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The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars Paperback – September 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"I suddenly know that I hate this and love it at the same time because I can already feel both how glad I will be when it is over and how much I will miss it. How difficult to convey to anyone that matters something which they will never understand, and how little anything else will ever matter."
Hennessey's narrative is also filled with cultural references of his time - films, music, television.Read more ›
Patrick Hennessey manages to convey a number of things, the boredom, the intensity of action, the pain of loss, the comradeship and the professionalism of the fighting end of the British Army. It is a very honest work and quite hard to put down. It certainly gets over how relentless the fighting is in Afghanistan and how flawed some of the tactics and military assumptions are.
A very important picture of a young officer's lot, and a war that is going on right now.
The book is well written, as would be expected from someone who read English at Balliol and who was top in his year in academic studies at RMA Sandhurst, but his ability as a soldier and a leader is highly questionable, at best.
His book is far more of an insight into why the British Army's mentor programme in Afghanistan has been a failure than it is into the failings of the Afghan National Army (ANA) he was supposed to be "mentoring". While the British Army's training teams (BMATTs) and Loan Service personnel have been highly successful elsewhere abroad, the mentoring of the ANA has not and the author is part of the reason for its failure. BMATTs and Loan Service personnel (who are integrated totally into a foreign army, usually for two years, wearing their uniform, commanding their troops and being commanded by them, training and advising from the inside) are selected volunteers chosen for their ability and experience, while the mentor programme is attempting to do the same job with anyone serving in an infantry regiment, good, bad and indifferent, regardless of ability and experience.Read more ›
Afghan battalion whose commander's high motivation Hennessey clearly understood and respected, and Hennessey's accounts of strategies, tactics and combat are thought provoking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved every page of this book. Haunting, descriptive, and amazing. A great account of what the military go through around the world.Published on April 12, 2014 by Kaitlyn
Very good look at warfare in Afghanistan. The title bears minimal reference to the actual content, but a worthwhile readPublished on December 8, 2013 by cja
Excellent read with the time honored sense of humor of the British Army shinning through!
Any YO should get a copy of this book before leaving RMA Sandhurst.
I bought this on Kindle. The first chapter or two are ok, but after that the paragraphs are in more or less random order. Not good enough, Amazon. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by Tom O'Kane
Still reading, and I like it. Quality is good - it was a Kindle purchase. So the content is really all that is subjective.Published on June 5, 2013 by Jacob Summers
Apparently Patrick Hennessey is a bit of a star. An Oxford grad in English, he entered the Royal Army and wound up at Sandhurst, graduating and going off to war, first in Iraq and... Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by David W. Nicholas
In The Junior Officers Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars, Patrick Hennessey creates a journey that almost any everyday citizen can follow of the men that lived through... Read morePublished on June 17, 2012 by Holcombe1018
Thoug sometimes uneasy, even more for a non native english reader, I have foud this book illustrative of:
- which are the drives behind an illustrated man becoming a military... Read more
Excellent portrayal of military (officer) life that few these days experience. The book is broken into three main sections:
1) Sandhurst (seemingly inane training... Read more