General Books/Reading Discussion

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:46 am

It looks a lot like the report you can find on-line but with much more detail. I glanced through it. I thought about reading it first but went with the general history.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:02 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:It looks a lot like the report you can find on-line but with much more detail. I glanced through it. I thought about reading it first but went with the general history.

IIRC much longer, more detailed, more context - and lots of helpful diagrams etc.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:05 am

I want to see how the rest of the Auschwitz book goes. I may need a break and Glatman may do it.

Kinda hoping that the books I have tide me through but I’m plowing through stuff lately.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:05 am

I may need to revisit the books I bought and didn’t read....

:D
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:42 pm

Weigley ends pretty much ok, no big surprises, you know, the Reich crumbles. Part of my wonders why, given the shenanigans of de Gaulle and the French generals, France wasn't occupied along with the Reich, but that's a minor quibble. :) It wasn't pretty, but the job got done, the Thousand Year Reich was no more by the end of the book.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:45 pm

Changed my mind about Dwork and Van Pelt’s “Auschwitz.” It really is informative.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:00 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Weigley ends pretty much ok, no big surprises, you know, the Reich crumbles. Part of my wonders why, given the shenanigans of de Gaulle and the French generals, France wasn't occupied along with the Reich, but that's a minor quibble. :) It wasn't pretty, but the job got done, the Thousand Year Reich was no more by the end of the book.



Aaaaaaawwwwwww, you spoiled the ending.

It’s like when someone told me what happened at the end of the movie “Titanic.”

:D
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:05 pm

LOL it always comes out the same, and, in spite of the horrific fighting and suffering, there is always a bit of a feel-good moment. Now if only the French had been dealt with . . .
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:09 pm

Just a heads up, Bellamy, in Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War, has a very good, detailed, 65-page discussion of the Suvorov thesis, which he rejects.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:50 pm

It's a warm, glorious spring day here, and all is as it should be: I'm reading Bellamy and my wife is also reading; she just looked up from her book and asked, "What's the Maginot Line?" I am finally beginning to corrupt her . . . :)
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:36 pm

See, that made a tear come to my eye, I’m....so proud.

:lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:24 pm

Just as bad - I mean wonderful, at my wife's suggestion, last night we watched all 3 hours of "A Bridge Too Far." Which I'd never seen: it is so post-'Nam, late '70s to make a long, graphic, episodic movie on a flawed, poorly executed, failed Allied operation.

Also, my wife asked me later this afternoon why Herschel Grynszpan shot vom Rath and how the shooting led to Kristallnacht. :)
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:10 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Just as bad - I mean wonderful, at my wife's suggestion, last night we watched all 3 hours of "A Bridge Too Far." Which I'd never seen: it is so post-'Nam, late '70s to make a long, graphic, episodic movie on a flawed, poorly executed, failed Allied operation.

Also, my wife asked me later this afternoon why Herschel Grynszpan shot vom Rath and how the shooting led to Kristallnacht. :)



The next thing you know she’s going to join RODOH and starting arguing with been-there.

:D
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:44 am

I certainly think that's the obvious next step. LOL

Usually she reads very different things from what I read, not that she's uninterested in our painful topic, just that she reads more fiction . . . only recently she's gone on a kick reading FDR biographies and other books about the period from the US pov, which creates nice overlaps with what I've been reading, oh, for about a decade or fifteen years . . . It really is quite pleasing.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:49 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I certainly think that's the obvious next step. LOL


If she does, let me know. That will make his head explode and I don’t want to miss that.

Usually she reads very different things from what I read, not that she's uninterested in our painful topic, just that she reads more fiction . . . only recently she's gone on a kick reading FDR biographies and other books about the period from the US pov, which creates nice overlaps with what I've been reading, oh, for about a decade or fifteen years . . . It really is quite pleasing.


My wife reads fiction and is not interested. I sometimes get odd looks about the books that appear from Amazon but, hey. I think she appreciates that my midlife crisis includes books and not sports cars.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:16 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:If she does, let me know. That will make his head explode and I don’t want to miss that.

ROFL she wouldn't . . . she thinks I'm crazy talking to Nazis, and she doesn't have the patience for that lot. Not even close! :mrgreen:

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I sometimes get odd looks about the books that appear from Amazon but, hey. I think she appreciates that my midlife crisis includes books and not sports cars.

Well, I never got out of sports cars . . . and they started before midlife. LOL (but I mostly like formula cars :p)

We just finished sorting through a box with telegrams from her father's commanding officer to her father's mother, sent when he went MIA, then letters and telegrams from the War Dept reporting on the continuing lack of information about her father over several months, then his being found among American units (after his escape from the Stalag), his hospitalization (gunshot wounds to both legs), his being awarded purple heart and other ribbons/medals, and his separation and return home. The box also had all his paperwork - he was a staff sergeant in charge of a 12-man squad of riflemen. We'd gotten confused about the exact date of his going MIA, which the telegrams and other paperwork pin down.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:37 pm

Finished Dwork and Van Pelt’s Auschwitz today.

I think it’s good to start with, it does a very good job discussing German plans for both Auschwitz and the East.

I changed my mind and starting up Blatman’s “The Death Marches.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:36 pm

Blatman did exactly what I want in a specialist book. He went over a brief history of the concentration camp system in the first chapter but that’s it. He is moving into the subject without devoting any more time to subjects not directly related to his book.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Denying-History » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:39 am

Was digging through a local book store (sells used books) found a copy of "Albert Speer: The End of a Myth". Finally finished reading it, was actually pretty good, and has some carbon print documents that I have read about. They should be of use on twitter.
« I want people to experience exactly what it meant to enter a gas chamber at Auschwitz, I want them to walk down the stairs into the chamber, to stand before the ovens and see that this was insane and criminal. I want it to be a slap in the face. You can’t create memory, but you can create an experience that is as powerful as memory. »
- Jean Claude Pressac

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:18 am

Put a book on hold, Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1919-1939 by Robert Carr. I put it on hold until October of this year.

I put a book on hold about the USSR, called a Soviet Century by (((Moshe Lewin))) :) sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m due to get it on May 14th.

Finally I put a book on hold by John Toland about Imperial Japan. I’ve got that one due at the end of July. I’m going to work on Death Marches until May, work in the book on Auschwitz when I finish the USSR book. That’ll get me through until other library books come due.

I’m going to reset my reading after that.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:22 am

Am now reading, when my head isn't fuzzy and I can keep my eyes open, Sönke Neitzel, ed., Tapping Hitler's Generals: Transcripts of Secret Conversations, 1942-45 . . .
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:39 pm

One interesting point that comes through over and over in the secret CSDIC recordings of German generals in Tapping Hitler's Generals is the pervasive, overwhelming assumption on the part of most of those taped that Germany was the aggressor in WWII and that both the Polish and Soviet phases were started by Germany, pace Suvorov.

1) KÖHN: “Our first mistake was the war against Russia. . . . I am still convinced that the Russians wouldn’t have attacked.” (HENNECKE: “That is what we all say.”) (p 86)

2) MUNDORFF, referring to the First World War and to WWII: "twice we have tried to attain power in EUROPE by waging a war and failed" (p 91)

3) MENNY: "If only we hadn't started this tomfool war, which wasn't necessary - After we had got CZECHOSLOVAKIA we should have stopped, everything was marvellous and we could have ordered thing in peace . . ." and then BADINSKY: "There is hardly anything we haven't attacked; we attacked the past, our religion, the Jews, FRANCE, ENGLAND, AMERICA, RUSSIA . . ." (p 93)

4) SCHLIEBEN: “No war was ever started or waged with as little forethought as this one, which is carried on with the slogan, ‘It’ll be all right.’ It started like that in 1941: ‘You might attack over there and break through and go straight to the SEA of AZOV; it’ll work out all right.’” To which CHOLTITZ replies, “The trouble is that we participated without a murmur.” (p 112)

5) EBERDING, betraying a quaint understanding of Germany's war aims: "Today of course one can say - as quite a number here are doing - that we should never have started the war, but, in my opinion, how else were we to get rid of the VERSAILLES TREATY?" (pp 118-119)
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:18 pm

At Codoh I learned (having googled for information on Choltitz's "confession - below) BROI tried to minimize the CSDIC recordings of German generals which pertained to extermination of the Jews. Not that sheer numbers of such references (he mentioned finding just 4 such conversations among 1,250 pages of transcripts he'd photographed at Kew) matter much - but there are many transcripts of the generals discussing various aspects, including their own guilt, of the mass murder of Jews - I've not counted but my guess is that there are dozens of these conversations (there's a 60-page chapter entitled “‘We Have Tried to Exterminate Whole Communities.’ War Crimes in the Trent Park Conversations” - this chapter has a number of transcripts on the mass murder of Jews and also transcripts on the treatment of POWs and other war crimes; the documents in Neitzel's collection are divided into three groups - Politics/Strategy, War Crimes, 20 July Conspiracy).

Choltitz's "confession" to having overseen Jewish extermination actions apparently in the Crimea is well known; Kittel's long, detailed recounting of mass shootings of Jews in Daugavpils ties in well with what is known from other sources about the murder procedures in the Ostland. Interestingly, Kittel spoke of "about 60,000 people in mass graves near Lublin" (a not-bad estimate of the Majdanek death toll). He also mentioned "18,000 people" killed at Rostov, a city where he was commandant after the major Jewish actions.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:40 pm

I’ve read some of those interviews, they are telling. The book sounds good, I will try and track down a copy.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:04 pm

Another detailed, eyewitness description of a mass murder action involving Jewish victims in Neitzel's collection was provided by Bruns about Riga in late 1941.

Interestingly, several generals discussed the issue of Katyn and how German atrocities far exceeded (in number) what happened in the Katyn massacre and how Germany's credibility and standing re: Katyn were undermined by the mass murders and war crimes committed by various German forces.

Estimates of the numbers of Jews murdered made by the generals: "so-and-so many Jews have been killed and Heaven knows what" (December 1943), "altogether five million" (December 1943, reflecting on BBC news), "according to all reports, five million Jews must have been killed by us up to date" (December 1943, reflecting on BBC news), "The numbers must have been colossal" (August 1944), "those million or however many it was" (September 1944).

Killing actions/etc discussed in the secret recordings (only those I jotted down): Minsk, Babi Yar, Berdichev, Zhitomir, Gomel, Daugavpils, Riga, Sebastopol, Rostov, Stalino, Odessa, Pinsk, Poland in 1939-40, Auschwitz, Lvov area camps, Lublin (Majdanek and region), Sepp Dietrich (location unclear), SK 1005 (not by name). The information mentioned is a combination of hearsay rumor, second hand reporting, and eyewitness accounts.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:02 pm

On the vexing question of acceptance of murder orders out of fear of the death penalty for those who disobeyed, Wildermuth was recorded telling his fellow captives
If I, because I passed that order on - or possibly one of my 'Batallionskommandeure' may have carried it out, and the Allies charge me on that account and say: 'You passed that order on.' I'll answer: 'Well, I had to, otherwise I'd have been shot.' That is my defence, but it doesn't excuse me morally.

Wildermuth's basis for making such a claim? Probably wishful thinking about the Allies' knowledge of these matters, as he promised this defense after having explained, concerning reprisal orders he was given in Serbia, which he'd refused ("I never carried out these orders"), that
General BADER asked me: 'Why didn't you carry out that order?' I told him that no one could order me to do something opposed to my honour as an officer and beside, that that order was frightfully stupid as it caused every Serbian to take up arms.

Clearly, Wildermuth had not been shot, in his telling, for this refusal.

Neitzel, p 224
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:10 pm

Bassenge and Boich both expressed that the July 20th plot was a "put-up job" - "just as the 'Reichstag' fire was," in this case "to have a pretext for getting rid of all the unwanted people in one blow."

Neitzel, pp 246-247
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue May 01, 2018 1:07 am

next up: Prusin, Serbia under the Swastika: A World War II Occupation
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue May 01, 2018 4:47 pm

About halfway through Blatman.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed May 02, 2018 12:10 am

It sounds as though you're liking Blatman? I surely did. First half is general history of end days; second half is "case study" of Gardelegen IIRC.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed May 02, 2018 12:36 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:It sounds as though you're liking Blatman? I surely did. First half is general history of end days; second half is "case study" of Gardelegen IIRC.



It really is good. I’m trying to add or open topics as I go.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed May 02, 2018 6:05 pm

Friends of mine were getting married. A famous broadcaster's wife (I must keep the broadcaster's name out of this) gave advice to the eager couple. She took them aside at a party, where there was a lot of drinking (the broadcaster is a very, very good drinker) and told them this: "Don't shortchange the sex. The sex is most important. With [name of broadcaster redacted], the sex was always good. Not great. Good."

Which brings me to Prusin's book on Serbia: it was good, not great. It is very dense and factual with expository, not narrative, treatment. Events and themes are not fleshed out or expanded upon. But it is a really clear, concise, packed overview of Serbia during the war.

And, no, I can never see that broadcaster on TV without thinking of his wife's comment to my friends.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed May 02, 2018 7:03 pm

LOL, yeah, I can see how that might stick in one’s mind.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri May 04, 2018 3:04 pm

So, got these books on hold at the library:
Unit 731 Testimony by Hal Gold
Soviet Century by (((Moshe Lewin)))
The History of the Black Hunters by Christian Ingrao (I put this one on hold a little while ago, took it off then put it back on. I was trying to catch up on other things.)
Weimar and Nazi Germany by Robert Carr
The Rising Sun by John Toland

Getting the Soviet Century next, I’ve redeveloped an interest in Soviet history. I will read that when I finish Blatman. The others I scattered in over the next few months so I can read Van Pelt’s The Case for Auschwitz.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 04, 2018 3:17 pm

I liked the Christian Ingrao book.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri May 04, 2018 3:28 pm

I’m interested in it but I wanted to get through the books I purchased first. I wanted something different so I worked in some other histories. I’m interested in the 731 book, I don’t know that much about it, other than a few things here and there.
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Soldier entering the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 04, 2018 3:33 pm

Interesting snippet which Chapoutot quotes (p 110) from Himmler, without giving the date:
I deeply believe that all of these priestly types and all of Christianity are nothing but an erotic Männerbund to establish and maintain this bi-millenary Bolshevism. . . . I am convinced that the Roman emperors who eradicated the first Christians were doing exactly the same thing we are doing with the communists. The Christians, back then, were the worst dregs of Rome, the most repugnant Jewish element, the most disgusting bunch of Reds.

So they were offed.

Chapoutot further quotes Himmler here (p 111) on how celibacy and the priesthood led to homosexuality whereas "In the country" of old Germany, with its healthy, Nordic practices, uncontaminated by Christian precepts, "the boy goes to visit the girl, tapping at the window. That is how order is reestablished. . . . [Sermons and uptight old ladies] don't keep the fellows from happily going about their business as they always have, since the beginning."
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 04, 2018 3:37 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I’m interested in it but I wanted to get through the books I purchased first. I wanted something different so I worked in some other histories. I’m interested in the 731 book, I don’t know that much about it, other than a few things here and there.

Although I liked Ingrao's book, I will be the first to admit that it is of a certain (French) flavor that might not appeal to all :)
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri May 04, 2018 4:36 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:I’m interested in it but I wanted to get through the books I purchased first. I wanted something different so I worked in some other histories. I’m interested in the 731 book, I don’t know that much about it, other than a few things here and there.

Although I liked Ingrao's book, I will be the first to admit that it is of a certain (French) flavor that might not appeal to all :)


Lol, ahem, speaking of which, where is Balsamo lately??
“Today I saw one of those places, saw it in all of its horror, all its filth, all its death.”
Soldier entering the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri May 04, 2018 5:47 pm

And speaking of mysterious disappearances, who did what with Jeff_36?
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944


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