Recommended reading on the Nationale Volksarmee & GDR

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Re: Recommended reading on Cold War History

Post by ColdWarVeteran » 29 Jul 2011 16:21

Halberstam and Miller's books are recommended reading on the Cold War. Another good source of information is COL David Hackworth's ABOUT FACE, which covers his service during the 40's - 70's until after the Vietnam War. This provides a superb insight into one Cold Warriors service.

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Re: Recommended reading on Cold War History

Post by JD » 16 Sep 2011 12:16

Here are some I'd wholeheartedly recommend:

"One Day in a Long War" by Jeffery Ethell and Dr Alfred Price


"Air War South Atlantic" by Jeffery Ethell and Dr Alfred Price


"Sea Harrier over the Falklands" by Cdr Nigel "Sharkey" Ward


"The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction" by Robert J. McMahon


"Espionage" by Ernest Volkman


"The Wall" by Christopher Hilton


"The Berlin Wall" by Frederick Taylor


"Spies Beneath Berlin" by David Stafford


For anyone interested in things like Able Archer 83, there are some published papers which not only describe the event but give an excellent understanding of the era:

"One Misstep Could Trigger a Great War" by Nathan Bennett Jones

"A Cold War Conundrum: The 1983 Soviet War Scare" by Ben Fischer ... source.htm

I have also heard that Reagan's memoir "Ronald Reagan: An American Life" is worth a look but I have not read it myself.

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Re: Recommended reading on Cold War History

Post by JamesL » 16 Dec 2011 16:41

Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam by Lewis Sorley PhD.

I am halfway through this book. It is painful to read. Like they say "Had we known then what we know now..."

I remember many of the incidents discussed but am gaining a better knowledge of what was going on in the background. The comments of his contemporaries, the generals who worked alongside him, are cutting.

Four star rank and a graduate of USMA, he never attended any advanced Army school such as Leavenworth or Carlisle. He obtained a certificate in mess hall management from the Cooks and Bakers School. He spent 3 months studying at the Harvard Business School where, apparently, he learned those damned metrics...kill ratios, body counts, rounds per day per artillery tube, per centages of observed hits, and so on.

Four stars and he knew nothing of armored doctrine or the use of helicopters in combat operations. Mortars confused him.

Like I said, painful reading.

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Re: Recommended reading on Cold War History

Post by tonyp » 16 Jan 2013 20:22

It's not a new book, but as a newer member here, I know the "recommended reading" threads have been a great help to me. In order to pay it forward, here's my Cold War recommended reading.

One of the densest books I've ever read, but if you're interested in the Cold War, particularly from an espionage point of view, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB by Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin is absolutely phenomenal.

The first 8 chapters mostly deal with the KGB's roots in the Cheka through the end of WWII, as well as the rather interesting backstory of how Mitrokhin was able to get all of this information out of the country.

The book is organized from there on mostly by region, then chronologically. It takes some getting used to and a lot of referring to the index when you forget what a certain codenamed agent did 3 chapters prior, but it's a great resource anyway, in my opinion.

Chapter 9: From War to Cold War
Chapter 10: The Main Adversary: North American Illegals in the 1950s
Chapter 11: The Main Adversary: Walk-Ins and Legal Residencies in the Early Cold War
Chapter 12: The Main Adversary: Illegals After "Abel"
Chapter 13: The Main Adversary: Walk-Ins and Legal Residencies in the Later Cold War
Chapter 14: Political Warfare: Active Measures and the Main Adversary
Chapter 15: Progress Operations: Crushing the Prague Spring
Chapter 16: Progress Operations: Spying on the Soviet Bloc
Chapter 17: The KGB and Western Communist Parties
Chapter 18: Eurocommunism
Chapter 19: Ideological Subversion: The War Against the Dissidents
Chapter 20: Ideological Subversion: The Victory of the Dissidents
Chapter 21: SIGINT in the Cold War
Chapter 22: Special Tasks: From Marshal Tito to Rudolf Nureyev
Chapter 23: Special Tasks: The Andropov Era and Beyond
Chapter 24: Cold War Operations Against Britain: After the Magnificent Five
Chapter 25: Cold War Operations Against Britain: After Operation FOOT
Chapter 26: The Federal Republic of Germany
Chapter 27: France and Italy During the Cold War
Chapter 28: The Penetration and Persecution of the Soviet Churches
Chapter 29: The Polish Pope and the Rise of Solidarity
Chapter 30: The Polish Crisis and the Crumbling of the Soviet Bloc
Conclusion: From the One-Party State to the Putin Presidency: The Role of Russian Intelligence

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