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18 Platoon [Hardcover]

Sydney Jary
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Light Infantry Office; 4th Revised edition edition (Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901655016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901655018
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any aspiring leader........ 2 Sep 2005
Simply, this is one of the best accounts of military biography every written. Thoroughly inspirational and captivating is Sydney Jary's bio of a his naive yet unwittingly forward thinking infantry command. Sydney Jary writes with an accessibility ensuring all can be enveloped in 18 Platoon.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Officer and a Gentle Man 17 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sydney Jary led 18 platoon of 4/Somerset Light Infantry in Normandy, the Netherlands and Germany in 1944 and 1945. Working with excellent NCOs he built the sort of "band of brothers" that forms the backbone of all armies; and had the ability to encapsulate this bond in a splendid little book. Jary's writing is almost in the same class as John Masters' BUGLES AND A TIGER (I think I've read Masters a dozen times and had four versions "liberated" by chums). Not only does it perfectly encapsulate friendship and pride of corps; but it avoids either a winsomely Great War Poets approach or that of the opposite Captain Hurricane Jerry killers persuasion. Jary clearly enjoys combat, yet admits to be being a pacifist at times. His section on looking into the destroyed assault guns is a good example of the latter.

For the military reader there are some very useful points on the supposed superiority of the Wehrmacht over the BLA and some interesting comments on the American army and how it treated its squaddies. There is also plenty of the chaos and sudden surprise of close combat, and with Jary close is exactly what combat is.

For those interested in leadership this (and Masters' book) are very thought-provoking though perhaps one cannot carry over principles hardened in combat to how you run a board meeting. Jary has some poignant comments on re-entering civilian life. Perhaps the book's strongest point is its decency.

Thoroughly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking Stuff 23 May 2001
An absolute must-read for all those interested in military history. Jary tells the story of his time as an infantry platoon commander from Normandy to the end of the war. He joined his platoon on D+3 and was the only platoon commander to serve in Normandy that was still with the Battalion at the end of the war.
It is a brutal and bloody existence and the book pulls no punches, or if it does then I'm sure glad I never went to war.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By GTL544
I've met the man - a more humble gentleman you would struggle to meet. His common sense approach to war fighting, training and leadership is perfectly recounted in this classic yet under-stated account.

It's a must for anyone who wants to know what war fighting is like for real, who wants to learn how to lead soldiers. It is compulsory reading for OCdts at Sandhurst and provides a sane balance to the sometimes over the top attitude of military trainers.

Equally, for anyone interested in human nature in hard times, read this book - it'll make you think how lucky you are that you never had to face what S Jary and his soldiers did.
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