Category Archives: WWII

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 – Ungentlemanly Warfare

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Howard Linskey http://www.howardlinskey.co.uk/ is the author of more than a dozen novels. Ungentlemanly Warfare was published in 2020. This was the 103rd 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! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

It is 1943, and the war is definitely taking a turn against the Nazis. One of their Wunderwaffe or ‘wonder weapons’ is the rocket-propelled Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet interceptor. It is nearly ready for production, but stability issues still plague it.

German scientist Professor Gaerte has been assigned to quickly correct the flaw. If the plane is made functional and put into production, the impact on Allied bombers will be dire. This could even endanger the Normandy invasion. Fortunately, British Intelligence has discovered Gaerte’s mission.

An SOE Jedburg team is sent into France to assassinate Gaerte and put Me 163 completion behind schedule. The British put one of their best men on the team, Captain Harry Walsh. He can be ruthless and unorthodox at times, but he completes his missions.

Once in France, the team meets with another SOE agent, Emma Stirling. She is experienced, having worked in France before. Her presence complicates things as she was once Walsh’s lover. Plans go awry when the Maquis group they are working with is raided by the Germans after being betrayed.

Will they be able to evade the Germans? Can their mission still be completed?

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 228-page WWII-era thriller. The plot takes a few turns and is full of action and intrigue. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 – Angel in Red

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher Nicole is the author of more than 200 books & novels. Angel in Red was published in 2018 and is the second volume of his Anna Fehrbach series. This was the 102nd book I completed in 2022.

I downloaded this book while it was being promoted by Lume Books. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

Twenty-year-old Anna Fehrbach is the primary character. She despises the Nazis, but since her parents and sister are being held as hostages, she has no choice but to continue acting the part of a dedicated SD agent. Fehrbach continues to wield her skills as an assassin when ordered by the SD. Nor does she hesitate to employ them to protect herself as a double agent for the British.

It is May of 1940, and the Phoney War has ended. After she is exposed as a Nazi agent, Fehrbach flees England for Berlin. The SD still believes in her as an agent. In particular, she has the trust of Reinhard Heydrich. Not only does he believe she is still an enthusiastic Nazi agent, but he has also taken her as his mistress on occasion.

With the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and Russia are still at peace with one another. Fehrbach is sent to Moscow, where she is to use her feminine skills to become the mistress of Ewfim Chalyapov. Chalyapov is chosen as her target as he is close to Marshal Stalin. Her ultimate mission is to kill Stalin at the outset of Operation Barbarossa to disrupt the Russian military.

Fehrbach easily succeeds in her mission and soon becomes a friend of Stalin. She frequently is invited to a private afternoon tea with him. The opportunity will be there. But if she goes through with the assassination her life will be over. If she doesn’t, she will be on the hit list of the SD and Heydrich.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 267-page WWII-era thriller. I had the opportunity to read the first book in the series, Angel From Hell, earlier in the year. This book is every bit as good as the first! The novel is full of action, sex, and intrigue. The Fehrbach character is very much a WWII-era James Bond. I look forward to reading the remaining six novels in the series. I like the cover art chosen for the novel. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 – The Blitz Detective

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Mike Hollow https://blitzdetective.com is the author of seven novels. The Blitz Detective: The intricate wartime murder mystery was published in 2020 and is the first book of his Blitz Detective series. The novel was first published under the name Direct Hit. This was the 97th 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! Due to scenes of minor violence, I categorize this novel as PG. The primary character is Detective Inspector John Jago.

Jago is a veteran of the Great War and has been with the police since 1919. It is early September 1940 with Jago now 42. Britain has been at war for over a year. The Luftwaffe has begun bombing London, the Blitz has begun.

A body is discovered in an unmarked van. Jago is called to the scene and recognizes the body. It is a local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers.

Before evidence can be gathered, the air raid sirens blare out the warning of approaching German aircraft. A random git by a German bomb obliterates the van and what evidence it might have held.

The death looked suspicious to Jago. He begins to investigate. His focus is disrupted by the assignment to provide assistance to a journalist. This is not one of the regular London crowd, but an American woman, Dorothy Appleton. At first, he considers her a nuisance, but he becomes attracted to her as time passes.

Villiers held a position of power and had his share of enemies. The investigation uncovers secrets held by Villiers. It also divulges criminal attempts to profit from the war. Jago and his partner, DC Peter Cradock, must face danger from more than the German Blitz.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 328-page WWII-era mystery. I found myself reminded of the BBC TV series Foyle’s War. The novel paints a vivid picture of war-torn London. It is a little slow, but still an enjoyable read. I give this novel 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).


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 – Angel from Hell

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher Nicole is the author of more than 200 books & novels. Angel from Hell was published in 2018 and is the first book of his Anna Fehrbach series. This was the 90th book I completed in 2022.

I purchased this book from Amazon for my Kindle. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

The story opens in 1938 as the Nazis take Austria. Arrests are made of all those opposed to the Third Reich. Johann Fehrbach and his family are among those rounded up. He had been the publisher of a liberal newspaper that spoke out against the Nazis.

His eldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Annaliese, is separated from the rest of the family. A German officer recognizes that her intelligence and beauty can be used to the Reich’s advantage. The rest of her family is held hostage to force Annaliese to obey the Gestapo.

She is trained in the arts of seduction, assassination, and intelligence tradecraft. Upon completing her training, she is put to work for the SD. She is told to flirt, socialize, and seduce targets of the SD.

Eventually, she is told to focus on Ballantine Bordman of the British Foreign Office. The much older Bordman is soon smitten with Annaliese. They are married, and she returns to England with him. She has orders to make copies of her husband’s documents and send them to Germany.

Clive Bartley had traveled to Berlin with Bordman. He meets Annaliese there when she is introduced to the British diplomat. Bartley is suspicious of her and her quick romance with Bordman. As a member of MI6, he is constantly on alert for German operatives.

Bartley confronts Annaliese, and she willingly agrees to become a double agent. She also finds herself romantically entangled with him. Annaliese is forced to walk a fine line to maintain credibility with her German handlers while doing what she can for MI6.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 275-page WWII-era thriller. The novel is filled with action. I have also had the opportunity to read another Nicole novel, Battleground. It is another enjoyable WWII-era thriller. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 – El Alamein

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Jack Murray is the author of more than 20 novels. El Alamein was published in 2022, and it is the third and final book in the author’s Danny Shaw / Manfred Brehme series. This was the 87th 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! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R.

This novel has two primary characters. British Army tanker Danny Shaw and the German Army tanker Manfred Brehme. Montgomery is successfully leading the British 8th Army against Rommel and the Germans in North Africa. Shaw is part of the 8th Army. He has experienced heavy combat and is tired of the war and seeing his friends die.

Rommel has driven his Army hard, forcing the British back toward the East. After all of the heavy fighting and hardship, Brehme has begun to question the aims of the Germans. Mostly successful up to this point, they are confronted by the now better-equipped British.

Montgomery makes a stand with the 8th Army at the remote railway station of El Alamein. Will they be able to turn the tide against the Germans, or will they be forced out of Egypt?

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 402-page novel of historical fiction set in WWII. The chosen cover art is simple but a good choice for the story. I give this novel 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 – The Double Agent

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – William Christie https://williamchristieauthor.com is the author of ten novels. The Double Agent was published in 2022. This was the 86th 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! Due to scenes of violence, mature situations, and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character in the novel is Russian Alexsi Smirnoff.

Smirnoff grew up as an orphan. As a young man, the Russian NKVD recognized his abilities and recruited him. After training, he was sent to Nazi Germany. He was able to penetrate the German Intelligence services and rose in rank.

As the tide of the war becomes clear, and not wanting to return to Russia, Smirnoff attempts to disappear. To his misfortune, he is captured by British troops. Sensing his abilities, the SIS recruits him. After further training, he is dropped into Italy with credentials as a member of the Wehrmacht. The NKVD had learned that he still lived and was in Britain. A hit squad had been sent to find and execute him. War-torn Italy sounded like a good place to hide.

His new identity was as a German Sergeant. With the papers of a communications expert, he is able to take a post within the headquarters of Field Marshall Kesselring. There he has access to information critical to the Allies.

His past has led Smirnoff to bend and flex with the conditions he is faced with. Will he change his allegiance again?

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 344-page WWII-era thriller. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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.