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Archive for the ‘world war two’ Category

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

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History.  New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, October 9th 2018.  307 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

It seems people are still fascinated with hunting down Nazis doesn’t it, with a much anticipated Amazon Prime TV show released called Hunters for February 2020 after World War Two has ended decades ago.  The Holocaust was one of the most horrifying evils done against humanity in history.  Yet in order for this to have happened for year that involved many, many Germans.  One such notorious groups was the German Waffen SS units.  With all the evil they done it seems that many escaped punishment.  Or did they?  This book tells the story of “Nazi hunters” after the war.  One of the co-author is a popular Conservative news show host: Bill O’ Reilly.

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Was so tired last night and struggling with what to write, so here’s a late weekend reading review, because sometimes pastors also need a mental break from, well, ministry…

Niall Barr. Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II.  New York, NY: Pegasus Books, December 7th 2015.  544 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want to learn about the American-British alliance militarily during World War Two?  This is a book worth reading!  The work is fascinating and informative.  It is well researched and insightful.  However I must say the title of the book isn’t fully accurate; it isn’t really as much about Eisenhower’s “armies” as it is about the British and American trying to work with one another at the level of military generals because Eisenhower doesn’t become the Supreme Allied Commander until 76 percent into the book.  Despite the title the book is really fascinating read still if you are looking for something about the alliance beyond the personality of Eisenhower.

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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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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 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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This weekend was a flurry of ministry activity.  Finally got time to sit down and write this review…because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading!  Also thanks to Pacific Paratrooper whose post was what prompted me to read this book!

Hiromichi Yahara. The Battle for Okinawa.  New York, NY: John Wiley & Son, Inc., January 1st 2002. 272 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a rather unique book on World War Two Pacific campaign since it is written by a higher up military officer in the Japanese Imperial Army.  The author Colonel Hiromichi Yahara is the strategic mind behind the battle of Okinawa and his book is largely his account of that battle from the perspective of a senior staff officer for the leading generals of the Okinawa’s defense.  Yahara is actually the strategist behind much (not all as readers will learn) of Japanese Army’s fight against the American forces.  I think this book is quite unique given that there’s few books from the perspective of the Japanese side and also even further rare since he’s a higher level officer that survived the war in a conflict that often witness Japanese officers commit suicide or engage in final futile suicidal attacks on the enemies.

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A nonfiction leisure weekend reading review!  Because Pastors and apologists also need a break from heavy reading!

 

Sam Kleiner.  The Flying Tigers. New York, NY: Viking, May 15th, 2018. 304 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is the story of a military aviation volunteer group comprising mostly of Americans that fought against the Japanese in China during the 1940s.  I have heard of the Flying Tigers for many years but know so little about them until I got a hold of this book.  What prompted to read this book was the result of reading a previous book on China and America titled The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom.  That book talked about the Flying Tigers and their commander Claire Chennault and although it was too brief the reference to the Flying Tigers that book made me want to find a longer discussion of the famous fighter outfit.  I’m glad I read this book.

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I’m going to post this ahead of the Memorial Day weekend as a book I immensely enjoyed that is very appropriate for the weekend as part of my nonfiction leisure reading review…why?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…and also to appreciate the generations of people who have served in the past in the military and have given so much.

Chester Nez.  Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. New York, NY: Berkley Caliber, September 6th 2011. 310 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible book on the legendary Navajo Native American who served in the United States Marines during World War Two.  Apparently this is the only memoir of the original first group of Navajo “Code talkers.”  The book is about the life and service of “Code Talker” Chester Nez who co-authored it along with Judith Avila, a historian of these incredible Marines.  In the beginning of the book Avila noted that at first Chester Nez was reluctant to write this book since he felt that others also have done their duty and also because he feared people would not find his life interesting.  Avila disagreed and encouraged him to tell his story.  I’m in agreement with Avila; Chester Nez and other “Code Talkers” lived an interesting life both in the Marine Corps and outside the Marine Corps.  I’m really glad this book was written.

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A weekend nonfiction book review…because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading.

Mitchell Zuckoff.  Lost in Shangri-la. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, April 26th 2011. 384 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

The subtitle of the book describes this work as “A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II.”  At first I didn’t know what to make of this book as it wasn’t your typical story of survival and rescue of American servicemembers in World War 2.  But as I progressed reading the book it got more and more interesting.

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Note: I’m away at the moment preaching at a church retreat.  But here’s this weekend’s nonfiction reading review…because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading.

Ben Macintyre. Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War.  New York, NY: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, June 1, 1989. 352 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What a fascinating book on the origin of the British Special Air Service and also its early years during World War Two.  This is the first book on the SAS that I read as an adult.  I remember being a little kid reading a book on elite military units and seeing the glossy pictures of the SAS famous raid on the Iranian embassy in London to rescue hostages from terrorists with SAS commandos dressed in black and armed with MP5s.  Ever since then I have been hungry to know more about these guys and as I got older I discovered that I’m not the only one who remains fascinated with this unit.  This book surely is written because of that public interests of Britain’s most famous unit.

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A weekend nonfiction book review.  Because even Pastors need a break from heavy theological readings.

Mitch Weiss.  The Heart of Hell: The Untold Story of Courage and Sacrifice in the Shadow of Iwo Jima.  New York, NY: Penguin Group, March 1st 2016. 432 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book tells the story of a Navy craft on the eve of the Marines’ landing on the island of Iwo Jima.  It is not a story of the small boat per se (the craft is Landing Craft Infantry 449) but the stories of the men who make up the crew of Landing Craft Infantry 449.  This is the first naval history book I read of World War Two as an adult.  I certainly enjoyed it and learned a lot from it in terms of human nature, war and humanity.  In this review I want to first note the helpful format of the book and then discuss the content of the book itself.

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This is a weekend non-fiction leisure reading review.  ‘Cause ministers need a break from heavy reading too.

Jonathan Jordan.  American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II. New York, NY: Penguin Group, May 5th 2015. 624 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What an incredible book on military history and history of military leadership.  This work is a look at the important men during World War Two that played a pivotal role in Franklin Roosevelt’s War Department towards winning World War Two.  This is a book that is a gold mine of information, a well-researched that surprisingly is also very readable for general readers.

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Leo Barron. Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General’s Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne.  New York, NY: NAL Caliber, October 28th 2014. 432 pp.

This is another work on the European Theatre of World War Two that I enjoyed in the fall of 2016. In this instance I listened to this book in audiobook format.  This book is more operational history and is what probably many who are interested in World War Two battles want to read and hear.  It tells us the story of General Patton’s attempt to break the German military stronghold surrounding the US Army 101st Airborne Division in a town called Bastogne from the perspective of one of Patton’s favorite outfit: The Fourth Armored Division.

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A Veteran’s Day weekend reading recommendation.

the-longest-winter-by-alex-kershaw

Alex Kershaw. The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II’s Most Decorated Platoon.  Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, November 22nd, 2004. 344 pp.

This Fall I started reading more books on the European Theatre of World War Two and this is one that I enjoyed and I’m glad I finished this on the eve of Veteran’s Day.  The book tells the story of the most decorated platoon of World War Two.  It is about the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 394th Infantry Regiment of the 99th Infantry Division who fought the Germans against overwhelming odds during the Battle of the Bulge.

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Today’s the Marine Corps Birthday and as a Marine Veteran myself, I thought I post this review of a book I really enjoyed recently!

ghost-soldiers-the-epic-account-of-world-war-ii-greatest-rescue-mission

Hampton Sides. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission.  New York, NY: Anchor Books, May 7th, 2002. 344 pp.

5 out of 5

I am finally glad I got to finish reading this book after first seeing this book fourteen years ago as a young Marine on the eve of the Iraq war.  Back then I saw another Marine have a copy of this book, I got to thumb through it briefly and found the stories very fascinating but somehow I never got around to reading this again until recently.  This was an epic book and I’m truly humbled reading about the heroes in this book just as I was fourteen years ago.

The book is about the incredible military operation conducted by 6th Ranger Battalion to rescue American Prisoner of Wars who were the survivors of the Bataan Death March.  It was a daring raid since it took place deep within enemy lines at the Cabanatuan POW camp.  As the book pointed out the raid was also all the more daring given that military special operation at that time was still in its infancy.

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