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Recommended Books

I recommend several recent works below, valued aids for your appreciation of our military history. With the recent addition of Nisei Linguists, I am providing proper bibliographic citations.

Four of these books examine World War II at different levels of command/perception, another shares the reminiscences of U.K. veterans over most of the last century - giving us what is really the lowest level of command/perception. Finally, I add the best book yet [personal opinion, of course] on the 2003 war in Iraq.

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'Click' on either the book's underlined title or its cover illustration for ordering information and detail. Where two editions are listed, click on the underlined title for the edition in which you are interested.

- Pat Skelly, webmaster


coverMcNaughton, Dr. James C. Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service During World War II. Washington DC: US Army Center of Military History, 2006 [ISBN 978-0-16-072957-7, CMH Pub 70-99-1].

Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service During World War II chronicles the establishment and achievements of U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service, the organization that trained and employed uniformed Japanese American linguists. It tells the story of second-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) who served as interpreters and translators in World War 2, and describes how the War Department recruited soldiers from an ethnic minority and trained them in a secret school to use the Japanese language.
530 pages, paperback, it is priced at $29. and is available from the Government Printing Office.


cover Battle Rattle:
by Reverend Wallace M. Hale.
Available directly from Military History Network.

Chaplain (Colonel, Retired) Wallace Hale joined the 88th Infantry Division at Camp Gruber OK in 1942, and served with it in the British Isles, North Africa, and Italy, first as Assistant Division Chaplain and later as Division Chaplain. He remained with the 88th through 1947 as it guarded the hostile Yugoslav border.
Combat is a continuing revelation of human limitations. Battle Rattle is a study of the traumas of that combat and of military life, and the challenges which face a military chaplain as he helps his soldiers to adapt and to bend, rather than to break.
Online presentation of the Foreword to Battle Rattle has been made here with the kind permission of the author. ISBN 1-58752-251-9.

Wallace Hale, a close friend, passed away on February 18th, 2007, in McKinney TX.

cover HardCover: "An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943"
TradePress: "An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943"
by Rick Atkinson.

Atkinson's report on the 34th Infantry Division at Fondouk and Hill 609 is thought by some veterans to treat their Division too harshly. I don't know the innermost truth of that; I was not there. But I found the careful documentation of his sources especially valuable in my studies. Many of these sources were found in the Iowa Gold Star Museum (with its 34th Division records) and in General 'Doc' Ryder's papers at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. I recommend this book as fascinating reading and eagerly await Volume II of Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, which will focus on the Italian Campaign up to the Liberation of Rome. ISBNs 0-8050-6288-2, 0-8050-7448-1

cover HardCover: "Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II"
TradePress: "Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II"
by Matthew Parker.

This book weaves together, better than any which came before it, the Allied, German, Church, and civilian perceptions of the brutal five-month assault. The archival and literature searches are impressive on their own, but even more significant is the depth and value of the personal recollections of the men and women who were there.
Disclaimer: I am cited as a contributor in the Acknowledgments. ISBNs 0-385-50985-5, 1-4000-3375-6

cover Soldiers:
Fighting Men's Lives 1901-2001

by Philip Ziegler.

This is the story of nine In-Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and through them, an appreciation of this historic institution. My favorite: Troop Sergeant Thomas Parnell of the 10th Royal Hussars.
Online presentation of the excellent Prologue to Soldiers has been made here with the kind permission of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. ISBN 0-452-28409-0

cover In the Company of Soldiers:
A Chronicle of Combat

by Rick Atkinson.

This journalist and historian was an 'embedded' reporter with Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division. during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It's an intimate story of maintaining the Line of Communications, both within and beyond the Division - not just the logistics train, but also the national and strategic underpinnings.
Rick Atkinson is, for me, the modern-day Ernie Pyle. Read them side-by-side, perhaps you'll see it too. ISBN 0-8050-7561-5


A list-in-progress of the published works which are in my library may be seen online. It's getting scary: so many books, so little time. Also shelved and stacked are several thousand pages copied from official records; much of which, after being transcribed, have or will be placed online.


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