Saturday, November 15, 2014

Inch'on 1950

By:  Gordon Rottman
Rated 3 Stars

This book is  very dry and it was difficult for me to keep my attention focused on what I was reading.   .  However it did answer one question that I have always wondered about.  How in the heck did my late husband even end up fighting in this war anyway?  He never talked about it much except that he was recalled and not happy about it but that there was nothing he could do about it.  He only served one year that time.  Oh he did say on the night before the landing (he was one of a three man crew on the landing crafts) and been given a form and a pen and told to make their wills.  He said that made them all feel great.  Not!

Anyway this book went into detail about how surprised the US was about the whole Korean thing and that after WW2 was over the Gov't  had dismantled all the services to the point where they were completely unprepared to fight in any type of conflict.  However, when  people were being discharged after WW2 the Gov't had, in a rare case of foresight, required each member of the armed services to sign a paper saying they agreed to being released to the "Inactive Reserves" which could be called up should the country ever need them.  And in this case they immediately started calling up thousands of WW2 veterans, especially those who had previous combat experience so they could pitched straight into combat without training.  And that's the story of how my husband ended up in the Korean War. Now I know.

Book Description

 October 23, 2012
Osprey's study of Inch'on, which was probably the most significant campaign in the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as the last major amphibious assault of division-size conducted in the history of warfare. The odds were stacked against the US troops, with virtually no time for training and many of the divisions unprepared for the conflict. The success of the Inch'on campaign is a testament to the sheer initiative of the officers and NCOs conducted it. This book details the strategy and tactics that led to the operation's success, as well as narrating the experience of the battle in fascinating detail.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Not Mine

(Escape to New Zealand Book 6)
By:  Rosalind James

Rated 4 1/2 Stars

This is one of my favorite books in the Escape to New Zealand but honestly, all of them are good reads.  But some of these books connect with me more than others and I connected especially well with Hugh and Josie.

Book Description
 June 5, 2014
Destiny can sneak up on you. Or it can smack you in the face.

Hugh Latimer’s coping with a few problems just now. A broken hand, missing the European rugby tour . . . and a half-brother and sister who are playing havoc with his love life. Instead of packing down in the scrum, he’s driving the carpool to ballet—or forgetting it’s his turn. When he hears his neighbor wailing out bad pop in the wee hours, it’s the last straw.

Josie Pae Ata is a fortunate woman. A new house, good friends, a gorgeous boyfriend—oh, and stardom, too. Getting involved with her new neighbors would bring risks she doesn’t need. But life has a way of changing the rules. And when you get more than you can handle, sometimes all you can do is hang on for the ride. 

The Mist's of Avalon

By: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Rated: 5+ Stars
Audio Book

I first read this book about 15 years ago but this is the first time I have listened to it.  Listening to an audio book is a completely different thing for me  than actually reading it is so I could say the story new for several reasons.  The first reason is that I am forced to go at the narrator's pace.  If it's a book I really like as in this case I get a lot more detail that my eyes have a tendency to skip over in its hurry to find out what happens next.  The second reason is that during the intervening 15 years I have read a lot of other books and I have forgotten a to of it.  It was time for me to revisit this one.

Book Description

 July 15, 2001
In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur's kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds' and old and new religions' claims its most famous victim.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It | [Robert Gandt] PLAY AUDIO SAMPLE The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It

By:  Robert Gant
Rated 5 Stars

A while back I purchased this book with one of my audible credits. It's about a squadron of airman who were commissioned in the Naval air force right at the end of WWII in the pacific. Why such a pacifist person like me likes war books is a mystery for the ages. But this particular book caught my eye because the blurb said it was about the invasion of Okinawa and was the largest naval battle of WW2. My husband participated in that battle as a very young 17 year old sailor. He joined on this 17th birthday scared to death he was going to miss the war completely. This attached photo of him was taken around that time. I did not have this picture of him but in a serendipitous moment Ree posted it on his tribute to her Dad. It was so perfect for this post
I swiped it from her.
After listening to this book, I am sorry I didn't ask him more about it. I don't remember him saying much other than he said he was one of the picket ships designed to make smoke that obscured the bigger ships from the kamikazes and to provide extra anti aircraft fire, that he heard more fighting than he saw since he was in the engine room when his ship was engaged in fighting. He also said that at the time he was not smart enough to be scared but I think he must have lied about that because in this book the pickett ships suffered way more casualties because they were the first things the suicide pilots saw and he would have to have been really clueless not to be. But at 17? Well he might have been. <shrug>.
I realize this is ancient history to people now. Heck it was 69 years ago. But having a personal connection sure made the book more interesting to me and I wish now I had asked him more about what it was like for a cocky 17 year kid who didn't have enough sense to be afraid. The sailor I knew and loved was the man who held responsible positions and swaned off to Viet Nam for 6 months at a time where I never considered him to be in the least bit of danger even though he probably was in some. All navel ships can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
Any way this year on November 11th I am going to remember the young boy who became the man I loved and married. Adding together all his service he was downright awesome

Publisher's Summary:

"April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Nazis are collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are vastly overpowering the Japanese in the Pacific. For a group of pilots in their early 20s who were trained during the twilight of the war, the biggest concern is that they'll never actually see real action and will go home without having a chance to face the enemy. They call themselves Tail-End Charlies. They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are prepared for battle at the tail end of the war. Little do they know that they will be key players in the most difficult and bloodiest of naval battles---not only of World War II but in all of American history: the campaign to take the Japanese island of Okinawa to serve as a basis for an eventual invasion of Japan. Derived from interviews with and newly discovered memoirs, journals, and correspondence of Okinawa veterans from both the American and Japanese sides, The Twilight Warriors provides a thrilling you-are-there narrative. Like the HBO series The Pacific, this book combines thrilling action with human stories of courage and sacrifice and triumph. It's Band of Brothers at sea and in the sky."