Friday, 11 February 2011

The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa

I was reminded today by Tom Mouat of the existence of this rather splendid book.  I bought my copy in January 2010 and had every intention of writing it up for the blog at the time.  Unfortunately it fell victim to the 'tidying' of my toy room and was, shall we say, misfiled.
The authors of this work are Captains in the US Army and have both seen. service in Iraq.  They wrote the book as a training aid for junior leaders.  It adopts the same format as E.D.Swinton's The Defence of Duffer's Drift, and indeed that earlier (1907) work is reprinted in the new book.  It is currently listed on Amazon for a bargain £4.72.
The book sets a scene in which a young officer must arrange his troops in anticipation of contact with the enemy.  The action is recounted as a series of dreams - the first being a rather disastrous nightmare - in which the officer makes progressively fewer mistakes to the point where in the sixth dream he is making a reasonable job of things.  As well as being a very revealing insight into the problems (not just of a purely military nature) facing unit leaders in the modern world, the book offers much fodder for scenario designers.
As you might expect from it's publication date, Duffer's Drift (this is the 1990 reprint) is set during the Boer War.


Don M said...

Just replaced my dog eared copy of Defense of Duffer's Drift just before
I retired from the army...bought it on post in the military clothing store in fact...think every career
officer or NCO has read and reread it.

Tim Gow said...

Interesting to hear that - I think it must be regarded as essential reading for military professionals.

Conrad Kinch said...

Field Marshall Slim spoke very highly of it.

I'm very curious to see what the updated version is like.

Tim Gow said...

For less then a Fiver you can afford to find out!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I have read it (there's a very good copy of it available online free here but I'm intrigued as to the updated version - given the original was only 27 pages long is it *very* updated?? :o))

Tim Gow said...

Not sure what you mean by 'updated version'. The Duffer's Drift text in the Al-Doreaa book looks like the original to me.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Ah - sorry - I meant the newer stuff - I need to splash some cash and then I'll know... :o)

Tim Gow said...

The new part of the book is set in Iraq and contains six dreams. One of the interesting aspects of it is the sheer scope of equipment that a junior officer can call on in the modern US Army.