What are you reading right now?

endure

GCM
I'm reading 'Now It Can Be Told' by Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves. When the book starts he's still Colonel Groves and is responsible for the construction of the Pentagon.

As this winds down he's looking forward to being posted into combat but is told that he has to stay in the USA as there's an important job that needs doing.

He's then promoted and put in charge of the Manhattan Engineering District and ordered to build the atomic bomb.

The book is his own version of events and is worth a read.
 
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Recommended by Christopher Andrew, so I might give it a look. I wonder if the author has much to say about Intelligence 'managers' taking analysts' work and modifying it to say what politicians want . . . ?
Same way Engineers safety concerns have been modified and/or misrepresented by management over the years..... resulting in some terrible disasters.

Everything must fit 'The Narrative' in the management world. Regardless of the realities.
 
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Very good.
 
Started this book last week and I nearly had to launch it across the room in a fit of 'middle aged, white privileged, full gammon' pique.

I am an avid collector of every book on military disasters/cock ups/misfortunes that have been published and I had missed this one. Written by an American chap; of the 12 'disastrous Generals' he writes upon 8 are about British ones. Then 1 Italian, 1 Spanish, and the final 2 American.

So what? He goes on to say that in 1993 the US was the most powerful mil force in the world (ok, give you that) but that the 'British army was in sharp decline, barely able to defeat Argentina in the 'Battle of the Falkland Islands'!

Me thinks this chap has an issue with us Brits.

I would calm down and go for a walk but it would only end in disaster.

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ETA - I have used a patriotic background for my photo. That'll teach James M Perry a thing or two.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Started this book last week and I nearly had to launch it across the room in a fit of 'middle aged, white privileged, full gammon' pique.

I am an avid collector of every book on military disasters/cock ups/misfortunes that have been published and I had missed this one. Written by an American chap; of the 12 'disastrous Generals' he writes upon 8 are about British ones. Then 1 Italian, 1 Spanish, and the final 2 American.

So what? He goes on to say that in 1993 the US was the most powerful mil force in the world (ok, give you that) but that the 'British army was in sharp decline, barely able to defeat Argentina in the 'Battle of the Falkland Islands'!

Me thinks this chap has an issue with us Brits.

I would calm down and go for a walk but it would only end in disaster.

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ETA - I have used a patriotic background for my photo. That'll teach James M Perry a thing or two.
I take it it‘s going to a charity shop near you:???:
 
I take it it‘s going to a charity shop near you:???:
Never.

My books are my children and I love them all equally. Even the bast**d child ones!

:)
 
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sidsnot

War Hero
I’ve just started reading Ardennes 1944 by Anthony Beevor. Thought I’d give it a go as I read Berlin The Downfall 1945 by same author and enjoyed it.
 
Paging @Auld-Yin for info. Mr Galloway has a couple of books on offer for £10 the pair. It's the what if the Jerries had won scenario but who would have sided with them (I think I can guess one current political party that would have and said so at the time) Anyway, they may be of interest.
 
I have just finished reading:
The Crew: The Story of a Lancaster Bomber Crew
by David Price (author)

Not something I’d normally read but I really enjoyed this book. It is available on Kindle for £4 (or £0 on Unlimited) plus other bookshops...

This following is copied from Waterstone's website:


... based on interviews with Ken Cook, the crew's sole surviving member, recounts the wartime exploits of the members of an Avro Lancaster crew between 1942 and the war's end. Gloucestershire-born bomb aimer Ken Cook, hard-bitten Australian pilot Jim Comans, Navigator Don Bowes, Upper Gunner George Widdis, Tail Gunner 'Jock' Bolland, Flight Engineer Ken Randle and Radio Operator Roy Woollford were seven ordinary young men living in extraordinary times, risking their lives in freedom's cause in the dark skies above Hitler's Reich.

From their earliest beginnings - in places as far apart as a Cotswold village and the suburbs of Sydney - through the adventure of training in North America and the dread and danger of the forty-five bombing raids they flew with 97 Squadron, David Price describes the crew's wartime experiences with human sympathy allied to a secure technical understanding of one of the RAF's most iconic aircraft. The drama and anxiety of individual missions - to Kassel, Munich and Augsburg as well as Berlin - is evoked with thrilling immediacy; while the military events and strategic decisions that drove the RAF's area bombing campaign against Nazi Germany are interwoven deftly with the narrative of the crew's operational careers.
 
I have finished A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis and can recommend it. Good character development, a convoluted plot line and an interesting insight into life in Vienna before WW1.

Tonight I jump into the seventh book in the Dr Siri series of mysteries:

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Synopsis:
When a Lao female security officer is discovered stabbed through the heart with a fencing sword, Dr. Siri, the reluctant national coroner for the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, is brought in to examine the body. Soon two other young women are found killed in the same unusual way. Siri learns that all three victims studied in Europe and that one of them was being pursued by a mysterious stalker. But before he can solve the case, he is whisked away to Cambodia on a diplomatic mission. Though on the surface the Khmer Rouge seem to be committed to the socialist cause, Siri soon learns the horrifying truth of the killing fields and finds himself thrown into prison. Can the seventy-four-year-old doctor escape with his life?
 

jmb3296

War Hero
I have finished A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis and can recommend it. Good character development, a convoluted plot line and an interesting insight into life in Vienna before WW1.

Tonight I jump into the seventh book in the Dr Siri series of mysteries:

View attachment 556573

Synopsis:
When a Lao female security officer is discovered stabbed through the heart with a fencing sword, Dr. Siri, the reluctant national coroner for the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, is brought in to examine the body. Soon two other young women are found killed in the same unusual way. Siri learns that all three victims studied in Europe and that one of them was being pursued by a mysterious stalker. But before he can solve the case, he is whisked away to Cambodia on a diplomatic mission. Though on the surface the Khmer Rouge seem to be committed to the socialist cause, Siri soon learns the horrifying truth of the killing fields and finds himself thrown into prison. Can the seventy-four-year-old doctor escape with his life?
I quite fancy that one and will give it a look,

thank you
 

Class 66

War Hero
Just watched Young Winston, so that has inspired me to re read The River War which he wrote after Omdurman.........what a bloke! For those who know little about him, watch the film read the book, all i can say is absolutely first class!

 
More audible action for me but it’s unabridged and also available in book form. Tank Action by Capt David Render which are his memoirs of joining the Sherwood Rangers just after D Day and commanding a Sherman tank from Normandy to Germany as a young Subaltern.

The narrator was a friend of the author and it shows as it’s told with real relish and is a great memoir which doesn’t pull any punches. These were brave men and as I read mostly historical fiction it felt odd to be able to see pictures of the men killed and startling at how young some were.
 
Continuing my trawl through the books by David Kilcullen, Out Of The Mountains, subtitled, The Coming Age Of The Urban Guerrilla. The argument is that the huge increase in inter-connectiveness through the web and the increased amount of useful apps combined with the gradual movement of the population to littoral areas, especially cities then so will the guerrilla.

He cites a number of examples of guerrilla or non-state actors have exploited the changed urban environment to carry out their activities. These include the Mumbai attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba where the guerrillas were getting real time updates from Pakistan as to what the security forces were doing courtesy of the media; the Blackhawk down firefight in Mogadishu and the Tivoli Gardens invasion in Kingston, Jamaica. I hadn't heard of the last but it was an attempt by the Jamaican Defence Force to overrun a slum that was ruled by a drug gang. I should add that the Jamaican's had got along fine with the drug gang until pressure was applied by the US to stop them.

Kilcullen looks at each in some detail as to how the environment dictated the nature of the fight that ensued. What I found particularly interesting was how the Somalis had come to develop their swarm tactics and then how they used that against the US forces when there was no communications between the Somalis.

This book like all of Kilcullen's is dense with facts, cross-references and footnotes. He doesn't spare criticism of what has not gone well before now nor does he stint in praise for those who he regards have done well. The outlook for large scale military thinking is limited according to Kilcullen. He argues that the type of conflict seen in WW2 will not happen again as the US is too powerful (it was written 2012) but that guerrilla conflict will increase and increase in the cities. Lots of food for the little grey cells.
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For something different I have just started Desert Sniper by Ed Nash. Nash is a Brit who was working with a NGO in Myanmar when he decided his skills (primarily as a journalist and media type) would be put to better use in combatting ISIS. He then travelled to Northern Iraq to join the Kurdish YPG.

He thought he would be doing something media related but the disorganisation of the Kurds saw him joining a combat unit following some very basic training. He gives some interesting background to how the Kurdish YPG are organised, how the Kurds are not a unified force and how they operate under some extremely strange ideas. He credits the training from some of the other volunteers who had military training as being far more effective than that of the Kurds and how status would determine where the best equipment went rather than need. He also gives an interesting overview of the faults and advantages of the AK-47 and Dragunov rifles as well as some home-grown anti-material rifles produced by the Kurds.

So far no action described so might update at a later time when further into the book.
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