Tag Archives: History

Book Reviews: “Templar Secrets”

51Abp47zI3L

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Templar Secrets” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Andreas Economou (https://www.aeconomouauthor.com). This is Mr. Economou’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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set across the ages as it tells a story of the Templars and the Masons.

This story is a mixture of facts and fiction. In the present is George Makrides living in Cyprus. He has recently joined the Masons and has been seeking the secrets that he expected to be revealed.

Starting in 966 BCE Hiram is sent by his king to design and build King Soloman’s temple, but there is intrigue between the kings. Later the crusades take the Holy Land and established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There is a need to protect pilgrims as they travel to Jerusalem from Europe and the Knights Templar are born. Much later the French nobility and church view the Templars as a wealthy threat and they are persecuted. The Templars are eventually officially disbanded.

Foreseeing trouble, the Templar leadership hides their treasure on Cyprus. The head of the order forms the Masonic lodge to maintain and hand down clues to where the order’s treasure has been hidden. The Masonic order evolves over the decades, but the essential clues in their ceremonies remain.

George and his friend and Masonic brother Alex are becoming disillusioned with the Masons, but their interest in the Templars has expanded. They wonder if the fabled Templar treasure exists and if it really is hidden on Cyprus.

I enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 474-page mystery. While the primary plot of the story is the mystery of the Templar treasure which George and Alex pursue, I found the historical fiction of the Templars and the Masonic lodge much more interesting. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.1 (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).

Music of WWII:​ “Der Fuehrer’s Face”

(See my other Music and WWII related posts) – I posted yesterday about the Disney short animated film “Der Fuehrer’s Face“. This video is the Spike Jones and His City Slickers recording that was published before the film and which inspired Disney to change the name of their film from “Donald Duck in Nutzi Land” to “Der Fuehrer’s Face”.

This recording was released in September of 1942. It is a parody of the Nazi anthem, “Horst Wessel Song”. Unlike the Disney version, Jones included a rude sound effect (known popularly as “Bronx Cheer”) every time “Heil” was in the lyrics to show further contempt for Hitler. This recording was very popular and reached #3 on the US music charts.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 320 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.

 

Disney 1943 anti-Nazi Animated Sort “Der Fuehrer’s Face”

MV5BZGFkYThkM2EtMjA1MC00YjU4LWIyNTUtNWJmYmZhNmUyNmE0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQzMjczNzE@._V1_SY1000_SX750_AL_

(See my other WWII and Disney  related posts) – The animated short (07:52) film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” was released January 1, 1943. It features the popular Donald Duck having a nightmare about working in a WWII Nazi factory. This American propaganda film was intended to help sell war bonds.

The film was originally titled “Donald Duck in Nutzi Land”. The title was changed to “Der Fuehrer’s Face” after Spike Jones released a version of the song “Der Fuehrer’s Face” in September of 1942 that was written for the film. The film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” won an Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards in March of 1943.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 320 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.

Limited to 35 mph?

images(See my other WWII related posts) – We are currently used to legally driving between 60 and 85 miles per hour (depending on your location) on highways in the US. That freedom was not allowed during the years of WWII.

The US had been at war for almost a year when the decision was made to set a national speed limit to reduce the consumption of tires and gasoline, both of which were being rationed. The new “Patriotic Speed Limit” of 35 mph (56 km/h) was put in place in May of 1942 and lasted until August of 1945 [1]. This was called the “Victory Speed” and was implemented nationwide and rolled out across the various states [2]. A year later though the US Public Roads Administration found that the law was being frequently ignored [3].

That low speed drastically impacted driving times, even within metropolitan areas. Imagine driving across the state of Texas at its widest point – 880 miles from roughly Orange in the east to El Paso in the west. Today that drive at our speeds can take 12.5 hours on I-10. That same distance driving 35 mph would take over 25 hours and of course, they didn’t have Interstate highways back then so the drive would even have been longer.

Just one more sacrifice people suffered through during WWII.

 

References

  1. Home Front Friday: The “Victory Speed” Limit
  2. ‘Patriotic Speed Limit’ was 35 mph
  3. On the Home Front – Speed Limits

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 320 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 the People’s War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War”

51AnvApa5TL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Fighting the People’s War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Jonathan Fennell. This is Mr. Fennell’s second published 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 ‘G’. The book covers the British and Commonwealth Armies in both theaters during the course of World War II.

Considerable time is spent with the British, Canadian, South African, Australian, New Zealand, and Indian forces. While the book is full of numbers and facts, it is very readable, though long. I was surprised to see repeated references to the sick numbers and censor reports. The censors made monthly reports of the general feelings and attitudes of the soldiers in their letters to friends and loved ones back home. These reports were able to provide the higher echelons of the army with feedback on the morale of their troops.

I had not known about the manpower resource problems, that is a reluctance to volunteer for overseas duty, that plagued the Commonwealth military. Nor had I been aware of the growing shortage of replacements for the British in Europe following the D-Day invasion. I can see why the story of WWII told D-Day forward is mostly an American story.

I found the 25.5 hours I spent reading this 966-page history very interesting. I like the chosen 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 320 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.

Friday WWII Flix: “World War​ II in Colour”​

MV5BZTE2MDlmYTUtYTQwOC00MzA4LTkwNzQtOTJmMjdhMTdlMTM4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjQ0MjU4NDM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,713,1000_AL_

(See my other WWII related posts) – I came across this series on NetFlix a short time ago and have been enjoying the 13 episodes of the mini-series. The series has an 8.7/10 rating on IMDB. The series was released in 2009 and the synopsis per IMDB:

Recounts the events of World War II in color.

That is a very brief but direct statement. NetFlix says:

Rare footage, state-of-the-art colorization and newly uncovered documents are used in this examination of the strategies and battles of World War II.

 The episodes are each 51 minutes long and are titled:

  1. The Gathering Storm
  2. Lightning War
  3. Britain at Bay
  4. Hitler Strikes East Red Sun Rampant
  5. The Mediterranean and North Africa
  6. Turning the Tide
  7. The Soviet Steamroller
  8. Overlord
  9. Closing the Ring
  10. The Island War
  11. Victory in Europe
  12. Victory in the Pacific

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 320 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.

Friday WWII Flix: “D-Day 6.6.1944”

MV5BOGE3ZWIwNDItMGIzNi00MGE4LWI4MDktZGExMjY5MzZhMmNlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzg2ODUwOTk@._V1_

(See my other WWII related posts) – A couple of nights ago I watched “D-Day 6.6.44” on NetFlix. While this 2:0:0 film was produced back in 2004, I found it still very enjoyable. It is rated 7.2/10 on IMDB. The synopsis per IMDB:

Dramatized documentary, based on the experiences of the soldiers who invaded France in the D-Day Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944 which were instrumental in ending World War II.

If you are interested in WWII and have NetFlix I think you will find the 2 hrs spent watching the film enjoyable.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Some Interesting Facts about “The Longest Day”

MV5BMjYzNzlkYzQtZjM3OC00NTQzLTljODYtNDFlNTMyOTJmNjc5L2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,667,1000_AL_

(See my other WWII related posts) – I watched one of my favorite movies set in WWII again a few nights ago – “The Longest Day“. Even though this 1962 film was shot in black & white it is still very good. It scored a 7.8/10 on IMDB and was nominated for five 1963 Academy Awards, winning two.

Today I came across the very recent (June 2019) video above that talks about some behind the scene facts about the movie. I thought they were good enough to share.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “Conspiracy of Lies”

41HRswrOzzL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Conspiracy of Lies” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Kathryn Gauci (http://www.kathryngauci.com). Ms. Gauci has published four novels.

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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in German-occupied France. The primary character is Claire Bouchard, a young French woman who volunteers to return to France as a British agent to work with the French resistance.

Bouchard is still trying to deal with the death of her lover when France is invaded by Germany in 1940. She flees ahead of the German army and makes her way to the UK. She is recruited and trained to be part of the SOE. She is returned to France and becomes a teacher while secretly serving the resistance.

She is faced with many risky situations and becomes romantically involved with both a fellow resistance fighter and with a member of the German Gestapo in her role as a teacher. The story is told by the elderly Bouchard to her daughter in 2001.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 300-page WWII novel. The story portrays the typical French refugee recruited and sent back to work for with the resistance. This one is more complicated as the primary character develops romantic ties that put her at even greater risk. This is really a story about a strong and heroic woman. While there was more romance in the story that I usually like, I do think that it is a good read. I like the cover are. 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 are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

A Relic of WWII is Returned

IMG_ct-1558736939-jyzgbw_2_1_AR5CC4T3

(See my other WWII related posts) – My cousin sent me the link to the Chicago Tribune article “The Canteen” this morning. The photo above is from that article.

The article tells of an American Officer who was severely injured in June of 1944 near Mortain, France. Now 75 years later his children have been contacted by a resident of Mortain with the news that he had found their father’s canteen. If this interests you, go read the full story.

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 310 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.