What are you reading right now

I read through ‘A Small Stubborn Town’ last night. It’s a brief recount of the battle of Voznesensk by the BBC journalist Andrew Harding who visited the town shortly after the battle (I read through it in one evening).
Against all odds the Ukrainians managed to stop the Russian invaders at Voznesensk, ensuring that they couldn’t encircle Mykolaiv and advance further west towards Odesa.

It’s based on interviews and meetings he had with Ukrainians - civilians, volunteers, the mayor and professional soldiers who were witness to or took part in the battle for Voznesensk as Russians tried to find a way around Mykolaiv to get to Odesa.

Fairly light reading considering the subject at hand but some parts did send chills down my spine.
Still, a great example of Ukrainian resistance and ingenuity in the face of overwhelming odds.


Currently reading Apache by Ed Macy, after seeing a recommendation in a review for another pilot book.


Both “Apache” and “Hellfire” are good reads.

And if you want more Apache you could also read “Dressed to kill” by Charlotte Madison.


Just finished these two, same author.

Amazon.com: The Destroying Angel: The Rifle-Musket as the First Modern Infantry Weapon eBook : Gibbons, Brett: Kindle Store
Amazon.com: The English Cartridge: Pattern 1853 Rifle-Musket Ammunition eBook : Gibbons, Brett: Kindle Store

I have a huge interest in Victorian warfare, and Brett runs a very good youtube channel based on the tehcnology of warfare in that era that led me to his books.

Overall I would say his work is halfway between “history for the masses” and pure scholarship. He does an excellent job of keeping it interesting while still being well sourced and detailed. If you have an interest in the subject matter I can definitely recommend his work.

1 Like

It finally arrived today


This should be a good one. Posted by @wheelsup_cavu earlier.



So apparently the secret to great airplanes was white shirts, ties, and hair grease?


Ha - the greased hair was part of NACA contract to lower the drag of their heads {Not really}

Dig the XP-79 concept built for 12G in 1945 with the pilot prone.


One of the best accounts of Cold War combat I have read. Both authors are veterans (SAAF and Cuban MiG-23ML pilot) which no doubt helps getting the other that were there. Each chapter is presented with accounts from all sides and a fair bit on the MiG-23ML in combat.



Current read in the book club I’m a member of. The civil rights movement analyzed and retold through the lens of the military veterans who were a part of it, and their experiences and parallels to how the campaign was like military campaigns. HIGHLY recommended.

Thomas Ricks is actually going to be talking about his research and the book in our talk tomorrow night.



I am about 100pp in. So far, can’t put it down. Highly recommended on reddit so you know it’s good!

Post script for anyone who sees this later and is intrigued. The book goes beyond my review-informed hopes. It’s such a page-turner, filled with ugly DC sausage-making, intricate technical detail, detailed accident analysis and a deep respect for thousands of the stories and conflicting opinions and passions that shape the narrative. The story is helped rather than hindered by the author’s lack of aviation or military experience because he never assumed that his knowledge in an area was end-state. He refined over and over with the help of experts and documents his explanations of VRS, composites, rotor design, hydraulics, air assault tactics and so on, to a honed edge where experts would have lost most of us in the weeds. Anyway, just terrific. The only niggle for me, and it’s a small one, is his implication that before the V-22, VRS was relatively unknown and unstudied. He claims that most pilots had never heard of it before the Marana, AZ tragedy. Every helicopter pilot since the late 50’s has known about “settling with power, as it was often called before VRS was coined. I’ve seen training documents from the early Vietnam era that described descending through the doughnut-like vortex ring and how more power only makes thing worse. But we’re talking one paragraph out of 400 terrific, informative pages. Enjoy!


Great read!..I am biased though as I am in the Osprey community! I enjoyed it and a lot of questions were answered. Questions that I had regarding the entire process of the program etc. Check out the “History of the XV-15 Program” as well from NASA.


Let’s hear it!


I saw the XV15 at Pima Museum in the late 80s. It was 115F that day so I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should have…


It’s a little uncomfortable learning how sausage is made, especially the bad stuff. The XV-15 was brilliant. Had Bell talked the services into something just slightly bigger than the XV and not joined hands with Boeing, it would have been a great platform from which to scale up. Apparently (also according to reddit) there’s an even better book about the Blackhawk. That’s next in the queue.


Agreed, that’s the part that the general public only latches onto unfortunately, the bad stuff. I think everyone who’s skeptical should read the Dream Machine to better understand all the nuance of the program. It answered a lot of questions I had. I came into the program not knowing how the Osprey came together into what we have today. I was advised to read it when I arrived onto the Bell Osprey Program by Veteran Osprey Crews. Glad I did, It is an amazing feat of engineering.

What is the title of the Blackhawk book you’re looking into? I am always down for a good aviation historical read.


Black Hawk: The Story of a World-Class Helicopter

Also recommended:

The RH-66 Comanche Helicopter: Technical Accomplishment, Program Frustration (oddly dull title)

I’ve flown with quite a few MV-22 pilots and one Air Force. All loved the machine. I find them awe-inspiring. Japan bought it because the tsunami taught them that nothing in their inventory was much help. The Americans and their MV-22s made a big impression. The book pokes fun at the Osprey’s girth but I think they look sexy as hell by helicopter standards. You gotta grade these things on a scale.

PS… I just noticed your squadron patch. Please feel free to expand or clarify if I am off the mark regarding Japan.


Thank you, I will check them out!

I think the aircraft has a killer look for sure. I work on the Simulations side of the house so I’m always digging into manuals and pilots’ brains. All of the aviators I know enjoy the aircraft and its capabilities. I of course get to cruise around every morning and try to learn something new about is capabilities before training begins in the sim…perk of the job I suppose!

This design was the first year anniversary for the JGSDF team. It is the Tokyo Bay Aqualine bridge, Great Wave of Kanagawa with Mt. Fuji in the backdrop.


Very cool. Speaking of the “sim-side” of aviation, paging @komemiute.