Steve Woods's Reviews > Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire by James Webb
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Jul 30, 14

bookshelves: vietnam-war, a-good-read
Read from March 31 to May 08, 2012

Another one of many. Clearly much of what is written here is drawn from direct experience, it has that ring about it. The vagaries of combat in I Corps for US Marines were very different than those of Australians further south Further our different social and cultural contexts meant that aside from the nitty gritty of fighting a war, which always has so much in common for anyone involved, no matter time or background, nationality or place, our experiences were quite different...thank Christ. The peculiarities of a skewed system of recruitment and deployment, failures of leadership at many levels, racial tensions and the arrogant insanity of the best and the brightest who were responsible for running the war like a business where profit and loss were measured in blood and nothing was ever what it seemed created from every account I have been able to read a kind of counterfeit universe the life blood of which was dishonesty and betrayal. No wonder the guys were just so fucked up by the experience, while we too have had our head casualties, I just don't think our experience came even close to the experiences of these boys, thrashing around in the huge hell like machine they found themselves in, where the proclivities of their own were a far greater threat than that posed by the enemy. I am just continually floored by what appear to be the dying throes of what had been, just a couple of decades before one of the greatest armies ever fielded. That was particularly so for the Marines. Vietnam gutted America and the hole has never been filled.
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