Reading up.........

Could anyone recommend any interesting reads which might give me an idea of life as an officer in the British Army?

Plenty of stuff around but I'd rather avoid the Andy Mcnab style books which purport to reveal the deep and dark secrets of THEM etc with lots of pictures of chaps who appear to have black tape stuck accross their for'heads.

Did have some good stuff on the RM back in the day I thought I wanted to be a bootneck, but don't want to waste my money buying something that turns out to be a walts guide to 49 Para.................
Try "Dusty Warriors" by Richard Holmes. Written by an officer, but presenting an holistic view of soldiering from the POV of posh, pro's and prole's alike.
George MacDonald Fraser's "McAuslan" books and "Quartered Safe Out Here".
Redcoat and Tommy by Richard Holmes - a must for historical context, the reason the Army is structured the way it is and to explode a few myths.
Mud, Blood and Poppycock by Gordon Corrigan, an excellent accompaniment to Tommy.

Generals: Ten British Commanders Who Shaped the World by Mark L. Urban. A bit noddy at times, but an excellent starting point. Also includes some Generals whose lack of success made them an influential figure!

Dusty Warriors is the book to read if you want an idea of how the modern British Army goes about its business. It is an exceptional work and should be on every school's reading list (not to mention an obligatory read for every journo)!

Forgotten Voices of the Great War and Forgotten Voices of the Second World War by Max Arthur are excellent reference books for a soldier's eye view of the two conflicts. There are several in the series, all of which are worth a look from a general historical point of view.

As a general rule, any book by Richard Holmes will be excellent.
Cheers for the replies, I'll get down waterstones or failing that amazon/ and see what they have.

I'll definately try the Richard Holmes stuff, he's a great TV presenter and was an impressive speaker in person.
Has anyone thumbed through...

Sandhurst: A tradition of leadership by Holdsworth and Pugsley?

If so, does it ring true of life at the factory?

Sands of Dunkirk.......and if your a freemason read "Behind the Wire"....
Anything by Stephen Ambrose - well researched and written But especially
Pegasus Bridge & Band of Brothers

18 Pl By Sydney Jary

Book I am on at the moment called something like The British Officer can't give you much more as I am away
SinBin said:
Has anyone thumbed through...

Sandhurst: A tradition of leadership by Holdsworth and Pugsley?

If so, does it ring true of life at the factory?

I got that in prep for the 'Hurst. Can't comment on the validity but it contains statements of YOs and OCs past and present, so it can't be that bad.

The pictures are pretty too :slow:
Cheers technicaldifficulties!

Might stump-up fifty of the Queens finest pounds and have a butchers!



My suggestion is to ignore all of the above and settle down to the complete works of Sven Hassell and Spike Milligan.

It worked for me.
Interesting thread, some very good suggestions.

I'd second Sydney Jarry's 18 Platoon if you can still get a copy. I learned a lot from his book and I was lucky enough to have a drink with him in the bar at Warminster a few years ago,

And of course Flashman!
Might be a bit out of date now.. but a few years back there was Anthony Beevor's "Inside the British Army"...

Is not all about Officer matters, but has section on 'Soldier's Life Routine' and the same for Officer's... and then goes into Command and Control further up the chain etc.

A good all-round book.

Tim Collins has already been mentioned - that is a good read.

And Sir Peter de la Billiere's "Looking For Trouble" - his autobiography was quite interesting also.
Evelyn Waugh 'Sword of Honour' trilogy. Slightly surreal, but oh-so true still.............I identified every character in my first posting........
You can read all you like, but it is no substitute for actually doing it.

P.S. Don't Cry for me Sargeant Major
18 Platoon by Sidney Jary and the set texts, Serve to lead(boring) Young Officer's guide to the Queen's Commission, very useful for YO's
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