Good Read


Lantern Swinger
May I heartily recommend a book called Dustoff by Mike Novosel?
If there is a better book about a person devoted to a military career then I have yet to read it. It is amazing what this guy got up to and I am only half way through it.

Joined up just prior to Pearl Harbour
Wangled a way into flight school
Taught Heavy Bombers for most of the war
Flew B-29's in the Pacific theatre
Continued flying heavies till 1950 as Lt Colonel
Kicked out as part of RIF
Rejoined as reservist did Korea
AirForce wouldnt send him to Vietnam as he ranked too high
Left Airforce as Lt Colonel and joined Army as Warrant Officer so he could help out.
Did 2 tours of Vietnam as Dustoff pilot (helped save over 5000 people)
Recieved the Congressional Medal of Honour

It is an amazing book, his good fortune and tenacity and hard work gave him a career that many couldnt dream of. I was hopeing to mail him and thank him for putting his memories down on paper, unfortunatley I found out that he died earlier this month at 83.


Lantern Swinger
My favourite book is Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason, also a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I'll have to look out for that Dustoff one it looks very good.


Lantern Swinger
My favourite book has to be Legionnaire by Simon Murray it is about his time in the French Foreign Legion from 1960 to 1965 and is a cracking read (so good infact I am on my 4th copy as I have read the others into tatters)


Lantern Swinger
Vesper said:
My favourite book is Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason, also a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I'll have to look out for that Dustoff one it looks very good.

I have to agree with you, Chickenhawk is possibly the best war book ever written. A manual on how to fly a helicopter (apparantley) and a real insight into what those pilots went through. Ive read it about 5 times now (Excersise Dragonhammer on the Bedivere was so boring I read it twice).

Click here for more pics by the author and also pics from Kaiser.

Illustrated Chickenhawk


War Hero
Both Chickenhawk and Legionnaire are brilliant reads, if you want something a little less action packed but very illuminating read Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs by Lewis Page, very funny, very sarcastic but also very scary, it;s by an ex Lieutenant Clearance Diver about the armed Forces, procurement and our illustrious leaders.


War Hero
It might be out of print, but 'Devil's Guard' is a good read. I think the pseudonym was Hans Wagemuller.

It's about a group of ex-SS soldiers who escape the Nuremberg trials and join the French Foreign Legion where they are sent to Indochina (now Vietnam) to fight the Viet Minh (which became the Viet Cong).

It's Political Incorrectness gone mad. Every atrocity the Viet Minh commit they respond in kind.

For example, the guerillas are besieging a French fort. They line up a load of French prisoners in front of the fort and start torturing them to death unless the fort surrenders.

The German lot go to the nearby village. There's no males there, no surprises where they are. So they round up all the wives and children, and parade them on a hill in sight of the guerillas and tell them that unless they surrender they are going to start butchering their familes.

The guerillas surrender, the familes return home, the fort is relieved, and the guerillas are taken to a nearby ravine and executed.

Job done!

Bad CO

A book that knocks the spots of Chickenhawk is Once A Warrior King by David Donovan (pseudonym). Its about his time as a 21 year old Lt leading a small team who were the sole US unit in a part of the Mekong Delta in the late 60s. It is extremely powerful and profound with a lot to say on the subject of leadership, war and human nature. I cannot recommend it highly enough and defy anyone not to feel tears well up when he describes visiting the Vietnam memorial in the mid 1980s.


War Hero
The book I would love to get hold of has all to do with the ruskies taking over this country and I have the sneaky suspicion it was called Golgotha.
It has one chapter that focuses on the last night of the proms and all hell lets lose after the Brits are wound up.

Book to read Lost Voices of the Royal Navy it will surprise you


War Hero
Try reading COCHRANE - The life and exploits of a fighting Captain. This guy makes Audie Murphy look like a choir boy. Seriously though, this is the model which Hornblower and the guy in Master and Commander are based on, only they had to tone it down because no one would believe it all. The bit when he commanded HMS SPEEDY has got to the one of the highlights - look it up on google. :!:


War Hero
IIRC the Golgotha book basically involves the US leaving a bunch of deeply buried remotley operated Titan ICBM concealed in the UK (or Ireland) as a trump should Ivan invade. Bit on the barking side, but WTH.

Chickenhawk is an exceptional book, as is The Forgotten Soldier, an account of a half french / half german soldiers experiences in the Gross Deutschland division on the Russian front. Less overt heroism, much more gradual mental disintegration from combat exposure.