Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2011 – The Books

2011 was a good year for books. I bought too many, as usual, and (surprise) I seem to have read even more. There are less unread books now actually than it was last year-end.
All in all I read more than 50 books this year, and here is a summary of the war-realted. 

Men-at-arms 74 The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 – very short texts on the conflict, really bad maps, decent uniform plates. Rating 2,5.
Men-at-arms 139 German Airborne Troops 1939-45 – it is what it says, as with all Ospreys. I give this book a rating of 3,5.
Men-at-arms 234 German Combat Equipment 1939-45 – rating 3
Men-at-arms 309 The Italian invasion of Abyssinia 1935-36 – an interesting conflict. Rating 3.
Men-at-arms 326 The German Army 1939-45 (3) Eastern Front 1941-43 – rating 3
Men-at-arms 330 The German Army 1939-45 (4) Eastern Front 1943-45 – rating 3
Men-at-arms 336 The German Army 1939-45 (5) Western Front 1943-45 – rating 3
Warrior 38 Fallshirmjäger - German Paratrooper 1935-45 – quite a lot about life at camp and during education. Rather bad and few illustrations. Disappointing. Rating 2.
Fortress 20 British home defences 1940-45 – rating 3,5.
Elite 160 Word War II infantry tactics – tactics, equipment and national characteristics. Rating 2,5.
Raid 9 Rescuing Mussolini - Gran Sasso 1943 – informative about the glider-raid and the ground action. Critical of Skorzeny. Rating 4.

Other English Books (or books available in English (I might have read a version i Swedish))
Channel Islands Occupied, Richard Mayne, a short book about the only occupied part of UK. Rather uninformative. Rating 2.
Fallshirmjäger in Crete, Jean-Yves Nasse. Informative and interesting pictures. Rating 4
Warpaint - colours and markings of British army vehicles, Dick Taylor. Very interesting. Rating 4.
The Eastern Front 1914 – 1920, David Jordan. Interesting on a part of WWI I didn’t know much about, also the Russian Civil War. Rating 4.

Book in Swedish and probably unavailable in English
From SMB:
Hitlers hemliga vapen del1 (Hitler’s secret weapons, part 1) by Igor Witkowski. I think this is a translation of ”Die Warheit über die Wunderwaffe”. Anyway a very interesting book on technical development and with good work done in the archives. I highly recommend it. Rating 4,5.
Rommels krig i Afrika - Ökenrävar mot Ökenråttor (Rommel’s war in Africa – Desert Foxes against desert rats) Wolf Heckmann and a translation of ”Rommels Krieg in Afrika – ”Wüstenfüchse” gegen ”Wüstenratten””. Rather interesting and critical of Rommel. Rating 3,5.
Avgörande ögonblick under andra världskriget (Decisive moments of WWII) edited by Anders Franksson. Well written by several authors, but nothing new. Rating 3.

Striderna i Suomussalmi (The battles of Soumussalmi), HJ Siilasvuo. About the fighting in Soumussalmi and on the Raate-road during the Finnish Winter War. Written by the Finnish commander. Rating 3 (and if you want to wargame this, it’s a 5)
Krigsfångarna (Prisoners of War) Guido Knopp. A translation of ”Die Gefangenen) and I’m not sure if there is a english translation of this book yet. Anyway this is a very important, and horrifying, book about what happened to the millions of Germans that became POWs during and after WWII. Something of a must-read. Rating 4,5.
Adolf Hitler by Bengt Liljegren. I was sceptical, but a lot of my friends said this was the best biography of Adolf Hitler made. I haven’t read the others, but this is one very good biography, by an author who have taken the time to actually look into a lot of archives to find out some truth about the person Adolf Hitler. There doesn’t seem to be an English translation, bad for you! Excellent book! Rating 4,5.
Brödrabataljonen (The battalion of brothers) by Eino Hanski. It’s about the men from Ingermanland who fought in the Soviet Army, was made POW in Finland during the Continuation War, was recruited into the Finnish Army with a promise of Finnish citizenship after the war, and who finally was betrayed when the war was over for Finland. An important book. Rating 4.
Sista striden – Ilomants, augusti 1944 (The last battle – Ilomants, August 1944) by Erik Appel. About the last fights of the Finnish Continuation War in Ilomants. Hard to follow the descriptions and bad maps. Unfortunately a rating of 1,5.


Aspects of Modelling – Scenery, John Hobden. How to build scenery, mainly for railways. Interesting and some good advice. Rating 3.

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