Military

Through the Wheat: U.S. Marines in World War I

Title: Through the Wheat: U.S. Marines in World War I
Author: BrigGen Edwin Simmons (USMC, ret) and Col Joseph Alexander (USMC,ret)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, Marines
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1591148316

One of the great defining moments in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps was their participation in World War I. These two highly regarded historians, recount this experience in great detail, capturing the spirit that earned the WWI Marines the sobriquet "Devil dogs," while providing an important combat study of the conflict. Names like Belleau Wood, Soissons, and St. Mihiel still resonate today, nearly a century later, and Simmons and Alexander leave no doubt as to why. Hand-to-hand combat as seen through the lenses of a gas mask is accompanied by cogent analysis and thought-provoking assessments of this war and its impact on the U.S. Marine Corps.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Simmons, Edwin
Alexander, Joseph

Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers

Title: Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers
Author: Jay Stout
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Military
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 159114843X

Texas lost many volunteers during its hard-won fight for independence from Mexico, but one harrowing episode stands out. Following a one-sided battle on the prairie near Coleto Creek, 250 mostly American prisoners were marched back to the presidio at Goliad where they were joined by more than 200 others. Subsequently, on orders from President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, they were brutally slaughtered on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The loss of so many fighting men in a single day was, at the time, one of the largest in U.S. history. The reaction in Texas was one of horror, fear, and, for some, a lust for revenge. The revulsion felt throughout the United States turned American sympathies against Mexico and its efforts to preserve its territorial integrity. Based on extensive research, this book offers a powerful description of what happened and an astute analysis of why it happened. For historical background, it also presents an overview of Texas and Mexican history and the factors that led to the massacre.

As a career military officer, author Jay Stout offers insights not grasped by other writers on the subject. He pays particular attention to the leadership on both sides during the revolution and discusses why the massacre has been largely ignored in the years since. Stout deglamorizes the fight against Santa Anna and his army, while at the same time acknowledging the Mexican perspective and the motivations of Mexico's leaders. The author's dynamic writing style, combined with the compelling subject matter, makes this book attractive to everyone interested in the military, Texas, and American history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Stout, Jay

Leathernecks: An Illustrated History of the United States Marine Corps

Title: Leathernecks: An Illustrated History of the United States Marine Corps
Authors: Merrill Bartlett & Jack Sweetman
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 159114020X

The authors of the highly regarded history The U.S. Marine Corps have written a new work that combines a lively, well-researched narrative with a generous selection of photographs and paintings, many in full color, and numerous maps to provide an illustrated history of the U.S. Marine Corps from its inception to the present day. The combination of a wealth of art, a substantial text, and a balanced perspective make the work unique in the literature of the Corps. Many of its illustrations have never before been published or have appeared only in black and white. Unlike other histories of the Corps, this one relies heavily on primary sources and original research.

The authors explain how and why a force that throughout the first century of its existence seldom exceeded the strength of an infantry regiment still managed to attain a strength greater than that of many armies, and developed what is arguably the world's most potent military mystique. Because the history of any institution is the product of the actions of the individuals contained within it, the book includes cameos of some of those who made exceptional contributions to the Corps' rich heritage. An introductory chapter outlines the evolution of marine forces from ancient times to the eve of the American Revolution. Neither a rehash of old histories nor a repeat of unsupported sea stories and fictional tales, this new study brings the Corps' history fully up to date.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Sweetman, Jack
Bartlett, Merrill

For the Good of the Many

Title: For the Good of the Many
Author: Gary Carter
Genre: Fiction, Literary, Military
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1424138515

After surviving a helicopter crash during the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, Marine corporal Jason McBride and his fellow survivors are captured and tortured by a sadistic Viet Cong captain. Afterward, orchestrating a harrowing escape, Jason is awarded the Silver Star for bravery. Now, in contemporary America, with the world on the brink of war over dwindling oil supplies, Jason finds that he and his men are being hunted down by the CIA, under orders from the President to get them off the streets, dead or alive. What happened in Vietnam to make Jason, now a rich and powerful attorney, the victim of a nationwide manhunt? Betrayed by the country they sacrificed for, can Jason and his fellow Marines get to the bottom of things before they are killed? Or will they go the way of countless other veterans, caught up in a web of lies and deceit with some of the most powerful men in Washington?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Carter, Gary

Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor

Title: Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor
Author: John D. Lock
Genre: Non-fiction, Military History
Reviewer: Jim Stewart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1587364999

For more than 200 years, U.S. Army Rangers have fought suicidal combat missions against overwhelming odds-earning their unrivaled reputation as the world's premier close-combat warriors. In Rangers in Combat, Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Lock vividly brings to life the horrific battles and the heroic exploits of a special breed of men for whom "valor, honor, and country" mean more than life itself.

Take a stand with Robert Rogers and his outnumbered Rangers during the French and Indian War. Ride with Mosby on the Soughton Raid in the Civil War. In World War II, spearhead Patton's invasion of Sicily beside the legendary William O. Darby, suicidally climb the cliffs of Pointe-du-Hoc with James Earl Rudder, or storm "bloody Omaha" with Max Schneider. Stand outnumbered deep in North Korea while defending Hill 205 against overwhelming hordes of Communist Chinese. And high atop a mountain in Afghanistan, fight your way out of a savage al Qaeda terrorist ambush.

From the snowy forests of Upstate New York and the swamps of South Carolina, to the humid streets of Mogadishu and the snowy mountain peaks of Afghanistan, read accounts of and lessons learned from some of the most courageous, daring, and vicious ground combat in the annals of U.S. military history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Lock, John D.

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