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Thread: Lookin for New Stuff to Read

  1. #1
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Default Lookin for New Stuff to Read

    I am always reading a military book if it be fiction or non-fiction. Any recommendations from the council? I'm always lookin for that obscure book nobody else knows about. I do not care so much for military theory - much more interested in battles, wars, personal experience.

    I have read the following (to name a few that might be mentioned a member):

    Fields of Fire
    With the Old Breed
    BHD
    Team Yankee
    Red Storm Rising
    Bravo-Two-Zero
    Thunder Run
    A Road We Do Not Know
    War
    Ghost Brigades (SF)
    Armor (SF)
    Old Man's War (SF)
    Starship Troopers (SF)
    When the Poor Boys Dance
    The Five Fingers
    A Gift of Valor
    Not A Good Day to Die
    Robert's Ridge
    Lone Survivor
    Black Hearts
    Gates of Fire
    They Fought for Each Other
    The Pacific

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Casting a net

    Gute,

    Try this 2007 thread 'Fiction Reading': http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=1723

    There is of course the long running thread 'What are you reading?': http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=3192

    I'd add two non-fiction titles: 'Quartered Safe Out There' by George MacDonald Fraser (the 'Flashman' series author), which is an account of his infantry platoon command in Burma and 'With the Jocks' by Peter White, again an infantry platoon commander and in Western Europe 1944-45.
    davidbfpo

  3. #3
    Council Member karaka's Avatar
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    There's the Emberverse series, starting with Dies the Fire, with SM Stirling if you want to get a little more medieval with your science fiction. There's some really engaging warfare in every book.

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    Perhaps you might like some of these:

    The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France 1940, Robert Doughty

    Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix: A Personal Account, by Stuart A. Herrington, originally published as Silence was a Weapon (1982).

    On the Road to Stalingrad: Memoirs of a Woman Machine Gunner,Zoya Smirnova-Medvedeva

    No Margin For Error: The Making of the Israeli Air Force, by Ehud Yonay (1993)

    The Operators: On the Streets with Britain's Most Secret Service, by James Rennie, on 14 Company's undercover work in Northern Ireland in the 80's.

    One Up: A Woman In Action With The SAS, by Sarah Ford, autobiography
    of a woman who served with 14 Intelligence Company in Northern Ireland.

    Wasp, Eric Frank Russell (SF, 1971) in which one man is dropped on an alien planet to keep them busy until they swat him.

    Sleeping Planet, William R. Burkett (SF, 1965) in which aliens put everyone on earth to sleep except for a handful who conduct psywar ops against them. Fun but can be hard to find.

    I won't list Daniel Suarez' recent Daemon and Freedom because they hardly count as obscure.

  5. #5
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    For military/historical fiction, my heartiest recommendations are for the Bernard Cornwell "Sharpe" series, the Gary Jennings "Aztec" series, and anything by Steven Pressfield.

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdr View Post
    I won't list Daniel Suarez' recent Daemon and Freedom because they hardly count as obscure.
    I read both Daemon and Freedom(TM) and they were awesome. Captivating stuff, went through both of them in a weekend. They are not completely military fiction books, but there is a lot of relevant stuff in them.

    I have been meaning to post something about those books. More detail will have to come later; perhaps a separate thread on them is necessary if others have read the books.

    Has anyone else read the Suarez novels?

    Steve Metz, you gotta check these out.

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    Default Try Fall

    If you haven't yet I would recommend Bernard Fall. His books about France's experiences in Indo China are exceptional in my opinion.

    My two favorites of his are:

    Street Without Joy
    Hell in a Very Small Place

    They are quick reads, written very well, entertaining, educational and still very relevant.

  8. #8
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Try "Blackfoot is Missing." - if you can find an unsigned copy they are worth quite a lot of money!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Chris jM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Try "Blackfoot is Missing." - if you can find an unsigned copy they are worth quite a lot of money!
    From "Book Worm Daniel" at Amazon book reviews: "William F. Owen ran secert missions in Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War between 1969 and 1971. Blackfoot is Missing is a fictional book based his own experiences during them missions."

    "Them missions" are obviously not very "secert" anymore, if the Amazonian reviewers have got hold of your military record!!!

    Any of the autobiographical works preserved from the Sir Harry Paget Flashmen, VC, KCB, KCIE, Chevalier, Legion of Honor, US Medal of Honor, San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth (4th Class) papers-series are well worth reading.

    Also, a plug for our big brother: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/201...work-in-progr/
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

  10. #10
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post
    From "Book Worm Daniel" at Amazon book reviews: "William F. Owen ran secert missions in Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War between 1969 and 1971. Blackfoot is Missing is a fictional book based his own experiences during them missions."
    Yeah.... it's embarrassing.
    Despite what it written in the Acknowledgements, a lot of folks I meet and who e-mail me, assume its semi-autobiographical.
    I keep having to explain, I was never there. I just wrote down what those who were told me......
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default If you like Sci-fi (or SyFy!) and military works...

    ...then I can heartily recommend

    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War / World War Z- (Wiki synopsis)

    It's actually a lot better than the title, and the Zombie Survival Guide to which it is the sequel, would suggest. The author has really thought hard about what a "zombie" outbreak would do to the world political system and to the art of war; i.e., the return of infantry lines and squares; the need for new TTPs to deal with the undead (do not use land-mines because you want zombies standing upright to get the headshots needed for the HEI rounds to work); the development of the "lobo" a dual entrenching and lobotomisation hammer-thingy; the destruction of the three gorges dam in China as viewed from the international space station; the initial outbreak in China and its rapid spread throughout the world (think Stephen King's The Stand written as a global military history) et al. Although a work of fiction it is very plausibly done...I read it in a day and it gave me the heebeegeebees

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    ...then I can heartily recommend

    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War / World War Z- (Wiki synopsis)
    I have to say--as a big fan of zombies (well, the genre: shelf of Romero movies, various Zombies boardgames, etc)—I was really disappointed by the book. Many of the characters (the living ones, that is) seemed so very artificial.

    On the plus side, Wilf would like it. No undead-centric Counter-Zombism (COZO?) here, which apparently doesn't work when they don't have working hearts and minds. Rather, its all kill, kill, kill...
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Rather, its all kill, kill, kill...
    You say that like it's a bad thing!!!!!

  14. #14
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    On the plus side, Wilf would like it. No undead-centric Counter-Zombism (COZO?) here, which apparently doesn't work when they don't have working hearts and minds. Rather, its all kill, kill, kill...
    I'm not sure I would. I view war as a strictly human activity. In fact I think Zombies may provide an excellent teaching point to emphasise some fundamentals.... no really. They do!

    Do the Zombies have a policy?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I'm not sure I would. I view war as a strictly human activity.

    #1 In fact I think Zombies may provide an excellent teaching point to emphasise some fundamentals.... no really. They do!

    #2 Do the Zombies have a policy?
    Re: #2, yes, if consuming every animal on the planet can be considered a policy (or just blind impulse)

    Re: #1 Correct, I found that reading about warfare waged against an unthinking opponent (hardly Clausewitz's dialectic of wills) really did bring up issues that would provide a new perspective on proper warfare (rather than pest control/extermination)

  16. #16
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Just finished Fawkes Nature of the Beast - decent book, but definitely not in the same class as Armor, Starship Troopers and Old Man's War. 7 out opf 10 stars.

    Also read Rakkasans by E.M. Flanagan. This book was okay, 5 out of 10 stars. Seemed to me most of the writing was taken from after action reports, which read like a report and not a story.

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    Default Work The System

    gute,if you are into Systems Thinking this is a good simple book to read. Simple as in very clearly written, not a lot of fluff but plenty of meat. The guy that wrote it is in your area to.

    http://www.workthesystem.com/

  18. #18
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    gute,if you are into Systems Thinking this is a good simple book to read. Simple as in very clearly written, not a lot of fluff but plenty of meat. The guy that wrote it is in your area to.

    http://www.workthesystem.com/
    Thanks for the link.

    Finished another one - Shadow of the Sword by Jeremiah Workman (Marine who fought in Fallujah). 4 out of 10. A little too dramatic for me and not as good as House to House.

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    hi,

    I would also recommend "One Bullet Away" by Nathaniel Fick and "Generation Kill" by Evan Wright. Also very good are "My War: Killing Time in Iraq" by Colby Buzzell and "The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell" by John Crawford.

    If you'd like to read something about World War I, I would recommend "All Quite at the Western Front" as this is a classic of the war literature genre.

    Lena

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    Default Flashman

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post

    Any of the autobiographical works preserved from the Sir Harry Paget Flashmen, VC, KCB, KCIE, Chevalier, Legion of Honor, US Medal of Honor, San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth (4th Class) papers-series are well worth reading.

    [/url]
    Those are about as good as it gets.

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