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WARFIGHTING (Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  382 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Since Fleet Marine Force Manual 1, Warfighting, was first published in 1989, it has had a significant impact both inside and outside the Marine Corps. That manual has changed the way Marines think about warfare. It has caused energetic debate and has been translated into several foreign languages, issued by foreign militaries, and published commercially. It has strongly in ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published May 25th 2005 by Wildside Press (first published 1994)
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Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Goodreads regular Alex reminded me of this quote from Machiavelli: "It's better to be impulsive than cautious; fortune is female and if you want to stay on top of her you have to slap and thrust."

Since that's a poetic (if vulgar) summary of one tenet of Marine Corps philosophy, I'll let that stand as my review of this book for now. Honestly, Warfighting contains some very surprising revelations that might radically change how an outsider views the hierarchy and philosophy of the U.S. Marines. It
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book about leadership and management, from people who encounter much higher-stakes problems than missing this quarter’s sales projections.

Two big takeaways:

1. Despite the stereotypes, the Marines at least philosophically embrace a highly decentralized, individualized M.O. The book consistently drives home the point that people are not interchangeable: different people have different strengths, teams gel over time, and nobody can maintain maximum performance indefinitely. They also emphasize t
Mugizi Rwebangira
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an AMAZING book, probably the best book in its genre ever written.

I am not one of those military buffs, but I've long been fascinated by whether there was a "theory of war" that explains the "why" of military strategy and could put you in the mind of a top military commander. This book comes as close as any I've seen.

The genius is in it's simplicity. Tomes like Clausewitz's "On War" are long and ponderous and the justly famous Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is kind of obscure and allusive, b
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Proof that this stuff can apply to anything: I was doing my laundry as I read this, and I realized that if I just washed everything that needed washing, that would be 'attrition laundry'. But since I can't get that all done in one day, I really need to focus on the highest priority clothes and bedding: thus I found I was doing 'maneuver laundry'. Kidding aside, the most interesting part of this book for me was about commanders giving their subordinates latitude to determine how to get a job done ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A surprisingly accurate way of thinking about the software industry. Part of this short book describes the characteristics of war in a way that anyone dealing with software will understand: friction, disorder, uncertainty, complexity. Another part of the book focuses on the need to engage in maneuver warfare, which is characterized by decentralized command, that gives the marines the speed and punch to react to novel situation, which in a certain way reminds me of agile development principles.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I like it. It distils many of the important principles from the strategy literature down into pamphlet form. (presumably tested as suitable for someone who is not used to reading large tracts, carrying much spare baggage, or looking for detailed references to follow up on ;-)

However it rather depressingly exposes how War, and therefore the military infrastructure and mindset is an all encompassing continuous cycle, which is either preparing for war, conducting warfare, or learning new lessons fr
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Carl Rigney
Shelves: military
This was a pretty good summary of current military thinking. The first half of the book was just a rote repetition of the basics of Clausewitz' On War, with little bits of Sun Tzu and John Boyd thrown in. I give him points for having clearly read them, but there was no new information there. The second half, though, was worth reading -- he translated a number of the concepts into concrete doctrine for the Marines, and explained why Boyd's Maneuver Warfare was so successful and how to make it mor ...more
Muhammad Khan
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-empowerment
This book is really quite interesting - deliberately kept brief-and-to-the-point, one is left drawing parallels with the ways of corporate life. There are no annotations or deliberate metaphors or direct comparisons - this is a reproduction of the early treatise on the US Marine's Guide to Warfare, plain and simple, easy flowing text, that when read, it becomes immediately apparent that much of the tactics and strategies of Warfare can be applied to Corporate life, for example: the running of Pr ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This isn't bad for doctrine. Read this again (not sure how many times it has been now; half a dozen, at least) as a part of our unit PME reading program. In the ensuing discussion, I tried to describe the ways in which things like main effort, commander's intent, and mission tactics can be used in places other than on the battlefield. I am not sure I made a convincing argument, but to me those are some of the most important things that can be taken away from this reading.
matthew dawson
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple take for the uninitiated

Implementing these ideas is the relevant part of the equation as these ideas are 3rd generation warfare not used effectively since the germans in ww2 and as long as America remains the bureaucratic military it has today ,it will sadly always field a 2nd generation force.but organizers know that someone is at least aware of the best practices in warfare
Chris McClinch
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential read on the nature of maneuver warfare. Useful to students of war, but really to students of victory in all arenas. It's all about figuring out how to pit your strength against your adversary's weakness while avoiding his strength. Surprisingly readable for a book that originated as a field manual. Long on theoretical underpinnings, but it could have used a bit more historical discussion.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and interesting read. Nothing entirely left field but I especially liked the emphasis on tempo and how a force can use it to consistently out manoeuvre an enemy. Also liked the "lack of a decision is a decision in itself" and it's normally the worst kind.
Now that I think about it there were a bunch of nuggets in there. Definitely worthwhile.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
The concepts covered in WARFIGHTING apply not only to warfare but to business, sports, and life in general. As a former Marine, this was (and still is) required reading and a required mindset. I often refer to this pub and recommend it to any servicemen, coach, entrepeneur, and life-practitioner.
Gary Klein
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great overview of USMC theories and strategy on the nature of war, preparing for war, and conducting war. The emphasis on maneuver warfare is great; a good easy primer for anyone to understand. I read it cover-to-cover in a single four hour flight.
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me immensely in planning and preparing my volunteers for disaster relief and response. Any organization can use the principles of maneuver detailed in this book to run an efficient operation.
Rich Dammkoehler
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
You need to read this book. It gives you insight in to how a large dynamic organization learns and grows. It inspires confidence in the ability for an organization to grow and delineates organizational ethos from daily operations.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Bedside table?
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of strategy, military or otherwise, this is one to put on your shelf next to Sun Tzu...
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A marvelous book. Clear, beautiful writing. Precepts about planning, leadership, and opportunism that could apply to any field. An underrated philosophical text of the 20th century.
Jason W.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An educational read for anyone involved in leadership. Valuable lessons that can be applied to any discipline.
Brandon Baggett
Oct 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: marine-corp
Though a little dry, it opens thinking to different tactics and strategies on war. Definitely for those in that field of work
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Opposition of Wills, 'nuff said
Brian Worthge
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Quick read, but very dry
Dan Buchness
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Supposed to be USMC doctrine... though most executive leaders still choose attrition warfare...
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A primer on maneuver warfare. Fog of war, friction, pushing decision-making down to the lowest level. Concepts that apply in many aspects of life.
Earl Pike
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid applicable guidance on warfighting with an emphasis on leadership. Much of the leadership instruction is valuable to many more arenas than just the military. Very short and worth the read.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on goal oriented leadership!
Rick Kuehn
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some of the best writing on a military subject that I have ever read. Concise, clear, powerful.
rated it really liked it
May 28, 2014
A. P. D. G.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2012
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The U.S. Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the United States Dep ...more
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