Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

Book Review: “SAS and Special Forces in World War II”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Michael E Haskew published the novel “SAS and Special Forces in World War II” in 2021. It may also appear as “Special Forces in WWII”. Mr. Haskew has published nearly 30 books on military history.


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 tells the story of the various special military forces deployed in WWII. This includes both Allied and Axis powers. Each chapter focuses on those forces from a particular country. The coverage is a high-level overview of each unit’s activities.


I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 192-page WWII history. Most of the units I had read about before. A few were new to me. Some units included did not, in my mind, qualify as a ‘special force’. The book does have many photos and some good maps. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (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 are interested 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 510 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: “Covert Radio Agents, 1939–1945: Signals From Behind Enemy Lines”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author David Hebditch published the book “Covert Radio Agents, 1939–1945: Signals From Behind Enemy Lines” in 2021 (April). Mr. Hebditch has published three books.


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’. The book tells the stories of several covert radio agents acting behind enemy lines in WWII. Most served in the European Theater of Operations, but a few are from the Pacific.


Included is a chapter that provides many details on the equipment used. Details of the procedures are also included. Allied agents followed strict rules to send and encrypt their messages. The German radio direction finding units had their own rules to follow.


I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 320-page WWII history. I had read about some of the activities before, but this book certainly contained a lot of new material. I found the technical details towards the end of the book to be particularly interesting. You will find this book of special interest if you are researching SOE & OSS activities during the war. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 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 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 500 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 Resistance in Western Europe, 1940–1945 (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Olivier Wieviorka published the book “The Resistance in Western Europe, 1940–1945 (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)” in 2019.


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 tells the story of the various resistance organizations in Western Europe during WWII. It also covers how the Allies dealt with them.
The book covers the resistance movements in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Italy. It does not focus so much on the activities of the resistance units. It mostly looks at the political and administrative aspects.


I enjoyed the 16+ hours I spent reading this 447-page history. This was a very long read! It comes across as a very academic work. This also means that it was a bit of a struggle to read. I found that I could only dedicate 60-90 minutes at a time to it. This is perfect if you want to know more about what went on behind the scene. The cover art is OK but does not seem to portray the book content well. I give this book a 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).

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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 500 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.

Watch this Brief Daily Taste of WWII on – “1940 this Day in World War Two”

I subscribe to many Podcasts on the WWII period. This is a little different from those in that it is a brief (45-90 second) daily video clip showing the events for that day in 1940. Currently there are more than 440 episodes available on YouTube.

These along with many other WWII related videos, have been uploaded by The View From The Turret. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/MilHist_Shane.

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 490 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: “I Somehow Survived: Eyewitness Accounts from World War II”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Klaus G Förg published the book “I Somehow Survived: Eyewitness Accounts from World War II” in 2020 (November). Mr. Förg has published several books though most are only available in German.


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 ‘PG’. The book contains the stories of five who survived WWII.


Four of the people covered are men who served in the German military. The fifth is the story of a Norwegian woman who married one of the invading Germans. The accounts are first hand and come from interviews conducted by the author.


I thought that the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 192-page wartime history were interesting. Most accounts I have read of WWII are written from the Allied perspective. This book gives a different point of view. The cover art is OK. I give this book 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 490 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.

Podcast Series: “Fighting Through from Dunkirk to Hamburg”

(See my other Podcast related posts) – I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving, working in the yard, or just setting and relaxing. Lately I have subscribed to several podcasts that are dedicated to WWII history. One of these is the “Fighting Through from Dunkirk to Hamburg” podcast.

These podcasts have been created by Paul Cheall, the son and editor of his late father Bill Cheall’s second world war memoirs. More than 60 episodes of this podcast have been released so far. He says on his website:

Since Dad’s WWII memoirs were published by Pen and Sword, I’ve been in contact with the families of several of his former comrades. The amazing amount of original, unpublished WW2 material I’ve been sent inspired me to produce a podcast to share with the whole world what these brave men, women and boys went through. I’ve got letters home, anecdotes, memoirs, battles, photographs, interviews with veterans … the lot. All blended into an engaging edge of the seat offering. There’s comedy, drama, poignancy and tragedy in abundance.

And the collection of material continues to expand, gradually extending beyond Dad’s immediate circle to other wars and spheres of battle, such as the brutal WWI battle of Gallipoli.

I began listening to the podcast with episode 1 which was published April 11, 2013. I have most recently finished #24. Episodes range from about 30 up to 90 minutes in length. I’m a couple of years behind, but I am catching up rapidly. The primary focus is on the British Army infantry unit the Green Howards Regiment, but he covers material from a variety of sources.

The stories told on this podcast deal with the war in a personal way. I have enjoyed listening to this podcast. Not surprising, the podcast has gathered more than 150 5-star ratings on Apple Podcasts. If you are interested in WWII history, you will enjoy this podcast.




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 490 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: “I Flew for the Fuhrer: Memoirs of the Third Reich’s Pilot”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Heinz Knocke published the book “I Flew for the Fuhrer: Memoirs of the Third Reich’s Pilot” in 2012 (the original version of the book appeared in 1954). This is Mr. Knocke’s only publication.


I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘PG’. The book tells the story of Luftwaffe pilot Heinz Knocke.


Knocke’s story begins in 1935. The book relates his experiences during the war from his diary. As a fighter pilot, he was credited with more than 50 aerial victories. He survived the war, in part due to wounds suffered during the final months that grounded him.


Knocke flew more than two thousand missions during the war. He ended his wartime Luftwaffe career as the commanding officer of a fighter wing.


I found the 6+ hours I spent reading this 236-page memoir from WWII very interesting. I have only come across a few books in English written from the Axis point of view. They give a different perspective on the War. I think that the chosen cover art is a little dull. 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 490 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: “Aces: True Stories of Victory and Valor in the Skies of World War II”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Bill Yenne (https://www.billyenne.com) published the book “Aces: True Stories of Victory and Valor in the Skies of World War II” in 2020. Mr. Yenne has published more than three dozen novels and non-fiction books.


I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The book comprehensively covers the top ace pilots in the Axis air forces as well as in the Allied air forces.


Only a few pages are dedicated to each pilot, but there are a large number of aces covered. The book looks at the major powers – the US, British, German, Russian, Italian, and Japanese. It also mentions those from the smaller countries who were top aces. The aces from Finland (The winter War) are included as well. There is even a small section covering Russian women who qualified as aces. The book contains many vintage photos of the pilots and their fighters.


I thought that the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 240-page WWII history were interesting. I had read of some of these pilots before, but this book included many I had not been aware of. It is surprising how many pilots qualified as an Ace (Generally, 5 planes confirmed shot down). I was amazed at the total number of planes some of these pilots had shot down. I like the cover art. I give this book 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 490 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 Terror Raids of 1942: The Baedeker Blitz”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Jan Gore published the book “The Terror Raids of 1942: The Baedeker Blitz” in 2020 (Dec). This will be her 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 book tells about series of German air attacks in 1942. These are referred to as the Baekecker Blitz. This is because of a German Foreign Office announced in April 1942. It had announced ‘We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide’.


Hitler directed that these raids be made. They were in retaliation for British raids on the German towns of Rübeck and Rastock. They are terror raids as they primarily targeted civilians and historical buildings. The cities of Exeter, Bath, Norwich, York, and Canterbury were the target of these raids.


Included are many facts about the air raid shelters in use and the Air Raid Wardens. The book tells the stories of those who lived through the raids and of some of those who died. The raids occurred during the April to June 1942 period.


I thought that the 6+ hours I spent reading this 240-page history were interesting. I learned a few new things from reading this book. In particular, I was surprised at how may took refuge in Morrison Shelters. It is hard to imagine spending hours in a 6.5 ft long, 4 ft wide, and 2.5 ft high wire cage. Especially when many shared that cage with another adult and children. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this book 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 490 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: “Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Mark Felton (http://markfelton.co.uk) published the book “Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer” in 2014. Mr. Felton has published more than 20 books on WWII.


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’. The book talks about the many aspects of protection Hitler was subject to during WWII.


Different units provided security for Hitler and he traveled in many different vehicles. Details are provided of both these units and the vehicles. Complex headquarters facilities were built for Hitler. The book includes descriptions and locations of these facilities. The book includes details of the many assassination attempts made on Hitler.


I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 250-page WWII history. It was a little dry, but there were many details about Hitler that I had not heard before. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this book 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 490 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.