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Canadian Army Reading List- 11+ Years Of Suggestions and Ideas



I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions on good books about the CF. I would like to place on emphasis on personal accounts on combat and tactics at the platoon company, or even secion level. I‘ve found nothing but books about generals, strategy, politics, and logistics, going into long blabs about divisions and brigades and describe the fighting only as "heavy". Books on infantry would be preferred but I‘ll read about any combat arm. Some of the best books I‘ve read are the Sharp End (excellent read but highly opinionated) and the Guns of Normandy/Victory (great book for infantry and arty). Thanks for your suggestions.
FUS- see you unit RSS WO(OPs /trg Wo) about theARMY recommended reading list(dec 2001) . mostly, oriented towards officers, but some excellent volumes identified. for sec Pl stuff, dont restrict yourself to CDN volumes only. Personal suggestions- 1. Eat your weakest man by Rui Amaral( Cdn AB Regt in Somalia) 2. the Defence of Duffers Drift( circa 1900, British in South Africa,but a great "primer" for understanding defensive principles) 3. Quartered Safe out Here, by George Macdonald Fraser( British, in burma circa1944-45, very fine read , of a young fella who becomes a SEc Comd) :)
Thanks for the suggestions. I remember going through a recommended reading list on the Infantry Journal site. Was a little shocked to find starship troopers on it (didn‘t read the book but watched the movie, hilarious !) I did manage to read a few sections of "On Infantry" by John English, excellent descriptions of fighting formations from different countries during WW II, if I recall correctly. I also have been directed towards "Eat your weakest man" by other sources but haven‘t been able to score a copy. At the moment I‘m restricted to university and public libraries. One question about that book though, what the **** is up with that title ?!!
The movie "Starship Troopers" has almost nothing in common with the book. I highly recommend the book, as Heinlein offers some thought-provoking ideas on the military and politics.
The movie does a great injustice to the book. I recomend Starship Troopers to everybody.

:cool: Yard Ape
Tested Mettle and Eat Your Weakest Man are very good books. Eat Your Weakest Man is sold some kitshops and it‘s not as expensive as some of the hardcovers so it‘s a decent deal.
Tested Mettle is garbage, tho you might as well read it.
Starship Troopers is a great book, get your hands on it as soon as you can.
Somalia On $5 a Day discusses, in detail, American company and battalion level operations in the early phases of Somalia, as well as training and disaster relief Stateside. Lots of "Lessons Learned".

There‘s a wealth of British books out there... CQB is good, as are Black Water and First Into Action.

Blackhawk Down is a good account of a very modern incident, and a good book with lots of detail.

I‘ve heard good thinsg about some of Farley Mowat‘s books, and "Ortona" is good but very detailed and maybe not as grunt-oriented as you‘d like.

There‘s a couple books out by German soldiers in WW2, all excellent reads. I think one is called "Soldat".

there‘s two really good books that I cnat think of right now, and got rid of awhile ago. One is the diary/recollections of an American draftee in WW2 who fights in NW Europe and ends up a Platoon Sergeant by the end. Very detailed, very honest.

Another is about a USMC officer in Vietnam who takes comman dof a Force Recon unit and details - soldiers will recognize eveything he describes, from battle procedure to rehearsals to map recce‘s to patrol procedure. Wish I could remember it‘s name...
If you want to read about unwilling grunts try "There it is". It‘s about a Canadian who was drafted to fight in Vietnam. On one of his week long ops they sit in the same spot and call in fake sitreps while smoking herb and camping out!
You might also think about the books "Ortona" and "The Liri Valley",by an author whose surname is Zuelke(sp?), both of which are on the shelves. They describe in great detail all aspects of Canadian army combat operations in the Italian theatre at a time when the Canadian military was at its peak.
Looks like I got enought reading to last me till I get back to school. I tried to get a copy of Starshiptroopers from the library but they were all taken. Unfortuantely I was away from my PC and unable to look for any of the suggestions that were given. I‘m hoping to go to the big reserve ex in the states this march so I picked up a Tom Clancy books. It is a guided tour of the 82nd Airborne. I was bit dissappointed I couldnt find any half decent CDN books but I guess I‘ll have to try harder. Thanks for all the replies. :warstory:
As far as I know, the saying "eat your weakest man" comes from CWO Collier, CAR RSM in 1985-87 period. One of his favourite sayings was: "when the going gets tough, eat your weakest man" ;) . As for good books, someone mentioned "soldat", I believe the reference was to "Le soldat oublié" or "The forgotten soldier". It is the account of a young Frenchman whose mother was German and who joins the wermacht. Of course he is sent to the Eastern front, where he will fight for 3 years :( . I do not know if it is avail in english. Other good choices in french: "Un Canadien Français à Dieppe" (personal account of Lucien Dumais, Fus MR) and "Nous étions 177" (story of the 177 French members of no 4 Commando on D-day. :cdn:
Thanks for the suggestions but I can‘t read French. Do you know if there are any English translations of those books. I have never any books giving a francophone view point of any of the wars. It would probably be very interesting
There is a book called "Soldat", which is not the same as "The Forgotten Soldier". "Soldat" is written by a Wehrmacht artillery officer whose course commander during officer training was Erwin Rommel. It also goes into some detail of his post-War experience as a captive of the Russians. It doesn‘t get down and dirty like "The Forgotten Soldier", which is about a Frenchman fighting in the GrossDeutschland division on the eastern front.
For Canadian books, I restate my endorsement of "Ortona" and "The Liri Valley". Though not quite as good yarns as "Immediate Action" or "CQB", they are good depictions of Canadians at their best, and I hope someday they are required reading in schools.
I‘ll have to add orotona and liri valley to my reading list. Does anybody know of any books that deal with the 9th highland highland brigade of the 3rd CDN infantry div in world war II ? I believe I could find some good regimental history in any books speaking about that particular formation
Don‘t Forget "Bravo-Two-Zero" by Andy McNab.
excellant book in my (and quite a few friends) opinion.
Check out the page hosted by the Marine Corps‘ University on professional military reading:


I think you will find this a great resource for your military development.

Semper Fidelis,

I‘m a quater way through Tom Clancy‘s book on the 82 Airborne. Its been very informative so far in terms of training, org and equipment, and I can‘t wait until unitl he speaks more on combat. I‘ve read ahead and noticed that he has written a few mock scenarios which should be interesting. The only really boring part I have encountered was a short history on (yawn) the parachute. But I guess you cant be airborne without parachutes. Well you can but just for a very short while until you nosedive into the ground. I definetly want to give starship trooper a read as it is on almost every army‘s recommended reading list. I‘ve read Immediate Action by NcNab but didn‘t find it really interesting. Hopefully B20 will be different. Once I get starship troopers in I‘ll probably go for Ortona or Liri Valley since they will probably be easier to get a hold off and possibly soldat for a different perspective. Again, if anyone has any books on the 9th Brigade 3 CDN INF DIV WWII it would be highly appreciated. Thanks for all the suggestions thus far and keep them coming. :p
Jungle --

Is the CWO Collier referred to in your post the same as LFWA‘s first Area CWO (1991-1994 timeframe)?