Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Kind of War

"The function of soldiers is to fight, and if need be, to die" - this is the lesson, beautifully and humanly described here, of Korea, the American Army's heart-breaking introduction to the brush-fire war.

I was casting about for something to read after I finished "Lee, the Last Years", and found this book sitting on Sean's shelf. If there is a better military history writer from the point of view of a layman and casual history buff, I don't know him.

This really is a very special book with all the insight as well as the pathos of war. There are so many lessons unlearned, or should I say - learned at the beginning of every war - that are shown here. The humanity of the American solider is front and center as well, and the futility that so often marks his use.

Highly, highly recommended.

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