Brickmania’s Reading List – The Guide to What We’re Reading!
I devour a lot of reference materials when doing research for my models and dioramas. A lot of this research materials comes in the form of good old-fashioned books, some of which have been recommended by fellow history buffs, others which I have stumbled across on my own. For the sake of discussion and sharing, I’ve decided I would periodically publish a list of currently reading (or recently read) books. I don’t plan to write in-depth reviews of each of them, but I will add some thoughts where I feel appropriate. For the inaugural blog post on this subject, I’m including a list of some of the more stand-out books I have read over the past year. I’m an avid fan of historical non-fiction and would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.
Selected reading highlights from 2012 and early 2013. I’ve added links to where these books can be found on Amazon.
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E. B. Sledge
Easily the most intense war history book I read in the last year.
Half-Track: A History of American Semi-Tracked Vehicles by R.P. Hunnicutt
A massively detailed book about the origins, development and variations of US military halftracks, filled with lots of photographs and statistical references.
The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden by Mark Bowden
An intensely fast-paced book about the raid to kill Osama bin Laden by the guy who wrote Black Hawk Down. Lots of interesting facts and behind the scenes information, and of course a gripping account of the actual raid.
Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice by William H. Mcraven
Six case studies in successful special operations from the beginning of World War II through the Israeli special forces raid at Entebbe, Uganda, written by the general who eventually oversaw the operation to assassinate Osoma Bin Laden. I hunted this down after reading Mark Bowden’s The Finish. Interesting and thorough, but more academic than I’m used to.
Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer
The second Hornfishcher book I’ve read and he’s quickly becoming my favorite historian of World War II naval battles.
Thud Ridge: F-105 Thunderchief Missions Over Vietnam by Jack Broughton and Hanson Baldwin
A white knuckle ride with the guys who brought the fight into North Vietnam.
Praying for Slack: A Marine Corps Tank Commander in Viet Nam by Robert E. Peavey
The story of a USMC M48 Patton tank commander’s tour of duty during the Vietnam War.
F-100 Super Sabre at War by Thomas E. Gardner
Metz 1944: Patton’s fortified nemesis (Campaign) by Steven Zaloga and Steve Noon
Long Days Journey Into War: December 7, 1941 Stanley Weintraub
A very detailed historical account of what happened around the world during the 48 hours that made up December 7, 1941. A long book but a real page-turner!
We Were Soldiers Once…and Young: Ia Drang – The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
The Mel Gibson movie hardly does the book justice and Ia Drang had me in tears for the duration. Not just a book but an emotional experience.
The U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War: An Illustrated History by Edward J. Marolda and Dean C. Allard
Reference Library Additions:
US Anti-tank Artillery 1941-45 (New Vanguard) by Steven Zaloga and Brian Delf
US Field Artillery of World War II (New Vanguard) by Steven Zaloga, Brian Delf
M5 Stuart Tank – Armor Walk Around No. 19 by Jim Mesko
M26 Dragon Wagon Walk Around (27025) by David Doyle
M2/M3 Half-Track – Armor Walk Around No. 4 by Jim Mesko and Don Greer
M3 Infantry Half-Track 1940-73 (New Vanguard) by Steven Zaloga and Peter Sarson
M7 Priest – Armor Walk Around No. 17 by David Doyle
M26 Pershing – Armor Walk Around Color Series No. 6 by David Doyle
US Tank Destroyers – Armor Walk Around No. 3 by Jim Mesko
GMC CCKW 21/2 Ton Truck – Armor Walk Around No. 18 by David Doyle
British Anti-tank Artillery 1939-45 (New Vanguard) by Chris Henry and Brian Delf
German Artillery in World War II 1939-1945: (Schiffer Military History) by Joachim Engelmann
German Light Field Artillery: 1935-1945 (Schiffer Military/Aviation History) by Joachim Engelmann
Basic Half-Track Vehicles M2, M3 Technical Manual War Department
Hail to the Jeep by R.M. Clarke
USMC Uniforms & Equipment 1941-1945 by Bruno Alberti
Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 1942-2002 (New Vanguard) by Gordon Rottman and Tony Bryan
US Marine Corps Tanks of World War II (New Vanguard) by Steven Zaloga, Richard Chasemore
DK Eyewitness Books: Vietnam War by DK Publishing
Weapons of the Vietnam War by Anthony Robinson