trying to locate 2 books based on reference in W.E.B. Griffin

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trying to locate 2 books based on reference in W.E.B. Griffin

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Maio 7, 2013, 2:20pm

In one of W.E.B. Griffin's 'Brotherhood of War' series, two young officers in Vietnam (or perhaps Korea) make friends with each other because they discover --in their leisure hours--that they are each reading from the same two classic military manuals. They go to trade books with each other and find they possess the same titles.

I'm trying to identify the names of the manuals.

Any help? Thx

Maio 7, 2013, 10:08pm

Are you certain they are actual books? Assuming they are, are they modern (20th c.) texts, or could they be Clausewitz or Sun Tzu, for example? Better yet, post here as much of the Griffin descriptions that you can!

You also might try the Name That Book group, it's amazing what they have been able to identify and with very little info.

Editado: Maio 7, 2013, 10:32pm

Yep, I'm pretty sure they are real-life military books on tactics. They could have been books from WWI, or WWII. They were books that both officers found deeply relevant to their mission.

The scene where they meet is in camp, perhaps rainy, where there is a long period of inactivity and ennui for the regiment--both of them have become bored flipping through the books (these two books) which they've each read repeatedly. At the very same time, each of them wanders around camp looking to scare up some new reading material, via a temporary trade with another officer. They meet--only knowing each other slightly--and when the books are brought out for trade they burst into laughter because they both own the same works.

The characters were conscientious officers, idealists, men who worked at their craft even when not on duty. They are young, and slightly bookwormish--and this thoughtfulness helps them form their bond.

Feel sure it would have to be Lieutenants or Captains, maybe Majors? From Griffin's series?

Maio 7, 2013, 11:44pm

I've not read any Griffin: should have said that. I was hoping to learn about the books. I was wondering if they might have been Ranger School manuals or something from OTC, but I know of these things from my father referring to his experience, not from my own experience, so I won't be able to help much in that regard.

I do recommend posting in the Name That Book group, there's a chance someone else who's read the book and identified them already will see your post. It really is quite uncanny how the requests in that group seem to find successful answers.

Maio 8, 2013, 12:02am

Really hard to say especially if we're not sure which war there fighting in. If it's Vietnam then yeah it's likely to be Art of war Or even maybe the USMC's Small Wars Manual. It's more a memoir then manual but there's always something like Seven Pillars of Wisdom..

Editado: Maio 8, 2013, 11:48am

Thanks guys. I really lean toward the notion that the two books were historical in nature but also highly technical. Something not just to read for one's leisure; but to study, refer to, and put into practice as a field officer in campaign. Something instrumental and widely-known among, military men.

A good candidate would be 'Infantry Attacks' by Erwin Rommel; but I've already read that book. I'm also familiar with other famous works of military history and strategy such as Sun-Tzu and Musashi and Clauswitz.

What I'm saying is, I probably already know and own the two books; but I just want to confirm what they were. The titles were explicitly stated in the Griffin narrative and Griffin usually has a reason for anything he does, within the pages of his works. He doesn't waste time detailing something only to throw it away, later.

#4: What are these books like? Easily summed up:

W.E.B. Griffin writes very smooth, highly-readable, polished novels of American servicemen in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. They're character-rich and well-detailed; a great series of novels showcasing the types of men who typically served the U.S. during those conflicts. Not just their service careers are covered, but also their private relationships, romances, personal commitments, and family bonds are all examined. Usually the story-climax brings about a crisis of conscience or ethic which they must confront; set off against the backdrop of a famous battle or historical event. WEB Griffin writes very nobly about issues of loyalty and duty.

He focuses primarily on Marines and Army; but with some books devoted exclusively to small units like SEALs, commandos, Rangers, LRPs, etc (unsurprising trend, given the rabid appetite for increased military violence in today's male computer-game audiences)

Maio 8, 2013, 1:04pm

Ah! I hadn't realised Griffin named the books in his novel, and you're trying to remember them! I thought it was more a matter of puzzling out which books he meant, inferring from the characters and the setting.

If someone had the eBook edition, they could search for it!

Thanks for your summary of the books, I've not been compelled to pick up a Griffin title, but mostly I thought he wrote in the vein of Clancy. My Dad's side of the family is career military, and my Granddad especially seemed to share your reading interests, so I've focused on military history titles I inherited from him. Less emphasis on novels, and more on memoir or popular journalism. I haven't made it through that stack, but maybe I'll add Griffin once I do.

Maio 8, 2013, 1:25pm

Ha! Isn't the internet a wonderful boost to clear, transparent, lucid, communication? :p

Maio 8, 2013, 10:33pm

Black and white and read all over (the place)!

Would appreciate if you posted when (if) you figure out those 2 manuals, I consider myself invested at this point.

Editado: Maio 8, 2013, 10:47pm


Another clue: I can narrow it down based on the only Griffin books I've read. It was either: The Lieutenants, The Captains, The Majors, or Semper Fi. I think. See, I hate Colonels and Generals, and I probably wouldn't have read those two titles on a matter of principle.

I've only read 3-5 of his books; (none of his later series dealing with SEALS or Secret Service or The Ceremonial Flag Unit or The Quartermasters or anything like that).

Maio 19, 2013, 12:40pm

I haven't read them since I was a teenager but I'm pretty sure one was Clausewitz On War. I seem to recall several references to Clausewitz in the series. Don't hold me to it though as that was many years ago!

Maio 21, 2013, 5:25am

Lieutenants,Captains and Majors take place 1946- early 1950s. One of the main characters,Lowell, was an armor officer during that time and commanded armor during the Korean War. Books on armored warfare may be a good starting point.

It's been a long time since I read the books but F.W. Mellenthin's Panzer Battles seems to ring a bell. I'll look through my copies to see for sure.

Maio 21, 2013, 11:22am

thanks, buddy!!

Set 9, 2013, 3:10am

I know that I'm late in posting this but the books that were being referred to were probably Street Without Joy and Hell in a Very Small Place, both by Bernard Fall. Those two books were highly recommended for USMC company grade officers in early '65 when I went to Vietnam on my first tour.

Maio 30, 2018, 11:21am

Well now. Thank you very much! This is gossip I'd hadn't heard. I don't know either of those titles. Bravo to you for piping up!