The research for writing Long Live Death was quite challenging. I quickly learned that there was lots of information on the Spanish Civil War, but much of it was false. It is one thing to be biased, and portray various actions in the most negative way possible, but it another thing entirely to simply state things that are not true.
For example, Hugh Thomas has a clear bias in favor of the Republic, but his information is meticulously documented and generally reliable (though I did catch a couple of errors in his very complicated narrative).
Antony Beevor, on the other hand, is a total hack. If he told me the sun was shining I would assume it wasn't until proven otherwise. His bigotry and deception by omission renders everything else has written suspect.
The Romans recognized this the logic of this, enshrining the phrase: falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one thing, false in everything) in the Western legal tradition.
I'm sad to say that when working on Walls of Men, this same principle destroyed my trust in a web site I had visited and enjoyed for years: strategypage.com.
I'm not entirely sure of who posts there now, but back in the day it was product of the longstanding collaboration of Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay, two old-school wargamers who had collaborated in the best-selling A Quick and Dirty Guide to War.
During the Global War on Terror, the site had been very useful in providing updates on Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots typically ignored by the mainstream media. However, over time I noticed that the site was often irrationally optimistic about American operations.
To be fair, it was possible that their sources were simply lying to them. After all, we know that a great deal of internal communication within the US military was fabricated to justify ongoing operations and conceal the magnitude of failure from the American public.
However, when I began to dig into the inner workings of the Chinese military, the errors were too glaring to ignore. The breaking point for me was a post which described the Peoples' Liberation Army as being "all-volunteer" since the 1980s. This is absolutely not true. (I can't find the specific post because the site's organization is abysmal.)
Multiple published sources (which I used in my book) confirm this, and reputable web sites also state that conscription still happens, though no one is sure exactly what percentage of the PLA is recruited using it. Either way, it's just plain wrong, and that kind of error casts doubt over everything on the site. I now have to wonder how much else they go wrong, and while there may be some value to determining whether it was due to bias or ignorance, the inescapable fact is that they simply cannot be trusted.