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 Post subject: War Stories
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:40 am 
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I've been studying the military recently in an effort to help me decide which branch I should join after I get out of high school. I'm trying to compile a list of some of the best combat novels and memoirs in order to help me get some small sence of what war is like. Any suggestions as to what I should read?

the list so far:
The Ten Thousand (Ancient Greece)
Band of Brothers (WWII)
The Things they carried (Vietnam)
Going after Cacciato (Vietnam)
Jarhead (1st Gulf War)
Generation Kill (Iraq)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:41 pm 
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The Red Badge of Courage is a good book.
The recent "Letters from Iwo Jima" by Kumiko Kakehasi - not the movie (which I recommend, but the hardback. You might have to get it grom Amazon.UK
Why those? Well, they don't present the glory of war. That is something all soldiers must understand before they go to war. Good luck on your career. I hope you achieve what you want. A career in the military is an honorable profession.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:59 am 
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I'm currently enlisted in the Marines. I didn't read any book to sway my decision, but I am reading a book called "Flags of our Fathers," by James Bradley. It tells the story of the six marines that raised the american flag at Iwo Jima in WWII. It's a really good book so far, so I suggest checking this one out when you get a chance.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:45 am 
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1whoknows wrote:
I'm currently enlisted in the Marines. I didn't read any book to sway my decision, but I am reading a book called "Flags of our Fathers," by James Bradley. It tells the story of the six marines that raised the american flag at Iwo Jima in WWII. It's a really good book so far, so I suggest checking this one out when you get a chance.


I wasn't trying to sway your decision. Not at all. I apologize for leaving that impression.

I have read "Flags of our Fathers" and it s an excellent story about Americans fighting on Iwo Jima and returning home. The exact opposite of "Flags" is the book I mentioned above: "Letter from Iwo Jima." Our soldiers on Iwo returned as heroes. As "Flags" points out, they were not completely heroes, they were merely men.

The tragedy of "Letters" is that the Japanese couldn't return home unless they were victorious. Their story is just as compelling.

The hesitancy you hear in my selections is not for the soldiers. Being a marine is an honorable profession. But the gray haired men that find the reasons for war and send fine young men into war -- they are the objects of my criticism. Colin Powell once said that you go in with overwhelming forces and a plan to win, or you don't go in at all.

Again, sorry about the impression I gave.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:44 pm 
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davefragments wrote:
I wasn't trying to sway your decision. Not at all. I apologize for leaving that impression.

No need to apologize, I think 1WhoKnows was referring to my practice of trying to get a sense of the services by reading books. Perhaps I phrased that badly. I'm trying to get a sense of War by reading firsthand accounts. I can't rely on book to help me make my choice as to which branch I'll join, as I've never heard of a memoir being written by an airman or a Sailor.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:32 pm 
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The-Holy-Dark wrote:
davefragments wrote:
I wasn't trying to sway your decision. ...{snip}

{snip}
...I've never heard of a memoir being written by an airman or a Sailor.


George H.R. Bush (President #41) was a naval aviator in WW2 and a hero. That story is here: http://www.tarpley.net/bush6.htm in the unauthorized biography by Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Ah, Aviatiors. I wasn't counting them amoung my salior and airmen generalation, as those aren't really correct titles for them. Pilots are in a group all their own, even amoung other officers.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:27 am 
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Quote:
I wasn't trying to sway your decision. Not at all. I apologize for leaving that impression.


No need to apologize. The-Holy-Dark was right in my meaning for my words.

Quote:
I have read "Flags of our Fathers" and it s an excellent story about Americans fighting on Iwo Jima and returning home. The exact opposite of "Flags" is the book I mentioned above: "Letter from Iwo Jima." Our soldiers on Iwo returned as heroes. As "Flags" points out, they were not completely heroes, they were merely men.


A few days ago I was actually told by a friend of mine that that was a really good book. He also tol dme I should watch the movie, so went ahead and got it on Netflix on my xbox. :)

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