China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: the struggle for survival
China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: the struggle for survival, Rana Mitter, 2013, ISBN 978-0-141-03145-3, 456 pp.
In the Usual Penguin Press style Mitter’s book is deliciously compact. The book’s knowing handful not only addresses China’s pivotal, though unheralded in the Western World, role during World War II but its history since Sun Yat-sen united China into the country we know today — incredibly only around a century ago as before then it was an assemblage of provinces.
The struggle for control by three Chinese power centers is illustrated quite well and quite clearly by Mitter which is no easy task since it involves understanding the psychology of the participants.
Mitter concludes with a discussion of how China view of the world is influenced by the continuing lack of recognition for its contribution of keeping an Asian front open occupying the Imperial Japanese forces and keeping them out of the Pacific Theater of Operations as well as fighting World War II years longer than Western Europe. Mitter reminds us that World War II did not begin with Nazi Germany invading Poland late in 1939 as most of us have been taught.
This book is comprehensive and an academic tool with its compete bibliography, foot notes and index. Mitter’s fluid and organized writing is unsurpassed and is the best way to tell the tale of China’s intricately complicated (often the Chinese way) history and aids the reader in better understanding World War II in regard to Japanese and Allied strategies. Mitter also intrigues with his interpretation for China’s modern-day behaviour as well.
Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual
Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual, Graeme Douglas, 2013, ISBN 9780857331595, 160 pp., 250 color + 50 b/w
The B-24 was one of the most produced aircraft of World War II — so much so it was produced in several factories. So it is no surprise that variations between factories existed and even more so as shortages of a gun turret type (one of two could be use in the nose) or autopilot etc.
The Owners’ Workshop Manual from Haynes again does not disappoint. The book is rich in how Liberators were made, how they flew (detailed information regarding operating and flying the Collins Foundation B-24 is included), illustrations and detailed insight.
Especially enlightening were the descriptions of the formation control stick, which way the nose wheel gear doors opened depending upon which nose turret was in use. This is a book which thankfully also explains the performance of the gun turrets which were so vital to the defense of Liberators.
If you want to know about the B-24 this is the book to get!
Seahawk Swathed in Purple
Originally posted on The People's Mosquito:
Issued: 13th October 2014
Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown joins The People’s Mosquito as Patron
The People’s Mosquito, the UK’s DH.98 restoration-to-flight project, is honoured to announce that Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown has graciously accepted its invitation to become the charity’s Patron.
To many, “Winkle” Brown will need no introduction, but for those who are less familiar with him, Capt. Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown CBE, OBE, MBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, MA, PhD, Hon FRAeS, RN is a former Royal Navy officer and test pilot who, in testing 487 different types of aircraft, has flown more types of aircraft than any other pilot in history – a record unlikely to be broken. He also holds the world record for most aircraft carrier landings performed, completing 2,407, and is the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated living pilot.
View original 360 more words
Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks
Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks: Owner’s Workshop Manual, Jarrod Cotter, 2008, ISBN 9781844254637, 160 pp.
Cotter’s authorship of this beloved aircraft lives up to the Lancaster’s reputation. Another of the Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual series this book includes what has become expected from this excellent series. History and design of the Avro Lancaster is addressed and quite well. The heart of the book is operating a Lancaster (the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight or BBMF) as well as the maintenance and costs — all are quite enlightening.
The pilot’s description of flying and navigating the BBMF’s Lancaster is impressive and insightful. Amazingly four sets of eyes are used when navigating as well as during the flypasts. The reading is riveting.
Photos of details abound as do line drawings with engine changes and fuel tank inspections explained by those who do the work. Other details surface which are known generally by only those who live with the Lanc.
This book wonderfully describes the Lancaster is all of its dimensions and, short of working on the Lanc as a volunteer, one cannot get to know it better.
The Medal of Honor: a history of service above and beyond
The Medal of Honor: a history of service above and beyond, Editors of Boston Publishing, 2014, ISBN 9780760346242, 304 pp.
The USA’s highest military award is the Congressional Medal of Honor and its history as almost as varied as its recipients. There have been several versions of the medal, even a peacetime medal until the end of World War II, as well as changing criteria for awarding the medal as we know it today.
Remaining constant throughout the medal’s history is the selflessness displayed by the men and single woman awarded the Medal of Honor. Almost invariably each story involves fire and pain as well as desperate circumstance and diminished odds. The Medal of Honor illuminates war’s paradox of bringing the worst and the best out of people. The Medal of Honor also illustrates the wars the United States has fought since the inception of this most honored of medals with the Civil War and is current through June 2014. Each chapter succinctly and quite honestly describes the specific war, setting the context for the events leading to Medal of Honor awards. It is humbling to read of so many actions done by one person at a time to save a few.
Not all of the hundreds of Medal of Honor citations are found within the book, though all those awarded are specified, but dozens are and they are incredible each in their own way. Examples are: an airman manhandling a lit magnesium flare (burning at thousands of degrees) out of his aircraft; a cavalryman galloping to and fro in no man’s land under intense enemy fire for 20 minutes to retrieve an ammunition laden as well as very frightened mule; a sailor who bled to death spending his final 20 minutes saving his ship leading damage control efforts.
Editors of the Boston Publishing Company have produced a book worthy of these recipients. The Medal of Honor is a coffee table book with full color embossed Medals of Honor on the cover. The book can serve as a primary reference — due to its attention to detail and its excellent writing — it is as well at home on an officer’s desk as it is on a teacher’s desk as it is on the family coffee table.
As is the publishing business custom, Zenith Press and On-line Bookstore provided a copy of this book for an objective review.