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US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 Paperback – October, 1970

4.3 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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About the Author

The United States Department of Defense ( DOD or DoD ) is the federal department charged with coordination and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military. The DOD is headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The Military Departments at the Pentagon publishes some of the very best manuals, handbooks and guidebooks on a wide range of topics; teaching skills, tactics and techniques. The content of these manuals are unmatched in depth, consider that some this knowledge is drawn from hundreds of years, thousands of man hours, and first hand operational experience. Also material in most of these manuals has been shared with other Military Branches providing even greater depth of subject matter. Military Manuals from the Department of Defense are unedited by outside individuals and or companies, this ensures the information is complete, current, and accurate as the military intended. Listed below you will see some of the major departments or components of the Department of Defense. Here you will find just a few book titles of the many sponsored works from each department. Department of the Air Force: U.S. Air Force Aircrew Survival; Air Force Handbook; USAF Military Working Dog Program; USAF Weapons Handling Manual; Airport Signs and Markings; Unexploded Ordnance Booby-traps UXO Recognition and Reporting Chart. Department of the Army: US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76; Survival Skills U.S. Army / Special Operations, Tactics, Techniques, and Skills Guide; Ranger Handbook; Special Forces Medical Handbook; Military Mountaineering; Boobytraps Army Instruction Manual; Explosives and Demolitions; Guerrilla Warfare; Army Hand to Hand Combat; U.S. Army Special Forces Handbook; Survival Evasion and Recovery; Military First Aid. Department of the Navy: Seabee Combat Handbook; Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine; USN Diving Manual; U.S. Navy Seal Patrol Leaders Handbook; Performance Maintenance During Continuous Flight Operations. United States Marine Corps: USMC 5.56MM, M16A2 Technical Manual; U.S. Marine Corp M40A1 Sniper Rifle 7.62MM; U.S. Marine Guidebook; Close Combat Hand to Hand Fighting Marine Corps; Booby Traps Close Combat Urban; Counterinsurgency; USMC Land Navigation; Scouting and Patrolling; Combat Water Survival; Map Reading; Sniper Counter Sniper.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Department of the Army; Field Manual No 21-76 edition (October 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967512395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967512396
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First off, there multiple version of this book floating around, and you should be really clear with a seller which one you are getting. Amazon often posts reviews for books with the same title and author at different pages for different release years, where there can be changes in releases. This book is no exception. For example there is a fairly recent printing Army survival book with the same FM number that was republished by a major bookseller and edited for "civilian use". It is a really nice version that includes color photos and other changes, but more on that in a minute. The traditional Army Survival manual available is from the 1970's (not whatever current manual is in use as those are usually classified) and concentrates on the straightforward survival material you need to know. It is written in very accessible easy to understand language, and you do not need to be an expert in order to use this information. The material includes chapters on: Navigation and compass use; Health & Hygiene in the outdoors to prevent sickness, including first aid; Hazards in the wild to watch out for;
Foods and where to find them including harvesting and identifying native plants and vegetables; How to fish and tons of unusual different ways to catch them with local materials that actually work; other food from fresh water sources; Trapping mammals, rodents, reptiles, insects, catching birds, and more including how to dress and prepare these; Cooking, preserving food in the wild; methods of fire making including without matches or lighter.

One of the most important chapters tells you how to find the most important element you need to survive. Water from Plants, digging for water, purifying found water, and building a solar water still.
Read more ›
15 Comments 396 of 406 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This, like many other military manuals, is available online. Just type the FM number into your search box and a list of links to it will magically appear.
17 Comments 250 of 286 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
While I enjoyed reading the U.S. Army Survival Manual I would not recommend it as my only survival learning text. For that honor, I prefer Gregory Davenport's book, "Wilderness Survival", which covers the same material but in a far more user friendly format. Mr. Davenport's book goes beyond the ARMY manual by giving the step by step instructions needed to do the survival tasks related to clothing, shelter, fire, water and food procurement, etc. In addition, his navigation and health chapters are far superior.
Comment 58 of 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book, and earlier versions, for over 45 years. I first used a copy my father got me (he was in the military) as a Boy Scout. When I attended Outward Bound (back when that was a "new" thing we used a copy. And then my own 30 year military career primarily in Army Special Forces. From the SF Q course, and in every other field/combat/survival/leadership course I attended (or lead) on down the totem pole, FM 21-76 (FM stands for Field Manual) was part of the course and listed as a reference material in the course. Anyway, an earlier reviewer did not like the book and complained as an example that it does not tell you which tree to use for the bark to make cordage...well, ANY survival book and any "survival instructor" with a modicum of compentency will tell you first and foremost keep your cool, assess your situation, assess all your equipment and clothing you have available (even the lint in your pockets can be useful), keep your wits and be optomistic, and use your common sense. In that light, no book can save you in a dire situation without you using your own common sense. However, this book, with common sense will make your survival possible and likely. Because of weather, varmits, and predators, there are no guarantees...no book can do that. But this book will help you increase your odds for survival and live to tell the tale as a "war story". The earlier reviewer complained that the book does not tell you specifically which tree to use the bark of for cordage. COMMON SENSE says the trees available in the interior of Alaska differ from the ones you find in a Peruvian jungle or in equitorial Africa. But the idea of using the inside of the bark, stripping it out, and then applying common sense to TIE THE STRIPS TOGETHER is true.Read more ›
Comment 48 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
The U.S. Army field manual on Survival is a good basic guide, standard reading for our troops, and unlike some survival manuals, it is fairly well written and organized. I have yet to find a survival enthusiast who didn't have this book or Greg Davenport's Wilderness Survival in their personal library, and that tells you something. One of the bigger drawbacks to the book is its sketchy coverage of jungle and desert survival - for these areas you'll definitely want additional reading on these topics, as there's a lot more information to be had! If you're interested in those environments, Jeff Randall's Adventure Travel in the Third World book is excellent for jungle survival, while Mark Johnson's The Ultimate Desert Handbook is definitely the best desert survival book out there.
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By Function on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is, unfortunately, suited more for "arm-chair" survivalists than people really seeking a working knowledge of wilderness survival skills. Most of the skills "covered" may help the inexperienced person feel confident until they actually attempt them. Case in point: Cordage or natural string...yes they cover it, but so sparingly as to be ineffective. "The inner bark of trees make the best fibers to use." (page 7-4) That is all it says about using bark. There is nothing about what trees are best, or how to harvest or prepare the bark. The bulk of the "skills" in this manual are lacking in a manner similar to that illustrated above.

As a former soldier and a current survival instructor I can say with the utmost confidence that this book is good for starting fires and not much else. The lack of many details provides a challenge to anyone attempting to complete a skill from start to finish. Try it and you will see! Reviewers giving it high marks clearly have never been in a true survival situation. Thumbs down.
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