Buy 18 Platoon First Edition by Sydney Jary (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. An essential read for every Sandhurst potential officer cadet Sydney Jary rsquo s account of his experience as a platoon commander in the 4th. Find 18 Platoon by Jary, Sydney at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.

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It is an account of glory and horror, yesbut mostly one of professionalism and drudgery. M Begley rated it it was amazing Aug 16, Two major landings in Italy not long before, against largely unprepared German defences, had been close-run things.

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18 Platoon : Sydney Jary :

Platoons that were built up over years were within a few days destroyed, and replacements would arrive from other units, would be rebadged, and sent into battle, often to die anonymously among strangers. Aug 29, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: In some respects it’s a rather technical book, brief in it’s account of pltoon and unsentimental and undramatic in it’s narrative.

Socially he was inept, almost autistic.

That is part Part history, part memoir, part opinion-piece, Platoon is a relatively quick read that takes you through one subaltern’s journey from being assigned to command a platoon of British infantry in Normandy replacing it’s previous leader after a vicious battle in which he was wounded to the end of the war in Europe. The older Jary, looking back on his experience forty years later, is a much wiser and more reflective figure, but it’s still remarkable to watch such a young man, largely untrained and — by his own admission — rather hopeless at school, suddenly placed in command of a platoon platooj strangers, and quietly informed sydneh his life expectancy stands at roughly three weeks.

Sydney Jary was a platoon commander in 4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry and this is his brief pkatoon of his wartime experiences from Normandy to Bremen. It is a story that must have been repeated a hundred times across France and Belgium, but not one that platoo told often or well, so I can see why this volume remains as lauded as it is. Happenstance and bizarre turns of the ridiculous, play far more significant roles in this narrative, than do the decisions of great generals pawing at maps of Europe.


Allied losses in Normandy in the summer of were of Great War proportions -killed, wounded and missing, roughly double the German losses. Sixty years ago, most of the landmass of the Eurasian continent and its attendant islands was in thrall to totalitarian dictatorships. And as the battle progressed, Meyer’s SS men used to strap parcels of explosives to themselves and blow themselves up beside British tanks. His conceit was atrocious, and grew worse in old age, obscuring his great achievement in Amphibious operations were rendered impossible.

It was to be an encounter with his oldest adversary, Erwin Rommel, whom he had frequently outgunned and outfought, but never before out-thought. Initially the foe was Nazism; its kindred creed, Communism, soon followed, to be confronted by economic might and military deterrence, until victory was won in So the auguries were not good, and were made worse as D-Day approached and the balmy days of May and early June gave way to tempests and high seas.

I’m glad I read this which has been on my wishlist for a while but is quite hard to find.

When his prose turns occasionally poetic, it is usually in service to nature moonlight on the water as 18 platoon crosses a bridge by night…and the rest of the narrative is recited in the straightforward language of a field report; elated victory, tragedy, and failure, all in similar, quiet, understated language.

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The Longest Day was the first of a war that lasted for 45 years

In some Pennsylvania towns, almost every family lost a relative or friend jaary the narrow sands of Omaha. Henry Wood rated it it was amazing Nov 19, It is exactly Jary’s lack of drama and sentimentality that make you realise he was really there, that he does not wish to dwell on the horrors of war.

Dec 04, Nadir rated it really liked it Shelves: I believe There is something about the onset of December that always gets me thinking about the winter offensive into Germany – it’s an odd mental connection but there it is. This hugely limited visibility thereby nullifying Allied superiority in materiel and in the air, and making fighting conditions almost totally unrelated to the training the invaders had undergone in Britain.


The concessions made by Churchill and Roosevelt at Teheran in had effectively granted post-war eastern Europe to Stalin, a despot as great as Hitler, and no one then remotely suspected the dark night that would fall on those countries east of what would soon be called the Iron Curtain.

His brash methods and thinking clash at first with those of his superiors, but under the guidance of his senior NCO’s he becomes a trusted and effective platoon leader. Nor were casualties in any way confined to military personnel. Responding to his agonised screams to put him out of his misery, his platoon commander shot him, as he thought, through the heart.

It is a good study in leadership for sub-unit commanders and NCOs, about keeping your head and making sensible decisions within the context of mission-command. Reading 18 Platoonit is hard to keep in mind that its narrator was only 20 years old when dropped into Normandy in Md Aufa rated it it was ok Feb 26, Read our latest comment and analysis. Dr Michael John Clemons rated it it was amazing Aug 04, To ask other readers questions about 18 Platoonplease sign up.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. In that deadly bocage, rifle companies suffered casualties comparable platoon those on the Somme. Saturday 29 December This book is not yet featured on Listopia. That is part of the value of the book – his stories of leadership both in terms jar dealing with his men, but also with his superiors in defense of his men. Preview — 18 Platoon by Sydney Jary. It was the greatest mistake of his life. The men who on June 6 forced their way past the German defences on those now famous beaches, or who landed by glider ajry parachute in the orchards and the pastures beyond, were to spend the summer fighting there.

War caused a vast army of refugees to flee across France, and when they returned, their homes were gone.