who will also be working with Bosch in the next installment later this year.
I like Connolly's books, and the new character is fitting in well.
I must be a minority of one, because I really don't like the Renée Ballard character that Connelly's created to take over from Bosch. In her debut novel, The Late Show, which I read before reading Dark Sacred Night, I thought the whole living on the beach thing and the rest of her background story slightly ridiculous. After reading DSN I reread the Ballard book again, and realized that every single action she took during the multiple murder investigation was wrong. Her character was only saved in DSN by being with Bosch.

Yes, Bosch is aging. Born in 1950 he is now 69. And yes, Connelly keeps writing him like he's in his forties. But Ballard? A complete non-starter, IMHO.

Cheers,
Dan.
 
I must be a minority of one, because I really don't like the Renée Ballard character that Connelly's created to take over from Bosch. In her debut novel, The Late Show, which I read before reading Dark Sacred Night, I thought the whole living on the beach thing and the rest of her background story slightly ridiculous. After reading DSN I reread the Ballard book again, and realized that every single action she took during the multiple murder investigation was wrong. Her character was only saved in DSN by being with Bosch.

Yes, Bosch is aging. Born in 1950 he is now 69. And yes, Connelly keeps writing him like he's in his forties. But Ballard? A complete non-starter, IMHO.

Cheers,
Dan.
Meh, the beach thing is quite plausible you'd be surprised at the people who camp out there during the day and with a badge she would not get bothered one iota.

I was dubious of The Late Show, but she must have worked otherwise he would not have dropped the character in again and has another release with her and Bosch partnered up later this year.

I am saddened Bosch is ageing, but it happens to us all, maybe he will do some retro stuff with Bosch's early cases. I'm also surprised there were no more MIckey Haller books.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
Meh, the beach thing is quite plausible you'd be surprised at the people who camp out there during the day and with a badge she would not get bothered one iota.

I was dubious of The Late Show, but she must have worked otherwise he would not have dropped the character in again and has another release with her and Bosch partnered up later this year.

I am saddened Bosch is ageing, but it happens to us all, maybe he will do some retro stuff with Bosch's early cases. I'm also surprised there were no more MIckey Haller books.
Brass verdict was fairly recent. In it Haller encounters Bosch and discovers he is his half-brother.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Finishing 'The First and the Last' by Adolf Galland. I was awarded this book as a prize in 1955 when I was a cadet. I can't remember what delayed me but I was the last to reach the office where the prize books were laid out for choosing and Galland was the only one left, which suggests to me that, like me, the other prize-winners didn't want a book by a Kraut.

In Galland's account Galland was absolutely brilliant and indeed he rose from Lt to Lt Gen in four years (Maj Gen at 30), a confidant of Goering and a man who had the ear of Hitler except that they didn't follow his advice which was silly of them because Galland was right and they were wrong. The catch is that he may have been right and if he had had his way on priorities we might have had a rougher time of it. He was certainly an ace fighter pilot and got away with being quite badly damaged on a number of occasions. Nowhere does he recognise that he was deploying his undoubted talents in an utterly evil cause, doing his considerable bit to plunge the world into a thousand-year Nazi night.

An interesting insight into the Nazi management of the war, as far as air defence of the Reich was concerned. At the end some interesting stuff on the Me262 etc.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I remember reading an account of an SAS patrol that sneaked into Tobruk with Stirling along. Once they were in the city and laagered up Stirling used to go for evening walks along the seafront. Many of the more freespirited German and British officers all used to wear a mish mash of khaki with bits of uniform rather than complete uniform. Whilst Stirling was enjoying his walks he would regularly bump into German officers doing likewise and exchange a nod and a pleasant "guten abend", no one being any the wiser.
I may be wrong - usually am - but that sounds as if it might have come from 'Eastern Approaches' by Fitzroy Maclean. It sounds familiar to me as well. I recall that on either that raid or a similar one, the patrols were driving past German patrols and with all sides using a motley selection of uniform, vehicles and weapons, no alarm was raised.
 

sand_rat

Old-Salt
I think we all know how it ended ........... :)
Cheers pal, and there was me thinking it could be a happy ending . . . is there no such thing as a spoiler alert!
 

hotel_california

LE
Book Reviewer
Double Game by Dan Fesperman.

For fans of the Cold War espionage genre, it's a spy novel about spy novels.
An entertaining read full of intrigue and duplicity.

 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
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Just read this; very good indeed. Basic synopsis; SSM John Carr retires from SAS, takes on another job, past comes back to haunt and try to kill him.
Ok, could be the same as any other book of the quasi-military genre, but this author captures the feel of Belfast streets, the hatred from the nationalists and the basic procedures used. Very well written and quite a thriller indeed.
 
Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite. As someone who grew up in the Cold War, my attitudes to this conflict were shaped by what we were told about it set against the background of CW attitudes to the Soviet Union. This book has been quite an eye-opener to say the least, particularly how familiar the techniques used and difficulties faced by the Soviets seem in light of our own recent experience.

Given the challenges they faced - political, economic, logistical and strategic - I was surprised by how good a job they actually managed to do.
 
View attachment 410905 Just read this; very good indeed. Basic synopsis; SSM John Carr retires from SAS, takes on another job, past comes back to haunt and try to kill him.
Ok, could be the same as any other book of the quasi-military genre, but this author captures the feel of Belfast streets, the hatred from the nationalists and the basic procedures used. Very well written and quite a thriller indeed.
The very real life Will Sculley wrote his autobiography under the same title. So how does that sit? Will served with 'Them'.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
The very real life Will Sculley wrote his autobiography under the same title. So how does that sit? Will served with 'Them'.
Apparently so did this author, Para then Reg.
 
The very real life Will Sculley wrote his autobiography under the same title. So how does that sit? Will served with 'Them'.
And that’s an outstanding book. Hotel rooftops will never be the same.
 
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Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite. As someone who grew up in the Cold War, my attitudes to this conflict were shaped by what we were told about it set against the background of CW attitudes to the Soviet Union. This book has been quite an eye-opener to say the least, particularly how familiar the techniques used and difficulties faced by the Soviets seem in light of our own recent experience.

Given the challenges they faced - political, economic, logistical and strategic - I was surprised by how good a job they actually managed to do.
Coming very late to this thread, and not being familiar with that title, I'd recommend Lester Grau's 'The Bear went over the Mountain', which was one of my 'primers' before first ISAF deployment in 2005.
 

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