USMC recommended reading list

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Tartan_Terrier, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. Whilst browsing the USMC home page, I found a link to a page with a recommended list categorised by rank.

    I thought it was an interesting idea, and there were some cracking books amonst them. What do you think of their suggestions?

    United States Marine.....a Lifetime of Reading
    The titles listed below are required to be read by all Marines while serving in the grade shown. These titles are specifically focused on warfighting. Leaders are expected to have read all books of those grades junior to the grades they currently hold, and to engage their juniors and peers in frequent discussion of these titles. Our goal is achieving excellence in warfighting based on competence and comradeship.

    I. Required Reading by Grade
    a. Private to Lance Corporal
    i. A Message to Garcia
    ii. Rifleman Dodd by C.S. Forster
    iii. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
    iv. The Soldier’s Load by S.L.A. Marshall
    v. The Defense of Duffer’s Drift by E.D. Swinton
    vi. Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
    vii. Constitution of the United States

    b. Corporal to Sergeant
    i. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
    ii. Battle Leadership by Adolph Von Schell
    iii. With the Old Breed at Pelelieu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge
    iv. The Bridge at Dong Ha by John Miller
    v. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
    vi. The United States Marines: A History by BGen E.H. Simmons
    vii. The Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara
    viii. Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
    ix. Fields of Fire by James Webb
    x. Tip of the Spear by Sgt G. J. Michaels

    c. Staff Sergeant of Marines
    i. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Griffith translation is recommended)
    ii. The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer
    iii. Pegasus Bridge by Stephen Ambrose
    iv. We Were Soldiers Once and Young by Moore and Galloway
    v. Phase Line Green-The Battle for Hue 1968 by Nicholas Warr
    vi. The Village by Francis West
    vii. This Kind of War by T.R. Fehrenbach
    viii. The Arab Mind by R. Patai
    ix. Attacks! By Erwin Rommel

    d. Gunnery Sergeant
    i. Semper Fidelis: The History of the U.S. Marine Corps by Allan Millet
    ii. Navajo Weapon by Sally McClain
    iii. Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose
    iv. Breakout by Martin Russ
    v. My American Journey by Colin Powell
    vi. Unaccustomed Fear by Roger Willock
    vii. Savage Wars Peace by Max Boot
    viii. Command in War by Martin Van Creveld

    e. Master Sergeant and First Sergeant
    i. Bayonet Forward! By Joshua Chamberlain
    ii. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
    iii. Defeat into Victory by William Slim
    iv. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
    v. Strong Men Armed by Robert Leckie
    vi. The Mask of Command by John Keegan
    vii. War in the Shadows by R. B. Asprey
    viii. The Face of Battle by John Keegan

    f. Master Gunnery Sergeant to Sergeant Major
    i. First to Fight by Victor Krulak
    ii. Fortune Favors the Brave by Bruce Myers
    iii. Reminiscences of a Marine by John A. Lejeune
    iv. No Bended Knee by Merill Twining

    g. Warrant Officer
    i. Small Wars Manual
    ii. Leading Marines MCWP 6-11
    iii. Victory at High Tide by Robert Haint
    iv. The Armed Forces Officer by S.L.A. Marshall
    v. The Quiet American by Graham Greene

    h. Officer Candidate, Cadet, Midshipman
    i. Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester
    ii. A Message to Garcia
    iii. The United States Marines: A History by BGen E. H. Simmons
    iv. MCDP-1 Warfighting
    v. Chesty by Jon Hoffman

    i. Second Lieutenant
    i. Rifleman Dodd by C.S Forester
    ii. On Infantry by John English & Bruce Gudmundsson
    iii. This Kind of War by T. R. Fehrenback
    iv. Cleared Hot by Bob Stoffey
    v. Fields of Fire by James Web
    vi. Chancellorsville by Stephen W. Sears
    vii. The Easter Offensive by G. H. Turley
    viii. The Face of Battle by John Keegan
    ix. The Arab Mind by R. Patai

    j. First Lieutenant and Chief Warrant Officer 2
    i. The Ugly American by Lederer and Burdick
    ii. Reminiscences of a Marine by John a Lejeune
    iii. A People Numerous and Armed by John Shy
    iv. All for the Union by Elisha Hunt Rhodes
    v. The Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger
    vi. Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
    vii. Company Commander by Charles B. MacDonald
    viii. The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer
    ix. Utmost Savagery by Joseph Alexander
    x. Attacks! By Erwin Rommel

    k. Captain and Chief Warrant Officer 3
    i. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Griffith translation is best)
    ii. Fields of Battle by John Keegan
    iii. Goodbye Darkness by William Manchester
    iv. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
    v. Unaccustomed to Fear by Roger Willcock
    vi. Command in War by Martin Van Creveld
    vii. Eagle Against the Sun by Ronald Specter
    viii. Stonewall in the Valley by Robert G. Tanner
    ix. Savage Wars of Peace by Max Boot
    x. Infantry in Battle compiled by George C. Marshall
    xi. Field Artillery and Firepower by J.B.A Bailey
    xii. Terrorism Today by Christopher Harmon

    l. Major and Chief Warrant Officer 4
    i. Grant Takes Command by Bruce Catton
    ii. The General by C.S. Forester
    iii. On War by Karl von Clausewitz (Howard ad Paret)
    iv. European Armies by Hew Strachan
    v. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
    vi. The Mask of Command by John Keegan
    vii. A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan
    viii. Crucible of War by Fred Anderson
    ix. Strategy by B. H. Liddell Hart
    x. The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff
    xi. For the Common Defense by Millet and Maslowski
    xii. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson
    xiii. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (“The Landmark” version by Strasser recommended)

    m. Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Warrant Officer 5
    i. A Revolutionary People at War by Charles Royster
    ii. Defeat into Victory by William Slim
    iii. Patton: A Genius for War by Carlo D’Este
    iv. The Army and Viet Nam by Andrew F. Krepinevich
    v. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence
    vi. One Hundred Days by ADM Sandy Woodward
    vii. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
    viii. Supplying War by Martin Van Creveld
    ix. Masters of War by Michael I. Handel
    x. The Roots of Blitzkrieg by James S. Corum
    xi. Frontiersmen in Blue by Robert M. Utley

    n. Colonel to General
    i. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James McPherson
    ii. Supreme Command by Eliot Cohen
    iii. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
    iv. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    v. Military Innovation in the Interwar Period by Murray and Millett
    vi. The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
    vii. Dereliction of Duty by H. R. McMaster
    viii. Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger
    ix. Carnage and Culture by Victor Davis Hanson
    x. Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower
    xi. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman; Edited by William S. McFeely
    xii. Feeding Mars by John Lynn
    xiii. Eisenhower’s Lieutenants by Russell S. Weigley
    xiv. Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat by Wayne P. Hughes Jr.
    xv. Generalship: Its Diseases and Their Cure by J. F. C. Fuller
    xvi. Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command by Jon T. Sumida
    xvii. The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler
  2. Its a cracking idea, but what is the aim? To impart a sense of awarness of military literary culture? There are some cracking books in there, but do the yanks think that this will make better soldiers of their men? Judging by the outward appearance and attitude of the average U.S.M.C soldier, you would find it hard to imagine them kicking back with a copy of 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. Luckily for them Band of Brothers is on DVD!!!!
  3. Excellent in principle, but am puzzled by the omission of a certain texts, notably:
    Norman F. Dixon - "On The Psychology Of Military Incompetence": for all NCOs & officers.
    Richard Holmes - "Firing Line" (U.S. title "Acts of War"): all ranks.
    Peter Hopkirk - "The Great Game": re Afghanistan/ Central Asia, C19th - for senior officers, and maybe SNCOs.
    Tony Jeapes - "Secret War": SNCOs & officers.
    Frank Kitson - "Bunch of Five", and many others: SNCOs & officers.
    George MacDonald Fraser - "Quartered Safe Out Here": all ranks.

    And, if the above suffer from being just too British, why nothing by David Hackworth or Bernard Fall? Hackworth, incidentally, makes some interesting/ trenchant comments on "Slam" Marsall, whose "minder" he was in Vietnam. In short, the selection seems a bit slanted to me: aimed to perpetuate a particular mind-set.

    Great to encourage intellectual development/ broaden historical & professional perspectives etc, but as someone once noted, minds are like parachutes; they only really function usefully if open.
  4. Interesting to see certain titles appearing on both sides of the Commissioning divide.
  5. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Also , although I am biased because he taught me:

    The Campaigns of Napoleon - Dr David Chandler RMAS Ed

    & maybe

    Picking up the Brass :)
  6. David Chandler IS on the list - the last text cited.
  7. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Whoops -thanks for that,

    But why not earlier? Oh well..... :)
  8. What, no Hitler My Part In His Downfall by Spike Milligan?
  9. I can't see Catch 22 on that list either :D
  10. Didnt know that they did these books with large text and pictures. Do these books have the Hollywood treatment and the Americans win everything. They obviously dont include recognition guides or how to spot the union jack. They dont even have time to read there ROE.