Tag Archives: WWII

Review of “Wind of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Wind of Death” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1990) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in Germany and Poland during the closing years (1944) of World War II. The primary character is British SAS Captain Callum Douglas.

Douglas and his band of SAS commandos are sent into Poland to destroy a secret German rocket base. The base has developed a multistage rocked capable of reaching both London and Moscow. To make matters worse, intelligence sources have evidence that the Germans have developed a potent nerve gas. The gas together with the new rocket means that the Germans can attack and kill entire cities.

Douglas must penetrate the secret base and destroy the rockets before they can be used against the Allies and turn the tide of the war.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spend reading this World War II Thriller. This is the sequel to “Attack at Night”. I have read several of Jackson’s novels and have enjoyed them all. The cover art is reasonable for this behind the lines commando mission. 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).

Review of “The Rising Sun”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Rising Sun” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper version published in 1999) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the South Pacific during early (1941-42) World War II. Japan has attacked the US at Pearl Harbor and is rapidly growing its control over East Asia. The primary character is RAF Wing Commander Ken Armstrong.

Armstrong has led his flight of 20 Hurricane fighters from Cairo to near Rangoon, Burma (now known at Yangon, Myanmar) as reinforcements. He, and his command, struggle against overwhelming odds to slow the Japanese advance. As hard as they fight, the Japanese forces continue to spread. As usual in Jackson novels, there is plenty of daring flying and dramatic situations.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this World War II novel. For some reason, most of the novels of this era I have read lately are set in Europe. Reading something about the Pacific Theatre was a welcome change. I do like the way that Jackson mixes history into his novels. I have read, and enjoyed, several other books by Jackson and two others with Armstrong as the main character. The cover art is OK, showing battle at sea. I think it should have been a Hurricane and Zero in a dog fight. 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).

Review of “Battle for Glory”

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Book ReviewWWII – “Battle for Glory” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Chad Ehler (http://ghqhomeforces.com). This seems to be Mr. Ehler’s first 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’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in England and some in France during the early days (1940) of World War II. The primary characters are RAF pilot Sherlock Owen Templeton and Luftwaffe pilot Herr Oberst Erich Mathieu Von List.

Templeton has seen action, but because of a terrible accident has been flying a desk for the past few months. He meets a mysterious American girl just as his orders change, putting him back into action.

The girl, Faith Hannah Fuller, is a pilot and part of a Churchill special project. She will be using her significant skills as an amphibious aircraft pilot to rescue downed airmen.

Von List is not only a pilot but also part of the SS. He comes across a tunnel from the French coast nearly to England built by the Romans for their planned invasion.

These three become intertwined. Von List encounters Fuller in the air, but is intrigued by her beauty and flying skills. Templeton flies reconnaissance missions and searches for the mysterious girl he met in London. Von List prepares for the German invasion of England through the tunnel he discovered. As he sneaks out at the newly made opening in England, he finds the beautiful girl he almost shot down to be stationed very near where the tunnel exit is hidden. Using his polished English, Von List mixes with the locals, gathering intelligence for the invasion and romancing Fuller.

Fuller becomes romantically entangled with both Von List, who she thinks is English, and Templeton. The secret invasion quickly approaches. Will Von List succeed with the invasion? Who will Fuller end up with? How will the growing rivalry between Von List and Templeton end?

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 217 page World War II Thriller. I did like the premise of the plot as well as the characters. Some of it was kind of far fetched, but then that is often the case with thrillers. The way the novel ended there could easily be sequels. I hope that there are. The cover art is OK in that it is, in part, a story about flying, but the chosen picture does not relate closely to the plot. 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).

Trailer for “Dunkirk”

TrailersWWII – Between May 26 and June 4, 1940, during the early days of World War II, the British Expeditionary Force was surrounded in France. They had come to the mainland to stope Hitler, instead, they and their French and Belgian allies were overrun. They retreated towards the port of Dunkirk near the border with Belgium.

Germany had sought to surround them and force them to surrender. They fought on and over the eight days of the Dunkirk evacuation more than 338,000 men were able to make their escape to the UK. The rescue flotilla was made up of over 800 boats – both military and civilian – that risked the wrath of the German Army and Luftwaffe to bring the men home.

This movie. which opens July 21. tells the story of the evacuation. From what little this trailer shows, this looks like it might be a pretty good movie about World War II.

Review of “Codename Lazarus”

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Book Reviews – “Codename Lazarus” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by A. P. Martin (http://www.apmartin.co.uk). This is Mr. Martin’s first 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’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in Germany and England during the years 1933-1940 . The primary character is history professor Dr. John King.

King has spent time in 1933 Germany before Hitler rose to power and left just as the Nazis were beginning to take control of the country. Later in 1939 his old Oxford professor called him in to a secret meeting. The professor had been working for British Intelligence and sought King as a new recruit for a secret mission. King agrees even though the though of faking his own death does not sit well. King returns to Germany to find out more about the ever more powerful Nazis before a well conceived hiking ‘accident’ in Switzerland renders ‘John King’ dead.

King, now using the name James Kemp, takes the place of an ousted German who has been leading a spy ring in the UK. King works the traitors, gathering information on each of them and their contacts. The Battle for Britain is at its height and all fear that Germany will soon invade. King finds himself the subject of a search by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and by a real German spy sent into the UK to revive the spy network.

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 365 page World War II Thriller. I liked the time scale that the novel covered. The plot was interesting, though not exactly unique. There was intrigue and a little action, though I think more action would have made this a better read. I also was not happy with the conclusion as it left many loose ends. Perhaps a sequel is planned. The cover art is OK, in line with the Swiss accident. I give this novel a 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).

Review of “Malta Victory”

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Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. 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).

Review of “Target Tobruk”

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Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ 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. The story is set in North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. 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).

Celebrating Alan Turing

WWII – This video was produced in 2012 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. Turing is a well known and accomplished Mathematician. He was also an early contributor to the field that we now call Computer Science. He invented the ‘Turing Machine‘ in 1936. The Turing Machine is an abstract machine that reads and writes symbols on an infinite tape.  Turing also played a key role in the rapidly developing fields of Artificial Intelligence and modern electronic computers.

However Turing is probably best known to the world at large for his work during World War II. He, and the other scientists in the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Britain, took on the German Enigma Machine. They were successful at breaking the coded messages that it produced allowing the Allies to gather much critical intelligence.

According to Professor Jack Copeland of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, “Thanks to Turing and his fellow codebreakers, much of this information [coded messages] ended up in allied hands – sometimes within an hour or two of it being transmitted.” It is estimated that the code breaking effort, while unknown to the world for nearly 30 years after the war, is credited with shortening the war in Europe by as much as two years and saving over 14 million lives.

Review of “Hurricane Squadron”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Hurricane Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the first novel in his “Yeoman “ 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in France during 1940 as the German Army invades the country at the outbreak of World War II. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is sent to France as a replacement to a Hurricane fighter unit stationed in norther France. The story tells of his exploits on air missions against the Germans. It also tells of his adventures after being shot down twice. The novel gives a historical view of this tumultuous and dangerous time in our history.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 144 page WWII Fiction novel. I already have read a few of the later novels in the series and enjoyed them as well. I liked the character of Yeoman as well as the look into the history of the period that the novel provides. The cover art is a reasonable choice for this novel. 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).