Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War by Stanley Weintraub

Weintraub intricately weaves the avalanche of devastating news of Allied setbacks throughout the world, especially in Asia due to Japanese attacks, with the actions of Roosevelt and Churchill. They not only shared intimate moments in attending Christmas services and eating Christmas dinner together, but also in conducting official business, including one that led to the declaration initiating the United Nations.

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Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H. Sheridan by Joseph Wheelan

General Philip Sheridan is best known as the third member of the triumvirate of Union generals (the others being Grant and Sherman) that led the Union Army to victory over the Confederate Army.  Joseph Wheelan brings Sheridan back-to-life in his book entitled Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H. Sheridan. Sheridan started the war in obscurity as a lieutenant, but quickly rose in the ranks partly through his own actions and partly because of good fortune.  Wheelan adroitly...

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The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die by Michael Stephenson

The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die in Battle by Michael Stephenson is a bit of a morbid topic, but it is insightful about the nature of combat and the differences between cultures regarding combat.  Stephenson tells the story of how soldiers throughout time have died in battle. As the publisher notes in its description of the book, the book is organized chronologically with frequent comparisons between different ages.  It covers the Greek phalanx and the Roman legion, medieval warfare in...

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Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions: Farnsworth's Charge, South Cavalry Field, and the Battle of Fairfield, July 3, 1863 by Eric J. Wittenberg

I recently read another book from one of my favorite Civil War authors, Eric Wittenberg.  His latest book, Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions, is a revised edition that he originally wrote in 1998.   He updated the book because of new research, interpretations, and conclusions of the cavalry actions. Wittenberg is my favorite writer not only because he writes about some of the less studied and written areas of the Civil War, but he does it with excellent prose. Here is a synopsis...

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Last Man Standing: The 1st Marine Regiment on Peleliu by Dick Camp

When World War II enthusiasts hear the word Peleliu, they think of the pointless battle in the Pacific that was a meat grinder for the 1st Marine Division.  Dick Camp details the battle for Peleliu from the perspective of the 1st Division’s 1st Marine Regiment – the Marines known as “The Old Breed” – in Last Man Standing: The 1st Marine Regiment on Peleliu, September 15-21, 1944. Here is a description of the book from the publisher (Zenith Press): One of the...

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Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II by Joseph A. Springer

I have been on a World War II history kick lately.  This kick continues with my most recent read – Joseph A. Springer’s Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II.  It is an oral history that follows the USS Franklin(a fleet aircraft carrier) from the laying of its keel in Newport News, Virginia to its battles during World War II. I normally do not like oral histories because many times they are choppy – the first-hand accounts are not...

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