Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Book to add to your WWII History Shelf – Sicily ’43

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

In the email I received from them yesterday they noted that the 599 page ebook edition of Sicily ’43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe by James Holland https://www.griffonmerlin.com/ is currently available from Amazon for only $1.99. The book was published in 2020. It is a detailed account of the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. I have the book in my reading list already, but have not read it yet. I have read two of his other books, Big Week: The biggest air battle of World War IIand Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France. They were both superb WWII history reads.

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.

Living History Weekend at Camp Mabry

( See my other Texas Military Forces Museum posts) – The Living History detachment of the Texas National Guard will be presenting a Living History weekend on April 30 – May 1. This will be on both Saturday and Sunday. An 18th Century weapons demo will be held at 11:30 each day. Those will be followed at 1PM with a WWII reenactment.

Walk through 200 years of Texas military history in the 28,000 sq.ft. of interior Museum displays. View 50 vehicles and aircraft on display outside the museum.

Enter Camp Mabry via the 35th street entrance. A photo ID is required for all visitors. For further information as to the location and entrance requirements see the website.

Book Review: “Exceptional Point”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Gillian Andrews published the novel Exceptional Point in 2020. This is the third book in her ‘Interstellar Enforcement Agency’ series. She has published nearly a dozen novels.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Starship Captain Ryler Mallivan Bell.

Bell and the crew of the starship Nivala are once again pursuing their previous crew mate Bull Cunningham. He and Ramesh Chandrayanan are up to no good again, still trying to create wormholes. Both Cunningham and Chandrayanan are expecting the Interstellar Enforcement Agency to attempt to intercede. They have a less than warm welcome awaiting them.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 358-page science fiction novel. This is the third novel of the Interstellar Enforcement Agency series I have read The others were Termination Shock and Interdicted Space). I have enjoyed all three. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

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

Remembering Pearl Harbor 80 Years Later

Anne has done a great job of assembling a remembrance of what happened 80 years ago today. The event that made the final push turning the US from an isolationist nation to the powerhouse of WWII. The Day that will live in Infamy!

Original Caption: Naval photograph documenting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii which initiated US participation in World War II. Navy’s caption: The battleship USS ARIZONA sinking after being hit by Japanese air attack on Dec. 7,1941., 12/07/1941″ Image courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which launched the United States into World War II.

While Pearl Harbor was not the only place to be hit- other targets of the day included Wake Island, Midway, Guam, the Philippines, and Shanghai*- the losses in Hawaii particularly startled and frightened the American people. Hawaii seemed too close to the mainland, and the far-off war suddenly seemed terribly real.

My family and I had the solemn privilege of visiting several of the memorials at Pearl Harbor in 2019. Today, it seemed fitting to revisit the sites with you.

The USS Arizona…

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New WWII Fiction Releases

Some new WWII era fiction that some may like. I’ve been a membr of The Second World War Club.for a few years now. If that period interest you join us on Facebook.

November has ended, and so has another year of NaNoWriMo. I’ll be updating you on my results- and on what my students won for completing this year’s challenge-soon.

Today, however, I wanted to share a lovely promo that author Alexa Kang put together for the authors of The Second World War Club.

This club is one of my favorite places to “meet” World War Two authors and readers. Alexa sums up the group’s goals very well: “Our group is an active community of readers and authors who enjoy historical fiction set in this period. We also include First World War fiction. Come and join us to find out about your favorite authors’ latest releases, find new authors, discuss your favorite books and other WWII related topics.”

Several authors from the group have new releases out this Fall, including Alexa’s The Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart, which deals with the…

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WWII Recipe – Homity Pie

(See my other WWII food-related articles) – Wartime rationing constrained what most people could have for their meals. In the UK one of the favorites of the period was Homity Pie. This all vegetarian dish was easy to make and used those ingredients likely available. It was often made by the members of the Women’s Land Army. Sometimes it is referred to as Devon Pie as Devonshire might have been the point of origin. The exact origin seems to have been lost, but it became popular during WWII.

The pie had a simple flour and butter crust. It was then filled with cubed potatoes & apples, chopped leaks, a little cheese, and one egg. It was seasoned with thyme, finely chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.

A baked pie was generally cut into six or eight slices. A sixth of a pie would contain around 625 calories and 50 g of carbs.

Further reading:

  1. Historical recipe: Second World War staple Homity pie
  2. Homity Pie a Second World War recipe
  3. Homity Pie (British Cheesy Potato Leek Pie)
  4. HOMITY PIE
  5. Homity Pie: Inspired by the Land Girls of WWII
  6. HOMITY PIE
  7. Homity Pie – Recipe No 134
  8. Homity pie

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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 560 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.

Product Review: Benfei Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to VGA Adapter

(See my other Mac related posts) – I have been an advocate of using multiple displays for many years. My primary computer is a 2018 Mac mini. Newer Macs like mine are capable of supporting multiple displays. However even my old 2011 Mac mini could handle two displays. Per the Apple Technical Specification:

Support for the following combination of maximum concurrent display setups:

  • Up to three displays:
    • Two displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0
  • Up to two displays:
    • One display with 5120-by-2880 resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt 3 plus one display with 4096-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0

Unfortunately the VGA to USB-C adapter I had been using recently failed. I needed to buy another adapter to connect the display to my Mac. I already have my primary display connected through the HDMI port.

The older display I wanted to use only has VGA input. I did a little online investigation and came across a solution. The USB-C to VGA Adapter, Benfei Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type C) to VGA Adapter Male to Female Converter Compatible for Apple New MacBook on Amazon. The price was under $13 and had 4.5 stars on over 1800 reviews. I ordered one.

As a Prime member, it arrived the next day. I have been using it since the end of July and it has performed very well. I now have a very reliable second display. In fact, I think I have another old display in my garage. If I can find it I will be ordering another of the adapters so that I can have three displays.

If you need to connect a second or third display to your Mac this is an inexpensive way.

If you are looking for Mac software, check out my macOS software directory. There are hundreds of titles listed.

Operation Dragoon, the Second Allied Invasion of France, Takes Place in 1944

While Operation Overlord, the June 6th Allied invasion took place at Normandy, Operation Dragoon was in Provence in Southern France. Dragoon was originally planned to coincide with the Normandy landing. A lack of resources caused the second invasion to be delayed.

Landing at Côte d’Azur on the Mediterranean coast were the US VI Corps and French Army B. The main landing force was from the VI Corps. The 3rd Infantry Division landed on the left at Alpha Beach (Cavalaire-sur-Mer). The 45th Infantry Division landed in the center at Delta Beach (Le Muy, Saint-Tropez). The 36th Infantry Division landed on the right at Camel Beach (Saint-Raphaël). All three of these landing were very successful with relatively little resistance.

The objective of the landing was to prevent the Germans from diverting their forces in Southern France to reinforce Normandy.

Resources:

  1. Texas Military Forces Museum – The Texas National Guard was federalized as the 36th Infantry Division in WWII

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 560 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: “Hitler’s War in Africa 1941-1942: The Road to Cairo”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author David Mitchelhill-Green published the book Hitler’s War in Africa 1941-1942: The Road to Cairo in 2021. He has published nearly a dozen books, mostly about the history of WWII.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of mild violence. The book tells the story of the German Army in North Africa.  

The book begins with the 1941 arrival in North Africa of a small force of mechanized German troops. Hitler has sent them to support the Italians in North Africa. German forces initially enjoyed a great deal of success. Under the direction of General Erwin Rommel, they were able to reverse much of the Italian losses. 

Rommel went far beyond his orders taking the German Army up to the very brink of capturing Egypt. The struggle for Tobruk occupied both the Germans and the British. The book covers the efforts of both sides in some detail. The British undertook many operations to displace the Germans and relieve Tobruk. These resulted in one failure after another. 

With Montgomery at the head of the British 8th Army, they began to push the Germans to the West. In November of 1942 US and other Allied forces landed in Morocco and Algeria. They began a push to the East. The Allies were able to finally squeeze the Germans from North Africa by late spring of 1943.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 279-page WWII history. The author includes many facts and the names of those involved in the North African campaign. He was able to include many brief first-hand quotes or observations. The book is academic but is very readable. I like the chosen cover art. 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).


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 560 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.

Hurricane Season for the U.S. Begins Today

June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season for the Atlantic and the U.S. Hurricane Season is nominally defined as June 1 to November 30. As in the past few years, the 2021 season is expected to be more active than normal. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern or gulf coast regions, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

Some sources for keeping up-to-date with hurricanes are:

Source (website)FacebookTwitter
AccuWeatherYesYes
National Weather Service
USA Today
Weather Underground
HurricaneTrackYes
WeatherUSAYesYes
Hurricane Tracker Websites

Further Reading: