The Wargamer

26 May 2017

Baptism: A Vietnam Memoir

BOOK REVIEW posted on 12 JUN 2002 by Scott Parrino

"Gwin’s book discusses his personal background that led him into the army and why he willingly went to Vietnam. The bulk of the book is the story of his year in Vietnam ending with his boarding his flight to go back to the United States, so Baptism: A Vietnam Memoir is extremely focused on the Vietnam experience of one of the early arriving American soldiers - with many to follow."


We Were Soldiers Once...And Young

BOOK REVIEW posted on 9 JUN 2002 by Scott Parrino

"The story is heroic, yet never falls into cliché. Instead it remains a solid chronicle of desperate battle conditions and the bravery of individual soldiers. I would recommend the book even to those who have already seen the movie..."


Salamanca 1812

BOOK REVIEW posted on 24 MAY 2002 by Scott Parrino

"Muir’s book possesses all the attributes of an outstanding military history narrative: firsthand accounts of the action, detailed orders of battle, insightful analysis, and, yes, many informative maps on which the reader can follow the course of events—something that is rare indeed."


Xenophon's March

BOOK REVIEW posted on 10 APR 2002 by Scott Parrino

Jim Cobb analyzes this retelling of Xenophon's Anabasis by John Prevas. Unfortunately, he finds this summarization woefully inadequate.


Warriors of the Steppe

BOOK REVIEW posted on 7 APR 2002 by Scott Parrino

Even to this day, the ancient names of Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane are mentioned in tones of respect (won by fear). This book attempts to explain the power of these legendary warriors.


Foot Soldier: A Combat Infantryman’s War in Europe

BOOK REVIEW posted on 3 APR 2002 by Scott Parrino

"...earns a place alongside The Forgotten Soldier, The Gentle Infantryman and other personal narratives of World War II, both fiction and non-fiction, that are notable for their candor and sense of expiation."


Fleets of World War II

BOOK REVIEW posted on 30 MAR 2002 by Scott Parrino

...this is the most succinct, entertaining presentation of information about all the fleets of World War II (and I do mean all) that I have read.


50 Battles That Changed the World

BOOK REVIEW posted on 26 MAR 2002 by Scott Parrino

...aims to place some of the more significant historical battles into a historical context suitable for use as a basis for further exploration of the topics covered by history and military buffs.


Hannibal Crosses the Alps

BOOK REVIEW posted on 10 MAR 2002 by Scott Parrino

...offers readers an accessible account of the subject. As an added bonus, exposure to the sticky issues that challenge historians of this era is conveyed in a meaningful manner.


Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle

BOOK REVIEW posted on 3 MAR 2002 by Scott Parrino

...a first-rate historical narrative that could very well be described by the word 'Epic' if it were a movie or a work of fiction.


The Man who flew the Memphis Belle

BOOK REVIEW posted on 9 NOV 2001 by Scott Parrino

The Man who flew the Memphis Belle brings us into the life of Colonel Robert Morgan. He not only managed to pilot the famous B-17 through 25 missions over Europe in the 8th Air Force, he also commanded 26 missions in B-29s in the Pacific Theater of Operation. This autobiography chronicles his roots, his war experience, and his life since in stark and humanizing detail. He never shies from offering the failings in his life, as a counterbalance to his successes.


Not War But Murder

BOOK REVIEW posted on 25 OCT 2001 by Scott Parrino

In Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864, Ernest B. Furgurson examines this chapter of Civil War history in unprecedented detail. Furgurson has produced an objective work that reveals the experiences of the soldiers from both the North and South, the thoughts of the generals who commanded them, as well as the anxieties of presidents Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln.


SPEC OPS - Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice

BOOK REVIEW posted on 20 OCT 2001 by Scott Parrino

Given the increased interest in the topic of special operations, readers of The Wargamer should find William McRaven’s book, SPEC OPS, of interest. SPEC OPS reads like a textbook that might be used to teach a class on military science and the book's subtitle, Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice, sums up its content nicely. This training approach is not entirely a surprise however, when one considers that the author, at the time of the book’s publication, was an active duty member of the U.S. Navy SEALs, in command of SEAL Team Three.


Rising Sun Victorious:The Alternate History of How the Japanese Won the Pacific War

BOOK REVIEW posted on 1 SEP 2001 by Scott Parrino

What if the Japanese Won World War II? Wargamers love to change history. For many, that is the point of gaming: to explore the "what if" questions that historians ask, and turn hindsight and armchair generalship into reality -- or at least the reality as depicted on their game boards, table tops and computer screens. Rising Sun Victorious is one of those rare "what if" books that allows historians, most of whom are also wargamers, to bring their work and their hobby together.


World War II Ballistics: Armor and Gunnery

BOOK REVIEW posted on 12 AUG 2001 by Scott Parrino

World War II Ballistics examines the performance of tank armor and the projectiles fired against it. This slender book, a mere 136 pages and mostly charts and tables, attempts to merge and rationalize data gleaned primarily from British, American, German, and Russian firing tests and after-action reports in order to present a basis for direct comparison of armor and ballistic characteristics. The authors' larger purpose is to account for the differences between predicted performance and combat results, and the influence of national military/industrial doctrine.


World War II Ballistics: Armor and Gunnery

BOOK REVIEW posted on 12 AUG 2001 by Scott Parrino

Those who have, over the past years, looked at or participated in discussions on armor penetration at various armor and wargaming sites will likely have come across the names Robert Livingston and Lorrin Rexford Bird. Now these two gentlemen have finally published the outcome of their extensive research and analysis. The formulas and tables in the book should allow the reader to compare the performance of guns of different nations and to predict their performance against a variety of tanks.


Samurai Sketches: From the Bloody Final Years of the Shogun

BOOK REVIEW posted on 31 JUL 2001 by Scott Parrino

Samurai Sketches: From the Bloody Final Years of the Shogun is filled with stories of grisly sword fights as well as numerous assassinations, executions, and suicides. By turns, these stories will fascinate, engage, and shock. The book is also filled with stories of honorable, deeply intelligent men who sought the best for their country.


Jungle Tracks

BOOK REVIEW posted on 12 JUN 2001 by Scott Parrino

Jungle Tracks takes the reader on a Vietnam journey with the army’s tankies and cavalrymen. The book covers their basic training, readiness exercises and the deployment to Vietnam. It also highlights major operations and gives a very good insight into the day-to-day life of the Black Hats. Black Hat is an Australian Army term used to describe Armoured Corps soldiers. The term originates from the black berets worn by RAAC members.


Sharpe's Trafalgar

BOOK REVIEW posted on 29 OCT 2000 by Scott Parrino

“Blood running from the scuppers” may be THE most trite, most oft-repeated cliche in historical naval fiction. Alexander Kent uses it so many times in his 24-book Bolitho series on the Royal Navy in the American Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars that after a few books it becomes a game to see when it will first appear in a book, how many times it will be repeated and how many combinations and variations of blood and scuppers Kent will play with.