The book I read to research this post was A Walk Through Rebel Dublin 1916 by Mick O’Farrell which is a very good book that I bought from kindle. The book is about the Civil War which erupted in Ireland in 1916. It mostly centres around Dublin and especially O’Connell Street which is one of the main roads. There is lots of interesting almost anecdotal stories. This war resulted because Ireland became independent without without what would become Northern Ireland which remained under British rule. The problem was the south was predominantly catholic while the north was mostly protestant. Many in the north are of Scottish descent and presbyterian as a result. There was a conflict between those who thought they had to accept this limited home rule and those against. It was the kind of conflict where brother fought brother and father fought son quite literally. The British did stir things up by doing things like letting rebels raid stores without preventing them. The people supporting limited home rule won but the British did just want the country to collapse into chaos so they would accept British rule. There had been a terrorist campaign for independence and many people often due to cruel sanctions by the British were literally forced to fight for home rule. Many of these people were literally starving or had no way of selling their crops and making money. Catholics couldn’t even vote or own land.

The book I read to research this post was D-Day Through German Eyes by Holger Eckhertz which is a very good book that I bought from kindle. This book is around 200 pages so is fairly long. I did quite enjoy reading it and do recommend it. This book is about the D-Day landings by the Allies from the German perspective and as experienced by their men. The germans called it the invasion of France and didn’t see it from the perspective they were liberating Europe under their occupation.  I think D-Day from the German perspective was much worse than for the Allies because of the overwhelming onslaught by the Americans and their huge resources. Apparently Germans were astonished when after the Pearl Harbour bombings by the Japanese and Hitler declaring war a mere 48 hours later. The Germans were already pre-occupied with the war with Russia and an invasion by the Canadians and British alone would probably have been impossible. Many of the Germans became POW’s in the invasion and were classified in groups according to the codenames according to the beaches invaded like Omaha and had the various codenames. A lot of the reason the invasion went so well was the superior firepower of the Americans and the overwhelming numbers of sherman tanks that were far inferior to the better Tiger tanks of the Germans.

The book I read to research this post was Tracking Marco Polo by Tim Severin which is a very good book that I downloaded for free from kindle. This book traces the route travelled by the explorer Marco Polo that is travelled by a group of people mostly on motorbikes and partly by air although parts of it were closed. The parts that were closed were mostly China although this now is more open to tourists since and there were parts in Afghanistan and Iran that were open at that time but have since become less accessible to tourists. They used varous cheap old motorbikes for much of the route and their budget was limited. They travelled from London where as Marco travelled from Venice. More than half of the route was with in China and they tried to compare his notes with conditions on the present route. In some places the locals didn’t take to kindly to them. In other places they were chased by semi-wild dogs. This book is around 220 pages so is a decent length. I did enjoy this book and do recommend it.

The book I read to research this post was Requiem For Battleship Yamato which is a very good book that I bought from a car boot sale. This book is about a battle towards the end of World War 2 off Okinawa, Japan that culminated in the sinking of the Battleship Yamato. One person recalls how the shells onboard exploded as she sank and there was a giant whirlpool created. The shells weighed more than a car and could be fired 30 miles. The book itself reads like a diary with much of the text being a bit superfluous. The Yamato was an absolutely huge battleship being even bigger than the American aircraft carriers. I think this made it somewhat cumbersome allowing it to be picked off. In many of these battles sharks were a serious problem if a ship sunk and could detect a drop of blood in the water from a huge distance and would also go into a feeding frenzy. There had also recently been another battle The Battle of The Midway where the vast majority of the Japanese Navy were sunk. Perhaps more so than in other navies the captain was expected to go down with his ship. The book is around 150 pages so is a decent length. I did quite enjoy this book and do recommend it.

The biography I am reviewing is David Blunkett by Stephen Pollard which is a very good book that I bought from a local secondhand shop. This book is around 330 pages so is a decent length. I did enjoy it and do recommend it. David Blunkett was the Home Secretary among other jobs in the Labour Government in the late 90’s and early 2000’s in Britain. This is astonishing becuse he was blind and had to have a guide dog much of the time for this. He also had a photographic memory and once astonished a friend by bring up a minor point raised some 3 weeks before in a report sent to him. He was also Minister For Education and in both jobs saw far reaching reforms. In this country he was certainly a high profile minister. There were a couple of scandals and after the first he temporarily retired to the backbenches. After the second which I think centred around an inappropriate relationship he was retired from a ministerial position for good. I think think there was a scandal to do with exam results when he was Education Minister. I think his appointment was partly to show trhat despite having a disability if someone works hard they can reach a high status in government. The Labour Party embraced something called New Labour which despite showing promise and doing some good didn’t live upto expectations.

The book I read to research this post was Dealing With Property Crime Offences by Andrew Dasher which is a very good book that I read at Kindle Unlimited. This book is about how the police deal with crimes against people’s possessions. There is a great risk of people who commit these offences committing the same or similar crimes again. Due to this there is a disproportionally high rate of these offenders in prison. Often people committing these offences the first time will get a softer sentence like a conditional discharge for example and may go to prison for breaking the law later. Police officers and others who deal with these have to, to a certain extent understand how to deal with these crooks. This is quite an interesting book that I do recommend. It is around 40 pages so is quite short. This is an interesting book on this subject but only covers the subject in a brief way.

The book I read to ressearch this post was A Man Apart by Roberta Kray which is a very good book that I bought from a car boot sale. This is a biography of the gangster Reggie Kray who was in jail for many years and was a notorious gangster in East End London told by his 2nd wife Roberta. He had a wife before that but she committed suicide. Roberta married him a few years before his death and this book focuses on those years. He did die of cancer and had advanced heart disease requiring oxygen and various drugs. He let out of prison on compassionate grounds not long before his death. Roberta nowadays is a successful novelist. She first worked with as part of an agency doing work with him. His 2 brothers were also in prison most notable Ronnie who was held at Broadmoor. Reggie himself was on Trifluoperazine a tranquilizer. He later got classed as well and taken off it.He had psychological problems earlier in his sentence. Some of the prison also had obviously quite an unsettling effect on him especially Long Larton. Lifers were frequently moved around and there numbers in any one prison strictly limited to prevent trouble. Years later he would be allowed to visit his brother in Long Larton. It brought back a lot of bad memories. This book is around 320 pages so is a decent length. I did enjoy it and do recommend it. It presents a realistic portrait of Reggie  which is probably what he would have wanted. He wouldn’t want to be portrayed as an angel or devil.