I belive this book also was made into a HBO series.
This was a really good book....
I fined the book implicitly point of doctrine mistakes of the US military. The idea of “Speed Kills” came into doubt here. Speed do not really kill the enemy, especially when fighting an army or enemy that can turn into guerrillas/insurgent. Perhaps speed kills advanced army’s, with advanced or heavy equipment where need of supply is essential, but speed do not kill an enemy with low tec weapons, fighting in his home environment.
Several good books in a row now. This one was really good.
I suppose many from US read it.
I give the book 4/5
I copy the cover text about the book from Amazon:
Since September 11, 2001, Seymour M. Hersh has riveted readers -- and outraged the Bush Administration -- with his explosive stories in The New Yorker, including his headline-making pieces on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Now, Hersh brings together what he has learned, along with new reporting, to answer the critical question of the last four years: How did America get from the clear morning when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center to a divisive and dirty war in Iraq?
In Chain of Command, Hersh takes an unflinching look behind the public story of the war on terror and into the lies and obsessions that led America into Iraq. Hersh draws on sources at the highest levels of the American government and intelligence community, in foreign capitals, and on the battlefield for an unparalleled view of a critical chapter in America's recent history. In a new afterword, he critiques the government's failure to adequately investigate prisoner abuse -- at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere -- and punish those responsible. With an introduction by The New Yorker's editor, David Remnick, Chain of Command is a devastating portrait of an administration blinded by ideology and of a president whose decisions have made the world a more dangerous place for America.
I give this a 4/5 too. Easy to read and one just fly over the pages.
This was the last book about the wars following 9/11 that I probably read for now,.
I been lucky this time, all books was very good.
The wars are not finished and the fallout of the Bush actions is seen in the Middle East and beyond. Iraq & Syria is ISIS-ized, or when will they be? How many parts will it be divided into. Egypt, Lybia, Syria is de-stable. When will Saudi boil over.. Pakistan…? The ball is rolling… Bush ended nothing, but started a motion….
Our kidz will have to deal with all this. And whatever “this” will be, I have no idea..
The book’s dust cover text: Jason Burke, a first hand witness of many of the conflict's key moments, has written the definitive account of its course. At once investigation, reportage and contemporary history, it is based on hundreds of interviews with participants including desperate refugees and senior intelligence officials, ministers and foot-soldiers, active militants and their victims. Burke reveals the true nature of contemporary Islamic militancy and the inside story of the fight against it. He cuts through the myth and propaganda of all sides to reveal the reality behind well-known - and lesser known - episodes, and brings characters, voices and a sense of place to a gripping narrative.
The 9/11 Wars is an essential book for understanding the dangerous and unstable twenty-first century. Whether reporting on the riots in France or the killing of Bin Laden, suicide bombers in Iraq or British troops fighting in Helmand, Jason Burke tells the story of a world that changed forever when the hijacked planes flew out of the brilliant blue sky above Manhattan on September 11th 2001.
The title is descriptive, the secret weapon programs is presented using declassified material as well as diary notes from the people with insight, as well as interviews.. Keeping chemical programs secret by using civilian companies, as well as universities. The close links with US-military researchers sharing information. The chemical program was felt to be immoral, making politicians as well as military doubtful about going from research to actual production and doctrine.
The nuclear program is more complicated, where there was no secret in mid 1960 that Sweden was one of the sates that had “almost” finished developed a weapon. This made it complicated to sign the nuclear non spread treaties US and Soviet was suggesting.
Im not sure how to grade this book, but i give it a 3/5
This was a fast read, 160 pages.
The book is written about a relative of the author “Hermod Tuft”. The author got Hemod’s unfinished memoirs, and also tape recordings about his time in SS. This combined with the stories he heard from him since he was a kid, made a rather good book.
Hermond was a Norwegian youth when he joind SS Wiking to fight the Russians. He was a “front” soldier for almost 4 years. Wounded several times, shell shocked. HE was one of the lucky to escape Tjerkassy pocket. There are no glory, no heroes in the book. The filth, fear, psychological terror is often brought up.
What also is interesting and rather new to me is the last chapter when he was a prisoner of the Americans. The mistreatment, the lack of food, medicine, sanitation, and accommodations and the brutality in wish they treated the German POW’s. I was under the illusion that this was the Russians MO.
Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:45 pm Post subject: Re: What are you reading?
about the treatment of POW's in WW2, yes the western allies also treated axis POW's badly. There was also plenty of crimes including rapes that the western alllied committed while occupying Western Europe. They didn't commit these crimes just against Germans but also against French, Dutch, etc. civilians. Also the bombing campaigns by the western allies have been called into question since they caused thousands and thousands of civilian deaths. So, there is that.
I haven't really read much lately, I have an audiobook called Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. I haven't really listened to it with much interest though, it covers such a huge time span from 1492 to present day in the North America so there is a lot of info in the book.
Japan's suicide squadrons in WW2. I have only made it through the introductory chapters so far. Really happy to have this book and can't wait to finish it. I chose it as it was written in 1957. I figured memories would be more clear so the facts would be more accurate. Two of the writers who are Japanese were basically staff officers in the squadrons and had an excellent view of what happened.
One interesting fact so far I have read was the pilots were instructed to hit the elevators on aircraft carriers. A damaged elevator or two made the carrier ineffective, no planes could be brought up on desk or stowed.
There is a chart in the book detailing what ship the Kamikazes hit with coordinates and dates. I was able to cross reference some of these actions with another book I read, Devil Boats. This book was about the PT boats in the Pacific, and one chapter is dedicated to how they dealt with Kamikazes. All the PT boats and PT tenders that were damaged and sunk are listed in The Divine Wind with only some discrepancies. It was kind of gratifying to be able to fact check the book.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:58 pm Post subject: Re: What are you reading?
After reading the book by Jordbruen Rolf Ivar that I talk about in the previous post. I was curious about the stories of mistreatment of German pow’s by Americans at the end of the war. So I decided to read a bit about that.
I have only found it in German, not English… But I may well be published in English under another name or something..
The book name in English would be “Prisoners of war”
Okay, well… The book, 400+ pages. It only deals with Germans taken prisoner under the second world war, and directly after.
About 11 mil Germans was taken as POW’s and some 800 thousand civilians too, woman child and old people.
Knopp starts by describing how the marine and airmen was treated in England in the early war. He has many sources, interviews, memoirs, letters sent from the POW camps, IRC documents of inspections, as well as the POW camps archives.
The Germans was treated with much respect in England, that surprised the POW’s. They was accommodated in rather good camps, and the food was so-so but it seems the guards eat the same. Then they stated to ship the POW’s to Canada, and there it was fine to, there were some issues at times but nothing of importance. . A rather large number of German POW’s who came there (England/Canada) early in the war, never returned to Germany, but had found a girl or a job and stayed.
The POWs sent to USA, as they entered the war was lucky. This was the Africa veterans, and U-boot people. The food was silly good, they never feed that much in Germany. The American prison guards were treating the German privates better than the German officers had ever done… The Germans was allowed to work, at first there was 1 guard in 10 POW’s, soon it was just nominal guards, 1 in 90 POW’s. Withness of very laxed relation, where the guard passed his rife to the POW’s as he get of the truck or whatever.. POW’s worked on farms, was treated very well by the families there. They was allowed there own POW’news paper, made by the POW’s without any form of censoring. Libraries, move theatres etc. Good sanitation… 5 star hotel sort of…
Russia, that was another story. Walking on foot , ppl lagging after was shot, beaten, nothing to eat. The camps was horrible. Sanitation was lacking. About half the Germans in Russian camps was killed or died. Many spent 10 years or more as slave workers. There was also the civilian German prisoners, many taken at the end of the war. IRC estimates 800 thousand, of the many woman and young girls. There stories was extra painful.
As the war came to an end, and the Americans entered the concentration camps, there attitudes changed. There was mistreatment of the Germans taken at the end of the war. They were held without roof over there heads, thousands on mud fields with no sanitation and hardly any food. There was no systematic death camps, some good camps some really awful. Cases of sadism and shooting POW’s, beating etc, though not systematic or authorized. The Americans was unprepared for the huge numbers of POW’s and little was prepared, the numbers dead was rather tiny.
The POW’s in France had a rough time.
Well, what did I think of the book? I suppose the interest of the subject makes me appreciate the book more. It was easy to read and well structured. So I found it good.
I have some mixed feelings about this book. It’s a memoir, starting in the late 1930 th with the young Voss. The first half of the book we get to know the family, aunts, uncles, grand… and the whole family. He paints the picture rather well, why a few was Hitlerites, and some supported the idea of grate Germany but found Hitler vulgar. The once that rejected Hitler as a clown and dangerous. I found this foirst half a bit boring, not because it was poor written, absolutely not. Its well written, but because I probably was fooled by the book title… I expected more of the battle and soldier stories than a costume novel… But, after almost tossing away the book, things started happening. Voss joined the SS, the 11 th mountain regiment. He was stationed in north Finland.
So what did I think of the book, 3/5. If one would like the first half, explaining how the germans felt about things in the late 30- th and early 40 th then it is better than I lead you to think. It do explain why some joined the SS and it turns the black and white into colourful grey tones.. The second half of the book is much better, far better. The author is an excellent writer, and that’s not always so in memoirs..
I also take the liberty of posting the book cover text here:
As it joins the ranks of the books in this genre, Black Edelweiss makes a unique and very important contribution. It is a true, personal account of the author’s war years, first at school and then with the Waffen-SS, which he joined early in 1943 at the age of seventeen. For a year and a half, the author fought as a machine gunner in SS-Mountain Infantry Regiment 11 "Reinhard Heydrich," mainly in the arctic and sub-arctic reaches of Soviet Karelia and Finland, and later at the Western frontier of the Third Reich. The characters in the story are real, and the conversations and actions are recounted to the best of his ability from the short distance at which he wrote the manuscript in 1945–46.
Apart from the piercing insights into the question of why the German soldier fought as he did, what makes this book truly unique is the author’s anguished, yet resolute examination of the dialectic between the honorable and valorous comportment of his comrades and the fundamentally reprehensible conduct of about 35,000 men behind the front lines who nevertheless wore the same uniform.
During his captivity, the author was assigned for a time as a clerk to a US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps officer, and in the performance of his administrative duties, the author had access to the mounting reams of documentation of the Holocaust. His growing recognition of the involvement of Waffen-SS personnel in the monstrous crimes of that process caused him to dig deeply into his soul, to examine his most intimate and private motivations and thoughts, and to reevaluate the most basic assumptions of his life to that point. The author captured this process and the result in the notes which became this book.
I read Black Edelweiss to. Very good book I thought. The most interesting part of the book I thought was the German retreat through Finland to get to the ships that would take them to friendly territory.
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:19 am Post subject: Re: What are you reading?
Just finished A Passage To Sorrow. Army chaplain in Vietnam recounts his one year tour. Very easy and enjoyable read. Its a point of view book, as in you are reading what he is seeing. Most interesting part was how soldiers would ask why its not a sin to kill. In answering it so many times he made the conclusion that hes being a hypocrite not carrying a rifle himself. Soon afterwards he arms himself.
Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:29 am Post subject: Re: What are you reading?
Japanese Destroyer Captain is turning out to be a very good read. Capt Hara gives some very good first person narratives of battles he was in. Some purely ship on ship combat with no air power present. Captain vs Captain. The US had some stunning defeats, not battles the size of the Midway operation, but smaller actions of less than 25 ships total. Of course the Japanese also had many defeats, and Capt Hara was present there also and goes into full detail.
Some very simple mistakes costs the lives of many. Turning on a searchlight at night, smoking on the deck of a submarine, firing torpedoes at a target closer than the arming range of the warhead, repeating the same routes... he recounts many of these blunders which happened on all sides.
You also learn how vastly superior the American radar was over the Japanese. Barely any Japanese ships had it equipped. The Americans could fire by radar at night, in fog or any type of low visibility. Many Japanese ships had to wait until they could actually see the target.
One surprise I learned is that they used oxygen as the propellant for their torpedoes. The oxygen did not leave a wake behind the torpedo and increased thier range dramatically over using compressed air. The Americans never completely understood this until after the war.
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:21 pm Post subject: Re: What are you reading?
Fearless by Eric Blehm.
It's a book about a navy seal called Adam Brown. Much of the book deals with his life before he became a navy seal and all the difficulties he went through. Brown had a very significant subtance abuse problem and it's almost a miracle that he was able to pass the navy seal training and then go on many missions and became, by all accounts, a good soldier (or should I say sailor?). Then again subtance abuse is not that uncommon among military folks or special forces types.
As the name of the book suggests, Brown could be characterized as a pretty fearless individual. Not sure if that is always a good thing, fear is good as a self preservation instinct. Anyway it's a pretty good book although I think it was produced by a religious (Christian) group and throughout the book there are these religious messages that almost make the book into a kind of religious propaganda. The story itself is still pretty interesting. Also, many of the navy seal folks that the writer Blehm interviewed to make the book since died in the helicopter crash of 2011. Fearless
Very quick read. First hand experiences taken from a diary he kept in the POW camps he was held in. Robert was captured in Dieppe. The first part of the book deals very briefly on his experiences in the Dieppe raid. Assaulting the beachhead and then eventually ending up hiding behind a blown up LST with other survivors waiting to be captured. That part of the book was very good and very short ofcourse! I visited Dieppe years ago so it was very easy to image what it was like combined with his descriptions. The remainder of the book details his life as a POW. Escape attempts (which are funny!), daily life and eventual liberation. The different types of guards was fun to read about as well. I found the book very interesting overall. One thing I found suprising was the photos they would take of the POWs. Exactly like class photos in elementary school, all the POWs lined up in rows one behind the other posing. Somehow, Robert was able to save the ones from his camps.
Yea I've read it. Don't really think it's a great book. For a 'war book' there really isn't that much war in it, it mostly deals with Kyle's life before and after military. He refers to the Iraqis he fought against as "evil" and "savages" and thinks that all of them deserved to die. He is very religious himself and attacks people he calls "liberals" in the book. There are also all kinds of stories in the book that were most likely made up, such as striking Jesse Ventura and shooting people during the Katrina hurricane and getting into a lot of fist fights etc.
The film that was made based on the book (that turned out to be quite successful financially) further distorts the story from reality. These days I mostly try to read books that are as proven to be as factually accurate as possible and American Sniper book and/or film do not fall into that category.
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