Given that last week was Thanksgiving, you might have expected last week to be the short edition. That’s where you’d be wrong! We were both on the road, and neither of us did much of the linkable sort of reading.
- When Tigers Ruled the Sky mini-review: starts slow, especially coming from an uber-detailed Massie book. Mr. Yenne tried to do the same biographies-of-everyone-involved thing, but didn’t have the page count to do it justice. It picked up dramatically after two or three chapters, when he got into the actual Flying Tigers action, and that part did not disappoint. It gets the Fishbreath Recommends stamp of approval.
- Empires of the Sea mini-review: this is a reread, so no revelations here. It’s an extremely readable account of the sieges of Rhodes (briefly), Malta (extensively), and Nicosia and Famagusta (briefly), plus the Battle of Lepanto (extensively). The author has a good sense for characters, but spends a suspicious amount of time on drawing equivalences between Christendom and the Turks in re the brutality and slavetaking common at the time. I’d have to dig up some better sources before I say I trust that take1, but the book still gets my thumbs up. (I am, after all, reading it a second time.)
- Just in time for Christmas, a reminder that HK hates you and you suck – … but they do want your money anyway, hence this release of a genuine semi-auto MP5 pistol, complete with genuine HK pricing.
- Americans buy enough guns on Black Friday to arm the Marine Corps – Not the right kind of guns to arm the Marine Corps, but hey, I’ll take it. It’s another 200,000 reasons why a Hong Kong-style crackdown is not likely in the US.
- Right-to-repair issues hit the US military too – Also a reminder that modern military equipment is fragile, compared to military equipment of years past. We’ve been having a conversation in the comments these last few weeks about Cold War Gone Hot novels, and one of the key features of all of them is that they never last very long. Then again, peacetime militaries always look that way.
- The Pressure on China – Some speculation on the whys behind China’s current misbehavior.
- On the Islamic State’s new Caliph, and on the choosing of such men
- Some photos from last week’s election – And some links thereupon, courtesy of Loose Rounds.
- Hong Kong slogans purportedly heard at protests in a Cantonese-speaking mainland city, Maoming – Story via a strongly pro-democracy daily out of Hong Kong. Take with grains of salt to taste. (I believe it could be a thing, though.)
The Solitary Grab Bag Item
- NBA teams track free throw defense—and some are better than others – Granted, the tricks people play are not legal under the rules, but refs let the first time or two slide.
- In the latest edition of his Hardcore History podcast, Dan Carlin remarked that, in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, everyone was bad but the Japanese were worse (my paraphrase). The Christians and Turks of the 16th century strike me as broadly similar. Nobody comes out smelling like roses, but it’s not wrong to identify degrees of badness. ↩