RogerBW's Blog

Forty Years of Murder, Keith Simpson 20 June 2022

1978 autobiography. Keith Simpson was one of the successors of Spilsbury, and one of the first people in England to turn forensic pathology from an act of drama into a science.

Evidence for the Crown, Molly Lefebure 30 May 2022

1954 non-fiction. Molly Lefebure was a junior reporter who took a job as secretary to Keith Simpson, the Supervisor of Medico-Legal Post-Mortems and the forensic pathologist most often consulted by the Metropolitan Police. Reissued in 1990 as Murder on the Home Front.

P-51 Dragon Fighter 26 March 2022 - 7 comments

2014 fantasy, dir. Mark Atkins, Scott Martin, Ross Brooks: IMDb / allmovie. In the Second World War, the Nazis have got dragons. That's about it really.

The Long Way Home, Ed Dover 20 June 2021 - 5 comments

1998 non-fiction. A Pan Am Boeing 314 Clipper was en route from Noumea to Auckland when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. They were instructed to make their way back to the USA as best they could.

Designated Targets, John Birmingham 06 March 2021 - 2 comments

2005 alternate-history science fiction war story. The "uptimers" from 2021 are helping their Allied counterparts from 1942, but both sides have future tech and people to exploit.

Azur Lane 24 March 2020

2019-2020, 12 episodes: AniDB. Schoolgirls with the spirit of WWII Japanese fighting ships take on an alien navy. Hang on, this sounds familiar…

Black Roses, Jane Thynne 27 March 2018

2013 historical drama, first in a five-book series. Berlin, 1933: Clara Vine, unsuccessful actress, has gone to Berlin to try her luck in film, just as Hitler has come to power. She finds herself falling upwards into the company of Magda Goebbels, and is recruited as an intelligence source.

The Battle for History, John Keegan 12 November 2017

This short book is a survey of histories of the Second World War.

Most Secret, Nevil Shute 04 May 2017

1945 war story (written in 1942 but held back by the censor). Four mismatched officers come together on a project to build up French morale by deploying a flamethrower against German coastal forces.

The Guns of Navarone, Alistair MacLean 29 March 2017

1957 thriller/war story. The island of Navarone, off the Turkish coast, contains a set of naval guns in a rock fortress that can't be effectively bombed, surrounded by a massive occupation force. Two sabotage missions have failed, one by boat, one by parachute. It's time for the third.

HMS Ulysses, Alistair MacLean 25 March 2017

1955 thriller/war story, MacLean's first novel. Ulysses, a heavily-modified Dido-class cruiser, has been worked nearly to death on the Arctic convoys, but in spite of that, and of an arguable mutiny among the men, she's sent out for one more run.

Weapons of Choice, John Birmingham 23 February 2017 - 1 comment

2004 alternate-history science fiction war story. In the near future, an American-led multinational naval force is approaching an Indonesia turned muslim-fundamentalist, when it finds itself hurled through time to 1942, just before the Battle of Midway.

The Longest Day 23 November 2016 - 5 comments

1962 war, dir. Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki and others: IMDb / allmovie

The tale of the D-Day invasion in 1944, with a literal cast of thousands.

Darkest Hour, James Holland 10 October 2015

2009 war story, second in Holland's Sergeant Jack Tanner series. In May of 1940, Tanner is in a training company on the south coast, but will soon be going to France with the BEF. But an old nemesis from his days in India has shown up again.

The Odin Mission, James Holland 08 August 2015 - 2 comments

2008 war story, first in Holland's Sergeant Jack Tanner series. In April of 1940, British forces in Norway make a fighting retreat in the face of the oncoming German invasion. Jack Tanner, of the King's Own Yorkshire Rangers, must also deal with poor officers, being cut off from friendly troops, and a civilian who has to be smuggled out of the country.

Kantai Collection 19 April 2015

2015, 12 episodes: AniDB

Schoolgirls with the spirit of WWII Japanese fighting ships take on an alien navy.

Gold from Crete, C. S. Forester 04 January 2015

1971 collection of earlier fiction; various stories of action during the Second World War.

Given by the Mighty Hand of God 17 December 2014 - 2 comments

The players in my Second World War campaign have gathered various information about the interaction of atomic power and magic. Here's a quick summary of what they think they know.

Private Angelo, Eric Linklater 11 June 2014

In a tale that begins with the Italian armistice of 1943, the reluctant soldier Angelo bounces around war-torn Italy, serially drafted into one army after another. He is a very poor soldier. If only he had the dono di coraggio.

Dive in the Sun, Douglas Reeman 16 May 2014

Late in the Second World War, the crew of a midget submarine gets into trouble off the Italian coast.

Tailsitters 28 March 2014 - 2 comments

One of the desiderata of an air defence system is to put defending fighters close to the high-value targets. That way they don't get decoyed away by diversionary attacks, giving the enemy bombers a clear run, because they're dedicated to protecting a specific target; nor do they need massive endurance (adding to weight), if they don't need to make long-distance flights.

Fateful Choices, Ian Kershaw 15 March 2014

Kershaw examines ten choices made during the years 1940-1941 that, in his opinion, substantially affected the course of the Second World War.

A Prayer for the Ship, Douglas Reeman 12 March 2014 - 1 comment

Sub-Lieutenant Clive Royce is assigned to a Motor Torpedo Boat working off the east coast of England during the Second World War.

The Force Z Scenario 27 February 2014

This is the scenario I mentioned when reviewing Fire on the Waters: Force Z plus Hood vs the Japanese invasion fleet. I played it with Mongoose's Victory at Sea, but this version is generic; it should work with any WWII naval/air game.

Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre 25 February 2014

This is the story of the well-known deception operation in the Second World War: dropping a dead fake courier into the sea near Spain, in the hope that his deceptive paperwork would be taken seriously by the Germans and misdirect them as to the location of Allied landings in the Mediterranean.

Fire on the Waters 10 February 2014

I've been looking around for a WWII naval combat system that felt right to me, and I think I've found it.

Operation Crossbow 26 January 2014

1965, dir. Michael Anderson, George Peppard, Sophia Loren: IMDb / allmovie

This is a highly-fictionalised account, a triple-stranded story of the German V-weapon development programme, the British efforts (the actual Crossbow) to work out what was going on and develop countermeasures, and as part of that a mission to insert agents into the rocket development and construction programmes.

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