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Civil War and World War I winter parallels

Civil War and World War I winter parallels

I’ve almost finished S.C. Gwynne’s excellent book Rebel Yell – The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. And the parallels between one scene set in the winter of 1862-1863 with the first winter of World War I are revealing.

The Confederate Army is camped for four and a half months over the winter after the battle of Fredericksburg near the Rappahannock River. They are free of fighting, after one of the bloodiest battles they (or anyone else in the world, for that matter) had ever seen. Similar to the first winter on the Western Front in World War I, the men of the armies on both sides have seen slaughter of their fellow man on a scale unknown.

And now they get a chance for leisure time. From pages 512-513:

Probably the most fun the soldiers had that winter were the snowball fights. Many of them had never seen snow before. Now there was lots of it, and they knew just what to do. Every time it snowed – which was frequently – there were battles, usually involving small groups of soldiers. But on a least one occasion they mounted a fight on a massive scale. Two armies were formed, of 2,500 men each, complete with authentic generals, colors, signal corps, fifers and drummers beating the long roll, couriers and cavalry. They conducted head-on assaults and flanking attacks. There were formal demands under flags of truce, and fortifications everywhere. “It was probably the greatest snowball fight ever fought,” wrote one participant, “and showed that ‘men are but children of larger growth…’. If all battles would terminate that way it would be a great improvement over the old slaughtering plan.” Robert E. Lee, who came out to observe the battle, was struck by several snowballs. The Richmond newspapers each devoted several columns to accounts of the fight.

The sweetest and saddest moment of this dreamy season came one evening when several Union bands appeared on the northern bank of the Rappahannock to play some favorites, songs such as “When This Cruel War Is Over” (by far the most popular),  “Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground,” “John Brown’s Body” and “The Battle Cry of Freedom.” Thousands of soldiers in groups on the hillside sang along while the rebels listened. Finally the Confederates called out across the river “Now play on of ours!” Without missing a beat the Yankee bands pitched into “Dixie”, “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” and “Maryland, My Maryland.” They ended the concert by playing “Home, Sweet Home,” with 150,00 men on both sides choking up as they sang it.

To my knowledge and limited research, this did not happen again during the war.

Similarly in World War I, the Germans and British held an informal Christmas truce at several places along the front, that supposedly started with the singing of Christmas carols. As this article from Time says:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­ two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches.

The phenomenon took different forms across the Western front. One account mentions a British soldier having his hair cut by his pre-war German barber; another talks of a pig-roast. Several mention impromptu kick-abouts with makeshift soccer balls, although, contrary to popular legend, it seems unlikely that there were any organized matches.

The truce was widespread but not universal. Evidence suggests that in many places firing continued and in at least two a truce was attempted but soldiers attempting to fraternize were shot by opposing forces.

And of course, it was only ever a truce, not peace. Hostilities returned, in some places later that day and in others not until after New Year’s Day. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,” one veteran from the Fifth Batallion the Black Watch, Alfred Anderson, later recalled to The Observer. “It was a short peace in a terrible war.” As the Great War resumed, it wreaked such destruction and devastation that soldiers became hardened to the brutality of the war. While there were occasional moments of peace throughout the rest of World War I, they never again came on the scale of the Christmas truce in 1914.

The Christmas truce of 1914 is far more publicized than what Gwynne relates in his book on the winter of 1862-63. But both should be remembered as signs of hope and humanity during a time of massive slaughter never seen before their times.


The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 6: The Sun Shines South

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 6: The Sun Shines South

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Previous post - Chapter 5

Volume One: Chapter 6

  1. Lincoln Reappraisal; Emancipation
  2. Grant, Farragut, Buell
  3. Bragg, K. Smith, Breckinridge
  4. Lee vs. Pope: Second Manassas

Trouble at the top in the North

  • From page 526: “For four months now, ever since the abrupt relief of McClellan back in March, the overall conduct of the war had been directed by Lincoln and Stanton – a sort of two-headed, four-thmbed amateur – with results just short of disastrous in the theater which had received their main attention. Stonewall Jackson, for example, had frightened Stanton and decoyed Lincoln into breaking up the combinations McClellan had designed for taking Richmond: so that Davis and Lee, professionals both, had been able to turn the tables on the Army of the Potomac, effecting counter combinations that drove it headlong to the ordinate commanders – on the one hand, Fremont’s ineptness; on the other, McClenllan’s lack of aggressive instincts- but most of it lay with the overall direction, which had permitted the enemy to bring pressure on those flaws.””

Delaying the Emancipation Proclamation

  • Differing opinions in Lincoln’s cabinet
  • From page 540: “Then Seward spoke, having turned the matter over in hid mind. “Mr. President,” he said, “I approve of the proclamation, but I question the expediency of its issue at this juncture. The depression of the public mind, consequent upon our repeated reverses, is so great that I fear the effect of so important a step. It may be viewed as the last measure of an exhausted government, a cry for help; the government stretching forth its hand to Ethiopia, instead of Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to the government. It will be considered our last shriek on the retreat. Now, while I approve of the measure, I suggest, sir, that you postpone its issues until you can give it to the country supported by military success, instead of issuing it, as would be the case now, upon the greatest disasters of the war”.”

McClellan sees the writing on the wall; he is asked to “withdraw his troops from the Peninsula” where he is besieging Richmond from the east and southeast.

  • Continuing delays and requests for reinforcements leads to his demise.
  • from page 594: “Halleck was amazed, and went to Lincoln with the problem. Lincoln was not amazed at all. In fact, he found the telegram very much in character. If by some magic he could reinforce McClellan with 100,000 troops today, he said, Little Mac would be delighted and would promise to capture Richmond tomorrow; but when tomorrow came he would report the enemy strength at 400,000 and announce that he could not advance until he got another 100,000 reinforcements.”

And then, after Stonewall Jackson whips his replacement (Pope), McClellan is given the reins again

  • from page 649: “So he went to him and told him to return to the army whose wounded were already beginning to pour into the city. And that afternoon, despite the howls of the cabinet – Stanton was squelched but Chase was sputtering, “I cannot but feel that giving command to McClellan is equivalent to giving Washington to the rebels” – Lincoln had Halleck issue the formal order: “Major General McClellan will have command of the fortifications of Washington and of all the troops for the defense of the capital.” This left Pope to be disposed of, which was done three days later. “The Armies of the Potomac and Virginia being consolidated,” he was told by dispatch, “you will report for orders to the Secretary of War.” Reporting as ordered, he found himself assigned to duty against the Sioux, who had lately risen in Minnesota. From his headquarters in St. Paul, where he was settled before the month was out, Pope protested vehemently against the injustice of being “banished to a remote and unimportant command.” But there he stayed, for the duration.
The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 5: Fighting Means Killing

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 5: Fighting Means Killing

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Previous post – Chapter 4

Volume One: Chapter 5

  1. Davis Frets; Lincoln-McClelland
  2. Valley Campaign; Seven Pines
  3. Lee, McC: The Concentration
  4. The Seven Days; Hezekiah

“The first national conscription law in American history”

  • From page 394: “Under the influence of Lee, Davis proposed more stringent measures on a larger scale. In a late-March message to Congress he recommended outright conscription, within the same age bracket throughout the Confederacy – to make sure, he said that the burden of fighting did no fall ‘exclusively on the most ardent and patriotic’. Congress debated hotly, then on April 16, after lowering the upper age limit to thirty-five, passed the first national conscription law in American history. They passed it because the knew if was a necessity but they blamed Davis for having made it necessary by adopting the ‘dispersed defensive’, which they said had dampened nation enthusiasm. His reply – that ‘without military stores, without the workshops to create them, without the power to import them, necessity not choice had compelled us to occupy strong positions everywhere to confront the enemy without reserves’ – did nothing to assuage the anger of the States Righters, who saw in conscription a repudiation of the principles for which the war was being fought.”

McClelland continues to frustrate Lincoln by his inaction

  • From page 414: “Amazed to find that McClelland had made mo provision for the capture of Norfolk, outflanked by the drive up the opposite bank of the James, the President decided to undertake the operation himself, employing the fortress garrison under Major General  John E. Wool….As things turned out, no push or support was needed. The Confederates had evacuated Norfolk the day before, leaving only a handful of men behind to complete the wrecking of Gosport Navy Yard.”

Robert E. Lee is given command

  • Johnston wounded in the battle at Seven Pines, Smith is sick “…not from any ordinary fear but from the strain of responsibility suddenly loaded on his shoulders.”
  • From page 450: “The two men road in silence under a sickle moon. Davis was making his choice. If he hesitated, there is little wonder. His companion was the obvious candidate; but he could easily be by-passed. David, knowing better than anyone how well Lee had served in his present advisory capacity, could as logically keep him there as he kept Samuel Cooper at the Adjutant General’s post….Nevertheless, by the time the lights of beleaguered Richmond came in sight David had made his decision. In a few words lost to history, but large with fate for the two riders and their country, he informed Lee that he would be given command of the army known thereafter as the Army of Northern Virginia.”

Stonewall Jackson rides again

  • To relieve some of the pressure on Richmond with a feint north
  • From page 464: “Application of these strategic principals, plus of course the blessing of Providence – particularly in the form of such meteorological phenomena as cloudbursts and hailstones large as hen-eggs – had enabled Jackson, with 17,000 troops, to frustrate the plans of 60,000 Federals whose generals were assigned the exclusive task of accomplishing his destruction. Four pitches battles he had fought, six formal skirmishes, and any number of minor actions. All had been victorious, and in all but one of the battles he had outnumbered the enemy anywhere from two- to seventeen-to-one….Mostly this had been done by rapid marching. Since March 22, the eve of Kernstown, his troops had covered 646 miles of road in forty-eight marching days. The rewards had been enormous: 3500 prisoners, 10,000 badly needed muskets, nine rifled guns and quartermaster stores of incalculable value. All these things he could hold and look at, so to speak. An even larger reward was the knowledge that he had played on the hopes and fears of Lincoln with such effect that 38,000 men – doubtless a first relay, soon to have been followed by others – were kept from joining McClelland in front of Richmond.”

Confederate artillery again no match for Federal

  • In the Seven Days. From page 512: “Half an hour was all the needed. By 2:30, with the whole Union position still billowing smoke and coughing flame – one six-gun battery near the center, for example, fired 1300 rounds in the course of the afternoon – not a single Confederate piece with a direct line of fire remained in action. What had been intended as a preliminary bombardment had been reduced to a bloody farce.”
The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 4: War Means Fighting....

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 4: War Means Fighting….

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Previous post – Chapter 3

Volume One: Chapter 4

  1. Pea Ridge; Glorieta; Island Ten
  2. Halleck-Grant, Johnston-Beauregard: Shiloh
  3. Farragut, Lovell: New Orleans
  4. Hallech, Beauregard: Corinth

High confederate hopes in the West…

  • From page 293: “Believing in his Union days that the nation’s destiny pointed south and west, he [Jefferson Davis] had engineered the Gadsden Purchase and even imported camels in an attempt to solve the sandy transportation problem.”
  • Same page: “…Control of the former would establish sound financial credit on which the South could draw for securing war supplies abroad, while the opening of Confederate ports along the Pacific Coast would insure their delivery by stretching the tenuous Federal blockage past the snapping point. Satisfying as all this was as a solution to present problems, an even more dazzling prospect still remained. Having forged its independence in the crucible of war, the new nation could then return to the old southern nationalist dream of expansion, acquiring by purchase or conquest the adjoining Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California. After these would come others, less near but no less valuable: Cuba, for instance, then Central America, and all that lay between. Van Dorn seizing St. Louis as a base for a march through Illinois to subdue the Middle West, Beauregard dictating peace terms in the White House after the Battle of Cleveland or Lake Erie – glorious as these scenes were to contemplate in the mind’s eye, they were pale indeed in contrast to the glittering light of victory by way of California.”

But Sibley could not defeat the Federal army between the Rio Grande and Albuquerque.

May 4: “As far as New Mexico and the Far West were concerned, the Civil War was over.”

Battle of Shiloh: the numbers just got distressingly large, and it is only April, 1862

  • From page 350: “Union losses were 1754 killed, 8408 wounded, 2885 captured: total, 13,047 – about 2000 of them Buell’s. Confederate losses were 1723 killed, 8012 wounded, 959 missing: total 10,694. Of the 100,000 soldiers engaged in this first great bloody conflict of the war, approximately one out of every four who had gone into battle had been killed wounded or captured. Casualties were 24 percent, the same as Waterloo’s. Yet Waterloo had settled something, while this one apparently had settled nothing. When it was over, the two armies were back where they started, with other Waterloos ahead. In another sense, it settled a great deal. The American volunteer, whichever side he was on in this war, and however green, would fight as fiercely and stand as firmly as the vaunted veterans of Europe.”
  • From page 351: “The battle losses were another matter, providing some grim arithmetic for study. Total American casualties in all three of the nation’s previous wars – the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War: 10,623+6765+5885 – were 23,273. Shiloh’s totaled 23,741, and most of them were Grant’s.”
The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 3: The Thing Gets Under Way

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 3: The Thing Gets Under Way

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Previous post – Chapter 2         Next post – Chapter 4

Volume One: Chapter 3

  1. The West: Grant, Fort Henry
  2. Donelson – The Loss of Kentucky
  3. Gloom; Manassas Evacuation
  4. McC moves to the penisula

First Army/Navy cooperation occurs on a river?

  • From page 183: “In the lead were four ironclad gunboats, unlike any ever seen before on this or any river.”
  • From page 184: “The turtle-back steamers were not a navy project, the admirals left such harebrained notions to the army. For the most part, even the sailors aboard the boats were soldiers…Once the fleet was launched and manned, however, the navy saw its potential and was willing to furnish captains for its quarterdecks. Having made the offer, which was quickly accepted, the admirals did not hold back, but sent some of their most promising officers westward for service on the rivers.”

Initial victories by U.S. Grant (Hiram!)

  •  Grant takes Fort Henry and Fort Donelsom (with the help of navel river bombardment the first time, and with little bloodshed the second time)
  • The Confederate armies retreat out of Kentucky
  • From page 196: “The congressional appointment had identified him as Ulysses Simpson Grant, when in fact his given name was Hiram Ulysses, but rather than try to untangle the yards off red tape that stood in the way of correction – besides the risk of being nicknamed “Hug” – he let his true name go and took a new one: U. S. Grant.”

understanding Lincoln

  • Having just seen the movie Lincoln, this passage parallels the portrayal of the President as a man who has loyalties only to the cause of saving the Union and putting an end to slavery.
  • From page 247-248: “That was something else he never understood: Lincoln himself. Some might praise him for being flexible, while others called him slippery, when in truth they were both two words for just one thing. To  argue the point was to insist on a distinction that did not exist. Lincoln was out to win the war; and that was alone was out to do, for the president would keep his word to any man only so long as keeping it would help to win the war. If keeping it meant otherwise, he broke it. He kept no promise, anyhow, any longer than the conditions I under which it was given obtained. And if any one thing was clear in this time when treason had become a household word, it was that the conditions of three months ago no longer obtained. McCellan would have to go forward or go down.”
  • At this point, Lincoln unilaterally put forth General War Order No. 1, stating that a forward movement would be launched on February 22, much to McCellan’s chagrin.


The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 2: First Blood; New Conceptions

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 2: First Blood; New Conceptions

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Previous post: Chapter 1          Next post: Chapter 3

Volume One: Chapter 2

  1. Manassas – Southern Triumph
  2. Anderson. Fremont. McClellan
  3. Scott’s Anaconda; the Navy
  4. Diplomacy: the Buildup

Many early victories for the South, first taste of battle always difficult

From page 93: “Few of the romantic preconceptions as to brilliant maneuver and individual gallantry were realized. Fighting at close quarters because of the short-ranged Confederate flintlocks and muzzle-loading fowling pieces, a regiment would walk up to the firing line, deliver a volley, then reload and deliver another, continuing this until it dissolved and was replaced by another regiment, which repeated the process, melting away in the heat of that furnace and being in turn replaced. No fighting anywhere ever required greater courage, yet individual gallantry seemed strangely out of place. A plume in a man’s hat, for example, accomplished nothing except to make him a more conspicuous target. Nor did the rebel yell ring out on the banks of Wilson’s Creek. There was little cheering on either side; for a cheer seemed as oddly out of place as a plume. The men went about their deadly business of firing and reloading and melting away in a grim silence broken only by the rattling crash of musketry and the deep roar of guns, with the screams of the injured sometimes piercing the din. Far from resembling panoplied war, it was more like reciprocal murder.”

Confederate States had no Navy

  • Early on, three ports taken using mostly naval power
  • From page 120: “Some standard theories were going to have to be revised: the belief that one gun on land was equal to fou on water, for example. Steam had changed all that, removing the restrictions of wind and current and making possible such maneuvers as Du Pont’s expanding ellipse…Naval power was going to be a dominant factor in this war.”

Creation of the “loyal state of West Virginia”

Jeff Davis maintaining a policy of defense vs. aggression would pull in Europe on the side of the Confederacy

  • From page 134: “His critics would have had him strip the troops from threatened points and send the marching forthwith against the North, staking everything on one assault. To Davis, this not only seemed inconsistent with his repeated claim that the South was merely defending herself against aggression, it seemed unnecessarily risk. That was the war might be quickly won, as Beauregard had pointed out; but it also might be quickly lost that way. Davis preferred to watch and wait. He believed that time was with him and he planned accordingly, not yet by any means aware that what he was waiting for would require a miracle. At this state, in Davis’ mind at any rate, nothing seemed more likely, more inevitable, than foreign intervention; as had been shown by his first action in attempting to secure it.”
  • The capture of two Confederate enjoys from an English ship by a Union Naval officer almost succeeded in providing the necessary push, but cooler heads on both sides of the Atlantic prevailed.

Shelby Foote’s narrative is quite enjoyable

  • From the Bibliography of this first volume (yes, some of us do read such things), he cites himself a novelist who combines the job of a historian.
  • From page 815: “Accepting the historian’s standards without his paraphernalia, I have employed the novelist’s methods without his license. Instead of inventing characters and incidents, I searched the out – and having found them, I took them as they were. Nothing is included here, either within or outside quotation marks, without the authority of documentary evidence which I consider sound.”
The Civil War by Shelby Foote - V1.Chapter 1: Prologue-The Opponents

The Civil War by Shelby Foote – V1.Chapter 1: Prologue-The Opponents

As I’m reading Shelby Foote’s incredible The Civil War: A Narrative, these are my notes on the points I may have forgotten from before or new pieces I’ve learned. Any and all comments appreciated.

Next post: Chapter 2

Volume One: Chapter 1: Prologue

  1. Succession. Davis and Lincoln
  2. Sumter. Early Maneuvers
  3. Statistics North and South

Other states and even NYC talked about seceding from the Union;

  • From page 43: “…Lincoln was confronted with division even among the states that had stayed loyal. New Jersey was talking succession; so was California, which along with Oregon was considering the establishment of a new Pacific nation; so, even, was New York City, which beside being Southern in sentiment would have much to gain from independence.”
  • A new Pacific nation would certainly have mad getting the Union back together difficult. An interesting piece for an alternate history.

Interesting “adjustments” in the Confederate Constitution;

  • From page 42: “One important oversight was corrected, however. Where the founding fathers, living in a less pious age of reason, had omitted any reference to the Deity, the modern preamble invoked “the favor and guidance of Almighty God.” Nor were more practical considerations neglected. The President and Vice President were elected to a six-year term, neither of them eligible for reelection. Congress was forbidden to pass a protective tariff or to appropriate money for internal improvements. Cabinet officers were to be given seats on the floor of Congress. Each law must deal with only one subject, announced in its title, and the President had the right to veto separate items in appropriation bills. Instead of requiring a three-fourths majority, amendments could be ratified by two-thirds of the states. While the newer document expressly prohibited any revival of the slave trade, those chattels referred to in the old on as “persons” now became outright “slaved” and in all territory acquired by the Confederacy, slavery was to be “recognized and protested” by both the Federal and territorial governments.”

Fort Sumter somewhat backfired on Lincoln. The South attacked, and Lincoln used this as motive for putting out a call for 75,000 men. The border states did not join in the spirit of “uniting the North.”

  • From page 51: “Telegram after telegram arrived from governors of the previously neutral states, each one bristling with moral indignation at the enormity of the proclamation, rather as if it had been in fact an invitation to fratricide or incest.”
  • Virginia seceded with two days, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee shortly after.

What to Read Next (April 2012 edition)

It is a good problem to have. What to read next?? Indulge in some recent SF/Fantasy? Read an old classic? Venture into my other fetish, historical non-fiction? Like most, I have a stack of books (well over 100 siting in my study) that I have collected to read. Yet different  influences always intrude to bring different tomes to the top of the stack.

Currently in the running:[amazon_carousel widget_type="ASINList" width="500" height="200" title="" market_place="US" shuffle_products="False" show_border="False" asin="0915368617, 1616146117, 1590202929, 0394746236, B000IOB9IU" /]

The Judging Eye by R. Scott Baker

This is the first book in the second trilogy (The Aspect-Emperor) that follows The Prince of Nothing Trilogy, which saw Kellhus become the first true Aspect-Emperor of this fictitious land in a thousand years. Since the second book is not out yet (at least in paperback) I may hold off on this one; it has lots of political machinations and multiple characters that would make it easier to remember if I read the entire trilogy back-to-back-to-back.

The Burning Man by Mark Chadbourn

Chadbourn’s Age of Misrule trilogy was one of the best at depicting a slow transition from a “normal” world into the chaos of a fantastical world (my review of World’s End at SFSignal). Jack Churchill is an enjoyable hero to observe, and Chadbourn sets up the battle between light and dark well, pulling in lots of different mythos to go along with the Pendragon spirit. Reading this one and the concluding one in the trilogy are high on the list. And, Chadbourn follows the memory rule: he puts a summary at the beginning, realizing that most of us don’t remember Jack of Ravens (the first in this trilogy, my notes here) since we read it long ago.

The Civil War: A Narrative–Fort Sumter to Perryville, Vol. 1 by Shelby Foote

At 840 pages, the first volume of Shelby Foote’s amazing Civil War narrative is the very definition of reader commitment. And I already did a preview of the first chapter, a narrative of Jefferson Davis resigning from Congress as secession nears. But I will wait until I have collected the last two in the trilogy, and read them all straight through.

At Dawn We Slept by Gordon Prange

Having recently completed Red Sun (an alternate history which assumes the Japanese invaded Oahu after Pearl Harbor, notes here) and Retribution by Max Hastings, which chronicles the end of World War II in the Pacific, I’d like to dive into Prange’s classic detailed history of Pearl (and follow that up with Miracle at Midway by Prange)

Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith

Norstrilia is Paul Linebarger’s (writing as Cordwainer Smith) only science fiction novel. I ordered both the novel and the full collection of short stories (The Rediscovery of Man) in the excellent NESFA Press hardbacks. I’ve read Atomsk (my notes here), Linebarger’s (writing as Carmichael Smith) post-World War II thriller, and I enjoyed the psychological warfare perspectives he threw in. As it is standalone, this novel will most likely be next in line.


Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

click on the image for more info and to support this blog

Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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