5 must-have military books
Vacations are coming and so are the moments of relaxation. And as often happens, we take the opportunity to buy a few books that end up in various states: some haven't even been opened, others barely started and others almost finished with a few chapters to go!
This year, we decided to do the right thing and recommend a few books that we liked and that we're sure you'll want to finish! (Check out the books on our online store by clicking on their cover).
The autobiographical account of the most famous American sniper: Christopher Scott Kyle, known as Chris Kyle, author of more than 250 lethal shots and who will perish at home in the United States, assassinated by an ex-marine to whom he was trying to do a favor. After 4 rotations in Iraq, it's an unfortunate irony, isn't it?
This story chronicles virtually all of Chris Kyle's life, from his childhood in Texas to his deployments to Iraq, his wife's anguish, his BUD/S training, and the powerful meaning of being a member of the Navy SEALs, one of the U.S.
Army's elite corps, and fighting, in that order, for God, country and family. Chris Kyle, called "Legend" by his comrades and "al-Shaitan", the devil, by his enemies, is one of those personalities that you either love or hate, but his story cannot be swept aside as the perfect symbol and progenitor of modern, Western war culture.
Many books on war sometimes leave a bitter taste, as if the American firepower was unstoppable, unshakeable, ignoring all feelings, with the impression of already knowing the end.
But Operation Red Wing of June 28, 2005 will remain apart. Marcus Luttrell, a member of the Navy SEALs, was the only survivor of a commando of four operators deployed in the Afghan mountains.
After a fierce battle, which saw the death of nearly 19 of his companions, he was saved by an old Afghan Pashtun tradition. He, the American, an over-trained Navy SEAL, will owe his life only to a 2000 year old custom.
This book could be divided into two parts: Marcus Luttrell's childhood and his journey to Operation Red Wing.
For those who have seen the adapted film (Blood and Tears, by Peter Berg, released in 2013), this book will give you a different and much more complete, and complex, view of the entire operation. An exciting and captivating story.
For me THE must-have of the selection and one of my favorite books to read. This book is about the entry of the GIs in the Iraqi city of Fallouja in 2004 and the harshness of the fighting between over-equipped American soldiers and determined militiamen.
This book is raw, and depicts with the power of words, what war is really like. But not the modern war, no. Urban warfare, intense, narrow, dirty, psychologically suffocating and physically grueling.
The author describes with precision the fights, night and day, the wounds, the traps and the whole deafening ambient "mess" of a murderous city that does not sleep and where death awaits you at every crossroads or behind every door.
And among all this, hallucinating scenes: dancing soldiers, carefree enemies who send out blasts, abandoned dogs who follow you, houses that collapse under shells and bullets...in short, a burning, brutal story that doesn't make any bones.
This autobiographical work retraces the youth of Alain A., a small-time hustler from the northern neighborhoods of Marseille who became Marius, one (the?) most emblematic of the Marine commandos and the most well-known military figure in the French army.
Marius explains to us, with frankness, passion and value, his journey and all that he has endured and gone through to get to where he is today.
This story has resonated with the many military personnel who have read it and is probably the most personal book of the selection.
When a little punk decides to take his life into his own hands and gets the green beret of the Commandos Marine, one can only admire. Respect Marius. And thank you.
The one who escaped
We often talk about the GIGN, the SEALs, the Delta Force, or the Marine Commandos. But the operators of the British SAS (Special Air Service) are also among the cream of the crop of elite soldiers. Chris Ryan, ex SAS turned novelist, is the author of this book and recounts the mission of the Bravo Two Zero patrol in which an 8-man commando team infiltrated behind Iraqi enemy lines in 1991, with the mission of destroying and sabotaging specific targets. Of these 8 men, only one will escape: Chris Ryan. This authentic story keeps us on the edge of our seats all along and shows us what some men are capable of doing. Isolated, without supplies and with only his mental strength, Chris Ryan delivers a true testimony of the field, a true lesson of courage and abnegation of a mission which, even today, left him several psychological and physical after-effects. Cheers Ryan !
We hope that this small selection will make you want to dive into one of these stories. Don't hesitate to leave your opinion in comments !