What are you reading right now

Think this one is going to be in my reading queue next.

Hogs in the Sand: A Gulf War A-10 Pilot’s Combat Journal




This has not been an easy dive. But I’ve learned much about the current conflict through Stalin’s early life. He grew up speaking and writing Georgian, only to learn Russian later, and always speaking it with an accent. He was an outsider, hounded by the police and exiled dozens of times. You’d think he would sympathize with the Ukrainian desire to maintain their language and culture. But he was far harsher on them than any Russian was on him or his people. He starved to death upwards of 4 million Ukrainians through farm collectivization. Charismatic men devoid of empathy are the people we consistently choose to elevate for greatness.


Reading (well, listening to) Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising for the half-dozenth time. As a whole it has very little bearing on today’s world, but is still very interesting what he got right that still plays out today.


Stalin can get a little heavy. Fortunately, a documentary on Netflix has turned me onto Kurt Vonnegut. They, the cruelest of his critics, say his writing is more suited for teenaged boys. Maybe that’s my current mental level because I think he’s fantastic.


I’ve always been a Kurt Vonnegut fan. Growing up my mother hated his books, which I think made me like them more. :joy:


Above is book two for me. “Sirens of Titan” was book one. That was maybe the most creative SciFi book I have ever read. Not necessarily the best, but up there, and completely off the wall. You can sense the inspiration of Douglas Adams’ work which would follow 20 years later.

@WarPig watch the doc if you can. I cannot recall the last time I cried at the end of a film. But I did for this one. And I wasn’t even crying for Kurt. I was crying for the filmmaker, the loss of his wife, and for the meta, time-bending manner in which the film was crafted, mimicking Vonnegut’s own style.

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I knew about the mission for quite some time but I really started researching it in depth in 2017.


This book by Dan Hampton was my latest read on the subject.

Operation Vengeance

by Dan Hampton (2020)


About the Author

Even with all the other articles I have read regarding this mission and even though there was nothing Earth shatteringly new I still found this book to be an enjoyable read. There was some conflicting information regarding the A6M Types protecting Yamamoto when compared to other sources I have read over the years, and even those sources never seem to know for certain. He also mentioned something about Ray Hine having been seen much later, with a feathered engine and a badly damaged cowling, by a Navy pilot flying a PBY than I had read in any of my other research, or at least I do not remember this detail in that research. The Navy pilot gave him a heading to Henderson and Hine and the Navy pilot went their separate ways. Every other source I had seen to date only mentions that Hine’s P-38 was damaged near Bougainville and he was never seen again.

Other articles:
Killing a Peacock: A Case Study of the Targeted Killing of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto:

The Evolution of Tactics: A Moral Look at the Decision to Target Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet



this guy does some great videos


Screenshot 2022-09-28 212948


I just bought a bunch of books last week. You guys are going to make me go bankrupt. :wink:


scored some good hits

I will quote David Crook “good value for money:slight_smile:

Amazon.com: Spitfire Pilot: A Personal Account of the Battle of Britain eBook : Crook, D. M. : Kindle Store

Amazon.com: Spitfire!: The Experiences of a Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot eBook : Lane, Brian: Kindle Store

Amazon.com: Tail Gunner eBook : Rivaz, R C: Kindle Store

if you have any good recommendations of personal pilot accounts from WWI and WWII pls share.

hey @moderators could you pls cut this thread in half? and create new dedicated '22 ? tia :slight_smile:

I think you may have asked for the wrong thread to be split? Including this post there are only 33 replies in this thread.

I was expecting this thread to be more popular when I started it so I created it with 2021 as part of the Topic title. To address that limitation I have altered the Topic Title from What are you reading [2021] to What are you reading right now.


I just finished reading Dead Reckoning by Dick Lehr earlier today. Had I read this book before I read Operation Vengeance by Dan Hampton I would have been fairly disappointed with it. Four chapters in I was seriously considering just shelving it and looking for another book on the subject but I decided to tough it out and finish reading it. I am actually glad I did take the time to finish it. I am also glad that I read the books in the order that I read them. At this point I would consider them complimentary in that Operation Vengeance was geared more towards the operational aspect of the mission whereas this book Dead Reckoning was geared more towards the two men, Mitchell and Yamamoto, and their lives leading up to their eventual meeting over the island of Bougainville.

There are some glaring errors such as classifying the Battleship Arizona as a destroyer but imo this did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. This is definitely not the be all, know all, end all book on the subject but it definitely covered a lot of ground I had not taken the time to look up in the past. I found the more I read about the events of their lives and how they finally intersected the more interesting the book became to me.

Dead Reckoning

by Dick Lehr (2020)

About the Author

Dick Lehr is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of six previous works of nonfiction and a novel for young adults. Lehr coauthored the New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award Winning Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal, which became the basis of a Warner Bros. film of the same name. His most recent nonfiction book, The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited The Battle for Civil Rights, became the basis for a PBS/Independent Lens documentary. Two other books were Edgar Award finalists: The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, and Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind The Dartmouth Murders. Lehr previously wrote for the Boston Globe, where he was a member of the Spotlight Team, a special projects reporter and a magazine writer. While at the Globe he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in investigative reporting and won numerous national and local journalism awards. Lehr lives near Boston.



Just finshed re-reading Gibson’s Neurmancer trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive) for the umpteenth time.

Just started the Handmaids Tale on the recommendation of CO Home Command (wife). Enjoying it more than I thought I would. Attwood has a unique writing style that took a bit of getting used to - it reads like a first person narrative. Might have to give the TV series a go?


I try not to nitpick but Holy crow was there a lot wrong with that video…

  • 0:18 The aircraft did not fly over Guadalcanal as depicted in the video. They took a circuitous route after takeoff towards Tulaga and then to Savo Island before flying the first leg of the flight plan.
  • 2:58 Depicts the “Killer” group leading the flight. Mitchell lead the flight and was part of the Cover group.
  • 3:28 Depicted the two aircraft with mechanical failures leaving the flight when the ingress route was about half way finished. In reality both of those aircraft had their problems in the first 15 to 20 minutes. One had a blowout on takeoff which wrecked his aircraft and the second aircraft turned back when it was discovered that he could not get his drop tanks to feed the fuel to the engines.
  • 3:54: Wrong ingress speed 400 mph vs 200 mph
  • 7:30: The PBY depicted in the video as seeing Hine near Bougainville was actually further South near the mouth of the Blanche Channel in south eastern New Georgia. (See my earlier post.)
  • 7:40: Wrong egress route. They flew back down the slot, for the most part separately, instead of the circuitous route as a group they used on the ingress and which the video depicts as the egress.



I’m not going to detract from the bravery, skills and audacity of Mitchell and his fellow airmen.

I will argue that the mission should not have gone ahead. At that stage of the war, taking out Yamamoto had very little effect on the outcome but at the very real (and almost realised) risk of compromising the fact that the Allies had broken the IJN’s codes. Which would have had a very significant effect.

The Japanese knew that the only way Yamamoto could have been intercepted was if the Allies were reading their radio traffic but the IJN refused to believe their codes had been broken and instead blamed the Army.


Yeah, I have thought about why they went ahead with a mission like that, for the sake of a morale boost…? Was the effect really worth the risk of the mission and basically giving away the fact that they could read the code? I don’t know? Would be interesting to see of there was an associated increase in sales of war bonds…

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IMHO it was purely about revenge, so this is a bit of a critique of Nimitz.

The Allies (Nimitz) knew they risked compromising that they had broken the IJN codes, they also knew that Yamamoto was on the ‘outer’ by that stage. So one of his rationalisations for the risk, that he would be replaced by someone less competent doesn’t hold water. Neither does the belief that it would damage Japanese morale. If anything he helped ‘redeem’ him (i.e. made him a martyr).

Also, the Japanese never bought the story that it was an Aussie coastwatcher that spotted the Betty and the P-38’s just happened to be in the area. They were convinced that it was the Army codes* that had been broken and Army radio traffic from a refuelling stop had lead to the intercept (iirc).

I’m pretty sure that even until after the war, the IJN never beleived their codes had been broken.

  • I will have to double check, but the irony is that I’m fairly sure at that stage the Army codes were still secure?

This gets addressed in Cryptonomicron, which discusses these issues in great detail, including a depiction of the Yamamoto intercept. Fascinating bit of quasi-historical fiction, one of my favorite books.

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