The ASL Book Club

djohannsen

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Speaking of Thuds, I would also strongly recommend 'The Hunter Killers ' by Dan Hampton.
I almost included this one, as I also recently finished it and enjoyed it. It just struck me as not the caliber of the other "Thud books," though the topic (EW) is of interest to me.

If you have interest in topic of wild Weasels, I am enjoying the declassified Air Force report,
Tactics and Techniques of Electronic Warfare - Electronic Countermeasures in the Air War Against North Vietnam, 1965-1973. You can grab this in print form very cheaply through Amazon (though you can probably find a pdf without too much effort, as well).
 

Jeffrey D Myers

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Hope to be receiving Kohima: The Furthest Battle: The Story of the Japanese Invasion of India in 1944 and the Battle of Kohima in the post today....
 

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I highly recommend Thud Ridge and Hunter Killers. Also Chickenhawk by Charles Mason.
 

TopT

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Thank you all for your suggestions.
 

tripvm

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I just started Alan Clark's Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45.

It was written in 1965 and a new edition was issued in 1985. It is short coming in at 485 pages excluding the index. I am sure there are much deeper treatments using all of the information that was not available to Clark. However, I really have not read much on the East Front, and I thought Clark would be a good introduction. Besides, I remember one of my college roommates reading it back in the late 80s.

In addition, I recently picked up several of the Osprey books including:

World War II Infantry Tactics: Squad and Platoon (Elite)
and
German Infantryman vs Soviet Rifleman: Barbarossa 1941 (Combat)

I breezed through the first of these over Christmas and started the second yesterday along with the Clark book. Although they are a little pricey for short books, I enjoy the Osprey books. There is a lot of information packed into them, and, of course, the illustrations are great.
 
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Yuri0352

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I'm skimming through and eventually about to start reading 'T-34, Mythical Weapon' by Robert Michulec and Miroslaw Zientarewski. It is a truly massive volume of 520 pages and probably over 800 illustrations (photos, line drawings and color profiles). I'm very thrilled to have received this incredible book about my favorite tank!

I haven't read many ASL or WWII related books within the past year as I have been devoting nearly all of my reading time to Native American and Irish history, with a fascinating detour in to Victorian era medicine. Oh, and a few of the latest Michael Connolly novels as well.
 

jtsjc1

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Anyone interested in the Panzerwrecks series of books, get Panzers In Berlin 1945. This is a beautiful hardcover book 300+ pages with pictures I've never seen before and reports with dates. Also included is a folded map of Berlin with a legend showing locations of tanks and what page they appear in the book. I bought it from Abebooks and it was about $55.00. Amazon has now lowered their price to $55. I would suggest buying it if you can because this looks like one of those books that will be 3x that if it goes out of print. Highly recommend it.
 

RandyT0001

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Just got to chapter four, the start of the combat "The Golden Lions at bay" with the 106th ID.

11545
 

tripvm

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jtsjc1

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djohannsen

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Though I'm still only about half of the way through the book, it's so good that I will give a brief review of Roy Appleman's "East of Chosin." The book describes the struggles of RCT 31 (aka, TF Faith) during the early days of the Chinese intervention during the Korean War (i.e., late November 1950). If you're like me, you probably didn't know that while the 1st Mar Div was west of the Chosin reservoir, the US Army had a reinforced regiment(-) east of the reservoir. Appleman's book is a detailed (tactical) retelling of the the struggles of 1/32 and 3/31 (with attached units) during approximately a four-day period, from the initial surprise Chinese assault (on the night of 27 November) through the breakout attempt of 1 December (approximately only a thousand soldiers were able to reach Hagaru-ri, most of whom were wounded).

Appleman (well-known for his histories of the US Army in Korea) writes crisply and clearly in describing the events. It is obvious that Appleman has done a tremendous amount of research and he is forthcoming in admitting when sources conflict or are unavailable and the work is meticulously footnoted. The book, however, is not a dry academic read, but a dramatic nearly hour-by-hour recounting of events. Appleman also doesn't pull any punches and admits the mistakes made by the Army (especially before the battle begins). As a former grunt, I was angry to read about units with no one awake in their holes (even an admission that officers were reluctant to check the lines for fear of being shot - the Army units contained a large number of ROK conscripts [KATUSA], who were ill-trained and not always highly motivated). Also, 3/31 seemed to choose their bivouac site as if they were conducting an admin bivouac - low flat ground ringed by ridges - a decision that has obvious ill consequences as events develop. Still, despite some shortcoming both in their leadership and morale, the Army units seemed to fight tenaciously once the battle was joined.

The book is a delight to read - a real page turner and the tension builds relentlessly as you see the tragedy unfold. Additionally, the book is highly illustrated and contains useful (topographic) maps. If you are interested in reading an well-written account of a lesser-known chapter of events at Chosin, I highly recommend this book.
 
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jtsjc1

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Thanks for the review. I have that book and didn't read it yet. I've heard Appleman's books are well researched. What is most surprising about Korea is the US Military wasn't too far removed from WWII and some of these mistakes and bad decisions should have been corrected. MacArthur made some horrendously bad tactical decisions and he had Almond being his biggest fan went right along. I also have Escaping The Trap by Appleman. If I only had more time!
 

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If you're like me, you probably didn't know that while the 1st Mar Div was west of the Chosin reservoir, the US Army had a reinforced regiment(-) east of the reservoir.
Even less well known is that while a division and a third (parts of X Corps) were engaged at Chosin reservoir on the east side of the Korean peninsula, the Chinese also attacked the 8th US Army on the west side of Korea. The CPVA shredded the ROK II Corps, which broke the flank and let them cut the American and other UN forces deeply. The UN forces managed to disengage and withdrew from North Korea (along with X Corps). The Chinese won a victory in the fall and winter of 1950 but then overplayed their hand and were in turn badly mauled when they attempted another offensive in the spring of 1951. Although the Chinese gained some ground at great expense, they lost much of it in a UN counter-offensive in the late-spring and early summer of 1951. The lines settled down after this last major offensive.

JR
 

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Even less well known is that while a division and a third (parts of X Corps) were engaged at Chosin reservoir on the east side of the Korean peninsula, the Chinese also attacked the 8th US Army on the west side of Korea.
I've been reading parts of SLA Marshall's "The River and the Gauntlet" on the "defeat" of the 8th Army when the "Chinese wave" broke over UN and ROK forces in late November 1950. The ceaseless litany of tactical and discipline failures of the 8th Army that are documented in Brig. Gen. Marshall's book gets too depressing after a while. This book is one that I'm only nibbling my way through.
 

djohannsen

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What is most surprising about Korea is the US Military wasn't too far removed from WWII and some of these mistakes and bad decisions should have been corrected.
I will talk out of my butt for a minute... That is, I'm beginning to figure out some things, but haven't done any real reading on these particular questions. So, there may be a grain of truth in what I've written below, but don't quote me on anything. These are definitely topics that I would like to learn more about, so having some one tell me that of full of sh*t will help me learn.

I think that much of the Army collective wisdom from WWII was gone by Korea. That is, the average soldier was a post-WWII draftee. I think that the many unit commanders in Korea, though veterans of WWII, often didn't have combat commands in WWII (when reading "East of Chosin" I noted that Lt Col Faith of 1/32 was a staff officer in WWII). I think that the context of the Cold War means that Korea was always a secondary show for the Army and for US strategic thinkers (Acheson, Kennan, etc). That is, I believe that building up the 7th Army (USAREUR) in Germany in order to confront any possible Soviet aggression was the national priority. In fact, I believe that it has been established that the Soviets were happy to encourage N. Kor. aggression, knowing that it would divert US efforts and resources from Europe.

The USMC was a bit of a different beast. When the 1st Mar Div was mobilized for Korea, the USMC called up reservists, almost all of whom were WWII veterans. So, when the 5th Marines reached Pusan, there was already a wealth of combat experience in the regiment. I believe that I have seen mention that when the first USMC draftees arrived in Korea, there was concern that the combat efficiency of Marine units would suffer, though their introduction was phased as veterans redeployed.
 

jtsjc1

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Actually that sounds like a reasonable argument. The USMC was better prepared for combat than the Army was. I have to believe the Marines fighting the Japanese in WWII helped to prepare them for some of the similar tactics the Chinese used, attacking at night, etc.
 

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Saw this a few days ago - massive book.

Sounds like it could be a good book but at that price I will wait for some reviews first.

Also, if any are interested, on April 2nd, an updated Bloody Streets is to be released. Some say this was the best book written on the Battle of Berlin.
 

jtsjc1

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Sounds like it could be a good book but at that price I will wait for some reviews first.

Also, if any are interested, on April 2nd, an updated Bloody Streets is to be released. Some say this was the best book written on the Battle of Berlin.
They originally had release for late last year. Hopefully it comes out in April. Its available from Amazon UK for about $50 USD and there my preorder says available by Feb. 7. I doubt it but it would be nice. Like of said many times on the forum buy this book! I have the 1st edition and there isn't another book out there with more info on the battle of Berlin. Apparently it has now been updated, I can't imagine it getting better but I'm in.
 
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