Friday, January 27, 2017

Review of Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars by Robert D. Bolen

Author:  Robert D. Bolen.
Title:  Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars.
Publisher:  Fort Boise Publishing.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  182.
Price:  $14.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:

I read Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars by Robert D. Bolen.  The first part deals with the various Indian Wars throughout America.  The second part dealt with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce and their flight from the US Army to the Canadian border in 1877.  Though Chief Joseph was a peace chief, his sub-chiefs were war chiefs.  He made use of them to delay General Miles pursuit.  However, he captured the Nez Perce thirty miles short of their objective....

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review of A Devil of a Whipping by Lawrence E. Babits

Author:  Lawrence E. Babits.
Title:  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens.
Publisher:  Chapel Hill.
Copyright:  1998.
Pages:  231.
Price:  $19.95.

Overview and Impressions:

I forgot that the American Revolution was this nation's first Civil War against English rule.  The Battle of Cowpens played an important part in that war.  It helped set the stage for Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown later that year.

Babits lays out the case for Cowpens.  He makes use of old pension records and battlefield archeology.  General Morgan comes over as an underrated military commander.  White Colonel Tarleton's reputation for butchery explains why the Americans refused to given quarter to the British Legion after it was defeated.

Morgan's use of progressively stronger infantry lines and the ability of the militia to hide behind the Continental battle line also helped explain why Morgan won against the exhausted British.  Afterward, the British Legion was crushed by its losses.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mid-January reading: part II

Here's what I'm reading this week:

1)  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens by Lawrence Babits.  Read about General Morgan and Tarleton and their respective forces.  Our American Revolution was really a civil war between England and her American colonies.  Most Americans don't think of it that way, though...

2)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  I'm at page 116 of the novel.  It's the Roman Empire in space and their Celtic interstellar flight crews.  Interesting premise to the book...

3)  Eden to Armageddon by Ford.  Interesting history of WWI in the Middle East.  Started with the Allied Campaign in Mesopotamia...

4)  Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Hard Sci-Fi novel about the colonization of Mars in the year 2026.  I'm currently on page 96....

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mid-January reading...

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  Four Days in September by Jason Abdale.  See previous blog review.  Finished.

2)  Sedan, 1870:  The Eclipse of France by Douglas Fermer.  See previous blog review.  Finished.

3)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  I'm on page 49 of the book.  It has a futuristic Roman empire in space along with space vikings!!!  And a Han Chinese empire, too.  It picks where Proxima left off.  I haven't given up on reading more works by the author, though.  The second book makes up for Proxima's crappy ending when the human race is microwaved to death due to the destruction of Mercury...

4)  Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon.  I'm not doing a formal review of this book.  I thought I was getting good military sci-fi with a descent female protagonist.  Turned into one of the most boring works I've read in a long time.  Too long on narrative, too short on action.  And what action there was turned out to be rather unsatisfying.  Not my cup of tea....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review of Sedan, 1870: The Eclipse of France by Douglas Fermer

Author:  Douglas Fermer.
Title:  Sedan, 1870:  The Eclipse of France.
Publisher:  Pen and Sword Publishing.
Copyright:  2008.
Pages:  321.

Overview and Observations:

I read Sedan, 1870 to get a better idea of the battle that doomed the Second Empire.  Douglas Fermer paid specific detail to the individual soldiers who fought.  The major players of the Franco-Prussian War are also spelled out.  About half the book is the background leading up to the conflict.  The rest is the actual battle of Sedan itself.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Review of Four Days in September by Jason R. Abdale

Author:  Jason R. Abdale.
Title:  Four Days in September:  The Battle of Teutoburg.
Publisher:  Pen and Sword Publishing.
Copyright:  2014
Pages:  244.
Price:  $39.95 (US).


The author, Jason R. Abdale, talked about the Battle of Teutoburg in 9 AD.  Rome lost three legions to Germanic tribesmen.  Abdale lays out for a case of the battle taking place in September and its location in western Germany.  He spent a lot time describing the battlefields and roles the various commanders played.  While I'm a fan of Roman history and took Latin during my undergrad, I'm burnt out reading about how the different soldiers were armed and what weapons they used.  It took away from the importance of the battle or why the Romans were in Germany in the first place.

What was important that Roman didn't actively seek to conquer Germany for a long time.  By then, the effort was half-hearted at best.  But some Roman prisoners did survive the battle.  For they were liberated when the Romans came back to Germania for revenge...


Sunday, January 8, 2017

AAR: 28mm WWI Darkest Africa Game, 07JAN17

Here are photos I took of a 28mm WWI Darkest Africa Game on Saturday, 07JAN17:

                                         The start of the game.

                                         Glenn Wilson (Mute Bystander) moves his Belgian askaris.

                                          Both sides take some pot-shots at each other.

                                          The Belgians make melee contact with the Germans.

                                          The Force Publique loses the melees and breaks army morale.

                                          The Belgians flee in terror of the Germans mighty ju-ju.  End of game.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review of The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

Author:  Jack Campbell.
Title:  The Lost Stars:  Imperfect Sword.
Publisher:  Ace Books.
Copyright: 2014.
Pages:  297.
Price:  $7.99 (US).

Overview and Observations:

I keep reading Jack Campbell's The Lost Stars series because I like the reoccurring characters who are featured in it.  The independent star system of Midway launched a preemptive invasion to liberate the Ulundi star system.  General Drakon's infantry division are almost trapped on the planet when a battleship from Midway shows up to even the score for the underdogs.  The remaining Syndicate Worlds' mobile forces and infantry divisions are destroyed and scattered by a planetary bombardment.
That helps General Drakon's power armor troops take control of a Snake fortifications as the Syndicate's best troops die in the hell fire.  The Midway fleet finishes off the remaining Syndicate land forces before the survivors surrender to General Drakon.  However, Midway came as liberators to Ulundi.  The Midway forces gather up their own force via some troop transports and head home.  Not before giving some advice on how to govern Ulundi to the planet's population...


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017, and current weekly reading...

Happy 2017!  I waited to put something up until today.  I've been busy with reading this week.  This is what is currently on my reading table:

1)  Four Days in September:  The Battle of Teutoburg, 9 AD by Abdale.  I got into the background behind the Roman conquest of German and the Germans' response to it.

2)  The Lost Stars:  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  More hair by the tail action concerning Midway's liberation invasion of Ulundi and the Syndicate Worlds' response to it.

3)  Sedan, 1870 by Douglas Fermer.  Started reading about the frontier battles in Alsace and Loraine in August 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War.

4)  The Gate of Futures Past by Julie E. Czerneda.  Sira and her husband, Jason Morgan, flee the spaceship that brought them to Brightfall, home world of the Hovengry Cocentrix, along with the Om'ray survivors from Cersi.