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Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

A special Memorial Day weekend reading review.

Marine the life of chesty puller

Mark Galeotti. Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller.  New York, NY: Open Road Intergrated Media, March 29, 2016. 371 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

One of the most celebrated legendary Marine is Chesty Puller; the most decorated US Marine in history, even today every Marine would know of his name after being drilled information about him starting in the days of boot camp; do you know who he was and what he has done?  Though I’m a Marine veteran who love Marine Corps history I am ashamed to realize that I have never read any books about Chesty Puller until recently and I don’t know much about him as much I should compared to other military leaders in the other services!  For those that don’t know anything about him Chesty Puller is literally the guy that you want to be around taking charge when the enemies have surrounded you and outnumbered against you; and he’s literally saved men’s lives during such a scenario too.  So I am glad I saw they have an electronic format of this book available.  Originally published in 1962 this book was written when Puller was still alive.  This book actually made me want to read more works on Chesty Puller especially more recent works evaluating his life, legacy and contribution.

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A timely weekend non-fiction book review, in light of everything going on in the World…

Black Wind White Snow

Charles Clover. Black Wind, White Snow.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, October 27, 2015. 384 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Do you want to understand what drives the thinking of Putin’s foreign policy outlook especially in light of the consequences of what’s going on in Ukraine?  This book would be an important work you don’t want to miss.  The reason I read this book was to better understand what’s going on in Russia that shapes their foreign policy especially with the war that happened in 2022 with Ukraine after I saw it was quoted frequently from a master’s thesis on Alexander Dugin, Putin’s so called Rasputin.  The subtitle of the book is “The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism.”  The book traces the origin and development of an idea call Euroasianism and while the subtitle is “Nationalism” Eurasianism is Russia’s political outlook that is a hybrid of Russian supremacy blended with a call for the people of the Steppes and former Soviet republics in Russia’s orbit to be one civilization.  Eurasianists would see the heartland of Russia and other Eursasians are in a clash of civilization with Atlantists and coastal and Island base people.

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A timely weekend non-fiction book review, in light of everything going on in the World…

The Modern Russian Army 1992 2016

Mark Galeotti. The Modern Russian Army 1992–2016.  New York, NY: Osprey Publishing, February 21, 2017. 64 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How does the modern post-Soviet Russian military operate?  I think after February 25th, 2022 this question might seem more relevant to many with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  This book for sixty four pages is jam pack with information and the author’s familiarity of the Russian Federation’s army and its history was very helpful for me as I read it, and I imagine many like myself are starving to understand more Russia’s operational capability of its Army.

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I’m reviewing two history books…because Pastors also need a break!

On Desperate Ground

Hampton Sides. On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle.  New York, NY: Doubleday, October 2, 2018.  368 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

If you ever heard the hymn for the US Marines there’s a line that says “we will fight in every climb and place” but where’s a place that’s cold that the Marines have fought in? This book covers the legendary First Marine Division and their campaign in the Korean War.  Readers will learn about the epic and horrible battle of Chosin Reservoir that took place in frostbiting cold of North Korea.  There’s other battles covered but this was the climatic part of the book.

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A weekend historical fiction comic book review!  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…

Dreaming Eagles

Garth Ennis. Dreaming Eagles.  Sherman Oaks, California: Aftershock Comics, October 5th 2016. 161 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Have you heard of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War Two?  If not, buckle up for an adventure and also a history lesson told the art form of a graphic novel.  History buffs who love comics will also enjoy this trade paperback.  I am glad that a well-known comic book writer has written this story that pays tribute to not only the famous “Red Tails” squadrons of brave African-American pilots who fought the Nazis in the air, but also the effort of the 1960s Civil Right era.

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A weekend nonfiction audio book review…because Pastors also need a break from reading and also for you staying at home in light of the Corona Virus…

 

William H. McRaven. Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.  New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, June 21st 2019. 10 hours 18 minutes 39 seconds.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What is it like being the longest serving Navy SEAL commando and an Admiral of the Navy Seals and other Special Operations Forces?  This book is a memoir of Admiral McRaven whom most people probably know for his leadership of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that pulled off the mission that target Bin Laden.  There’s not a lot of SEALs that picked up the rank of admiral and I believe he’s the second SEAL that achieved that rank.  This audio book is read by the author himself and looks back not only with his Navy career but also his childhood and a look at the men and women who have served and risked their life and at times died in serving in the military.

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Can one be a God honoring Christian and also a good soldier?

I was blessed to learn about a Christian name Henry Havelock in Church History.  I never heard of him before until Mike shared this with me.

This isn’t just a story of being a good Christian in the military but a lesson of being a good Christian in whatever calling and vocation God has for you.

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A weekend reading review!  Because Pastors also need a break from heavily theological reading! Actually this weekend I’m preaching at a retreat!

 

John L. Plaster. SOG: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam.  New York, NY: Simon Schuster, January 1st 2019. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Have you ever heard of a Special Operations group called MACV SOG?  If not, it might be because this is one of the most secretive group during the Vietname War since it operatives had to agree not to talk about their experience for twenty years.  Yet much of today’s Special operations group and capabilities in the modern US military owe its tactics and capabilities to this covert group.  If you are interested in US special operations forces, military history and also the military side to the Vietnam War this book is a must-read.

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A weekend reading review, because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading.

Simon Anglim, Phyllis G. Jestice, Rob S. Rice, Scott M. Rusch, John Serrati.  Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, January 1st 2003. 256 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for a book on military history and military techniques during ancient times?  This book might be for you!  Written by a team of experts on military matters with academic and published credentials this book is quite informative and engaging concerning military matters of equipping, tactics and combat skills for warfare.  The work covers largely Europe and the Middle East before the advent of gunpowder.  While the subtitle of the book states it looks at 3000 BC-500 AD most of the book concentrates on the Greek and Roman classical period.
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A weekend reading review…because sometimes Pastors need a break from heavy reading also.

Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully. Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.  Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, November 1st 2005. 612 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want to read one of the best book on the Battle of Midway?  I remember as a young kid reading about this battle and how it turned the tide of the war in Pacific in favor of the United States in which Japan suffered serious loss in this battle.  This work simply exceeded my expectation and I was thoroughly hooked from page to page, which might sound almost unbelievable concerning a military operational book but the two authors did a good job telling us the story of the Battle of Midway and throughout the book they also critically interact with previous presentation of the battle by historians and popular misconception and argue for their account of what happened in a way that is informative while displaying an attitude of being concern for truth of what really happened.

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A weekend non-fiction reading review!  Something timely in light of V-J (Victory over Japan) day yesterday!

Jack “Dusty” Kleiss.  Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway. New York, NY: William Morrow, May 23rd 2017. 312 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What is it like to hear the account of a pilot who made history in World War Two?  This book gives us a taste.  The author N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss was a naval pilot who fought in the battle of Midway.  Midway was the naval battle that changed the direction of the war and the tide was turned against Japan.    Kleiss didn’t just take part of the battle; he was one of those pilots who actually successfully bombed Japanese ships and carrier and directly contributed to the strategic defeat of Japan.  This is his story and the story of the men he served with.

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In light of Memorial Day.

Jocko Willink.  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, October 20th 2015. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How well do you own up to your own fault and flaws?  Do you often blame other people and your circumstance when you should be admitting your own fault?  This was a good book on leadership by a combat leader in the Navy SEALS.  It wasn’t only just a good book on leadership; it was also a good book of how to be under leaders as well.  The title of the book captures the subject of the material well; it is a book on taking personal responsibility of what you do.  Taking responsibility is a big important mark of a good leader versus a bad leader.

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A weekend leisure reading review…because sometimes Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  I also recommend Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II.

Winston Groom. The Generals: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, and the Winning of World War II.  Washington D.C.: National Geographic, November 10th 2015. 512 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This was an enjoyable book on three important US Army Generals during World War Two.  The three men are General George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and George Marshall.  Together these men played an important role for the victory of World War Two both in the Pacific and in Europe.  If you want to learn about all three men in one volume this would be it and though it is over five hundred pages I still think it is reasonable if one consider how long three separate volumes on each of these men would be, given how much they have accomplished and how important they were in the war.

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A weekend leisure reading review…because sometimes Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

James G. Stavridis.  Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, June 5th 2018. 384 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a wonderful and highly informative book on geopolitics.  The author James G. Stavridis is an accomplished US Naval Admiral and among his many accomplishment was being the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO towards the end of his career.  His perspective is quite insightful and I would say unique!  He’s not only looking at this in light of analysis and history but also shares his personal “sea stories” that makes this book all the more interesting.

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A belated weekend leisure reading review since I taught a lot more extra this weekend and didn’t get around to writing and posting this. Why a leisure reading review on a blog on the Bible, theology and apologetics?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…

Vincent Brugeass.  The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS Volume 1. Paris, France: Europe Comics, November 21st 2018. 67 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a comic that tells the story of the early days in the most famous Special Forces unit in the world: The British Special Air Services.  I have been fascinated with the Special Air Services (SAS) ever since I was a kid reading military history and seeing pictures of the famous counter-terrorism mission of storming the Iranian embassy in London when it was taken over by terrorists.  This comic book is about the SAS origin’s in the North African desert during World War Two.  The work was originally in French but was translated into English by the publisher.

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