The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

This past week I finally finished William L. Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich."  I must admit that I cheated a little bit by getting the audiobook from Audible.  Overall it was ~60 hours of listening.

I know a lot has been written and scrutinized about Shirer's work but I found it very interesting and engrossing to listen to.  The narrator (Grover Gardner) was excellent and I loved the inflection in his voice; so much so that I purchased his reading of Shelby Foote's "The Civil War" (all 150 hours worth!).  I don't think anyone would be disappointed in reading this work.

If you're looking for a military novel, this certainly is not the book as it focuses more on the political and foreign aspects of the Third Reich.  As mentioned, I really enjoyed it from start to finish but there was a considerable amount of time dedicated to those conspiring to kill Hitler from within Germany (Operation Valkyrie, etc.); almost a little too much...

If you realize that Shirer spent a great deal more time in Germany leading up to World War II than during the war, you will understand why more time in the book is spent on the "Rise" of the Reich rather than the "Fall".  The latter of which does seem a little lacking in details and focus.  However, with this understanding in mind I think this book was time well spent.

On the Workbench: Ernst Barkmann and Me-109's

With the Holiday Season behind us, I'm itching to start a couple of new projects.  I really enjoy painting aircraft because there are SO MANY paint schemes to experiment with; I decided to try a few Me-109G's by Armaments in Miniature.  Overall I'm happy with the detail on these and there seems to be minimal mould lines to clean.  These are 1/100th scale so they're a little larger than Battlefront's aircraft but I think the detail and dimensions are much better than Battlefront's miniatures.

To ensure that I get my Armor fix, I'm also taking a swing at Battlefront's Ernst Barkmann box set.  It comes with Barkmann's Panther A and a mobile repair/workshop.  I added a little brass chain for detail but these box sets are great because they have a lot of extra details already moulded on the miniatures.

I'm excited to get to painting again as it's been a couple of months; I'll be sure to post details when both of these roll (and fly) off the workbench.
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