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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Rising Sun, Falling Skies: the Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II by Jeffrey R. Cox

This is a reasonable account of the Java Sea campaign of 1942, which ended with the destruction of the American-British-Dutch-Australian fleet and the occupation of the entire Netherlands East Indies. Just about everything that might have gone wrong went wrong.

One key point is that for the Americans, British and Australians, they could accept defeat and retreat. For the Dutch this was the battle, giving up Java was like the British having to give up India.

It paints a very negative picture of MacArthur, claiming that he was very slow to react to events in the Philippines.

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The Spy Who Changed History: The Untold Story of how the Soviet Union Won the Race for America’s Top Secrets by Svetlana Lokhova

This is a well researched account of science/technology espionage in the US in the 1930s. It focuses on one agent Stanislav Shumovsky who openly enrolled as an aeronautical engineer at MIT. Along with a number of other Russian students he gained considerable access to a range of industrial/military secrets interacting with the legal and hidden espionage operatives.

It covered something of Trotskyist opposition in the US in the 1930s which was interesting.

Germany Ascendant: the Eastern Frontt 1915 by Prit Buttar

This follows on from Collision of Empires and describes 1915. It describes the steady and relentless reduction of Russia and Serbia. Probably due to focus on the Eastern Front by Germany.