Best military leader biographies according to redditors

We found 1,932 Reddit comments discussing the best military leader biographies. We ranked the 705 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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American civil war biographies
Vietnam war biographies
WWI biographies
WWII biographies
American revolution biographies
Afghan & Iraq war biographies

Top Reddit comments about Military Leader Biographies:

u/sterexx · 473 pointsr/worldnews

Gathering and analyzing intelligence on other countries is its primary, original role. Most directly for keeping specifically the President informed of just what the heck is developing around the world. It was started after WW2 in order to prevent another Pearl Harbor surprise. And they were not allowed to gather intelligence on US soil, but that has not been strictly observed.

This work involves gathering tasks as mundane as always reading the news in a target country, as political context matters as much as tapped phone conversations when putting together an analysis. But the movie-caliber stuff is important too. They tap phones, recruit sources in governments and industry, build a whole network of resources.

To collect this information, the CIA uses two kinds of employees. “Official cover” officers pose as diplomats in US embassies worldwide. All embassy staff will be under surveillance from the target country’s counter-intelligence organizations — their FBI equivalents — so meeting sources is risky and they might stick to less blatant parts of the job. But on the upside, they have diplomatic immunity and just get sent home if caught spying. Non-official cover officers get jobs in multinational companies or assume some invented identity that gives them a reason to be in country. They can more freely recruit local sources but must rot in prison or die if caught, unacknowledged.

Info goes back to legions of analysis teams working in offices in the US who prepare it into reports.

The CIA also engages in covert and clandestine activities meant to influence other countries. This latter role has grown, diminished, and changed in nature throughout its history depending on political climate. Some bad press from some really ugly leaks in the 70’s (I think) about the extent of these activities put a big damper on them for a while, requiring Presidential sign-offs on killings, iirc. Post 9/11, the CIA is back on the hard stuff but keeps a legion of lawyers to make sure it’s teccchhnically legal.

These cold war activities include funding and organizing Afghan resistance against communist rule, for example. A whole covert war. Also tons of election rigging, assassination, etc. Post cold war they have been involved in anti-terror activities like running the war against the Taliban and assassinating militants and their neighbors with drone missiles.

Fun fact: “covert” operations are meant to hide who is behind an operation, “clandestine” are meant to conceal the entire operation from anyone but us. Compare an assassination to a phone tap.

Edit: in one episode (2 or 3 i think) of Netflix docu series Inside the Mossad explains how Israel’s foreign intelligence uses elaborate sting operations to recruit sources. By the time they realize they’re working for Mossad, they’re in too deep to not go along with it. Intelligence orgs do this a lot when they know the people they need probably hate the org’s country. This is basically all the time for Israel spying on other middle east states. Case officers often use really impressively manipulative strategies for recruiting and controlling their local agents. “The Americans” illustrates some great examples of this, if a little more dramatic.

Edit 2A: There are a bunch of other specialized US foreign intelligence agencies, like the NSA that traditionally intercepts signals and cracks their codes.

Edit 2B: In the UK, MI6 of James Bond fame does foreign intelligence and MI5 does counter-intelligence. These existed during WW2 but back then the lines got blurred, with both organizations running their own double agents against Nazi Germany’s own two competing foreign intelligence orgs. In fact, 0% of any spies Germany sent to Britain were able to work for enough time before being caught to send anything useful over. By 1944, when the UK was more confident that they were controlling all the sources sending info to Germany (the ones that wouldn’t work for the UK as double agents radioing harmless intel back home were either dead or imprisoned), they fed Germany massive misinformation about the location (and timing?) of the D-Day Normandy invasion. Read the excellent book Operation Double Cross to learn about this incredible operation.


Books on the CIA I found rewarding.

“The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez. Ben Affleck played him in Argo. Memoir of this artist’s time in the CIA inventing disguises and forging travel documents, often to exfiltrate an exposed source. Watch or read Argo too if you haven’t, the film at least is incredibly cool because its evacuation of American diplomats from Iran as Canadian filmmakers is largely real.

“Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.” Recent declassifications are exposing just how terribly the CIA bungled things in the early cold war, which is what this is about. From massive nuclear arms race miscalculations that threatened the world, to unfounded communism paranoia that led to totally unnecessary coups, they used classification to hide their greatest errors.

“Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda.” Beyond just the tech, you get insight into the lives of tech team members who would bug homes for their career. Interesting stuff. I think I read a different edition but this is probably fine.

“Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”
Tom Clancy name, but actually an extremely detailed history of the CIA’s 1980’s support for Afghan mujahideen against the USSR and continued involvement in the 90’s. Down to highlighting cultural generational differences within the multiple cohorts of CIA officers in charge of the long-running operation. Also highlights Pakistan’s demand to hand out all the money, both to act as kingmaker for the dominant factions and to skim hella bux off the top. Descriptions of the conflict and how the Afghans relentlessly persevered and how factions had independent deals and truces with USSR. Then much of the civil war aftermath of USSR pullout when the US stopped caring. Taliban become popular for not tolerating warlords raping local boys, an issue that remains to this day among US supported administration (a coalition of “former” warlords who you will recognize if you read the book). Great read, incredible breadth.

u/WillShill · 368 pointsr/todayilearned

Nowadays most competent spy agencies don't even need this type of device, regardless of how freaking amazing it was at the time. These days, they can use special microwaves and point them at your window from anywhere with a direct line of sight. The microwaves can pick up the most minute of vibrations on the glass from any voices on the inside and translate them back into sound on the other end.

It's been rumored that this was among the technologies used to positively identify that bin Laden was at his compound in Abottabad.

Another fun fact: because of such technology (as well as the aforementioned passive bugs), in every sensitive (and perhaps all) US embassies these days, there exists an empty, completely see-through room within a room, slightly elevated on special springs (edit: as some have pointed out to me, we don't actually know what the room is supported by) that is completely and totally soundless. It is used by Embassy personnel and any embedded CIA case officers when they need to discuss sensitive matters.

Source on the fun fact: The Master of Disguise by former CIA Master of Disguise Tony Mendez. Amazing book and entirely worth a read if you are into Cold War spy craft. Some of the stories within are amazing. By the way, this is the same fellow who Ben Affleck plays in the movie Argo. He even has an exceptionally brief cameo when Ben arrives at Dulles airport (Ben stares him down briefly as he walks by him on the outside of the airport)

Edit: source on the contents of the earlier post follows:

> “But the Tchaikovsky Street embassy was an ideal site for electronic eavesdropping. Embassy and Agency security officers estimated that the KGB’s ubiquitous local employees had seeded the entire building with hard-wire and wireless bugs. The windows were silently scanned with microwaves that could reproduce the vibration of conversations into usable recordings at the numerous KGB listening posts ringing the embassy. Between the overtly inquisitive UPDK local employees and the hidden bugs, Americans, from the ambassador to the lowest-ranking Marine security guard, were subject to audio surveillance during every moment they spent in the U.S. Mission, including in their apartments.
But there were important exceptions."

> "Because American officials in many embassies needed a secure area to discuss sensitive cases, they usually went to “the Bubble”—the generic term for a clear plastic-walled enclosure, raised from the floor on transparent Plexiglas blocks and meticulously cleaned only by American hands, so that none of the local staff, no matter how ingenious they were, could attach miniature listening devices to the structure without being detected.”

Excerpt From: Antonio J. Mendez. “The Master of Disguise.” HarperCollins. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

Final edit: I should mention that this is 70s technology, so I'd hardly be surprised if there haven't been advancements made since.

u/tspek · 254 pointsr/history

Not questioning what you're saying, especially on a sort of "macro" level but, based on interviews with Germans that were on the beaches there were actually a lot of these tanks that did make it. The Germans were astounded by these machines.

This is a 2 volume series of interviews. It's one of the most incredible reads I've experienced.

u/Godphase3 · 235 pointsr/pics

There's a book written by the man who this facebook post is to, Marcus Luttrel, who is the sole survivor of Operation Red Wings in which Michael P. Murphy is killed. It's called Lone Survivor and though I don't necessarily agree with all the politics, it's a harrowing account of persistence and survival.

EDIT: Since I'm recommending books, anyone who has read or may be interested in Lone Survivor should read the book Unbroken about Olympic runner and WW2 bombardier Louie Zamperini's struggle for survival after being shot down over the Pacific Ocean.

u/Lee_Ars · 124 pointsr/WeirdWings

According to Ben Rich in Skunk Works, the challenge was in creating a design that broke down into a series of triangles when viewed from every major angle. 90-degree angles provide clear radar reflection, so everything had to be oblique and obtuse angles. (Contrary to popular opinion, stealth is far more a product of an aircraft's shape than anything else. Radar absorbing material absolutely helps, but shape is the critical factor—even more so than size. An enormous F-117A-shaped aircraft would have pretty much the same radar cross section as a small one.)

And they did it—when you look at the Have Blue demonstrator or the F-117 final planform, it's all triangles—everything is triangles. The resulting design is unstable on all 3 axes and wouldn't work without fly-by-wire, but it does work.

The usage of triangular facets was a limitation of the computing power available to engineers in the 70s when Have Blue was being designed. More modern stealth airplanes like the B-2 and the F-22 have fewer facets and more curves because they were built with supercomputers that could work out the complex radar cross section equations necessary.

u/orairwolf · 103 pointsr/Damnthatsinteresting

This book is the memoirs written by the founder of Delta Force, Charlie Beckwith. He goes over the mission and it's unfortunate failure in fine detail. The book is a good read if you are interested in such things.

u/[deleted] · 103 pointsr/pics

here's the book Buying it now!

u/cedargrove · 88 pointsr/AskReddit

Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5

The book he wrote about his experiences as a Marine rifleman.

I hadn't seen it posted yet so I wanted to get it on a high comment.

u/ay_gov · 69 pointsr/todayilearned

If you haven't already read it and stuff like this interests you I just finished Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich. Rich was Kelly Johnson's successor and went on to design the F-117. The book was a really good read with a bunch of interesting anecdotes from pilots and engineers involved with all kinds of different skunk works projects.

u/Omnitank_3 · 60 pointsr/OldSchoolCool

The Battle is famous for the extreme difference in results for the Marine and Army participants, both on different sides of the reservoir.

The marine commander Chesty Puller had saw they were overextended and prepared, creating multiple stockpile temporary bases. When the Chinese attacked, they were able to create an ordered withdrawal with multiple defense points.

The army was not as fortunate and less prepared, and suffered horrendous losses. It's really a textbook example on preparing for all situations. I learned all about this from the book The Generals

EDIT As u/Dis_mah_mobile_one pointed out, the majority of credit for the Marine's success in the battle goes to Oliver P. Smith, who commanded the 1st Marine's at Chosin

u/YourOldPalHoward · 51 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

If you’re at all interested in this case, I highly recommend the book Black Hearts, which investigates the incident and everyone involved in extreme detail. It’s an exhaustive, practically bottomless chronology of military incompetence and inhumanity. Oddly enough I was exposed to it because it was on the official reading list of the Marine Corps a few years ago, ostensibly as a lesson on the consequences of a poor command environment. But anyone who has served can tell you that everything the book catalogued is just business as usual for the military.

u/halberdier25 · 51 pointsr/Military

Don't forget to also read Fick's One Bullet Away.

Generation Kill was written by the embedded Rolling Stone reporter, but One Bullet Away was written by the officer commanding that platoon.

u/Volgin · 48 pointsr/pics

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed is mostly about the F117 but also has a lot of info on the SR71 that came before it including how they got Titanium from the Russians through a dummy company in the UK, awesome read.

u/Death_Bard · 46 pointsr/Roadcam

Skunk Works

It’s one of my favorite books. It covers development of the U-2, SR-71, & F-117.

u/VA_Network_Nerd · 45 pointsr/USMCboot

The meme response is to advise you to apply judicious quantities of alcohol until the feelings subside.

Your feelings sound perfectly rational to me.

Many Commandants as well as Gen Mattis have advocated for learning from those who have gone before us from their teachings recorded in books & stories.

You might find some comfort in the stories of those who have already walked this path.


Before you engage your chain of command, I encourage you to seek out a more junior combat veteran in your unit and discuss your unease.

I'm not saying "Don't engage your CoC." I'm suggesting you try getting guidance from a pseudo-peer first.

u/GhostofSenna · 43 pointsr/todayilearned

The F117 was designed to be as invisible as possible. When Ben Rich was trying to sell the plane to goverment personnel he would walk into their office and roll a marble across their desk and say "heres your plane", because that represented its radar cross section. That seems pretty damn invisible to me.

I highly recommend the book Skunkworks to anyone interested in first hand accounts of producing some of Lockheed's greatest creations.

EDIT: I was just looking through my copy of Skunkworks to find the passage. Here it is! I found another interesting passage where they were having a F117 model tested by a government official to verify Skunkworks radar claims, and it was virtually invisible.

u/Plexfused · 38 pointsr/engineering

Skunk Works, it's literally about aerospace/defense/rockets. I recommend it.

u/DreamcastFanboy · 38 pointsr/AskReddit

Since he was too polite to link it, here's the book.

u/BurtGummer938 · 35 pointsr/todayilearned

>Political Climate around how badly we were losing in Vietnam ended the Vietnam war.

The urgency of withdraw had everything to do with war weariness and public perception, and absolutely nothing to do with how the war was actually going.

The US wasn't "badly losing" as you put it, in fact the opposite was true. Tet shattered the northern army. At the same time Westmoreland and his costly/ineffective search & destroy was out, while Abrams and his extremely effective clear & hold strategy was in. The metrics illustrating the loss of control the North had between 1966 and 1970 are staggering. You can find them in The Generals by Thomas E. Ricks.

u/guesting · 30 pointsr/sports

NEVER FORGET - the way he was used by the military for propaganda, how they burned his uniform and journal, how they lied about and covered up his death by friendly fire.

Big ups to his brother for calling out the bullshit at his funeral.

u/acranox · 30 pointsr/pics

If you haven't, you should read Skunk Works. I highly enjoyed it.

u/GloriousWires · 29 pointsr/ShitWehraboosSay

SWS is on the low-end of the BadAcademia spectrum; there've been recent attempts to reduce the shitposts and circlejerking- including a meta meta sub to highlight egregious offenses -but there's a definite slant involved, and there aren't usually that many sources.

We tend to take things a bit far in the opposite direction, sometimes. A lot of that stuff wasn't total shit, but watch the downvotes roll in if you say it in the wrong spot.

And, of course, anyone citing ^Cooper, ^B. ^Y. ^(1998). ^Death ^Traps: ^the ^Survival ^of ^an ^American ^Armored ^Division ^in ^World ^War ^II. ^Navato, ^CA: ^Presidio ^Press, ^1998. is a top-of-the-line memester.

If, however, you would prefer -even- lower standards and a thriving shitpost economy, try r/DerScheisser for all your meme needs.

u/_616_ · 26 pointsr/books

Oryx and Crake. I didn't expect to like it much but I loved it.

Edit: Just finished Unbroken which is an awesome tale of survival in WW2.

u/VisualAssassin · 21 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

Skunk Works is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the development of stealth flight.

u/SpaceIsKindOfCool · 20 pointsr/woahdude

The U-2 was an amazing airplane.

At cruising altitude of 70,000 feet (over 13 miles) nothing else in the world at the time could even get close to touching it. When the US started using the U-2 to fly over the USSR the Russians were able to track the flights, but even their highest performance jets and surface to air missiles were unable to take out the U-2. Russia spent a considerable amount of time and money working on a way to stop these flights. For 4 full years the US was able to photograph any part of Russia with amazing resolution before the Soviets managed to shoot one of the planes down with their newly developed SA-2 missiles. According to people who worked on the U-2 program around 90% of US intelligence information for those 4 years was provided by the U-2.

I highly recommend Skunk Works by Ben Rich. He worked on the U-2, SR-71, F-117A, and several other top secret aircraft. His book is probably the best I've ever read.

u/kleinbl00 · 20 pointsr/history

The best thing to do is to start searching for "eugenics." For some reason that stuff hasn't been buried as much and you can see more of it. And, since links in English are favored by the web over links in German, you get more of an allied perspective on it. You can start here, move on to here, spend a little time here and then dip in here for a little light reading before going down the rabbit hole for ever and ever.

u/Silidistani · 20 pointsr/CombatFootage

It'll be a bear either way still, arty just denies some strongpoints and thins the enemy ranks a little.

Read House to House by SSG Bellavia about the time the Americans took Fallujah, it was still a bitch even with all that hardware and preparation.

Maybe ISIS is less skilled in guerilla warfare & urban fighting than the insurgents and fedayeen were back then though - let's hope so at least for the Iraqi's sakes.

u/redbarff · 19 pointsr/todayilearned

There is a really cool book about the development of these early stealth aircrafts. What I got from it is that they used a specific field of mathematics to calculate the optimal geometry for deflecting the radar signals. And also paint the aircraft with painting that would absorb some of the signal. It was also stated in the book that the reason for the F117 having such sharp angles was due to the limited computational power at that time.

u/WearingAVegetable · 18 pointsr/AskHistorians

Short answer: no.

Slightly longer answer: The radicalization of Islam in the Middle East ties into the division of the region by the western powers after WWI, and further during the Cold War, when the U.S. (not only, but in particular) supported the rise to power of radical religious figures in opposition to communist/leftist parties & figures who might be sympathetic to the Soviet Union, and therefore potentially threaten U.S./U.K. access to oil in the region. This included aiding in the over-throwing of democratically elected governments in favor of autocratic but U.S./U.K.-favored leaders - most notably the U.S.-led 1953 coup d'etat in Iran, when Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown. The 1978 Iranian Revolution began as a popular uprising against the Shah who replaced him.

For more extensive reading on the subject:

Inventing Iraq by Toby Dodge (I have some major issues with Dodge's conclusions post 9/11, but the historical analysis that makes up the majority of the book is solid)

Spies in Arabia by Priya Satia, and Lawrence in Arabia are good histories of imperial ambition during the WWI period and its after-effects

Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan for the political maneuvering of the Western powers

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin

I also recommend Edward Said, if you're looking for cultural analysis as well as history

u/HawkHogan · 18 pointsr/HistoryPorn

People who are interested in the Shuttle program should really read Riding Rockets by astronaut Mike Mullane.

Great look into the NASA organization, and the mentality of the astronauts leading up to, and following the shuttle program disasters.

u/NonStopWarrior · 18 pointsr/Military

I recommend a book called House to House. It goes into great detail about urban combat that U.S. Forces faced in the Battle of Fallujah. A good portion of the book focuses specifically on his breaching of a single house, including how fortified it is.

u/wetwater · 18 pointsr/aviation

They usually fly. There's a book called Warthog that talks about flying over in the A-10A during the first Gulf War. One thing to note is the A model didn't have an autopilot, and they followed a tanker for most, if not all, of the way, for navigation, refueling, and the weather radar the tanker had (they encountered a thunderstorm on the way and how that affected the flight).

u/neodiogenes · 17 pointsr/pics

Old enough, apparently, to have been a combat Marine in the Pacific in WW2. And to write a book about it:

Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5

And also, apparently, not give a damn anymore about anonymity.

[Edit] Previewed a few pages on Amazon. It's a good read!

u/thinkforyourself · 17 pointsr/Roadcam

I learned all of this stuff because someone left a copy of the book Skunk Works on a shelf in a storage closet at work. I never was interested in the topic beforehand and didn't expect to be so enthralled but it offers a fascinating insight into the world of US black military programs. I'm not usually one to offer endorsements but legitimately I couldn't put this book down. The matter of fact nature and the first hand account is fascinating.

u/TehPopeOfDope · 16 pointsr/todayilearned

In Viper Pilot Dan Hampton talks about his time in the air directly after 9/11. He does a good job conveying how much confusion there was. He was actually given the green light from the ground to take out a SEAL team helicopter. Luckily he stayed cool and called everyone off before that chopper was downed.

u/diehard1972 · 16 pointsr/WarplanePorn

From Ben Rich's book, SkunkWorks, he would take ball bearings and roll them across desks at the Pentagon "Here's your new plane on radar". Took them a while to prove to many that it was true.

u/snoogins355 · 15 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

Shot by a fellow ranger's saw, I think.

Check out the book When Men Win Glory Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

u/ComoImports · 15 pointsr/todayilearned

I would highly recommend Skunk Works by former head of Lockheed Skunk Works Ben Rich

u/chanlicious · 14 pointsr/videos

You can also read Tony’s books,

The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

Spy Dust: Two Masters of Disguise Reveal the Tools and Operations that Helped Win the Cold War

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

u/sicktaker2 · 14 pointsr/todayilearned

Yes, they used dummy companies to buy the stuff, which was then turned into super-fast spy planes used to spy on their country. I always thought it was more impressive that the equation for calculating radar reflectivity that allowed for the creation of the F-117 came from a Russian physicist. We took the best they had to offer, and used it to make sure they wouldn't blow us up. If you want more fun, read this.

u/Taldoable · 14 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

I seem to recall, in Ben Rich's book "Skunk Works", more engine wasn't enough. They had to use the computer to constantly manipulate the control surfaces to keep the thing in the air.

u/ilovecreamsoda · 14 pointsr/aviation

the F-117 was basically designed with a slide-ruler, pen and paper with very little computer power behind it. Most of it is a series of 2d renderings put together. They literally had engineers designing and building them on the floor right next to the mechanics and welders and shit. The Skunk Works were an impressive bunch.

Go read it, its amazing.

Also, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson has some insight into it with his book, too.

u/extremelyinsightful · 14 pointsr/WarCollege

Very much so. The reporter was embedded in a truck with a specific Squad Leader. You end up seeing the whole invasion over-the-shoulder of just that Squad Leader. Gen Mattis is just a cameo and the whole US Army doesn't exist except for a brief mention of Jessica Lynch's convoy getting captured. It's a very narrow (albeit uniquely and redeemingly indepth) view of the invasion.

As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, the Platoon Leader, Nathaniel Fick, published his own account if you want to contrast the view from literally just one echelon higher.

u/stewyg27 · 13 pointsr/nfl

Check out Where Men Win Glory if you haven't yet.

Jon Krakauer is a very popular author and does his typically thorough research into the story.

Gives some great insight into his personal drives and motives, the portions describing his days on the football field will really take you back if you remember watching him.

u/FeastOfChildren · 13 pointsr/Military

For what it's worth, the Second Battle of Fallujah was a joint operation between the hooahs and the Marines. The city was cut in half and each half given to one branch.

The best book I've read on it is SSgt Bellavia's novel ["House to House."] ( Though it's a personal memoir by a soldier, it still offers some great insight into the battle.

u/speedy_43 · 12 pointsr/Military

I enjoyed it. From what I've heard, it's pretty accurate. However, I did prefer Nathan Fick's One Bullet Away.

u/13FiSTer · 12 pointsr/Military

Lots and lots of masturbation.

Speculating if latest teenage pop star is legal yet.

Find dangerous insects. Pick up dangerous insects with crude dangerous insect trapping device. Force dangerous insects to fight to the death. Disregard the fact that you're in a war zone in one of the oldest areas of the World, and that a camel spider and scorpion fighting it out is more exciting.

Masturbate more.

EDIT: I recommend you read Kaboom and/or My War. Both portray a really good, typical combat deployment. Read This Man's Army for the Afghanistan version of those two (be warned - as impressive as Exum's accomplishments are, the guy shows off too much for my taste. Still a good read).

EDIT 2: Also read House-to-House if you want to know what a real major combat operation is like.

u/drew_tattoo · 11 pointsr/todayilearned

Right? I read an excerpt from a book while ago about A-10 pilots during the first Gulf War. Apparently a lot of them flew their own planes from America to the Middle East. Anyways during this long flight one pilot had his instruments freeze up on him and then he rolled his plane while looking over his shoulder but didn't realize any of this. It wasn't until his wingman looked over, saw him upside down, and then he had to figure which one of them was right side up!


u/sixth_snes · 11 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Probably Paris 1919.

u/RSquared · 10 pointsr/politics

The CIA largely had to get away from that old-school white culture in the 70's. Think Allen Dulles and William Raborn, vice William Colby opening up the CIA to Congressional scrutiny. Big culture shift because they needed assets worldwide and couldn't get by on upper class OSS-era white people.

There's a good book by the guy who did the technical work for the Iran rescue that touches on the shift in culture during the Cold War in order to make the agency more effective.

u/night_on_the_sun · 10 pointsr/pics

Danny was apart of a 4 man team dropped high into the Hindu Kush Mountain region on a mission to neutralize or capture a HVT (high value target). Said HVT was in the presence of a very large Taliban force. This force was notified of Danny and his team and immediately descended upon them where all but one SEAL were killed. This is the first person account of Operation Red Wing

u/BigBennP · 10 pointsr/CredibleDefense

> Stealth isn't some sort of get out of jail free card that let's you ignore air defenses


Stealth simply reduces the radar cross section of an aircraft. Many dedicated stealth aircraft also have methods to reduce the infrared signature and the sound signature.

If you read "Skunk Works" book by Ben Rich, it has a great lay mans explanation of how this works in terms of aircraft.

Radar works by essentially creating an electronic "ping" and then listening for the echo when it bounces off distant objects.

Anything will generate some echo. Square lines and big flat metal surfaces reflect radar the most.

Rounded surfaces or angled surfaces can reflect radar away from the reciever, so that even if an echo is generated, some of it gets bounced somewhere else.

Certain substances like wood, or certain composites, tend to absorb more radar than they send back.

All of these reduce the radar cross section.

Something like an F-15 is like a literal "barn door" on a radar screen. The big square intakes, square fins, etc. create big flat surfaces.

The SR71, which was incidentally stealthy, initially at least by accident, has the cross section of a much much smaller aircraft, like a small cessna. It can be picked up by radar, but it's so high and so fast, usually it's out of radar range before anything can be done about it.

The F117 is the size of a large bird on a radar return. You have to have a very high powered radar, very close, to pick it up. It also is subsonic only and has ducted engines which reduces it's infrared signature.

The B2, despite it's size, is even smaller than the F117, with the assitance of computer aided design. Kelly Johnson desicribed this as the difference between an Eagle and an Eagle's Eyeball.

The radar returns of the F22 and the F35 are classified, but given they are trade offs between performance and stealth, probably are closer to the F117 than the B2. Low observable, but not completely undetectable.

And like /u/darthpizza notes, not all radars react the same way. A very low frequency radar may pick up some things that a normal high frequency radar might not. However, low frequency radars have their drawbacks.

u/nspectre · 10 pointsr/woahdude

Really good read: Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed

He's top o' the list of my engineer heros, right along side Burt Rutan.

u/tiag0 · 10 pointsr/pics

From what I recall reading it's the effortless way the blood flows in space that gives you a mildly uncontrollable trouser snake.

That bit (and I think the boobies question) is buried somewhere in the book Riding Rockets.

u/Geoff_PR · 10 pointsr/spacex

> You're thinking of STS-27. Over 700 tiles damaged by debris from one of the SRBs.

NASA astronaut Mike Mullane flew on that flight, and he goes into detail on that incident in his memoir 'Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut'. Let's just say he wasn't a happy camper.

It's one of the better astronaut memoirs out there. Mullane has an extreme sense of humor. A Highly recommended insider view of how NASA really operates...

u/BeondTheGrave · 10 pointsr/AskHistorians

There were also multiple incidents of poison gas canisters leaking and triggering local detection gear. These canisters were close enough to the front that the chemical teams often thought they were under German attack, until they found the leak.

I believe that one such incident is detailed in the book Death Traps

u/dblcross121 · 10 pointsr/MorbidReality

Read the book Unbroken, it's about Louie Zamperini, a US airman who's planed crashed in the Pacific. He spent six weeks surviving in a raft (which is quite a survival story itself) before being picked up by a Japanese patrol boat and sent to a POW camp for three years. It's an unbelievable story.

u/VoenkomVolk · 9 pointsr/Warthunder

Historically, the 105 on its many mountings (the Sherman included) was one of the few reliable methods the US had to take out German tanks at longer ranges.

In WT, well. My squadron and myself had a four-man squad - two M6A1s (later a Jumbo, one've them) and two Sherman 105s, putting them at a 5.0 BR.

They can kill Tigers that aren't angling properly, and Panthers pretty easily. This is due to hitting their mantlet with HE (the HEAT's not so great), as both tanks don't have very good upper hull plating, and doing so sends shrapnel right into that (on the panther) 15mm plate beneath - with the ammo racks right beneath such on two sides.

Also worth noting that US crews were fairly well known for their ability to reload guns, to the point that neither the Ordnance Corps or Wermacht could believe it. According to Death Traps - the memoir of Belton Cooper (an ordnance corps lieutenant with the 3AD's Maintenance Battalion) - their artillery detachment ran the barrels of their guns out so fast from firing so much faster than anticipated that the Corps sent their state-side expert on barrel wear to the front to determine if their shot-logs were being fudged. Case in point: They weren't.

There's also an instance noted in Forging the Thunderbolt of german prisoners asking to see the Americans' new 'automatic artillery gun.' So much so was it that American artillery in Tunisia accounted for half of the German infantry losses.

By Gela during Sicily the majority of German tank casualties could be attributed to truck-drawn artillery - a fact that was not wholly lost on the Army. The 105mm fit for the Sherman was aided by this in wider adoption, and it was greatly liked by its crews as memory serves.


Needless to say, it should seriously have its BR reconsidered, given these constraints. It does roughly even against Panthers and Tigers, as both can pen it fairly easily (pending the oft-'lel learn to play' demarcated 'known where to shoot' - though assuming highest skill on both ends, the odds are pretty fairly split). 5.0 seems to be an even match. 3.7 is painful undertiering, given how measurably it can take on the big cats in the right hands.

u/TravelerInTime1986 · 9 pointsr/WarCollege

Thank you for the link.

David Bellavia’s book, House to House , has some great firsthand examples of how armor (both Bradley APC’s and Abrams) were crucial to the survival of their particular infantry unit during the Second Battle of Fallujah for multiple reasons.

On a related note, General Dynamics Griffin APC prototype has a cannon that can elevate 85 degrees, in order to engage rooftop threats in urban terrain - I believe the video references this is due to it being an army requirement.

u/Drabbestplayer · 9 pointsr/ShitWehraboosSay

top-selling Amazon book that tells the story of D Day from the German soldiers’ view is likely a fraud — filled with made-up quotes from veterans who never existed, according to The Times of London.

Experts are shooting holes in the work of Holger Eckhertz, who claimed the accounts in his hit book “D Day Through German Eyes” were collected by his journalist grandfather, it says.

But historians can’t locate any references to soldiers quoted in the book, which ranked no. 4 in Amazon’s top 10 World War II titles — or even the author himself, whose name is not listed in any phone directory in Germany or Britain.

Nor could The Times locate information about the book’s purported publisher, DTZ History Publications, or translation service.

u/Ellistann · 9 pointsr/politics

You're not wrong in these cases.

Pat Tillman had plenty of weird things going on, but I'm of the belief it was friendly fire. It doesn't excuse the fact his leadership's first instinct was to try and cover up their screw-up. But the system did spit out the fact they did and gave the public the 'truth'. I can't say it did/didn't happen like CID stated in their report, but they're pretty good about keeping stuff nuetral and calling it like it is. The situation also has the ring of truth to it in my experience. I'm not saying you couldn't understand because you haven't been there; but many conspiracy folks imagine malfeasance when confusion and stupidity are truly the culprits and tragedy is overwhelming. Our need for logical reasons and want of vengeance for someone to blame is usually the driving force for this and is very understandable.

My Lai is a huge black eye for the Army, and we should be called out on it. We use it as training aids to show how a pilot displayed moral courage and saved those that weren't killed immediately. He's lauded as a hero, but we really don't do the right thing and pile shame on Lt Calley or his commander CPT Medina. Or the sister companies doing the same thing in next sector over under their commander (whose name I couldn't easily find) or roast the BN Commander who set the conditions for the massacre.

We've tried to get past that incident, and use it to tell everyone that comes in about personal courage not necessarily being facing a physical danger.

But we aren't perfect as an organization. Not everyone serves with honor. My Lai was Vietnam, but this happened in 2006. The Soldiers involved tried covering it up, but one of the folks broke down and told a friend about it because he was having issues in dealing with the fact he helped carry it out. PFC Watts did the right thing and turned his fellow Soldiers in.

He got an unbelievable amount of shit, and there was a very serious round of discussions about leaving him there with the people he turned in would be killing him by proxy. Eventually he was taken out of the base and told his story to the right folks at CID and the rest is our unfortunate history. Good news is that PFC Watts is alive and well, and that the folks involved are rotting in prison. Bad news is we failed as an organization to stop this from happening and we also pushed PFC Watts out of the Army and he's gotten death threats for years after.

More on the situation is in book Blackhearts.

u/tinian_circus · 9 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

True stealth is "you fly over the radar and don't get picked up." They actually could do that back in the day. The F-117 project manager mentioned it, it's a great book.

...but that was 30 years ago. Over-the-horizon radars (which are long-wavelength) and other such still pick these things up, but not very precisely. But still enough to cue your air defense systems if you're on the ball.

That said they're optimized around the x-band, so it's a huge advantage during a dogfight with other fighters. There's lots of anecdotal stories of F-22s winning dogfights because no one gets a firm lock on them.

u/Harmon1986 · 9 pointsr/pics

If you have some extra time and cash I highly recommend reading Skunk Works. Some great stories from the guys who built that plane and created Area 51.

u/opking · 9 pointsr/aviation

I read this like 20 years ago, and have the audiobook now. I've spent many a commute hour listening to Mr. Rich's memoirs. Here's a linky to Amazon:

Fun side note, my stepmom's father (step-grandpa?) was a machinist @ Skunk Works. I mentioned this book to her and she said, oh yeah dad gave Kelly Johnson rides home every so often when his car was in the shop. Uhhh, what Mari?

u/Do_not_reply_to_me · 9 pointsr/engineering
u/Project_Tzanov · 9 pointsr/aviation

The reason I corrected you in the first place is the same reason you are so vehemently defending yourself: because you believe the chief engineer deserves their proper credit.

I got most of these facts from this book:

I even had it opened while I referenced some of the facts I mentioned. I think you would really enjoy it and it would help you get some of your facts straight.

u/dluminous · 9 pointsr/MapPorn

I read this neat book on the subject. The sheer ignorance of the leaders during the peace negotiations (for I cannot stress the negotiations part enough) and the way they made decisions were astoundingly horrible. A snippet I recall is that there was a recorded incident where after ~2.5 hours of discussing what to do with country X, one of the leaders (Wilson maybe? I dont recall who) finally figured out that the country is not located in the balkans but is located in the Mid-East (I forget which country in particular) - basically the finer details elude me but the point stood that they had no fucking idea what they were doing (Lyod George, Clemenceau, Wilson).

u/antarcticgecko · 8 pointsr/MilitaryGfys

I read a book called Viper Pilotby a retired wild weasel pilot. They have the latest in countermeasures and are all extremely well trained, he says most of the guys have their masters degree on top of the Air Force level of special forces intensity training. When those guys hear missile lock they react like someone has a gun to their head- they immediately shit pants and evade, evade, evade. Drop everything and pilot like your mother’s life depends on it. It’s terrifying.

u/MrBuddles · 8 pointsr/WarCollege

A few months ago I read a short pair of books "D Day through German Eyes" - there's a book 1 and a book 2. Note that these books are pretty short - each of them only has five interviews with soldiers at different beaches.

These are sets of interviews that the author's father (who was also former Wehrmacht) conducted with German soldiers in the 1950s, so it's somewhat close to the end of the war. One thing I found interesting was that many of the German soldiers expressed the belief that they were protecting France and the rest of Europe from some combination of Jewish / Capitalist Bankers / Bolshevik domination. The interviewer notes that only one of the interviewees looks back in retrospect and believes that what Germany did was morally wrong. There is an awkward moment when one interviewee pretty much admits to killing Soviet POWs, but abruptly changes the subject before he explicitly says it.

A couple more notes is that this is ultimately a collection of first hand accounts, it's much more about the psychology of the soldiers and their individual experiences, thoughts and biases - rather than a discussion of military tactics or strategy.

u/Stimmolation · 8 pointsr/history

Here's a really fascinating look at D-Day from the German standpoint, which tells about the way Germany still used mules and WWI tactics and the US soldiers typically didn't have the burden of carrying everything. Unlimited jeeps and tanks and fuel... Really good read.

u/MisguidedChild · 7 pointsr/Military
u/vertigo1083 · 7 pointsr/WTF

I think you mean Unbroken

u/well_uh_yeah · 7 pointsr/books

Sort of off the top of my head:

Not Supernatural:

u/roguevirus · 7 pointsr/WarCollege

I highly recommend The Generals by Thomas Ricks.

The book compares the performance American general officers in WWII to later conflicts, mostly Vietnam and the War on Terror. It may give you some insights to how quality and competence were measured in WWII vs. the later conflicts.

To summarize:

In WWII, generals had a short period to prove that they were competent commanders; if they didn't perform well, they were either relieved of command or they died in combat. Importantly, many commanders were given a 2nd chance at command later to correct their deficiencies.

In the Vietnam / Post-Vietnam US Army, generals were often only relieved for reasons of morality; breaking the law, fraternizing with subordinates, etc. Nobody wanted to ruin someone's career just because they were a bad commander.

This video shows the author giving a summary of the book, and he also goes into his research methods and answers questions from the audience. It's an hour long, but worth the watch.

u/Dis_mah_mobile_one · 7 pointsr/kotakuinaction2
u/VacationAwayFromWork · 7 pointsr/politics

Thank you, and from my knowledge of Pershing (mostly from the book The Generals) I very much agree it sounds out of character.

If asked again I'll cite that argument.

u/mach_rorschach · 7 pointsr/engineering

continuing aero theme:

Skunk Works - Ben Rich

u/SgtBrowncoat · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

If you are interested in the history of the Skunk Works, I recommend the book Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich. He worked under Johnson on the U-2 and SR-71; Rich was Johnson's successor and went on to become the father of stealth aircraft with the F-117 Nighthawk.

Johnson was pretty incredible, the F-104 Starfighter was also one of his planes.

u/GoogleTrypophobia · 7 pointsr/spaceporn

It's mentioned in this. Well worth reading if interested in Lockheed's black project planes tested at area 51.

u/dulcebebejesus · 7 pointsr/engineering

Great question!

Skunk Works by Ben Rich is a great read. He tells his story of his time in the Skunkworks as both a designer and a project leader.

u/EndsWithMan · 7 pointsr/movies

If you liked Generation Kill, read the book "One Bullet Away" written by Nathaniel Fick who was one of the officers covered by Generation Kill (which was started from a Rolling Stone article written by Evan Wright.)

u/couldntchangelogin · 7 pointsr/CombatFootage

I liked reading Generation Kill too. With that in mind, I would like to add One Bullet Away By Nate Fick.

u/Comtraya · 6 pointsr/AerospaceEngineering

Has your friend read the book Skunk Works? I'd recommend it. If your friend likes building models, you can also run down to your local hobby shop and buy a plane or spacecraft kit to build one. Some may come pre-assembled if your friend isn't into building them.

u/evanbeard · 6 pointsr/aviation

Highly recommend the book Skunk Works - it covers the story of this plane and others Skunk Works

u/seedle · 6 pointsr/aviation

Ben Rich - Skunk it, if not most in this subreddit have already ;)

u/north97 · 6 pointsr/AskReddit

It was because they could never come up with a way to seal the tanks that would work at those temperatures. I believe there was even a sort of prize to anyone who could come up with a way. Source, tho it was a while ago when I read it.

u/gx1400 · 6 pointsr/funny

Can't sell this book enough as a great read. Talks about the development of the F-117 at Lockheed.

Skunkworks: A Personal Memoir of my years at lockheed by Ben Rich

u/Joneth · 6 pointsr/entertainment

It's actually from the title of the book the series is based on, which is surprisingly as nonpolitical as possible. It's a rather good read, if you've got the time. It's simply a first hand account of the author when he was embedded with one of the first Marine units to enter Iraq. The only social/political commentary in it is from the Marines themselves. In fact the primary focus of the book is the Marines themselves, examining them as real people. Not so much on the war really.

u/LigmaActual · 6 pointsr/army

Push to/Battle of Badhdad: Generation Kill (The book), written by a reporter assigned to Marine Recon:

u/sloperator · 6 pointsr/USMC

I suppose that depends on when you "don't make it."

If you drop out of OCS, or get injured at PLC/OCS, I'm not sure how willing they are to take a chance on you again, but they might if it's medical.

If you decide the USMC isn't for you, or fail out of school, you have to pay the gov't for the loans. I'm pretty sure they make this very clear when you accept your NROTC scholarship. In fact, I'm extremely sure you have to sign an agreement to pay the loans back, barring any extraneous circumstances.

And I really would like to think that NROTC scholarships are rare and exclusive enough that they are not handed out like candy.

Are you interested in Air, Ground or Law?
Please do yourself a favor and read One Bullet Away.

u/jdubb26 · 6 pointsr/CCW

[Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin] (

[Heart for the Fight: A Marine Hero's Journey from the Battlefields of Iraq to Mixed Martial Arts Champion by Brian Stann] (

I would also highly recommend subscribing to [Jocko Willink's youtube channel] (

He has amazing podcasts with combat veterans and it's really interesting to hear the tactics/mindset. On a side note there's not many people that can motivate me like Jocko can. You could send me those pictures of a landscape with inspirational words on them and it wouldn't do shit for me...However there's been many days where I was being lazy/feeling sorry for myself and not wanting to work out...
thats when I watch this video

I shit you not there have been many days where that video alone has gotten me to nut up and grab my bag to go train jiu-jitsu when I didn't feel like it...or go to the range and get some practice in when I would rather stay home get cozy and watch netflix.

u/PubCornScipio · 6 pointsr/CombatFootage

I quite literally just read a book, D-Day Through German Eyes, which has an account from an MG42 gunner at Omaha Beach who says the following:

“I had a terror of flame-throwers, as my brother had told me about them from the Russian front. Therefore, when I saw through the smoke a man approaching from the sea up the beach, moving from one obstacle to another, approaching the cliffs, I was alarmed to see that he seemed to be carrying a flame-thrower gun and back pack. I shot him with the MG42 at once, and the bullets evidently ignited the fuel tank on his back. There was a very large explosion, and he disappeared completely in a fireball which went up into the air in a mushroom cloud. Both sides stopped firing for a moment, perhaps because we all saw what happened to this soldier. But then the shooting began again, more intensely than ever.”

So, it’s not a myth. Maybe it doesn’t always happen, but it did happen, at least once, and I’d wager a fair bit more given that gas mixing with air and tracer rounds sound to be an explosive mix.

On a side note, its a pretty short read and its only a few dollars. Its well worth the time and money for anyone interested in the subject. It is probably one of the most violent accounts I’ve ever read about combat. These guys experienced the full weight of allied material superiority and paid the consequences for it.

u/disputing_stomach · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laurel Hillenbrand is fantastic. The book is really a biography of Louis Zamperini and is not solely about being a POW, but a large portion of the book is his experience as a POW during WWII in Japan.

u/Tweeeked · 5 pointsr/running

Link to the man: an Olympic track athlete, POW, and all-around inspiration.

Link to the book.

u/paburon · 5 pointsr/japan

> "It is outrageous and reprehensible to deny what happened to Louis Zamperini.

There is plenty of documentation of cruelty towards allied prisoners if war. But, I have seen comments online that question certain details from his book, which do seem slightly exaggerated.

For example, from a non-Japanese reviewer on

> Now, far be it for me to disparage war veterans, especially POWs who’ve endured the kinds of crushing abuse that Louie and his fellow service men have, but how is it that we are able to get such detailed minutia over 50 years after it all went down? I’ll bet you can’t describe the full details of the days of your wedding, your first child being born, your first car crash, your first date, getting your driver’s license, etc. These were all life-changing, and in some cases traumatic, days in your life and it’s a safe bet that most, if not all, of these events took place more recently for you than 50 years ago. Most of us remember scant bits and pieces of events and many of these memories have “drifted” from reality in our fallible brains. Even polling spectators who were there at the time and cobbling together all of the recollections won’t make for a fully fleshed-out memory. This thought kept rattling around my brain as I made my way through the book. How on earth could these things be recalled so clearly and precisely after all that time? I’ve read other POW accounts that say that all days start to blur together and the extreme horrors the soldiers endured are blocked out of memory. Some soldiers, as Hillenbrand herself says in the book, forget the war entirely. The sneaking suspicion (and you can’t help but feel like a total shit for thinking it) is that a lot of the filler put in the book to string the anecdotes together is fabricated to puff up the story to appeal to a broader audience.

> These suspected filler bits are nothing compared to some of the fantastical events scattered throughout the book. Zemperini is cheapened and the readers are dared not to roll their eyes as he is elevated from a man to a superhuman demi-god. He can withstand plane crashes, hourly beatings for over a year, prolonged starvation, backbreaking physical labor, diseases, and anything else that can be dished out. Consider his scenes of fist-fighting sharks in open water, meeting Hitler after his Olympic race, running a 4:12 mile -- in the fucking sand(!!), surviving violent dysentery for weeks on end with only scant handfuls of polluted water to drink (not to mention the “death sentence” disease beriberi that was left untreated), blacking out as he’s tangled in wires in his sinking bomber only to wake up untangled and able to swim freely to the surface, self-repairing a broken nose and leg while at prison camp, and living through 40+ days at sea with practically no water or food then having the patience to wait offshore overnight once he reaches an island -- of course, just in time for a typhoon to hit them in their raft, no less. These personal achievements are apart from his sufferings in a group setting like enduring over 220 punches in the face during one camp thrashing and moving 20 – 30 tons (yes, TONS -- 40,000 to 60,000 U.S. pounds) of material at a rail yard in a day. Why the author stopped there and didn’t throw in a cage match with a couple of T-Rexes I’m not sure.

And Another:

> I found Unbroken to largely be a hyperbolic and sensationalized rendering of a true story. Yes, I believe there is truth lurking among the pages but ultimately it was a poorly written fish tale. I mean no disrespect to Louis Zamperini (he passed away just as I finished the book) or the other men detailed, I think ultimately the issues lie with the author.

And another:

> so 3 guys are drifting in a raft, then are being strafed by a japanese bomber, the main character goes over the side and fights off dozens of sharks by baring his teeth and using his hands. this happens 4 times. after the bomber departs the sharks start jumping out of the water to attack the men in the raft. really Hillenbrand? plus you would think the main character was a cross between einstein and macgyver with all the ingenius tricks he comes up with. im not sure if this was a non-fiction book or science fiction

And another:

> It reads like a book you might find only sold in a church bookstore. I'm sure Zamperini was a dedicated individual but some of the stuff is just over the top. They shot down three Zero fighters while wounded in their heavily damaged plane? Do we have any independent confirmation? He killed sharks with his bare hands? A whole third of this book is a litany of beatings, starvation rations, and mistreatment. Oh, and of course his mother knew he was alive the whole time because of that special sixth sense that all mothers have. Then, tortured by his experience, he becomes a raging alcoholic, only to be saved after hearing Billy Graham speak. He immediately pours out his alcohol and dedicates his life to saving troubled kids. Just one maudlin cliche after another

From Amazon:

> There is no way an individual -- especially a frail, sick, malnourished, fever-ridden individual -- can absorb 220 successive hard blows to the head and not end up with severe brain damage, if not death.

I tend to avoid pop history books, so I admittedly haven't read it. Still, it appears one doesn't need to be a raving Japanese nationalist to feel like the book goes a bit overboard. Especially when it is based mainly on largely unverifiable personal recollections recorded half a century after the fact. It looks like the book's tendency to exaggerate is going to distract Japanese viewers from accepting the reality of large scale abuse of prisoners.

u/scisslizz · 5 pointsr/The_Donald

Having read the book twice... jesus christ, people are stupid.

u/RickyRocket3 · 5 pointsr/CrazyIdeas

You're right, and the guy who wrote the paper had no idea the U.S. had taken his work and run with it. He didn't find out until he came to teach in America in the early 90s.


u/notepadow · 5 pointsr/aviation

Highly recommend reading Ben Rich's autobiography about his time at Lockheed especially in conjunction with Kelly Johnson at Skunkworks.

U2, SR-71, Have Blue/F-117 all masterfully documented from an insider's perspective. Fascinating stuff.

u/Teflon_coated_velcro · 5 pointsr/AskEngineers

I'm not an engineer(yet), but I thoroughly enjoyed Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed

u/GorgeWashington · 5 pointsr/starcitizen
u/AtomicGlock · 5 pointsr/CCW

That's an excellent point about the OODA loop. Here's a relevant quote from Robert Coram's invaluable Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War:

> Thinking about operating at a quicker tempo—not just moving faster—than the adversary was a new concept in waging war. Generating a rapidly changing environment—that is, engaging in activity that is so quick it is disorienting and appears uncertain or ambiguous to the enemy—inhibits the adversary’s ability to adapt and causes confusion and disorder that, in turn, causes an adversary to overreact or underreact. Boyd closed the briefing by saying the message is that whoever can handle the quickest rate of change is the one who survives.

Being pelted by hockey pucks would certainly throw a shooter off, and that could easily be all it takes to create an opportunity to take him down.

Now they just need someone on staff to occasionally walk into classrooms in a padded assailant suit and take one for the team.

You know, I really like that idea. It would easily become a part of the campus culture. "Hey, guess what? We pucked the Michelin Man in Cultural Anthropology today!"

u/batpigworld · 5 pointsr/history

If you want to get more in depth into the "Europeans carving up the Middle East" and have your mind blown by the direct implications for what we are now facing almost 100 years later, I strongly recommend the book "Paris 1919".

In addition to being fascinating, well written and full of colorful characters, it's a refreshing departure from your typical war history book discussing troop movements and precursors. It's unbelievable to learn about the circus of the post war Paris 1919 talks which shaped so much of the world as it emerged from colonialism.

Link: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

u/WasteAmez · 5 pointsr/MensRights
  1. CIA drone strikes: 4000 killed over 10 years.

    Civilian casualties Iraq over 10 years: No less than 200 000

    Civilian casualties Afghanistan over 10 years: No less than 60 000

  2. I'm assuming those military officers are stupid based on the number of people they shot. Here's >0 evidence.

  3. Having served in Iraq you should know the National Guard is not controlled by the President. Nor is local police departments; and contrary to what you desire to believe the FBI and DHS are micromanaged by the President.

  4. Having taken accounting in school, I can tell you being an armchair economist just makes you look stupid.

    Regardless of what merit Obama may have or may lack, you do not speak the truth.

    Judging by your unsupportable opinions I'm going to say whatever Confederate state you hail from is a greater threat to your liberty than the federal government.
u/BirdpersonInBishkek · 4 pointsr/army

A good book on this phenomena (The Marshall System) is "The Generals" by Tom Ricks

u/jnobel · 4 pointsr/bestof

Spot on, ViolatedChimp.

There seems to be a lack of understanding here about how people rise in the chain of command in the military. Many points have been made about a lack of job feed-back, no evaluation of job performance, etc. But the reality is that you don't get to that rank in the military unless you are extremely qualified for the job and execute it extremely well. Essentially the job title itself is it's own authority. Or at least, you don't get to evaluate a general's unless you are as qualified as he is. There is a reason military officials are not elected. :)

The last 80 years of history of how American military officials are hired and fired is detailed very well in the book The Generals by Thomas E. Ricks. I recommend it highly.

u/doctorwaffle · 4 pointsr/books

Came here to post this. Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great way for the layman to become scientifically literate, and it's entertaining. I like all of Krakauer's works, but would particularly recommend Where Men Win Glory for a perspective on the war in Afghanistan as well as a portrait of Pat Tillman, a complicated man.

u/__PROMETHEUS__ · 4 pointsr/aerospace

Note: I am not an engineer, but I do have some suggestions of things you may like.


  • Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Krantz: Great book about the beginnings of the NASA program, Gemini, Mercury, Apollo, and later. Gene Krantz was a flight director and worked as a test pilot for a long time, and his stories are gripping. Beyond engineering and space, it's a pretty insightful book on leadership in high-stress team situations.

  • Kelly: More Than My Share by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson: This is on my shelf but I haven't read it yet. Kelly Johnson was a pioneer in the world of flight, leading the design and construction of some of the most advanced planes ever built, like the U2 and the SR-71. Kelly's impact on the business of aerospace and project management is immense, definitely a good guy to learn about. Plus he designed the P38 Lightning, without a doubt the most beautiful plane ever built ;)

  • Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of my Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich: A fantastic look at the inside of Lockheed Martin's advanced projects division, the Skunk Works. Ben Rich succeeded Kelly Johnson at Lockheed, so this one is going to overlap with the book above quite a bit. I loved the pace of this one, and it covered a lot more than just the F-117, as the cover would suggest - cool info on the SR-71, U2, F104, the D21 supersonic drone, and stealth technology in general. Beyond that, it provides an inside look at the intricacies of DoD contract negotiation, security/clearance issues, and advanced projects. Awesome book, highly recommend.

  • Elon Musk's Bio by Ashley Vance: A detailed history of all things Musk, I recommend it for the details about SpaceX and the goal to make humans a multi-planetary species. Musk and his (now massive) team are doing it: thinking big, getting their hands dirty, and building/launching/occasionally blowing up cool stuff.


  • Selenian Boondocks: general space blog, lots of robotics and some space policy

  • Gravity Loss: another space blog, lots about future launch systems

  • The Age of Aerospace: Boeing made a cool series of videos last year for their 100th birthday. Great look at the history of an aerospace mainstay, though it seems a bit self-aggrandizing at times.

  • If you want to kill a ton of time on the computer while mastering the basics of orbital mechanics by launching small green men into space, Kerbal Space Program is for you. Check out /r/kerbalspaceprogram if your interested.

  • Subreddits like /r/spacex, /r/blueorigin, and /r/ula are worth following for space news.
u/osprey413 · 4 pointsr/hoggit

While it may not be the kind of military aviation book you are looking for, Skunk Works is a pretty fascinating read about the development of the F-117 Nighthawk.

u/Golf-Oscar-Delta · 4 pointsr/aviation

Shithead McCuntface Jesus Diaz again without crediting the source where these pics came from.

For those of you who want to know more about those pics, see a lot more such pics and read some more:

  1. Kelly: More Than My Share of It All
  2. Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
u/meathooks · 4 pointsr/aviation

Here's some interesting trivia. The prototypes of F-16 and F-18 flew in a fly off where the winning design would be awarded the contract for the Air Force's Light Weight Fighter initiative. The Air Force wanted another two engine platform like the F-15 but [John Boyd](, the greatest fighter pilot of all time, preferred a single engine design. The prototype YF-16 was unanimously picked over the YF-18 by test pilot group. A group of all fighter pilots. Unfortunately the generals and contractors bastardized the design by adding weight costing features without increasing the surface area of the F-16's wing. The Navy, for unknown political reasons, picked up the F-18 design.

For any military strategy/aviation enthusiast, I highly recommend reading Boyd.

u/shadowboxer47 · 4 pointsr/MapPorn

>Actually compared to WW2 they never really go into detail as to what the end goals were for WW1

No, you just have to know where to look.

What you see happening between 1919 - 1923 is the result of the victor's goals. For an excellent overview of the Entente's goals and implementation, I would suggest Paris 1919. We saw the occupation of the Ruhr, the separation of Prussia, the establishment of Poland and the infamous "corridor", the complete disintegration of the Austrian Empire and the disarming of Germany to a force of 100,000 men, the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the making of the modern Middle East and the loss of Germany's few colonies.

The Central Power's goals were no less sweeping. While this map is definitely a propaganda piece, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk gives you a good idea about Germany's Imperial ambitions. If the Central Powers would have won and obtained sweeping power over the negotiations, a chance I believe the completely missed in 1917 and lost for good thereafter, for Germany ALONE you would have seen:

  1. Annexation of Belgium, or complete dominance to the German Empire as a client state, with no control over foreign affairs or military matters
  2. Upholding the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, establishing German client kingdoms in the Baltic, Finland and White Russia
  3. Annexation of numerous colonial territories, including all of Belgian Africa, large portions of French and British territories into "mittelafrika".
  4. Occupation, if not annexation, of the industrial rich portions of Northern France already then occupied by the Germans

    Keep in mind this doesn't even begin to compete with Turkey's desire for the restoration of their territories in Northern Africa, the annexation of large parts of the Caucuses and the Mediterranean or Austria's plans for the Balkans and Northern Italy.

    War aims were such a large factor, that they were the primary factor for continuing the war in Germany even when all hopes were lost. Even as late as late as September 1918, Ludendorff kept the war going because he hoped to annex Belgium and keep a good portion of France they occupied!
u/lurking_quietly · 4 pointsr/TheWire

Of these projects, I most enjoyed The Wire. But it's worth evaluating each of these projects in terms of what they were trying to accomplish, since they all had different goals.

  1. Homicide: Life on the Street

    This was adapted from Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, but I don't know how much Simon worked on the show day-to-day.

    This show is much more of a crime procedural than any of the other works here. And with a few notable exceptions—e.g., Luther Mahoney or Brodie—the near-exclusive default point-of-view is that of the police.

    The show was groundbreaking for network TV at the time. For one thing, at least one of the main-cast characters was a cop who was an asshole and basically corrupt. This show also demonstrated that the bosses and their subordinates do not always see eye-to-eye, and not just in the "crusty-but-benign" way described in the movie Network, either. Most cop shows at the time didn't just show cops, but they identified with the cops' perspective. (This is still pretty common today.) This is legitimate, but showing that cops have human foibles which have on-the-job repercussions was taking a chance, especially for a network show at that time. And, like The Wire, it got critical acclaim but relatively small (but devoted!) audiences.

    The show's style was very different from that of, say, The Wire. For example, it had a non-diegetic score and camera moves that were more likely to draw attention to themselves. H:LotS also included collaborations with Baltimore native Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. The latter went on to create HBO's Oz, and you can see plenty of influence there from Homicide.

    H:LotS was also able to attract high-level talent throughout its run. Not only was the regular and recurring cast very strong (as you'd likely expect, even without having seen a single episode), but it attracted a number of actors best known for their film work. As just one example, Robin Williams appeared in the second season premiere, playing the husband of a crime victim. Steve Buscemi played an odious racist. Arguably, though, the most memorable guest appearance was Moses Gunn as Risley Tucker, the sole suspect in the homicide of 11-year old Adena Watson. Gunn may not be a household name, but he's been in projects from the original Shaft to Roots to stage performances.

    Homicide was also remarkable, especially at the time, in that it shot on location in Baltimore. (For context, consider that Vancouver (almost) never plays itself; typically, a show at the time would be shot in New York or Los Angeles, even it it's set in another city.) It also helped establish some of the vocabulary familiar to those who've watched The Wire: "the box", "the board", etc.

  2. The Corner

    This was a six-part miniseries for HBO based on David Simon's book about real-life addicts and dealers. If Homicide was primarily a show from the perspective of the cops, The Corner introduced what life was really like for those who lived in places like West Baltimore.

    For me, Homicide was always more stylized in its aesthetic, but more traditional in the types of stories it tried to tell. It was groundbreaking relative to other cop shows, but it still chose the cops' vantage points as the default. The Corner inverted this.

    A lot of the content from The Corner will be familiar to those who've already seen The Wire. (And, conversely, those who've seen The Corner would have some useful frame of reference for the events depicted in The Wire.) One attribute The Corner clearly focused on was authenticity. Homicide was a solid show, but The Corner felt real. Much of the cast of The Corner reappears in The Wire, too. And some of the real-life people whose lives Simon chronicled in his book played minor characters on The Wire. One of the most notable examples was the late DeAndre McCullough, who played Brother Mouzone's assistant Lamar.

    Again: a killer cast. A good story, well-told. And, for a change-of-pace: even some Emmy nominations and wins!

  3. The Wire

    I trust you're all familiar with this, right? :)

    I think having laid some groundwork with the reporting which underlay Homicide and The Corner, The Wire had the basis to be incredibly ambitious. It told stories from the perspectives of cops and dealers and dope fiends and stevedores and City Hall and newspaper newsrooms. It also had a definite point-of-view, and it was unafraid to advocate for its argument, but by showing and not merely telling. Yes, it's about all the conflict between characters on all sides of the law. But it's also making some very important arguments: the drug war is unwinnable, and the consequences of that gratuitous futility are disastrous for countless people. Deindustrialization of big cities leaves the corner as the only employer in town. Actual reform that will have any kind of substantive effect will require something other than the standard bromides that have typically gotten politicians elected and re-elected. And so on.

  4. Generation Kill

    This is a seven-part HBO miniseries based on the book Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Ice Man, Captain America, and the New Face of American War by Evan Wright, documenting those American Marines who were the tip-of-the-spear in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As with The Corner and The Wire, this goes out of its way to convey authenticity, especially in the context of the military jargon. Oh, and you get to see Baltimore native James Ransone, who played Ziggy, as a Marine, too.

  5. Treme

    This is Simon's love letter to the city of New Orleans, set in the immediate aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. Again: a killer cast, including everyone from Clarke Peters (who played Lester) to Khandi Alexander (who played Fran Boyd on The Corner) to New Orleans native Wendell Pierce (Bunk Moreland) to John Goodman (in damn-near EVERY movie) to Stephen Colbert's bandleader Jon Batiste (as himself).

    For me, Treme was solid, but it was less compelling than The Wire. A lot of the goal of Treme was to show the importance and centrality of New Orleans to American culture, in everything from music to food. For me, that case seemed secondary to the lives of the characters themselves. Many of the themes from The Wire are familiar: indifferent institutions, crime and violence, etc. But it also has some ferociously good performances, amazing music performed live, and an important reminder that life for so many in New Orleans still wasn't really "after Katrina" yet, even years after the storm, because of just how much destruction was caused all around.

    Oh, and like The Wire (among others), Treme cast a lot of local New Orleans natives who lived through the storm, as well as musicians who hadn't grown up with training as actors.

  6. Show Me a Hero

    The title comes from an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: "show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy". Like The Corner, this is another six-part HBO miniseries adapted from a nonfiction book. It's about a huge fight that the city of Yonkers, NY had with federal courts by resisting efforts to remedy housing segregation.

    Some of the themes should be familiar: a stellar cast including Oscar Isaac, Winona Ryder (in a role I wouldn't have expected for her), Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, and Clarke Peters (again). As you might have guessed from the quote, this story doesn't have a happy ending for everyone. The main theme is about how to do the right thing, especially as an elected official, in the face of violent opposition from much of the city, and what cost doing the right thing will entail.

  7. The Deuce

    This is a forthcoming David Simon series about the world around Times Square in the 1970s: pornography, just as it was becoming legalized, HIV/AIDS, drug use, and the economic conditions of the city at the time. Even if the whole team totally dropped the ball here, I'm sure this will be better than HBO's 1970s music drama Vinyl, at a minimum.

    The cast includes James Franco (playing twins), Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anwan Glover (Slim Charles), Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (D'Angelo Barksdale), Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Partlow). Oh, and the pilot is being directed by Michelle MacLaren, whose directing credits include Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Westworld, among others.
u/WWHSTD · 4 pointsr/CombatFootage

Definitely Generation Kill, to look into the dynamics of modern war. It's a seriously good, impartial, truthful and entertaining account of the first stages of the second Iraq war seen from the eyes of a battalion of first recon marines. Very well written, too.

War Nerd. Gary Brecher is a tongue-in-cheek military amateur analyst. His views on modern and past warfare are very lucid, albeit controversial and leftfield. His writing style is pretty original, kinda like the Hunter Thompson of war pundits. A backlog of his articles is also available online.

Making A Killing. It's the first person account of a British private security contractor in Iraq. I was expecting the worst when I read it, but it's actually very well written, informative and entertaining. Some of the lingo and drills described in the book actually helped me understand a lot of these videos.

Das Boot is my favourite war book, and it's an embedded reporter's account of a year in a german U-boat during the second world war.

u/BrotherJayne · 4 pointsr/Military

? What? That book is awesome! And so's the one Fick wrote

Edit: Fick's book:

The TV show is pretty good too!

u/cmnonamee · 4 pointsr/todayilearned

You should read Riding Rockets, Much Mullane's autobiography. He's one of the crew from that mission. But also a hilarious and sarcastic guy who has a lot of interesting (both reverent of and hostile toward the US space program) perspectives and stories.

u/MickChicken2 · 4 pointsr/business

If you were given the job because your director thought you were the best for it, then you were the best for it. Proving yourself will happen best with long term consistent results. Don't get caught up on dealing with what doesnt really matter. Stick to impressive everyone with high quality work.

I am curious about where you are located? Could this be a cultural thing?

Last, i think that its worth noting that being the new guy coming in and trying to change the status quo is always going to cause friction. This is just a fact. So don't loose sleep over it.

This is the book:

u/Onuma1 · 4 pointsr/KotakuInAction

> And I'm actually obese myself, I am not healthy. I own up to that

This is what we lack, as a society; accountability for one's own behaviors. If we owned up to our actions, not even to the degree of Extreme Ownership, we'd be much better off as human beings.

u/sanjeetsuhag · 4 pointsr/hoggit

I just finished reading Warthog - Flying the A-10 in the Gulf War and it was awesome. If you love this plane or are simply interested in the roles of airplanes in the war theatre, the planning that goes into it and the effect pilots have on it, read this book.

I never understood just how powerful this plane was in the Gulf War. By the end, it wasn't just the A-10. It was the OFOA-10G. Yep, it fulfilled so many roles in combat. The book is filled with first person accounts of the pilots, so the combat description is awesome.

u/hammayolettuce · 3 pointsr/AskWomen

Riding Rockets. Do you like astronaut memoirs? I like astronaut memoirs.

u/metamorphosis · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

>The reason I think the Sherman gets a bad wrap is a combination of propaganda, people looking at casualty figures outside of their context, and people fixating on flashy stats like thickness of the frontal armor and size of the gun.

Propaganda from whom??

Didn't testimonies from Sherman crew members also contribute to this "bad rep". In Particular, Death Traps ( , written by Armored Veteran, who was in charge of maintenance and salvaging the tanks. I mean , he explicitly doesn't say the Sherman was a bad tank but he sort of reinforces this notion of Sherman being a sub par tank.

u/HenSica · 3 pointsr/LifeProTips

If you found these helpful, I'd definitely recommend checking out the source. I'm mostly parroting what Jocko's described or explained in his book/podcasts.

u/EveryFkinNameIsTaken · 3 pointsr/AskMenOver30



Not going to lie, I didn't really read a whole lot but the title says it all and /u/cyanocobalamin sums it up.


Circumstances suck but happiness is really condensed to taking ownership of those circumstances. Sometimes things are beyond our control but overall they are a byproduct of what situations we allow ourselves to get into.


I recently read a book called Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink. It's about how you pretty much need to take responsibility for everything in your life even when you think it has nothing to do with you. I'm also reading Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope - Mark Manson right now. I'm about 4 chapters in and it talks a lot about having something to really believe in even though everything in the world is fucked.


  1. Find something to research that excites you and makes you money if you want to keep going.
  2. Relationships come and go. Someone worth keeping will be patient with you and understand that you're working hard to build a sustainable lifestyle.
  3. You can really do whatever the hell you want my friend, you just have to accept the consequences of whatever you do, good or bad.

    Don't overthink it. Things are only as good as you let them appear to be.


    Comparison is the thief of joy, but it is also a humbling endeavour.
u/electric_oven · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

I have mostly nonfiction recommendations, but hope the following are of some use to you! I used these in my classroom in the past year with much success.

I can edit and add more fiction later when I get home, and look over my bookshelf as well.

World War II

"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larsen - highly recommend, especially if you are familiar with Larsen's previous book, The Devil in White City

"The Monuments Men" by Robert M. Edsel - highly recommended, especially if you are interested in the juxtaposition of art, war, and espionage.

"Unbroken" - by Laura Hillenbrand, highly recommended. Hillenbrand's command of the language and prose coupled with the true story of Louis makes this a compelling read. Even my most reluctant readers couldn't put this done.

Vietnam War

"The Things They Carried" and "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up, and Ship Me Home" by Tim O'Brien are quintessential war canon. Must reads.

Iraq/Afghanistan/Modern Military Operations:
"The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers was called "the modern AQOTWF" by Tom Wolfe. Pretty poignant book. Absolute MUST READ.

u/dirtygonzo · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Don't think you can go wrong with Unbroken. A best seller, it's a "military story" more or less, but more importantly about personal growth, resilience and gives the reader a different prospective of life afterwards.

u/Jpf123 · 3 pointsr/ww2

For a higher calling. It's not just about the encounter but about the life of both the German and U.S flight crew leading up to and in the war.

"Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II. This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever."


Unbroken as all too often, the book is a thousand times better than the movie. Same for this book it doesn't just talk about the incident and what happened after but there's some really interesting contextualization that helps you empathize with the characters.

"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."


If you at all like aviation you'll love either of these books.

u/ProbablyNotPoisonous · 3 pointsr/rpg

"You feel a wild, irrational fear clawing at you as everything in your lizard hindbrain screams at you to run." Then let them play out their character's "better judgment" struggling to deal with it.

There's a book called House to House about the US invasion of Fallujah, written by a sergeant who was there. At one point he describes an incident where he was absolutely unable to move for a minute because of fear or adrenaline or something. Despite desperately wanting to run forward, he found that his legs simply would not obey him. He recovered a few moments later, but he was quite frustrated by the experience.

u/dahappybanana · 3 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

I just got done reading this book Warthog: Flying the A10 in the Gulf War and I highly, highly recommend it. Great book and gives a lot of insight into what the A10 was tasked to do.

u/hanizen · 3 pointsr/CombatFootage

you can get it here for cheap/free, I thought the book deserved a chance to be bought instead of pirated

u/uninspired · 3 pointsr/pics

D Day Through German Eyes is a pretty interesting read if you're interested in this perspective. I enjoyed it (as much as you can enjoy hearing stories about the atrocities of war).

u/MagicWishMonkey · 3 pointsr/wwiipics

I really enjoyed that book, but I was kind of bummed to find out there's a lot of controversy surrounding the author (a lot of people think he's full of shit and never did any of the things he claimed to do).

Another great read in a similar vein is D-Day Through German Eyes -

Pretty graphic eyewitness accounts regarding D-Day, very interesting/enlightening.

u/sten0 · 3 pointsr/SocialEngineering

So I just posted this a while back but you may want to start from the first post (it's a series).

Also - this book might help. PDF

u/12345potato · 3 pointsr/news

Read the book by Tony Mendez before the story was made into a shitty movie. It details his life and how he got involved in the CIA and revolutionized the way they utilize disguises. Fantastic read.

Edit: His book 'Argo' actually sucks. This one was much more enjoyable and he discusses the operation quite a bit.

u/WhoAteMyPizza · 3 pointsr/atheism

One of my favorite books, love John Krakauer.

Where Men Win Glory

u/grecy · 3 pointsr/MURICA

If you have not read Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer I highly recommend you do. It's an extremely good account of exactly what happened, and why men like Pat were over there in the first place.

It's one of the best books describing the whole war over there I've ever read.

u/Some_guy_called_andy · 3 pointsr/worldpolitics

I was going to say "this happened again!?" But then saw that this article was from 2006. If you want to read a book about this, as well as the general mess that their platoon went through, read The Black Hearts.

u/doskey123 · 3 pointsr/syriancivilwar

Please don't treat this as if the west was not capable of the same crimes. It's quite the opposite and a lie.

There, brave US serviceman killed 24 civilians. All murderers of the Haditha massacre walked. None were convicted. If the US is any good at anything, it is at covering up war crimes. And if you could stomach that, have a look at the next one:

And if you want to find people justifying this rape and killing of a 14y old girl by talking about how stressful these poor soldiers were, just have a look at the comments of this book on amazon, :

u/zcohenld · 3 pointsr/EngineeringPorn

All depends on what you do. Sure, many engineers stay at their desks their whole lives, just as many engineers are out in the field or on the floor working alongside the technicians.

Read Skunkworks. Rich goes into detail a couple times that Kelly Johnson, the father of Skunkworks would make sure his engineers were right next to the assembly line at all times. This allowed the engineers to still design what they needed to work on, but also go right to the floor in a matter of seconds to fix or check what they needed to.

u/DLS3141 · 3 pointsr/AskEngineers

Anything by Henry Petroski

Skunk Works by Ben Rich Military aircraft aren't really developed this way anymore, but the stories are amazing.

Blind Man's Bluff

u/bmw357 · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

There are a few, probably one of the most appreciated/sought after is Sled Driver. Shul was a pilot and also a photographer, and the book is full of some awesome pictures. After he retired, he became a photographer and motivational speaker. He wrote the story above; this is a slightly different and expanded version.

There are also some great stories in the book (and a lot about the development/construction of the plane Skunk Works by Ben Rich. He also talks about the U2 and the F117A.

u/ReluctantParticipant · 3 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

Read the book Skunk Works. It's fascinating and will answer all your questions about the F-117.

u/johnnycman · 3 pointsr/IAmA

Also not an AMA but related: Ben Rich's book Skunk Works covers some of what went on at Area 51.

u/larrymoencurly · 3 pointsr/ScienceFacts

Read Skunk Works, a history of Lockheed's secret division that designed the SR-71, the U-2, and the F-117 stealth fighter. The author, aeronautical engineer Ben Rich, was the second person to head Skunk Works, after the legendary Kelly Johnson retired. Rich's first project as head of the division was the stealth fighter, and Johnson literally kicked him in the ass because he thought if it failed it could end Rich's career.

u/MisterYu · 3 pointsr/LosAngeles

If anyone is interested in learning more about Lockheed in Burbank, this book has some pretty good stories about some of the high profile projects that were designed/built there.

u/Finkaroid · 3 pointsr/WarplanePorn

Just bought this book

And just started the section about the blackbird. Very excited for that.

u/erlingur · 3 pointsr/videos

If anyone wants to find out just what went into making these amazing machines I highly recommend Skunk Works. Just a fantastic book filled with great stories of the development of the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird and more.

I got this as a birthday present and could not put it down until I finished it.

u/flashbang123 · 3 pointsr/asktrp

I started to read more when I was trying to unplug. TV/Netflix/phones can really pull you out of reality, make your brain weak as you begin to lose control of your thoughts. Just try not watching TV/youtube for 3 days...why is it so hard? Are we addicted to screens or are we just lazy. Research neuroplasticity, and how you can make your brain work for you (any how you fall into additive traps when you lose control of your attention). A lot of people on here are recommending meditation, I can't stress how important this is.

Start by reading someting that interests you...check out r/suggestmeabook if you need some help. Also, I can recommend some great books:

  • Snow Crash - Neil Stephenson // The best cyberpunk/sci-fi roller-coaster of a read I have come across.
  • The Iliad - Homer / Fagles translaition // Read this to understand the mankind's greatest story about war, violence and masculinity - this is about the Trojan war (well 4 days near the end), and was widely considered to be the Bible for ancient Greeks.
  • A Man on the Moon - Andrew Chaikin // Fascinating (and accurate) account of NASA's Apollo space program from start to finish.
  • Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed - Ben Rich // Behind-the-scenes account of the Skunk Works program and the incredible achievements they made back in the day.

    Best of luck.

u/GetToDahChoppah · 3 pointsr/videos

Skunkworks - Ben Rich

This is one incredible book if this video even remotely interests you

u/greyfinch · 3 pointsr/science

ahem Kelly Johnson with pencils and rulers. And he didn't need either.

I would highly recommend that aviation junkies read this book. I bought it when I was probably 12, and I reread it all the time. The things that skunkworks did is amazing.

It's a tragedy that Jim died. Unfortunately, when shit goes sour at mach 3, there's no power that can save you beyond dumb luck.

u/codethevoid · 3 pointsr/pics

Currently reading Ben Rich's Skunk Works and it's mind-numbing how far ahead of its time the Blackbird was. "We are traveling at twice the speed of a sixteen-inch shell, and we don't turn on a dime. A tight turn takes between sixty and a hundred nautical miles, and if a pilot gets a little sloppy he could start a turn over Atlanta and end up over Chattanooga."

u/qwicksilfer · 3 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

What everyone said is correct: math, math, math, and enjoy your last summer ;) You may also want to learn how to code in C++ or Fortran (yes, yes, it's ancient, but pretty much all NASA codes are written in C++ or Fortran) or even Matlab, if you have access to it.

Also, if you want to read some inspirational type books: Kelly Johnson's Memoir, the man basically invented Skunk Works. I also loved Flying the SR71, which is all about the Blackbird. It may sound corny, but Rocket Boys is my go-to book and/or movie when I feel discouraged and like I can't hack it as an engineer. And Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" was really interesting to me.

What I found pushed me through the grueling classes, assignments, 50% on a test... was my passion for space exploration and propulsion methods. So I suggest in addition to the math and enjoying the free time you have left that you find what makes you passionate to be an engineer :). Because sometimes, at 2 am in a computer lab, after staring at the same chunk of code for 3 hours and not understanding why it doesn't seem to friggin work out... passion is all you have!

Best of luck to ya!

u/LineofBestFit · 3 pointsr/aerospace

[Skunk Works by Ben Rich is a fascinating book that you should check out] (

u/Aurailious · 3 pointsr/AirForce

[This book is also an interesting look inside early skunk works projects.] ( )

u/1369311007 · 3 pointsr/aviation

In the book about him, the author describes Boyd's fight to cancel it. It says that originally, the B-1 couldn't make it over a some mountain ranges in the world. How useful would that be? It also explains that someone in the Air Force fought for it to have a ladder attached to the plane for ground crews to use.

In my opinion, a ladder is absolutely unnecessary weight on this plane. I don't see how one can't find something to climb on if necessary.

I highly suggest reading it if you're an aviation fan. Boyd did amazing things in his career and the Air Force screwed him.

u/Production_super999 · 3 pointsr/AirForce

Read this and this

I'm not an officer, but I have a good idea of what you guys go through, and as a SNCO I get to see and try to positively mentor a lot of new 2Lts. You're going to see lots of literature regarding how to lead and how to "Air Force", but the best things you can internalize to be a good leader are 1) Take care of your people. Airmen aren't your buddies, and you don't need to coddle, but have understanding and common sense and know that things that happen in their lives are sometimes more important than things that happen at work 2) Use common sense. When you have to make a judgement on a situation, you should use the AFIs and go by them to the maximum extent possible. However, remember that AFIs are not people, and can't make judgements so you ultimately have to determine the right thing to do, which is often not black and white.

Good luck in COT!

u/nvgeologist · 3 pointsr/askscience

This doesn't and won't answer your question, but is related. Great read/listen/whatever.

Boyd was father of modern air combat, and in many ways, ground combat. He came up with the OODA Loop

u/lowspeedlowdrag · 3 pointsr/USMC

Check out the Commandant's Reading list recommendations for Officer Candidates. I'd add One Bullet Away and What it's Like to go to War to that list as well.

How is your general knowledge? Do you know all of your Troop Leading Steps, Leadership Traits, General Orders, and Operational Order sub-paragraphs?

u/DrMarianus · 2 pointsr/ProjectMilSim

After loads of reading on the bus to work every day, here follows my reading list for military aviation:


  • Viper Pilot - memoir of an F-16 Wild Weasel pilot who flew in both Iraq Wars
  • A Nightmare's Prayer - memoir of a Marine Harrier Pilot flying out of Bagram.
  • Warthog - Story of the A-10C pilots and their many varied missions in Desert Storm
  • Hornets over Kuwait - Memoir of a Marine F/A-18 pilot during Desert Storm
  • Strike Eagle - Story of the brand new F-15C Strike Eagle pilots and their time in Desert Storm


  • The Hunter Killers - look at the very first Wild Weasels, their inception, early development, successes, and failures
  • Low Level Hell - memoir of an OH-6 Air Cav pilot


  • Unsung Eagles - various snapshots of the less well-known but arguably more impactful pilots and their missions during WWII (pilot who flew channel rescue in a P-47, morale demonstration pilot, etc.)
  • Stuka Pilot - memoir of the most prolific aviator of Nazi Germany (and an unapologetic Nazi) who killed hundreds of tanks with his cannon-armed Stuka
  • The First Team - more academic historical look at the first US Naval Aviators in WWII


  • Skunk Works - memoir of Ben Rich, head of Lockeed's top secret internal firm and his time working on the U-2, SR-71, and F-117 including anecdotes from pilots of all 3 and accounts of these remarkable planes' exploits.
  • Lords of the Sky - ambitious attempt to chronicle the rise and evolution of the "fighter pilot" from WWI to the modern day
  • Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs - the story of the long-top secret group of pilots who evaluated and flew captured Soviet aircraft against US pilots to train them against these unknown foes.
  • Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage - story of the US submarine fleet starting at the outbreak of the Cold War and their exploits

    Bonus non-military aviation

    I highly second the recommendations of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and Diamond Age. I would also recommend:

  • Neuromancer - defined the cyberpunk genre
  • Ghost in the Wires - memoir of prolific hacker Kevin Mitnick
  • Starship Troopers - nothing like the movie
  • The Martian - fantastic read
  • Heir to the Empire - first of the Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy and the book that arguably sparked the growth of the Extended Universe of Star Wars
  • Devil in the White City - semi-fictional (mostly non-fiction) account of a serial killer who created an entire palace to capture and kill his prey during the Chicago World's Fair
  • Good Omens - dark comedy story of a demon and an angel trying to stop the end of the world because they like us too much
  • American Gods - fantastic story about how the old gods still walk among us
  • Dune - just read it
u/hawkinsst7 · 2 pointsr/worldnews

I'm not disagreeing with you, I just want to point out that the founder of Delta wrote a book.

u/Praesentius · 2 pointsr/news

Dead on accurate. If anyone follows this thread and wants to learn more about this aspect of Delta, they can read Charlie Beckwith's book.

He founded Delta after lobbying within the Army for years to create an American version of the SAS after serving in an officer exchange program.

u/Orlando1701 · 2 pointsr/AirForce

This isn't anything new, in fact there is an excellent book about how post WWII General officer ranks have been bloated at the expense of the people who actually do work.

u/benhamin_nunu · 2 pointsr/atheism

Seriously, read this book.

u/ridingthepine · 2 pointsr/MURICA

If you haven't read the book "Where Men Win Glory" by John Krakauer, you really really should.

u/CCG14 · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

I just finished a book about him that is really good. It makes it worse knowing how amazing of a person he really was.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

u/tunapepper · 2 pointsr/atheism

For those who haven't read Where Men Win Glory, you should consider reading it. Pat Tilman was a damn interesting and inspiring man. Additionally, the writer, Jon Krakauer does a great job of presenting the history and context of Afghanistan.

u/ZebraBalls · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death was written about those murders. I got it after Justin Watt did an AMA. I couldn't get past the first chapter, it was so brutal. I think the media that shows as honest a rendition of what's going on is out there, it's (the honesty) just not in the forefront that it was during the Vietnam war.

u/yermom · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Maybe they just got finished with Lone Survivor

u/admrltact · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Thank you for doing this AMA.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure to read Lone Survivor by former SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Throughout his book he reflects on their decision [to not kill the shepherd boy who stumbled upon their position, who in turn revealed their position to the Taliban that wiped out the rest of his team.](/spoiler "their decision"), wrestling with the idea that ROE, hamstrung by politics, and fear of backlash back home were major deciding factors.

I keep finding myself contrasting Luttrell's book with comments by Admiral Mullen in an interview about the OBL op - that politics were the last thing on the operators minds.

Throughout your experience did the opinion of the media, politicians and general population play a role in tactical decision making? What are your thoughts on the perception of these groups of SEALs and other special operation teams?

u/hwillis · 2 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

The director on the f117, Ben Rich wrote a book about his time in Skunkworks. The f117 was incredible. It was actually made possible by a Russian academic paper! They had a hell of a time translating it, and then they had to build a computer program to do the first radar signature simulations to actually design the thing. Even today it's the stealthiest thing flying because it sacrificed absolutely everything to be as undetectable as possible. The aerodynamics are hell and the engines are choked by huge baffles. Even the cockpit is uncomfortable to keep radar from getting in. No visibility and it was computer controlled way before its time because it was uncontrollable otherwise.

But that little thing is hard to see. The first tech demonstrator they designed was a small model that sat on a pole a short distance away from a radar antenna. It didn't even show up. It has to be measured with special equipment in a controlled environment... and the full-scale plane was even less visible.

u/kallekilponen · 2 pointsr/fireflyspace

Besides, black does have its advantages. It does absorb a lot of solar radiation, but it also helps to radiate heat at a faster rate than a white surface. This is why the Blackbird was painted black. It allowed them to use a more malleable grade of titanium.

Source: Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed

u/TheF0CTOR · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

They also were so fast that they had to be flown mostly by computers. A pilot once took manual control after his computer malfunctioned, and an error in judgement brought him over the wrong country.

They also did a fly-over where they broke the sound barrier over a building (on purpose). The sonic boom shattered the office windows, but the plane was never seen. It was too high to be visible. The plane was later sold and used by the US government.

Do you know why they used Titanium? Any other metal would've melted due to friction caused by drag.

Even if you can get a positive missile-lock (given the title, we'll go for death-ray) on an SR-71, you can't hit it. It would be across your airspace faster than you could give the order. If it's any comfort, getting a positive lock is next to impossible.

Source book on Amazon

u/whatwasmyoldhandle · 2 pointsr/aviation

by the way, has anybody else read this book?

it's a really good one. lots of cool information about the sr71, even though there's another plane on the cover

u/giles202 · 2 pointsr/TrueReddit

A worthwhile read: Skunkworks by Ben Rich It includes development of the U-2, SR-71 and F-117 as well as stories from pilot and engineers.

u/phillymjs · 2 pointsr/todayilearned
u/LTmad · 2 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

I fucking love what SkunkWorks does. This book really made me want to try and become an aerospace engineer and potentially make it into Lockheed Martin. This stuff fascinates me, I just wish I was advanced enough in my education to understand most of it. In time, I will get there.

That book is also what gave me my always raging SR-71 boner.

u/planepartsisparts · 2 pointsr/aviation

Get Ben Rich’s book about Lockheed’s Skunk Works Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed also Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond has excellent stories and Brian Shul has some excellent stories and photographs in his books but I don’t think they are in print any longer.

u/AgAero · 2 pointsr/engineering

I might as well start.

Skunk Works -- This is a memoir by Ben Rich of Lockheed's Advanced Development Programs division(AKA Skunk Works). If you're interested in aviation, I'd highly recommend it! Ben Rich lead the Skunk Works during development of the F-117 Nighthawk and the development of stealth technology(including a stealth ship for the Navy that never got the green light). He also worked on the U-2 Dragonlady, and designed the engine inlets for the SR-71 Blackbird.

The Machine that Changed the World -- I'm currently working on this one, so I don't have a fully developed opinion just yet. So far it's pretty neat. This is an expositional work about the Toyota Production System, and similar aspects of industrial engineering(dubbed Lean Production) that were developed in Japan after WW2. The authors have a tendency to proselytize it seems like, but maybe that's for good reason. It's not my area of expertise.

u/Brad_Chanderson · 2 pointsr/hoggit

If you enjoyed this, give Stealth Fighter a read!

And if you're in this subreddit, give Skunk Works a read. It's one of the best.

u/thisabadusername · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Maybe this would be interesting? Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed

u/bbluech · 2 pointsr/personalfinance

Yeah, this one is really cool.

Just be aware that the author did run the skunk works for a time and is obviously biased towards the model. That being said the Skunk Works as a whole is a really fascinating model of business and the story of Lockheed's is really cool even beyond what you might take away from the book.

u/chucksfc · 2 pointsr/pics

Read Skunk Works - - if you want the whole story - great read - and Kelly Johnson is a pimp.

u/KderNacht · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

The autobiography of Ben Rich, one time chief of Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works division. He was in the team for U-2 and SR-71 and was head of the F-117 development. It's basically the birth story of modern stealth technology.

u/learnyouahaskell · 2 pointsr/pics

An immature internet writer adulterating the writing of Shul. Search for "Sled Driver pdf" if you would like to see the 1st edition original. I'm not sure if the account in fancy, limited, later edition was as brief, but it was definitely terse, understated, tongue-in-cheek, and professional. None of this highschooler self-congratulatory, chest-beating cowboyish fantasy.

You might be able to find it at a local library:
Here is another book highly worth reading:

u/Carbonade · 2 pointsr/starcitizen

There is a really cool book called Skunk Works, which talks about this technology-race during the cold war. I recommend it for anyone interested in reading about the stealth tech development.

u/NewThoughtsForANewMe · 2 pointsr/Military
u/BlueShellOP · 2 pointsr/recruitinghell

It's called Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed.

I can absolutely recommend reading it.

u/Gereshes · 2 pointsr/AskEngineers

In no particular order but all of the following are great.

  • Skunk Works by Ben Rich - I reviewed it here
  • Ignition! - It's an informal history of liquid rocket propellant and I did a more in depth review of it here
  • The Design of Everyday Things - A book about how objects are designed. It changed how I look at the world and approach design. It took me few tries to get into it the first time.
  • Introduction to Astrodynamics by Battin - A great textbook on the basics of astrodynamics that is both easy enough for undergrads to start, and rigorous enough to keep you interested as your math skills improve in grad school and later.
u/TanyIshsar · 2 pointsr/CredibleDefense

While this is somewhat outside of your scope, I would recommend reading Boyd. I recommend this because it follows the life of a deeply influential military man during the cold war. It will provide you with general knowledge as well as a peak into the social, economic & political fabric of the USA DoD during his tenure.

His work, primarily the OODA loop & Maneuver Warfare, are also discussed and will provide you with the jumping off points to further explore your interests in more appropriate detail.

u/ScratchyBits · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Yea, SlyReference basically covers it and I may have been overstating things with China (given their past 100 years in particular). All the same, where Western/European culture ends up from here is an interesting question to me.

A book I really like that's relevant is The Great War and Modern Memory.

Of course the war and its aftermath set the stage for the deaths of the old empires (all gone or changed beyond recognition by 1945), and was a nexus point for the conflicts that would shape the next century - Paris 1919 covers that quite well.

u/docsquidly · 2 pointsr/video

Generation Kill. Its an HBO mini-series based on the book by Evan Wright.

I highly recommend it.

u/dvsdrp · 2 pointsr/ifyoulikeblank

Yeah it's pretty good.

Here's the Rolling Stone article by Evan Wright that started it all.

Here's the book Wright wrote.

FYI, the guy that plays Rudy, is the actual Rudy in real life. Other core members of the story also worked as consultants on the TV series. There was also some controversy later as several other people involved wrote of their own experiences and points of view.

u/PrivateCaboose · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Band of Brothers and Generation Kill were both good books that made for great mini series, I'd check them out.

u/picatdim · 2 pointsr/pics

I'm a 19-year-old boy from Ottawa, Canada (you may have heard of our little country :P ). While I was not homeschooled per se during my public school years (I went to regular English schools), I definitely learned more quickly, more thoroughly and more widely due to my parents' constant efforts to teach me things that went way above and beyond what I was "learning" at my high school.

My parents are both high school teachers, and have each spent roughly 30 years teaching their respective subjects.

My dad actually just retired last year, but he taught most of the Social Studies curriculum during the course of his career (History, Philosophy, Psychology, World Religions, etc.). He is a bilingual Francophone from Ottawa, so he taught at one of the French Catholic high schools in our area. He also happens to be somewhat skeptical of religion (not an atheist, but damned close). Odd combination, yes, but it has resulted in him introducing me to
military history, everything from the Roman legions to the Knights Templar to the Taliban.

My mother was born in Ottawa, to Greek parents who had left Greece after the Second World War; my grandparents are from a village about 20 minutes away from the modern city of Sparti (Sparta). During the war, the village was at some point occupied by Axis forces (I'm not sure when or to what extent, because my grandparents' English is not great and only my mother speaks Greek).

I decided to include a list (below) of works that I've found particularly interesting (I've never actually written down a list of my favs before, so this may be somewhat... sprawling and will be in no particular order :P ). Depending on the ages of your kids, some of this stuff might be inappropriate for them right now, but they can always check it out when they're older. It's mostly military/wartime history that interests me (it's what I plan on studying in university), but I've learned so many little tidbits about other things as well from having access to these works. Since your kids are all boys, I hope they'll find at least some of this stuff to be interesting :) .


u/chad2261 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I can think of a few off the top of my head but in the interest of keeping this short:

Generation Kill by Evan Wright. If you're even remotely interested in military-type things, this is a really great read.

u/brinstar117 · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Even Wright, an embedded combat reporter during Operation Iraqi Freedom and author of Generation Kill brandished a rifle while on patrol at the request of the marines he was riding with.

It is mentioned in a Huffington Post interview:

>Did you feel useless because you couldn't fire a gun?

EW: On a human level it would have been really exciting to shoot a gun over there. I can hit a target with a rifle generally but that very different from what they do.
There's one moment that's not in the show where they handed me a weapon in the vehicle. We were rolling through a sketchy town. Everyone was like, "You're occupying a seat; you're useless, take a gun." The enormity of the responsibility you have -- it sounds corny here back home -- but if you're really out there with these Marines and you're holding a weapon ... I was like, what if I hear an engine backfire and I pull the trigger? It wasn't [so much the fear] that I'd kill an innocent Iraqi -- that was a problem -- but if I fuck up, I'll get kicked out of the embed. That was my practical reason. When Geraldo was in Afghanistan and he was like, "I'm packing a .45," I was like, "C'mon dude."

I read his book and if I remember correctly it was a short lived occurrence as the author did not maintain proper gun discipline. He unintentionally swept the barrel of the rifle at the marines which is a big no no. The author never fired a weapon while embedded, but I don't recall if the gun was loaded or not. I don't think that it was.

u/richalex2010 · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Marine Corps != Army, agreed with you though.

Likely why he visited so many countries, Marines deploy and sail around the world (like aircraft carriers) as a force ready to fight or render aid wherever needed (Afghanistan after 9/11, Japan to help with humanitarian aid) when they aren't actively fighting a war (or in between deployments). At least, that's my understanding of it (mostly based on this book).

u/JokerNJ · 2 pointsr/running

Avoid treadmills. If you haven't already, read Nate Fick's book 'One bullet away'.
From memory he scored well on the 3 mile run but had to give it 100%.

u/sekret_identity · 2 pointsr/USMC

I don't know much but I know this.

Leadership is service.

It's not about you.

Real leadership looks like this:

  • protecting your guys from bullshit from above
  • looking out for their welfare and checking in on them
  • holding them to a high standard and yourself an even higher one
  • balancing men vs mission aggression vs caution
  • knowing your shit so well you cannot fuck up in any circumstance
  • knowing their shit so well they cannot fuck up

    Read this book

u/oi_nihonjin · 2 pointsr/CredibleDefense

> From personal experience military intelligence is an oxymoron.

Unfortunately, anecdotally this is too true for most military's. Information in the modern world changes so rapidly that the military bureaucracy and chain of command tend's to do nothing more then to just slow down the rate at which accurate info is provided to front line troops.

A great example is in the now famous Generation Kill and One Bullet Away. The unit is constantly supplied with FRAGO's and new mission objectives based on faulty and outdated information that time and time again places them in ambushes, traps, and situations where the only reason they leave alive is because of the ineptitude of the enemy, not their own skill.

u/Phredward · 2 pointsr/KerbalSpaceProgram

This is great! I've been reading Riding Rockets and it's amazing how little insight shuttle pilots had into what was happening on the outside of the ship. In KSP you see everything from any angle, but in real life, you've just got your own 2 eyes and any cameras someone thought to attach.

u/rifain · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

I really like this one about the arduous and long path for Mullane, the author, to fly to space. This is an easy and very interesting reading. He talks also in details about the mistakes that led some of his friends to be killed.

u/gunnerclark · 2 pointsr/kickasstorrents

Cool. Thanks for the book links. I just finished a great book entitled Death Traps, the story from the viewpoint of a maintenance guy for armored forces in the European Theater. A odd person to write a book that is fascinating, but he did.

Thanks again.

u/3rdweal · 2 pointsr/DestroyedTanks

Firing from head on, the anti-tank guns could have penetrated the Shermans from over 1000 yards. Of course the gunners could have been distracted/inexperienced/scared, the scenario is plausible, but having them seemingly manned by storm troopers sounds a little unrealistic to me.

If this is the book you're referring to, there's a lot of debate as to whether the author's statements beyond his personal experience are worth considering.

u/angrydroid · 2 pointsr/WorldWar2

Hey, if you want a good read about Shermans in WW2 from the perspective of a guy who had to fix them I highly suggest checking out Death Traps.

u/hypnobear · 2 pointsr/USMC

Battleground Pacific it would seem.

u/64bitHustler · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

And centipedes, I'd like to plug Jocko's book Extreme Ownership. I HIGHLY recommend it to all centipedes. Excellent lessons on leadership, toughness, self reliance, and taking ownership in life and business.

u/TenebrousClarity · 2 pointsr/Divorce

Not specifically tailored to divorce, but were helpful to me in general reorientation of approaches to life:

"Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willink

"A Guide to the Good Life" by William Irvine

u/Gafontino · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

No worries, man. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were both major studs that disobeyed orders to do the right thing... Saving dozens of lives. May they rest in peace... Anyways I recommend everyone to check out Jocko's book called Extreme Ownership.

It is a great read and I got a LOT out of it. The podcasts where he was a guest on the Joe Rogan show and on the Tim Ferriss show are also definitely worth checking out. He has his own podcast now too and so far I've also gotten a lot of value from that as well.

I want this man to become President someday. Cannot speak highly enough about him. His experience and leadership... And perspective, is quite humbling to say the least.

u/metssuck · 2 pointsr/AskMen

Unbroken is the most recent book that I've read, it's fantastic!

u/causticwonder · 2 pointsr/books

Unbroken. It's phenomenal. Basically a plane crashes and the survivors are forced to try to survive on a raft for an indeterminate amount of time. Great story of resiliency.

Flags of our Fathers. The book before the miniseries. Also phenomenal.

If you like really really detailed historical accounts, you can't do much better than The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich although I would probably recommend the audio version. It's available through audible. I got about half way through it before I had to stop, but man, it was detailed. DETAILED. If you ever wanted to know the minutiae of Hitler's daily life in part, this is it.

A memoir from a female perspective, perhaps? Well, A Woman in Berlin is your book. It's harrowing. There are things talked about here that most history books gloss over.

u/shesautomatic · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is the best one I've read so far. Nonfiction account of an American bombardier in WW2, built with superb writing and an almost unbelievable story.

u/samhend · 2 pointsr/videos

It's certainly possible. I would suggest you look up the story of Louis Zamperini, he and another man survived almost 47 days at sea during World War II with few rations and no water. Wikipedia link and a book written about him.

u/toadog · 2 pointsr/pics

I don't have time to read all the comments, but if anyone is interested in reading what was like to be on a plane fighting in the Pacific in WWII read

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand


You can read the first chapter free on Amazon. I guarantee you will be hooked. There is a reason the men who fought that war are revered.

u/Dogwithrabiez · 2 pointsr/writing

Plenty. Check this book out. Also, this. You just need to look for them. There are plenty out there.

u/audaxxx · 2 pointsr/hoggit

In the Gulf war, they had to fly them. It wasn't a pleasant experience apparently.

u/Me_for_President · 2 pointsr/CombatFootage

The whole book is amazing (note that I had the title wrong earlier). The detail the soldiers provide is far more graphic and horrible than any movie I've ever seen. D-Day is basically a free-for-all where everyone gets to get killed for free. They've also got an audio book of it which is pretty decent.

u/HPB · 2 pointsr/HistoryPorn

This book has an account of a German defender who fought in a Tobruk bunker for a short time on D Day.

u/kalei50 · 2 pointsr/bookclub

I'm about 2/3 through this one:

D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944

If you're interested in WW2, I definitely recommend it. Understandably it does have some pretty graphic content, so just a heads up.

u/EddieIzzardsWardrobe · 2 pointsr/history

They sure did. I'm reading a book right now called "D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944" Amazon link that features lengthy interviews with German soldiers who manned the gun emplacements at Normandy. It's fascinating to read the German perspective of D-Day. The troops were awed by the amassed allied firepower, with ships stretching out to the horizon and a parade of aircraft flying overhead.

u/coolhand83 · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

I read this for the first time today, in this book. Weird coincidence...

Highly recommend the book by the way, it's written by the Lieutenant from the TV series Generation Kill.

u/TheTruthYouHate1 · 1 pointr/Military
u/arriflex · 1 pointr/space

What happened on the Atlantis mission is fact, not conspiracy. NASA's failure to address the problem is on them. Do you comprehend that there was a burn through and melted metal on a strut? Do you understand how close they came to losing Atlantis? 700 tiles damaged. There should have been a "repair kit" before the next mission.

Ask Mike Mullane how serious the STS-27 issue was. He was on board. He mentions some in "Riding Rockets". He has also told me that he and the crew were "lucky". Not exactly PC astronaut speak.

They did something about the foam after Columbia, right? It only took a tragedy to spur them into action. Just like the O-Ring issue. The foam should have been addressed when they almost lost Atlantis in 1988.

The remains of Challenger were stuffed in a silo. This is also fact. There was no extensive study of the debris. We learned very little about the breakup- how much knowledge could have been gained from the study of the orbiter? NASA wanted to be rid of the Challenger disaster as quickly as possible.

They learned their lesson about that when it came to Columbia. The investigation and it's results are completely public. The remains of Columbia are categorized and stored in the VAB, available for research and loan for scientific studies.

I'm sure none of this will convince you that I am not a demeaning and delusional person bent on destroying the credibility of NASA. But I'm not speaking to you Firehawk, this is for the objective readers. They will do their homework (outside of wikipedia) and hopefully find themselves more informed.

Take the time to visit KSC. Meet some astronauts and interact with them. Ask them hard questions, I think you'll find (especially from the retired ones) a level of discussion that will leave you very well informed.

u/YossarianH · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

This book could be a very interesting read for you:

The reason of high crew turnovers was not because the old crews got new vehicles, it was because the old crew was dead. As tanks were valuable, knocked out tanks were often patched up. If the hull was a loss, they would re-use the turret and vice versa.
Cooper describes that if they were 'lucky' the would find the projectile that knocked out the tank inside the tank so they could use it to patch the hole (as the projectile and the hole often had the same diameter.

u/Myself2 · 1 pointr/CombatFootage

you realise by the end of the war AT guns were everywhere? how good is a tank if it's hit by a AT gun from 1940 and it gets knocked out? From the 50.000 shermans built, only ~10.000 survived

u/IlliniOneSeven · 1 pointr/army


Death traps: Survival of an American Armored Division in WWII by Belton Cooper

A must read for any Ordnance guy who wants some pride in their branch. Its an autobiographical account written by Belton Cooper, a Maintenance Officer during the advance towards Berlin across western europe. Great read of WW2 on the ground tactics, cool stories of a WW2 Loggie Officer (which may seem hard to believe, but seriously some cool shit), and some takes on tank warfare from a maintenance perspective. Cooper gets really critical of eisenhower though on not implementing the pershing tank sooner.

u/captnxploder · 1 pointr/Warthunder

In the book Death Traps, it's mentioned that it was typical for the Germans to not stop firing on a tank until it was on fire. This was Vs the Americans anyways.

So it could be a tank from an actual battle.

u/Maskirovka · 1 pointr/hoi4

"Death Traps" by Belton Cooper

Autobiography of a junior officer of one of 3rd armored division's maintenance battalion from Normandy to V-E. Critical of Patton (as you'd expect from anyone who saw the aftermath of nearly every Sherman knocked out in the division.

Talks about modifying Shermans for various tasks, including how they modified German beach obstacles and welded them to the tanks to bulldoze hedgerows. Fantastic detail about tank recovery ops and details about damage to both allied and axis armor.

u/bbatwork · 1 pointr/history

My personal recommendations:
My 30 year war by Onada Hiro:
This book was written by a Japanese lieutenant who refused to believe the war was over, and continued living in the jungles of the Philippines until the 70s.

Battleground Pacific by Sterling Mace. A first person account from a USMC rifleman who fought in the Pacific war. He is also a redditor.

And the Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer, a French man who fought for the Germans on the Eastern Front.

Happy reading!

u/ragdoll32 · 1 pointr/Military
u/punkfunkymonkey · 1 pointr/CombatFootage

Have you read Battleground Pacific? It's written by Redditor Sterling Mace, covering his recolections of the same battles but as a rifleman rather than as a mortar man. It's a bit more earthy.

u/routemypacket · 1 pointr/sysadmin

Great feedback from /u/volci - I would take heed.

Along with that, buy this book:

Listen to these podcasts:

I usually don't say "buy a book and do X" but these two things have given me more insight on leadership than anything else in my 30 years on earth. I have a management degree that cant hold a candle to this stuff.

u/PhotonDota · 1 pointr/DotA2
u/Bocephuss · 1 pointr/nfl

This is starting to make sense. You aren't willing to hold Baker more accountable for his poor play in much the same way that you refuse to hold yourself accountable for your own poor spelling and grammar.

You say that Baker's focus can't be taken away by external factors like his tweeting and at the end of the day he is just a bad QB.

At the same time, your grammar and spelling can't be controlled by you because it's an autocorrect problem.

I am reading a book right now I think might benefit you, cheers!

u/zabloosk · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

The movie just covers the war stuff, but especially if you don't care for war stories, the book is a full portrait of the man, warts and all. It made me cry.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

u/myrealnamewastakn · 1 pointr/todayilearned

American POW held by japanese survival - 67%
German POW held by American survival - 98.85%

Yeah, you know, pretty close conditions.

I read Unbroken the awesomest real WWII story ever. If they made it a movie it would be completely unbelievable. Complete with jumping in and out of a life raft avoiding great white sharks and eating their livers (apparently the only edible portion) after punching them to death and THEN surviving Japanese death camps.

u/ZombieCharltonHeston · 1 pointr/Military
u/notonredditatwork · 1 pointr/books

I forgot, I have also started Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Read by Stephen Fry), and it is well done as well.
I remembered a couple more that I liked:

Unbroken - good (true) story about WWII pilot who was captured by the Japanese

Water for Elephants - Good book (fiction) about a circus in the depression era

Anathem - I really like Neal Stephenson, and this was a good book, but it was very long, and I'm sure I would have had a much harder time if I had to read it, instead of just listen to it

Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Book 1) - Good book, but very long and if it weren't for the different voices by the narrator, I would have gotten lost pretty easily.

Hope this helps, and hope you find some good ones!

u/Gaelige · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you've read the book Unbroken you should understand why i cringe whenever i hear the name Watanabe. If you haven't... Do

u/Arpeggi760 · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/pyrelic · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, is the story of a World War II American P.O.W. It's very well written and gave me a whole new perspective of how World War II was from the Japanese perspective. I'd also go with Into the Wild, which Captain suggested. I love that book.

u/bh28630 · 1 pointr/

For anyone interested in a similar and quite extraordinarily well written, thoroughly documented story of WWII, may I suggest Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The book will confirm everything The0 states and add even more insight both to the war and it's aftermath effect on the POWs like "Edmund and Hap".

u/watkykjynaaier · 1 pointr/TaiLopez

The book you're looking for is called "Unbroken", by Laura Hillenbrand. You can buy it here.

u/mywholelifeisthundr · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken, By Laura Hillenbrand. One of the best and most amazing true stories I've ever read. Read it before the movie comes out!

u/araq1579 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The hivemind reccomends: Unbroken. awww yiss. I was reading a snippet while at the bookstore last night. it's a good read.

u/ariellecyan · 1 pointr/books
u/aginorfled · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Not only the best I read this year, but easily the best I've read in the past five years.

u/tartfacepowers · 1 pointr/AskReddit I listened to this during my night shifts and was so drawn into it I'd listen to it on the way home from work. I also felt shitty about how easy I have it in life afterwards.

u/OatSquares · 1 pointr/movies

this story has nothing on the movie they could make of Unbroken:

u/C-Rock · 1 pointr/books

For biography - Unbroken. For only having two books under her belt Laura Hillenbrand is a great biographer. I also highly recommend Seabiscuit. She does a great job of recreating the time and place. Unbroken is an incredible story about an incredible man's life. Amazing he made it through with his humanity intact.

u/Brettweiser · 1 pointr/books

Unbroken is great. It non-fiction that reads like fiction. So good!

u/comedygene · 1 pointr/news

Unbroken. Great book.

u/matt314159 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Flags of our Fathers

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Both books moved me to tears while reading, and clung to my mind for weeks after.

u/iamproph · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

If you are looking for a book without the wandering, check out House to House.

u/hotsauced26 · 1 pointr/cigars

Check out "House to House," I think you will really enjoy that book as well. It captures the essence of Iraq war and the Battle of Fallujah. This book made my heart race and palms sweat while I read it. Here is a link

u/leadfoot323 · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

Targets of opportunity (i.e. helicopters). The Warthog actually got a couple of kills during the Gulf War. I'd definitely suggest this book if you're interested in learning more.

u/lighthaze · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

I guess more than that. Sadly my kindle isn't charged at the moment, but If you're interested you might want to have a look at this book:

They're flying the A-10A (which makes crossing the Atlantic even harder) but the first Chapter describes the ordeal pretty detailed. Including refueling during a Thunderstorm. At night. Under time pressure.

u/insoucianc · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Those corrupt governments are installed and supported by the US.

Gathering and analyzing intelligence on other countries is its primary, original role. Most directly for keeping specifically the President informed of just what the heck is developing around the world. It was started after WW2 in order to prevent another Pearl Harbor surprise. And they were not allowed to gather intelligence on US soil, but that has not been strictly observed.

This work involves gathering tasks as mundane as always reading the news in a target country, as political context matters as much as tapped phone conversations when putting together an analysis. But the movie-caliber stuff is important too. They tap phones, recruit sources in governments and industry, build a whole network of resources.

To collect this information, the CIA uses two kinds of employees. “Official cover” officers pose as diplomats in US embassies worldwide. All embassy staff will be under surveillance from the target country’s counter-intelligence organizations — their FBI equivalents — so meeting sources is risky and they might stick to less blatant parts of the job. But on the upside, they have diplomatic immunity and just get sent home if caught spying. Non-official cover officers get jobs in multinational companies or assume some invented identity that gives them a reason to be in country. They can more freely recruit local sources but must rot in prison or die if caught, unacknowledged.

Info goes back to legions of analysis teams working in offices in the US who prepare it into reports.

The CIA also engages in covert and clandestine activities meant to influence other countries. This latter role has grown, diminished, and changed in nature throughout its history depending on political climate. Some bad press from some really ugly leaks in the 70’s (I think) about the extent of these activities put a big damper on them for a while, requiring Presidential sign-offs on killings, iirc. Post 9/11, the CIA is back on the hard stuff but keeps a legion of lawyers to make sure it’s teccchhnically legal.

These cold war activities include funding and organizing Afghan resistance against communist rule, for example. A whole covert war. Also tons of election rigging, assassination, etc. Post cold war they have been involved in anti-terror activities like running the war against the Taliban and assassinating militants and their neighbors with drone missiles.

Fun fact: “covert” operations are meant to hide who is behind an operation, “clandestine” are meant to conceal the entire operation from anyone but us. Compare an assassination to a phone tap.

Edit: in one episode (2 or 3 i think) of Netflix docu series Inside the Mossad explains how Israel’s foreign intelligence uses elaborate sting operations to recruit sources. By the time they realize they’re working for Mossad, they’re in too deep to not go along with it. Intelligence orgs do this a lot when they know the people they need probably hate the org’s country. This is basically all the time for Israel spying on other middle east states. Case officers often use really impressively manipulative strategies for recruiting and controlling their local agents. “The Americans” illustrates some great examples of this, if a little more dramatic.

Edit 2A: There are a bunch of other specialized US foreign intelligence agencies, like the NSA that traditionally intercepts signals and cracks their codes.

Edit 2B: In the UK, MI6 of James Bond fame does foreign intelligence and MI5 does counter-intelligence. These existed during WW2 but back then the lines got blurred, with both organizations running their own double agents against Nazi Germany’s own two competing foreign intelligence orgs. In fact, 0% of any spies Germany sent to Britain were able to work for enough time before being caught to send anything useful over. By 1944, when the UK was more confident that they were controlling all the sources sending info to Germany (the ones that wouldn’t work for the UK as double agents radioing harmless intel back home were either dead or imprisoned), they fed Germany massive misinformation about the location (and timing?) of the D-Day Normandy invasion. Read the excellent book Operation Double Cross to learn about this incredible operation.


Books on the CIA I found rewarding.

“The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez. Ben Affleck played him in Argo. Memoir of this artist’s time in the CIA inventing disguises and forging travel documents, often to exfiltrate an exposed source. Watch or read Argo too if you haven’t, the film at least is incredibly cool because its evacuation of American diplomats from Iran as Canadian filmmakers is largely real.

“Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.” Recent declassifications are exposing just how terribly the CIA bungled things in the early cold war, which is what this is about. From massive nuclear arms race miscalculations that threatened the world, to unfounded communism paranoia that led to totally unnecessary coups, they used classification to hide their greatest errors.

“Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda.” Beyond just the tech, you get insight into the lives of tech team members who would bug homes for their career. Interesting stuff. I think I read a different edition but this is probably fine.

“Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”
Tom Clancy name, but actually an extremely detailed history of the CIA’s 1980’s support for Afghan mujahideen against the USSR and continued involvement in the 90’s. Down to highlighting cultural generational differences within the multiple cohorts of CIA officers in charge of the long-running operation. Also highlights Pakistan’s demand to hand out all the money, both to act as kingmaker for the dominant factions and to skim hella bux off the top. Descriptions of the conflict and how the Afghans relentlessly persevered and how factions had independent deals and truces with USSR. Then much of the civil war aftermath of USSR pullout when the US stopped caring. Taliban become popular for not tolerating warlords raping local boys, an issue that remains to this day among US supported administration (a coalition of “former” warlords who you will recognize if you read the book). Great read, incredible breadth.

u/Greyswandir · 1 pointr/askscience

According to Tony Mendez (the guy played by Ben Affleck in Argo), the USSR used laser doppler vibrometers to record conversations remotely, by measuring the vibrations sound waves were making in the windows of the American embassy from across the street! So another use for them is to record sounds in places which (for one reason or another) you can't access with a more traditional microphone.

u/FertilityHollis · 1 pointr/politics

The book it's taken from is a really good read. "Master of Disguise," which covers not only that event in Iran but the rest of the author's career with the CIA.

u/Mange-Tout · 1 pointr/politics

My uncle was covert. Officially, his cover story was that he worked in "embassy security". After he died I asked my aunt about him. She wouldn't say much, but she said that he really liked this book for its accurate portrayal.

u/TeAmFlAiL · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Not trying to sell anything here but read this book. One of the most amazing pilots and warriors in the US Military ever. He gives you great insights into taking out air defenses.

u/squinkys · 1 pointr/hoggit

If you're the reading type, check out Dan Hampton's "Viper Pilot." He flew the F-16C/J in both Gulf Wars, which is the Air Force's dedicated SEAD/DEAD airframe. He talks at length about the Wild Weasel mission, and emphatically states his disdain for the AGM-88. Their Pk is very low in real life (not quite the death laser that BMS makes it out to be...although that's probably more on BMS' unrealistic SAM radar behaviors more than anything else) and the author much preferred going in with CBU's or dumb iron and making sure the threat was really dead and no longer a threat.

u/multypass · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton is a great read about F-16s on Wild Weasel missions in both Iraq Wars. These guys had balls of steel.

u/mbran · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Check out the book Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton. Story of F-16 Wild Weasels in Iraq in 2000s.

u/Kniucht · 1 pointr/todayilearned
u/therealderka · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Viper Pilot is a great read about the Wild Weasels.

u/QQMF · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the book Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton. An amazing book by a Wild Weasel pilot who flew the F-16CJ. Although it is packed full of information from how one becomes a pilot in the Air Force, the Wild Weasel mission, to fighter pilot culture, it reads just like a novel. The audiobook is also excellent - the recitation of some of the comms on the 1st night of the Gulf War is alone worth the price of admission. I can't recommend either highly enough.

While looking up the book again, I discovered that the author also released a new book, The Hunter Killers, last year about the original Wild Weasels in Vietnam. I obviously have not read it yet, but I bet it is excellent if you want to dive into the history of the mission.

u/chihirobelmo · 1 pointr/hoggit

Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

by Dan Hampton

not an English written book but I also like this...

u/volcomsnow909 · 1 pointr/hoggit

Came here to suggest Dan Hampton. Ive read and loved all his books. His newest one, The Hunter Killers, was a great read.

Viper Pilot, is a great account of his time in the F-16.

u/PresDonaldDuck · 1 pointr/worldnews

For spec ops Inside Delta Force is fascinating. What really struck me was his claim that Vietnam absolutely had American POWs well into the 1980s - yeah, lots of people say shit like that, but the striking thing in this case was the source: a verified former Delta operative.

Inside Delta Force is excellent as well and the author is actually the friggin' founder of Delta Force, Colonel Charlie Beckwith.

Special ops within intel agencies? Ehhh...good luck. I just looked and turned up precisely buttkiss on Amazon for "cia sog".

u/_aut0mata · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Gotta be honest. Can't Hurt Me was a really good and different type of self-development book. That said, Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military's Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit was an enthralling read. Not really self-development; nonetheless, motivating in the genre of special operations.

If you're familiar, Delta/CAG are the best to ever do it, IMO.

u/thebrandedman · 1 pointr/history

This one is a good one if you're looking for a semi-political perspective of military men.

Stephen Hook also has a great textbook on Post WW2 political theory.

u/JackGetsIt · 1 pointr/asktrp

You're going to ruffle some feathers and your going to run into bigger fish that will put you in your place as well. But people forgive charisma and boldness all the time, so it will balance itself out. Look at Pat Tillman. Gentle, down to earth alpha and amongst his special forces team I'm sure he was just one of the guys. Of course you can be 100af and still be respectable. Maybe try reading No More Mr. Nice Guy. Or read up a bit more on Tillman. Jon Krakauer has a good book on him; It's called Where Men Win Glory.

u/VU_Dores · 1 pointr/MaddenUltimateTeam

While you are free to voice your pleasure or displeasure with the choice, just a reminder that this sub is not a place for political discussion. Thanks.

Edit: Gonna plug his biography in case anyone wants to learn more. It's amazing.

u/fotoford · 1 pointr/books

Here's a book about Pat Tillman, a man of integrity who led an exceptional, albeit short life: Where Men Win Glory by John Krakauer

link to Amazon page

u/comited · 1 pointr/books

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

u/aliveshecried · 1 pointr/todayilearned

You should read this book

u/ang29g · 1 pointr/army

The book he mentions in his AMA, Black Hearts, shines some light on the subject. It was in one of /r/army's professional development threads a few months ago.

u/mjgibson · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Marcus Luttrell

No doubt. It's rare that I hardly have to think about something, but when I read this this ask, I knew instantly that this dude was my answer.

His book about Operation Redwing

u/MoparMogul · 1 pointr/loseit

Hey punk, 25M / 6'2 / 247.6lbs here and you're about to lose.

I'm looking to end up at a solid 200lbs, so I've 47.6 pounds to lose. Close enough, right?

Download MFP and add me : Tychapman. Track everything you eat and every exercise you make and you better look forward to me talking mad shit when you sneak a cinnabon you pathetic land whale.

My weight loss frenzy is fueled by 2 part competition and 1 part accountability (also I'm out of college and have a little extra disposable income), so I'm not okay with buying you a 13 dollar book (not that you're going to win anyway). It's just not going to cut it.

What about this?

Or some of these?

Hell if you win (which you wont) I'll throw in your book, too.

If I win you better buy me THIS
(in fact, just go ahead and get it to save yourself the time).

PM me if you want to do a virtual shake-shake-shake and we'll exchange info. Lets get the fuck in shape!

u/EagleOfMay · 1 pointr/IAmA

Did you read this book: Lone Survivor? Any thoughts about it?

u/Romanster · 1 pointr/IAmA

This is a great book.

I doubt any Navy Seal would regret joining. The camaraderie is intense within the Seals.

When I was in Fallujah with the Marines, the Seals were high-speed no joke good guys.

u/rAtheismSelfPostOnly · 1 pointr/INTPBookmarks

Things to Buy

Iraq Research

Congress Related

Health & Exercise
Green Tea

u/Provenzer0 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Not a novel but "Lone Survivor" is a great book. As is "Into the Wild"

u/gamegenie13 · 1 pointr/Military

Very good read, once I started I couldn't put it down.

u/awesome_jawsome · 1 pointr/spacex

Not a SpaceX book, but when I was a young buck in engineering I found this a good read about rapid development of airframes:

u/raindownsugar · 1 pointr/HistoryPorn

Correct. And Ben Rich's book about Skunk Works is a must read.

u/LimEJET · 1 pointr/WeirdWings

Ah yes, cadmium. I knew cobalt sounded wrong.

As for the wood, I got it from the book Skunk Works.

u/DirkChesney · 1 pointr/AviationHistory

I’m halfway through a book all about the time they were developing this airplane and other stealth fighters at skunk works. Interesting read if you’re into engineering and of course flying. here is the link to it on amazon

u/GalantGuy · 1 pointr/engineering

Skunkworks, by Ben Rich. Nothing to do with mechatronics, but it's a good book.

Reading a book on control systems will just make you want to throw yourself off the tallest building you can find, and won't help you all that much should you actually finish it. PID control is sufficient for about 80% of engineering tasks, and you can learn it in 20 minutes using google.

You'd be better off picking a project with electrical and mechanical components and just running with it. Anything you don't know you can look up on google, or ask around for help.

u/Lighth_Vader · 1 pointr/worldnews

I can't link, but the info is in Ben Rich's book, Skunk Works.

u/MudvayneMW · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Read this

Lockheed had successfully tested a weaponized version of it, although if I recall correctly the only pilot that lost his life was during this testing (although I could be mistaken and have it mixed up with the D21 incident, or I might just be completely wrong on that part).

I unintentionally read the book in two days. Being as aerospace engineer I really loved it. And I couldn't agree more with Kelly' Johnson's rule #15 (never work with the navy).

u/zipperseven · 1 pointr/todayilearned

For anyone interested in aerospace design, Lockheed Skunkworks, Cold War military industrial complex bureaucracy, the founding of Area 51, or the design of the U-2, SR-71, and F-117 aircraft; I'd highly recommend the book by Ben Rich, who was the program manager on the 117 and a protege of Kelly Johnson. There's lots of nifty details and anecdotes like this.

u/PurposeToMelody · 1 pointr/pics

Everyone should check out Ben Rich's book "Skunk Works" he worked under Kelly Johnson and took over the Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works after he left and worked on the SR-71 and rhe F-117. It's a fantastic book and a interesting look into one of the most beloved aviation divisions of all time.

u/Little_Metal_Worker · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

first of all, i would recommend reading Skunk Works by Ben Rich. if you really find the subject interesting, that book is fascinating.

as for the F-22, and mind you I'm certainly not an expert in stealth technology, but i can tell you that radar waves don't work like visible light. next, i can tell you that some of the techniques used to achieve stealth include skinning the plane in a radar transparent materials, sometimes with a copper mesh woven in to absorb the radar waves and then dissipate them in the form of heat. behind the radar transparent materials the inner structure would be designed in a way to reflect the radar wave away from their point of origin. all of this of course is the most basic level of stealth. but remember the US has been working on this tech for over 50 years now. anyway hope that helped you understand it a lil bit.

u/Dug_Fin · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

> Don't many other nations possess advanced Russian SAMs that could easily take out a U-2?

Sure, but the specific mission the U-2 and SR-71 were built for was mapping overflights of the Soviet Union. The U-2 is still valuable for a variety of aerial recon missions, but we no longer need to violate hostile airspace when we use it. They claim satellites have supplanted the SR-71, and while that claim is dubious in many regards, the mapping of hostile territory mission has definitely been shifted to satellite assets.

Skunk Works is a good book on the subject. It's the autobiography of Ben Rich, one of the engineers of the SR-71 and the head of the Skunk Works after Kelly Johnson retired. Lots of detail on the early cold war stuff that spurred the development of these two remarkable aircraft.

u/ksobby · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Please read Skunk Works. An argument can be made that civilians made this ... but for no other reason than to give it to the military. The development of the F117 or the SR71 shows you just how far ahead of the curve that military funded R&D is versus civilian products.

And while I agree that cost will take a backseat, reliability is actually QUITE important when coupled with performance. Both must be at their peak for a project to go off the board and onto the tarmac.

u/ptitz · 1 pointr/history

The Francis Gary Powers part you can read about in Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich. It's a fantastic book, even if you're not into planes. It has a chapter about the U2 program, and the whole incident. Long story short, when Francis Gary Powers returned he was ostricized by the CIA, and in the media he was sometimes portrayed as a coward or a traitor for "choosing" to be captured instead of killing himself. In the end Lockheed took him in as a test pilot, and it wasn't until years after his death that he was completely rehabilitated.

u/by_a_pyre_light · 1 pointr/laptops

> failed stealth bomber from the 90's

The F117 Nighthawk was 1) a fighter, 2) a triumph of technology, 3) from the 1970s to 1980s, and 4) a massive success. It single-handedly destroyed more targets in the Gulf War than any other bomber or fighter wing, and it did all of that without losing a single plane.

If you're at all interested, I highly recommend this book. Written by the head engineer of the F117a and SR-71 Blackbird projects, it's an amazing look into the technical challenges they had to overcome to make the most advanced technology on the planet.

/end rant

> If I can somehow find a deal on the blade in the UK for >£1200 I might pull the pin, however, it will probably be hugely overpriced. It's a lovely laptop tho.

I mean, I don't understand how that could ever be possible on a new one. They sell for $1,799 USD new and that's the cheapest it's ever been. I'm not so good on the maths and conversions, but my experience tells me you guys usually get a straight across trade, where $1,799 = £1,799. Sometimes, you guys get more.

You may be able to get one of the 2015 970m ones used in good condition for that price though, but then you're buying a device that's 40% slower across the board.

u/fuckitimatwork · 1 pointr/pics
u/alupus1000 · 1 pointr/worldnews

It's not how it works. Otherwise you could paint a B-52 and make it a stealth aircraft.

I'd recommend this book, by the guy that designed the F-117.

u/eddier1200 · 1 pointr/EngineeringStudents

If you haven't read it already...

It depicts Kelly Johnson from Ben Rich's point of view. A great read.

u/theyoyomaster · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Excellent write-up but missed a few things. The first (minor one) is losses to transmissions; the more fancy the transmission the more likely it is to steal some of that sweet, sweet horsepower on its way to the wheels. CVTs are nice for the obvious benefit of infinitely variable ratios, but they lose a fair amount in the process.

Transmissions aside, the main factor you excluded was the ratio speed per energy used rather than power per energy used. The easiest example of this for ELI5 is the SR-71. They found that it was most efficient at max throttle, it would be burning twice as much fuel but it would be going more than three times as fast. Pointing out the integral of distance vs speed is probably above the ELI5 level but power per gallon per hour isn't the measure of automotive efficiency over MPG for a reason. If you make 200 hp at 8 gallons per hour, but can make 180 at 9 gallons per hour going 30% faster (perhaps losing the 20 hp to drivetrain at speed) you are still going to go further with the same gas. The most efficient RPM/throttle at the highest point on speed per fuel is going to give you the best MPG.

Airplanes have a lot of great data that shows all the variables if you really want to geek out about it. PDF page 132 of the Cessna 172 POH has some great tables showing all the variables of altitude, temperature and RPM setting with % maximum power, air speed and fuel used. Ben Rich's book [Skunk Works] ( also dives into great detail on the efficiencies at high mach.

u/Redarrow762 · 1 pointr/space
u/FuSoYa69 · 1 pointr/MilitaryPorn

Folks might be interested in this seminar given recently as well as this book.

u/ReggieJ · 1 pointr/funny

In another thread that had nothing to do with TSA or politics or any of that kind of stuff, someone recommended this book, authored by the head of Lockheed-Martin skunkworks.

He basically talks about the same thing you just did -- how the company would close the contract with one branch of the military and then the military would reduce its order number, and Lockheed would end up getting bitched at because costs per unit would spike.

u/soxy · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

There is a book called Skunk Works about Lockheed's experimental division (written by the retired head of the division) that came out nearly 20 years ago that has full details about finding and naming the site Paradise Ranch and exactly what planes they flew in and out of there. I just doesn't ever explicitly call it Area 51.

So yeah, not new news at all.

u/ShooDooPeeDoo · 1 pointr/conspiracy

This is not the FIRST time they've opened up. Read from one of the original leaders in his book here:

u/driftingphotog · 1 pointr/MachinePorn

Ben Rich's book Skunk Works is also a good read.

u/thalguy · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you want a lot of firsthand stories of Area 51 and awesomeness in general, check out Skunkworks by Ben Rich. He worked on, or oversaw, the development of the U2, F-117a, SR-71, and other stealth planes and boats. It's really awesome and has some good pictures in it too.

u/_Mr-Skeltal_ · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

It may be slightly dated, but you definitely want to read Ben Rich's autobiography Skunk Works. It's extremely thorough on this topic.

u/NZAllBlacks · 1 pointr/videos

If any of you like this, I would HIGHLY recommend the book Skunk Works written by the head of Lockheed Martin's secret division that made these planes. It's a fantastic book.

u/idontreadresponses · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

There's actually a large amount of info out there about Area 51 from people who worked there.

This book was written by the former director of Skunk Works from 1975 to 1991, overseeing the development of stealth technology at Area 51.

Loads of information and photos (yes, photos from inside Area 51!!!) from a former employee involved in the top secret transfer of prototype supersonic spyplanes to Area 51 for testing.

There's a fuckload of other good info out there. You might be able to track someone down and ask them directly if they'd be willing to do an AMA.

u/imwear · 1 pointr/videos

If you want to learn more about how the stealth bomber & other Lockheed planes (including the SR-1) were developed check out Ben Rich's book:

u/AmbivelentApoplectic · 1 pointr/UFOs

I've got the book [Skunkworks] ( and in that Ben Rich says they have the technology to take ET home but it's locked up in black projects. So I would say Lockhead, Boeing and the usual other military suppliers.

u/WalterFStarbuck · 1 pointr/AskReddit

In addition to Guns, Germs, and Steel:

u/Chrusciki · 1 pointr/MachinePorn

its that good? I just dont have the time right now to sit down and read a book, classes are kicking my ass.

you should check out this book. i sense you would enjoy it allot. i have given this around to so many people because of how good it is.

u/Sequenc3 · 1 pointr/cigars

Assuming you're an adult male above the age of 5 you'll love this book.

You can read excerpts online, I did then I went and bought the thing.

u/orangetsarina · 1 pointr/todayilearned

It depends on your budget. I got this for my dad as a "thank you for helping me fly" present and he loved it. The pictures are what really got me to purchase it. The new edition is available on his website and is slightly cheaper than the original (250ish?). I think it was worth it my dad talked about it for months. Read skunkworks my dad said if you loved that you would enjoy Sleddriver as well... Ah ur link was cheaper mi scusi! I guess the new ones reached amazon now!

u/le_mous · 1 pointr/Military

Not having to do with the time period of WWII or books that would have been read then, but two excellent references that I was turned onto were;

The Maneuver Warfare Handbook

And with a more modern twist, Col. John Boyd's OODA loop. I hear that Boyd is making a comeback. Here's a link to a book about him.

u/DudeManFoo · 1 pointr/The_Donald

Pretty familiar with most ... just shitpostin'...

BTW... you sound like a plane guy... one of the best books you will ever read (if you are into planes)...

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

I have 4-5 copies... have read it 3 times... brother has read it three times... favorite copy is held together with duct tape cuz it went around Afghanistan about 3 times...

u/RexMundi000 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

It is also about setting up a revolving door between the Pentagon and the private sector. Also the process it is highly intertwined and resilient to change because of how the promotion process works for officers in the military. For every dogshit military program that ends of being a waste of money, there is some office in the program keeping his mouth shut to get promoted. IE, F-111, F14, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, ect.

For example is design and production of the Bradley, they figured out that the gun is too small to penetrate the armor of any modern tank. Also the armor is so thin, that a RPG-7 will penetrate.... The army went ahead and bought them anyways. Below is a good starting place on the topic.

u/blindtranche · 1 pointr/guns

Hey, that "OODA wibbly" has more to it that you may guess. [John Boyd]( was a genius and an incredible fighter pilot who was a founder of the Top Gun fighter school with a record never equaled. He was called 40 second Boyd because he would let any pilot start on his 6 and he would be on theirs in 40 seconds. He, through math and his E-M theory (Energy Maneuverability), proved that USA jets were inferior to Soviet fighters. Major Boyd and the "fighter mafia" upset the Air Force command at the Pentagon, and was the primary force behind the F16 and F/A 18. He was a warrior who originated doctrine as profound as Sun Tzu. He was insolent to his superior officers and loyal to his men. He was called the Mad Major, but everyone knew he was brilliant. Gen. Schwarzkopf got his attack plan for the first Gulf War from Boyd. If you can find time to read a good book, may I suggest Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. He was was one of the most incredible little known men of the last century. There are ideas and concepts in the book powerful enough to change your life.

u/FlorbFnarb · 1 pointr/army

Yeah, it seems pretty damn good. Obviously it's a sector of the military I have zero contact with, but it all rings true and doesn't really have any serious errors in it.

The sad thing is that it does ring so true.

If you haven't already, read Boyd by Robert Coram:

Excellent book. I already knew the basics of the Bradley program's problems from that book. Didn't know the program stretched so far back and represented that degree of feature creep, though.

u/TWK128 · 1 pointr/funny

Air Force Colonel John Boyd was instrumental in the USMC adopting the tenets of Maneuver Warfare.

The Marines executed the shit out of it, but the application of it in our armed forces was the brainchild of Boyd and his acolytes.


u/networkedpilot · 1 pointr/aviation

The F-16 was built to compete with the F-15 believe it or not. Boyd's group actually came up with the A-10 as well, or at least some of the guys. This is a fascinating book on it:

There's a lot of other stuff though. The F-16s can't go as high or as fast as the F-15s. The F-16's radar is the size of a couple large pizzas, the F-15's is the size of a small dinner table. We went to Red Flag a long time ago when I worked F-16s, and our pilot came back pissed because they couldn't keep up with the F-15s.

A-10 is slow though, and has no air to air radar. They carry Aim 9s and that's about it. I'd be more scared of being shot down from ground to air in an A-10 than a Blackhawk.

u/Johnny10toes · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

It's interesting that you point this out at this time. I'm currently going through some lessons at and some apps brushing up on Algebra because I want to learn Calculus and Calculus because I want to learn Physics. Now... I wasn't good in math. I'm still not but Algebra I was decent at and have forgotten tons of stuff. But the reason for learning is maps, models, realities, ideas, etc.

> When you're a hammer everything is a nail.

We are in a bit of a Hammer/Nail situation here on /r/TheRedPill and this place was where my first version of reality dropped. You see TRP is our hammer and sluts/feminism/beta is our nails. We see the confirmation of our theories everywhere, but we're looking for them. If you're a feminist that's your hammer and the patriarchy is your nail, the evidence is everywhere. If you think you're beautiful then you'll find evidence of that.

My second drop in reality was from reading The Gervais Principle.

Then we have a conglomerate of things that started making me change how I view things in quick succession. Prometheus Rising, Be Slightly Evil, Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War and I'm sure there were a few more in there. Texts from John Boyd prove useful and tie into the other books and brings us back to models of our reality.

OODA Loop and at Art of Manliness -- At it's basic you may already be doing this. But at it's most complex you're probably not. It's not just about building a snowmobile either but that's a good way to explain it. And while we're on the subject of snowmobile this is the reason I want to learn Calculus and Physics and Transactional Analysis and Psychology and ... you get the point. I may find pieces of my snowmobile in one that I can use in another. Ideas that I can rip apart from Physics and use in Psychology or whatever.

This can be useful in that maybe a hammer is not the best tool for the job. Maybe you need a ruler. Which brings me to my point.


> Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. It can also be more generally described as the ability to perceive and/or retain knowledge or information and apply it to itself or other instances of knowledge or information creating referable understanding models of any size, density, or complexity, due to any conscious or subconscious imposed will or instruction to do so.

It's not so much that you know more about what is being debated it's that you can use information about things you do know to refute the debater. For this you're going to use all of your intelligence. Emotional, Academic, Social and whatever else. Sometimes having Social Intelligence means just shutting up and not debating.

u/cassander · 1 pointr/history

Robert Massie has 3 amazing books about WWI. Dreadnought about Anglo-German naval rivalry, Nicholas and Alexandra, about the last Czar and the russian perspective, and Castles of Steel, about the naval war. All of them are fantastic and read like novels.

Another excellent book is Paris 1919, about the end of the war, and how Woodrow Wilson ruined everything.

u/jadenton · 1 pointr/worldnews

Ah, the racism inherent in Zionism.

I'm not even going to blame ignorance here, because I think it is literally impossible that you are ignorant of World War I and it's aftermath, and how it shaped the borders of the modern world. You literally have to have your head up your ass to not know the history here. The only way to miss it is to be in willful denial; an essential strategy is your engaged in a generations long enterprise to push out a native population in order to establish a state based on religion an ethnic background.

People who aren't racist shit and are looking for a better understanding of the modern world will find this book helpful :

u/nope586 · 1 pointr/syriancivilwar

Paris 1919 has several chapters that deal explicitly with the creation of the modern middle east after WWI. An extremely good starting point.

Talks about a lot of other things too like how the allies treated the newly created Soviet Union that goes a long way into understanding Russia's attitudes even today.

It is a must read book in my mind for understanding modern history.

u/maybetoday · 1 pointr/history

If you're interested in WWI, have you read Paris 1919? Definitely worth picking up if you haven't.

u/garlicroastedpotato · 1 pointr/history

For World War 1 I would say the best book to read is Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan.

She is specifically a World War 1 historian specifically on the causes of World War 1. Her book on the Paris Peace agreement that ended World War 1 is a bit more unique than most World War 1 history books. In it she explains the conflicts and problems that all of the parties involved had with the agreement and the discussions that were going on.

People often think of World War 1 as this battle between five powerful nations but there were in fact a large number of minor nations who were at the peace talks and unhappy with the outcome. The result of World War 1 was the disintegration of the Russian and Ottoman Empires (two historic enemies) and the creation of a vast number of micro states across their borders.

u/Slartibartfastthe3rd · 1 pointr/TheWire
u/kcanf · 1 pointr/CombatFootage

Into the Fire is a good book, I recommend Generation Kill as well if you haven't read it, I liked it more than the HBO miniseries.

u/drMorkson · 1 pointr/Lightbulb

It's a miniseries by HBO IMDb here it based on a real story about a Rolling Stone Magazine reporter who goes with the First Reconnaissance Battalion of the US Marines while they invade Iraq.

And it is one of my favourite TV series. I hope you have fun watching it.

u/DougieWougie · 0 pointsr/pics

Ben Rich, or as it states in the book his cover name "Ben Dover".

u/mkjones · 0 pointsr/AskReddit


Seriously now, its probably this:

By Ben Rich of the Skunkworks/Lockheed. Truly amazing.

u/ElectricWraith · -1 pointsr/AskEngineers

The aircraft itself is pretty amazing, although nowhere near close to being as good at the individual combat tasks as separate dedicated-role planes would be. By that I mean it won't come close to the A-10 for ground attack missions, won't hold a candle to the F-14 or F-15 for air superiority, etc. But that's a function of the design process itself, and that is what I have a real problem with.

If anyone is interested in finding out why the process is so broken, read Skunk Works by Ben Rich. He explains not only how much better things used to be, but exactly why they ended up the way they are now. Great book.

u/monkeyball3 · -2 pointsr/uwo

Looking at other options after the corporate world. I was surprised at the number of Ivy league graduates in the US military (check out, great read).

I get the whole IBD circlejerk, but there are definitely a host of options after HBA, or down the road as an aspect of your career.

u/captain_manatee · -3 pointsr/history

Edit: apparently there are inaccuracies in the book that I was unaware of hence my downvotes. Still think it's a valuable perspective to gain, even if you have to take some of the details with a grain of salt.

I highly recommend the book death traps which was written by an american armored officer in a pretty unique position during WWII. He was a trained engineer whose role was basically tracking all of the damaged and destroyed tanks for his unit and helping coordinate their repair/replacement.

He has a lot of in depth knowledge about the tanks, doctrine, and field effectiveness of WWII tanks on the western front, particularly the Sherman, and a ton of really interesting stories and anecdotes.

u/chain-of-events · -4 pointsr/news

Pierre Sprey disagrees with you on the F35. I know this is argument by authority, but just eyeball the bird. Even considering the lifting body, it doesn't have enough wing to be a fighter. Nor can if fly low and slow, loitering in close ground support absorbing ground fire, like the A10 which is one of the cheaper planes it is supposed to supplant.

I know the F35 is supposed to have a beyond visual range 10 to 1 kill ratio, but I would put my money on 10 F16s anytime. Moreover, 10 F16 means 10 pilots. The F35 is so expensive, we can't have enough and it is too expensive to fly to keep a lot of pilots well trained. The Japanese and Germans ran out of great pilots in WWII before they ran out of planes.

BTW Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War this is a great book on many levels.

I don't find it laughable that ISIS zealots are using US taxpayer purchased equipment. If the amount of money seems comical it is only in relation to the enormous sums spent in total. My personal car is a lot less expensive than a humvee and it still seems expensive to me. And those bastards are driving around in humvees and carrying M4s and M16s that the US taxpayer purchased. It is not funny; it is emblematic.

As for other countries military spending being at their "comfort level" I disagree. The USA is their "boogieman" used to justify their defensive spending just as we use them to justify ours. It is a pernicious cycle.

You mentioned Willies Jeeps in Vietnam. That was another unnecessary war that did not benefit the US. The Gulf of Tonkin incident and the "domino theory" were both bullshit. In those times we worried if there would be enough money for "guns and butter". Well there wasn't and isn't. Nixon had to take us off the gold and silver standard in 1971 because we were printing more money than we could back up. 3 silver dimes still buys a gallon of gasoline, but look at what has happened to the paper dollar since then.

u/EarthandEverything · -5 pointsr/Ask_Politics

>There's nothing about that in the articles you linked.

yes, you need to read actual books to learn history, not just Wikipedia.

>Career State Department Ambassadors and staff are testifying that the Guiliani group's activities are unofficial, irregular

Yep. they're bitching that the president didn't listen to them.

>and unprecedented.

if they're saying that, they're lying.

> At this point the debate is simply you asserting that career officials are all mistaken.

Sure, try this or this, or this, or frankly, almost any of the hundreds of books on american diplomacy in ww1 and ww2 that you obviously haven't read yet for some reason have strong opinions about.

u/metalxslug · -6 pointsr/CombatFootage

The Sherman was a mishmash of ideas from people who didn't know what the fuck they were doing. American armored warfare theory at the time of it's production centered around on the idea that our tanks should always bypass enemy tanks so that they could move into enemy lines and destroy other targets. A sound strategy on paper that resulted in American crew and vehicle losses that will boggle your mind. The army was losing Sherman's so fast in combat that both crew size and training were diminished to simply get more units on the field. At some point some Sherman tank crews were reduced to three men who were soldiers that had basic training and were given an opportunity to shoot the main cannon three times before being considered ready for action. These Sherman units suffered around 500 percent causalities, no that isn't a typo.

Anyone who is interested in the experiences of Sherman crews owes it to themselves to read Death Traps.