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33490RE: [XP] XP in the Movies

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  • Glen B. Alleman
    Sep 3, 2001
      Navy pilots have a VERY biased view of war since like AF pilots on the OTUG
      forum, we were on the pointy end of things, much like the infantryman, but
      with a birds eye view of the action and no hole to hide in. So can we learn
      useful things from popular war books? Yes. Are they as useful as real
      experiences? NO! Can folks who have only read books and not experienced real
      combat comment on such matters, sure be my guest. Are they credible
      commentators? I personally think not, but ask other combat veterans here,
      I'm too biased about the topic. Too much has been written about combat by
      non-combatants its has ruined my appreciation of the topic. Only P Capputo's
      "A Rumor of War," and "Fast Movers," and "365 Days" ring true for me. Too
      much Hollywood and copy editing has entered the dialog about the real
      experiences of combat.

      My comment about the "popularization" holds. "Art of War," is a
      popularization, no blood, no guts, the theory of how people die retched
      deaths at the hands of others.

      I will say though the those who have not experienced war directly are less
      prepared to discuss the consequences of such popularizations. That does not
      mean the book is not useful, just that it is a popularization disconnected
      with the realities of war. It's like watching a movie about war (like AN-II)
      versus experiencing it directly. F.F. Copola (sic) was able to convey things
      on the screen, but the experience having a 37mm round go through the
      windshield and out the other side taking off the head of the BN, cannot be
      conveyed in books and on the screen.

      Alistair's comments are also useful, but analogies about REAL blood and guts
      are troublesome from my view as one who experienced them first hand. I'd
      personal rather use Harry Potter, not as much connection with old demons and
      more visual for modern times.

      Glen B Alleman
      Niwot Ridge Consulting

      "1000 mile a hour tape is much better than Duct Tape sir,
      it stays on your plane until the sheet metal folks can patch
      those holes you brought back from the last mission,"
      - Maintenance Chief to Lt. GB Alleman, VA 145, WestPac 1969.

      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Bill...
      >>"The Art of War" - Another example of the popularization of a poorly
      >>understood topic.
      >Does this mean that only navy pilots can understand war? Are you saying
      >that we can't learn useful knowledge from reading about strategy as applied
      >to war? Are you saying that strategy in war is fundamentally different than
      >in any other area? Or are you simply saying that everyone but you is
      >ignorant of war, and so cannot apply it's strategies elsewhere.
      >Because if it is not one of those, I would have to say that it sounds like
      >you think anyone who thinks the Art of War is a good strategy book to read
      >is an ignorant fool, and I know you aren't saying that :-)
      >>Yes, Harry Potter might be a better substitute.
      >*Both* books might be useful. Or neither. Relating to other's experiences
      >-- fictional, historical, or apochryphal can be useful in whatever context
      >we find use for them.
      >As Mr. Cockburn noted "All analogies are false some are useful." Looking at
      >military strategies, blunders, brilliances, and even just their everyday
      >workings can be insightful.
      >As can Quidditch.
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