The ASL Book Club

hongkongwargamer

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I recently read Fergal Keane's Road of Bones - great book about Kohima that does a good job of connecting operational history to the human experience of combat. Let's just say I wouldn't have wanted to been in the IJA during the retreat... yikes!!

Now I'm on to Mark Zuehlke's series on the Canadians during WW II which starts in Sicily, covers Cassino and the Gustav line before moving on to Normandy and NW Europe. Hopefully he'll do the PTO and Korea some day. Can't recommend the series enough.

I've got a huge interest in the Rhineland campaigns of 1944-45 so I started with his book Forgotten Victory (ops Veritable and Blockbuster). Plenty of great stuff that any ASL player interested in late war NW Europe will recognize. Its a great companion to the Riley's Road CG.

I'm now working my way backward, finishing up Terrible Victory (The Scheldt campaign) and Breakout from Juno (late June and July 44) just arrived.

Since I recently purchased the Korean War expansion I'm looking forward to learning more about that conflict. Any recommendations?
I just read "Colder than Hell" by Joseph Owen .. and is half way thru "Breakout - the Chosin Reservoir Campaign" by Martin Russ & "No Bugles No Drums" by Rudy Tomedi.
 

Vinnie

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Just finished James Hades The Shortest History of Germamy. Very easy to read and illuminating as it approaches things in a way very new to me. Takes the whole swathe of German history in 250 pages. Read it.
 

wrongway149

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I just finished Drury's and Clavin's "The Last Stand of Fox Company." The book recounts the heroic efforts of F Co. 7th Marines to hold open the Toktong pass in the face of massed CVPA attacks (and the subsequent relief by Lt Col Davis' 1/7 (reinforced)). The book is universally praised, and deservedly so. In fact, despite being incredibly busy, I finished the book in about two and a half days - it's so good that I simply couldn't put it down! No high level picture here, the book focuses on the experiences and actions of individual Marines. As I was a grunt many moons ago, I can attest that the dialogue has the "ring of truth" to it - I think that the authors really get it right. In fact, since finishing the book I've pulled out "Forgotten War" and I can't wait to play the CPVA! If you've been struggling with finding enthusiasm for "Forgotten War," this book will have you punching counters in no time.
This is some of my current 'historical reading', (and yes there will be scenarios ) but most of my time right now is with Jeff Shaara's 'The Frozen Hours' - a novel about the same unit (among other things Korean War)
 

djohannsen

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Since I recently purchased the Korean War expansion I'm looking forward to learning more about that conflict. Any recommendations?
I haven't read any single volume overviews, but a couple that I have enjoyed are Sloan's "The Darkest Summer: Pusan and Inchon 1950: The Battles That Saved South Korea--and the Marines--from Extinction." Also, for a Marine Corps perspective, the five volumes of "U.S. Marine Operations in Korea, 1950-1953" are very readable. Though a very small focus (a single company), "The Last Stand of Fox Company" is a brilliant read!
 

wrongway149

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I haven't read any single volume overviews, but a couple that I have enjoyed are Sloan's "The Darkest Summer: Pusan and Inchon 1950: The Battles That Saved South Korea--and the Marines--from Extinction." !
I have that book, have not cracked it yet. Sloan is becoming a favorite- I have read part of his Saipan book - A good discussion that breaks some of the long-held beliefs about Army vs. Marine Corps performance issues in that battle. (and yes there will be scenarios.)
 

Mike205

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. Though a very small focus (a single company), "The Last Stand of Fox Company" is a brilliant read!
Fox Company is definitely on my list, thanks very much for the other recommendations! I've had my eye on Hampton Sides' On Desperate Ground and Roy Applebaum's East of Chosin. Figured the Reservoir would be a good place to start. So far my reading on Korea has been limited to Pork Chop Hill. Undoubtedly a classic, but a little too in the weeds for my tastes.
 

lluis61

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Just received and began to read "Frontline Cookbook: Battlefield Recipes from the Second World War" Ed. Andrew Robertshaw in association with the Royal Logistic Corps Museum.
I bought from sheer curiosity about that aspect of everyday life in the front.
 

Yuri0352

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I recently read Fergal Keane's Road of Bones - great book about Kohima that does a good job of connecting operational history to the human experience of combat. Let's just say I wouldn't have wanted to been in the IJA during the retreat... yikes!!

Now I'm on to Mark Zuehlke's series on the Canadians during WW II which starts in Sicily, covers Cassino and the Gustav line before moving on to Normandy and NW Europe. Hopefully he'll do the PTO and Korea some day. Can't recommend the series enough.

I've got a huge interest in the Rhineland campaigns of 1944-45 so I started with his book Forgotten Victory (ops Veritable and Blockbuster). Plenty of great stuff that any ASL player interested in late war NW Europe will recognize. Its a great companion to the Riley's Road CG.

I'm now working my way backward, finishing up Terrible Victory (The Scheldt campaign) and Breakout from Juno (late June and July 44) just arrived.

Since I recently purchased the Korean War expansion I'm looking forward to learning more about that conflict. Any recommendations?
All of the Korean War recommendations given so far are excellent choices. I cannot recommend the USMC historical series highly enough. It is very informative with plenty of first hand accounts to hold your interest. Best of all, it is available on line as a free download!

Here are a few more Korea recommendations, primarily from the perspective of nationalities other than the U.S. :
'Enter The Dragon' by Russell Spurr, an account from the Chinese perspective regarding the CPVA's involvement during 1950-51.
'To The Last Round' by Andrew Salmon, an account of the defense of the Imjin River region by the British forces.

I'm looking forward to your review of Zeulke's book on the Scheldt campaign as it is on my to-buy list.
 

Elfego Baca

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I recently finished John McManus' "September Hope", which details the US 82nd & 101st airborne division operations during Market-Garden, as well as the 104th Infantry Div. in the Scheldt. Enjoyable read. I was unaware that the airborne divisions weren't withdrawn from Holland until mid-November `44.
 

Mike205

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I recently finished John McManus' "September Hope", which details the US 82nd & 101st airborne division operations during Market-Garden, as well as the 104th Infantry Div. in the Scheldt. Enjoyable read. I was unaware that the airborne divisions weren't withdrawn from Holland until mid-November `44.
A good friend of mine was with the Timberwolves- he said the Scheldt was worse than the Rhineland campaign. And the 104th came in at the end of it.

Zuehlke's book does a good job of conveying how grinding and costly that campaign was, and how Market Garden and the struggle for the channel ports amounted to distraction and the missed opportunity for the Allies to open up Antwerp at the crucial moment the Germans were still in full retreat.

He also does a great job of highlighting the Canadian use of waterborne assaults, foreshadowing Veritable.

Is September Hope good? Zuehlke's Forgotten Victory opens at the end of Market Garden, when the Canadians took over some of the American positions.
 

Mike205

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All of the Korean War recommendations given so far are excellent choices. I cannot recommend the USMC historical series highly enough. It is very informative with plenty of first hand accounts to hold your interest. Best of all, it is available on line as a free download!

Here are a few more Korea recommendations, primarily from the perspective of nationalities other than the U.S. :
'Enter The Dragon' by Russell Spurr, an account from the Chinese perspective regarding the CPVA's involvement during 1950-51.
'To The Last Round' by Andrew Salmon, an account of the defense of the Imjin River region by the British forces.

I'm looking forward to your review of Zeulke's book on the Scheldt campaign as it is on my to-buy list.

Thanks for these! Salmon's book looks especially good!
 

Elfego Baca

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Is September Hope good? Zuehlke's Forgotten Victory opens at the end of Market Garden, when the Canadians took over some of the American positions.
Mike:

Besides describing the initial air landings and attempts to secure the Club Route bridges, it covered the subsequent efforts to keep the route open. A modern-day "Cowboys & Indians" series of firefights, where 101st and 82nd units thwarted frequent German attacks at the nick of time.

One criticism is that I wish (at least in the paperback version) there were better maps detailing the combat actions. I like maps!!

IMO, its a well-written account of the U.S. contribution to M-G .... one that I didn't previously know much about.
 

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Am reading Norbert Szamveber's new book "Armored Warfare in the Battle for Budapest." Many people may find his a dry operational account (with some tactical actions interspersed) but if you have a good set of maps to follow the movements of units then will go faster in reading.His book has some maps for certain unit's actions but need more comprehensive ones to follow the flow of the fighting.
Am using some of the printed maps in Ernst Rebentisch's book "The Combat History of he 23rd Panzer Division in WW2" to follow along as well as online reference at:
http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/3felmeres.htm --just need to find correct grid,but easier when you find grid with Budapest on it.

Finished Osprey book "French Foreign Legionairre vs Viet Minh Insurgent" by Martin Windrow---three good accounts of actions that would make good scenarios in ASL.
 

wrongway149

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2018's best read was probably John Prados's "Normandy Crucible'. A few operational nuggets for scenarios, but the biggest 'new' take-away was the discussion on ULTRA and how it was used --sometimes to great effect, sometimes not so much. I got the feeling that it was the first 'big data' problem. Lot's of info coming in, but not always enough time to sort through what was important.
 

djohannsen

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Post here how you like it please.
Will do. I generally try to give a brief recap/review here of all the military books that I read. I've got about five books in-progress right now (including some "weighty" non-military books), so it might be a little while before I get to this.
Find every chapter reads like an ASL scenario.
That's what I felt while reading the SLA Marshall book. I kept thinking what a great scenario pack it would make.
 

Eagle4ty

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I recently read Fergal Keane's Road of Bones - great book about Kohima that does a good job of connecting operational history to the human experience of combat. Let's just say I wouldn't have wanted to been in the IJA during the retreat... yikes!!

Now I'm on to Mark Zuehlke's series on the Canadians during WW II which starts in Sicily, covers Cassino and the Gustav line before moving on to Normandy and NW Europe. Hopefully he'll do the PTO and Korea some day. Can't recommend the series enough.

I've got a huge interest in the Rhineland campaigns of 1944-45 so I started with his book Forgotten Victory (ops Veritable and Blockbuster). Plenty of great stuff that any ASL player interested in late war NW Europe will recognize. Its a great companion to the Riley's Road CG.

I'm now working my way backward, finishing up Terrible Victory (The Scheldt campaign) and Breakout from Juno (late June and July 44) just arrived.

Since I recently purchased the Korean War expansion I'm looking forward to learning more about that conflict. Any recommendations?
In addition to the USMC historical series, another freebie site is the CMH "Black Books" by the US Army (by and large pretty good). Also the US Army's Historical publication of COMBAT ACTIONS IN KOREA is a great source for reviews of small (Bn level or smaller) engagements, but I cant remember if that is from the CMH site or the Cmd & Staff College at Leavenworth. I'm helping work with a family of a Korean vet (173rd AB), a friend of mine that recently passed away, on a book he was putting together about his/his-unit's exploits (considerable considering they made the only combat jump in Korea that I'm aware of). If interested PM me as we might be somewhere with it by mid summer or maybe I can provide you with some details if able to do so.
 
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