Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival by H. John Poole

The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival by H. John Poole is a how-to/call to arms book on small unit tactics. Poole a former Marine believes that the American military is to interested in firepower and technology as opposed to rifleman skills.

The technology-heavy US military led from the rear is contrasted with "Eastern militaries" that gives all soldiers tactical training on concealment, silent killing, reconnaissance and night fighting. Eastern militaries are the Soviet, Chinese, North Korean, Japanese Vietnamese and Germans from World War I through World War II. There are frequent references to both historical battles as well as examples of training and strategy from textbooks. Interestingly his historical analysis helps explain some things I hadn't realized about the Korean war. Particularly the use of tunnels to go underneath American units to appear in the rear.

My one major criticism is that Poole seems to have swallowed ninja myths without much skepticism. He even includes such strange ideas of soldiers becoming invisible and being able to mind control opposition forces. Because he is interested in giving tactical advice the book can be hard to read. There's not much narrative here.

There are appendices with suggestions for new training techniques and a bibliography.

Recommended with caveats.

Is available through Abebooks.

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