Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat

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Random House Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
3 Reviews
A remarkable memoir of small-unit leadership and the coming of age of a young soldier in combat in Vietnam.'

"Using a lean style and a sense of pacing drawn from the tautest of novels, McDonough has produced a gripping account of his first command, a U.S. platoon taking part in the 'strategic hamlet' program. . . . Rather than present a potpourri of combat yarns. . . McDonough has focused a seasoned storyteller’s eye on the details, people, and incidents that best communicate a visceral feel of command under fire. . . . For the author’s honesty and literary craftsmanship, Platoon Leader seems destined to be read for a long time by second lieutenants trying to prepare for the future, veterans trying to remember the past, and civilians trying to understand what the profession of arms is all about.”–Army Times


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I read this book from american library mumbai.The book shows how the war is distructive and should be the last resort.How soldiers carry out their duties in not comfortable circumstances.Great BOOK.
sanjay y.sohani.Mumbai,India

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Great book which I have enjoyed reading many times. I also had the pleasure of serving with Phil Tack (making his appearance in the book as "Phil Nail") late in his career in the mid 1980's. Mr. McDonough does a great job describing Tack but I think an entirely new book would have to be written to contain all of that personality. He was a great NCO and I'm sure serving under McDonough in Vietnam had a great deal to do with that.  

Contents

Prologue
1
LZ English
2
The Road to
7
Welcome to Vietnam
15
2d Platoon
28
Taking Charge
37
The Wounding
51
Brief Interlude
61
The Lowly Infantryman
126
The Rains Come
140
American Ingenuity
161
The Enemy Builds Strength
167
A Day at the Beach
179
Thanksgiving
192
Just Like You and Me
194
The Order
202

If at First You Dont Succeed
70
A Cast of Characters
79
Prelude to a Fight
90
Battle
98
Aftermath
113
The Patrol Back
207
Night Movement
216
End of a Mission
229
Epilogue
241
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About the author (2007)

Col. James McDonough, USA (Ret.), graduated from West Point and served in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader in the legendary 173d Airborne Brigade. A military theorist who has helped shape the post-Cold War army’s thinking, he is also the author of The Defense of Hill 781 and The Limits of Glory. Now retired from active duty, McDonough lives with his family in Tallahassee, Florida.


From the Paperback edition.

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