One of the great things about the internet is how it connects us between countries and across time. Greg Otterson in Bangkog pointed me to a great yarn about Tex Hill of the American Volunteer Group and Roy Hudson of 17th Indian Division, who crossed paths under unhappy circumstances in February 1942. Read it on the Annals of the Flying Tigers.
And yes, I'm a month late in marking the start of 2018. Blame it on this book: Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, a 1,184-page account of twelve years in the life of history's greatest mass murderer. During the Terror of 1937-1938, Stalin signed off on the execution of one thousand people a day, mostly his own generals, commissars, intellectuals, secret police, and dutiful members of the Communist party. I needed the better part of two months to read it, and every hour was well rewarded. Stephen Kotkin makes even Stalin's greatest blunder — his calamitous failure to have the Red Army positioned to trounce the Germans in June 1941 — understandable. Indeed, it was inevitable, given the Soviet doctrine of "forward defense" (which is to say, counterattack!) that would serve the Russians so well in later years.
Also noted this month: Robert Harris's latest historical thriller, Munich, which is much touted but left me rather cold; and a New Hampshire Humanities Council course for veterans to read Homer's Odyssey and explore their own experience of homecoming. Read about them on the Warbird's Book Club.
Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, grouped under these headings:
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted February 2018. Websites © 1997-2018 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.