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This is a great read. I've read Zamoyski's book about Napoleon's Russian Invasion (1812) It was full of stiring, and disturbing stories about that campaign. I particularly remember the chapter about the Berezina battle/crossing. Very vivid and brutal.
This book is more circumspect and diplomatic, as you'd expect considering it's subject. Zamoyski has the advantage of being a Polish emigre which makes him able to view the Napoloenic Wars with the detachment that British or French historians cannot. He hopes for the creation of a free Poland after Vienna but is very accurate on who had the real power in Europe over Poland in 1814. Russia of course.
All the monarchs of Europe, their representatives and their machinations are well described here. I've learn't a lot of information from different angles that I would never have considered before this well written book came my way. The Tsar, the King Of Prussia, Bernadotte, The King of Wurtemburgge(!) They are all here, battling to be heard. A great read
Has anyone read "The Third Reich" by Roberto Bolano yet? It is coming out here in Australia on March 1st but I think it has already been published elsewhere. Apparently the book is about the West German wargame champion who takes a holiday in Spain with his girlfriend. He spends most of his time in his hotel room studying various strategies for his favourite game -Third Reich. He also meets various mysterious and shady people and eventually starts a game of Third Reich with one of them. Eventually he realises that his on board moves are having an effect on his actual life.... At least this is what I've picked up from publicity blurbs and reviews. Sounds like every wargamer should read it. If you are interested in finding out more about this book have a look at these reviews: http://www.theomnivore.co.uk/Book/7930-The_Third_Reich/Default.aspx...
Read: "Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen" by Pat Southern. A Bio on one of the most celebrated women of antiquity. Stood up to Rome and Persia. Roman Emperor Aurelian finally defeated her. Very Good and Recommended.
"Lion of the Sun: Warrior of Rome" by Harry Sidebottom. Third book in the Historical Novels on the Roman Empire in the 3rd Century AD. The author used the above book as a reference. The title refers to the nickname of Zenobia's husband, Odenathus. Excellent and Highly Recommended.
"Illegal Alien" by Robert J. Sawyer. A Sci-Fi novel on ET's coming to Earth, one murders a human, maybe, and the trial of the century. But everything is not as it seems. Very Good and Recommended.
"A Pale Horse" by Charles Todd. A Ian Rutledge mystery. A scientist involved in top secret poison gas development for the English during WWI is missing. Scotland Yard detective Rutledge is called in to solve the mystery. It's 1920. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: "How Rome Fell" By Adrian Goldsworthy. Excellent and Highly Recommended. Disputes the marxist view of the fall of the Western part of the Empire by peaceful means. Covers the period 180AD-600AD. A shorten version of Gibbon's books which also covered the East till 1453AD.
"Hitler's Peace" by Philip Kerr. A plot to kill the "Big Three" at Teheran. A thriller of a read. Excellent and Highly Recommended.
"Esau" by Philip Kerr. A mystery on the evolution of humankind in the Himalaya Mountains with a possible Nuclear War between India and Pakistan. Very Good and Recommended.
"Berlin Noir" by Philip Kerr. The first three Bernie Gunther novels on Nazi Germany. Bernie is a ex-bull(cop) of the Berlin Police who quits because he does not want to join the Nazi Party. He becomes a PI. "March Violets" 1936-The Nazi Party is taking over all facets of German society. The title refers to 'late joiners of Hitler's bandwagon". "The Pale Criminal" 1938-Heydrich wants Bernie to catch a serial killer in Berlin who murders young Aryan girls. "A German Requiem" 1947-Bernie is back from a Soviet POW camp and goes to Vienna for a Soviet Security Officer to solve a murder mystery of a old "friend" who maybe murdered a Ami officer. In the background is the closing of West Berlin by the Soviets. All give a horrible view of Nazi Berlin and the aftermath. Excellent and Highly Recommended.
To the Last Round - Korean War era about the Glosters Last Stand, not a bad book. Sure spends a lot of time whining about how weak the Americans were for retreating, how the Americans made all the mistakes, how the Americans turn tail and ran......ok I got it already, the Brits were ready to fight. But he then glosses over an entire platoon deserting their posts at the Imijin River on the first night!
This is my 3 rd book on the Korean War and whilst the writing is better than most, the diversions away from story with filler on geo political annoy me and the incessant whining is well incessant and comes across as puffery, taking away from what these men did.
Read: "Stilicho: The Vandal Who Saved Rome" by Ian Hughes. A excellent Bio on Stilicho, the half-Vandal Roman Commander in the Western Empire, who tried to hold off the enemies of Rome but failed. Mostly because his boss, the Emperor Honorius, was a idiot. Highly Recommended.
"With Arrow, Sword, and Spear": A History of Warfare in the Ancient World" by Alfred S. Bradford. This covers from the Ancient Middle East, Greeks, Romans, to the far East of Parthians, Indians, and Chinese. Very Good and Recommended.
Hmm I dont know the Bradford book. Is it weapon system focussed or is it a general military history?
It is a general military history. It shows how economies, government, technological change( Composite Bow with Chariot), culture shaped these peoples style of war and compares them with today's military doctrine.
I'm almost finished with "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." This is a book everyone should read.
Very true..the section on Hitler's foolish and unnecessary declaration of war on the US particularly interesting..