Book Review: “Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II’s Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II’s Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by James M. Fenelon (https://www.jamesfenelon.com). This is Mr. Fenelon’s first book. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. This is the story of the last and largest airborne operation of WWII. 

The book details the preparations for the attack as well as events on the day of the jump itself. The high-level strategy behind the jump is addressed and the heroic actions of many individuals are described. The book mentions many who were involved in this last major European battle of WWII. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5+ hours I spent reading this 449-page history. This is one of the best-written accounts of WWII that I have read. It is also a detailed account of a major operation that I had not really been aware of. I will certainly be on the lookout for more non-fiction from Mr. Fenelon. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 350 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Rules of Engagement”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Rules of Engagement” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Bruns (https://davidbruns.com) and J. R. Olson. Together they have published more than 15 novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in contemporary times. While the main character is Don Riley who is head of the US Cyber Command, there are many characters in the story. 

Wanted terrorist Rafiq Roshed has fled to North Korea. From there he has unleashed an attack against the US power grid. Not long after that, he puts in motion events to raise would tension to prompt the sales of Russian arms. But he has his own agenda and he not only wants to raise tension in the Pacific, but he was the world on fire. 

Riley leads the effort to find Roshed and stop him before he causes World War III. This is made more difficult by Roshed hiding in North Korea. Roshed has schemed to infiltrate the military communications networks of China, Japan, and the US, Using that access he is causing one incident after another. Making the wrong decision will more the enflamed situation into a shooting war. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 329-page thriller. There were many characters to keep up with in the novel. I did find the depiction of cyber warfare more accurate than most novels. I lick forward to the next novel in this series. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

The Long History of Texas Military Forces

Airtricin gore dth ithether ater tPrami & truringTexas has a long history of the military. Officially, Texas Military Forces came into being November 10, 1822. That is when the new country of Mexico authorized the organization of militia units in Texas after Mexico won its independence from Spain. 

The Mexican war for independence spanned a decade from September of 1810 until September 27, 1821. Subsequent to Mexico winning their bid to become an independent nation, Stephen F. Austin, was called to Mexico City. 

Stephen’s father, Moses Austin, had originally solicited and received an empresario grant from Spain to settle the area known as Texas. After Moses’ death in 1821, the empresario was officially passed on to his son Stephen by the new nation of Mexico. Before that transfer was granted, the Mexican government delegated Baron de Bastrop to integrate the Texas colony into the new Mexican nation. Earlier in 1820 de Bastrop had been appointed as commissioner of colonization for Stephen F. Austin’s colony. 

One of the tasks handed de Bastrop was the establishment of militia units and the selection of their commanding officers. The orders given to de Bastrop on November 10, 1822, was the foundation of Texas Military Forces. 

The image at the top of the article is a reproduction of those instructions given to de Bastrop. They are on display at the entrance to the 19th-century gallery of the Texas Military Forces Museum.


The Texas Military Forces Museum is open to the public Tues-Sun 10AM-4PM and located at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

Book Review: “Secret Casualties of World War Two: Uncovering the Civilian Deaths from Friendly Fire”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Secret Casualties of World War Two: Uncovering the Civilian Deaths from Friendly Fire” was published in 2020 (May) and was written by Simon Webb. He is the author of many books on social history. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book covers the years of WWII. 

In this book the author tries to document some of the civilian deaths caused by Allied ‘collateral damage’ and ‘friendly fire’. He contends that more casualties were caused in the German air raids by faulty anti aircraft shells and the shrapnel from working shells exploding over the cities than from the German bombing itself. He even suggests that there was a plot by the British government to keep people in the cities to work in the war factories. 

I thought that the 5 hours I spent reading this 168-page historical analysis of WWII was interesting. As much as the author contends that the anti aircraft fire was near to useless, I wonder how he explains the many Allied aircraft shot down over occupied Europe? Certainly there were many deaths accidentally caused by the Allies during the war, but I still find it difficult to believe that there was a conspiracy. Personally I do not feel that sufficient evidence was provided to justify all of his claims. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 350 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Review of “Region 6: What if the Allies had lost?”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Region 6: What if the Allies had lost?” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Ian Krender. Mr. Krender has published two novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate history where Germany won WWII. 

The two primary characters are Thomas and Stephen. Thomas has grown up in Region 6, what we know as the UK. He is part of the working class and has experienced first hand the ruthlessness of the Nazi occupiers. Stephen has led a privileged life in Region 6 since her father is part of the Gestapo. He has followed in those footsteps and joined the Gestapo himself. 

Thomas has joined the resistance movement. Stephen is sent in as a spy to make friends with Thomas and find out more about what the resistance is planning. Stephen though is disillusioned by what he learns. That, and a growing relationship with Thomas persuades him to help the resistance. 

I found the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 272-page alternate history interesting. I generally like alternative history novels and almost anything dealing with WWII. When I selected this novel I did not realize there was a significant LGBTQ component to the story. I came close to just ditching the book with a Rule of 50 at the 66% mark. As far as the resistance thread to the plot goes, that seemed realistic, but the end of the novel was less believable. The cover art is reflective of the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Nostalgic look at 1980s computing

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I came across the article “The joys of 1980s home computing” today and thought it was worth sharing. The article describes an exhibit at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchely Park in the UK. The exhibit looks at the evolution of home computing in the UK. Among the items on display:

  • Sinclair ZX80
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum
  • Acorn Atom
  • Atom Portfolio
  • Amstrad
  • Jupiter ACE
  • Grundy Newbrain

Few of us in the States had access to these machines, but it is interesting to see them on display. I do recall seeing advertisements for some of these back in the day.

Book Review: “City of London at War 1939–45”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “City of London at War 1939–45” eBook was published in 2020 (June) and was written by Stephen Wynn (http://www.stephenwynn.co.uk/). Mr. Wynn has published nearly 40 books. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The book gives many details of life in London during WWII. 

London was certainly going to be a target for the German Luftwaffe. The book documents the results of the German air raids. Lists of casualties are given for some of the more devastating attacks. There is particular focus to the eight months of Blitz between September 1940 and May 1941. Stories of individuals who survived the bombings are told. 

I enjoyed the 2.5+ hours I spent reading this 224-page history. I did enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations of Londoners. The long lists of casualties was something that I found myself just skimming over. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.6 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 350 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Layover”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Layover” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Bell (https://davidbellnovels.com). This is Mr. Bell’s ninth novel. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the US. The primary character is Joshua Fields. 

Fields is flying all the time for his job. While waiting for his connection he meets the lovely Morgan. They have a drink together and seem to connect, but then she leaves him to make her flight. Fields is infatuated with the girl and disrupts his plans to follow her. But when he approaches her on the flight, she acts if he is a stranger. 

She at one moment is pushing him away or running from him, while in the next is jumping into bed with him. Her erratic behavior continues as he discovers that Morgan is sought by the police. 

Fields is strongly drawn to her, but her actions leave him wondering about her. The more he learns about her the more he questions how much truth there is in what she has told him. 

I thought the nearly 7 hours I spent reading this 414-page mystery were interesting. I liked the overall plot. The ‘mystery’ felt very weak to me. Almost more about relationships and finding the way in your life. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Product Review: Anker Powerwave Stand

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(See my other Product Reviews) – I had problems with the Qi charging pad (W-18 Thunder Plus Fast Charging Wireless Charger) I originally bought and used with my iPhone 8 so I looked on Amazon and found the Anker Powerwave Stand. I have been using it now for a couple of months and I am very happy with it. 

The phone sits on the stand and easily aligns with the magnetic coil for consistent charging. It has dual coils that allow for either landscape or portrait orientation on the stand. The stand is capable of “Quick Charge” for Samsung phones, but I only use the Standard Charge Mode with my iPhone 8. I can even leave the Otterbox case on my phone and it works well with it. 

If you are looking for a Qi charger for you smartphone, I can recommend this one. 

Pros

  1. Qi Certified
  2. Less than $20 on Amazon ($18.99 the day I write this review)
  3. Works with phone in landscape or portrait orientation

Cons

  1. Fast charging on iPhone is not supported
  2. Uses a USB Micro-A connector for power input 
  3. Only a 3 ft USB cable is provided
  4. You must provide a 5V 2A power source

Book Review: “Last Witnesses”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Last Witnesses” eBook was published in 2019 (originally published in 1985) and was written by Svetlana Alexievich (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svetlana_Alexievich). Ms. Alexievich has written at least 6 books and is a Nobel Laureate in Literature. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book is a collection of memories from children (primarily from the Ukraine) who lived through the Eastern Front of WWII. 

I found the 5+ hours I spent reading this 298-page oral history of WWII interesting. Unfortunately, after the first few dozen memories, I found them very repetitive. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 3.5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 340 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.