Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Book Review – Sex Under the Swastika

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Tim Heath is the author of eight books. Sex Under the Swastika: Erotica, Scandal and the Occult in Hitler’s Third Reich will be released on 16 February. This is the 1st book I completed in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to mature language and mature situations, I categorize this book as R.

The book begins by looking at the decadence during the days of the Weimar Republic. There were many nightclubs, particularly in Berlin. Around them swirled an atmosphere of drugs, alcohol, and sex. With the age of consent for women at just 16, many girls indulged in all three.

When the Nazis ascended to power in 1934, they tried to curtail the excesses. Many clubs were closed. Those who did not follow the Nazi family ideal were arrested as deviants, many being sent to the camps. The Nazis envisioned their youth to follow a healthy, athletic, family-oriented, and moral lifestyle.

Careers for women were frowned upon. Girls should marry early, often at 16 or 17. It was a moral duty for them to bear as many children as possible for the Third Reich. The government created the Cross of Honour of the German Mother to encourage this. A woman birthing four children earned the bronze medal, 6+ the silver, and the gold for eight or more.

The outdoors and exercise were integral parts of the Nazi-imposed BDM. Beginning with its creation in 1938 all girls aged 14 to 18 were required to be members. Nakedness was embraced as a form of naturism, nothing to be ashamed of, and perfectly natural. It was not uncommon for them to walk around the countryside or swim in the rivers and lakes naked.

Although a moral standard was held up as an example, many youngsters of both genders suffered sexual abuse. The threat of being called out as a Jew and sent to a camp enabled many predators to take advantage of young women. The list of abuses is long. In conquered areas military brothels known as ‘Joy Divisions’ were often established.

The Lebensborn program began in 1935. Aryan girls as young as 15 were encouraged to have sex with selected Aryan males. The plan was to increase the birth rate of Aryan children for the Reich. German girls were coached on the best sexual position to use to increase their chances of pregnancy.

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 276-page WWII-era history. Much of the source material comes from interviews, letters, and journals. This is the third book by Tim Heath that I have read. The other two were Hitler’s Housewives: German Women on the Home Front and Resistance Heroines in Nazi- and Russian-Occupied Austria. They have all been enjoyable books on the history of WWII. While I knew some of the material discussed in the book, there was much that was new to me. The book includes several photos relevant to the story from the war period. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

A Book to add to your WWII History Shelf – The Battle of El Alamein

I subscribe to several different ebook sales notification services. One of those is MyNextRead.

In the email I received from them today and they noted that the 156 page ebook edition of The Battle of El Alamein: Fortress in the Sand by Fred Majdalany is currently available from Amazon for FREE. The book was published in 2013. I have downloaded the book, but not read it yet.

If you are a student of WWII history you should act now to add this book to your bookshelf. These sales often last only a few days, so better to act soon.


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Battalion Artist

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is Janice Blake’s first publication. The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee’s Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943–1945 was published in 2019. This was the 99th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book/novel as G.

Natale ‘Nat’ Bellantoni spent three years, three months, and three days in the Seabees. His ship left California in June 1943, sailing into the Pacific Theater of Operations. His unit, the 78th Seabee Battalion, would serve throughout the Pacific.

Bellantoni had been an artist before the war. This book shows an assortment of photos, drawings, and watercolors he produced while in the Navy. His works show life in New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and Okinawa.

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent reading this 120-page WWII history. The book contains many attractive full-color images depicting life in the Pacific Theater. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Entertaining the Troops: 1939–1945

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is the first book by Kiri Bloom Walden. Entertaining the Troops: 1939–1945 was published in 2019. This was the 94th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book as G. The book looks at the efforts made by the British to entertain their troops during WWII.

A few different organizations were created to bring entertainment to the troops. One of the first was the ENSA, Entertainment National Service Association, in 1939. The majority of their programs were variety shows. In 1940 CEMA, the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts was formed. Their events were usually smaller and more culturally oriented. This organization eventually grew into the Arts Council of Great Britain.

For those in the military, there wer other groups. The RAF Gang Shows provided a means for those in the RAF to entertain their brothers in arms. A similar organization, Stars in Battledress, served the Army and ATS. Even for those held in POW camps, the troops often put together programs for their fellow inmates.

Many in the service were exposed for the first time to ballet and Shakespeare. For entertainers, these organizations provided a start to long and successful careers.

I enjoyed the 1+ hour I spent reading this 91-page WWII-era history. The cover art is simple but portrays the goal of the book. I give this book a rating of 3.5 (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 have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Uniting America: How FDR and Henry Stimson Brought Democrats and Republicans Together to Win World War II

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is the second book published by Peter Shinkle https://petershinkle.comUniting America was published in 2022. This is the 83rd book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book/novel as G.

With the Nazis seeming to be unstoppable in Europe, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the need to prepare America in spite of the strong isolationist movement. FDR appointed Republican Henry Lewis Stimson to be his Secretary of War in July of 1940.

The book begins by telling about their lives. Stimpson and FDR had a good working relationship, though they did not always agree. Once Stimpson is in office he must face many challenges both military and political.

As head of the US Army, Stimpson had to bring them up to strength. This was in an often unfavorable political climate until 7 December 1941. He became involved in the diplomatic crisis that preceded the Japanese attack on Perl Harbor.

He faced demands for desegregation from both within the Army and in the factories supplying war material. This included dealing with significant racial tension and, in some cases, riots. He also had to address how women could be integrated into the Army. The election of 1944 brought its own challenges. Absentee voting by personnel in units all over the world had to be counted in a timely fashion.

While the British were our staunch allies, Stimpson had many heated discussions with Prime Minister Churchill and his military staff. This was particularly the case with plans for the invasion of France.

Together, Stimpson and FDR had to face and overcome many inflammatory issues to win WWII.

I enjoyed the 13+ hours I spent reading this 451-page WWII-era history. The book is a bit slow, but I found it very interesting. While it seems long at 451 pages, the last 30% are notes and citations. The cover is plain, but it does focus on the two principles. I give this book a rating of 3.9 (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).

Further Reading:

  1. The Partnership: George Marshall, Henry Stimson, and the Extraordinary Collaboration That Won World War II

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Nazi UFOs: The Legends and Myths of Hitler’s Flying Saucers in WW2Book Review – Nazi UFOs:

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – S. D. Tucker is the author of 7 books. Nazi UFOs: The Legends and Myths of Hitler’s Flying Saucers in WW2 was published in 2022. This is the 77th book I have completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book as G.

As the title implies, the book examines the myths connecting the Nazis with UFOs or other fantastical engineering feats. Claims of UFO sightings began to rise and claim headlines from 1947 forward. Several claims are repeated, then debunked in the book. Claims mostly come from late in WWII, with the majority surfacing post-war.

The background of Unidentified Flying Objects is told. Included are the Foo aircraft often reported by allied pilots. There is also coverage of post-war R & D and the relationship to UFOs. Many experts claiming knowledge of UFOs after the war are uncovered as charlatans.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 208-page nonfiction book. I hesitate to call this WWII history. It is a collection of post-war conspiracy theories and myths with supposed connections to the Nazis. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Historian Peter Fritzsche is the author of more than 10 books. Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich was published in 2020. This is the 73rd book I’ve completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book/novel as G.

The depression of the 1930s left Germany primed for political change. Hitler and the Nazi party were prepared to step in and take control. Hitler is appointed Chancellor in 1933, and the Enabling Law is soon proclaimed. It allows Hitler to pass any laws he wants, including those that violate the Weimar Constitution. Neither the Reichstag nor Reich President Paul von Hindenburg will be able to interfere. Hitler is the dictator in control of Germany.

The Reichstag is set on fire shortly after Hitler becomes Chancellor. It gives the Nazis an excuse to go after the communists. This eliminates one of their major political opponents. Hitler publicly calls for unity and renewal. He stirs the people to join in large public rallies.

Hitler creates jobs and begins to restore the economy. The people cheer those efforts while ignoring the mass arrests, bonfires, and brutality on the streets. The people are reminded of how Germany was mistreated by the Treaty of Versailles. Their anger is focused on the communists and the Jews.

I enjoyed the 13.5+ hours I spent reading this 363-page WWII history. The book is dry and scholarly. The cover art is plain, but it does reflect the time. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded up to 4) out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Enigma Story: The Truth Behind the ‘Unbreakable’ World War II Cipher

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – John Dermot Turing https://dermotturing.com is the nephew of Alan Turing and the author of eight books. The Enigma Story: The Truth Behind the ‘Unbreakable’ World War II Cipherwas published in 2022. It is my 67th book to complete in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book/novel as G.

The book covers the development of the Enigma machine and gives considerable credit to the Polish code-breaking effort. It goes on to detail the work by the British at Bletchley Park and the efforts by Alan Turing to break the German code. The Bombe machines developed to break the code are described. The book also describes the American resources devoted to breaking the German codes.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 226-page WWII history. My career was spent working with computers. I am always amazed at what those at Bletchley Park were able to accomplish! I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Lucky Hitler’s Big Mistakes

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Lucky Hitler’s Big Mistakes was released in 2022 and is the first publication by historian Paul Ballard-Whyte https://luckyhitler.com. It is my 64th book to be completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! I categorize this book/novel as G.

The book reviews the principal Nazis and looks at the quarter of a century during which Hitler rose to power. During that time, luck seemed to be with him. Hitler was involved in several potential sex scandals with young women but was able to keep those affairs hidden. Likewise, his survival of more than 20 assassination attempts gave him a feeling of invincibility.

Under Hitler’s leadership, the Wehrmacht made rapid advances through Western Europe and into Russia. This led many, especially himself, to attribute the success to his tactical acumen.

Then, his major mistakes began. He allowed the British Army to escape from Dunkirk. He threatened but never invaded Britain. He failed to pursue the advantage in submarine warfare. The two greatest mistakes were his decision to invade Russia before eliminating Britain and declaring war against the US days after Perl Harbor.

While the Germans were able to develop many new and potent weapons over the war years, Hitler constantly ‘advised’ various improvements. His interference delayed deployment and often left them less effective.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 330-page WWII history. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

A Book to add to your WWII History Shelf – Cassino: Portrait of a Battle

I subscribe to several different ebook sales notification services. One of those is MyNextRead.

In the email I received from them today and they noted that the 292 page ebook edition of Cassino: Portrait of a Battle by Fred Majdalany is currently available from Amazon for FREE. The book was published in 2013. I have downloaded the book, but not read it yet.

If you are a student of WWII history you should act now to add this book to your bookshelf. These sales often last only a few days, so better to act soon.

—–

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.