I was at Borders a few nights ago and I picked up 'Warhammer 40,000: The Killing Ground', 'The Art of Clint Langley: Dark Visions from the grim Worlds of Warhammer', 'The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road: 1567-1659' by Geoffrey Parker, 'Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire' by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper and 'The grand Strategy of Philip II' by Geoffrey Parker.

I finished 'The Lover' by Marguerite Duras a few days back. I have just started on 'Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen 1618-1635'. I am also in the midst of a few other books including 'God is not great: How religion poisons the world' by Christopher Hitchens.

What you are guys reading?

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Very true..the section on Hitler's foolish and unnecessary declaration of war on the US particularly interesting..

Also Hitler's foolish military decisions...refusal to withdraw the 6th Army from Stalingrad, which would have saved not only the army but the drive into the Caucasus...His lack of a strategic focus that kept him from reinforcing Rommel and saving North Africa. There are so many things from a military standpoint. 

All of that is pertinent but to me the most important thing about that book is that it reminds us of what thugs and brutes the Nazis were. Notice I said Nazis, not Germans. It is a great reminder that even in modern, civilized nations, there are evil people who want to be in power.

I borrowed a copy from a friend but it bored me. Gave it up. But Shirer's book "The Collapse of the Third Republic" did grab me. Go figure.

Currently re-reading "The River War" by Winston Churchill.

 

Chapter 8: `The Desert Railway` fascinates me.  The logistical problems of moving the railhead south toward the final confrontation whilst dealing with natural obstacles, freak weather and the harrying attacks of the Dervishes.  I wish someone would make a game of it.  Kind of a cross between "Burma" and "18xx".  Put a clock on getting to Omdurman; if the Dervishes slow you down enough the political will (a la `Empire of the Sun`) diminishes and the desire to "Remember Gordon!" and avenge him fades.  That would be a win for the Dervish player.  Plus the game ends with the Battle of Omdurman but the British player can only deploy what he can get to the site from the railhead.  Could swing things toward the Dervishes and make an evenly matched Battle out of it.

 

It`ll never get made but I can continue to daydream it.  (But if I win the Lotto......... )

Read: "Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600BC: Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History" By William J. Hamblin This book is part of a series of books entitled "Warfare and History". The series covers all periods of Military History. This book covers from around 10,000BC to 1600BC. It covers the rise of war from small fights of small hunter-gather peoples to organized armies in the thousands throughout  the Middle East. It shows how weapons went from wood and stone to metaled weapons of the Bronze Age with the tactics and organization needed to destroy each other on battlefields or the taking of fortified cities by siege/assault. Very Good and Recommended.

"Prague Fatale" by Philip Kerr. A Bernie Gunther novel in 1941-42. Bernie is called off a case in Berlin to Prague by his old boss Heydrich. It is a order he can't refuse. A meeting of top Nazis at Heydrich's house turns into a murder under mysterious circumstances and Bernie needs to solve it. A very good historical novel on the "goings-on" underneath the table of Heydrich and his club. Highly Recommended.

Read: "Chariot: From Chariot to Tank, the Astounding Rise and Fall of the World's First War Machine" by Arthur Cotterell. The title pretty much tells it all. The author goes into the technology, training, and logistics needed to sustain chariot forces throughout the Eurasian land mass from Britain to China. Very Good and Recommended.

"Collapse of the Bronze Age: The Story of Greece, Troy, Israel, Egypt, and The Peoples of the Sea" by Manuel Robbins. This is a period of History that has always fascinated me because its a mystery of what really happen by whom, what, and why. The author offers the many expert "opinions" of others and then his best guess and why. The problem is there are not enough records left to explain this collapse vs. for example, the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West which has lots of records. There is also the problem of interpretation of these records. The author put forward new theories that I had not come across before. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

I`m currently trying to read "The March to Kandahar" by Rodney Atwood but I keep getting drawn to a thread on BGG where 7 guys are playing a Play-By-Forum game of "Pax Brittanica".  If they keep it up (and it`s a big IF) it`ll be a classic.  I`m already chuckling along with every cagy post and every barely-bridled-fury post.  Laugh-out-load stuff.

 

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9268327#9268327

Read: "Dimiter" by William Peter Blatty. A spy-suspense novel on a super-agent that starts in marxist Albania in 1971, then jumps to Jerusalem 1974. Somewhat wordy but good and Recommended.

"Islam dismantled: The Mental Illness of Prophet Muhammad" by Sujit Das. Outstanding and a MUST read and should be required reading everywhere. They say "Knowledge is Power" and this book is Power. It describes the pathology of muhammad and his creation islam with the reasons why his adherents from the 7th Century to now exist as they are. Most Highly Recommended.

"Sharia Law for Non-Muslims" by The Center for the Study of Political Islam/Bill Warner. Excellent description of the first Inquisition and how it pertains to Non-muslims although it works the same for muslims. The copy cats from other cultures that followed are a pale imitation of the original. Very Highly Recommended. This book and the one above would be great research for a game Ala "Here I Stand" by GMT. 

Read: The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and The Catastrophe CA. 1200 B.C." by Robert Drews. Read before but needed a refresher. Great book on the "Military Solution" for the end of the Bronze Age as opposed to Acts of God, famine, plague, peaceful settlers(relative speaking) who after their numbers increased suddenly rose up and wiped out all the kingdoms of the time like what is happening today in the West, to various combinations of all these. Drews Military Solution and the Settlers Solution combine is probably the correct one. Ideas for more battles to GMT's GBOH game "Chariot" would be a good thing. Highly Recommended.

"Xenopath" by Eric Brown. A Sci-Fi Thriller in the future where the hero is a telepathic detective out to solve a case with a ruthless assassin. Very Good and Recommended.

"Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph" by Richard Bodtkin. A Brilliant read on the 1972 marxist attack along the DMZ and Quang Tri province. The author shows the American and S. Vietnamese Marines in action before, during, and the aftermath of what happen in the timeline of the book. It is a 'human interest" story of both US Marines and the S. Vietnamese Marines. Mr. Botkin shows more empathy for the Vietnamese soldiers and people than I have read about in the past. You are there, right in the middle of the fighting. Most Highly Recommended.

Read: "The Battle of An Loc" by James H. Willbanks. A good read on the Seige of An Loc during the 1972 Easter Offensive by the Marxists. Very Good and Recommended.

"Son of Hamas" by Mosab Hassan Yousef. A Look-See from the inside of the muslim crusader group Hamas. The author is the son of one of the founders of Hamas, worked for the Israeli Security Service as a mole, and his conversion to Christianity.The subtitle gives a good appraisal of the book: "A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices." Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "Terminal Freeze". A novel by Lincoln Child. Scientists, in cold Alaska, looking for evidence on the global warming story discover a frozen creature that comes back to life and starts hunting them. Just so-so.

"The Third Gate" Another novel by Lincoln Child.. Looking for the hidden tomb of King Narmer, unifier of Ancient Egypt, the archaeologists find more than they bargain for.  A Curse. Another just so-so. I like Mr. Child's partner, Douglas Preston, books much better.

I must admit, I did rather enjoy, "The Relic".

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