Review (Guest): The Soldier’s Load and the Mobility of a Nation

5 Star, Force Structure (Military)
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S.L.A. Marshall

5.0 out of 5 stars The Soldier’s Load and the Mobility of a Nation, December 20, 1999

By Thomas K. Durham (Del Rio, Texas) – See all my reviews

Copyrighted in 1950, my dog-eared, water-stained copy of this book has been with me now for 18 years, and the lessons it contains, learned the hard way by the men who fought and led troops through the first two world wars, are just as valuable today as they were on the eve of the Korean War. It examines what some might consider a mundane subject (what a soldier carries, and should and should not be expected to carry into battle) in a way that says a lot about our culture and the American way of war. Marshall’s observations may seem elementary, but the fact that he had to set them down on paper just a few years after WWII is proof positive that the minions of political correctness were alive and well fifty years ago, and that institutional memory is definately of the short term variety. Anyone who leads troops and has not read this book should be dismissed from the service, and anyone who does not reread it every two years should be put in charge of nothing more challenging than changing the marquee at the base theater. Unfortunatly my own experience has led me to believe that it remains unread by many who consider themselves professional soldiers, lending more than a grain of truth to the the saying “Common sense is an uncommon virtue.”. If you enjoy Col. David Hackworth’s column, you will like this.

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