- Anthony J Piscitelli
- ARRSE Rating
- 2 Mushroom Heads
This tome reads like an academic thesis except that the English is not well written. Infelicities of grammar and vocabulary meant that it was sometimes quite difficult to construe the actual message. 'Denigration' on p.29 is, I suppose, meant to be 'degradation' and 'intersession' on p.119, 'intercession'. There is a lot of repetition, for instance half of p.66 is a verbatim repeat of half of p.57. This is a pity because buried in the verbiage are some very good accounts of a number of 'Small Wars' in which the USMC has been involved, albeit mostly told from an exclusively USMC viewpoint. The narratives here of Gulf War 2 and Afghanistan and of failures therein deserve a wider readership.
The book is he product of deep research, as shown by the copious lists of references and interviews which provide the jargon-ridden duff with a number of interesting currants. The in-service education programme for USMC personnel, together with its rank-striated reading list are worthy of note. For an early application of the actual techniques, particularly in keeping the enemy off-balance, one need look no further back than Germany's 1940 Blitzkrieg in Western Europe, although the defeat of Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777 suggests that the US armed forces have always had manoeuvre and fieldcraft in their genes should they choose to deploy such. The largely British-organised deception programmes for WW2's Sicily and Normandy landings show what can be done to tie down enemy forces where they are completely out of the battle. It would have been generous to note that the idea of arriving from the sea by helicopter was, very successfully, originated by the Royal Navy in 1956.
An interesting book, but it was hard work reading it.