Monday, April 06, 2009

Tom Ricks Lists All-Time Top 10 Military History Books 
Catch-22 made the list? One of the top 10 books on military history ever written?

I mean, really?!?!?

Feh. No wonder Fiasco sucked so much.

Here's a few of the books that would be on my top 10 list:

The Last 100 Yards.
About Face, by Col. David Hackworth.
Enemy at the Gates, by William Craig
The Rommel Papers, by Erwin Rommel
Lee's Lieutenants, by D.S. Southall Freeman.
Landscape Turned Red, by Stephen Sears
The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory, by Robert Leonhard
Strategy, by B.H. Leonhart
Black Hawk Down, by Mark Bowden
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and On Society
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides
The Gallic Wars, by Julius Caesar
Caesar in Gaul
Learning to Eat Soup with a Fork, by John Nagl
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, by Alfred Mahan (Ricks missed this one? What a piker!)
Anything by John Boyd
The Last Battle, by Cornelius Ryan
Stalingrad, by Anthony Beevor
The Fall of Berlin, by Anthony Beevor
A Peace to End All Peace, by David Fromkin
Anything by Winston Churchill on the subject. Or any other subject.
If we're gonna do fiction, War and Peace, by Lev Tolstoy.
On War, by Karl von Clausewitz
Grant's memoirs.
Sherman's memoirs.
E. Porter Alexander's memoirs.
Patton's memoirs.

The list goes on.

Put your faves in the comments.

Splash, out


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Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield
Just about anything by John Keegan, but most notably The Face of Battle and The First World War.
The Guns of August and The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman. Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie.
The Congessional Medal of Honor Library. Bill Mauldin's Cartoons.
I'll keep your list for future reference.
The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam, by Martin Windrow.

Excellent book on how events lead to the battle, the battle itself and the aftermath.

We Were Soldiers Once... And Young, by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore.

Avoid the movie, read this book.
Warfighting, USMC
oh man... almost forgot (for the sake of fiction):

Battle Cry, Leon Uris
Mila 18, Leon Uris
Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
Killer Angels...Michael Shaara
The Greco-Persian Wars, Steven Green
Men Against Fire, S.L.A. Marshall
A Military History of the Western World, J.F.C. Fuller
Strategy: The Indirect Approach, B.H. Liddell-Hart
Jason, I'm definately with you on "Landscape Turned Red"...a very memorable and horrifying account. I'd include a book I read recently, "Washington's Crossing". Catch-22? I'm only an English teacher, but I always thought that was in the fiction section?
-One Shot, One Kill by Charles W. Sasser and Craig Roberts

-Yeager, by Chuck Yeager

-Was as I Knew It, George S. Patton
-One Shot, One Kill by Charles W. Sasser and Craig Roberts

-Yeager, by Chuck Yeager

-War as I Knew It, George S. Patton
"With the Old Breed" - E. B. Sledge

"War of the Rats" - David Robbins (fiction)

"Carnage and Culture" - Victor Davis Hanson

"Sea of Thunder" - Evan Thomas

"Strange Defeat" - Marc Bloch

"Bomber" - Len Deighton (fiction)
Submarine! by Edward L. Beach (non-fiction)

Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach (fiction)

Wake of the Wahoo by Forest J. Sterling (non - fiction)

Just letting you know that sailors get out there and do it to it...
Almost forgot...

The Two-Ocean War by S. E. Morison (non-fiction, SERIOUS history!)
Ooops. I meant "Strategy," by B.H. Liddell-Hart. I'm a big fan of maneuver warfare theory, and Liddell-Hart brought it alive for me.

Ditto on Warfighting, published by the USMC. I loved it when I read it as an ROTC cadet, and thought about it composing this list, but I couldn't recall what it was called.

I'd also have to add Company Commander, in the memoir category, American Caesar, a biography of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, by William Manchester, and "A Man Called Intrepid"
Hey, I gave props to Admiral Mahan! :)

Being a groundpounder, I haven't sought out the naval histories, though I would like to come back around and study up on that stuff. It makes for the best oil paintings!

How about "The Red Badge of Courage" and "All Quiet on the Western Front," if fiction counts? "For Whom the Bell Tolls?" "Gone With the Wind?"

Or hell, how about "The Iliad?"

As far as Joseph Heller goes, I thought "God Knows" was way, WAAAAAAYYYY funnier than Catch-22.

"The Rape of Nanking" is a depressing but vital read.

Speaking of atrocity works, how about Anne Frank, whom I've written about here. Elie Weisel's "Night" , and Leon Uris (I prefer Exodus to Mila 18, and "Trinity" to both of them.

But yeah, Ricks. Whatever makes yer bacon sizzle! :)

Oh..."Watership Down." Tell me that's not a war allegory!
"The Great Escape"
You'll be absolutely humbled by how innovative previous generations had to be.
In the fiction section, how about Ender's Game and Starship Troopers?
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