Lions, Donkeys And Dinosaurs: Waste and Blundering in the Military Paperback – 5 Apr 2007
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"He... writes with force and wit...Page's book deserves attention... Offers a guide to the armed forces and their problems which anybody who cares about them should read... Page does a splendid job of sharpening axes." (Max Hastings Sunday Telegraph)
"'Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs is a Fast Food Nation for the armed forces... It is very unlikely that anything this entertaining or important will be written on military matters this year. It deserves to be a bestseller, and perhaps it will be if red-faced civil servants are sent out to buy up every copy before the public can get their hands on it.'" (Independent)
"'Devastating... In my own recent book on modern follies I suggested that defence procurement policy was so corrupt...that only a satirist could do it justice. Page is that satirst.'" (Francis Wheen Daily Express)
"It's very unlikely that anything this entertaining or important will be written on military matters this year. It deserves to be a bestseller" (Independent on Sunday)
"Page writes with force and wit...I hope he soon gets the job he deserves, as a defence correspondent in the national media. The MoD and chiefs of staff might tremble in their boots about the consequences, but that is as it should be. Page does a splendid job" (Sir Max Hastings Sunday Telegraph)
A biting, controversial and hilarious polemic on the curious ways of the British armed forces by a brilliant young former Naval Officer. With a preface by Harold Evans (the legendary former editor of the Sunday Times) and a brand new afterword by the author, bringing the book right up to date.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book does an excellent job of demonstrating that for all the attempts at bi-partisanship between Tories and Labour over the war, the political tensions within the forces are alive and well and never went away.
And, of course, he shows up massive incompetence within MoD and BAe, which won't be a surprise to anyone who has observed any government project up close.
The writing style is similar to that of Ben Goldacre, of "Bad Science" fame, and Lewis Page seems to have similar concerns about the competence of journalists to hold the government to account on defence expenditure.
Non-military buffs like me will definitely need to use the glossary - a lot.
After some checks - it seems factually correct to me. Indeed, I can't find the inconsistancies profered by his detractors and wonder about their motivations.
First read this not long after it came out but have now felt I had to write a review because it deserves more than 4 stars. I can only assume that those who marked it down have an agenda or are incapable of critical thought.
Basically Page provides an overview of the kinds of equipment used by our Forces and comes to the conclusion that a great deal of what our Forces have is either unnecessary (now) or rubbish (in many cases). If there is good stuff, there's usually not much of it. For example, Page dismisses frigates and destroyers as pointless because hunting submarines (frigate work) is better performed by aircraft or other submarines, while destroying aircraft (destroyer work) is better done by other aircraft because of the threat of anti-ship missiles...only 1 has to get through any screen a destroyer can put up. Therefore a future Navy would consist of either submarines or ships carrying planes...for surface-vessel officers this is not sexy work...no more sleek, dashing surface ships??! Unthinkable! Of course, some surface ships are needed but (to my mind) they would be Patrol ships that are simple, can carry a couple of helicopters and have provision for some troops...perfect for light humanitarian/rescue/evacuation tasks. Needless to say the RN is still busy buying frigates and destroyers. To escort our aircraft carriers perhaps...oh sorry, we don't have any.
Page points out, to this reader's shock, just how over-officered our Forces are. But the Forces are a public organisation and anyone who works in a public organisation today just how 'over-managered' they are (I work in the emergency services now...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well worth reading. Challenges the conventional view of our underfunded armed forces and suggests they get plenty of money, but waste it buying rubbish and on huge numbers of... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Neil McCann
The entertaining, light hearted style makes the underlying analysis all the more dispiriting and shocking. One hopes Page will write an updated version. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marion Claire
Details in a clear and entertaining manner the inefficient and convoluted way in which interservice rivalries and departmental job creation has wrecked our armed forces and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by B. Sadler
A brilliant book made all the more poignant by the professionalism and bravery of British soldiers, airmen, and sailors. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David Null
Well-written account of where the military establishment could improve. Whilst the examples given are now more than ten years out of date, it is still frightening to see how badly... Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Wickins
A good read and interesting insight into britains armed forces.Published 11 months ago by Iain blackburn