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Archive for the ‘world war two’ Category

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.

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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!

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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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Tonight’s weekend reading review…as always, because Pastors also need a mental break.

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David Smith.  The Price of Valor. Washington DC: Regnery History, January 1st, 2015. 258 pp.

I enjoyed this biography on Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War Two.  It is about time I finally know more about him!  I was wondering whether to start with Audie’s autobiography or this biography told in a third person perspective but in the end I thought it was better to start with this work by David Smith.  I don’t regret it—that’s because I enjoyed it very much.

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