Customer Review

17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What about the men behind the stars?, August 1, 2010
This review is from: The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army (Hardcover)
I may not one to judge but I found the book a bit to "article like" and although the information was a bit flat in the details about the men behind the stars.
I personally know and have served with General Peter W. Chiarelli who was our Battalion S3 as a major during the Canadian Army Trophy in 1987. I was in the winning 1st Platoon and was with the Company the entire time before and after the trophy. I have issues with the portrayal of General Chiarelli leadership in the mission. He was present but not as the operating force. There was a Battalion Commander, LTC Noyes, who at best allowed us to do what was needed due to his lack of experience. Then there was the Company Commander Joe Schmalzel the Company XO and the Platoon Leaders who got down to the organization of it all. Major Chiarelli was certainly a character with a booming personality but according to the book he created and won CAT, which is simply not true. He had his influences but the true accomplishment goes to those who were in the field with us for those 10 months as well as the true organizers of this Trophy.
The author should have informed himself a bit more, almost the entire team of CAT 87 is easy to contact and many are still in the Army.
I must admit I flipped right to the part about CAT first; I was too ashamed to read the rest of the book, ashamed that once again a personal opinion of an author skewed the facts.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2010 12:17:32 AM PDT
I wanted to add another name to the list, actualy THE name of the man that made it all possible and was the driving force in CAT 1987. General Thomas N. Griffin, or as we called him "Grandpa Griffin". This book never mentioned this amazing personality which is a real shame as the man is a legend as was his Father (General Pattons Aid in WWII).

Posted on Aug 27, 2011 9:44:04 PM PDT
Wombat says:
This is the kind of granular detail that is illuminating. Military reportage let alone hstory is often a series of shallow anecdotes and actually presents a gross distortion of the event. There are times when I almost agree with Tolstoy, a man who had seen a good bit of combat, that writing military history is impossible since no one rightly recalss wht really happened and the agreed on narrative is just a tissue of duplicity inside a structure of simplistic platitudes.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 11:28:16 AM PST
Its aide

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 11:34:27 AM PST
Thank you for your comment, it was very helpful to me. I am also in the Army and an Armor officer and found it a bit strange that the authors put so much into a battalion XO duties during the CAT. I never had a battalion XO get very involved during individual tank crew training. I read several simple mistakes that could have been corrected if one of the authors would have been in the Army.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 4:47:05 PM PST
Yes, the Company Commander from CAT 87 is is still a good friend and was not very happy to read the glorification of a Battalion XO as the maker and shaker of the only US victory and Top Gun in the history of the Canadian Army Trophy. Thank you for your service and as a fellow "tanker" I salute you!
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