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Customer Discussions > History forum

Best WWII books or DVDs?

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Showing 51-75 of 79 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012, 11:12:39 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
p:'entry level is right...'

That is a task that gets far less respect than it deserves.

'theyre quite obtainable usually quite cheap,'

SOME of them can be had for not much more than their old cover prices. Others can easily go for 30 times that, and more. The average price on a lot of present mid level rare books on eBay right now is between $5 and $10 per book.

'Ive always been after the one on Yom Kippur War, but it has always eluded me..'

Be ready to pay; copies start at $12.50 here, and easily go to $50.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012, 5:47:33 PM PDT
patrick says:
yeah, its odd, that, because I have other books on Middle-eastern wars myself, you cant give them away here virtually..

yet that one has continued to elude me...i have the A4-sized 'special" one on weapons of that war, but it isnt much.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012, 7:12:39 PM PDT

I really liked the Ballantine books when I was a teenager, great photo's wonderful detail for such works, it was my real introduction to WWII. To me, that massive series (of which I have only read about 1/3) but they were wonderful if you did not know anything about a subject. Rather like Osprey's series on the Napoleonic wars. Funny, I began as a WWII buff, but then the greater sweep of history got me. And then I ran into Napoleon. It must have been the uniforms. He is the first bona fide military genius about which there is a mountain written, from both sides, the good, the bad, the very ugly and the brilliant. It is odd, but when I was in the military, I used so many of the little snippets I had learned from him in my actual day to day leadership. But the personal details of the entire period are so interesting. The personal rivalries and lives of his marshals read like a soap opera. No less so his other coterie and, for that matter, those of all of his antagonists. All are nothing short fascinating.

But WWII, in the end, my favorite is the impossibly hard to find, "Tokyo Trial".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012, 7:57:47 PM PDT
Gary Fisher says:
At the Closing of a Day - The Diary of Sgt. Merle Alan Fisher Company B, 1st Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 1st Marine Division 1942-1944 This is a word for word personal diary that covers a span of over 2 years with only a couple of days with no entry. Interesting day by day life of a Marine so willing to serve and die for his country.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012, 8:35:14 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
p:'yet that one has continued to elude me...'

Modern day Internet shopping only requires two things. A will to buy, and enough money to meet the asking price on rare-ish things. Abebooks currently has one for $19, plus shipping.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012, 8:37:56 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
Igs: What I like about the Ballantine's series is that, for being solid introductory books, which is exactly what I needed at the time, they don't hold stuff back, or presume that the reader isn't bright. And, their liberal use of illustrations really helped in an age when one couldn't surf to find all the pics on any topic that one could want.

If you mean The Tokyo Trial and Beyond: Reflections of a Peacemonger, it's available new for $25.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012, 9:56:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012, 9:59:12 AM PDT

No. I mean "Tokyo Trial." It is a Chinese movie. Its dubbed. The cool thing is that most of the movie is in English (due to the majority of the proceedings being in English). It is shot from a Chinese POV, it is long, real long, it is rare, and it is a treat.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012, 11:03:55 PM PDT
DarthRad says:
You mean this movie:

The Tokyo Trial

A real steal for only $118.99

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012, 4:30:24 AM PDT
Your dad may be interested in Into Dust and Fire: Five Young Americans Who Went First to Fight the Nazi Army . Last Saturday I heard a radio interview with the author, whose uncle died in Tunisia.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012, 2:42:41 PM PDT
patrick says:
what is Tokyo Trial? Tojo and the Japanese Nurembergs?

Posted on Jul 16, 2012, 2:44:50 PM PDT
patrick says:
ok, obviously not..

"City of Life and Death" re Nanking massacre, is one which gets much play here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012, 2:48:02 PM PDT
patrick says:
ok, then again, obviously yes..

i always thought that generally-speaking, the Chinese were excluded from those trials, but maybe I was confusing it with the fact that they were excluded from the "Occupation Forces.."

So that they then avoided some kind of dynamics akin to the Russians occupying Berlin and other German places..

Posted on Jul 28, 2012, 4:48:09 PM PDT
The best WWII book I ever read was "Japan's Imperial Conspiracy" by David Bergamini. This hefty volume (paperback) weighs in at 1200 pages of text, not including notes. It was published in 1971 and is sadly out of print, though good used copies are still available. As an adolescent and teenager, the author and his family were living in China during the 1930's and were interned by the Japanese throughout the war as civilians; prison camp life was strict but not brutal. The family spoke fluent Japanese and the author got to know some of the camp guards and traded cigarettes; he was fascinated why these people, basically decent and child-loving committed so many horrendous crimes. The thesis of the book is that Emperor Hirohito was the focal point of the war and initiated and approved some of the worst atrocities; he was not the naive innocent many later supposed. Bergamini's thesis was mocked when it first appeared; subsequent years revealed he was right.
More than just a history of the war years, the book explores Japan's past, the myths it lived by, its intricate, deceptive politics punctuated by violent factional struggles and contending ideologies, and a cast of characters more colorful than anything in fiction. Emperor Hirohito lived out the expectations of the Yamato dynasty in which he was born; his father was emperor (although the 20-year-old Hirohito became de-facto emperor when his father was losing his marbles), and his grandfather was the great Emporer Meiji who presided over Japan's modernization as a great power. A quiet self-effacing man, Hirohito's main passion in life was the study of marine biology; had he not been emperor he would probably have become a scientist.

As to my favorite WWII movie, I'll be less wordy and say it's "Twelve O'Clock High" with Gregory Peck and an excellent supporting cast.

Posted on Jul 31, 2012, 3:04:11 PM PDT
M. Hatter says:
For DVD try "The Third Reich in Color" parts I & II. Fascinating!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 6:39:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012, 6:41:51 PM PDT
patrick says:
thats interessting, actually.
Did it inspire that Spielberg movie "Empire of the Sun" ?
awful movie, I thought, all the more so because the theme itself would seem a rich one.
"Things that must not be forgotten" is another about the Japanese occupation years in China, I have it but cant review it because its not yet read..
on another tack, try
'Letting the Side down-British traitors of WW2"
for a run-down on the people who assisted or supported or went over to the enemy,some famous, many more obscure, their backgrounds, and some examination of why some people behave thus.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012, 8:52:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012, 9:02:39 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
If you really want to get a top show about WW2 see if Victory at Sea is still available. Many installments using actual war footage in B&W but may have been colorized. I remember seeing the shows years ago but not in the past 30 years if I remember. A great series of films shot by military photographers that tracked the US forces in the Pacific. Actually I just checked and there is a Victory at Sea DVD set. You will definitely want this set. Actually rated 5 stars and less than $8, for 26 episodes and an emmy award winner.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 8:59:47 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
"Victory At Sea" was great and it had the best soundtrack I've ever heard.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:03:37 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
They sell it here for less than $8. Quite a steal I will probably buy to see again.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:06:33 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
If you can get a good copy, it's worth having, J. Schwarz.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:10:43 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
The people who purchased it were quite pleased with the quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:13:44 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
I think it would be a keeper then, J. Schwarz. I recall being quite interested in it when I was young, of course the debris of World War II was still all over the place.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012, 9:19:56 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
My unit was the one that liberated Dachau. Of course it was before my time, but proof that the camps existed.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:21:52 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
I never doubted that camps existed, J. Schwarz. One of my kinsmen was an SS officer. He was a cavalryman, but knew about the camps.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012, 9:30:05 PM PDT
J. Schwarz says:
And my grandfather was a captain in the Polish army. But actually never knew him.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012, 9:34:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012, 9:34:33 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
The Poles put up quite a fight, J. Schwarz. They had great cavalry.

I knew my kinsman. In fact some of the first things I heard about what is now called the Holocaust were from him.

He hated "the Jewish race" and I see echoes of that hatred in many of the posts we see now. I turned my back on Naziism long ago, but many haven't.

You see them post here. That's why I reply. Their message should not go unchallenged.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  79
Initial post:  Dec 14, 2008
Latest post:  Aug 13, 2012

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