Tag Archives: Military

Book Review: “The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Evan Hawdsley. Mr. Hawdsley had published more than ten books.

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 World War II at sea around the world. All the major players in WWII maritime warfare are covered. This book gives the reader a very comprehensive look at the naval action of WWII.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25+ hours I spent reading this 568-page comprehensive history of WWII at sea. While this book is full of details, it read well. I think that better cover art could have been selected. I give this novel a 5 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 340 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.

Modern WWII Era Movie: “Mission of Honor”

 

(See my other WWII related posts) – I recently watched the movie “Mission of Honor” (originally named Hurricane) on Netflix. This is a modern WWII era film that gives a fictionalized version of the RAF 303 squadron in the Battle of Brittain. The 01:47:00 film was released in March of 2019. The synopsis from IMDB:

The exploits of 303 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain. The squadron consisted of Polish pilots, many of whom were veterans of the air battles involved in Germany’s invasion of Poland.

This is more romance set against the backdrop of WWII than it is a war movie. It was enjoyable enough, but not what I would consider an outstanding film. That also seems the consensus on IMDB as there it is only rated 5.9/10. It did receive and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. While most of the dialog was in English, there was a substantial portion in Polish and some in German. Those were supplemented with English subtitles.


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 330 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: “The Great Desert Escape: How the Flight of 25 German Prisoners of War Sparked One of the Largest Manhunts in American History”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Great Desert Escape: How the Flight of 25 German Prisoners of War Sparked One of the Largest Manhunts in American History” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Keith Warren Lloyd (https://keithwarrenlloyd.com). This is Mr. Lloyd’s first 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 story is set in 1944.

Some captured German military personnel were being held in prisoner of war camps in the US. One of those camps was at Papago Park just outside of Phoenix, AZ. Several of the prisoners worked for months to dig a tunnel 6 feet deep and 178 feet long. The tunnel was finished in December 1944 and 25 prisoners escaped into the Arizona desert.

The story of those who escaped is told as well as that of those hunting for them.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 288-page history. I had read before of German POWs being held in the US, but this is the first account I have read giving more details. I thought that this book gave an interesting view of life in the German POW camp and a glimpse of the ‘home front’. It read well for a non-fiction book. I like the selected 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 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 330 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.

Missed in History Podcast: “The Night Witches”

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While traveling with my wife during the past few weeks we listened to several episodes of the Missed in History Class podcast. This particular show was on The Night Witches. Per the Missed in History website:

The Night Witches were an all-female bombing regiment in the Soviet Air Force. Flying biplanes meant for dusting crops and training new recruits, they dropped 23,000 tons of bombs on German forces in WWII.

If you are interested, you can listen to this 32-minute podcast at https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/the-night-witches.htm. It gives a view of WWII from a perspective that many have missed.


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 330 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.

How Donald Duck & Dumbo Helped to Win the War

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(See my other WWII   related posts) – I enjoyed this article on Disney in WWII and wanted to share it through a reblog.


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 330 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

Just one day after Pearl Harbor, Walt Disney received his first military contract and began creating promotional reels, war bond advertisements, short training and instructional films, and other WWII materials.  Also at this time, he received requests from military units all over the world requesting Disney-designed insignia’s and mascots.

David Lesjak, a former employee and Disney historian says, “Insignia helped build morale.  Having a cartoon character you grew up with on your plane or shoulder patch helped remind you of home.  In my mind it was a happy diversion from the horrors of war.”

Hank Porter @ Disney

One of the purest expressions of Walt Disney’s genuine patriotism during the war years was his decision to establish a unit devoted to producing customized military unit insignia free of charge for U.S. armed forces and their allies.  Headed by the talented draftsman, Hank Porter, whom Walt referred to as a…

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79th U.S. Airborne Birthday

I think this deserves to be reblogged. I missed it on the 16th because it ended up in my Junk folder.


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 330 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

16 August,  National Airborne Day

The history of United States Airborne Forces did not begin on the training fields of Fort Benning, Georgia, as some believe. In fact, the origin of Airborne Forces in the U.S. military began with a familiar name to American military history, Brigadier General William L. “Billy” Mitchel (1879-1936).

As well as being considered the spiritual father of the United States Air Force, which he advocated for fiercely during his tenure in the military, BG Mitchell was the first to imagine airborne tactics and sought the creation of U.S. Airborne Forces.

BGeneral Billy Mitchell, the father of the U.S. Airborne


It is not recorded exactly when he organized a demonstration of Airborne Infantry for U.S., Russian and German observers. However, according to records
 at Ft. Benning, Georgia, it is confirmed that BG Mitchell held the demonstration “shortly after World War I” at Kelly Field, in San…

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Friday WWII Flix: “The Forgotten Battle of Lyme Bay”

(See my other WWII related posts) – I had read about the incident at Lyme Bay before I saw this short (09:14) documentary video about it. The loss of so many (749) American military personnel on the brink of the D-Day invasion was kept quiet for some time.

In spring of 1944, the US military in cooperation with the British undertook a series of large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day landing in Normandy. “Exercise Tiger” was planned for April taking advantage of the similarities between Slapton Beach and Utah Beach.

On the morning of April 28, a small convoy of eight LSTs was attacked by nine German E-boats. The E-boats fired torpedos at the ships of the convoy, sinking two and damaging one other. The attack resulted in 749 US servicemen (551 Army and 198 Navy) being killed.


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 330 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: “Escape from Paris”

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See all of my Book Reviews) – “Escape from Paris” eBook was published in 2019 (October) and was written by Stephen Harding (http://stephenhardingbooks.com/index.html). Mr. Harding has published four books.

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 story is set in German-occupied France. While on a bombing raid, a B-17 is shot down on July 14, 1943. This story tells how they are rescued by the French, hidden from the Germans, and eventually smuggled out of France.

The crew makes repeated attempts to leave France, but they are blocked again and again. Along the way one of the American flyers falls in love with the young daughter of a family hiding him in Paris.

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 288-page non-fiction story. I enjoyed this look at the French resistance at work in German-occupied France. I like the cover art chosen. I give this book 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 330 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.

Texas Military Forces Museum – Hands-on​ History Night 2019

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(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum related posts) – Last Saturday I worked my first “Hands-on History” night at the Texas Military Forces Museum as a docent. I was really impressed by both the attendance and the wide array of weapons and equipment on display.

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Tables were set up and manned by volunteer reenactors from various periods of Texas Military history.

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Periods represented included: Texas Revolution, Civil War, World War I, World War II (German and US), Korea and Vietnam/Contemporary.

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volunteer reenactors at each of the tables demonstrated the equipment and provided the visitors with details of how it was used.

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Nearly 600 visitors explored the museum and were able to climb into several of the vehicles that are normally just on display.

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The big hit of the night was the Sherman Tank. The line to climb inside filled quickly and during the peak of the evening was near an hour wait. Everyone was able to take their turn inside well before the evening ended.

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I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent helping visitors to the museum. After experiencing a “Hands-on History” night for myself, I am going to encourage a lot of my friends to take part next year. Many people are surprised to find this 45,000 sq. ft. free museum in the heart of Austin.

If you are interested in history, visit the Museum website to see when the next event takes place. The Museum is free (adults do need to show ID to enter Camp Mabry) and open Tuesday thru Sunday 10AM to 4PM. The living historians (reenactors) will present their Close Assault 1944 living history program on Veterans Day weekend in November.


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 330 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: “The Oppressed”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Oppressed” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Matt Thomas. This is Mr. Thomas’ second publication. This is the first in his “Wroth Worlds” series.

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 Language. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Bryan Howe leader of Free Human Special Forces Detachment 8222.

Earth had been invaded and conquered by the Hetarek. Much of the human population on Earth has been exterminated. The remainder has become Hetarek slaves. A few from Earth escaped the Hetarek and, with the help of the Ahai, have fled to the stars. The Free Human forces have begun to fight back against the Hetarek. They have already taken a few systems, now they have set their sights on Earth.

Howe and his team are inserted on Earth to start building a guerrilla army to rise up and assist in an invasion of Earth. But Howe and his team have a difficult job. Not only do the Hetarek keep a close and ruthless watch on the remaining humans, but the humans consider Howe and his colleagues “Runners’. They are looked down upon because the humans that have survived on Earth feel that they were abandoned. With a generation having passed, it is difficult to recruit survivors to risk everything to support the ‘Runners’.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 375-page science fiction novel. I liked the plot of a conquered Earth being retaken. There is a lot of action and not all of the characters you start out with survive. This is just the beginning of the story of a much longer struggle. The cover art is OK, but I would have preferred something closer to the storyline. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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