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Old 08-05-2021, 02:44 PM   #1921
Subnuts
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Finished reading "USS Albacore: Forerunner of the Future" a couple days ago. A good fast read which can be purchased for $10. My review is here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1XMLW...SIN=0915819252


Lately, I've been chipping away at a few Specialty Press aviation books, including "US Naval Air Superiority," "Magnesium Overcast," and "Vigilante!" I certainly never have a shortage of books to read!
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Old 08-13-2021, 09:58 AM   #1922
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Really enjoying this book, however it could be a bit better organized.

Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea

Quote:
"John Lehman has given us another naval classic in Oceans Ventured - the incredible story of the Navy's central role in winning the Cold War. Based upon meticulous research and newly declassified documents, Lehman's fresh account has the grip of a well-crafted adventure novel. His perspective is uniquely authoritative: he was a key architect of American strategy, a crucial figure in its execution, and an active participant as a qualified naval aviator. A must-read."
-- "Senator John McCain"
https://www.amazon.com/Oceans-Ventur.../dp/B073VXJL99
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:18 PM   #1923
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I just finished reading Battleship Duke of York: An Anatomy from Building to Breaking, although I'll certainly be coming back to it again in the future. One of the best naval references I've read in a while.



Here's my review:
https://www.amazon.com/review/R2T4PB...SIN=1526777290
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:06 AM   #1924
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I read a bunch of submarine books lately. Right now I'm in John Coote's "Submariner", just getting to the chapter on his time in command of the HMS Totem, which is pretty much why I bought the book.

Some time ago I also read "Red star under the Baltic" - and it is frankly awe-inspiring. I picked this book just after some of the well-known here American testimonials and the contrast is imressive. Obviously, the Russians were not nearly as goog sailors as the Americans and their (WWII) subs were way less advanced. But the amount of effort and danger theslightest thing required is just insane. Starting with the initial anecdote where three sailors are sent to repair an excavator in a cemetery, in the middle of winter in besieged Leningrad, and try to hitch a ride, then yell at a truck driver who wouldn't stop, only to see that the lorry was full of corpses... There is also the maintenance on screws done by divers who descend through a hole cut in the ice because they don't have drydocks and plenty of times where they have to invent a way to perform a complex task with near to no ressources... And then they do to patrol the desperately shallow Baltic sea where they take shelter from German ASW vessels in the middle of minefields....


Speaking of that, could anybody recommend some good reads on Soviet/Red side of underwater Cold War? I know they wrote less testimonials and I dont't read Russian but I still feel that perspective lacks.
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:01 PM   #1925
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Just got my copy of Norman Friedman's British Submarines in the Cold War Era. Haven't really had a chance to read it yet, but I've browsed through it, and I'm thrilled, actually tickled-pink-rubbing-my-hands-together-like-an-idiot thrilled that it has some exquisitely detailed plans of the Swiftsure, Resolution, Valiant, and Upholder classes, including multiple sectional views, even showing every piece of equipment in the machinery spaces. I seriously never thought I'd see a detailed, unclassified diagram of a nuclear submarine's engine room...but now I have!
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Old 10-04-2021, 12:33 PM   #1926
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My review of Friedman's "British Submarines in the Cold War Era" is up now.
https://www.amazon.com/review/R2R3OO...SIN=1526771225


Don't know why it's not showing up as a Verified Purchase...I think Amazon likes to be a d&%k from time to time...
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:47 PM   #1927
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Amazon just decided to randomly delete my review of Hitler's U-boat Strike Force, so I'll just post it here instead. Millions of people on Amazon have posted more malicious reviews than this, and they never got theirs deleted in less than four hours.


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Writing serious military history, especially that focused on Nazi Germany, requires a level of clinical detachment from the subject matter that many readers might find distasteful. I've owned and read a number of books on the military on the subject over the years, mostly on the Kriegsmarine and the U-boats in particular. For the most part, they've mercifully taken a "just the facts, here's what happened and when, this unit was organized like that, this weapon or equipment worked like such..." approach. "The Nazis were bad and did horrible things" isn't exactly a controversial statement. Any intelligent reader should recognize that and move on.

And then there's Jak P. Mallmann Showell. I read his "Hitler's Wonder U-boats" three years ago, and I have no idea what compelled me to purchase another one of his books. How this guy got to be a respected U-boat historian is a wonder; I've been reading Geirr Harr's "No Room for Mistakes" and the difference in quality is staggering. Once again, most of the text is frequently unfocused and written at a vaguely introductory level, German terms and titles have tildes inserted between syllables, and no attempt is made to disguise the fact that the author is a bitter nationalist crank. Here's a couple of choice quotes in which he describes the aftermath of World War I and the Allied occupation of Germany:

"The victorious Allies cowered in the shadows and did very little or nothing to stem the increase of ethnic violence throughout the new states which they had created."

'What we are left with are piles of one-sided and somewhat misleading propaganda, generated by those who won the majority of battles..."

"They did not shy away from using their guns against starving Germans who could only watch when the food and goods they had produced were taken away. In view of this cruelty, it was thought highly likely that this army of occupation would return, to confiscate any military violations of the Versailles "Treaty," the peace 'treaty' that the Germans were forced to sign at the end of the First World War."

Boy, for someone upset about "propaganda," Mr. Showell certainly has no problem repeating a lot of pre-war Nazi grievances! Why the editors at Frontline Books thought anyone would want to read the author's bitter ramblings in a book advertised (perhaps disguised) as a technical and operational study is incomprehensible to me. Then again, this book currently has a 4.5-star rating, so what do I know? I'm giving it two stars, simply because it has some nice pictures and diagrams, and the Kindle edition was only $2.99. I certainly wouldn't want to spend any more on it.
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Old 12-19-2021, 07:45 PM   #1928
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Been reading Submarine by Tom Clancy and John Gresham. It's the 2002 updated version (original was from 1993) and takes you inside the USS Miami HMS Triumph. Some good, but not highly detailed, technical info as well as lots of photos.
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Old 12-20-2021, 04:12 PM   #1929
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIC View Post
Been reading Submarine by Tom Clancy and John Gresham. It's the 2002 updated version (original was from 1993) and takes you inside the USS Miami HMS Triumph. Some good, but not highly detailed, technical info as well as lots of photos.
Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

however i just pre-ordered an Oxford University book by Craig Symonds titled Nimitz at War. It is due out in the late spring of '22.
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Old 12-28-2021, 01:39 AM   #1930
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Icon14 Here's a Couple Maybe...

Tried to search for the titles and didn't find them, so if repeats, my apologies.

1) The Destruction of Convoy PQ.17 by David Irving.
True story set in June 1942. 35 ships leaving Iceland heading to the Russian port of Archangel. 11 finally make it. "An hour by hour, blow by blow account of this catastrophic encounter" and the political repercussions that followed. It's actually called out in the game play "nightclub" at one point. Highly recommended!

2) U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars by Paul Kemp.

More of a reference book than "good reading" but provides details on each U-boat sunk since 1914, by hull number and year sunk. Lists U-boat info, Commanders, place and cause of sinking, survivors, etc. Great little reference!

Tim
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Old 01-24-2022, 05:34 AM   #1931
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I am currently in the last half of Herbert Werners "Iron Coffins". Rarely have I read such a well written, accessible, exciting and informative book. The many aspects of Werners life, the travels, family matters, long and exhausting patrols and the dramatic events involved, his path to becoming XO and then captain, the increasing difficulty of operations to the point of the uboat force being basically a suicide squad (especially around the D-day invasion), the terror of being hunted under the sea, his thoughts and fears.. Everything is written in a way that drags you in, a way that makes you visualize and experience the war from his view. I can hardly put it down. Many people write in a fashion that can be tiring and exhaustive, but Werner has a great sense of storytelling, the rhythm, and depth is just right. I won't spoil too much, but I must recommend this book to everyone interested in the war in the atlantic.

What really strikes me is a feeling that Wolfgang Petersen must have read this book quite well before making Das Boot, because so many elements from Iron Coffins are present in that cinematic masterpiece. I have read the book Das Boot, and seen the movie and full series many times since I was a kid and I honestly don't see how they made that cinematic masterpiece from the book by Buchheim. That book, apart from the character descriptions, is very different from the movie and not very well written in my view. Too drawn out and wasting alot of pages on descriptions of the sky and such. I love a good sunset but damn.. The book was a hard read for me, and quite a disappointment after being exposed to the movie first. The movie really did improve the story hugely, also in the character department. Funny thing is that the crescendo of being stuck on the ocean floor with great damages in Das Boot, happened to Werner early on his first uboat practice, as well as later in the war. The way Werner and his crew got loose both times was incredible and gut wrenching. Also the depiction of being in the middle of the atlantic in heavy storms, the huge swells, the cold, the battering weather, everything is told better in Werner's book.

And him nagging his commander for a Schnorkel, even going to the lengths of trying to arrange a lorry himself to go find one elswhere in France.. Very telling of the situation they faced in 44, with the shortages and the sinking morale. One really gets a sense of how the war gradually turned against the germans. I look forward to the last part!

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Old 01-24-2022, 05:25 PM   #1932
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i have two books going, at the moment.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors
The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
By James D. Hornfischer;

The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign
Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942
By John B. Lundstrom
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:32 AM   #1933
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Default A Fascinating Read...

Other than reading the SH 4 Tutorials to familiarize myself with the Sim, I find this to be quite fascinating to read; Submarine Cuisine! It's a .pdf, BTW...

https://maritime.org/doc/pdf/subcusine.pdf

Alan
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Old 02-04-2022, 01:44 PM   #1934
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Amazon is being annoying and taking forever to publish my review of "Tribals, Battles, and Darings" (must have unwittingly p&^#d in their cornflakes again), so I thought I'd post it here instead.


(TL,DR: It's okay but has issues.)


Quote:
I genuinely dislike being excessively critical of an author's first book so soon after its publication. Normally I'd see how far they've evolved after three or four books and THEN look back at their first. "Tribals, Battles and Darings" seems like a terribly well-meaning work, attempting to explain the rationale behind these ships, the operations they were involved in, and the lessons the modern Royal Navy could learn from them. Keeping that in mind, this book definitely has some issues which should have been worked out before publication. Considering that the ships described within were often criticized for biting off more than they could chew, it's somewhat ironic that it suffers from the same problem.

What we're left with, mainly, is less a study of these ships' design, development, and operations, and more a somewhat rambling vindication of the "back pocket cruiser" concept. More than half of it consists of blow-by-blow accounts of all the major battles and naval operations the British "Tribals" were involved in. Mildly interesting, but there are no maps (crucial to understanding complex naval engagements), and some bits are questionable, the "Bismarck" being hit by three torpedoes and burning after the destroyer encounter of May 26/27, 1941, and the truly bizarre explanation of "combing" a spread of torpedoes, being two obvious examples. The writing lacks confidence and focus all too often; while several naval battles are mentioned without explanation, Dr. Clarke feels the need to explain what ASDIC was and how depth charges worked. There's also virtually nothing on the Australian and Canadian ships of these classes.

I purchased the Kindle edition, so I'm not sure if the hardcover has the same problem, but there are dozens of typos and editing errors. The picture quality is decent, but except for a couple of diagrams (including perspective deck plans of the "Daring" class), they're all exterior shots. As much as I wanted to love this book, I'm feeling distinctly underwhelmed. Considering how many times this book was delayed over the last year, it STILL feels unfinished, the complete absence of any technical details, or even a basic specifications sheet for each ship, being a glaring example. If you're interested in how these ships came to be, check out Norman Friedman's "British Destroyers and Frigates." If technical details and diagrams are more your thing, "Destroyer Cossack" in the "As Detailed in the Original Builder's Plans" is excellent.
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Old 03-08-2022, 08:50 AM   #1935
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Just writing to let everyone know that for those who enjoy first-hand accounts about submarining during the opening stages of the Pacific War, "War in the Boats" by William Ruhe is a GOLD MINE !!.




Ruhe's original assignment was to oversee the installation of the first radar units for subs in the Pacific area. However, this task got put on hold when the ship carrying these precious radar units became an early casualty of war.

Already in Australia, he then volunteered to serve on any submarine in need of an officer and got assigned to the WWI era S-boat, the S-37. Known to its crew as 'the rusty old sewer pipe' the S-37 was barely seaworthy and suffered from a host of problems due to its advanced age and outdated technology.

Nonetheless, these were desperate times so the S-37 doggedly put to sea. Ruhe faithfully relates the woes of serving in an old sub - things like hanging nets over tables so the cockroaches constantly crawling on the ceiling don't fall into their food or ruin their card games. Or the crisis when the toilet becomes clogged and the herculean efforts to clear it. Or fans nibbling off the toes of sleeping crew members whose bunks were situated nearest these fans. Or the errors by the attack party due to a lack of training when an enemy ship is finally sighted and an attempt is made to sink it. Or the crew wondering how their shipmates, especially the officers, will tackle their first combat.

This is quite in contrast to James Calvert's "Silent Running" which is a chronicle of his years on a fleet submarine in the Pacific during WWII, which I have just finished reading.

For me the icing on the cake is that I started my first SH4 (FOTRS mod) campaign 10 days before I started reading the book. My sim skipper is running an S-boat just like the type Ruhe served in, and is on his third patrol where he has been cruising around Rabaul and the Solomons - which is exactly the same area that Ruhe's S-37 has now been assigned to patrol in his book. Talk about coincidences !
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