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Michael C. Smith
Marshall, Texas
Interests: Reading, history, architecture, and music.
Recent Activity
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For many modelers of World War II ships, Revell's 1/720 scale model of the USS Intrepid (CV – 11) was an early favorite. It was cheap (two dollars, compared to four dollars for a Tamiya Akagi), easy to build, and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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This week's only new paper book is Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe by James J. Sheehan. It's part of the reading for my World War II Today class. These four came in in Kindle... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I ran across this on Audible and decided I'd give it a shot. It's a little older - 1985 - but provided a thorough and not-too-lengthy overview of the war in the Pacific. I ran across a used hardcover of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Brought in four this week - three paper and one audiobook. Two books on military history from Half-Price Books in Waco, and two new fiction, one hardcover from Amazon and one audiobook. Eisenhower - A Soldiers Life, is a 2002... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I decided to watch this while working on my WWS 562 paper on the end of the Pacific War, and was really glad I did. Regardless of how bad Rotten Tomatoes says it is, I found nothing to nitpick or... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Finished (more or less) my first Landing Ship Medium (LSM) LSM-233 in the foreground. LSM-233 was built in San Pedro, California, one of 558 constructed during the war, and like most of the class, it served in the Pacific theater,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I have been on a kick about landing craft recently for some reason, and have been building hell out of Skywave's 1/700 kits of LCTs, LCT(R)s, LCIs, LCMs and most recently a pair of LSTs to go with my collection... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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The first time I read Dracula I was enthralled with the way the epistolary form and the subject told a story than grew gradually more horrific even though the words Stoker was using were prosaic at best, and banal whenever... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Ambrose's book is ten years newer than D'Este's Decision in Normandy, but that isn't what makes it different. What makes it different from any of the other D-Day works I have read recently is its sheer weight of personal accounts.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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D'Este published this book in 1983, and the date is significant, because it differs from more recent scholarship in several ways. First, D'Este actually spoke with numerous people who are mentioned in the text, and was able to include personal... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Another one of the 2019 conference package was this new book by Alex Kershaw which tells the story of the first wave of troops that landed on D-Day. It has less of the planning and more of the actual stories... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I got this book as part of a batch I wanted to have signed by the author in November at the WW II symposium, and really enjoyed it. It focuses on the actual landing portion of Overlord, and as such... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Lacey followed Keep From All Thoughtful Men with this book on the broader topic of the bureaucratic warfare in Washington during World War II. The book tells the fascinating story of the interagency decision-making process that flourished in FDR's administration... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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This was required reading in my WWS 562 class, and told a very interesting story about how economists played a role in planning the U.S. industrial production that generated the material necessary to fight World War II. The subtitle is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I enjoyed this trilogy the first time through, but none as much as the first volume, which recounted the story of the green American troops and their equally green leaders as they first engaged in combat in the European theater... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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Spent some quality puttering in the study time Sunday reorganizing the shelves to make more room for the World War II acquisitions that don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. It started with trying to assign numbers to some of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2020 at Puttering in the Study
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I finished this book a month ago, and really enjoyed it. As I mentioned about Jordan's subsequent book American Warlords, the prose is a little over the top at times, but it seems to fit this book better, since the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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Parker and I went to see Midway today, and really enjoyed it. It was technically stunning - the Enterprise and its dive bombers were flawlessly executed, and for that matter I never saw any hardware (except the sinking Lexington) that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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A very pleasant surprise about the new Midway movie is that the Enterprise's Bombing 6 skipper Dick Best is the lead. I met Mr. Best at a Nimitz (now Pacific War) Museum symposium in 1992, and for reasons that now... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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This is another short book, but provides an excellent background on Barbarossa, as well as a concise explanation of the first year of the campaign. It includes a phase by phase analysis of the Nazi plan and practice for genocide... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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Just finished this short book about the relationship between the two dictators leading up the the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It’s more of a talk than a book, and the citations are thin, but it’s an excellent study... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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Dauntless: The Battle of Midway is a “mockbuster” - a low budget film that’s intended to capitalize on the publicity surrounding a blockbuster movie by a large studio. Even the trailer indicated that the special effects were not quite ready... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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One of the characteristics of the SCB-125 Essex class carriers was a prominent crease or "knuckle" at the bow which marks where the class' original open bow was plated in from the forecastle deck to the gallery deck. The knuckle... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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I don’t know how this happened. Some post somewhere suggested that this was a classic piece of horror fiction from the 1930’s, and it ended up being almost camp. The summary of the 1950’s Hammer movie based on it (which... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2019 at Puttering in the Study
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I don’t know how this happened. Some post somewhere suggested that this was a classic piece of horror fiction from the 1930’s, and it ended up being almost camp. The summary of the 1950’s Hammer movie based on it (which... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2019 at Puttering in the Study