Wednesday, 28 September 2016
This review has been submitted to the British Military History Journal
The information provided in this book is critical to enabling nations who do not have dedicated or only sporadic mountain deployments the chance to quickly establish a baseline of knowledge for their planners. The lessons of others are the cornerstone of effective future operations. The input of a cross-section of nations encompassing a wide expanse of geographical locations further enhances the utility and relevance of this work.
Title: Mountain Warfare and Other Lofty Problems
Author: Edited by Lester Grau and Charles Bartles
Illustrations: 40 B/W, 11 maps
Publisher: Helion Publishing
Warfare requires numerous specialist elements in order for armies to function effectively in the myriad of environments within which they may have cause to operate. Maintenance of these skills requires equipment, time and constant practice; resources that are usually in chronically short supply. For this reason, it is incumbent upon leaders to look for ways to avoid having to 'reinvent the wheel' and to ensure that doctrine and methodologies are grounded in the expensive lessons of others.
The authors have put together an amalgamation of lessons and articles published in a variety of international professional journals specifically related to operations in a mountainous environment. The authors of these articles are professional military members hailing from numerous countries presently or recently engaged in mountain combat. Represented are Pakistan, the US, Russia, Argentina and numerous professional ex-military training cadres in Tashkent and Uzbekistan.
The articles themselves cover every aspect of operations including: communications, logistics, medical, training, artillery, small arms fire, aviation, reconnaissance, small and large unit tactics and generalized mountain combat techniques. The authors are all writing from firsthand experience and with the intent to pass on the valuable lessons that they have learned. The book is replete with tables outlying such things as pre-deployment timelines, effective lifting capacities of pack animals, soldiers and rotary wing and images illustrating tactical positioning for mountain shooting and movement. The information is practical and presented in a logical and useful manner; clear and concise.
At the conclusion of the book, the editors provide a section of additional reading resources for those interested in further expansion of their knowledge; they also make available information relating to the Journals within which the articles were originally printed, In addition each article provides a footnotes section with substantial expansion on the main themes of the body.