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Old 02-22-2013, 13:32   #61
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Reslience, and Redemption. New York, NY; Random House, 2010.

An outstanding read (by the author of "Seabiscuit") of a B-24 crewmember growing up during the Depression, and surviving being shot down over the Pacific and internment in a Japanese POW camp.

Absolutely, a great read. The man sure took everything they threw at him. I read it the day I got my Kindle for Christmas and was trying to learn how it worked and saw the top ten Kindle books. Glad I "stumbled" on to it.


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Abraham Lincoln
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:34   #62
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A Storm of Swords

Currently reading the Game of Throne bookset. On book three (A Storm of Swords) for the next season of teh show.

Great books, reads just like the TV show; broken down by characters and scenes for each chapter.

Game of thrones
"Berg Heil"

History teaches that when you become indifferent and lose the will to fight someone who has the will to fight will take over."


Intelligence failures are failures of command [just] as operations failures are command failures.”
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Old 02-23-2013, 13:09   #63
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Just finished American Sniper and Lone Survivor.

Now reading Shadows in the Jungle by Larry Alexander. Interesting book about the Alamo Scouts of the pacific theater.

Also reading Science & Practice of Strength Training by Zatsiorsky.....nerdy, I know.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:38   #64
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Tinkerers Triumphant

Just got this from a friend and from the review I think I will get this book. Thought I would share it here. MO: the conclusions are applicable to our current state of affairs i.e., lack of innovation and increased risk aversion in middle management within government and the private sector. Leads to group thinking and missing the forest for the trees IMO. Food for thought

Tinkerers Triumphant
By Paul Kennedy
(Random House, 436 pages, $30)
Reviewed by Andrew Roberts January 27, 2013

Histories of World War II tend to concentrate on the leaders and generals at the top who make the big strategic decisions and on the lowly grunts at the bottom who do the fighting from foxhole to foxhole. There are usually very few pages devoted to the people in the middle, the implementers who turn great decisions into a workable reality. "Engineers of Victory," by Paul Kennedy, the Yale historian and author of the seminal "Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" (1987), seeks to fill this gap in the historiography of World War II and does so triumphantly.

At the Casablanca Conference of January 1943, the giants of Western military policy-making—including Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Gen. George C. Marshall (America's chief strategist), Gen. Sir Alan Brooke (his British counterpart), Dwight Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, George Patton and others—devised the general strategy of how to defeat Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in the Western European theater and Japan in the Far East. But then they went back home, leaving others to work out the logistics on the ground, in the air and at sea. Mr. Kennedy calls these middle-ranking people "the problem solvers," and they are deservedly the heroes of this book.

Mr. Kennedy correctly identifies the five greatest problems that needed to be solved after Casablanca: how to get convoys safely across the Atlantic; how to win command of the air; how to stop the Nazi blitzkrieg; how to advance on an enemy-held shore; and, lastly, how to defeat the Pacific Ocean's "tyranny of distance."

With German arms production in 1943 twice that of 1941, the problem solvers had only a limited amount of time, and they knew it. Mr. Kennedy describes the 18 months between the Casablanca Conference and July 1944—by which time the Allies were safely ashore in Normandy—as the period during which the tide of war changed. Other historians might narrow it down further—perhaps to the five months between the surrender of Stalingrad in February 1943 and the Germans' defeat at Kursk that July, a period that would also include the surrender of a quarter of a million Axis troops in North Africa in May. But none will disagree that by the time of the Red Army's destruction of German Army Group Center in July 1944, the writing was finally on the wall of the Reich Chancellery.

Mr. Kennedy's heroes are men like the Royal Air Force liaison test pilot Ronnie Harker, "the man who put the Merlin in the Mustang." Placing the Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 engine into the P-51 Mustang allowed it to fly at 432 miles per hour, enabling it to destroy Germany's Focke-Wulf 190 fighters then dominating the skies of occupied Europe. Similarly, the idiosyncratic Great War pilot Humphrey de Verd Leigh invented the Leigh plane-carried searchlights, which in Mr. Kennedy's characteristically vivid language "would catch in their stunning glare and paralyze U-boats recharging their batteries at night." The inventors of the cavity magnetron, a miniaturized radar device that could be placed in aircraft like the Vickers Wellington, as well as in smaller ships, are also given their due. But it isn't all inventors. Mr. Kennedy also salutes the middle managers and farsighted administrators who were keen to reduce red tape and drive through the bureaucratic thickets to ultimate victory.

By 1943, only the British and American navies were launching heavy warships, and by August of that year the battle of the Atlantic was won and the first of the five Casablanca problems solved. Politically incorrect though it might be to say nowadays, many other Allied problems were solved, at least in part, by the Allied capacity to smash German cities and industrial centers night after night, if at horrific cost to the brave British and American bomber crews. Mr. Kennedy reminds us that the massive four-engine Lancaster bomber—like the B-17, B-24 and B-29—was capable of carrying the same bomb load as nine Axis medium bombers. The German two-engined Heinkel 111 bombers that had terrorized London earlier in the war simply couldn't cause the necessary damage, which is why nine times more German civilians died from aerial bombing than Britons.

"Engineers of Victory" rightly pays particular attention to the newly created Construction Battalions (CBs or "SeaBees") that, under Adm. Ben Moreell—one of the great American problem solvers—built the vast Mulberry Harbors that were towed across the English Channel to the beachheads established in Normandy on D-Day. Altogether some 1.5 million Allied soldiers stepped ashore on them, which obviated the need to capture the heavily defended Norman port of Cherbourg. The determination and vision of men like Moreell saved thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of lives in attacks that would otherwise have been incredibly costly.

Mr. Kennedy writes knowledgeably and movingly of the scientists who built the war-ending nuclear weapon at Los Alamos, N.M. Their average age, he notes, was only 26. When one considers the 3,000 Americans killed and wounded clearing a similar number of Japanese off the tiny island of Tarawa in November 1943, Mr. Kennedy is right to ask what the cost would have been in American lives considering that "the enemy garrisons in the Philippines were twenty or fifty times as large as those on Tarawa." Moreover, if the Japanese home islands would have had to have been invaded against similarly fanatical resistance, the U.S. might have had to countenance losses of a quarter-million to a half-million men, many multiples of the numbers lost even in the Civil War. For most people, the question of the nuclear bomb therefore answers itself and makes the scientists working at breakneck speed every possible hour in New Mexico truly heroic in their efforts. They were the best of the "problem solvers," and this book is a fine tribute to them and their counterparts.

(Mr. Roberts latest book is "Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War.")
Honor Above All Else

Last edited by Trapper John; 02-25-2013 at 08:41.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:48   #65
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Just finished "The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun". Very interesting read on a Chinese Christian house church leader who spent years in prisons for preaching Christianity. Really brave and dedicated guy.

"And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?"
Thomas Babington Macaulay

"One man with courage makes a majority." Andrew Jackson

"Well Mr. Carpetbagger. We got something in this territory called the Missouri boat ride."
Josey Wales
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:02   #66
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Crawford, Matthew. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York: The Penguin Press; 2009.

A treatise on the disappearance of tools and tool use from our common education, and of the timeless ideal of manual competence and its affect on our lives in the manufactured, material world of today.

GREAT read.

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” - To Kill A Mockingbird (Atticus Finch)

“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” - Robert Heinlein
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:17   #67
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Currently, "SHADOW WAR, The Secret War in Laos" By Kenneth Conboy

Second book is: "Bury Us Upside Down, The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail" By Rick Newman and Don Shepperd. Foreword by Senator John McCain
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:46   #68
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HANGMEN OF ENGLAND: A History of Execution from Jack Ketch to Albert Pierrepoint by Brian Bailey (1989)

Criminals do not die by the hands of the Law. They die by the hands of other men. - Bernard Shaw
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

It's Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile - Wayne Dyer

WOKE = Willfully Overlooking Known Evil
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:35   #69
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Finished The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm. A lot of you guys are already probably very familiar with the story itself, but it is a very good book about the QP's initial entry into Afghanistan. Has a lot about Karzai's initial ascent into authority. The book makes him seem like a much better man than the media suggests. Makes you wonder how the game of politics slanders our own elected officials... It does not have a bunch of bias, nor does it contain tons of technical crap. It is simple to read but deep.

Finished The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. Yeah Yeah, hippy stuff. I recommend it, though. Nothing wrong with a little inner peace. If you are at peace, then your actions will simply be in accordance with peace regardless of their face-value impression, I'd think... Good stuff. Anywho, if you want it, send me a PM and I can give you the link to the online reading.
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Old 03-02-2013, 16:58   #70
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"Black April, The fall of South Vietnam 1973-75" by George J. Veith

Basically, everything that happened from the time that American forces left in early '73 to the capture of Saigon in '75.

Last edited by mojaveman; 03-04-2013 at 00:28.
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Old 03-17-2013, 20:56   #71
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Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Fantastic read twenty pages in.
"I wonder how many people are catastrophically uninspired by Americas elected leaders." - Billy L-Bach
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Old 03-20-2013, 17:42   #72
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Maddow, Rachel Dirft: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Just finsihed this the other day, as it was a gift from a friend from the left side of the specturm. Not the best use of my time ...

Turns out her writing is just as crazy as her show. She has no concept of history aside from spotlighting to back up her own twisted views. It was enlightening to see how the Left views the US in a global security view.

BTW.. Didnt realize she was a lesbian.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:13   #73
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Inside the Red Box: North Korea's Post-totalitarian Politics - Patrick McEachern (2010)

North Korea's institutional politics defy traditional political models, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent materials, such as North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

It's Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile - Wayne Dyer

WOKE = Willfully Overlooking Known Evil
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:42   #74
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Just finished: The Triple Agent- The Al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA by Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick. This is about the 2009 SVIED bombing at FOB Chapman by the Jordanian doctor which took out seven Agency and contractor personnel.

Just begun: El Narco- Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency by British journalist Ioan Grillo. This is a subject I'm keen to learn more about.
Grando autem duodecimo hominis
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Old 04-14-2013, 17:21   #75
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Currently reading "Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior" by Dick Couch.

It's good so far, not much into the training part yet, more of the background, but it's definitely some good insight for the special forces, and awesome to have the author a retired SEAL giving so much props to the SF.
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