View Full Version : OT: Currently reading...

06-11-2007, 08:32 PM
A good read, where destroyers and escort carriers take on the Yamato and other Japanese cruisers...

What is everybody else reading?

06-11-2007, 09:35 PM
Ehem... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

What r u reading now or just finished? (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/6901073655)

06-12-2007, 05:35 AM
Yeah, but I was hoping everybody would follow suit and actually add the bookcover as a gif or jpg image.

WS -- If you haven't read this one, I highly recommend it! It would tie into you knowledge of the Pacific War well.

06-12-2007, 07:00 AM
I bought these two one week ago. You can't win war with one u-boat, you need some tanks.

Silent Otto - I didn't see you long time here I thought you are on the bottom of the Atlantic already, but it seems you have changed theather of war.http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/06.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/06-1.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/06-2.jpg

06-12-2007, 07:57 AM
Walden two - The vision of a better human society by B.F Skinner http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

For more on Skinner look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BF_Skinner)

Book description from amazon :

With environmental and social problems becoming serious issues in todays society, the search for solutions is evident. B.F. Skinner's book presents a fictional outline of a modern utopia in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.

This book serves as a possible example of how our knowledge of human behavior can be used to create a productive social environment while preserving the chances of future generations to do the same.


06-13-2007, 05:17 AM
I'm still on my current preferred WW2 subject of Bomber Command, currently half-way through 'Bomber Boys' by Patrick Bishop (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bomber-Boys-Fighting-Back-1940-1945/dp/0007189869/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b/203-5164607-8462330):


So far, it's a very informative, well-written book which tells the story of Bomber Command ('the many') from numerous perspectives: the crews (plenty of anecdotes), their families/lovers, the evolution of the RAF heavy bomber, the victims of the Blitz in Britain, Allied bombing strategy and the resulting victims of 'de-housing' in Germany's towns and cities.

After I've finished 'Bomber Boys', I'm thinking of reading a book on the Merchant Navy in WW2 - any recommendations would be appreciated!

06-13-2007, 07:36 AM
Clear the Bridge by Richard O'Kane


06-16-2007, 12:10 AM
Deja Dead-kathy Reichs.

Yeah, it's not very Silent Hunter, but I love a good crime novel.

06-21-2007, 03:48 AM
Finishing Guy Sajer's The forgotten soldier.

Awesome book. Simply awsome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

06-21-2007, 04:07 AM
Originally posted by Messervy:
Finishing Guy Sajer's The forgotten soldier.

Awesome book. Simply awsome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

A friend of mine has read that book too, and he thought it was excellent.

I read about some controversy over the historical accuracy of the book - some people think the facts described in the story aren't accurate.

Does the book seem like a true account, or a fictionalisation based on real experiences, like Das Boot?

EDIT - there are some links on the Wiki page about the controversy:


06-21-2007, 04:16 AM
I think it would be a real pitty if it ever turns out to be a writers fiction.

To me, he sounds honest and sencere, but if nitpickers are ever to be found correct they'll only manage to kill writers credibilty, not the quality of the book itself.

06-21-2007, 07:53 AM
I've also read Sajer's FORGOTTON SOLDIER and I also know about the controversy surrounding its accuracy.

If anything, it got me more interested in the Eastern Front, of which there is now a wealth of NEW information coming from the former soviet archives.

I just finished THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS and I have to say it is one of the best descriptions of surface naval combat (and some air combat) in the Pacific War that I have read. Everyone here should give it a try. It really picks up in the middle third of the book, where the three destroyers take on Kurita's battleship force (including the YAMATO). Such Heroism at every level of rank.

06-21-2007, 01:40 PM

I read it a few years ago, but my daughter bought me a copy at the Imperial War Museum in London when she was over there on her Vimy tour in April. Didn't want to hurt her feelings telling her I already had a copy, so I kept hers and gave my old copy to my eldest brother. It's one of those books that becomes a classic and should be in the library of any serious Russian front enthusiast.

Read "The Forgotten Soldier" several times. Like Otto, I have heard of the controversy, but ignore it and just enjoy the book. If parts of it are made up, he sure knew his stuff. One part always stands out for me, for some strange reason. That is the part about where he is at Memel, during the retreat and Army Group North is cut off in the Courland. I distinctly remember where all the soldiers are issued one pound of rations, and he gets issued a one pound stick of margarine. That's it, no bread, no coffee or meat, just a stick of margarine. Strange how I can remember that part after so many years.

06-21-2007, 02:09 PM
Im thinking about reading this book next


Here is a website about him www.arlingtoncemetery.net (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/larry-thorne.htm)

From the east-front to vietnam.....hmmmmm

This man had a remarkable habit of looking for his own little hell http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Well, some people chase Tornados.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

06-21-2007, 03:43 PM
Yeah, but I was hoping everybody would follow suit and actually add the bookcover as a gif or jpg image

Great thread idea Silent O http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I have just finished, for the second time (it's quite heavy going!) this. You can't help but get the impression he genuinely cared for his U-Boat fleet and it's crews. It's very detailed and in depth, covering the build up to WW2 and the poor state of the German Navy prior to war breaking out, the Laconia incident, the Drumbeat Operations and the yearning for the advanced XXI class that would probably had turned the war had it been ready earlier.

He wrote it after the war but much of it was based on his war diaries which he was allowed to have to hand. The title 'Ten Years and Twenty days' relates to the Ten Years he was Admiral, and the Twenty Days he was effectively leader of the Nazi party - Hitler surprisingly having chosen Doenitz as his successor. Particularly poignant is his determination just before the German surrender to make sure as many german troops surrendered to American or British forces, not Russians as he firmly believed they'd recieve better care from them whilst imprisoned.

And just started Sven Hessel's 'Monte Cassino', having read a couple of his others I can recommend his books. Gritty, no holds barred and his character's, allegedly drawn upon from his real life experiences of the war are excellent in my opinion. Apologies but finding a decent cover photograph on the web I couldn't find. His other titles include 'Legion of the Damned' and 'Comrades of War'. Anybody else read Hessel?

06-22-2007, 07:54 AM
after reading this i have to think twice everytime i encounyer a jap transport or liner now ...a very good book

06-23-2007, 04:07 AM
Just finished this.....


Superb book, loads of detail, very interesting insights into the personalities of the Aircrew and Commanders. The ingenuity shown by the Engineers in adapting a 30 year old aircraft, slated for retirement, for carrying out a mission 4000 miles from base (and 8000 miles from home!) and getting her back again made a really rivetting read.

06-23-2007, 06:36 AM
Recommended by THE Jeremy Clarkson ?

The "Top Gear" one ?

06-23-2007, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by Celeon999:
Recommended by THE Jeremy Clarkson ?

The "Top Gear" one ?

One and the same - he appears to have this thing about jets as well as cars, also his father in law was a VC holder (JC presented a program on UK Television telling the story of his VC and the history of the Award0, so tales of Military derring-do would appeal, I suppose.

06-23-2007, 08:33 AM
Speaking of which, anyone read Jeremy Clarksons 'I Know You Got Soul'? Good read, some great facts in it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Here on Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Know-You-Got-Soul/dp/0141022922/ref=sr_1_1/203-8255534-1671151?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182608360&sr=8-1)

06-26-2007, 12:46 PM
Finished with Guy Sajer - Simply brilliant! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Now I'm looking at the story from the other side:


06-27-2007, 11:21 AM
I am gonna add more controversy to this already controversial thread. Yesterday, for the first time in my life i saw real SS-man. Do you know who Gunter Grass is ? Now he is the well known writer, but when he was 16 years old in 1944 he voluntered for.... u-boat service but as you know there were not enough u-boots in 1944 he ended up in SS Panzer Division. When I got the news that he will be in the local bookstore I took my copy of his latest book and decided to ask him for autograph.http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/ss006.jpg
Unfortunetely my english doesn't allow me to recommend his books properly so I give you some usefull links. Biography of him from WikipediaGunter Grass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunter_Grass)

This is link to the large fragment of his latest book "Peeling the Onion" where he revealed his membership in SS. Keep in mind that it is written by the most intelligent SS-man ever lived http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif how i spent the war (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/06/04/070604fa_fact_grass?currentPage=1)

It was already posted here but I would like to say it again that couple of years ago he wrote book "Crabwalk" which is closely related to u-boats. This is book about German passenger Ship "Wilhelm Gustlof" sank by the russian submarine.http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/wilhelmg5.jpg

This is link to the Wilhelm Gustlof's storyWilhelm Gustloff (http://www.feldgrau.com/articles.php?ID=64)


After this book you will think twice before you attack passenger ship in SH3 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And last word about G.Grass, I dont't take this all story about SS too seriously. He was young, the war was almost finished, all SS soldiers were already killed on the Eastern front. The problem is that Grass didn't have computer and all these fantastic games we have today so he had no choice, he voluntered for real u-boat service http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif For me G.Grass is one of the best writers in the world. I am looking foreward for his next book.

06-28-2007, 12:19 AM
Zehr Interessant Janek! I wonder if Grass really was 'the most intellegent SS man who ever lived'? Certainly he is acceptable to postwar Germany and very great novelist, particularly for 'The Tin Drum' (also a fine movie). But we must never underestimate the nazis. Their political system was revolting, based on bullying, violence and racism - three bad & stupid things. Yet, just as (statistically) many nazis must have been homosexuals (for example), so many of them must also have been highly intellegent despite going along with a bunch of thugs. Being intellegent is no guarantee of seeing through a crazy political setup. Nobody could deny, for example, that Osama Bin Laden is a very clever man, but most people reading this will also agree that he's thoroughly evil and deluded.

Gunther Grass is also very clever, one reason I wasn't surprised when he admitted that he had been in the SS - in a very junior capacity, right at the end of the War. He is very clever in a novelist's way, good at expressing the human condition. It should be noted that, even though he was little more than a child, the SS were able to detect young Grass's intellegence and allow him to join their elite! Supposing he had been a little older & joined them much earlier? What direction might his intellegence have taken then?

It is clear from 'The Tin Drum' that coming from Danzig/Gdansk gave GG a certain insight into the weaknesses both of the Germans and of the Poles. These are brilliantly expressed in his writings, but the question is: If nazi Germany had won the Second World War, would Gunther Grass still have been a novelist?

It will be interesting to read 'Peeling the Onion' and find out what he says about his involvement with the nazis. Also interesting that he wanted to join the U-boat service; quite a lot about submarines in his short novel 'Cat and Mouse'.

06-28-2007, 02:41 AM
People make a too big fuzz out of his membership.

It is often incorrectly stated that he was in the SS while he actually was in the Waffen SS like hundreds of boys of this age.

He also did not "join" he was conscribed after being a "Flakhelfer" before.

So he may have followed his conscription freely but on the other hand he didnt had the option to say no anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

He was trained to be a Tank gunner and got transfered to the 10. SS Panzer Division "Jög von Frundsberg" where he was wounded on 20. April 1945 and got into american captivity.


06-28-2007, 03:37 AM
I think it is wrong to judge someone by their decisions they make at the tender age of 16 especially when your homeland is being attacked, remember that during his earlier youth he may well have been "brain washed" by the Nazi propaganda. So his decision to join an SS unit at 16 seems understandable. It is a pity that people who blame such actions are unable to put themselves in the same situation.

Anyway, my current book is about the Intelligence Support Activity, a secret intelligence gathering unit within the US forces. The book titled Killer Elite by Micheal Smith gives an inside story of the USA's most secret special operations team. It covers many flashpoints in recent history and it's origins begin with the bungled attempt by the USA to rescue those US hostages held captive in Iran.

A very interesting read.

07-04-2007, 12:11 AM
Trust Celeon to get hold of Gunther Grass's POW records - he's probably taken his typewriter too.

I found this the other day:


1974 cheap paperback of a book originally published in '55.

D.A. Rayner was in the RNVR and began the War in armed trawlers. He progressed to corvettes, captaining HMS Verbena from the moment she was launched (before that even, he was already at the dockyard while they were completing her). It seems that he will graduate to destroyers, but I'm only half way through the book (early 1942), so haven't got there yet.

After Prien had sneaked into Scapa Flow & sunkRoyal Oak , lots of DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships) were sent to the Orkneys by way of 'shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted'. At one point Rayner managed to get his armed trawler through the same route, though - as he points out - on the surface and in daylight. This annoyed the authorities, who then made sure it was blocked up properly. He writes in a slightly cocky style, including a lot of 'larks', often directed at pen-pushing superiors. I suppose this is justified in view of what they went through and achieved; there must have been a need for light relief; but it can seem irritating, even after 60 years.

He seems to have an enormous contempt for the Germans, notwithstanding Prien's achievements. They are routinely referred to as 'the Hun' and NEVER (up to the point of reached in the book) admired or praised as any kind of a noble opponent. This must reflect the fact that Rayner was old enough to remember the First World War, and that he was writing so soon after the Second.

Taking those factors into account, it's still a very good read and I'll try to get hold of his other book, The Enemy Below. Maybe someone else has read his works?

07-04-2007, 01:15 AM

07-04-2007, 04:06 AM
OK, OK, so we have two similar threads going at the same time. D'oh.

Denys Rayner (1908 - 1967) has a good entry in Wickipedia, though he hasn't made it into the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He was the first RNVR officer to achieve command of a destroyer. After the War he was quite successful as a small boat designer. The Enemy Below is a novel, better known as the movie.