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The Book Thread

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Reading "In the First Circle" by Solzhenitsyn. Just wow.

Also got a new (non-Yefim-Gordon) Su-15 book, unfortunately only in Russian but with some cool drawings, pictures and other information I haven't seen before.

Edit: offensive cover art deleted.

Edited by punder

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Whew! I fully intended to begin a 2015 book thread but I haven't. I've read many more, but these are the ones that stand out to me from 2015 so far:

Lyndon Johnson's War

Lyndon Johnson: A Brief History with Documents

America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam

LeMay

The Limits of Air Power

Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion

Into the Quagmire

A-6 Units of the Vietnam War

F-111 Units in Combat

F-105 Units of the Vietnam War

A-3 Units of the Vietnam war

B-57 Units of the Vietnam War

A New History of Asian America

Edited by Exhausted

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I just finished reading a couple of Vietnam POW/MIA books - "Left Alive to Die" and "Why Didn't You Get Me Out". I'm about to start another titled "Abandoned In Place".

To think that we knowingly left 100s of live POWs in Vietnam after 1973 is utterly disgraceful and really tears me up...

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To think that we knowingly left 100s of live POWs in Vietnam after 1973 is utterly disgraceful and really tears me up...

So far there have been nothing but unsubstantiated rumors about this subject. It's a given that there were some pilots that were known to have ejected safely but were never returned after the truce but to say that there were "hundreds" left behind...

If you have links to anything that conclusively backs this up, please post them.

It's definitely a disturbing thought though.

On another note, not sure what to make of that cover of the Su-15 book. Maybe not the most tasteful choice (IMO).

Edited by 11bee

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11Bee, please note that until the PVO shot down KAL007 the only things that Sukhois had shot down to that point were balloons... it seems that KAL007 WAS the peak of the Su-15's career. Alrighty you're right it's in poor taste, but the pilot offers no regrets or apologies.

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Recently read "A Higher Call." WELL worth the read. From myself it went to my dad, and then to my MOM who also devoured it--not her usual read at all, that's how amazing a story it is.

It's the account of the Me-109 that found a B-17 on its last legs, and just couldn't bring himself to shoot it down. So he did the unthinkable--ESCORTED it to safety, right across the German AA lines and over the channel. The two pilots reunited in the late 80's and were inseparable friends to the ends of their lives.

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On another note, not sure what to make of that cover of the Su-15 book. Maybe not the most tasteful choice (IMO).

That "Flagon" offends me... Take it down!

We should pass a law banning it in South Korea and the Soviet Union.

but the pilot offers no regrets or apologies.

Psychopaths are like that.

Edited by Horrido

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Psychopaths are like that.

It seems to be kind of a point of pride there. Don't expect anyone to wake up and say "hey did I murder all those people?"

Back to book stuff. I am thinking of buying Touched by Fire I read Fire in the sky about air combat in the pacific by the same author. Absolutely wonderful book, I would recommend to any airplane fan. I learned a ton, and beyond the cliches we have heard a million times.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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I'm half-way through: The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies by Alan Taylor. Fascinating book about a conflict I knew very little about. It's amazing how divided the US was during this conflict and how dysfunctional our political and military systems were. Especially ugly was the US's aborted invasion of Canada.

Fun fact - a few decades after we fought a war with Britain about taxes and political / religious freedom, a good percentage of the settlers in Canada were American citizens fleeing the US due to high taxes and political / religious persecution. They found the British to be very benevolent and they were welcomed with open arms (and generous land grants).

At the point of the book I am at (still focused on the fighting in Canada), the Brits seem to come off as the good guys, fighting a war they didn't want, usually heavily outnumbered but using the local Native American tribes as a huge force multiplier.

Edited by 11bee

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Not familiar with Taylor's book but it sounds interesting. Donald Graves is a recognized authority on the War of 1812 and his books are fantastic! Highly recommended. His books on the Battle of Chryslers Farm and the Battle of Lundy's Lane are must reads for anyone interested in two major battles of the War of 1812. The War of 1812 has always interested me. I have spent many hours wandering both Chryslers Farm and Lundy's lane battlefields, as well as the Chippewa battlefield, Beaver Dams, Forts George and Niagara, Oliver Hazard Perry's stomping grounds along Lake Erie (and the replica U.S. Brig Niagara in Erie PA...a must see for naval fans) and many more. Incidentally, a Canadian heroin Laura Second (married to a Canadian who was wounded at Queenston Heights) was actually an American (father was from Massachusetts and fought for the Americans in the Revolutionary War) who was instrumental in warning the British General Fitzgibbon of the U.S. Army's plans for attack up the Niagara Peninsula. Her intelligence lead to the U.S defeat at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Sadly, she is known more for chocolates here in the U.S. then her impromptu role as a British/Canadian spy and intelligence asset. Truly a fascinating war to study that is most often forgotten, despite having mild links to later U.S wars including the Civil War.

Regards.

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Not familiar with Taylor's book but it sounds interesting. Donald Graves is a recognized authority on the War of 1812 and his books are fantastic! Highly recommended. His books on the Battle of Chryslers Farm and the Battle of Lundy's Lane are must reads for anyone interested in two major battles of the War of 1812. The War of 1812 has always interested me. I have spent many hours wandering both Chryslers Farm and Lundy's lane battlefields, as well as the Chippewa battlefield, Beaver Dams, Forts George and Niagara, Oliver Hazard Perry's stomping grounds along Lake Erie (and the replica U.S. Brig Niagara in Erie PA...a must see for naval fans) and many more. Incidentally, a Canadian heroin Laura Second (married to a Canadian who was wounded at Queenston Heights) was actually an American (father was from Massachusetts and fought for the Americans in the Revolutionary War) who was instrumental in warning the British General Fitzgibbon of the U.S. Army's plans for attack up the Niagara Peninsula. Her intelligence lead to the U.S defeat at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Sadly, she is known more for chocolates here in the U.S. then her impromptu role as a British/Canadian spy and intelligence asset. Truly a fascinating war to study that is most often forgotten, despite having mild links to later U.S wars including the Civil War.

Regards.

Thanks for the tip, once I am done with my book, I'll check out Graves. I'm amazed at the complexity of this conflict, truly a fascinating subject.

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...I'm amazed at the complexity of this conflict, truly a fascinating subject.

Couldn't agree more! There is so much to this mostly forgotten war. When you consider the U.S. National anthem, the "White House", and many other now famous American symbols (and songs) came out of the War of 1812 it amazes me that most folks know very little to nothing about it. I have often thought that the War of 1812 could be called the "Second War of Independence" or even the "Second Civil War"... but I suppose that's a topic for another thread :D/> .

Johnny Horton "Battle of New Orleans":

Regards.

Edited by Don

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Alan Taylor is probably the leading authority on Native American relations in the early republic. Good books to read include: Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas, The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864 by Gordon Rhea. I also recommend any of Rick Atkinson's books about the war in Western Europe in World War II. I am interested in World War I, anyone with any good suggestions would be appreciated.

Frank

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Recently read "A Higher Call." WELL worth the read. From myself it went to my dad, and then to my MOM who also devoured it--not her usual read at all, that's how amazing a story it is.

It's the account of the Me-109 that found a B-17 on its last legs, and just couldn't bring himself to shoot it down. So he did the unthinkable--ESCORTED it to safety, right across the German AA lines and over the channel. The two pilots reunited in the late 80's and were inseparable friends to the ends of their lives.

I'm not sure what kind of music do you like, but Swedish military-metal band Sabaton recorded a song called No Bullets Fly on their latest Heroes album, covering this incident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d4Z0FtRI7A

Edited by Sebastijan

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I'm half-way through: The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies by Alan Taylor. Fascinating book about a conflict I knew very little about. It's amazing how divided the US was during this conflict and how dysfunctional our political and military systems were. Especially ugly was the US's aborted invasion of Canada.

Fun fact - a few decades after we fought a war with Britain about taxes and political / religious freedom, a good percentage of the settlers in Canada were American citizens fleeing the US due to high taxes and political / religious persecution. They found the British to be very benevolent and they were welcomed with open arms (and generous land grants).

At the point of the book I am at (still focused on the fighting in Canada), the Brits seem to come off as the good guys, fighting a war they didn't want, usually heavily outnumbered but using the local Native American tribes as a huge force multiplier.

That is seriously fascinating... I'm going to look this one up.

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Thought there was a more current thread on books but this is the only one I could find with the crappy search engine we have here. Anyhoo... This should be an interesting read, another "tell-all" on US Special Operations forces.

The author was told that Fort Bragg, where the U.S. Army's Special Operations Forces is headquartered, "is going ape sh*t over your book." LOL, whatever happened to the "Quiet Professionals"?

Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command, being released today.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/252342-special-operations-community-bracing-for-book-release

Article that has some snippets from this book. Interesting stuff, US forces were active in Syria and Lebanon during OIF, raids into Pakistan, Stealth helos forced on SEAL TEAM 6 for the Bin Laden raid, etc. I think I might get this one.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/09/01/six-little-known-stories-about-secretive-joint-special-operations-command-as-told-in-a-new-book/

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That "Flagon" offends me... Take it down!

It's down.

I put it up only because I thought others interested in the book might want to know what to buy, but yes I agree it's offensive.

To the other poster about balloons: actually the Su-15 had shot down other planes before 007, but none of them were engaged in military missions (AFAIK). One of them was a commercial 707 that crash-landed on a frozen lake around 1979. At least one passenger was killed.

Osipovitch was a soldier following orders. He is responsible, along with many others, for the 007 deaths but he is no more of a psychopath than the fire crew on the deck of the Vincennes.

Let me be clear, I loath the USSR, but for whatever reason I'm fascinated with the Su-15. If any Bf109 modelers want to take a shot at that, be my guest.

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It's down.

I put it up only because I thought others interested in the book might want to know what to buy, but yes I agree it's offensive.

To the other poster about balloons: actually the Su-15 had shot down other planes before 007, but none of them were engaged in military missions (AFAIK). One of them was a commercial 707 that crash-landed on a frozen lake around 1979. At least one passenger was killed.

Osipovitch was a soldier following orders. He is responsible, along with many others, for the 007 deaths but he is no more of a psychopath than the fire crew on the deck of the Vincennes.

Let me be clear, I loath the USSR, but for whatever reason I'm fascinated with the Su-15. If any Bf109 modelers want to take a shot at that, be my guest.

I think the other guy was half-kidding about this (don't want to speak for him, maybe he wasn't). I thought the cover was a bit much but have no issues with you posting it. It is what it is and I agree with your statement above. The guy was following orders. Would have been nice if he voiced some regret but at the end of the day, he was a military officer following orders. Also as noted, some of "our guys" also have a bit of blood on their hands. People are human, mistakes are made on occasion.

Su-15 is a very cool aircraft.

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I think the other guy was half-kidding about this (don't want to speak for him, maybe he wasn't). I thought the cover was a bit much but have no issues with you posting it. It is what it is and I agree with your statement above. The guy was following orders. Would have been nice if he voiced some regret but at the end of the day, he was a military officer following orders. Also as noted, some of "our guys" also have a bit of blood on their hands. People are human, mistakes are made on occasion.

Su-15 is a very cool aircraft.

Thanks for that. I did wonder if he was being ironic.

But the cover IS offensive. And Osipovitch SHOULD express regret, yes. He long ago latched onto a conspiracy theory that 007 was a spyplane with no commercial passengers, and stuck to it. The thing is, faced with what happened, I can sort of understand why he might cling to any idea, no matter how nutty, that might absolve him of personal responsibility for the deaths of so many innocents.

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It's down.

I put it up only because I thought others interested in the book might want to know what to buy, but yes I agree it's offensive.

To the other poster about balloons: actually the Su-15 had shot down other planes before 007, but none of them were engaged in military missions (AFAIK). One of them was a commercial 707 that crash-landed on a frozen lake around 1979. At least one passenger was killed.

Osipovitch was a soldier following orders. He is responsible, along with many others, for the 007 deaths but he is no more of a psychopath than the fire crew on the deck of the Vincennes.

Let me be clear, I loath the USSR, but for whatever reason I'm fascinated with the Su-15. If any Bf109 modelers want to take a shot at that, be my guest.

I think it was in jest...

You want to know the key difference on Vincennes and this? Regret. Also believe it was a case of mistaken identity rather than than people insisting it was a spy plane

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Totally agree Taiidan Tomcat, see my post #122.

Speaking of books, have you read Steyn's "A Disgrace to the Profession"? Think I'm gonna have to buy that one.

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From Tom Cooper's site:

http://www.acig.info/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=153&Itemid=47

A confirmed Communist who lives in the Caucasus region, Osipovich insists that the jetliner was on a spy mission and that there were no civilian passengers aboard. He even considers himself fortunate to have achieved a measure of celebrity by having destroyed Flight 007.

One of his few complaints is that the Soviet authorities paid him a smaller bonus for shooting down the plane than he had hoped: 200 rubles minus a small fee for postage.

The ground-based officer who first detected the plane on his radar scope received a 400-ruble bonus, he complained.

"Those who did not take part in this operation received double their monthly pay," he said. "At that time, monthly pay was 230 rubles. So I expected to be paid at least 400 rubles."

For years, experts have debated whether the Soviet pilot was aware he was downing a civilian plane or had mistaken the 747 for an RC-135 American military reconnaissance plane.

But Osipovich says he knew he had no doubts that he was dealing with a civilian plane and not an RC-135. Viewed through the prism of the cold war, the pilot treated the plane, not as a lost commercial airliner, but as part of a nefarious mission against the Soviet homeland.

Osipovich also revealed that in the pressure of the moment, he did not provide a full-description of the intruder to Soviet ground controllers.

"I did not tell the ground that it was a Boeing-type plane," he recalled. "They did not ask me."

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