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Old 02-27-2011, 06:12 PM   #1
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Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak

I just finished Robert Coram's biography of Marine general Brute Krulak entitled Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine.

The book covers issues from WWII through Vietnam, and is an illuminating read. I don't idolize the general by any means, but his impact on history is nothing short of incredible. Coram gives a fair and balanced view of the good, the bad, and the ugly in a very readable style. My overall reaction to the book is this: I was stunned to find a book that almost twelve years after leaving active duty, so deeply affected my understanding of the Marine Corps.

This book connected a number of dots that had been in front of me for the past 25 years as unrelated facts, and shed some new light on things I took for granted.

Some examples that might be of interest to SAG members: As a major l in the late thirties and early forties, Krulak was the driving staff officer in the U.S. Military to develop the Higgins boat, and did so with great resistance from the Navy and total lack of interest of the Army. Without the Higgins boat, the amphibious landing of troops and rapid build up of combat power ashore necessary to establish a beach head and move inland would have been nearly impossible. The fact that Krulak stole the concept from the Japanese by observing their landing craft during the second Sino-Japanese war was also amazing.

Another interesting fact was that Krulak wrote the first vertical envelopment doctrine for helicopters in 1947, before this was technically capable, and drove the first implementation of this technology, against considerable resistance, in Korea. Landing a small force of Marines by helicopter to tactically engage enemy forces.

Those who served under Krulak's son, General Charles Krulak, will find this book particularly illuminating.

Check it out, it's worth a read.
Green side out! Brown side out! Run in circles, scream and shout!
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Re: Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak

Good review, I'm gonna have to get the book.
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