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Weinie

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First to Fight: The Polish War 1939
By Roger Moorhouse
Genre: Military History (World War II)

One aspect of World War II history that is glossed over is that of the defence of Poland by the Polish forces. One of the reasons for this is history is written by the winners and poor Poland was "liberated" from the Germans by the Soviet Army. The Soviets did their best to suppress knowledge of the beginning part of the War so as to keep knowledge of what they did to the poor country quiet. Poland during WWII due to its geographic location had the misfortune in September 1939 of not only being invaded by German forces from the west but also Russian forces from the east due to the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which divided the country between the two countries.

This book seeks to overcome the lack of knowledge about the defence of Poland by its forces as well as dispel some of the myths that have risen about the battles. I think the book did an excellent job of describing the battles and atrocities that occurred during the occupation of Poland by two ruthless forces. The author also does a good job of explaining how due to its location the nation had been screwed over by various nations (Russia, Prussia, France, etc..) over the centuries. The author also includes some good maps and photos that help you understand the information presented.

If you are interested in military history especially that of WWII history then this book is highly recommended. It will give you a greater knowledge of what occurred during what we sometimes call "The Phoney War" period of WWII, a period that no Poles would call Phoney as it is estimated that 200,000 Polish (military and civilian) citizens were killed during that period.
I don't know if you have ever been to Poland, but their collective hatred of Russia is intense.
 

mariomike

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( President ) Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip​

When President Truman left office, he bought a Chrysler New Yorker, and drove it from Missouri to New York City and back home again. A 2,500 mile journey. Before the age of super-highways that bypassed Main Street America.

Just him and his wife. ( There was no Secret Service protection for former presidents in those days. )

It was something no former president has done before, or since.
 

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PMedMoe

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( President ) Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip​

When President Truman left office, he bought a Chrysler New Yorker, and drove it from Missouri to New York City and back home again. A 2,500 mile journey. Before the age of super-highways that bypassed Main Street America.

Just him and his wife. ( There was no Secret Service protection for former presidents in those days. )

It was something no former president has done before, or since.
Sounds interesting. I am currently rereading Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon.

In 1978, after separating from his wife and losing his job as a teacher, Heat-Moon, 38 at the time, took an extended road trip in a circular route around the United States, sticking to only the "Blue Highways". He had coined the term to refer to small, forgotten, out-of-the-way roads connecting rural America (which were drawn in blue on the old style Rand McNally road atlas).
 

dimsum

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Sounds interesting. I am currently rereading Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon.

In 1978, after separating from his wife and losing his job as a teacher, Heat-Moon, 38 at the time, took an extended road trip in a circular route around the United States, sticking to only the "Blue Highways". He had coined the term to refer to small, forgotten, out-of-the-way roads connecting rural America (which were drawn in blue on the old style Rand McNally road atlas).
When we can travel again, I'd love to do a road trip eastwards. PEI is the only province I haven't been to yet.

I already avoid highways if at all possible, unless it would take too much more time.
 

PMedMoe

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When we can travel again, I'd love to do a road trip eastwards. PEI is the only province I haven't been to yet.

I already avoid highways if at all possible, unless it would take too much more time.
It's much harder to avoid highways in Canada than in the U.S. Unless you really want to go out of your way. ;)
 

daftandbarmy

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I see Robin on LinkedIn alot.... it's good to see someone like that come out of the shadows and express his opinion from time to time in that kind of forum. Too many keep quiet about too many things, I find. And he's pretty funny too:

'As I pointed my rifle at the pub, I rested the magazine on the grass. Instead of coming to rest on soft turf, it scraped a metal surface. I pulled away the grass to discover a galvanized builder's bucket, half buried in the ground, with cardboard taped onto the open end. It was buried sideways in the mound of earth on which I lay, and was pointing towards the wall of the post office. It was a claymore mine, a directional bomb which, when it exploded, would send its shrapnel towards the wall, killing anyone standing there. I crawled back, keeping low in case anyone was waiting to fire it, then I scampered around the corner of the building and reported what I had seen to my patrol corporal, Pete Light, who radioed in the news. The operations officer at the time had received the same training as we had before deploying to Northern Ireland. He had seen the photos of bodies blown to bits by bombs, of headless corpses and butcher's slabs of meat. He had been taught that if a suspect device was found, it should not be touched. Yet his first command to Pete was to go and take another look, to make sure.'


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dangerboy

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Just finished reading The Madman and the Butcher: the Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie by Tim Cook (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9371064-the-madman-and-the-butcher).

I enjoyed the book and thought the author did a good job of explaining these two important Canadian World War One figures. I especially liked the portion of the book talking about the libel trial. Recommend this book to anyone interested in Canadian military history. 9371064.jpg
 

Journeyman

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dimsum

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Just finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (author of The Martian). It's entertaining and definitely a page-turner, but unlike many of the reviewers I didn't think it was as good as The Martian. It's a much bigger premise and there are some parts where things seemed a little convenient for the plot.

Apparently they already have secured movie rights to it.
 

dangerboy

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Just finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (author of The Martian). It's entertaining and definitely a page-turner, but unlike many of the reviewers I didn't think it was as good as The Martian. It's a much bigger premise and there are some parts where things seemed a little convenient for the plot.

Apparently they already have secured movie rights to it.
I enjoyed the book, there are a lot of similarities with The Martian but that is not a bad thing. With Andy Weir's books you know what the style of the book will be, a protagonist that uses math and science to solve problems.
 

dapaterson

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Starting to read my way through my backlog... all the first four on the go, depending on my mood, but I have yet to crack open JMS' autobiography.


Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Forced to Change: Crisis and Reform in the Canadian Armed Forces

The Devil's Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War

Solutions and other Problems

Becoming Superman
 

Weinie

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Starting to read my way through my backlog... all the first four on the go, depending on my mood, but I have yet to crack open JMS' autobiography.


Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Forced to Change: Crisis and Reform in the Canadian Armed Forces

The Devil's Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War

Solutions and other Problems

Becoming Superman
Just re-read The Stand extended version. It;s been about twenty years since I last looked at it. Captain Trips.
 

FJAG

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Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie. Nice little novel about a Medicus on the northern frontier in Roman Britain who acts as an investigator to track down the murderer of a Roman legionary. Not as good as the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough or the various Roman Series by SJA Turney, but engaging enough.

Reread The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. The story of a young latrine emptier from apartheid S Africa who ends up working in the plant creating S Africa's atom bombs but escapes and accidentally has one delivered to herself in Sweden instead of 20 kilos of antelope meat she wanted. What follows is a mixed tale of Israeli agents, bumbling anti-royalists and a twin that doesn't exist. Wonderfully satirical and droll sense of humour throughout. Well worth the read.

Reread the Old Man's War series by John Scalzi. You've reached the age of 75, are a widower and are about to buy the farm yourself. What do you do? You join the Colonial Defence Force, get a new bioengineered body and fight off the hundreds of alien species hell bent on stopping the Colonial Union from expanding into the universe. Great yarns.

🍻
 

medic5

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The Landmark Herodotus is what I'm reading next, basically just The Histories with plenty of maps and analysis for the more complicated parts. Whenever I read these old primary sources, I can never figure where things are happening and some parts I straight up don't understand. Saw some good reviews, so picking it up.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The Landmark Herodotus is what I'm reading next, basically just The Histories with plenty of maps and analysis for the more complicated parts. Whenever I read these old primary sources, I can never figure where things are happening and some parts I straight up don't understand. Saw some good reviews, so picking it up.
I often google old maps or look up the area on Google Earth when reading old war histories.
 

medic5

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When I was reading Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, it felt like I was googling every other word. Was Corsica the smaller or the larger island? Were the Dacians on the Danube or Euphrates? What was a franc worth in 1780? Was 70,000 francs Bezos level money or private pay?

I think a big part of reading primary sources is understanding the context in which it was written, which gets more and more complicated the further back you go. Hell I struggled reading Caesar's writing, and that is widely regarded as one of the simplest books of the period.

It really is astounding to me that we can read what was written literally 2500 years ago.
 

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Just got the newest Max Hastings book, Operation Pedestal: The Fleet that Battled to Malta, 1942. I have enjoyed every one of Max Hastings' books so I am fairly confident that I will like this one also.

Renowned historian Max Hastings recreates one of the most thrilling events of World War II: Operation Pedestal, the British action to save its troops from starvation on Malta—an action-packed tale of courage, fortitude, loss, and triumph against all odds.

In 1940, Hitler had two choices when it came to the Mediterranean region: stay out, or commit sufficient forces to expel the British from the Middle East. Against his generals’ advice, the Fuhrer committed a major strategic blunder. He ordered the Wehrmacht to seize Crete, allowing the longtime British bastion of Malta to remain in Allied hands. Over the fall of 1941, the Royal Navy and RAF, aided by British intelligence, used the island to launch a punishing campaign against the Germans, sinking more than 75 percent of their supply ships destined for North Africa.

But by spring 1942, the British lost their advantage. In April and May, the Luftwaffe dropped more bombs on Malta than London received in the blitz. A succession of British attempts to supply and reinforce the island by convoy during the spring and summer of 1942 failed. British submarines and surface warships were withdrawn, and the remaining forces were on the brink of starvation.

Operation Pedestal chronicles the ensuing British mission to save those troops. Over twelve days in August, German and Italian forces faced off against British air and naval fleets in one of the fiercest battles of the war, while ships packed with supplies were painstakingly divided and dispersed. In the end only a handful of the Allied ships made it, most important among them the SS Ohio, carrying the much-needed fuel to the men on Malta.

As Hastings makes clear, while the Germans claimed victory, it was the British who ultimately prevailed, for Malta remained a crucial asset that helped lead to the Nazis’ eventual defeat. While the Royal Navy never again attempted an operation on such scale, Hasting argues that without that August convoy the British on Malta would not have survived. In the cruel accountancy of war, the price was worth paying.
 
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