about Books...

Hi Gentlemen,

we opened this forum because we felt it might be very interesting to review and discuss various books - about whatever you're reading or wish to read!

I may start: at the moment I'm reading "The Civil War: A Narrative" by Shelby Foote.

You might remember the documentary "The Civil War" by Ken Burns from 1990?

Shelby Foote was the man with a pipe between his lips and talking about the Civil War, like he was there and knows all these people involved in it, personally.

It it not so easy for an foreigner and with limited knowledge of the English language to read and understand - I have to concentrate a lot and have to use my dictionary once in a while.
I bought these books because Shelby Foote said at the beginning in the documentary that this Civil War is central to our (Americans) life, so he believed.
And because I like to understand America, the American way of life, their point of view a bit, I'm starting at this point. I can't afford to travel through the US..

After reading the first 50 pages of book 1 I learned more about the time before 1861 and about the life of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln than I ever knew.
I'm eager to learn and discover more about this time - in a way concerning all of us.


To rest my mind I'm reading as well a new German book called Soldaten.

This book is about German POW in England and the US in WW2. When they thought they were alone and could talk, the military intelligence service would monitor and record their conversations, at the end a couple of thousands of documents.
They talked about things only soldier can understand, because only they know the true harrowing experience of war. Some talked about of the horror and some talked about having fun...
The author, a professor in the university of my town, tries to explain these experiences and characters and whats behind, from every branch and every rank of the military .
I don't know if you can buy it in English or any other language - it's a very interesting book about Humans at war, we might don't understood and never understand.

So, what are you reading at the moment?

Jambo :wink:

I've read some great biographies as the following:
"To fly and fight" by Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson
"Mustang Ace" by Robert Goebel
"Live bait" by Clayton Kelly Gross

Blue Skies,


Well, Jambo, that's very cool.

Some national wars are actually very important to all present day civilization, such as the French Revolution, Ruso - Japanese war, Second Anglo - Boer War, as examples of wars that are little known to most people but had huge influence in the course or restriction of future world empires.

The American Civil War obviously had the development of the United States of America in the balance.

Jambo, as you are seeing, The Civil War also had huge influence in technology development and political idealogy, as well as the beginning of the end of slavery on a national scale of a major world power.

Without going into a discussion of politics, I can appreciate the value of continuing to read about The Civil War.

Thanks for sharing that.


Lately I've been reading some very good Luftwaffe pilot autobiographies. I've read them translated to Finnish, but here are the names in German (and in English):

Walter Schuck: Abschuss! Von der Me 109 zur Me 262. (Luftwaffe Eagle: 206 Combat Victories in the Me 109 and Me 262)

Wilhelm Johnen: Duell unter den Sternen. Tatsachenbericht eines deutschen Nachtjägers 1941-1945 (Duel Under the Stars: German Night Fighter Pilot in the Second World War)

Hans-Ulrich Rudel: Mein Kriegstagebuch: Aufzeichnungen eines Stukafliegers (Stuka Pilot)

Günther Rall: Mein Flugbuch: Erinnerungen 1938-2004 (MY LOG BOOK - Reminiscences 1938-2004)

Helmut Lipfert: Das Tagebuch des Hauptmann Lipfert (The War Diary of Hauptmann Helmut Lipfert)

Johannes Kaufmann: Meine Flugberichte 1935 - 1945 (?)

All books are excellent, but I enjoyed most the book by Johannes Kaufmann (I don't know whether it has been translated into English or not) because of his exceptional career: he started out as a flight instructor, flew transport planes in Poland 1939, test-flew captured enemy planes after the invasion of France, flew Bf-110 ground attack planes in Russia from Operation Barbarossa to 1944 and ended his war flying Bf-109 in Defence of The Reich.

Hi Jambo !!

Very nice topic you did there !!!

What I am reading at this moment, well this is a Geostrategy review, edited by French journal 'LA MONDE'. It is in French, but a lot of informations, more than if you look at the news on TV during a year ;o) This is a special edition, made one time in the year and about many subjects such as Army, Conflicts, Hot points, Economy, Drugs... It is called "Le Monde Bilan Geostratégique 2011"

The last books I read : 'War and Peace' from Tolstoi in Russia during the early XIXth century and Napoleon's campaign
'If it's a Man' from Primo Levi, about the year he past in the extermination camp of Auschwitz
'The Hope' from André Malraux, about Spain's war in 1936/7 (I really encourage you to read it if you want some inspiration before doing some missions or campaign in IL2;o)
'La promesse de l'aube' ('The promise of dawn') from Romain Gary, Goncourt Price (Romain Gary is the only writter who had 2 times this prestigious price you could normally obtain only one time in your life). It deals with Romain Gary's childhood, about his mother, his fight to gain French nationality, and his experience of war into the RAF during WWII. He was with the firsts who joined De Gaulle in June 1940. It is an awesome book, very well written. Romain Gary who was Bombing Officer, obtained DFC for having helped ( in spite of his own wounds) his pilot (the pilot had been hit in the head, and couldn't see anymore because of schrapnells into his eyes) to return back home and to land safetely. The plane was an A20 Boston. As everybody knows, in A20 Boston, pilot, bomber and gunner were separated in 3 differents armoured compartments so they only couldn't communicate with radio. That's why it was so difficult for the crew to bail out when a plane was damaged, because every member of the crew couldn't see the others, so if radio was hit...
'A day with Ivan Denissovitch' from Soljenitsine, about communist workers camps in Siberia during early 50's
'The East War' from August Von Kagenec, about the campaign what did his father against the russians during WWII
'The Capitain's daugther' from Pouchkine, about Russian aristocraty during the XVIIIth Century
'Tarass Bulba' from Gogol, about an Ukrainien Kossac in the war against Poland
'The Big Circus' from Pierre Clostermann, war memories of a French pilot in the RAF
'Par le sang versé' from Paul Bonnecarrère, The French Foreign Legion into Indochina
'Les Rois Maudits' (The Cursed Kings?) from Druon about french kings into the Middle Age, after Philippe 4
'Waffentechnik im zweiten Weltkrieg' about WWII weapons, tanks, airplanes, guns, boats... in German

What more ? I can't remember all the books I read this year... lol
A yes, I remember, I read many things about IL2, IL2 Mods, COD, VSF... ;o)



"Centomila gavette di ghiaccio"

(There are French, Spanish and Portugoise editions, but I couldn't find out if there is an English one. The title translates "A hundred thousand tins of ice")

This autobiographical book from Giulio Bedeschi tells the author's experience as an Italian soldier in WW2, first in the Albanian-Greek campaign, then as a member of the Alpine Infantry Division "Julia" in the dramatic Russian campaign.

Following the Axis defeat at Stalingrad and the consequent Soviet counterattack, Italian Alpine corps were "sacrified" and left on their own to face Russian troops, in order to cover the retreat.

Abandoned, outnumbered, lacking ammo, food and supplies, in the frost of Russian winter, the "Alpini" didn't actually retreat, but rather did what has been defined a "backwards advance". They fought their way back to friendly territory, marching day and night n the snow for hundreds of miles, struggling to break through constant surrounding attempts by the Soviet army.
When they finally rejoined Italian lines, they had lost more than 2/3 of their men.

Hi Guys,

that is really great! Very nice to see that people still enjoy a good book or even two! Big Grin
And I have to say, a "few" books I didn't read and even never heard of... :wink:

I just started to read Winston Churchill's "The Second World War - Volume 1 - The Gathering Storm".
I admire this man a lot!

Another book to need my full concentration... :oops: :lol:

Ted, you're reading in German? Very good to know! :Smile)
I wish I could at least understand a sentence in French! Cry

Wish you all a happy reading! Smile

Jambo :wink:

I like this one quite a lot. Is it translated into English? I read the original (French) "La Guerre à l'Est"...
I think it recreates the atmosphere of the eastern front, and is also very interesting showing how the "mood" of german soldiers changed with time...Based on diaries and official documents. It's tracking one of the best german infantry regiments.

LeBigTed Wrote:Hi Jambo !!

Very nice topic you did there !!!

'The East War' from August Von Kagenec, about the campaign what did his father against the russians during WWII


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