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A Rifleman Went to War Hardcover – September 1, 1987

ISBN-13: 978-0935856019 ISBN-10: 0935856013 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Lancer Militaria; 4th edition (September 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935856013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935856019
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This thoroughly enjoyable read was VERY informative.
JPBlackBelt
A Rifleman Went to War This is a classic about a trained and competent rifle match shooter sent into combat with a weapon he is very, very competent to use.
Thomas Gary
McBride's account of what he was exposed to and the lessons learned is well worth the time it takes to read this book.
Glenn M. Mcclain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By M. Dog VINE VOICE on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great WWI memoir, and it gives some incredible insights the makings of a great soldier. As one might expect, Mr. McBride was an extremely tough, brave man. However, this book makes it clear that there are some other, less obvious qualities to the professional soldier. Contrary to popular believe, imagination and individual initiative are among them. Most importantly, though, is a particular mindset. I leave it to McBride to put it best:
"Hatred is a slow, calculating, cold-blooded business. There is no time for it in battle . . . I assure you that when I was behind the rifle, the principal feeling was one of keen satisfaction and excitement of the same kind that the hunter knows. That's the spirit. That's what makes good rifleman and good soldiers."
If you are looking for poetic prose, look elsewhere. McBride was not an introspective man, full of soulful wanderings about the horrors of war. This soldier was thrilled and eager to participate in war, and joined the Canadian force because his home country, America, was too slow to enter the fray for his tastes. He described the mud of the trenches and the sound a bullet makes striking a human head in hatchet-like, blunt sentences.
There is the satisfaction, though, that this lover of war told you the hard truth in every word he wrote. Another reviewer called this book "refreshing" and I will second that.
In one segment of the book, McBride describes his distaste for a current war movie of the time of the book's writing, the classic "All Quite On The Western Front." While McBride complemented the scenes of actual battle, the whole show was ruined for him by the depiction of men in battle.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
McBride's "A Rifleman Went to War" could be used as a sniper's manual. McBride was in fact a machine gunner (he wrote a book about that called "The Emma Gees"), but him and his Canadian buddies engaged in sniping and trench raids for recreation.
This book is an excellent account, and is just about as un-PC as you can get. McBride does not feel that war is simply "bad", but that it is a symphony of emotions. He killed many Germans, and he makes no apologies.
This book is not without its shortcomings. McBride does not have a crisp, 'modern' writing style, and he is a highly biased anglophile. Despite these problems, I think anyone who has an interest in World War 1, sniping, or the combat use of the rifle should have this book.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Anyone familiar with the Chandlers' "Death from Afar" series knows that McBride's book was seminal in the development of U.S. military sniping doctrine in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and on to the present day. What is less well-known is that McBride's thoughts on "The Pistol in War" (Chapter 10) were key to the development of Jeff Cooper's "Modern Technique of the Pistol" and that McBride's discussion of the "neatest and handiest military rifle I have ever seen" (pp. 335-6) provided the basis for Cooper's "Scout Rifle" concept. This book should be in the library of every serious student of shooting.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By towSaint on August 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Without regard to popular opinion McBride spells out his opinions and experience in the 'War to end all wars'. Not only is his honest (as opposed to 'politically correct') account refreshing, but informative as well. Military buffs and armed services personnel will find a great deal of useful information regarding the employment of small arms. In spite of the amount of useful military knowledge, the book is also lively reading. I recommend it highly!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Clark B. Timmins on March 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It might not be written in perfect English, and it's not always politically correct, but it's definitely always enjoyable.

You get the whole WWI experience from the author's point of view, including enough "war stories" to satisfy any reader.

McBride includes technical details, anecdotes, and just good old story telling, in this tale of a machine gunner / rifleman in the Great War.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David L. Dunagin on December 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I took a copy of this book and passed it out to the sharp shooters in my unit in desert storm. I know several USMC snipers that had read it. It is as valuable today as it was in WWI. A no holds barred book about killing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in teh trenchwarfare of WWI, as well as anyone studying sniper/counter sniper tactics. Many of the "fundamentals" taught today were developed by McBride and his contemporaries and are discussed in the book, including vivid descriptions of the problems they faced and how they addressed them. Additionally, any student of Col. Cooper will appreciate the tone with which this story is told. Cheers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
according to my college classes, a "classic" accurately depicts life (fictional or nonfictional) of the time in which it was written with all idioms/syntax/slang/etc. intact. this is a classic.
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