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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
This is a topic requested by Martin. This thread discusses how war is waged - the manuals of war.

Please feel free to discuss this topic and post related books, urls, etc.

message 2: by Martin Lamb (last edited Feb 16, 2010 08:42PM) (new)

Martin Lamb One of the most commonly sited manuals of warfare is the The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu is believed to be the author. This book describes the best circumstances to attack and win, draw, or lose. The author takes into consideration land features of the battlefield along with troop readiness. It is a very interesting book that can be related to modern tactics.

More information about him can be found at:

A history of the book can be found at:
The Art of War by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu

message 3: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Here is a link about Imperial Roman Army Field Manuals.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Hello Martin,

Try to remember to add the book cover, the photo of the author if available and always at the very least also the author's link.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu Sun Tzu

There is a section on the board - a thread called Mechanics of the Board which should help:

Your other citations look quite good and very interesting. I read The Art of War for the first time for a business school class. I think every business school program assigns it as reading. I see Sun Tsu's book as one of the foremost books on strategy and planning.

message 5: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb I find Sun Tzu very interesting, to me he makes it very understandable. The are also multiple publications of The Art of War. Some books include the author's view on the book or discuss the possibility of the book being written by other militay leaders. Overall though an interesting book to read.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Yes Martin I have read a few of these to try to is a rather short book so it is easier to do.

It really can be applied to life..a strategy not just for war but for life and competing in the real world.

message 7: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb I agree. The real world is it's own battlefield. It has it's allies and opponents and even nuetral points. We should all plan and have a strategy for life.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Yes, sometimes easier said than done..but what you stated is pitch perfect.

message 9: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Yes, thats true but you always have to work at it. I know I am young in life but I have my abitions and I have my plans for reaching them. In the battlefield, it would be costly to go out to war without a plan especially a well thought out one. In life you won't go any where if you don't have a plan to go places.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Very true...sometimes though life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

Good though to think ahead and try to be prepared.

message 11: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Martin,

Some very good books there and an interesting discussion in regards to their use in our every day lives. I have started collecting old titles (classics) from the Loeb Classical Library (Procopius and Polybius) and they have a few manuals on warfare and tactics that may interest you and anyone else interested in this subject:

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, Onasander (Loeb Classical Library, No. 156) by Aeneas Tacticus by Aeneas Tacticus
Publishers blurb:
Aeneas was perhaps a general, and certainly author of several didactic military works of which the sole survivor is that on defence against siege. From it we can deduce that he was a Peloponnesian of the fourth century BCE who served in the Aegean and in Asia Minor and composed the work from direct knowledge and from oral and some literary tradition, possibly in 357–6 BCE. It is devoted entirely to defence of fortified places and deals specially with use of defending troops; defensive positions; morale; resistance to attacks and to actual assault; guards; obviation of treachery and revolution; and other subjects.

Asclepiodotus, philosopher and pupil of the Stoic Posidonius, wrote a rather dry but ordered work on Tactics as if a subject of the lecture room, based not on personal experience but on earlier manuals. His main subjects were the branches of a military force; infantry; cavalry; chariots; elephants; arms; maneuvers; military evolutions; marching formation. The work ends with words of command.

Onasander (Onasandros), a Platonic philosopher, dedicated his work "The General" to the Roman Veranius, who was a consul in 49 CE. The work deals in plain style with the sort of morals and social and military qualities and attitudes expected of a virtuous and militarily successful general. It is also concerned with such matters as his choice of staff; attitude to war; religious duties; military formations; conduct in allied and hostile lands; difficult terrains; camps; drill; spies; guards; deserters; battle formations and maneuvers; and other matters, ending with conduct after victory.

Frontinus Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome. (Loeb Classical Library No. 174) by Sextus Julius Frontinus by Sextus Julius Frontinus
Publishers blurb:
Frontinus, Sextus Iulius, ca. 35–103 CE, was a capable Roman civil officer and military commander. Praetor of the city in 70 and consul in 73 or 74, 98 and 100, he was, about the year 76, sent to Britain as governor. He quelled the Silures of Wales, and began to build a road through their territory; his place was taken by Agricola in 78. In 97 he was given the highly esteemed office of Manager of Aqueducts at Rome. He is known to have been an augur, being succeeded by his friend Pliny the younger.

The two sides of Frontinus's public career are reflected in his two surviving works. 'Strategemata', Stratagems, written after 84, gives examples of military stratagems from Greek and Roman history, for the instruction of Roman officers, in three books; the fourth book is concerned largely with military discipline. 'De Aquis urbis Romae', The Aqueducts of Rome, written in 97–98, gives some historical details and a description of the aqueducts for the water supply of the city, with laws relating to them. Frontinus aimed at being useful and writes in a rather popular style which is both simple and clear.

This series are great accounts but I have not read the two books highlighted above, just the books by Procopius and Polybius.

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a book due out in a few months that may interest you Martin or anyone else interested in strategy & tactics; "Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, From the Persian War to the Fall of Rome" by Victor Davis Hanson.

Makers of Ancient Strategy by Victor Hanson (no cover) by Victor Hanson
Publishers blurb:
"The book reveals that much of the organized violence witnessed today - such as counterterrorism, urban fighting, insurgencies, preemptive war, and ethnic cleansing - has ample precedent in the classical era. The book examines the preemption and unilateralism used to instill democracy during Epaminondas's great invasion of the Peloponnesus in 369 BC, as well as the counterinsurgency and terrorism that characterized Rome's battles with insurgents such as Spartacus, Mithridates, and the Cilician pirates. The collection looks at the urban warfare that became increasingly common as more battles were fought within city walls, and follows the careful tactical strategies of statesmen as diverse as Pericles, Demosthenes, Alexander, Pyrrhus, Caesar, and Augustus. Makers of Ancient Strategy shows how Greco-Roman history sheds light on wars of every age."

message 13: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is another 'manual' on the art of warfare:

The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli by Niccolò Machiavelli
A fundamental work by one of the greatest political and military theorists of Western civilization.. Voltaire said, "Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known." For Niccol Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronismits pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work.

message 14: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Rick thanks for the contributions to this thread. I find them very interesting. I will look for these books to add to my personal library. In your opinion which of the 'manuals' you have read can be closely related to todays modern warfare.

message 15: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Martin,

I have not read any of the 'classics' in regards to the art of war. Two books that I read many years ago when I was in the Army that were then and still are considered relevant to todays warfare were books by Erwin Rommel and Heinz Guderian.

Infantry Attacks by Erwin Rommel by Erwin Rommel
Publishers blurb:
"Field Marshal Erwin Rommel exerted an almost hypnotic influence not only over his own troops but also over the Allied soldiers of the Eighth Army in the Second World War. Even when the legend surrounding his invincibility was overturned at El Alamein, the aura surrounding Rommel himself remained unsullied. In this classic study of the art of war Rommel analyses the tactics that lay behind his success. First published in 1937 it quickly became a highly regarded military textbook, and also brought its author to the attention of Adolph Hitler. Rommel was to subsequently advance through the ranks to the high command in the Second World War. As a leader of a small unit in the First World War, he proved himself an aggressive and versatile commander, with a reputation for using the battleground terrain to his own advantage, for gathering intelligence, and for seeking out and exploiting enemy weaknesses. Rommel graphically describes his own achievements, and those of his units, in the swift-moving battles on the Western Front, in the ensuing trench warfare, in the 1917 campaign in Romania, and in the pursuit across the Tagliamento and Piave rivers.
This classic account seeks out the basis of his astonishing leadership skills, providing an indispensable guide to the art of war written by one of its greatest exponents."

Achtung - Panzer! (Cassell Military Classics) by Heinz Guderian by Heinz Guderian
Publishers blurb:
"Panzer attack was the secret of Hitler's early land successes. The man behind the strategy, and in command of the tanks, was Guderian. This is his manual of attack Based on Guderian's own First World War experiences, sharply told Still compulsory reading for tank commanders - everywhere"

message 16: by Martin Lamb (last edited Feb 18, 2010 08:22PM) (new)

Martin Lamb I will defidently be getting those books. I believe both General Montgomery and Rommel read Guderian's book . I am currently reading about both of them including Patton. I thnk reading Rommel's book would fit in nicely after this one.

message 17: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Martin, I hope you enjoy them when you get copies, I found Erwin Rommel's "Infantry Attacks" very interesting.

message 18: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb I saw this book at Barnes and Noble. I did not have the money to purchase it but I glanced through it. It looks like it is well put together. If anyone has read it please post your review of it.

Small Wars Manual by U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Marine Corps

Description: Filled with once-classified material, this original Marine Corps’ manual offers an inside look at the way the Marines operated at the dawn of World War II. It covers the ranking of each position, the rules of interacting with civilians, the strategies for combat, the importance of aviation, the tactics of river operations, the disarmament of populations, and the policies for troop withdrawal. There’s also a breakdown of equipment, a detailed account of the training regimen, and the steps for setting up a military government in a war zone. Still considered part of a Marine’s preparation, it’s distributed wherever America is involved in a small war.

message 19: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb I was looking for books online and came across these books.

Military Strategy Principles, Practices, and Historical Perspectives by John M. Collins John M. Collins

John M. Collins has distilled the wisdom of historys great military minds to tutor readers on the necessary intellectual skills to win not only battles but also wars. He illuminates practices that worked well or poorly in the past, together with reasons why. He discusses national security interests, strategic building blocks, military strategies across the conflict spectrum, methods for developing talent and strategic acumen, and recent case studies that put principles into practice. Collins never tells readers what to think, but in Military Strategy he provides them with the intellectual tools to think for themselves. Written in a clear, straightforward style, this book will appeal to officers, policy-makers, students, and the public.

Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age by Gordon A. Craig Gordon A. Craig

Carl Von Clausewitz defined strategy as the use of combat, or the threat of combat, for the purpose of the war in which it takes place. This formulation, which a modern historian has characterized as both revolutionary and defiantly simplistic, can be amended or expanded without difficulty.

message 20: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Martin, some interesting books you've found. Do you think you will buy copies of any of these books?

message 21: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Yes, I most likely will. I enjoy military books and books on strategy. Since I joined the military I also believe I should be familiar with tactics and strategy.

message 22: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Martin, if the military is to become your career then your choice of books are very fitting. I found I loved reading about the great commanders when I was in the Army. Books on great generals also give you some insight into different approaches to warfare and the use of tactics, weapons, etc to gain victory.

message 23: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Yes, I am planning on doing the full twenty years in the Army. While I am in, I plan on going to college, so that I can become an officer. I want to learn from the past so that I may apply it to my future. History books and strategy books are my main interest and they also apply to my career field.

message 24: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Hi Martin:

As a goal, you could try to get into the Army War College. As you probably know it has a long history and trained its best officers.

message 25: by Martin Lamb (new)

Martin Lamb Hey Bryan, yes I will probably try to get in. I need to go to college and earn a degree before I can recieve a commission as an officer. My career has only begun and there are many avenues to pursue.

message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Hi Folks...we do have an Off Topic forum for these kind of discussions. This thread is for discussions on Manuals of War. I have let the Off Topic conversation go for awhile. And we do have other conversation threads especially the Off Topic one where open conversation is welcome. Take care.

message 27: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig This looks like a good book:

How Wars End Why We Always Fight the Last Battle by Gideon Rose Gideon Rose

Surveying the settlements of America’s wars since WWI, Rose analyzes reasons for the manner and substance of their conclusions. The way a war ended, he holds, can be tied to the quality of pre-armistice or -surrender planning for the postwar situation, a problem to which he applies concepts in international relations (realism, bureaucratic politics, domestic politics). Those terms don’t portend a wonk’s book, however. Rose, the editor of Foreign Affairs, writes with clarity for general readers puzzled by mistakes national-security experts seem to make over and over again. According to Rose, American generals, diplomats, and presidents, obsessed with the military endgame, often don’t clarify their political intentions until the shooting stops. Varied in its effects, such neglect ranges from surmountable, as in the aftermath to WWII, to intractable, such as in Vietnam or Iraq. Rose also identifies another factor complicating the termination of war: cherry-picking lessons from a previous war that have dubious applicability to the present one. Public spirited and accessible, Rose’s presentation should impress anyone hoping for better management of war and peace by Washington. --Gilbert Taylor

message 28: by Max (last edited Apr 25, 2011 07:50PM) (new)

Max Some good, widely respected treatises on war written by men who knew their stuff and had military experience are:

Warmasters Classic Treatises on the Art of War by Karl Von Clausewitz by Karl von Clausewitz

Reveries on the Art of War by Maurice de Saxe by Maurice de Saxe

The Art of War by Baron De Jomini by Antoine Henri Jomini by Antoine Henri Jomini

The Military Maxims of Napoleon by Napoleon Bonaparte by Napoleon Bonaparte

I hope this helps,


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Thank you Bryan and Max for your contributions.

message 30: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I second Bentley's message, good adds from both you guys :)

Here is one that could be considered a manual for modern warfare; "The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One" by David Kilcullen.

The Accidental Guerrilla Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen by David Kilcullen
David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare. A Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, his vision of war dramatically influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the surge."

Now, in The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big global war (the "War on Terrorism") and its relation to the associated "small wars" across the globe: Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Chechnya, Pakistan and North Africa. Kilcullen sees today's conflicts as a complex pairing of contrasting trends: local social networks and worldwide movements; traditional and postmodern culture; local insurgencies seeking autonomy and a broader pan-Islamic campaign. He warns that America's actions in the war on terrorism have tended to conflate these trends, blurring the distinction between local and global struggles and thus enormously complicating our challenges. Indeed, the US had done a poor job of applying different tactics to these very different situations, continually misidentifying insurgents with limited aims and legitimate grievances (whom he calls "accidental guerrillas") as part of a coordinated worldwide terror network. We must learn how to disentangle these strands, develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary.

Colored with gripping battlefield experiences that range from the jungles and highlands of Southeast Asia to the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to the dusty towns of the Middle East, The Accidental Guerrilla will, quite simply, change the way we think about war. This much anticipated book will be a must read for everyone concerned about the war on terror.

"Kilcullen, adviser on counterinsurgency to General Petraeus, defines accidental guerrillas as locals fighting primarily because outsiders (often Westerners) are intruding into their physical and cultural space, but they may also be galvanized by high-tech, internationally oriented ideologues. This interaction of two kinds of nonstate opponents renders both traditional counterterrorism and counterinsurgency inadequate. Kilcullen uses Afghanistan and Iraq as primary case studies for a new kind of war that relies on an ability to provoke Western powers into protracted, exhausting, expensive interventions. Kilcullen presents two possible responses. Strategic disruption keeps existing terrorists off balance. Military assistance attacks the conditions producing accidental guerrillas. That may mean full-spectrum assistance, involving an entire society. Moving beyond a simplistic war on terror depends on rebalancing military and nonmilitary elements of power. It calls for a long view, a measured approach and a need to distinguish among various enemies. It requires limiting the role of government agencies in favor of an indirect approach emphasizing local interests and local relationships. Not least, Kilcullen says, breaking the terrorist cycle requires establishing patterns of virtue, moral authority, and credibility in the larger society. Kilcullen's compelling argument merits wide attention." - Publishers Weekly

"This book should be required reading for every American soldier, as well as anyone involved in the war on terror. Kilcullen's central concept of the 'accidental guerrilla' is brilliant and the policy prescriptions that flow from it important. And that's not all; the book has many more insights drawn from various battlefields." - Fareed Zakaria, (Newsweek)

"David Kilcullen, man of action and man of ideas, has produced a rare - and indispensable - guide to understanding and winning the so-called 'war on terror' by combining ideas of military theory with those of culture and tradition among tribal peoples." - Professor Akbar Ahmed, (Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington DC.)

message 31: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Apr 26, 2011 04:08AM) (new)

André (andrh) | 2841 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Here is one that could be considered a manual for modern warfare..."

Rick, you're so right posting a book away from the classic take on war. Things have changed dramatically. Not only will many who fought in wars tell anybody interested that n.o.t.h.i.n.g. can prepare you for what you've got coming, keeping to these standard works will surely get you killed in no time.
Wherever you look, the Balkans, East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Middle, East and/or West Africa, SOuth America, Middle America and Mexico (the drug-war is after all a war too) - it has become hard if not impossible to put a face onto the enemy. Not only do they constantly change (even change sides as they see fit - like f.e. in Afghanistan), it has become almost impossible to make them out since they hide among the civilians - and often have "become" civilians, changing into the enemy only for as long as it takes to build an IED and make the phone call to activate it.

The Correlates of War Project, a scholarly database maintained since 1963, identifies 464 wars that occurred between 1816 and the end of the 20th century, of which only 79 (17 percent) were "conventional" interstate conflicts between the regular armed forces of nation-states, while 385 (just under 83 percent of recorded conflicts) were civil wars or insurgencies.

Some more books some of my friends and I recommend:

Militant Tricks Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent by H. John Poole Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent

Tactics of the Crescent Moon Militant Muslim Combat Methods by H. John Poole Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods

Dragon Days by H. John Poole Dragon Days

The Tiger's Way A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival by H. John Poole The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival

all by H. John Poole

A few good ideas can also be found here:

The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual by (United States) Department of the Army and Counterinsurgency Field Manual - Tactics, Intelligence, Host Nation Forces, Airpower by David Petraeus and US Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual by David Petraeus by (United States) Department of the Army and David H. Petraeus

With time more and more books will come out as both the enemy and the face of war change. It will be a race against time.

message 32: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2841 comments Mod
André wrote: "'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Here is one that could be considered a manual for modern warfare..."

Rick, you're so right posting a book away from the classic take on war. Things have changed dramatically...."

Not that guerrilla warfare is anything new. Just one example from the ancient times: The Iberian "tribes" fought the Roman legions quite successfully using guerrilla tactics. Sadly I have not managed to find a good - and objective - in depth book about that.
But I'll keep you posted when I do.

message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Great adds Andre, thank you.

message 34: by Max (new)

Max Bentley wrote: "Thank you Bryan and Max for your contributions."

Thanks Bentley, and thanks Rick.

message 35: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Some good books there Andre, as usual :)

message 36: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Apr 27, 2011 06:34AM) (new)

André (andrh) | 2841 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Some good books there Andre, as usual :)"

Rick, yours was good too. Reading the ancients is a nice intro to tactics but times have changed too much to get stuck there. Old style conquering is basically from the past.
Also, as General Petraeus (who is expected to become the new CIA director) and General McChrystal have shown in their recent campaigns, no matter how brilliant your tactics, you are getting nowhere these days if you neglect the local population.

H.John Poole is a Marine combat vet and apart from writing his books he also conducts training sessions for Special Ops and other military units.

Here's another one:

Expeditionary Eagles Outmaneuvering the Taliban by H. John Poole Expeditionary Eagles: Outmaneuvering the Taliban by H. John Poole

message 37: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Good post Andre with some nice information!

Here is a new book on a man who wrote the book about fortifications and siege operations:

Marshal Vauban and the Defence of Louis XIV's France by James Falkner by James Falkner
Sebastien Le Prestre, Marshal Vauban, was one of the greatest military engineers of all time. His complex, highly sophisticated fortress designs, his advanced theories for the defense and attack of fortified places, and his prolific work as a writer and radical thinker on military and social affairs, mark him out as one of the most influential military minds of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Yet no recent study of this extraordinary man has been published in English. James Falkner, in this perceptive and lively new account of Vauban's life and work, follows his career as a soldier from a dashing and brave young cavalry officer to his emergence as a masterful military engineer. And he shows that Vauban was much more than simply a superlative builder of fortresses, for as a leading military commander serving Louis XIV, he perfected a method for attacking fortifications in the most effective way, which became standard practice until the present day. James Falkner's new study will add significantly to the understanding of Vauban's achievements and the impact his work has had on the history of warfare.

message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Great posts - Andre and Aussie Rick.

message 39: by Bryan (last edited Sep 27, 2011 06:59AM) (new)

Bryan Craig So, George W. Bush read this book during his struggle with the Iraq War, so I read it. It is a good one:

Supreme Command Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime by Eliot A. Cohen Eliot A. Cohen Eliot A. Cohen

Product information:
The orthodoxy regarding the relationship between politicians and military leaders in wartime democracies contends that politicians should declare a military operation's objectives and then step aside and leave the business of war to the military. In this timely and controversial examination of civilian-military relations in wartime democracies, Eliot A. Cohen chips away at this time-honored belief with case studies of statesmen who dared to prod, provoke, and even defy their military officers to great effect.

Using the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion to build his argument, Cohen offers compelling proof that, as Clemenceau put it, “War is too important to leave to the generals.” By examining the shared leadership traits of four politicians who triumphed in extraordinarily varied military campaigns, Cohen argues that active statesmen make the best wartime leaders, pushing their military subordinates to succeed where they might have failed if left to their own devices. Thought provoking and soundly argued, Cohen's Supreme Command is essential reading not only for military and political players but also for informed citizens and anyone interested in leadership.

message 40: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Great post Bryan, will have to try and check the book out.

message 41: by Tom (new)

Tom Thanks Bryan, have a copy in my TBR pile,, will have to move it up a bit. :)

message 42: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Your welcome, guys. I found Eliot Cohen's argument very interesting, and there is a part where he discusses Vietnam and the fact the leaders did not test their commanders enough.

message 43: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2841 comments Mod
A terrific interview with Don McCullin, one of the greatest - and luckiest - war photographers ever:

message 44: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is the recommending reading lists for U.S. army officers. I thought I would share.

And the U.S. Air Force:

message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Some great adds guys.

message 46: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig This looks rather interesting-on civil-military relationships.

Armed Servants Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations by Peter D. Feaver Peter D. Feaver

Product info:
How do civilians control the military? In the wake of September 11, the renewed presence of national security in everyday life has made this question all the more pressing. In this book, Peter Feaver proposes an ambitious new theory that treats civil-military relations as a principal-agent relationship, with the civilian executive monitoring the actions of military agents, the "armed servants" of the nation-state. Military obedience is not automatic but depends on strategic calculations of whether civilians will catch and punish misbehavior.

This model challenges Samuel Huntington's professionalism-based model of civil-military relations, and provides an innovative way of making sense of the U.S. Cold War and post-Cold War experience--especially the distinctively stormy civil-military relations of the Clinton era. In the decade after the Cold War ended, civilians and the military had a variety of run-ins over whether and how to use military force. These episodes, as interpreted by agency theory, contradict the conventional wisdom that civil-military relations matter only if there is risk of a coup. On the contrary, military professionalism does not by itself ensure unchallenged civilian authority. As Feaver argues, agency theory offers the best foundation for thinking about relations between military and civilian leaders, now and in the future.
I post the opposing school:

The Soldier and the State The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Belknap Press) by Samuel P. Huntington Samuel P. Huntington Samuel P. Huntington

message 47: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Nice adds Andre & Bryan!

message 48: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Nov 03, 2011 12:41PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a book that was published in 1914 just as the Great War was starting and covers one of the greatest commanders and his method of waging war:

Napoleon at Work by Colonel Vachee by Colonel Vachee
First translated into English in 1914, "Napoleon at Work" is a detailed, step-by-step analysis of the military tactics and methods adopted by Napoleon Bonaparte in the time leading up to, and during, the Jena Campaign of 1806. Written by the distinguished French tactician and strategist, Colonel Vachee, this book aimed to examine and illustrate the military genius of Napoleon as it was at the very height of his career, as well as the lessons in warfare which could be learnt from him for the 'battles of the future'. This fascinating study explores the many elements that contributed to his success; from the organisation and movements of staff, to Napoleon's own strategic decision-making, and, most importantly, the recognition of the necessity of a formidable leadership to achieve victory in warfare.

message 49: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2841 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Nice adds Andre & Bryan!"

Don McCullin's work deserves our greatest attention and respect.

Don McCullin

message 50: by Tom (new)

Tom Bryan wrote: "Here is the recommending reading lists for U.S. army officers. I thought I would share. "

Thanks Bryan,

Here are some more lists: military reading lists

I have read a bunch from this list, and found them all very good..
Congressman Ike Skelton's National Security Book List

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