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Combat and Other Shenanigans

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  24 reviews
War is hell…but sometimes it’s also funny as hell. Combat and Other Shenanigans is Lieutenant Piers Platt’s firsthand account of his year as a cavalry platoon leader in Iraq. Wry, action-packed, and poignant, Combat and Other Shenanigans is the absurd-but-true story of the antics the world’s finest soldiers get up to when no one high-ranking is watching.
Kindle Edition, 114 pages
Published February 25th 2014
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3.88  · 
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 ·  212 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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A great read! One of the best military memoirs - one of the best memoirs, period - I've read in a long time. The author served as a UI.S. Army tank platoon commander in Iraq throughout 2004 and the beginning of 2005, including playing a role in overseeing the first free election after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
He's an excellent writer, and from the sound of his account, a pretty good leader (and world-class smartass.) Something I could relate to strongly was his view that a big part of his miss
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I choose to review this book because I was curious to see if it’s possible to portray to civilians what it’s like to be in the military and/or to go to war for a soldier. Platt did a great job of portraying a soldier’s life while at war. He explained enough background to allow readers to understand the gist of what was going on without becoming entrenched in military terminology and/or technology. His anecdotes were funny and, for those of us former military men/women, very recognizable. I admir ...more
Mal Warwick
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Here’s a memoir of one soldier’s year of service in Iraq that masquerades as a light-weight tale, crammed with humor. Though the book is funny at times, hilarious even, and the author’s voice reflects little of the tragic reality of that misbegotten conflict, it’s revealing nonetheless. Read between the lines, and put the anecdotes in this book together with what you’ve learned from the news, and you’ll gain at least a little more understanding of what modern war in general, and the US occupatio ...more
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Interesting account of the war in Iraq

Interesting account of the war in Iraq

Not as intense as say, the story of Jason Dunham, this one is more humorous. But it serves as a good account of a typical tank commanders experience in the desert.

I always appreciate insights of what our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen go through, no matter which war.

Good read if you want to find out a bit about this LT.'s experience.
Sharon Moonbeam
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting to get a small idea of what our servicemen and women might experience in Iraq. This doesn't holdback on language, so be prepared to have a glimpse of what a bunch of guys away from home would be talking about. Some of it was really comical. I was most surprised at how much the equipment was breaking down... and of the living conditions and the food. I salute and thank everyone of them!
Vikas Datta
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quite an interesting and captivating account of a tour of duty in an ultimately dishonourable and manufactured war which did more to make the world a more dangerous place then anything place. But the author performed his patriotic duty - and shared his impressions and experiences with us which are most readable.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and easy to read, the author takes the reader through his experiences during his tour in Iraq. If you are looking for something that goes into great depth about the combat theater, this is not the book. However, if you want to get a sense of what went on in Iraq and the bonds developed among the soldiers, this is worth the read.
Chaplain Stanleigh Chapin
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing

It would be difficult to any better explain the workings of the military effort. Each of us who served well know the frustrating experience of what has and is still happening and wondering why the world is not a better place
Jim A
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Decent diary from a tank platoon leader during the Iraq war. Anyone who has served will recognize the dark humor as well as the seriousness of combat.

Richard Croner
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I served in the old days so I really enjoyed reading about what soldiers are experiencing in today's military engagements. There are definitely a lot of similarities between old and new and the feelings as expressed by Platt are interesting. Politicians , the vast majority of which, have no skin in the game send troops to god awful places to do things that no sane person would do. Each and every soldier is at risk of losing their life. This country does it on a daily basis. This is a good book t ...more
Marilyn Pettigrove
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This is kind of a funny book. It is the story of a combat leader in the Iraq war and the tricks the soldiers play on each other to stay sane. It is an interesting read. It is probably 3.5 stars.
John Podlaski
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed, "Combat and Other Shenanigans" by Piers Platt. The story follows the author's year-long deployment to Iraq in 2004 - 3 years after the second invasion.

Readers follow the author, an Armor Lieutenant in charge of a tank platoon, as his group finishes training in Germany and deploy to Iraq in relief of another unit which is returning home. There are snipers, skirmishes, incoming mortars, IED's, hunger, thirst, heat, cold and boredom to contend with almost daily. The 'hurry up
Viviane Crystal
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Few war stories are both comical and serious, but this one year memoir is unique in both respects. Lieutenant Piers Platt as a cavalry platoon officer attends enough schooling to sink a ship while in Kentucky and then Germany, but he has to receive even more training after he is deployed to Iraq. It’s a soldiers world with gutsy language, pranks for all newcomers, a place where rules are made to be broken, where punishments are handed out and then rescinded hours later, and where one lives fluct ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, 2014, non-fiction
Early on in the book the author, Platt, mentioned that people would often ask him "what it was like in Iraq?" and giving answers was often difficult. He hoped this book would provide a better answer and a better idea of what it was like. Does it reach this difficult goal? Yes and no. Mostly yes.

Platt gives a wonderful, detailed explanation of what he and his platoon did over in Iraq, Through this you get an understanding of what it was like and what he and his fellow US Army guys went through. H
Charlie Sherpa
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Much of military-themed contemporary non-fiction targets the horrors and chaos and policies of war, or dwells in the psychological mine fields of coming home, or blows up real heroes into caricatures of themselves. In his Iraq War memoir "Combat and Other Shenanigans," however, former U.S. Army Armor officer Piers Platt delivers a light-hearted but heartfelt depiction of what it means to go to war with your friends.

To pile onto Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's well-known quote: War may be he
Elaine Dimopoulos
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Do you want to know what it's really like to kiss your loved ones goodbye and board a plane for the sweltering desert of Iraq? To serve a tour of duty with a bunch of courageous and lewd-as-hell fellow officers? To participate in an attack on an insurgent-controlled city where your mettle is tested? Then pick up this memoir. Intended for a wide range of readers -- those familiar with the armed forces and those, like me, who are outside this world but curious about it -- COMBAT is funny, intense, ...more
Marshall Clowers
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm a vet myself, parts of the job stick with you for a long time. One of the things I miss most is the camaraderie; and the knowledge of some of the truly silly things that I've seen, heard about or taken part in.
This is a serious story; the tale of a deployment to the sand that (sadly) many still can't find on a map. The combat sequence is just intense enough to keep engaged, you can tell that Lt. Platt has "been there". Intermixed with that are several anecdotes that had me holding my sides w
Sharon Phelps
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, military
Brutally honest, at times painful to read and not what I expected when I picked it up. As a mother of a young son who fought in Desert Storm on tanks but has never spoken of his experiences it is almost like being able to see and understand what he went through. As a grandmother with a grandson in Kuwait now it is like seeing through his eyes. This is a must read for anyone who has a loved one who has ever fought in any war. We need to understand just what our veterans go through to keep us safe ...more
Alan Parker
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Platt

I experienced my own deployment to Iraq in 04-05 in and around Bagdad while reading this book by Piers Platt. All the good and bad. He made me remember things forgotten, both good and bad. If you have never experienced the brotherhood forged in combat, Platt will give you a glimpse of how strong our ties to each other are to each other. Scouts out.
This book was interesting reading. There is a lot of detail about the weapons and tactics used for the Iraq secondment. I got a full sense of how uncomfortable it was there, especially in relation to heat, dirt, food and living conditions. I found it unsettling the ease in which the killing of others and intrusion takes place.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nice Read

As a retired military soldier I can definitely relate to the shenanigans in the book. Give to a read you could do fRom worse. When you need a break from fiction,this will fill your urge. Very well written and he keeps it simple for the novice reader.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Great memoir from a veteran of Iraq that details his experiences. Often times we wrap our minds around the adventurous and the fast paced like special operations, ignoring the often slow and methodical days of an army at war.
Joshua Foote
Pretty entertaining

having been in Iraq but much later than in this book it was a very good and entertaining read about Iraq near the beginning of the war
Tomas Bella
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Occasionally hilarious.
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I grew up in Boston, but spent most of my childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. I joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty, including a year-long deployment to Iraq in 2004 as a tank and scout platoon leader.

When I’m not spending time with my lovely wife and daughter, I’m frantically working on my next
“the Army contracts private carriers to handle the overflow.  In the Gulf War, they even had to resort to forcing major airline companies to cough up planes to make ends meet, under a compulsive federal system known as the Civilian Reserve Airfleet Program (my favorite government acronym of all time). ” 0 likes
“Tanks are easily identified, easily engaged, much-feared targets which attract all the fire on the battlefield. When all is said and done, a tank is a small steel box crammed with inflammable or explosive substances which is easily converted into a mobile crematorium for its highly skilled crew.” -Brigadier Shelford Bidwell, British military historian” 0 likes
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