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Company C: The Real War in Iraq

2.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595008131
ISBN-10: 0595008135
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sack (M) here chronicles the unguarded words of several members of a 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) armored company as they wind up their training at Ft. Riley, Kansas, and are airlifted to Saudi Arabia to participate in Operation Desert Storm. From 135 hours of tapes, 575 pages of typewritten transcripts and 950 pages of handwritten notes, he has meticulously reconstructed a block of time, a cast of characters and a series of actions conveying in documentary fashion what it is like to go to war as a modern American soldier. The young men in these pages are keyed up?a condition heightened by Sack's ever-present tape recorder and notepad; but the mood turns solemn when Company C joins in the largest tank battle in American history, the Battle of Al Qarnain on Feb. 27, 1991. Sack conveys how the stress of combat affects each of his characters in turn, and he has a sharp eye for the unpredictable flourishes of war?the weeping colonel who calls himself an angel of death, the young tank driver who deliberately runs over an Iraqi and pronounces the experience "awesome."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As he did in an earlier book and on another war (M, 1967), Sack follows a unit of the U.S. Army from stateside to overseas deployment and into combat. He lets the men of C. Company/2nd. Battalion/34th Armor of the 1st Infantry Div. (Mech) tell their stories in their own words through transcriptions of taped conversations interspersed with some narrative. The result is a portrait of the Gulf War as seen from inside an Abrams tank. Sack, a former war correspondent and now an author and magazine contributor, shows that the character of war has not changed. For the reader, this account provides a contrast to works about the conduct of the Gulf War at higher levels. Because the story is told chronologically, Sack is constantly switching from one narrative thread to another, which may confuse the reader. There is no analysis or sense of the "big picture" here, simply a group of soldiers who go to war to do their job (for the most part) and go home. For both general and specialized military collections.?John F. Camenga, Tampa-Hillsborough P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (September 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595008135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595008131
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,569,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not only have I read the book, but I was also one of the Tank Commanders in the book. Not only was the book poorly written, but a total disappointment to myself and to the men of C co. 2-34 Armor. I Do not reccomend this book to anyone.
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Format: Hardcover
As with Mr. Medine and SFC Shaffer I have also read the book and was in the book. I hope anyone that reads the review by Mr. Medine, does not think this book is worth buying, it's not. SFC Shaffer and the majority of reviewers are right on, it's poorly written, hard to follow (even for me and I was there) and at times not totally factual. The book by Mr. Sack is a combination of articles written for Esquire magazine in 1991 after the war. These articles were also poorly written and hard to follow, at times I had to flip back and forth between pages thinking I missed a word or skipped a page. ...................................I find it in poor taste that Mr. Medine choose to berate a fellow soldier in this type of venue where SFC Shaffer has no way to defend himself. SFC Shaffer was one of the best tank commanders in the company, as evident by the Bronze Star that he received for his actions during Desert Storm. Mr. Medine was at the time a Sergeant who was passed over by numerous tank commanders for a position consumate with his rank, a Gunner. But because SFC Shaffer and others choose others of lower rank as their gunners, Mr. Medine was relegated to a loaders position during the war. In the Armor community the loaders position is considered a entry level position, for a Private right out of Basic/Advanced training, not a Sergeant. I guess by those who snubbed Mr. Medine, he has picked this as his soap box to stab other more honorable soldiers in the back. I would hope that Amazon asks Mr. Medine to revise his review to remove the remark about SFC Shaffer, he was by far a better leader, soldier and person than Mr. Medine will ever be.
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Format: Hardcover
The style was unlinear and hard to follow. The charcters where vividly drawn and some emphasis on race in many places.
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Format: Hardcover
A very interesting look at the individuals that fought the war; it's a shame that it was written in such a style that makes it tedious and difficult to follow in an enjoyable manner, (that's why it only gets a 5 from me). In spite of being badly written, the book manages to convey what it must have been like in the Gulf for the servicemen and women who were there, and it does give an insight as to what their mindset was. I wish I could have found it more enjoyable and easy to digest, though.
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Format: Paperback
I thought this book was informative about what life was like as a tank soldier before and during Gulf 1. Sounds like some of the reviewers had a personal beef with one of their peers and that ticked them off and rated this low.

Personality conflicts are everywhere - army, corporate world, sports. I didnt think this book was hard to follow. It does have some shocking things about it. Some soldiers drink beer. They sometimes go to strip clubs. They sometimes listen to heavy metal. Sometimes there are race issues in the Army and prejudice against the enemy or each other. Some have chips on their shoulders.

When you study history, you have to take it with a grain of salt - every witness will have their own perspective. Sometimes it is unflattering. Sometimes it is wrong. The author did interview a lot of people, has covered Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Every author has his/her own bias. Some are liberal, some not. Maybe this guy is not another Hemingway.

The Army is not perfect nor are its soldiers. The US Army is the best in the world, the soldiers are the best in the world. They are the best trained, most motivated and have the best equipment. They do more now with technology and more deployments overseas than ever before. I salute them all.

I have never served in war. I do not know these soldiers. But after 10 years of tank service and a lot of reading (fiction and non fiction), this book sounded real and rang true for me. If you want to get a flavor for tanker life, check it out.
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