Category Archives: Military

Remembering D-Day

51uH5xbzNzL._SY445_   91pqRsnGJZL._SY445_

WWII – It is that time of year again when I make an effort to see some of the movies that depict D-Day, June 6, 1944 or that period in history. I watched “The Longest Day” last night and I am watching “Saving Private Ryan” tonight. I’ll probably start on the “Band of Brothers” series tomorrow.

Nearly 75 years have past since D-Day and few are left today that experienced it. I’m surprised as how many of today’s youth do not even understand the significance of June 6 or December 7. I am glad to see that a new film, “Dunkirk” depicting how nearly 400,000 surrounded British, Canadian, Belgian and French escaped from France in 1940, will be premiering this summer. I think it will help bring attention to those critical years (1939-1945) in history.

I have an interest in history, particular of that period. I had hoped to visit the “National World War II Museum” in New Orleans again this weekend, but that has now been delayed a few months. I have been there twice now but I am ready to visit again. They have done a superb job of telling the story of both the European and Pacific Theaters in World War II.

Review of “Malta Victory”

51pA5hac33L

Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” series.

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 on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

Review of “Target Tobruk”

51HC0mm4piL

Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

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. The story is set in North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

Review of “The First Victory”

51BAgCeDqyL

Book ReviewWWII – “The First Victory” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Andrew Stewart. Mr. Stewart has published 8 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in East Africa during the period 1939-42. This is the non-fiction account of the defeat of the Italians by the British in East Africa.

As expected for Non-Fiction, this book is full of names, dates and facts. Some chapters have more than 100 footnote references. The last 26% of the book is reference material. I thought that the 9+ hours I spent reading this 328 page book were interesting, but dry. I have read quite a bit about the history of WWII, but never this aspect of it. The cover art is reasonable for the topic. I give this book 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).

Review of “The Intruders”

51IgtGe8y3L

Book ReviewsWWII – “The Intruders” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1998) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published has published over 50 books. This one is from his “Ken Armstrong” series.

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 Situations. The story is set in England during World War II. The primary character is RAF Squadron Leader Ken Armstrong.

It is 1940 and the war is still in its first year. The Germans are threatening invasion and the Luftwaffe is making an all out assault on the RAF to gain air superiority. Armstrong is chosen to lead a new squadron that will target German air bases in occupied Europe and act as night fighters against the German bombers pounding the UK.

The efforts of many RAF pilots, fictional and real, are told. Several dog fights between RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft are described.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 161 page novel. I have read several other of Jackson’s books and have enjoyed them all. This is a combination of history and fiction describing much of the “Battle for Britain” that was being waged in the air. It was a little dry in places, but is still enjoyed it. The cover art is reasonable as it shows a Hawker Hurricane, one of the aircraft Armstrong and his squadron flew. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

Review of “John F. Kennedy and PT-109”

5128+I6tGeL._SY346_

Book ReviewsWWII – “John F. Kennedy and PT-109” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1962) and was written by Richard Tregaskis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Tregaskis). Mr. Tregaskis published over a dozen 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in several different islands of the South Pacific during World War II.

This non-fiction novella tells about the growth of the use of PT Boats during the war years, as well as the exploits of then Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy.

It tells about the harrowing experience that Kennedy and the crew went through after their boat, PT=109, was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy let the survivors to safety, then set about to contact the US Navy to get them rescued.

I thought that this 2.5 hour read of 99 pages was interesting. I have read other accounts of the incident, but always enjoy histories of the War era. The cover art is reasonable. I give this novella a 4 out of 5.

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

Review of “Special Boat Squadron”

61WxHZWhC-L

Book ReviewWWII – “Special Boat Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition in 1983) and was written by Barrie Pitt. Mr. Pitt published eight 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set throughout the Mediterranean during the years of World War II.

This book tells how the British Special Boat Squadron was formed and details many of the actions that it undertook. As expected with a Non-Fiction History book, there are many names and dates of those involved in various missions.

I like reading history, especially the World War II period. I found this book to be interesting, though a little on the dry side. I found the 6.5 hours spent with this 240 page book interesting. The cover art does give the impression of the harsh conditions that the members of SBS units suffered during the war. 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).

Review of “Vick’s Vultures”

51cml-rimfl

Book Review – “Vick’s Vultures” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Scott Warren. This is Mr. Warren’s fourth publication.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains lot of Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. Earth has discovered that it is not alone in the universe. It has also discovered that Earth technology is far, far behind most other civilizations.

The major powers in the universe are the Malagath, Dirregaunt and Kossovoldt. All three are at war with one another and have been so for centuries. The primary character of this story is Victoria Marin, Captain of the Union Earth Privateer ship Condor. Since Earth is so far behind technologically, it must send out Privateer ships to scavenge the wreckage of war to catch up with the other races.

The Condor picks up a distress signal from a Malagath ship. They arrive in time to save a handful of Malagath survivors and escape before the pursuing Dirregaunt ship arrives. Things get complicated when the First Prince of Malagath is discovered to be one of the survivors.

Marin and her crew then must use every trick they know to stay ahead of the Dirregaunt ship and survive.The Malagath survivors mix with the Earth crew and some surprising friendships result. It becomes a race as to whether Marin can get the survivors back to Malagath territory before the Dirregaunt catches and destroys them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent with this 226 page Science Fiction Thriller. The Marin character reminds me of Honor Harrington a little. This was a good space military saga and I look forward to reading more about Marin and the Condor. The cover art is a good depiction of the Condor. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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