enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: W.E.B. Griffin, The Majors

I read this book about 12-Jul-2001. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1983. This note was last modified Saturday, 03-May-2014 21:34:59 PDT.

This is book 3 of the "Brotherhood of War" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Third in the series; the reread appears to be continuing.

This one begins the story of Army Aviation. Lots of real idiocies about this—like how armed airplanes, and all engineering decisions, were given to the Air Force, but the Air Force didn't care about supporting the infantry since they were going to win the next war by blowing the enemy off the face of the earth from thousands of miles away.

Flying is cool, and even at this level they got to play with more interesting airplanes. Interestingly, airplanes and piloting seem to come into all the Griffin books except the Badge of Honor series (the Philadelphia police). Maybe it's just that they're so important in 20th Century warfare; but it feels like the author is interested, somehow.

Lowell and Parker get sent to flight school; those in the army who are trying to get better air support have to do what they can with, largely, failed officers from other branches who come to aviation for another chance (where's the glory in flying Piper Cubs all your life?).

Meanwhile, MacMillan and Felter parachute into Dien Bien Phu fairly shortly before it gets overrun; as part of a fact-finding mission to Vietnam to see if we should help the French out there.

Then there's the development of the rocket-armed helicopter, the Big Bad Bird, and the fatal accident just before they unveil it. This development work is contrary to the interservice agreement partitioning responsibility for different parts of aviation; the Army isn't supposed to have armed airplanes, even helicopters.

And Lowell gets himself kicked out of the army, and then pardoned and allowed back in.

There's a use of "Ms." (, but that's barely possible for a novel set in 1955 (it was first proposed in 1951, but I can't find any information on how much it was used that early). However, the use of a ZIP code in an address on page 148 is clearly anachronistic—zip codes came in in 1963.

I think I'll at least pause the reread here. I've dipped back into that world, visited old friends again, and I think it's time to move on.

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David Dyer-Bennet