Saturday, March 28, 2020

Weinberg's Men at Arms

I bought a copy of Weinberg’s book in the past, but since that time I discovered that too much hard-copy reading gives me eye-strain & so I buy a Kindle copy as well whenever one is available and read that.  I still like having a hard copy in order to use indices and more easily find references.  So I’m a long way from being paperless. 

I see from the Kindle copy that Weinberg wrote a preface to a reprint ten-years after his 1994 original; so if one orders a new copy he will have that as well.  If one orders a used copy without the 2004 preface, not to worry.  He made only minor corrections that people found in his original.  He corrected them but there is no errata for the original edition. 

My Russian friend thought that most historians of WWII writing in English neglect the Eastern Front but Weinberg apparently gives it adequate coverage.  Weinberg describes his intention to do that in his introduction. 

Weinberg also says he is not going to dwell upon the blood and guts of individual battles.  He says there are plenty of other books that do that.  Those “other books” are apparently the ones I read in regard to the Eastern Front.

Weinberg was born January 1, 1928; so he is 92 and probably more ambulatory than I am.  I read that he was in the Army (his parents fled Germany & ended up in the U.S. so Weinberg is a U.S. citizen) in Japan during the 1946-1947 occupation.  I don’t have a good sense of this occupation.  I was sent to Japan by means of the General Gordon troop ship in I think March of 1953 and from there flown to Korea in a DC-3.  At one point during the 13 months I was in Korea, I went with a group on R&R to Itami Air-Base in Japan, and from there to a town off the beaten R&R path.  So my friend and I were rubbing shoulders with a great number of Japanese a very short time after their surrender – at least it seems like a short time from my present vantage point, but at the time we gave that war no thought.  We had a new war to think about and by the time I got to Korea it was winding down.  The truce with North Korea was signed when I was on Cheju Island next to a Prison Camp.  After the truce was signed the prisoners were simply turned loose and told to make their own way to the North.  [That doesn’t sound reasonable now, but that is what we were told at the time.]  Some chose not to go north and instead to hide up on Cheju Mountain.  We could see camp fires burning up there at night. 

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