Book: Military History/Strategy

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by 2013MidDad, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. 2013MidDad

    2013MidDad Member

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    I hope there is already a thread existing for this question.

    While DD was telling a story of a summer event where she had to lead her group to defend a position, and instead of digging in a defending, she organized an attack on the attackers, I told her of Joshua Chamberlain and Little Round Top (if you're about to be wiped out, only choice is to attack). She said she would like reading material on such stories of military history and strategy to learn from past events. Using the Civil War as an example, I don't want to give her Shelby Foote's three volume treatise just to get Chamberlain's story.

    Does anyone know of a compilation of such stories of battles, strategy, etc., that would not necessarily be limited to any particular time and place? Like picking out just the good parts? Like taking various parts of O'Brian's 20 books to make one Master and Commander movie.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    John Keegan's classic from 1976: "The Face of Battle" is a comparison of 3 pivotal battles in Western History: Agincourt, Waterloo, The Somme.
    The Face of Battle is highly readable. It also helps you understand just how horrific WW1 was:
    WW1 is a forgotten war in a lot of ways- but imagine how much bravery and devotion to each other it took to carry on in the face of that kind of sustained, unrelenting brutality- and how much phenomenal leadership at the unit level was required to lead men thru that. (Conversely- not much leadership at the higher levels that sent millions to their deaths with little strategy and stupid tactics which repeated the same mistakes over and over)
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    There's a great book that they've read at your big brother academy for eons, which is short but provides good insight into the basics of such a situation. It's called The Defence of Duffer's Drift. Written from the perspective of an officer in the Boer War named LT Backsight Forethought, it progresses as a series of dreams in which the officer explores how he will accomplish his mission after he is charged with defending a piece of key terrain in known as Duffer's Drift. Each successive dream builds on the experience of the previous dream. Very short, simple, and well-written for what it is. It's over 100 years old, but still part of many basic tactical leadership curricula.

    If reading about the Boer War seems a bit outdated (and it can), a wise man has taken the book and updated it for the current environment. Set in Iraq, The Defense of Jisr-al-Dorrea is the same concept, but updated to reflect the intricacies of low-intensity conflict and counter-insurgency.

    Neither is Nobel-caliber literature, but they're perfect for a young cadet seeking to understand all the considerations a leader must make in such a situation.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    "The Millionaire's Unit" Just heard a couple of chapters on XM Book Radio. Sounds like a great book about the beginning of Naval Airpower. WOW Yale has really changed.
     
  6. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    The "Millionaires Unit" is still a great unknown read. Princeton wasn't far behind YALE as all the IVY graduates were in those days.
    LITS will know the "HOBEY BAKER AWARD" Here is his story:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobey_Baker
     
  7. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Very cool. WW1 has faded into time and there just isn't that much written about "The Great War". If you ever want to see some of these old WW1 planes still flying- take a trip to the Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck NY. They were unbelievable flimsy things- it took a lot of guts to climb into those things repeatedly and the mortality rate was pretty high just from basic mechanical failures or pilot error (most pilots had very few hours before they started flying missions).
     
  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Different world.
     

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