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Posts Tagged ‘Military history’

A weekend reading review…because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  And also for your stay at home, “shelter in place,” etc, with the virus.

 

Jeff D. Dickey. Rising in Flames.  New York, NY: Pegasus Books, June 5th 2018. 400 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

When I say “Sherman’s March to Sea,” what do you think of?  I know many images and connotation is stirred up when General Sherman is brought up.  This is a rather infamous military campaign led by General William Sherman going into the Confederate South for the purpose of sabotaging the economic capabilities of the South to feed and equip their Confederate Army.  This was quite a controversy then and also controversial even for our day and age for non-Southerners given the kind of tactics Sherman pursued in the war.  Most of what I have heard has largely been from the perspective of the South and also popular imagination from the movie Gone with the Wind.  The author argues that there’s a need to understand what happened from the perspective of also those in the North and Sherman’s army.

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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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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 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 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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This is a review of an Audio CD set on military history.  Why would our blog on the Bible, Theology, Apologetics and Christian worldview review such a resource?  I believe the more Christians know from auxiliary disciplines outside of theology and apologetics helps us better understand the Bible better (with discernment of course).  So here’s my review…

Garrett G. Fagan. Great Battles of the Ancient World. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2005. 12 hours, 18 minutes.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an audio history lecture produced by The Teaching Company.  It is the first one I listened to from them and because of the positive experience with this product I plan to listen to more lectures that The Teaching Company have made available.  This particular product feature lectures on history by Garrett G. Fagan a historian and professor that is well known for his research in Roman history.  Fagan here gives us twenty four lectures concerning great battles in the ancient world and largely focuses on the classical period and the ancient near east.

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A weekend non-fiction book review!  Because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading!

Jim Proser. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.  New York, NY: HarperLuxe, August 7th 2018. 416 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is the first book on James Mattis.  Mattis is probably our generation’s best combat general.  A career Marine who served in uniform for forty four years he also went on to become the Secretary of Defense and one who received nearly unanimous bipartisan support for his nomination which is quite impressive in a day and age of much political division and partisanship in the United States.  For years I have been amazed at how low profile General Mattis have been compared to how much public attention the US media has given other Army generals.  It seem overnight a few years ago Mattis started to finally receive a lot of attention and praise and usually through the medium of social media making jokes about his exploits and strength. Yet people’s hunger to know more about this tough talking and private general has only increased when news broke that Trump wanted him to be Secretary of Defense.  Personally as a Marine who served under General Mattis’ 1st Marine Division in Iraq I am glad that the author wrote this book.  I actually think it has been long overdue.

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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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I’m way behind reviewing the books I’ve read this summer so I’m posting this earlier before our usual Leisure Weekend Reading Review…because Pastors need a break sometimes from heavy theological reading!

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.  Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against International Terrorism’s Money Masters. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, November 7th 2017. 304 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book on Israel’s fight against terror.  The preface opens up with the story of the US war on terror of going after key ISIS figures but then Segway to the fact that the US adopted some of the method of the war on Terror from Israel’s own covert war against international terrorism.  But this book isn’t primarily focused on military operations (though it has that in the book) but the side of the war that focuses on defeating terrorist networks by going after its funding.  This work is a fascinating read!

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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 know for many summer vacation is around the corner so here’s my review of two military books for your summer travel…and also because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

For other suggestions check out also our previous post “2017 Memorial Day Weekend Lists of Recommended Readings.”

Robert O’Neill.  The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner, April 3rd 2018. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden.  This book not only tell the story of the mission to go after Bin Laden but also Robert O’Neill’s upbringing in Montana, how he joined the Navy and made it into the SEALs.  A fascinating book of a fascinating individual.

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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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