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Good military/aviation books

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Guest Rainman A-10

"My Secret War" by Richard S. Drury

My all time favorite. Absolutely awesome book.

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Guest mikedjp

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll.

Totally enlightening and politically unbiased.

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Here is a slightly different approach to professional reading. There are three advances schools available to Majors following inresidence programs like Air Command and Staff. The three programs are (USAF – School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, USA – School of Advanced Military Studies, and USMC School of Advanced Warfighting). Those selected will spend an additional year reading and studying historical and current topics related to strategy and campaign planning.

Some of the themes we looked at this year (and things your seniors leaders want more fidelity on); insurgency, small wars, asymmetric fighting, information operations, joint/combines arms, compellence and cohersion theory, and future warfighting. Attached is a list of books we read the last two months. Some are great, others will make your eyes bleed. I found The Philippine War very interesting because of the insurgency themes that draw directly to the things we are seeing in Iraq today. Also, Palestine and the Arab Israeli Conflict is a good read that takes the Israeli/Palestinian issue from it’s origin through today.

If anyone wants the complete list for SAW (231 books, I can’t believe I read that many in one year), PM me and I will send it.

Linn, Brian M-The Philippine War

Linn, Brian M-Guardians of Empire

Miller, Edward S-War Plan Orange

Morton, Louis-The Fall of the Philippines

Morton, Louis-Strategy and Command: The First Two Years

Crowl, Philip-Campaign in the Marianas

Isley and Crowl-U.S. Marines and Amphibious War

Morison, Samuel-The Two Ocean War

Shaw, Nalty and Turnbladh-History of the U.S.Marine Corps Operations in WWII, Volume III Central Pacific Drive

Cannon, M.Hamlin-Leyte: The Return to the Philippines

Garand and Strobridge-History of the U.S.Marine Corps Operations in WWII, Volume IV Western Pacific Operations

Smith, Robert Ross-Triumph in the Philippines

Willoughby and Prange-Reports of General MacArthur, Volume I, The Campaign of MacArthur in the Pacific

Blumenson, Martin-Salerno to Cassino

Harrison, Gordon A-Cross-Channel Attack

Hughes, Thomas-Overlord: General Pete Quesada and the Triumph of Tactical Air Power in WWII

Van Creveld and Canby-Air Power and Maneuver Warfare

General Staff-Reports of General MacArthur, Volume I, Supplement

Friedman, Thomas-From Beirut to Jerusalem

Herzog, Chaim-The Arab Israeli Wars

Smith, Charles D-Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

United Nations-Blue Helmets

Gordon and Trainor-The General's War

Keaney and Cohen-Gulf War Air Power Survey Summary Report

Swain, Richard M-Lucky War

Allard, Kenneth-Somalia Operations

Lyons, Terrence and Samatar, Ahmed I-Somalia - State Collapse, Multilateral Intervention, and Strategies for Political Reconstruction

Seiple, Chris-The U.S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Interventions

Appleman, Roy E-South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu

Mossman, Billy C-Ebb & Flow: November 1950-July1951

Schnabel, James F-Policy and Direction: The First Year

Colling, Benjamin F-Close Air Support

Davidson, Philip B-Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975

Shultz, Richard H-The Secret War Against Hanoi

Simpson, Howard-Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot

Tilford,-Setup: What the Air Force Did in Vietnam and Why

Trullinger, James-Village at War

Blumenson, Martin-Breakout and Pursuit

Blumenson, Martin-The Battle of the Generals

De Puy, William-Changing an Army

Doubler, Michael D-Busting the Bocage

Useem, Michael-Leading Up

Coles and Weinberg-Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors

Ziemke, Earl F-The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946

Slim-Defeat into Victory

Clarke and Smith-Riviera to the Rhine

Marr, Phebe-History of Iraq

Greenberg, Lawrence-The Hukbalahap Insurrection

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Guest MistahKurtz

"Brotherhood of War" series by W.E.B. Griffin, for the 3rd time.

"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, doesn't have anything to do with the military

"In the Company of Heroes" by Mike Durant

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Guest turn&burn

"Vipers in the Storm" by Keith Rosenkranz (Awesome book detailing his experience as a viper driver during the gulf war)

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Holy shit, ClearedHot.

You weren't kidding when you said you have to read a book a day. I guess I should not complain when in ASBC or SOS all we have to do is read our little "reader" with like 20 pages of case studies.

I looked up some of those books on Amazon (do you have them issued to you or do you have to buy all of them???), and each one is around 400-500+ pages. How in the hell can you read a 500 page book each day? It would take me a month just to read the book. At SAASS, Do you guys just read all day instead of going to class? How much time do you spend discussing the books? Do you have to write papers etc. on these topics?

Sorry for all of the questions, just trying to figure out how these advanced courses work.

[ 07. May 2005, 16:30: Message edited by: JS ]

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JS,

I did the Marine versions (SAW) and both schools issue all the books. Typical reading load is 300-400 pages a day.

The schedule rotates, one week we have seminar from 0800-1230 on Mon, Wed, Fri. After class we spend the rest of the day and the entire next day reading. The next week we have seminar from 0830-1230 Tue and Thur. While it sounds like a lot of time off, you need it to complete the reading. They actually gave us a month long speed reading course.

The seminars are limited to 12 students and most of them are outstanding. They bring in experts from various fields to lead the discussions. For example, we had several of the authors I posted on the booklist, Supreme Court Justice Antoine Scalia, Supreme Allied Commander Europe - General Jones, and a host of others.

We also did several class trips to historic battlefields. Last fall we toured Virginia and covered the Civil War. In January we spent three weeks going through Italy and France, with a three day stop in Normandy. The spring trip was nine days in Vietnam with stops in Hanoi, Saigon, and Khe Sanh.

The reading load is crushing at times, but you learn to skim and sort the wheat from the chaff very quickly.

Overall it has been a great experience and I would highly recommend it, but I am glad it is almost over so I can get back to the real world.

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"Skunkworks" - By:Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos... The Infancy of Low Observable Technology

An interesting book on a the beginning of stealth in the late 70's early 80's.

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BlackJetDriver

Read that, great book!

Cheers! M2

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Here's one you might find in the library or on Amazon - "Piece of Cake" by Derek Robinson. GREAT novel about the one year between Sept 39' and Sept 40' as experienced by one squadron in the RAF... to include the Battle of Britain. very interesting storyline.

They made it into a Masterpiece Theater mini-series in the early 90's as well. The book is better, reads fast.

Anyway, just finished that and have started 'Boyd.' Fantastic read thus far - highly recommend.

Other good ones are 'By Any Means Necessary' by Burrows- great one about the Cold War and all the secret squirrel recce types who didnt come back from their patrols...

"The 11 Days of Christmas" by Michel about the Linebacker II bombing raids (BUFFs going downtown).

"Tail of the Storm" by Cockrell about a 141 guys experiences in the Gulf War.

All great books that read quick.

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Chuck

Not only do I own the book, but I have the series on DVD as well (check Amazon). Although not 100% historically accurate, it's a great read and even better video. Just the sight and sounds of the Spitfires is worth the money.

Great suggestion, it's one of my favorite books.

The other is 1000 Destroyed - The Life and Times of the 4th Fighter Group (a.k.a. Death Squadron or Mr. Tettley's Tenants) by Grover C. Hall. I picked it up over 20 years ago at Moron AB in Spain and my copy is starting to fall apart from being read so many times. It's the story of one of the RAF Eagle squadrons that eventually became a US group flying Thunderbolts and then Mustangs. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WWII flying.

Cheers! M2

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Guest waxgoblin

The Fabric of the Cosmos

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Guest beylund

"The World is Flat", by Thomas Friedman. He works for the NY Times, but don't discount him as a crazy liberal, as this book has little to do with politics. It is focused on the future of the global economy and technology, as well as on how the US should make energy independence our next "moon shot". Very good read, although you can skip the first 1/3rd or so as it's just filler. Makes you realize what kind of potential such countries as China and India have in the tech world.

Quote: "In China, if you're one in a million, there are 13,000 others just like you"

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Guest cb03t

Alright so I'm reading the "Boyd" book and love it. Can any guys recommend some other great military aviation books, specifically related to fighters? I've looked at the "Vipers in the Storm" book, anyone have any experience reading that one? Any feedback would greatly appreciated, thanks.

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"Thud Ridge" by Jack Broughton. It's about F-105 pilots in Vietnam. It's not well written, but if your interested in what a combat mission over 'Nam was like, it will be a good read.

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Guest lovelacm

The collaborative work by Clancy & Gen Horner (Ret), Every Man A Tiger was quite interesting in the build-up and operation of the air war in Desert Shield / Storm.

I'm about to finish up the Clancy & Gen Stiner (Ret) work, Shadow Warriors about the birth of and a few operations in Special Operations / Special Forces.

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Vipers in the Storm is the best book I've ever read. I think Keith Rosenkranz did an outstanding job with it and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in military aviation.

Another good one I read was Strike Eagle. It is a bunch of stories from F-15E pilots during ODS.

Anyone read Eye of the Viper? I was thinking about picking it up but wasn't too sure if it was any good.

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"When Thunder Rolled" by Ed Rasimus (Retired Maj) is awesome. It details his life from getting out of UPT, going to Nellis for 105 training and then to SEA. It has incredible stories about flying fighters in Vietnam...I couldn't put it down. He also came out with a new book "Palace Cobra" detailing his experiences as an F-4 pilot over Vietnam. Obviously, he did two tours. Haven't read that one yet, but I'm going to as soon as break hits and I have some time. I'm sure it'll be just as awesome as the first.

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Originally posted by Mun:

Vipers in the Storm is the best book I've ever read.

You need to read more books. I thought it was interesting, but that's about it.

If you're looking for a great book, check out Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer. It's fiction, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better book on military leadership. It's a long one (about 1300 pages IIRC) but well worth it.

I also second the recommendation of Every Man a Tiger. That along with Schwarzkopf's It Doesn't Take a Hero shows how the generals that were "raised" in Vietnam made sure the same mistakes didn't happen in Desert Storm.

[ 21. November 2005, 12:14: Message edited by: backseatdriver ]

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Guest Bullmastiff

It is an Army Aviation red,,,,,but still a fantastic book.. Chickenhawk

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I highly recommend Vlamgat by Dick Lord. It highlights the South African Air Force flying against Angolan Mig-21 and 23s and is really indepth about flying older types of fighters like the F1.

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Guest thebronze

A few books more contemporary (OEF/OIF):

"Not A Good Day To Die" - About the fiasco that lead up to the Battle for Roberts Ridge (Taka Gur)

"None Braver" - About AFSOC crews (Mostly PJ stuff) in OEF (If you don't know who Jason Cunningham is, you should)

Not so contemporary (but one of the best books I've read in a long time):

"In the Company of Heroes" - About CWO Michael Durant in Mogadishu

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Boyd is one of the best books I have ever read.

Dont be surprised if you pick it up and re-read it again... and again.

Chuck

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Guest flecth033

I know your looking for a book, but if you want to see a good documentary check out "Return with Honor". It's the one about the pilots (including Senator McCain) shot down in vietnam and taken as POW's. Obviously not a book, but well worth the watch. It's fresh in my mind because I'm buying it for my old man for xmas.

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