Books to stay away from

Discussion in 'WWII Books' started by Oreo, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    Njaco said in another thread: "I should start a thread on bad or poor books"

    So I will just start it for him.

    Gollum: "For us." :evil:

    Smeagol: "Yes, yes, we meant for us.":oops:

    So. What are your bad books? Related to aviation, war, or especially, WWII.
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Will post if I think of one, precious :)
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Osprey - good pics, some of the text is poorly written, inaccurate or flat out wrong.
     
  4. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    And of course, tell why. Having said that, I would not outright condemn a book for a single mistake or oversight, unless it is blatantly irresponsible. I also personally give a certain amount of leeway for technical data in books that are not overly technical in nature, but if a book claims to be some sort of exhaustive reference book, it ought to have reasonably reliable data. I also give a certain amount of leeway on absolute accuracy during personal accounts if it is reasonable to think that a person truly thought what they said was true based on their knowledge at the time of saying it. Robert Johnson, for instance, is credited at least in some places, I've been told, with shooting down an Me 210, but of course it was more likely an Me 410. These kinds of mistakes are easy to make. Robert Scott and certain other people in the heat of the battle sometimes referred to just about any radial-engined Japanese fighter as a Zero. That evidently was common at the time among some people, some squadrons, some locations. Those kinds of things I can deal with, especially for accounts that were actually written during the war, when many of these things were not fully understood by the people relaying the information. But I think we know what I mean. Bad books where the author was just irresponsible.
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    IMHO Osprey quality fluctate wildy, much depends on writer, some are very good for ex the Betty booklet, so me are good, for ex the Price's Spitfire booksand there are a few truly gems like like the VIII FIGHTER COMMAND AT WAR "Long Reach" and "Twelve to One" V Fighter Command Aces of the Pacific to mention a few.

    Juha
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I've seen "dozens" of mistakes, not just little oversights over the years in Osprey books. I'm not at home to go through the few that I have but I do know there's been mistakes in aircraft performance descriptions when compared to POH's, mistakes in photo captions, and misquotes and errors in factual events.

    The Robert Scott situation is one where older books can be "forgiven" based on research by authors who had better and more accurate information at their disposal. Then you have authors like Cadin who blatantly fabricated stories in some of his books

    Yepp!
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #7 Njaco, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    I think I'll just re-post the earlier post that I posted earlier today...on a post.

    "Great Battles of WWII: Military Encounters that Defined the Future". This book is complete trash. There really is no author (Editor is a Dr. Chris Mann) and I should start a thread on bad or poor books - this one takes the cake. Bad research, poor maps (no scale or locations on them) and the worst are the battles they reference. Understand, these are supposed to be battles that 'defined' the future: So how does the Battle for Narvik or the Warsaw Uprising fit in? Sorry, important events but not defining. And many debunked myths are repeated here. Its as if they grabbed every war book from 1950 and just reprinted the stories. Thank God I only paid about $2.99 for it at Barnes Noble and even that was overpriced.

    Avoid this book.

    PS: It just came to me one of the glaring inaccuracies. The 'myth' that the flag raising on Iwo was staged. That is how most of the book is written - very poorly.
     

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  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid this happens in the best books too. I know of one case (directly from the author concerned) where an erroneous caption,despite having been noticed and highlighted,pre-production,still ended up in the book. I won't name names but this was a reputable publisher in the field of military history.

    Steve
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It does but Osprey IMO is the worse
     
  10. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    They certainly have there share, that's for sure...
     
  11. Rogi

    Rogi Active Member

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    They should just start handing out Osprey books for free, the last couple months I've found like 10 at local garage sales for like a buck each. I like them a lot :S the "How to model" series is pretty nice :)
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    When I was still in the service in the late 60's and early 70's I started collecting the little $1.00 Ballantine Illustrated History of WW2, I've got almost 100 of them, on weapons, personallities, battles, campaigns. Different authors, the technical drawings are not bad, but specs are sometimes a little lacking, and since they're all the same size, 5x8x1/2", they can't go very deep into any subject.

    They're interesting little books, but since they were written while the cold war was still going strong, and also before a several important facts about WW2 still weren't released, when I reread them now I realize they were printed to appeal to a mass market, I can't have a lot of confidence in their veracity.
     
  13. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I gave up reading Bergerud's "Fire in the Sky". It had lots of promise but I found his descriptions of aeronautical terms and tactics to be plain annoying. Probably just me as I know others who think it's great...but I don't.

    As for Caidin, I still have a soft spot for "The Ragged, Rugged Warriors" which I bought in Canada as a teenager. We were visiting family friends who, sadly, are no longer with us. The book is complete trash but the memories of my now-departed friends are priceless!
     
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I have avoided Osprey for the most part then. This is a great thread!
     
  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Yep, great thread guys! Might save a few unwary buyers from bad deals... :thumbright:
     
  16. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Forever Strong, the story of 75 Squadron by Richard Franks; commonly known around the traps as "Forever Wrong". Lots of errors in Richard's research; he's written some good stuff in the past, but this isn't one of them.
     
  17. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    That is sad to hear though, had thought to read that some day if poss.
     
  18. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    I found the book most annoying too!
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Oh Gees, I almost picked up that book this morning!
     
  20. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    I remember another problem with Bill Gunston's CAOWWII. In a photo caption involving Hellcats on a carrier deck, it stated that it was somewhere in the Pacific in 1942. I don't think that would have been the case, certainly not unless the F6F's were just out on flight trials and not ready for combat. F6F combat, afaik, began in August of 1943.

    I'm not saying don't buy the book, just beware of several errors I have found. Overall I liked it, though he had some strange omissions and inclusions that I don't understand.

    He included the P-59, F7F, Do 335, and He 162 which evidently never saw combat (I realize they had significance to the WWII story), but he did not include the SB2U, IAR 80, P-35, P-43, VL Myrsky, Ki-51, E14Y, SOC, SO2C, SO2U, and several other types that did see combat. Anyway, it could not be said to be an exhaustive resource, but it does have some good info and great pictures.
     
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