The 13th Valley

Disclaimer: I read this book in the Dutch translation The 13th Valley by John Del Vecchio has been called the classic Vietnam novel. Other classic books (e.g. Dispatches by Michael Herr, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian, Chickenhawk by Robert Mason) were first-hand accounts, although O’Brian often crosses the […]

Tom Clancy’s A Guided Tour Series

Tom Clancy is of course best known for his Jack Ryan series of novels. He also published a number of non-fiction books describing US military units: Nuclear submarines, Air Force fighter wings, an Armored Cavalry Regiment, a Marine Expeditionary Force, an Airborne division, an aircraft carrier, and Special Forces. I […]

Review: The Age of Airpower

In The Age of Airpower, Martin van Creveld writes about the history and development of airpower. The book is divided into five parts: The beginnings, World War II, the Cold War, smaller wars from 1945 on, and what he calls “war amongst the people”, i.e. counterinsurgency warfare. As such, it […]

Street without Joy

In Street without Joy, Bernard Fall describes and analyses France’s failure in the First Indochina War, focusing on the second half (1950-1954). Based on his personal experiences and thorough research both in French and Vietnamese archives (he met and interviewed Ho Chi Minh during one of his visits to North […]

Soviet aircraft of World War II

This is an overview of the most important Soviet aircraft of WW II. Fighters At the start of the war with Germany, the Polikarpov I-16 was the most numerous fighter. It was armed with two 7.62mm MGs and two 20mm cannons, at lower altitudes it performed equal to the Bf109E. […]

Japanese aircraft of World War II

This is an overview of the most important aircraft used by Japan during World War II. Fighters The most famous Japanese fighter and airplane of WW II is the Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”. They were used throughout the war by the Navy. Early on they clearly outperformed the opposition, especially in […]

Mosquitoes to Wolves

The use of Forward Air Controllers is an interesting aspect of aerial and ground warfare. Mosquitoes to Wolves by G.R. Lester describes how airborne FACs matured during the Korean War. Flying the T-6, the “Mosquitoes”  directed close air support strikes and interdiction near the front line. Sadly, lessons learned in […]

US Navy aircraft of WW II

This is an overview of the most important aircraft used by the US Navy during World War II. Fighters The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the Navy’s main fighter early in the war. It was armed with six 12.7mm MGs. While outperformed by the Zero, it was much sturdier than it’s […]