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Best War/Combat Autobiography


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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 May 2009 14:59:10 BDT
D. M. Morgan says:
Can anyone recommend a good detailed autobiography of the affects of war on soldiers.

Especially for combat operations post-1980.

I have already read Simon Westons and Tony Mcnally's "Watching Men Burn"

Thanks

Posted on 25 May 2009 16:49:29 BDT
N. Griffiths says:
I'm not expert in this area, and this is a WWII book, but I found it utterly compelling as an account of battle and the psychological effects on those fighting...

The Forgotten Soldier (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS)

Posted on 25 May 2009 20:10:45 BDT
Barry Mullen says:
Try "Madness Visible - A Memoir of War" by Jannine di Giovanni for an excellent, vivid and human account on the Balkans war

Posted on 25 May 2009 20:34:24 BDT
Barry Mullen says:
'Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq' by Padraig O'Keeffe - top class book

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2009 12:00:02 BDT
Mr. N. Hall says:
Barefoot Soldier was my favorite book so far, young carib' man joins british army and ends up a few years later with the victoria cross. Modern book about the war in iraq.

Posted on 26 May 2009 18:43:41 BDT
Crookster says:
Whilst not an autobiography, Richard Holmes' Acts of War is excellent.

Posted on 26 May 2009 20:16:17 BDT
Bobby Smith says:
'The Forgotten Soldier', as already mentioned by N Griffiths, really is a top read. Also try: 'On the Psychology of Military Incompetence' by Norman Dixon.

Posted on 27 May 2009 10:24:51 BDT
CJ says:
I can recommend two - Tim O'Brien's "If I Die In A Combat Zone," and "The Soldier's Song" by Ken Lukavitch (that last name is misspelled, I'm sure). Both are excellent memoirs and well worth your time.

Posted on 3 Jun 2009 21:39:57 BDT
David Webb says:
If your looking for books on the effects on soldiers you must read Fireforce and Out of action by Chris Cocks. Its about the Rhodesian bush war and Out Of Action especially deals with the authors experiences after he had left the army, basically it is the story of a young man, brutalized by war, who seeks escape in alcohol and drugs, and who, in the process, causes immeasurable pain and suffering to those around him. I cant recommend it enough, if you cant find it on amazon, check out 30degreessouth.co.uk. I've re-read it 3 times now.

Posted on 3 Jun 2009 21:40:56 BDT
David Webb says:
If your looking for books on the effects on soldiers you must read Fireforce and Out of action by Chris Cocks. Its about the Rhodesian bush war and Out Of Action especially deals with the authors experiences after he had left the army, basically it is the story of a young man, brutalized by war, who seeks escape in alcohol and drugs, and who, in the process, causes immeasurable pain and suffering to those around him. I cant recommend it enough, if you cant find it on amazon, check out 30degreessouth.co.uk. I've re-read it 3 times now.

Posted on 3 Jun 2009 21:42:34 BDT
David Webb says:
If your looking for books on the effects on soldiers you must read Fireforce and Out of action by Chris Cocks. Its about the Rhodesian bush war and Out Of Action especially deals with the authors experiences after he had left the army, basically it is the story of a young man, brutalized by war, who seeks escape in alcohol and drugs, and who, in the process, causes immeasurable pain and suffering to those around him. I cant recommend it enough, if you cant find it on amazon, check out 30degreessouth.co.uk. I've re-read it 3 times now.

Posted on 3 Jun 2009 21:45:44 BDT
David Webb says:
oops didn't mean to post 3 times!!! (slow internet)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2009 07:48:13 BDT
If I Die In A Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien
or
Nam by Mark Baker (which contains a lot of different recollections of various soldiers.

Posted on 6 Jun 2009 17:53:51 BDT
Mark Klobas says:
I'd recommend something a little before the post-1980 period: 'With the Old Breed' by E. B. Sledge.

Posted on 6 Jun 2009 18:52:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2009 18:52:39 BDT
T. Franklin says:
For something from a different perspective, I heartily recommend the autobiography of the great war photographer Don McCullin, "Unreasonable Behaviour". The psychological impact his experiences of Biafra, Vietnam and so on had on him was profound, and still affects him to this day.

Posted on 7 Jun 2009 17:22:36 BDT
Jon says:
I thought House to House by David Bellavia, about the US troops in Fallujah was pretty intense.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2009 07:59:59 BDT
Me too. Having many book on the subject, this was the first book that came to mind

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2009 21:05:29 BDT
Joanne Bury says:
sniper one and barefoot soldier by johson beharry who won the vc in iraq

Posted on 12 Jun 2009 11:06:26 BDT
P. Forrester says:
Danger Close & Moment of Truth by Michael Yon
Sniper One by Dan Mills
3 Para by Pat Bishop

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2009 09:43:22 BDT
Close Quarter Battle by Mike Curtis; One Crowded Hour by Neil Davis, Although not a soldier, and of Vietnam era, this is a cracking read!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2009 20:18:55 BDT
Davetids says:
Sledge's book is a great read.

I highly recommend it.

You should also read the four Donald Burgett books.

Mark Baker's Nam has already been name-checked, but Chickenhawk and Dispatches are essential also.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2009 23:25:07 BDT
hypergod says:
'Dispatches' by Michael Herr was called "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time" by John le Carre and The New York Times Book Review called it the best "to have been written about the Vietnam war". It's about his time as the war correspondent for Esquire Magazine in Vietnam. Fascinating and frightening and truly indispensible.
Love.

Posted on 16 Jun 2009 18:32:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2009 18:34:35 BDT
Jibber says:
Having read many of the books mentioned above (and enjoyed many of them), I will add one that imvho is well worth a read.

"Trusted Mole" by Milos Stankovic
Trusted Mole: A Soldier's Journey into Bosnia's Heart of Darkness

Written by a Para Regt Major who, as the son of Serbian parents, was one of the few Serbo-Croat speakers in the British Army at the time of the Bosnian War (a time I was also serving in the Balkans, though way down the food chain from these guys); he was initially tasked as a translator/liaison officer, but his job become much more.

He was eventually employed by General Michael Rose (UNPROFOR Commander....a character himself who Milos' insight to adds to the plot) as a 'fixer' rushing around the conflict fixing various 'problems' for Rose and UNPROFOR.

His honest, frustrated and candid insight to his corner of the war, meeting some of the main political and military 'heads' of all sides as well as the "little people" of Bosnia and Sarajevo makes this one of my all time favourite reads and a big eye-opener of one man's very small view of a very complicated conflict. You can almost feel his sadness, frustration and at times humour amongst that terrible conflict.

Posted on 16 Jun 2009 21:02:04 BDT
Iris Ellis says:
this might be a bit early history for you guys, but i can strongly recommend,REMINISCENCES OF THE CIVIL WAR. by general John B Gordon. a very detailed account of the American Civil War seen through the eyes of a truly great soldier.

Posted on 17 Jun 2009 18:04:57 BDT
Kingo says:
The best memoirs i have read is a rare book called moscow tram stop, about a german docter on the eastern front if you can get it i would recommend it!
Again Forgotten soldier is another cracking book as is sniper on the eastern front. These books are an amazing incite to the horrors suffered on the eastern front by the average german soldier at the hands of the advancing russians.
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Participants:  31
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  25 May 2009
Latest post:  3 Jul 2009

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