Military Non-fiction


Active Member
Some books

1.) "On War" by Carl von Clausewitz

A brilliant, deep and complex book, often quoted, seldom read. It is the foundation of the modern western military thought.

I think the best the approach to it before starting to turn pages is a simple one:
Still, notwithstanding this imperfect form, I believe that an impartial reader thirsting for truth and knowledge will rightly appreciate in the first six books the fruits of several years' reflection and a diligent study of War, and that, perhaps, he will find in them the leading ideas which may bring about a revolution in this theory
I rate it 5 out of 5, summa cum laude.

I liked the Six Days of War. thanks OPSSG.


New Member
Reading now: "Kill Bin Laden" by Dalton Fury, an account of U.S. Delta's, Green Berets', and UK SBS's attempts to capture/kill bin Laden in Tora Bora in mid-December of 2001, prior to his alleged escape to Pakistan via the Khyber Pass. It's basically the military perspective of "Jawbreaker".

"Delta Force" by founder Col. Beckwith, great account of his training w/the SAS, subsequent tour in Vietnam, and the creation of Delta. Also includes the intricate planning that went into Eagle Claw and its execution. I really enjoyed it.

I like John Keegan's books, like "Intelligence in War" and "A History of Warfare", despite his rising unpopularity (he's a supporter of the Iraq War and a critic of Clausewitz, whose book "On War" is good too).

"The Rommel Papers": excellent account by the Desert Fox himself and finished by his son of his campaigns in France and Africa. The African details are especially impressive as he describes each of his own and British attacks, their effectiveness, and his supply problem.


New Member
I keep coming back to "Bugles and a Tiger", and "The Road Past Mandalay" by John Masters.

Easy reads, and and interesting insight into the Chindit campaign in the latter.

They also both (unintentionally) helped me understand a little bit about the background to the current Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts


Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
I quite enjoyed "The Gun" by C.J. Chivers. The author is a former USMC officer and has served in combat. He is now a journalist, working for the NY Times amongst others. The book focuses on the history of Mikhail Kalashnikov's long-stroke gas piston rifle design, commonly referred to as the AK-47 (and the various version following this, AKM, AK-74, etc.), how it was developed, and how this platform spread throughout the world during the Cold War.

The book also reflects on the very first machine gun designs (Gatling, Maxim, etc.), as well as Kalashnikov's life and how it was affected by his success as a small arms designer. There is also a small chapter about the M16 and how the two rifles matched up in Vietnam.

Sadly, the book does not go into detail on the various offsprings of the AK platform, e.g. the Valmets, the Sig 55X series, or the FN FNC.

All in all, a very interesting read, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in small arms design.


Banned Member
Some of my personal favorites:

They Called It Passchendaele - Lyn MacDonald. Probably one of the greatest books on WWI ever written based around interviews with soldiers on all sides. All Lyn's books are a must for anyone wishing to conduct a battlefield tour of the Western Front.

War of the Flea - Robert Taber. One of the most significant books on Guerilla warfare. Closely followed by Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife - John Nagl. Along with the Jungle is Neutral by Chapman all essential reads for anyone interested in unconventional warfare or CT operations.

This Kind of War, by T. R. Fehrenbach. Great no punches pulled history of the Korean War, very insightful and a warning to any Government who trys to introduce a PC culture, which deliberately undermines authority and discipline.

Bullet Magnet: Mick Flynn. Good read about a bloke who fought in NI, Falklands, GWI, II & Afghanistan. Great descriptions of firstly an engagement between Scimitar/Swingfire and T55/BMP's including detailed battle damage assessments, and secondly surviving an horrendous ambush in A-Stan (RPG, 12.7mm, IED) in a Scimitar. Makes you appreciate the value of cage armour.

Currently reading: Cordon and Search With the Sixth Airborne Division in Palestine. Again a non-PC and frank narrative.


Well-Known Member
A few of my favourites.

Arabs At War - Kenneth Pollack

One of the few military books in English on Arab militaries, with good analysis on their battlefield performance.

The Real Bravo Two Zero - Micheal Asher.

The follows in the foosteps of the Brazo Two Zero patrol and interviews the locals who where there. The result of his investigation is that what was written in McNab and Ryan's books and what really happened, according to the locals, is a bit different.

Learning To East Soup With A Knife - Nagl.

The author analyses and compares the difference between the U.S. army and the British army as learning insititututions and provides reasons why both responded differently to the requirements of counter insurgeny warfare.

The Confontation - Nik Van Der Bilj.

The definitive work on the 'Konfrontasi' [Confrontation].

Steel Inferno - Micheal Reynods.

On the 2nd SS Panzer Corps.

The Final Hours - Johannes Steinhoff.

Steinhoff's acoount of the last days of the war and his entry into JV44.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Aquarium by Viktor Suvorov.
Feanor, what is your personal opinion of Suvorov's 'Spetsnaz'? Didn't it contain a lot of untruths - in some parts he made it look like everybody in Spetsnaza was superhuman - which was intended to capitalise on Western fascination with Spetsnaz during the period the book came out - 1980's?
If I recall correctly, 'Spetsnaz' created a lot of concern in the West whem it appeared.

It remains me of Clair Sterling's 'Terror Network' in which she wrote of terrorists groups being trained in theSoviet Union, which we now know never happened, and which was taken seriously by Western governments.


New Member
I don't really like 'tales' from actions or the sort. I just like all the informative books. Like aircraft encyclopedias or military markings or history of bases/squadrons/individual aircrafts.