Category Archives: WWII

Book Review: “German Fighter Aircraft of World War II: 1939-45”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Thomas Newdick published the book “German Fighter Aircraft of World War II: 1939-45” in 2020 (August). Mr. Newdick has published more than a dozen books on military aircraft.

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 ‘G’. This book details the various fighter aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during WWII. This is an in-depth explanation of the history and evolution of the various planes.

I thought that the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 128-page history were interesting. I had no idea that the Germans were constantly refining and improving their aircraft. I wonder now if the Allies approached their planes the same way. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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 430 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: “Battle of Britain, 1940: The Finest Hour’s Human Cost”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Dilip Sarkar published the book “Battle of Britain, 1940: The Finest Hour’s Human Cost” in 2020. This is Mr. Sarkar’s second publication.

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’. This book tells the story of the Battle of Britain. This intense air war lasted from July 10 until October 31, 1940.

Each chapter of the book tells the story of a different airman. These are not the stories of the well-known aces. Most are pilots with the RAF, but some ground crew and Luftwaffe pilots are also included. All the people focussed on in the book died during the Battle of Britain.

The famous ‘Few’ who defended Britain comprised nearly 3,000 crewmen. Of that number, more than 540 lost their lives. They contributed an incredible effort in the defense of Britain. Without their determined effort, Britain would very likely have fallen to Nazi Germany.

I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 296-page history. I have read other accounts of the Battle of Britain. This book gives a more personal account of those eventful 16 weeks. Mr. Sarkar has done a superb job of telling their stories. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down 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 430 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: “Fighting Through to Hitler’s Germany”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author & historian Mark Forsdike (https://www.markforsdike.com/) published the book “Fighting Through to Hitler’s Germany” in 2020. This is Mr. Forsdike’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. The story begins with D-Day in June 1944.

The book follows the British 1st Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. Part of the book goes back to when the unit escaped France at Dunkirk, but the book mostly focuses on D-Day and afterwards. The book follows the 1st as it makes its way through France, Holland, and into Germany. By that time it is part of the 3rd (British) Infantry Division.

The British generals called upon this unit time after time to ‘get the job done’. As a result, the 1st suffered heavy casualties. Of the 850 who landed with the Battalion on D-Day, just 178 were still serving on VE-Day. More than 200 had died and 640 were wounded in 11 months of combat.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 304-page history book. While the book was on a British unit, it reminded me a lot of Band of Brothers. Many officers are mentioned only to find that they were later killed in action. There was also a great deal about the movement of the 1st Battalion. I found it interesting to follow them on a map of Europe while I read. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

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

 

Further Reading / Listening

  1. History Extra Podcast 5/29/14 D-Day

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 410 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: “Duel Under the Stars: The Memoir of a Luftwaffe Night Pilot in World War II”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Wilhelm Johnen republished the book “Duel Under the Stars: The Memoir of a Luftwaffe Night Pilot in World War II” in 2018. The book was first published in 1956.

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. This is the war memoir of German night fighter pilot Wilhelm Johnen.

The book tells of Johnen’s activities during WWII. It also tells a little history of the German night fighters. Most of Johnen’s combat flying time was in the ME 110.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 320-page WWII history. This is only the second book I have read written from the German perspective. I think it is interesting to see the war through their eyes. I give this novel a 4.2 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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 410 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.

The Post World War II Boom: How America Got Into Gear

I liked this post by GP Cox and chose to reblog it.


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 410 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.

Pacific Paratrooper

Chrysler tank production

In the summer of 1945, as WWII drew to a close, the U.S. economy was poised on the edge of an uncertain future.

In late 1940 for the United States to serve as the “arsenal of democracy,” American industry had stepped up to meet the challenge. U.S. factories built to mass-produce automobiles had retooled to churn out airplanes, engines, guns and other supplies at unprecedented rates. At the peak of its war effort, in late 1943 and early 1944, the United States was manufacturing almost as many munitions as all of its allies and enemies combined.

On the home front, the massive mobilization effort during World War II had put Americans back to work. Unemployment, which had reached 25 percent during the Great Depression and hovered at 14.6 percent in 1939, had dropped to 1.2 % by 1944 — still a record low in the nation’s history.

Shopping with ration stamps

With the…

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Dunkirk from the German Perspective

I came across this 20:53 video a few days ago. It was uploaded to YouTube in December of 2019 by The Armchair Historian. They have a very good selection of history videos. 

I think it gives a very visual depiction of the battle of Dunkirk. Looking at it from the German perspective makes one see it a little differently.


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 400 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.

Check WWII records this Memorial Weekend for Free

I came across the article “This Memorial Day weekend, you can meet all your WWII ancestors for free” this morning. What it says is that Ancestry.com will allow anyone to check their WWII records for free.

The records include draft cards, missing-in-action reports, hospital admission cards, and death records. If you have someone who served in WWII this is a great opportunity to look up their records. This opportunity is being made in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the end World War II.


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 400 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.

77 Years Ago the ‘Dambusters’ Took Flight

It was 77 years ago today that 19 Avro Lancasters of 617 Squadron RAF took off from Scampton in the UK. Their mission, Operation Chastise, was to breach the dams of the Ruhr valley in Germany. These bombers and crew became known as the ‘Dambusters’.

The video above was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2019 by The Operations Room. I enjoy their videos. I have posted about them before.

The planes were to fly only a little over 800 miles round trip. To give you some perspective, that is like traveling round trip from Austin, TX to New Orleans, LA. They were to fly low, at about 60 feet for much of the flight. As they approached their targets the 60-foot altitude was critical. The bombers would release their cylindrical bombs and let them bounce across the water. They were to bounce over the torpedo nets, then impact the dam.

Some question the strategic value of the mission. It was a major publicity victory for the British. The attack destroyed two hydroelectric power stations and damaged others. Factories and mines in the valley were also damaged or destroyed. An estimated 1,600 civilians died. The Germans committed to a rapid repair program. Production did not return to normal until September.

The repair effort did commit a large number of workers to the repair efforts. The German military also reinforced the Ruhr valley with many more antiaircraft installations.

 

Further Reading / Listening

  1. Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies – Operation Chastise
  2. The Dambusters
  3. World War II: Operation Chastise
  4. Operation Chastise
  5. The Dambusters and the Möhne Dam
  6. OPERATION CHASTISE – THE DAM BUSTERS
  7. Video – Dambusters Declassified Documentary
  8. History Extra Podcast 4/25/13 – Britain’s Last Dambuster
  9. History Extra Podcast 9/19/2019 – Max Hastings on the Dambusters

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 400 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.

History Extra Podcast: A Nazi serial killer

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(See my other Podcast related posts) – I found the History Extra podcasts a couple of weeks ago. I spent some time culling through them looking for WWII related topics.

Another early episode I found is “A Nazi serial killer and a Tudor gentleman“. In this episode, there is a short (9 minute) discussion at the beginning about a serial killer in WWII Berlin. The episode brings up the interesting problem of increased crime during blackouts. I have not read much about this happening in the UK, but I am sure that it did. I thought it gave some interesting views on the home front challenges.


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 370 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.

Sinking the Tirpitz

I came across this 14:22 video of the British effort to sink the Tirpitz in mid-May. The video was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2020 by The Operations Room. I like the videos that they produce. I have posted others.


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 400 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.