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  1. #1
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Reading List?

    I've always been a reader, far more than a TV watcher. I find that I've been reading much more since the pandemic started. I saw the screening room section, but nothing similar for book reviews. Here is a first one - I just finished it.



    Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight’s Cross
    It is what the title says...but be warned. It is not the usual historical nonfiction where a modern author gives a rough timeline then pages of prose about how you should think about it. No, it is a raw and unfiltered look at daily life through the very narrow lens of a single soldier during the Germanicon retreat from the Sovieticon Union, and how he survived. I'm speechless to write more about it without giving it a way. The shock and bewilderment at what occurred in Sepp's experience is what makes this an eye opening read - and I'm afraid that if I give away any of that surprise I will ruin the soul-searching astonishment effect for you.

    Next up...Forty Thieves of Saipan...

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    Member greggordon52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I've always been a reader, far more than a TV watcher. I find that I've been reading much more since the pandemic started. I saw the screening room section, but nothing similar for book reviews. Here is a first one - I just finished it.

    Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight’s Cross
    It is what the title says...but be warned. It is not the usual historical nonfiction where a modern author gives a rough timeline then pages of prose about how you should think about it. No, it is a raw and unfiltered look at daily life through the very narrow lens of a single soldier during the Germanicon retreat from the Sovieticon Union, and how he survived. I'm speechless to write more about it without giving it a way. The shock and bewilderment at what occurred in Sepp's experience is what makes this an eye opening read - and I'm afraid that if I give away any of that surprise I will ruin the soul-searching astonishment effect for you.

    Next up...Forty Thieves of Saipan...
    Your review made me think of THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER by Guy Sajer. It too is is a memoir of a German soldier's experience on the Eastern Front. The privations beggar one's imagination, nonetheless it is an easy read.

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    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    I recently finished reading "Wings on my sleeve"; the biography of Eric "Winkle" Brown. The most experienced test pilot of all time.
    It is an excellent book. I won't spoil it for you; but just say that he seems to have more lives than a cat! A truly amazing life.

    At present I"m nearing the end of a history of the 1942 Commando raid on St Nazaire. If anyone needs an explanation of the word "courage"; read about this raid!

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I started reading "Long Shot", by Azad Cudi. It's an autobiography of a Kurdish marksman in the fight against ISIS. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but some of the combat descriptions have left me confused. For example, in the opening battle he states he was using an M16icon, with a thermal scope - doesn't indicate the model but I assume the US furnished his rifle and optics, so maybe something like the ATN PVS14-4, which is 1x. He writes he was making precision shots at 550m, at night - head shots, and one shot on a leg sticking out. Hmmm. the AN/PAS-13 would be more believable at 5x or 10x I think. I have no personal experience with either.
    After a few shots, he says the rifle jammed requiring him to get out a cleaning rod and he "pushed the bullet out". Then it jams again, "closed my eyes and exhaled. Keeping my eyes closed, as we had been trained, I picked up the gun, removed the magazine, detached the stock ,..." and describes how he completely disassembled, reassembled, and decided there was nothing wrong with the rifle - in a reported 2 minutes and with his eyes closed...in combat.
    Jams a third time, only this time he hears "the faint twang of a loose wire coil" and decides that the magazine spring and follower are loose, broken, or otherwise faulty. Swaps magazine and all is well. Hmm. He was very precise in recording his round count - 16 rounds fired before the first jam, with the last 3 trigger pulls on burst, and using 30 rd magazines. (16 rounds assuming failure to feed. If the last round on burst jammed - then the 16th round was pushed out with his cleaning rod."
    So far, my impression is it reads a lot like a Tristan Jones book - https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...356-story.html. Maybe he had a ghost writer that should have been fired. I will say that the prose surrounding the combat description is quite good, well written and vivid.
    I'll keep reading, hoping my first impression is wrong. Maybe I'm too harsh, relying on my own experiences too much for comparison.
    Last edited by ssgross; 01-01-2021 at 02:07 PM.

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    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I've always been a reader, far more than a TV watcher. I find that I've been reading much more since the pandemic started. I saw the screening room section, but nothing similar for book reviews. Here is a first one - I just finished it.

    Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight’s Cross
    It is what the title says...but be warned. It is not the usual historical nonfiction where a modern author gives a rough timeline then pages of prose about how you should think about it. No, it is a raw and unfiltered look at daily life through the very narrow lens of a single soldier during the Germanicon retreat from the Sovieticon Union, and how he survived. I'm speechless to write more about it without giving it a way. The shock and bewilderment at what occurred in Sepp's experience is what makes this an eye opening read - and I'm afraid that if I give away any of that surprise I will ruin the soul-searching astonishment effect for you.

    Next up...Forty Thieves of Saipan...
    I read it a few years ago.
    Liked it, especially the description of how savage and brutal the fight on the eastern front was...

    ---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by greggordon52 View Post
    Your review made me think of THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER by Guy Sajer. It too is is a memoir of a German soldier's experience on the Eastern Front. The privations beggar one's imagination, nonetheless it is an easy read.
    Another must!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I'm also neck deep in Shots Fired in Anger: A Rifleman's Eye View of the Activities on the Island of Guadalcanal. I can especially appreciate the constant "griping" about the negative effects of garrison type leadership in war time. Most people that have been deployed would know exactly what I'm talking about. The author - and eye witness - writes at length about the deficiencies of training and planning, and focus on the menial things like painting fences around the headquarters. He clearly tells the story of how we were the farthest thing from "ready", and all the growing pains of trying to become "ready" in so short a period. For what it's worth, there is a difference between "griping" and "complaining" - or at least I quickly learned the difference in my own experience, the former is routine and expected, the latter would be abominable. Fondest memories of often of the most miserable things which at the time consisted of the most fervent gripes. He captures this type of griping perfectly - and funny how it hasn't changed.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    back to Long Shot...it got better, explained the nature of the conflict of the local Kurds against ISIS, then devolved into a socialist/communist political manifesto for a chapter, then back to to the combat scene, which then culminated in the author shooting a clothesline wire on purpose on his first attempt...at ~300 meters with a Dragunov. The clothesline was being used to hang sheets which hid ISIS fighters as they crossed the street. I was along for the ride and it was OK - some clever shooting positions etc - right until the shot on the closthesline. What stuff. I think he or his ghostwriter watched one too many westerns. I was disappointed that the next paragraph was not a tutorial for shooting from the hip and making those shots. I suppose I have to keep reading to see I the next event is more unbelievable than the previous.
    Internet homework on the Dragunov - which I've handled but never fired - says ~1MOA optimistically with good ammo, but the PSO-1 scope is 4x. If I'm crazy and that is a believable shot, please let me know.

  12. #8
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    I shoot the Dragunov every now and then, since one of my pals has it. but I really don’t like it. I can shoot as good with my K31icon without optics... Also the ergonomics are weird to me. Just can’t get comfortable behind that thing. But it looks good!!!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

  13. #9
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    ...and how confident are you that you are your friend can part a clothesline at 300 meters?

  14. #10
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    0%...
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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