Best book I ever yelled at while reading...

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    Pullman WA
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3745
    (1/10/03 10:38:34 pm)
    Reply Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Reading "Touched With Fire" by Eric Bergerud, a great book about land combat in the SW Pacific Theater. (Australian/USA/USMC/Japanese) in New Guinea, Solomons 1942-1943)

    I read his EXCELLENT "Fire in the Sky" about air combat in the same theater/time frame, and it REALLY makes you understand the war was won against Japan here. He is supposedly writing 'Fire on the Sea" about the naval battles of the same time, I just HAVE to get all three for my bookshelf.

    This book is just as well written, LOTS of anecdotal, first person accounts, written in a neat way, each topic given own section, rather that chronological, GREAT book.......EXCEPT ...!!!

    His section on weapons. HOWINTHEHELL can such a good historian and researcher screw the pooch so badly?????

    My wife thinks I am going goofy....never saw me yell at a book so much before while I was reading it...

    "The reason the Japanese used a .25 caliber is they were unable to build a weapon strong enough to withstand repeated firing of a more powerful .30 caliber round."

    [ WRONG---The Arisaka is the STRONGEST BA action EVER 6.5 OR 7.7!!!!!!!]

    "The type 38 had such a long barrel because it was the only way to get high enough velocity to the smaller round..."

    [WRONG- EVERYBODY at the turn of the Century made a LONG infantry rifle, a carbine for artillery/service, and a "short" rifle for cavaly...and the Japs had NO cavalry!!! So they only had an "Infantry" rifle and a Carbine!!!!]

    "The main reason the Thompson was so valuable as a jungle weapon in US and Aussie was the heavy all-lead bullets (covered by a thin zinc covering that disintegrated in the barrel.)

    [????? I have about 50 rounds left of UMC/WW/RA hardball headstamped 41 and 42, sure as hell looks like "typical" hardball to me, and I've NEVER recovered a .45 hardball slug with a "disintegrated" jacket, modern or WWII vintage. Granted, maybe the jackets don't "strip" from my 5" colt barrel, but they aren't 1000fps rounds from a Thompson barrel either! Why can't he (or the Aussies) figure out it worked because the .45 slug was BIG! PERIOD!]

    "The Bren had quick change barrels because firing wore down the rifling reducing accuracy and power, but nobody carried the extra weight on patrol."

    [What about the HEAT and EXPANSION that would make the sucker MALFUNCTION, change headspace, even if the barrel DIDN'T melt and bend?????]

    Now while he had some stuff that MAY be true, and had anecdotal evidence from vets who said their watercooled Vickers and M1917a1s NEVER had water in them and they fired them even when red-hot and they didn't malfunction...

    How in the heck can you trust ANYTHING the guy says about weapons if he says....

    "One of the most effective US weapons in the jungle was the "SPRINGFIELD" 12 guage riot shotgun!!!!

    [They were %#$^!%@#$ M1897 WINCHESTERS, DAMMIT! ]

    I just scratch my head trying to figure out WHY he could do such great research on MOST of the book and drop the ball on the weapons. Anecdotal evidence is GREAT, but cannot be depended on completely! (i.e., look at our Carbine thread, veterans have DIFFERENT perceptions all the TIME!!!) And one more proof why you CANNOT have only one source for facts, or need to read MANY books on a topic before setting your opinion in stone! Somebody reading only this book and getting into a discussion about weapons and citing THESE facts will make knowledgable people think he was stupid!

    I think this historian is really an aircraft buff, on thin ice with ground combat. I'm glad I read his air combat book first, he was good with the planes.

    But all in all it's STILL a great book about the other stuff, the fighting, the jungle, the terrain, the diseases, the strategy and tactics, the mindset and traditions of both sides, etc., I highly recommend it to any WWII buff or Historian.

    Just contact me after you finish the weapons section and I'll set you straight....

    Now I think I'll go finish it....

    ...maybe I better call him and offer my (our?) services...

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 1/11/03 12:02:18 am

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1767
    (1/10/03 11:07:54 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Invite him over to this forum, Mike -

    Won't take long for us espertsto set him straight on weaponry!!!
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3493
    (1/11/03 10:45:43 am)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- wife hates it when I'm watching watching WWII movies or documentaries on TV....I'm always yelling at the screen.

    My pet one: EVERY time they show pix of the attack on Pearl Harbor, they have the same shot of the same three SBD's diving to the attack! Even Victory At Sea had that shot!

    Also, I love the shots of F6Fs taking off from the carriers to give ground support at Guadalcanal (complete with their "stars and bars" insignia). Hell, why not show FA-18s?

    ......or those pix of SB dueceys flying to attack the Jap carriers at Midway.

    Grumble, grumble, gripe, gripe.........

    When I'm elected King Of The World, heads will roll!

    Edited by: Xracer at: 1/11/03 10:47:06 am

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3749
    (1/11/03 6:06:08 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Hey X, how about that same footage they show over and over in every movie involving carriers...the one where the Hellcat misses the wires and spins off towards the island of an Intrepid class CVL and breaks in two at impact right behind the pilot and bursts into was in Midway along with a few other movies, and in just about any documentary I've seen about carriers, including one on the Coral Sea battle...heck, I think I even remember seeing it in a "Black Sheep" rerun about them landing on a carrier! At least Black Sheep USUALLY showed Corsairs.

    And I've seen so many At-6s depicted as Zeros and Vals and Kates, that I'm starting to recognize it as another Jap type

    Now granted, there probably wasn't alot of surplus Wildcats or SBDs available, much less Zeros so you have to give them slack for the "live" shots, but there HAS to be actual FOOTAGE out there they can use!

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3498
    (1/11/03 7:25:15 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Yeah, Polish. Sometimes I think the Jap Air Force had more AT-6s as front-line aircraft than WE did as trainers.

    And the pilot was always Sessue Hawakawa (with chicken blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth).

    Someday, we've got to get together and rent about 24 hours worth of WWII movie videos for a marathon "yelling at the screen" endurance contest!

    And no fair swearing in Polish!

    BTW......didja see my answer on the Norwegian Colts in the Trivia thread?

    Edited by: Xracer at: 1/11/03 7:29:25 pm

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3758
    (1/11/03 7:53:36 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Yeah, I did. I remembered the Nazis used them after they took Norway, but I figured I had qualified it with "no captures."

    I didn't know they had put them back into production. If we allowed "captured/reissued" we'd need a book to cover the Nazi stuff!

    Didn't they also put the Dewoitine 523 back into production too and equip some reserve squadrons with it after the fall of France?

    That marathon would be fun...may have to hit the $1 rack at Family Video now that we got a DVD player for Christmas from the kids!

    Did somebody mention the DC-3/C-47 in the other thread? The Japs made and used them too...

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3521
    (1/14/03 10:51:28 am)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....
    Yeah, I think the Dewointine continued production under the Nazis, and were used by the Vichy Air Force. Not sure if that counts, though.

    Yeah.....the Japs built the C-47, and so did the Russians. I've also heard that Germany sent a few Bf-109s to Japan.....don't know if they were ever used in combat, though. Some allied pilots reported seeing them, but they might've mistaken Tony IIs for the 109.

    .....and there was a whole s**tload Hungarian and Czech firearms the Nazis used as "secondary" issue stuff.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 875
    (1/14/03 11:22:09 am)
    Reply Re: Best Book I ever yelled at while reading....

    And I've seen so many At-6s depicted as Zeros and Vals and Kates, that I'm starting to recognize it as another Jap type

    You can blame the Confederate....errrrr....Commemorative Air Force for that. I've seen their Pearl Harbor reenactment several times, and they love to bring out the "Jap" planes for airshows. I always see parents telling their kids that these are Japanese planes, and I don't have the heart to walk over and set them straight, thereby destroying the kids' fantasies.

    But you can bet anytime I see a plane at an airshow with Jap markings, I always go look at the nameplate under the left elevator to see what it really is. They do a pretty fair job of making it look real sometimes. But I have yet to see a real Japanese-made WWII model at a show. As I understand it, there are not any more flying examples of them. At least, not that they bring out for the public.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!
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