Category Archives: WWII

Review of “Against All Odds”


Book Reviews – “Against All Odds” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Philip McCutchan ( Mr. McCutchan hasp published 100 novels and non-fiction works. This is the 10th in his “Donald Cameron Naval Thriller” series.

I received a copy of the book under promotion by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story takes place during World War II. The primary character is Lieutenant Commander Donald Cameron.

Cameron is a assigned a new ship and crew. They, along with two other aging destroyers are loaded with commandos and sent on a dangerous mission to occupied France. The Germans are building hightly fortified submarine pens near Brest. The mission of Cameron and the others is to deliver the commandos so that they can blow up the pens under construction.

The plan initially goes as planned, but soon the commandos are ashore and in trouble. The three destroyers are under heavy fire from the Germans. Cameron must decide whether to try to complete the mission or flee France with what is left of the force.

I enjoyed this 194 page World War II thriller. I have read a few if McCutchan’s “Cameron” novels and have liked them. For being more than 30 years old, they read well. The novel also reads well as a stand-alone novel. The cover art is OK, though the ship shown is certainly not the destroyer Cameron commands. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (


Review of “The Steel Fist”


Book Reviews – “The Steel Fist” eBook was published in 2014 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Richard Townshend Bickers ( Mr. Bickers published more than 45 novels and a dozen non-fiction books.

I received an ARC of this novel through 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 during World War II. The story follows British Officer Taggert as he fights the Germans during the early months of World War II. He is part of the British Expeditionary Force who have been dispatched to France in 1940 to help fortify the Maginot Line. He has more than once scrape with the Germans and finally must evacuate France with the lucky others from Dunkirk.

Once back in England, he is volunteers for a new fighting force, the Commandos. He and his men go through extensive training and raid France to harass the Germans.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 178 page novel of World War II. Even though it was written more than 30 years ago, it still reads well. I have read quite a few of Bicker’s novels and have enjoyed them all. While the cover art depicts World War II, I am not sure it relates well to the story. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

Women and Computers in WWII – Intermission Story (22)

WWII – I read this a while back and have been meaning to reblog it. I thought it gave an interesting look back in history. It is a good, though quick, look at how women used computing to aid in World War II.

Pacific Paratrooper

Women with the ENIAC computer

Before the invention of electronic computers, “computer” was a job description, not a machine. Both men and women were employed as computers, but women were more prominent in the field. This was a matter of practicality more than equality. Women were hired because there was a large pool of women with training in mathematics, but they could be hired for much less money than men with comparable training. Despite this bias, some women overcame their inferior status and contributed to the invention of the first electronic computers.

In 1942, just after the United States entered World War II, hundreds of women were employed around the country as computers. Their job consisted of using mechanical desk calculators to solve long lists of equations. The results of these calculations were compiled into tables and published for use on the battlefields by gunnery officers. The tables allowed soldiers…

View original post 511 more words

Trailer for “Hurricane”

TrailersWWII – The movie “Hurricane” expected in theaters sometime in 2019, tells the story of 303 Squadron founded in august of 1940 and which defended the UK against the Germans in the early days of World War II. The 303 was made up of Polish pilots who had fled their homeland after the German invasion in 1939. The synopsis from IMDB:

Hurricane (Squadron 303) is the story of a group of brave Poles who fought in the skies over England in WW2, not just to keep Great Britain free from the Nazis, but also to keep alive the very idea of their own country, which had existed in its modern form for barely twenty years before it was crushed between the opposing jaws of Germany and Russia. Equipped with the almost-obsolete Hurricane and (with some initial reluctance) given RAF blue uniforms, while they fought, Poland lived.

These pilots had to learn to fly more modern aircraft, the Hawker Hurricane from which the movie received its name. The hurricane was an exceptional aircraft credited with more than 60% of the arial combat victories during the Battle for Britain. The Polish pilots also had to survive against the German Luftwaffe and overcome prejudices within the British air corp. These “bloody Poles’ became the best scoring RAF squadron during the Battle for Britain with the highest ration of enemy aircraft destroyed against their own losses. They flew more than 1000 combat sorties in 1940 and more than 2000 in 1941. They were credited with destroying 126 German aircraft during the Battle of Britain.

I am looking forward to seeing this movie when ever it make it into the theaters.

Review of “Destination Casablanca”


Book ReviewsWWII – “Destination Casablanca” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Meredith Hindley ( Ms. Hindley is a Historian living in Washington, D.C. This is her first book.

I received an ARC of this book through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The book tells the story of Casablanca from just prior to the onset of World War II until shortly after the war ends.

This is an historical look at the the major figures in Casablanca during this period. Many fled from the Germans as they engulfed Europe, and found themselves stranded in Casablanca. The French had mixed sentiments. They wanted to insure their continued hold on Casablanca and North African assets, while throwing off the control of the Germans. Many French leaders, particularly military, felt the need to maintain the honor of their word to the Vichy French government.

The Allied invasion of North Africa brought many of these issues into focus, with several French military leaders siding with the Allies, but opposing them because of their commitments to the Vichy government. This led to a few days of very bitter fighting between US and French forces.

I found the 13.5 hours spent reading this 465 page history interesting. As most non-fiction histories, this was a little dry, but it was interesting enough to keep me reading. I certainly learned much about the Allied invasion of North Africa and the political entanglement they suffered through with the French. The cover art is OK. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

Review of “The White Ghost”


Book Reviews – “The White ghost” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by James R. Benn ( Mr. Benn has published twelve novels in his “Billy Boyle Mysteries” series. This is the tenth novel in that series.

I purchased this novel through the Barnes & Noble on-line store and read it on the Nook App on my iPad. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set during the late summer of 1943. The primary characters are Lieutenants Billy Boyle and Piotr ‘Kaz’ Kazimierz.

Just starting on a well deserved leave (this occurs between books three and four of the series), Boyle and Kazimierz receive orders to meet someone in Casablanca. The meeting turns out to be with Joe Kennedy Jr. The Boyle family had a history with the Kennedy’s back in Boston. Now young Jack Kennedy had gotten his PT boat sunk from under him and, while convalescing, had gotten implicated in a murder. Knowing Boyle’s position on Eisenhower’s staff, Ambassador Kennedy pulls strings getting Boyle and Kazimierz temporarily assigned to the murder investigation.

The two fly nearly half way around the world to the Solomon Islands from Morocco. Boyle and Kazimierz begin to dig into the evidence surrounding the murder. Before long they have other bodies on their hands that seem tied to the same killer. The Solomons are near the front lines in the Pacific, so Boyle and Kazimierz must evade dangerous encounters with the Japanese as their investigation progresses.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 353 page World War II Mystery. I have read the first ten books in this series and have enjoyed each and every one. I like the plot, mixing mystery with the drama of World War II. I like the way too that Benn mixes well known characters from the period into his novels. I think that the cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

World War II Allied Aircraft Nose Art

World War II – I have seen World War II nose art depicted in film and photos for many years. This YouTube video gives a great overview of what and why nose art became so popular. I had of course seen the pin-up nose art many times, but I was not aware that there was so much nose art connected to Disney cartoon characters.

In fact, it is mentioned in the video above that during the war Disney had five artists dedicated to producing nose art free to the military. It is also pointed out in the video that the average age of those flying and servicing the aircraft was about 22, sometimes they were even younger. Thus they had a very real connection to the Disney cartoon characters.

Review of “Black Phoenix”


Book Reviews – “Black Phoenix” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1994) and was written by George Bernau. Mr. Bernau published three novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through 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 the closing days of World War II. The primary character is US Army Major Thomas Sheridan, an Army Intelligence officer.

Berlin is about to fall to Allied troops. The Nazis are all but crushed, but they still have a plan. Key officials are secretly transported to South America along with a deadly substance known as Black Phoenix. Sheridan, along with his partner and lover Debra Marks, are sent in search of the fleeing Germans and for a lead on Black Phoenix.

They find that Nazi leadership still has a plan to conquer the world, and thousands may die. It becomes a race to see if they can survive the German fanatics and save the world.

I thought that this was an interesting 8.5 hour read of a 291 page World War II era Thriller. This is a little old and shows its age some, but it is still an interesting read. I am not sure why the cover are was chosen as rockets are not part of the plot. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

The World of Sci-fi during WWII – Intermission Story (29)

WWII – I thought that this was an interesting look at Science Fiction during the years of World War II.

Pacific Paratrooper

Alex Schomburg artwork

The goings-on at the home front!!

The first Golden Age of Science Fiction—often recognized in the United States as the period from 1938 to 1946—was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction, the Golden Age follows the “pulp era” of the 1920s and 1930s, and precedes New Wave science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s. The 1950s are a transitional period in this scheme.

One leading influence on the creation of the Golden age was John W. Campbell, who became legendary in the genre as an editor and publisher of science fiction magazines, including Astounding Science Fiction, to the point where Isaac Asimov stated that “…in the 1940s, (Campbell) dominated the field to the point where to many seemed all of science fiction.” Under Campbell’s editorship, science fiction developed more realism and psychological depth to characterization. The focus…

View original post 647 more words

Review of “Airborne”


Book ReviewsWWII –  “Airborne” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robert Radcliffe ( This is the seventh novel published by Mr. Mason(Radcliffe).

I received an ARC of this novel through 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 throughout Europe during World war II. The two primary characters are British Army Medical Officer Captain Daniel Garland and Theo Trickey, a young and heavily injured paratrooper.

The story begins with the risky Operation Market Garden, the airborne invasion that the Allies hope will bring a quick end to the war. The attack fails and thousands are killed, wounded or captured. Among the captured are both Garland and Trickey. The story follows these two and jumps back to their experiences prior to the Battle of Arnhem.

I thought this was an interesting 8+ hour read of 285 pages for this World War II era novel. I liked the characters in the story, and the plot was different. Not so much combat experiences, but what went on with the characters before and after Arnhem. The story did jump around a bit and I thought ended rather abruptly. The cover art is reasonable. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (