UPDATED 12 September 2009

AIPD Credits for the Soldier

"Never forget the importance of history. To know nothing of what happened before you took your place on earth, is to remain a child forever."


Coup d'oeil
The consequences of being ignorant of the modern battlefield can be disastrous. The Beirut bombing left 265+ marines dead, when anyone with any knowledge of the middle east would have been aware of the car/truck bomb. When disasters like this happen, Americans get a "black eye" and often we "pack our bags and go home" like the marines did in 1983. The enemy wins, we lose.

Army reading lists predate the mc's PME efforts

The way to know about the future battlefield is to READ.

The U.S. Army has long known and understood this reality. In 1986 all U.S. Army 11A Infantry officers were given a reading list to enhance their professional development long before "PME" became a "cause celebre" by those seeking to claim THEY invented the use of books for professional military education. The following is adapted from this manual. Its VITAL that each Soldier have a "Coup d'oeil" which is French for a grasp of everything at once. Napoleon described this as knowing the essence of all things in a battle instantly, a form of intuition. COl Dan Bolger describes it in detail in his book, "The Battle for Hunger Hill" where he describes how you need to know how every aspect of modern war inter-relates to come up with a plan to win against unconventional foes like those replicated at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC).

Colonel David Hackworth (Ret.) writes:

"Patton expressed the importance of studying in his comment: 'To be a successful Soldier, you must know history.' Will Rogers once reflected that 'the United States is the only nation in the world that waits until it is in a war, before it gets ready'. Patton did not wait. During World War II his peers and critics tried to fault him for making decisions without taking a great deal of time for research and analysis. Patton responded, 'For years I have been accused of making snap judgments. Honestly, this is not the case because I am a profound military student and the thoughts I express...are the result of years of thought and study.' Patton knew that delays and indecision translates directly into the deaths of subordinates and the potential for defeat. From the end of World War I until the mid 1930s he pushed himself, through his studies and determination, to be assigned to the most demanding positions possible. He had no assurance that another major war would occur in his lifetime. However, having personally experienced the sting of battle in the First World War, Patton knew the price for not being ready would be too expensive."

An Army Armor LTC writes:

"There is a simple reason for being unable to significantly change the officer development system: You have to convince the Service Chiefs that the system is broken, and they cannot accept that conclusion since, in their minds it works fine. After all (in their minds) the cream rises to the top, as evidenced by THEIR own success.

However, my military education is straightforward. Once in the reserves, I simply paid attention at C&GSC, especially the stuff on logistics. Also, a long time ago, I really got into military history. Not U.S. Army history, but MILITARY history; the old stuff. When drafting concept papers on night operations, I refer to the Trojan Horse (everyone remembers the "deception plan" but forget that the main effort was a night attack). Regards assault bridging, I start with Tuthmosis of Egypt, circa 1470 BC, whose bridge train of pontoons on ox carts was used to seize Carcemish. Anyone ever interested in combined arms operations, task organization, initiative, leadership, etc., should read Xenephon's "The Persian Expedition" circa 400 BC. To study deep attack using Operational Maneuver Groups, strategic recon, combined arms expeditionary forces, and "push forward" logistics, read about the Mongol invasion of Europe circa 1200 AD. It's all been done, and done well, and documented. All we need to do is read and learn.

Today, Army leaders talk about reinventing "blitzkrieg"-like operations in Army After Next (AAN), yet they have no comprehension that blitzkrieg has come and gone, much like the trench warfare that preceded it. Blitzkrieg worked when the enemy had no depth to his defense and was technologically overmatched. Once the Germans faced Brits and later Americans, it all became a mobile slugfest, again.

Also, if you want to learn lessons from the past, do not study the victories as much as the defeats. For example, meticulous study of the German invasion of Poland in 1939 prepares you to fight a battle that will never again occur. However, study (and avoidance) of Poland's errors will always be useful as you prepare for future operations. One example: the strategic commo link of the Polish high command was the commercial telephone and telegraph system. It was simply assumed that the system would remain operational despite enemy action. Today, such a naive idea is laughable, yet isn't that exactly what "tactical internet" and other Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) technologies are all about? See my point?

P.S., If I were king, I'd keep ROTC and OCS, but I'd make West Point into a museum."

Soldiers do not read enough because many are stuck at the technical level of war, which is the "nuts and bolts" of Soldiering. This knowledge is best contained in our official field manuals, which can be viewed and/or down-loaded at the official U.S. Army Training Digital Library by clicking the blue link here:

To learn the tactical, operational, strategic levels of war on top of the technical level you need to read and study. Knowing these things is required to be able to quickly realize the essence of what is going on on the battlefield--to "Coup d'oeil" just like Patton was able to do. Its a little late to be reading about the car bomb when you are already deployed to the Middle east, but better late than never! Time spent realizing can be better spent ACTING--erecting road blocks, barriers, dispersing and arming men, which is what Patton did as Col Hackworth described above. When you can "Coup d'oeil" you can make snap decisions from a deep sense of truth and be right. Until such time, that every Soldier or Paratrooper has internet access, the book is the best way to do this. As some of these books become available online for no charge, we will hyperlink them here so you can read them free. But there must be organizational incentives to read.

We propose that the U.S. Army Institute for Professional Development (AIPD) develop simple tests that would be sent to Soldiers who purchase on their own, professional military books and read them. Soldiers that answer the questions and turn them back in to AIPD, will get correspondence course credit, just as they do as they finish a subcourse now. We also propose that the Army Training Digital Library (ATDL) make their many Field Manuals that are available online into "Correspondance courses" that Soldiers can answer questions online. Eventually AIPD Correspondance courses should also be online so they can be more easily updated with new information, cross reference with ADTL Field Manuals and save the Army money in publishing and sending paper correspondance courses. An example of the possibilities that instant online Soldier referencing is the National Guard Expert Infantryman's Badge (EIB) web site:


These credit hours earned are used to determine promotion points and retirement points. When I talked with LTG Harold Moore (see his book below) about this last year at a book signing, he thought it was a good idea. We must make professional reading worthwhile to the enlistedman who doesn't have the officer's pay---he needs and deserves some promotion points for taking the time and expense to better his professional knowledge. What good is this? Look what U.S. Army correspondence courses did for General Jimmy Stewart, Flight Officer Jackie Coogan and President Ronald Reagen. In WWII, we pushed Soldiers to READ! What happened with today and our "information age" Soldiers??? What are we doing to encourage them to read military professional books?

Third Army Louisiana Maneuvers. The 31st Division's Mobile Library in the maneuver area at Camp Polk, La. (18 Aug 43) Signal Corps Photo: 165-L2-43-1917 (T/Sgt Wm Murray)

A list of required readings should be determined by U.S. Army TRADOC and AIPD. The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) has a Combat Studies Institute which as a superb reading list by categories below:


Here we will suggest the first books covering a broad sweep of topics in addition to those described by the 11A MQS. These books are absolutely critical towards understanding the future battlefield. Most of the links provided are to Amazon books.com where they can be ordered and a review read describing the book. Don't forget to go to the library!... and save some $$$.

Directed Reading Program
The Professional Military Education of MQS II consists of a directed reading program. The goals of the reading program are to acquaint you with some of the standard works in your profession, foster an exchange of ideas on military subjects with fellow Soldiers, and assist you in expanding your understanding of the profession of arms and its impact on world affairs.

Reading Goals
In the MQS II phase of training, you are to read eight books during your first years in the service. Two books are to be chosen from each of four lists described in this appendix. As you complete your DA Form 67-8-1, you and your rater will determine which books you are to read during the rating period. The choice may be yours, or your unit commander may assign books from the lists that all NCOs/officers in the unit will read for NCODP/OPD or seminars. Before you begin reading, you should discuss the purpose with your rater and establish tentative goals. You should also consider your current interests and your specialty needs. Next, you should examine the primary reading list described under "Reading Lists" below and select two books or journals to get you started. After you have read your first selections and discussed them with your rater, review your goals, and ask yourself the following questions: Are they the same? Do you have new specialty needs? Have you discovered technological advances? Has your reading lead you into new areas of inquiry?

Reading Lists
To assist you in making appropriate selections, a four-part reading list composed of:

Military classics list

Strategy by B.H. Liddell-Hart
The Art of War by Sun Tzu--Click to read it ONLINE!
The Centurians by Jean Larteguy
The Bible, King James by God Almighty (Click first link to download, second to learn about the KJB)
The Killer Angels by Mark Schaara
Patton: A Genius for warby Carlos D'Estes
Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T. E. (Thomas Edward) Lawrence also known as "Lawrence of Arabia". New York: Penguin Books, 1976, 1935.
Defeat into Victory by William Slim, 1st Viscount. New York: MacKay, 1961; London: Papermac, 1986.
American Caesar by William Manchester

Contemporary list

Air-Mech-Strike: Asymmetric Maneuver Warfare, 2nd Editionby General David Grange and AMS Study Group
Inside Delta Forceby Command Sergeant Major Eric Haney
War & Anti-War by Alvin & Heidi Toffler
LIC 2010 by COL. Rod Paschall (Ret.)
Just Cause by Malcom McConnell
At the Hurricane's Eye by Greg Walker
The Guts to Try by Colonel James H. Kyle, USAF (Ret.)
Secret Armies by James Adams
The Raid by Benjamin F. Schemmer about the Son Tay POW rescue mission
Urgent Fury: the battle for Grenada by Mark Adkin
SEAL! by LTCDR Mike Walsh (Ret.)
Inside the Soviet Army by Viktor Suvorov
The Transformation of War by Martin Van Crevald
The Coming Anarchy by Robert Kaplan (Atlantic Monthly online magazine article, Feb 94--click and read!)
Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War by Rick Atkinson; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
The Commanders by Bob Woodward, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991
No Picnic by Brigadier General Julian Thompson (Ret.)
The Arnheiter Affair by Neil Sheehan
My Story by Captain Lloyd Bucher USN (Retired)

Professional military ethics list

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan
Escape from Reason by Francis Schaeffer
My American Journey by GEN. Colin Powell (Ret)
A Country Such as this by James Webb
A Sense of Honor by James Webb
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Infantry branch list

On Infantry by John English
Paratrooper! by Gerard M. Devlin
About Face! by Colonel David Hackworth (Ret.)
Inside the VC/NVA by Michael Lanning
Bicycles at War by Martin Caidin and Jay Barbree
We were Soldiers once and young by LTG Harold Moore (Ret.)
The Soldier's Load and the mobility of a nation by S.L.A. Marshall
On to Berlin by LTG James M. Gavin
The Sinews of War; Logistics of the U.S. Army 1775-1954 U.S. Military history series
Supplying War: From Wallenstein to Patton by Martin Van Crevald
Airborne operations: a German appraisal by German Army General Staff: ONLINE! Just click to read!
The Vietnam Primer by Col David Hackworth (Ret.)
Guerrilla Battalion, U.S. Style (Infantry magazine, Jan-Feb '71) ONLINE! Click to read!
Airborne Warfare by LTG James M. Gavin
The Pattern of War Sir Francis Tucker, MG British Army
Paratrooper: the Life of General Jame M. Gavin by T. Michael Booth and Duncan Spencer
Dragon Operations: Hostage Rescues in the Congo, 1964-1965 by Thomas P. Odom, Ft. Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1987.
The Glider Gang by Milton Dank
We Led the Way by BG William O. Darby and William Baumer
Tank Sergeant by Ralph Zumbro
Common Sense Training - A working Philosophy for Leaders by LTG Arthur Collins
Small Unit Leadership - A Common Sense Approach by COL Dandrige Malone
To Fight with Intrepidity by Major John Lock

If we do not "get our minds in gear" in regards to the future battlefield, all the time you can spend in the weight room will not help you if what you are doing does not match up with what the enemy is doing. We need a professional U.S. Army that can discuss ideas amongst ourselves officers and enlistedmen as equals like the British Army creates with its Regimental System. Professionalism enabled the British to win in the Falklands with superior field craft, patrolling, reverse slope defenses etc. while the Argentines used the top-down, authoritarean robotic mindset that kills initiative with "zero defects" mentalities. I'm sure that you have other books that you would like to add to the required U.S. Army books that we have begun here. Please email me, and I will consider adding it.

Detailed descriptions of the books in these reading lists follow:


This list includes general surveys, biographies, campaign and battle analyses, straightforward narratives, interpretive histories, memoirs, and fiction. Books will be selected based on their specific contribution to military thought and for the perspective they bring to some timeless aspects of the profession of arms. Collectively, the list offers a solid foundation upon which to build your knowledge and understanding of the profession of arms.

Before you make your first selection from this list, ask yourself: What do I want to get out of a personal professional reading program? If you cannot answer that question or really do not know where to begin, reread part one of A Guide to the Study and Use of Military History issued to officers during their Officer Basic Course. The essays in part one of the guide will depict for you the various tasks of the Army throughout its military history, some of the personal and professional benefits that accrue from studying the past, and several approaches to developing good professional reading habits. From there you should be able to identify periods or subjects for deeper exploration. Another starting point might be to read one of the broad surveys from the list.

Blumenson, Martin, The Patton Papers. Boston, MA, Houghton & Mifflin Co. Volume I, 1972. Volume II, 1974.

A fascinating Soldier's life makes great reading. Blumenson combines his own excellent narrative with selected letters, articles, and diaries of George S. Patton, Jr. to create a superb two-volume biography of the General. Volume I examines Patton's lesser known early life from 1885 to 1940 including his professional development as a cadet, company-grade officer and frontline combat leader. Volume II takes the General from Armored Brigade Commander prior to World War II through his tumultuous wartime career until his death as an Army Commander in 1945.

The Patton Papers captures all of Patton's fascinating greatness. This Soldier's courage, candor, competence and commitment are evident in what he wrote and in what he did. Blumenson has done the military profession a service in bringing it all together in a very readable form.

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo & The Somme. Reprint of the 1976 Ed. New York: Random House. 1977.

An examination of the human dimension of combat, this work shows a glimpse of the "face" of three battles -- Agincourt (1415), Waterloo (1815), and the Somme (1916). The author explains how military events have been distorted by writers who have fallen prey to a styled and sometimes romantic view of war. Keegan's combat is not the conceit of the leader, nor is it a clash of technologies conducted along predictable, scientific lines. Combat is a whirlwind of confusion which threatens to overwhelm, dominate, and finally victimize all who participated in it. The central questions are: how have men withstood it in the past, what has it done to them, and what are the prospects for the future? As an examination of combat and of how it commonly has been misrepresented, The Face of Battle offers the reader a high standard by which to judge other readings on warfare, past and present.

MacDonald, Charles Brown and Mathews, Sidney T. Three Battles:Arnaville, Altuzzo, and Schmidt. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army. ) 1952. (U.S. Army in World War II: Special Studies)

This volume of the official history of the U.S. Army in World War II provides a close-up of the combat action which is missing from the books of a grander scope on the Allied victory in Europe. The three battles selected for this intensive treatment include a river crossing, a breakthrough of the "Gothic Line," and an attempt to seize key terrain. The selected battles demonstrate the role of all arms and services, and provide superb close-ups at battalion level and lower, while still reflecting the magnitude of the great war effort in Europe. The authors identify the factors which influenced the outcome of the battles.

Marshall, Samuel L. A. Men against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command in Future War: Reprinted. Gloucester, Mass. Peter Smith. 1978.

During World War II, reportedly only 25 percent of American Soldiers in combat fired their weapons at the enemy. Military historian and long-time analyst of military affairs S.L.A. Marshall wants to understand why if this is true, what it tells us about Americans in combat, and how the percentage may be increased in doctrines of the U.S. Army. During the Korean War, infantry fire in action increased to 55 percent, but this statistic still does not encompass what this work has to say to the young career NCO/officer.

Preston, Richard Arthur; Wise, Sidney F.; and Werner, Herman 0. Men in Arms: A History of Warfare and its Interrelationships With Western Society. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 1979.

The author surveys the history of warfare in the development of western civilization. Military events from Ancient Greece through the post-Vietnam era are examined in the context of political, economic, and social history. Weapons development, tactics, military organization, supply, and naval operations are evaluated, with limited attention given to great battles and campaigns. This is an eminently readable condensation of 2,500 years of western military history and is an excellent starting place for a study of the relationship between war and society.

Shaara, Michael. Killer Angels. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. 1976.

Most historical novels treat historical figures as one- or two-dimensional figures, viewed through the eyes of fictional characters. As a result, the real historical figures dispassionately act on the roles assigned them by history. Shaara's work adds a third dimension to the real actions of history. He gives these characters personalities, beliefs, emotions, hopes, and fears. In this novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, the real figures emerge as living people with all the necessary human traits. Shaara gives life to the lofty figures, the Lees and Longstreets, as well as to the usually ignored privates in the line regiments. But most importantly he focuses on the egalitarean leadership of Col Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose actions that day to lead a force of deserters saved the Union. The result is a graphic, credible, human account of one of America's greatest and bloodiest battles.

Swinton, Captain Ernest D. The Defense of Duffer's Drift. Ft. Benning, GA: U.S. Army Infantry School. 1972.

This entertaining account of the six "dreams" of Lieutenant Backsight Forethought (BF) is a military classic in small-unit tactics. This instructive little book addresses the age-old dilemma of the first independent command for a young combat leader and emphasizes the dire consequences of failing to appreciate "the necessity for the practical application of some very old principles." In successive dreams, BF, who had completed his officer courses and qualifying examinations and was well versed in the grand tactics of Waterloo and Bull Run, finds himself and a fifty-man detachment left to defend Duffer's Drift. With each failure, the dream begins anew, but with the lessons of previous dreams firmly imprinted on the mind of the dreamer until at long last the mission is accomplished. The reader shares BF's dreams, analyzes and shares his defeats and ponders the price of failure "for those occasions when a different foe with different methods of fighting and different weapons has to be met."

Catton, Bruce. A Stillness at Appomattox. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co. 1953.

This is the third and final volume of the history of the famous and tragic Army of the Potomac. Catton is a superb writer who weaves the saga of privates and generals alike into a brilliant tapestry of the final campaigns of this citizen army. Catton leaves nothing out of the narrative, discussing strategy on the one hand, and the trials of the common Soldier on the other. This book is essential for an understanding of the eastern theater of operations during the Civil War. Most important, the book shows how technological advances impact on tactics, leading many to call this the first modern war.

Cosmas, Graham A. An Army For Empire: The United States Army in the Spanish-American War. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. 1971.

This study of the U.S. Army's transition from peacetime missions into a war for which it had not prepared is filled with lessons for today's NCO/officer. The conflicts between bureau and line that contributed to the modernization of our military staff system are clearly delineated. The challenges of mobilizing, training, and deploying an army are described with the detail necessary to remind us of the difficulties associated with such endeavors. The conflict between military leaders and the Congressional masters of the purse is also here. This book will be enjoyable reading for those who have little knowledge of the Spanish-American War or of the Army's state at the turn of the century.

Depuy, R.E. and Depuy, Trevor. Brave Men and Great Captains. Fairfax, VA: Hero Books. 1984.

The authors discuss combat leadership from the Revolution to Korea and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses that affect leadership. The narrative includes descriptions of decisive battles and leaders throughout American military history. This book should be of interest to all professional Soldiers.

Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs. 2 Volume in 1. (Reprint of 1894 edition) AMS Press or Abridged edition, Boston, MA: Peter Smith.

The full two volumes are worth every moment you will spend reading them, for Grant's memoirs have long been acclaimed for their literary as well as their historical merits. Grant wastes little space in telling the story of his life before 1861, but he makes no attempt to hide his frustrating efforts to give direction to his life. The bulk of the memoirs covers the Civil War, from Grant's earliest reflection on the nature of battle ("the enemy commander had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him") through his achievements as commander of a modern mass army. Throughout, Grant gives careful, lucid accounts of his appreciations of the various situations he confronted and the solutions he attempted. Detailed knowledge of the Civil War is not a prerequisite for enjoying this book, but plan to have a decent battle atlas at hand to make your reading more profitable.

Lewis, Lloyd. Sherman: Fighting Prophet. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1932.

Sherman has been hated more than he has been loved by casual students of American history. Those who delve into military history often come away with a more favorable view, and some, such as the famous British military commentator, B.H. Liddell- Hart, have become absolutely enraptured. This biographer is able to see a few of Sherman's flaws, but he is in the mainstream of those military historians who discern many of the features of 20th century warfare in Sherman's strategy and tactics. Sherman's political connections remind us that civil-military relations are seldom as clear-cut as one might hope, and his relationship with journalists proves that ours is not the first generation to be plagued by the complexities of accommodating a free press.

MacDonald, Charles B. Company Commander. New York, NY: Bantam Books. 1978.

When Charles B. MacDonald took command of Company I, 23rd Regiment, Second Infantry Division, it was filled with veterans who had fought their way from Normandy to the Siegfried Line. He had no combat experience. This book tells the story of his anxieties, successes and failures as he learns to lead and inspire his men in battle. He does not make war romantic or glorious, but his straightforward account has inspired two generations of small-unit leaders since it was first published by Infantry Journal in 1947. No matter what may be the nature of the next war, many of the leadership insights in these pages will apply.

Marshall, Samuel L.A. The River and the Gauntlet. Reprint of the 1953 Ed. Chicago, IL: Time-Life. 1982.

A fast-paced, tactical level narrative of the cowardice and heroism displayed by American troops in Korea in 1950, this book supports S.L.A. Marshall's analysis of unit cohesion and combat effectiveness, presented originally in the classic, Men Against Fire, and its little-known companion, The Soldier's Load. Marshall couched the story of the Second Infantry Division's chaotic retreat in a flowing anecdotal style in order to grab the attention of the American public which had been misled by the media. According to the press, the soldiers of the United States Army had fled in abject terror when the Communist Chinese crossed the Yalu River in November, 1950. But Marshall, who arrived in Korea as a combat analyst less than a week after the Chinese invasion began, determined that the troops in most cases had fought with great courage and valor. What went wrong, he asserted, was that the Americans were surprised by the Chinese methods, had deployed poorly, and had neglected certain fundamental leadership principles. He reached these conclusions after harrowing days of interviewing individuals and units, just as he had in World War II.

With this group interview technique, Marshall arrived at several important combat lessons which LTG Walton Walker then directed to be disseminated to all combat units in Korea. Still relevant today, these lessons can be found by the discerning young officer in The River and the Gauntlet, for Marshall used the notes of his interviews to write this book.

Marshall, Samuel L.A., Brigadier General, USAR. Ambush: The Battle of Dau Tieng. Nashville, Tennessee: Battery Press 1983.

Once again, as he has so expertly done in the past, S.L.A. Marshall reveals the isolation, confusion, and frustration experienced in combat by the individual Soldier and his junior leaders. Like his previous efforts concerning Vietnam, Bird: The Christmastide Battle and West to Cambodia, Marshall relies heavily on post-operational interviews to recreate events. In this instance, Marshall relates the separate yet often inter-related combat actions which were conducted by elements of the 1st and 25th US Infantry Divisions as well as Special Forces units in the late fall and early winter of 1966. The result is a narrative which vividly displays the conditions encountered by American forces in Vietnam. While Marshall openly admires the courage and willing attitude of the American soldier, he is equally adamant in his criticism of the mistakes made at both the small unit and major unit level that often made their sacrifice appear meaningless.

Pogue, Forest C. George Marshall: Education of a General, 1880-1939. Edited by Gordon Harrison. New York, NY: Viking Press. 1963.

Regarded as the definitive biography of George C. Marshall, this first volume traces Marshall's boyhood, education, and military career up to his appointment as Chief of Staff. The development of a man who would be a key figure in World War II and the post-war period is based on extensive research. Marshall as a leader in World War II was said to be a classic case of the right man at the right time. Pogue shows how the education, training, preparation, and military experience of George Marshall prove that point.

Ryan, Cornelius. A Bridge Too Far. New York: Popular Library. 1977.

A Bridge Too Far is the story of Operation MARKET-GARDEN, the bold attempt by the Allies to turn the northern flank of the Siegfried Line in September 1944. The greatest Airborne operation yet in history, and certainly the most daring, MARKET-GARDEN was planned by Field Marshal Montgomery, normally conservative in outlook. MARKET-GARDEN sought, through a combined Airborne and ground offensive, to seize the bridges of the Maas and Lower Rhine -- far behind German lines. Cornelius Ryan narrates the results in this detailed and gripping study.

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. August, 1914. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux

This novel tells the story of the initial campaign of the Russian Army into East Prussia in 1914. Solzhenitsyn drew on his own military experience in World War II to supplement his remarkable artistic skill to create compelling battle scenes that are crafted into a full-scale operational setting. Unlike Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn believes that leadership counts for a great deal in battle, and he composes his picture of these great battles accordingly. Most readers will want to return to their favorite military history text for a quick refresher on the actual campaign before beginning to read this novel.

Summers, Harry G. On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War. New York, NY: Dell. 1984.

COL Summers analyzes the strategy used in the Vietnam conflict. He quotes extensively from Clausewitz and analyze the conflict based on the principles of war: the objective, the offensive, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, surprise, security, and simplicity. He also looks at the role of public opinion and the press in strategic planning.

Van Creveld, Martin. Supplying war: Logistics from, Wallenstein to Patton. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. 1980.

Van Creveld has written an excellent book on logistics that Army NCOs/officers can ill afford to miss. It is readable, well informed, and fairly short (237 pages of text). Some of the most important European military campaigns of the last two centuries are examined. The scope is broad as the author describes logistics as associated with the campaigns of Gustavus Adolphus (1630-32), Marlborough (1704), Napoleon at Austerlitz (1805) and Russia (1812) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). The examination continues with a thorough discussion of logistical support during WW I and WW II. This portion includes the Schlieffen Plan and Moltke's execution of it in 1914, Hitler's invasion of Russia (1941), Rommel's campaigns in Northern Africa, and the Allied landings at Normandy and the subsequent campaign.

The WW I and II portion of the book is the most important. The author identifies 1914 as the turning point for the importance of logistics in warfare. As modern armies began to consume massive amounts of ammunition, fuel and other supplies, the strong linkage between logistics and success or failure in military campaigns is demonstrated.

Given the complexity of logistical support on today's battlefield, Supplying War is a most provocative book which is essential reading for officers.


The books in this list will be selected because they will help the officer in doing the following: creating an awareness of the ethical responsibilities of our profession, developing an understanding and commitment to the ethical issues which are critical to our role as professionals, and stimulating a dialogue throughout the NCO/officer corps which enhances that awareness, understanding, and commitment. The list is focused on ethical behavior by leaders at all levels.

Fall, Bernard. Hell in a Very Small Place. New York, NY: J.B. Lippincott Company. 1967.

Before his death in Vietnam in 1967, Bernard Fall had gained a reputation as one of the foremost observers and interpreters of the French-Indochina War. Hell in a Very Small Place focuses, in a detailed, seemingly eyewitness manner, on the 1954 siege of Dien Bien Phu. The author has not only consulted war records contained in the French Archives, but also conducted interviews with many of the survivors of the battle. This reliance upon oral sources gives the book a "you are there" quality that is missing from many similar narratives. Although most information pertaining to the Viet-Minh was not available at the time the book was written, the author does try to convey their action to the prolonged siege. The result of this careful research and fluid writing style is an extremely readable book which takes the reader beyond narration of the battle itself to a fascinating study of the men who fought there. This insight into the thoughts and motivation of the soldiers at Dien Bien Phu provides excellent material for any study of military leadership under the stress of combat.

Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. New York, NY: Scribner. 1940.

Robert Jordan, American, joins a group of partisans on a mission to destroy a bridge during the Spanish Civil War. Life among the guerrilla force is vividly portrayed, as are the tactics used against the opposing forces. A key issue in the book is loyalty: loyalty to oneself, to one's comrades, to one's country, to one's cause. In the turbulence of guerrilla war, these loyalties-often come into conflict, and moral choices must be made. Although Hemingway suggests how he would choose, the critical reader will find much to reflect upon in considering the people, events, and values encountered in the book.

Karsten, Peter. Law, Soldiers, and Combat. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 1978.

Karsten's work is divided into three chapters. It presents a historical analysis of the Laws of War and examines the application of the laws in contemporary war situations, to include a discussion of violations which occurred during the Vietnam conflict. The primary emphasis of both chapters is to explore the concept of individual responsibility with regard to the illegal orders. The final chapter presents a series of recommendations that are practical, but also show a unique understanding.

Karsten's emphasis is on individual responsibility, which is presented with relation to ethical roots and also in relation to practicality. Violations of the Laws of War are analyzed with objectivity, irrespective of political association. Whether the recommendations presented are translated into policy, they are thought-provoking and command respect. Karsten is one of the very few writers on this subject who not only criticizes, but also offers solutions or alternatives. A trait which is equally rare in a work on this topic is the discussion of illegal orders.

Larteguy, Jean. The Centurions. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co. 1962.

France's overseas empire was beset by wars of national liberation throughout the 1950s. The doctrinally unprepared French failed to stop Ho Chi Minh's armies and suffered a humiliating defeat at Dien Bien Phu (1954). Within months of their return to France, French mobile units deployed to Algeria, determined to crush the incipient nationalist rebellion.

The Centurions is a provocative account of the French Army's effort to assimilate the lessons of Indo-China and wage a successful counter-insurgency campaign. Like their real-life counterparts, Larteguy's protagonists--seven Paratroop officers--seek and discover a solution to revolutionary warfare. The ruthless methods required, however, force the Paratroopers to depart from conventional military ethics and to violate the same democratic freedoms they seek to preserve. The latter-day Centurions ultimately triumph, but one must ask at what price--to their nation and to themselves.

Marshall, Samuel L.A. The Armed Forces Officer. DOD PAM 1-20/DA PAM 600-2.

Marshall discusses the meaning of an officer's commission, the nature of the relationship between the American military profession and the nation, the derivation of ethical values central to that relationship, the responsibilities of the profession, the need for military ideals, the personal conduct required of an officer, and the absolute necessity for competence. The book is a description of ideal professionalism and a brief introduction to professional values for officers who are starting to develop an awareness of ethical responsibilities.

Myrer, Anton. Once an Eagle. New York, NY: Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. 1968

This historical novel is an account of a fictional American Soldier named Sam Damon whose career spans the period from just prior to World War I to the early years of Vietnam. Damon impulsively enlists in the Army as an infantryman in 1916, serves with Pershing in Mexico, earns the Medal of Honor and a battlefield commission in France in World War I, endures the hardships of the peacetime Army between World Wars, achieves the rank of major general in the Pacific, and participates as an observer in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. Sam Damon is the quintessential professional military officer: athletic, hardworking, studious, self-effacing, a natural leader, at times a maverick, and a Soldier's Soldier; he is an ideal role model. This is a good story, rich in historical details, of the American Army and fighting men. Myrer realistically portrays the confusion of combat, the almost mystical bonds that form between men who have fought together, and the dreadful responsibility of the man in command.

Barnett, Corelli. The Swordbearers: Supreme Command in the First World War. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 1975.

This classic study analyzes the characters and assesses the effect upon history of four senior commanders in World War I:

Colonel-General Helmuth von Moltke, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, General Philippe Petain, and General Erick Ludendorff. In each instance, Barnett does not limit himself to simple descriptive narrative. He combines interpretive insight with mastery of the great events of the war to produce gripping accounts of the problems of senior leadership. This is an excellent choice for readers who have a broad general knowledge of World War I and seek to read further without becoming involved in detailed campaign history.

Forester, C.S. The General. Original Edition, 1936. Baltimore, MD: Nautical and Aviation Books (reprint). 1982.

C.S. Forester's Admiral Homblower is much better known than his General Curzon, but for a half-century this book has been widely read by Army officers. Curzon, the central character in this novel, is meant to embody those infamous generals of World War I who were unequal to the task of leading modern mass armies to victory on the industrialized battlefield. In the hands of a master storyteller, the social, intellectual and professional forces that shaped these failures come to life. We are given a clear vision of the circumstances that damned a great nation into having military leaders incapable of meeting the challenges of the war they were called to win.

Halberstam, David. One Very Hot Day. New York, NY: Warner Books. 1984.

This book focuses on the period prior to the American decision to enter Vietnam in force in 1965. The author's focus is upon an American advisory team to a South Vietnamese infantry battalion.

The book chronicles one normal day in the life of this unit as it conducts its operations. Halberstam brings to life the oppressive heat, the omnipresent leeches, the dull monotony of a jungle patrol--only to be interrupted by the brief but deadly intensity of a firefight with an enemy you can rarely see. The frustration of coalition warfare and self-imposed restraints, and the contradictions of limited war are readily evident in this fascinating story.

Peers, William R. The My Lai Inquiry. New York, NY: Norton. 1979.

LTG Peers' account of the My Lai incident is both objective and candid. Testimony is presented and followed with an explanation and moral commentary to the responsibility of leadership at all command levels. The ethical imperative is clearly stated: An individual is responsible for the conduct of the war. This responsibility is professionalism.

LTG Peers applies the same ethical standard to all according not to what they said they know, but what they ought to have known, based on the responsibility of their individual position. LTG Peers' work may serve to dispel the notion reflected in recent War College studies which suggest that company grade officers believe there is a different code of ethics for field grade officers.

Wouk, Herman. The Caine Mutiny. Reprint of the 1951 Ed. New York, NY: Pocket Books. 1973.

Herman Wouk has woven a fast-moving, masterful tale of World War II in the Pacific around the subject of mutiny. Wouk examines the tension that can exist between regular officers and reserve officers, our "citizen-soldiers," called to active duty in time of national crisis. The central figure is Willie Keith, who seeks and earns a reserve commission in the Navy to escape the extending reach of the Army's draft. While assigned to a fictional destroyer-minesweeper, Caine, Keith becomes a star witness for the defense in the trial for mutiny of the executive officer, Steve Maryk. Maryk is convinced that his commanding officer, Philip Queeq, is insane over the course of nearly a year of wartime sea duty, and in the middle of a typhoon with the ship's very survival in question, he relieves Queeq who appeared to have frozen with fear. Keith, as Officer of the Deck, witnesses the relief and is the first officer to take orders from the new commander. Wouk's story applies not only to regular and reserve officer relationships in the Navy, but can relate to officers of any service and in circumstances when the judgment of behavior of a superior becomes questionable. The reader is left contemplating the question: when can a subordinate disobey, or even go so far as to relieve his immediate superior?


This list contains books designed to stimulate thought and discussion concerning problems of prevailing and future military importance, and to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the significant role of the Army in world affairs.

Titles will be selected from a list which is revised annually by the U.S. Army War College and published by the Department of the Army for use by all officers. Thus, it is unlike the Classics, Ethics, and Specialty lists which were developed specifically for MQS.

Aker, Frank. October 1973: The Arab-Israeli War. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press. 1985.

A thoroughly balanced account of the fifth of the Arab-Israeli encounters of the post-World War II period; the most comprehensive that has thus far appeared. Operations by land, sea, and air receive due attention. The background of the war is delineated and the supporting roles of the United States and the Soviet Union analyzed. Both nations faced major obstacles in backing their selected candidates. There are many tactical and strategic lessons for students and practitioners of the art of war. Notable among these is the continued need for a balance of land, sea, and air forces.

Braestrup, Peter. Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of TET 1968 in Vietnam and Washington. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 1983.

In 1968, American newsmen in Vietnam were overwhelmed by the Communists' TET offensive. They portrayed the battle as a "disaster" for the Allies. The political repercussions of this image were damaging to President Johnson at home, and changed the course of the war in Vietnam. Historians now conclude that TET was a harsh military setback for Hanoi, not for the Allied side. Why were the press and television so wrong? This book presents a thorough and fair evaluation of the media in Vietnam, and raises questions about the military and the press that are still valid today.

Goulden, Joseph C. Korea: The Untold Story of the War. New York, NY: Times Books. 1982.

Although this is not a military history of the war, the author has provided keen insights into military decision making. The book is somewhat sensational in nature and uses a considerable amount of JCS documentation. Of particular interest is Goulden's analysis of the relief of General MacArthur and his description of Central Intelligence Agency activities. Another facet of the book that merits the reader's attention is the intelligence gathering and analysis process of the early 1950s.

Hapgood, David and David Richardson. Monte Cassino. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. 1984.

This is the first detailed analysis of one of World War II's most debated events, the destruction of the world's most illustrious monastery. The bombing has been variously assessed as a military necessity, a blunder even from the military standpoint, and a war crime. Hapgood and Richardson carefully examine and assess these interpretations and the problem of where responsibilities lie. Their book is based largely on newly declassified documents, notably a British government report.

Harvard Nuclear Study Group. Living with Nuclear Weapons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press. 1983.

Six Harvard scholars join forces to lay out the facts about nuclear weapons for the general reader. All sides of the nuclear debate are presented for those who want information and reasoned opinions about the issues. Among specifics are a history of nuclear weaponry, an examination of current nuclear arsenals, scenarios of how nuclear war might begin, a discussion of how to promote arms control and disarmament, and an analysis of current nuclear strategies.

James, D. Clayton. The Years of MacArthur: Triumph and Disaster 1945-1964. Volume III. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1985.

This is the final volume of what is by far the most nearly definitive biography of MacArthur, and one that has been eagerly awaited. It presents a balanced account of the period that included the most controversial phases of MacArthur's life. We observe the supreme ruler of Japan at work, follow his conduct of the Korean war, and gain new insight into the causes that prevailed upon President Truman to remove him from the Far East Command.

MacDonald, Charles B. A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Bulge. New York, NY: William Morrow. 1984.

What became the Battle of the Bulge was Hitler's last desperate gamble to reverse his impending defeat. In the most abysmal failure of battlefield intelligence in the history of the U.S. Army, his forces achieved total surprise. The battle which followed was the most decisive to be fought on the Western Front of World War II. MacDonald saw it at first hand and captures the special aura of the combat. The book melds military actions of the German and Allied sides. It is based on the author's extraordinary familiarity with the Ardennes stage. The author challenges many previously held concepts.

Mahon, John K. History of the Milita and the National Guard. New York, NY: Collier MacMillan. 1983.

Mahon has written an easily readable account of the American militia and the evolution of the National Guard. He provides an analysis of their combat worthiness in the wars of the United States as well as their employment in domestic missions. A central theme of the book is the political promotion of these institutions as an anti-militaristic alternative to a standing Army. Mahon concludes with an excellent analysis of the Cold War's effect on traditional American views in the militia vs. regular controversy.

Millett, Allan R. and Peter Maslowski. For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America. New York, NY: MacMillan. 1984.

The development of United States military institutions and policies are traced from early colonial times to the present. Major military campaigns of four centuries are analyzed from the perspective of the political, economic, and social forces that have shaped our defenses. The authors focus on several major themes: our political system, social values, and limited resources and manpower have been the primary constraints on military priorities and programs; the diverse attitudes of professional Soldiers, citizen-Soldiers, anti-military and pacifistic citizens about the role of the military; a commitment to civilian control of military policy; the increasing professionalization of the military forces; and the increasing dependence of industrialization and technology in developing military policies.

O'Brien, William V. The Conduct of a Just and Limited War. New York, NY: Praeger. 1983.

The author has written on war and morality for twenty years and is a recognized leader in the field. This book moves beyond theoretical definitions of just and limited war, analyzing wars since World War II. It assesses levels of war from nuclear to insurgency types. The final chapters deal with the possibility of developing security policies based on just and limited war concepts. It is O'Brien's thesis that in the nuclear age and with the failure to eliminate war, conflict must be restrained through just and limited war policies, despite the problems associated with implementing such policies.

Palmer, Bruce, Jr. The 25-Year War: America's Militaty Role in Vietnam. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. 1984.

This is essentially the story of what went wrong militarily in Vietnam and why. General Palmer experienced that war in the field and in the highest command echelons. His insights into the key events and decisions that shaped America's military role are uncommonly perceptive. Our most serious error, he believes, was committing ourselves to a war in which neither military nor political goals were ever fully articulated. Lacking clear objectives, the armed forces failed to develop an appropriate strategy. The offensive was relinquished to Hanoi. General Palmer has given us an insider's history of the war and an astute critique of America' 5 military strengths and successes as well as of its weaknesses and failures.

Spector, Ronald. Eagle against the Sun: The American War with Japan. New York, NY: Random House. 1985.

This volume covers the full, vast scope of the war in the Pacific. Spector draws heavily on newly declassified British and American archival sources as well as on Japanese documents. He reassesses U.S. and Japanese strategy in terms that are often critical. The dual advance of MacArthur and Nimitz is judged to be less the product of strategic calculations than of bureaucratic, doctrinal, and public-relations problems. Spector vividly recreates many battles, little-known campaigns, and unfamiliar events of the brutal 44 month struggle, as well as the frequent encounters between Army and Navy, and between British and American authorities.

Terry, Wallace. Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans. New York, NY: Random House. 1984.

This is a compelling account of the complex and unique experience of black Soldiers, "at their best and their worst." This book is a sometimes frightening, sometimes funny self-portrait by twenty black veterans, representatives of men coming largely from poorly educated, lower-class families. Well edited, it is a deeply affecting book about the vileness of man's most heinous enterprise and about the courage and cowardice of black Soldiers engaged in it.

Van Creveld, Martin. Command in War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1985.

Here is a new perspective on the essence of warfare that examines in detail how command has been exercised. Van Creveld has written the first book that deals exclusively with the nature of command and the first to trace it for 2,000 years of history. Much attention is given to problems involved in commanding armies, including staff organization and administration, communications methods and technologies, weaponry, and logistics. There are vivid descriptions of key battles.

Wood, W.J. Leaders and Battles: The Art of Military Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Presidio Press. 1984.

This book reflects the view that battles have often been won or lost because of the strength or failings of a leader. The author recreates ten battles from history, depicting the action in vivid detail. The point of view is always that of the commanding officer. The dynamics of battle as well as strategy and tactics involved are dramatically demonstrated


This list is designed to serve as the interface between the military tasks and professional military education components of the Military Qualification Standards System. In the former, you have acquired considerable depth in "hard" skills; in the latter, you have had the opportunity to broaden your understanding and perspective in the profession of arms in general and the place and roles of the military in the United States. The books on this list have been selected specifically to coincide with your particular branch. This directed reading program is only a part of your continuing professional education and development. You should not restrict yourself just to this program. In addition, you should also read your branch journal regularly to keep up with current trends and developments.

English, John A., On Infantry, (1984). About infantry value, training, and history.

Von Mellenthin, F.W., Panzer Battles, (1984).

A study of the major German armor campaigns of World War II.

Rommel, Erwin, Attacks, (1979).

The first complete and unabridged version of the author's book, Infantry Attacks, to be published in the United States.

Gavin, James M., On to Berlin: Battles of an Airborne Commander, 1943-1946 ,(1978).

An account of the 82d Airborne Division's actions in World War II.

Marshall, S.L.A., Ambush: The Battle of Dau Tieng, (1983). Recounts a 1966 confrontation between American and enemy forces.

MacDonald, Charles B., Company Commander, (1978).

The experiences of a young officer in World War II.

Keegan, John, Six Armies in Normandy, (1982).

An account of Allied and enemy armies in Normandy from the D-Day Invasion to the liberation of Paris.

Weigley, Russell F., Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany 1944-1945, (1981).

A study of military institutions and thoughts as applied to battle, specifically to a history of the American Army's greatest campaign, told from the perspective of its commanders.

Du Picq, Ardant, Battle Studies, (1947).

Examines great defeats and great victories, providing insights into the moral factors in combat.

Asprey, Robert B., At Belleau Wood, (1965).

A study of American troops in France during World War I. Contains many descriptions of small-unit actions.

Counts, John E., The Military Professional: The Regular Army Infantry Officer, (1961).

A research paper designed to determine the effects of certain military and political changes on the infantry officers's perceptions of their own roles and their profession.

Fehrenbach, T.D., This Kind of War: A Study in Unpreparedness, (1963).

A journalist's account of military actions in Korea.

Galvin, John R., Air Assault: The Development of Airmobile Warfare, (1969).

The book is the first full-scale account of the development of airmobile warfare.

Liddell Hart, B.H., The Future of Infantry, (1933).

A call for rethinking Western views on future infantry actions. The author favors two kinds of infantry--heavy and light--and offers a number of specific, practical suggestions for equipping infantry.

Von Manstein, Erich, Lost Victories, (1985).

Memoirs of the brilliant World War II German strategist and field marshal, providing a good account of operations in France in 1940 and Russia in 1941-1944.

Palmer, Dave R., Summons of the Trumpet, (1984).

A reexamination of the political objectives of the Vietnam conflict that drove the selection of military strategies.

Hastings, Max, Overlord, (1984).

An examination of the Normandy campaign focusing on the inland battle and the persons--ally and enemy--who participated in it.

Infantry in Battle, (1939).

An examination of small-unit actions in World War I providing the peace-time trained officer a view of the problems and challenges of combat.

Glover, Micheal, Wellington as Military Commander, (1968).

The author provides a partisan account of Wellington's military career.

Macksey, Kenneth, The History of Land Warfare, (1976).

The author concentrates on those events which demonstrate the crucial factors and phases that conditioned land warfare throughout the ages.

Stillman, Richard, The U.Se Infantry: Queen of Battle, (1965).

Accounts of the foot Soldier from the pre-revolutionary period to Vietnam.

Parkinson, Roger, Clausewitz: A Biography, (1971).

Provides a good account of key Napoleonic battles in which Clausewitz took part, a good description of how the

Prussian/German general staff developed, and concise portrayals of leading Prussian military reformers.

Malone, Dandridge M., Small Unit Leadership: A Common Sense Approach, (1983).

Offers sound, solid small unit leadership techniques. Liddell Hart, B. H., ed. The Rommel Papers, (1953).

An excellent, first-hand tactics primer.

Dupuy, Trevor N., Great Battles on the Eastern Front, (1982).

The Soviet-German War of 1941-1945 involved more men, more guns, and more casualties and was fought over a more extended battlefront than any other war in history.

Hastings, Max, Battle for the Falklands, (1983).

This is the story of a freak of history, almost certainly the last colonial war that Britain will ever fight.

Patton, George S., War as I Knew It, (1947).

Patton's views on war.


To: DynmicPara@aol.com (DynmicPara)

"Dynamic Sparks:
Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions about the book list. They are very helpful." XXX XXXXX

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