Tag: Military History

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Week’s Book Review: Heavy Date over Germany

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Rahe’s ‘Sparta’s First Attic War’ Provides a Clear Account of a Neglected Period of History

 

Today, few are aware of the 70-year struggle between Athens and Sparta, known collectively as the Peloponnesian Wars. Neglected in today’s history classes, most people who know of it largely recall the last phase of the war, where Sparta conquered Athens.

Sparta’s First Attic War: The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta, 478-446 B.C., by Paul A. Rahe, examines the period leading up to that phase of the Peloponnesian Wars. It examines the period when Sparta and Athens moved from allies to rivals, and finally to enemies.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Lady Death’ the Story of a Successful Sniper

 

Lyudmila Pavlichenko was the Soviet Army’s most successful female sniper during World War II. A fourth-year history student when Hitler invaded Russia, she quit school to enlist as a sniper. In 1941 and 1942 she racked up 309 kills.

“Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin’s Sniper,” by Lyudmila Pavlichenko, is an English translation of her memoirs. She died in 1974, leaving a manuscript copy of her memoirs, which remained unpublished until this century.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Now it’s Time to do an Update on YouTube History and Firearms Channels

 

Awhile ago, I did a post about the YouTube history channels I’d been watching as a respite from the simplistic sensationalist garbage on the TeeVees. Here’s an update, with some new finds.

Even though the Great War ended one hundred years prior to November 11, 2018, The Great War channel is still soldiering on. Dedicated to events, week by week, that happened a century ago during the war, the channel is still a great resource if you are interested in that conflict. Now that the war is “over,” the channel does updates on the aftermath. Boy, there is still a lot of fighting going on.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Review: “Smoke ’em” Shows Military’s Role in Masculine Rite

 

Anyone serving in the U.S. military before 1980 remembers the cry opening every break: “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.” Almost everyone, from the lowest private to the most senior officer present, would light up a cigarette.

Smoke ‘em if You Got ‘em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration by Joel R. Bius examines the link between the military and cigarette smoking. He shows how cigarette consumption and the military were connected.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Siege of Fort Loudoun, 1765

 

Friday marked the 253rd Anniversary of the Siege of Fort Loudoun, November 16–18, 1765.

This happened at Fort Loudoun, Pennsylvania. A company of frontier militia, known locally as “The Black Boys” for the distinctive way they blackened their faces with soot and grease, laid siege to the local fort, then manned by a detachment of British regulars. These troops, experienced soldiers of the 42nd Royal Scots Regiment of Foot, also known as “the Black Watch,” were pinned down for two full days by the continuous harassment and interdiction fire from the militiamen’s rifles. Despite holding what ought to have been a superior position given the prevailing infantry tactics of the time, the British commander surrendered the fort and retreated back to Fort Pitt. There were no deaths, but neither were the British ever able to employ maneuver to bring their smoothbore muskets or bayonets against the militia.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. S.O.B.

 

Order and Laughter

101 years ago today, my father, Eaton Jackson Bowers, III, known to all as “Jack,” was born. A walking bundle of contradictions, he crackled and sparked with energy like a severed high voltage wire, and had only two speeds: high and asleep. Always impatient but ever dutiful, he loved to travel, but hated change. He dressed impeccably, practiced straight-laced Victorian manners, and kept all his things orderly and polished to perfection. Outwardly he was the grand Southern Gentleman, charming, hospitable and openhanded.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Turncoat’ Offers a Fresh Look at Benedict Arnold

 

Benedict Arnold has become synonymous with treason. Yet few today know his story. Turncoat: Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty, by Stephen Brumwell is a fresh look at the man and his times.

Arnold was a brilliant general, probably only second to George Washington in talent. Next to Washington, he may be most responsible for the survival of the patriot cause. His dogged defense on Lake Champlain in 1776, and his spirited attacks in the Saratoga campaign in 1777, defeated Britain’s northern offensive and led France to enter the revolution on the American side. Absent Arnold, Britain would likely have won by 1778. Three years later, he tried to give Britain the war by betraying West Point to them.

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I’m interested in learning more about the causes & history of what started World War I, as well as about the war, itself; what the hell caused the horrid thing, which had such lasting influence on the rest of the century? Has anyone any recommendations for books on the subject, especially ones geared toward the […]

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Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America

 

They called him “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The book Unlikely General: Mad Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America by Mary Stockwell tells his story. A flawed, often-despised man, Wayne rose above his weaknesses to save the United States.

Stockwell frames Wayne’s biography around Wayne’s greatest achievement: his 1794 victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It permitted the United States to grow into a nation, which spanned the North American continent. Fought at rapids on the Maumee River, Wayne’s Legion of the United States defeated a coalition of Indian tribes battling to keep settlers out of today’s state of Ohio.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “12 Strong” or 1, Maybe 2 Strong and Some Other Guys

 

I donned my political stiff upper lip, put away my Hollywood grievances, and went and watched 12 Strong. I gotta say I enjoyed it and will share some positive and negative observations from my own optics. To orient you: the movie is the true story of the first Special Forces A-team moving into Afghanistan post-9/11. Their mission was to link up with a fractured Northern Alliance, make contact, establish rapport, and with the help of US air assets (read bombers), take the city of Mazar e Sharif, considered the heart of the Taliban in Afghanistan, all while riding horses. Appreciatively a few of our own Ricochetti have done reviews (Jimgonewild, TomCo9titustechera) and what follows is my own. (Note: Also know that I have not read the book so what exactly is the reality as to team dynamics and mission execution will be what I saw in the movie.)

For perspective I served in Special Forces for 22 years, serving as an NCO for 8 years, then became a warrant officer until retiring in 2004. I served as a weapons sergeant, an intelligence sergeant, assistant detachment commander, detachment commander, instructor (shout out to @bossmongo), and finishing my career as a staff weenie (I have become what I beheld) in the Pacific as part of the Special Operations Command Pacific. As you can imagine I have some opinions about Special Forces (SF) teams and missions.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Week’s Book Review – The Second World Wars

 

Books written about World War II fill libraries. Can anything new be said about that war, especially in an overview book? The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won by Victor Davis Hanson proves there is. A one-volume look at World War II, it offers surprising conclusions.

The surprises lie in Hanson’s presenting conclusions, which seem obvious once stated, but overlooked until Hanson highlights them. One example: Germany and Japan started wars they could not finish.

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Victor Davis Hanson gives listeners a guided tour of his new book, “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.” More

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About a week ago Matthew Continetti had a great column at the Washington Free Beacon, entitled The Bodyguards of Kim Jong-Un. He starts with the historical parallel of today to what happened in the war we fought about 50 years ago: “Why did we lose this war?” asked James Burnham of Vietnam in 1972. One […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Dunkirk: Film vs. Fact

 

Victor Davis Hanson places the new film Dunkirk in its full historical context, explaining the events that preceded it, the scope of the challenges facing the British military, and the reason why German forces didn’t strike a killing blow despite Allied vulnerability.

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Victor Davis Hanson looks at the the threat North Korea poses to the US and our Asian allies, explains how 30 years of bipartisan failures led us to this point, and describes the horrors that would accompany a war on the Korean Peninsula. More

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I love reading The Daily Shot email every weekday. From the beginning quotation to the final recommendation, it has just the right amount of snark mixed with current information. If you haven’t subscribed yet, well, you should. (And don’t say you get too much junk in your inbox already–get SaneBoxTM, for Pete’s sake.) Anyway, the […]

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