Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. It is a hot, gray, and cloudy day here in the Tampa Bay area. The present temperature is 83°F (28°C) under mostly cloudy skies. With humidity at 82% and the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 9 MPH (14 KM/H), the heat index is 87°F (31°C). Today’s forecast calls for cloudy skies and a high of 94°F (34°C). Tonight, we can expect mostly cloudy skies. The low will be 71°F (22°C).
My copy of Peter Caddick-Adams’ Fire & Steel: The End of World War Two in the West arrived yesterday at 2:15 PM. Like the other books in Caddick-Adams’ Steel trilogy about the Allied campaign in Northwest Europe, it’s a hardcover, a format that I prefer to paperback because it’s more durable, albeit a bit more expensive. I have only leafed through it; I didn’t set aside any time to sit down and read it – not even the prologue that sets up the main narrative. From what I have peeked at, though, Fire & Steel looks like it’s going to be a good read. Perhaps not as good as The Guns at Last Light, Rick Atkinson’s third volume in his monumental Liberation Trilogy, but it’s a promising book.
I think that it’s interesting to note that I have quite a few books about the last 100 days of World War II in the European Theater of Operations. Even if I exclude Cornelius Ryan’s The Last Battle (1966) and Antony Beevor’s The Fall of Berlin, which delve into the Battle of Berlin from two different perspectives, I can still list the following books that cover the same ground as Fire & Steel:
- Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944–45, Max Hastings (2004)
- The Last 100 Days: The Tumultuous and Controversial Story of the Final Days of World War II in Europe, John Toland (1966)
- The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945, Rick Atkinson (2013)
And now, of course, I own a copy of Fire & Steel: The End of World War Two in the West.
Aside from that, there’s not much to tell. I woke up earlier than usual today – at 4:45 AM – and although I did my best to go to sleep again, I only succeeded in staving off the inevitable and was up at 6:20 AM. I didn’t sleep in the interim, just tossed and turned on my futon, trying to get comfortable but never succeeded.
As a result, I am seriously contemplating taking the rest of the day off and spending some time in the living room, preferably with my copy of Fire & Steel in one hand and mug of coffee in the other. I’m tired, sore, and a mite enervated.
With that, Dear Reader, I’ll take my leave of you for the day. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
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