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The Lieutenants (Brotherhood Of War, #1)
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The Lieutenants (Brotherhood of War #1)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  3,554 ratings  ·  89 reviews
They were the young ones, the bright ones, the ones with the dreams. From the Nazi-prowled wastes of North Africa to the bloody corridors of Europe, they answered the call gladly. It was their duty, their job, their life. They marched off as boys, and they came back--those who made it--as soldiers and professionals forged in the heat of battle...
ebook, 416 pages
Published November 15th 1986 by Jove Books (first published January 1st 1982)
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When Joe recommended this book, I didn't want to read it because I thought it was another historical fiction book about war. This book is not about war at all, but about the characters Griffin masterfully creates. This book made me laugh nightly because of how it pokes fun of the military. If you've ever served, you've met people like these guys in the military, and you've been in similar situations as what they face. My favorite character is Lowell, a snot-nosed rich kid who gets kicked out of ...more
Johnny Williams
Captivating-- This book -the first in the series- grabbed me like a narcotic--I knew I was hooked in the closing chapters and now own the entire series- to work my way through-

I had just finished reading the Badge of Honor series-- so was lured to see if like most authors Griffin has spent himself and was now just making money -- Heck no-- this book's characters are as deep, as unique and interesting as the last series-- Griffin gives you a little of each but deep enough to interest you-- this
Matthew Esham
I think I read this the first time when I was twelve or thirteen. I remembered bits and pieces and was glad to find it again.

It starts during World War II and spans the end of the war.

There are actually multiple stories in the book, each moving off in different direction and occasionally bumping back into each other.

My favorite is the story of Isle and Craig Lowell. I guess I am a romantic at heart.

When he thinks he has lost her after being sent to Greece and then ends up back in
Thom Swennes
The armed forces, especially the army, isn’t a profession, it is a calling. Its members are treated like the favorite sons of the nation as the country covets peace and glorifies war. Tom Clancy labels the Brotherhood of War as an American epic. At this time I can only speak of the first volume, The Lieutenants. This story begins in the North African theater of operations and soon concentrates on a post-war army. When five thousand Polish officers and cadets are discovered massacred and dumped i ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I'll start by sating these are in general very well written books that paint day to day life for the central characters in the military...or maybe that should be, life in the military for the central characters. Sorry grammarians.

Anyway I like them. While I'm not big on books that concentrate on the "emotional" and "personal" lives of the characters (who loved who, how did they meet, what problems did they overcome, etc.) But in this case it doesn't ruin the book for me (and I know some of you w
Fred Lombardo
This entire series allows the reader to live through such telling events in american history in way that few books can deliver, as it is seen through the eyes of characters that (though fictional) live those events. It starts in World War II, then to the communist attempt to take over Greece, the Belgian Congo, Korea, Vietnam and beyond. Actual history mixed with plausible character interaction make for an incredible journey for the reader.
The series follows the same characters through their liv
This is the first installment of Griffin's "Brotherhood of War" series about Army officers from the end of World War II until the 1980s. In "The Lieutenants", the Brotherhood accept commissions in the US Army and serve in the post-WW II army from 1945 until 1950. One of the brothers is a rick young man who was drafted into the Army in the waning days of WWII and is commissioned as a Lieutenant because he is an expert polo player and needs to be an officer to play on the General's polo team. Anot ...more
Theophilus (Theo)
Loved it and the whole series (1 through 8 so far). Does the Army really operate this way? It's a combination of "M-A-S-H", "Blacksheep Squadron", and "Winds of War" for a visual analogy. The series follows a group of soldiers from World War to Vietnam. Their heroics and their failures in their military and personal lives. Excellent read.
I am not sure if my expectations were set too high given the generally high reviews from its fans, but I felt this book was more a table setter for the series than a book that stood on its own as a great read. That said, I plan to continue with the series, so it will be interesting to see if my opinion changes as I get further into it.
Jim A
This was a reread for me. First read this back in the early 80's.

The series, The Brotherhood of War, is more about the brotherhood than it is about war. While some of the novel does take place during WW II and immediately after, it really is more about the developing relationships between the warriors.

Andrew Herbert
Well-written (that is, grammatically correct), but the characters are one-dimensional, there's no plot discernible in the first 300 pages, and most of it seems to be centered around ridiculous ideas and ideals. I guess I just don't get it. How is this rated so highly?

The book is oddly compelling. I read big chunks of it over a few nights. I got about half way, and then just wondered why I'd wasted my time. The middle of the book centers around a polo match?! It goes on for a long time, with no
This is a below average soap opera. The author has written oodles of books in at least two series, and they have high ratings so i thought I would try it. Felt strung along because the book ends as a chapter would, not a novel. Equivalent to an average romance novel, but for boys.
Excellent book! The characters were unique and believable. The plot had several surprising twists. And despite the serious nature of most situations in the book, it was really funny.

The only negative is that there was a lot of military abbreviations, which you had to get used to.
Angus Whittaker
I was surprised, reading this novel, that it was not about World War II. I am currently on book IV of the Brotherhood of War Series, and there have still been maybe one or two battle scenes between these four books. This is not a criticism, merely an observation of an interesting take on a military thriller. The Brotherhood of War series is irrefutably a character-driven series, and all good writers know that a character-driven book with poor characters will collapse. And, while there are some f ...more
Sarah Carter
I felt like I was on a rollercoaster with not just this series, but all of WEB Griffin's because yes, I've read them all. Cover to cover. Formulaic and predictable, but un-put-down able.

He manages to create likeable, if semi-unrealistic characters, that had me desparate for the next in the series, until the last in each series, which had me slowing down as I didn't want it to end.

Did I enjoy them? Absolutely! I'd read them again too! But I felt a little grubby after reading them, as if Id been c
Scott Rachui
Think of this book as a soap opera for military fiction fans. There isn't all that much combat, and even when there is it's usually over fairly quickly. Instead, the focus of these novels is on the characters who go off to war, emphasizing their intellectual and emotional struggles, their relationships, their careers and their aspirations. Told generationally, this book starts in WW2 and ends up with its focus on a communist incursion into Greece. There are many characters, and future volumes pr ...more
Steven Brandt (Audiobook-Heaven)
I enjoy reading stories about wars whether fiction or non fiction. The World Wars, Civil War, Revolution, Vietnam; I find them all interesting. Needless to say The Lieutenants by W E B Griffin, the first book in his “Brotherhood of War” series caught my eye right away. From the description I read it sounded something like the HBO docu-drama Brothers in Arms by Spielberg and Hanks, which I enjoyed tremendously.

The audiobook was definitely not what I expected, however. Rather than an intense stor
Post-WWII Europe and the Greek Campaign-Birth of the Green Berets. LTC Bob Bellmon is captured by the Germans in Tunisia and sent to Stalag 17-B in western Poland, only to find Peter von Grieffenberg as his camp commandant and mentor. After capture by the Russians, 2Lt Sandy Felter encourages COL Phil Parker to launch into Russian zone and free the Americans, with Grieffenberg taken by the Russsians to Siberia. MGEN Porky Waterford finds Private Craig Lowell as his polo pal and direct commission ...more
Ken Dodd
This book is what got me really into reading again. The entire Brotherhood of War series is excellent. Once I read "The Lieutenants" I couldn't stop until I reached the end of the series. The series follows a group of characters through their careers in the military from WWII to the Vietnam era.
David Haas
Great beginning to a series. I'm hooked! My Dad used to start from the beginning each time a new book in the series came out. It starts out very rigid but the writing style is easy to absorb and get used to. Enjoy!
Sallye Burney williams
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure if I would, but I found myself really becoming invested and involved in the lives of the Lieutenants. Long book, but worth the time.
Love the first book in the Brotherhood of War series, favorite character is Sandy Felter, the Mouse and the Duke are a pair for the ages.
Mikel Dawson
After reading The Captains, I went back to the beginning. Getting into WWII was different for each of the men involved. After completing this one, the first, I knew I was hooked for the entire series. Mr. Griffin expertly brought out each character in their own right. I have ended up reading this book several times and greatly enjoyed it each time.
There's a lot going on in this book with story lines that intersect one another. I am probably be unfair to this book but after reading Band of Brothers, this book seems slow and at times pointless. While true this book does offer another take on the whole war story as we know it, it feels like it was aiming to tell too much. Only until I got half way through the book did it really consistently perk my interest.

So if you read this book, be prepared for drama halfway through the book and more exc
Definitely a "guy" book and took forever to get into, but once I did, it was interesting and I found myself becoming invested in the characters. Based on this book, I would continue with the Brotherhood of War series by reading "The Captains".
This whole series, from the Lieutenants through Special Ops is probably one of the most intriguing, accurate, and entertaining portrayal of young officers living in a time of combat. Each book does an excellent job of describing their backgrounds, their personal relationships, their military experiences, and their environment. I have rarely been able to find a series of books about the same people that is just as interesting in the tenth book as it was in the first.
I highly recommend for anyone.
John Whitaker
Griffin provides his usual excellent insight to Army life and customs.
Richard Palmer
I loved this book. I first read it back in about 1984. Coming back to it now seems like hanging out with old friends who have not changed a bit. Griffin knows what he is writing about. His picture of Army life is certainly somewhat idealized and romanticized, but it is one that I love. This book shows an image of military culture that made it hard for me to leave the service. I'm going to re-read the rest of the series, but plan to savor it this time around.
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W.E.B. Griffin is one of several pseudonyms for William E. Butterworth III.

From the Authors Website:

W.E.B. Griffin is the #1 best-selling author of more than fifty epic novels in seven series, all of which have made The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other best-seller lists. More than fifty million of the books are in print in more than ten languages, including Heb
More about W.E.B. Griffin...

Other Books in the Series

Brotherhood of War (9 books)
  • The Captains (Brotherhood of War, #2)
  • The Majors (Brotherhood of War, #3)
  • The Colonels (Brotherhood of War, #4)
  • The Berets (Brotherhood of War, #5)
  • The Generals (Brotherhood of War, #6)
  • The New Breed (Brotherhood of War, #7)
  • The Aviators (Brotherhood of War, #8)
  • Special Ops (Brotherhood of War, #9)
The Hostage (Presidential Agent, #2) Semper Fi (The Corps, #1) By Order of the President (Presidential Agent, #1) Call To Arms (The Corps, #2) The Berets (Brotherhood of War, #5)

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