The Jäger Bookshelf

The following is a list of books that I’ve read and personally recommend for an aspiring Jäger.

On Killing by Dave Grossman

A must-read for any would-be warrior, this book delves into the psychology of killing, the effect is has on the killer, and our human resistance to killing. If the topic of killing is too disturbing for you, you are not ready to go to war. Read this book.

Rifleman Dodd by C. S. Forester

This book follows a British rifleman in the Napoleonic Wars who is separated from his unit and must find his way back to friendly lines. Along the way he harasses, snipes, and sabotages his enemy as best he can. Although a fictional account, this book is a good primer on the discipline required of a professional light infantryman, and provides a glimpse into the historical significance of the rifleman.

Attacks by Erwin Rommel

Rommel is famous for his role in WWII, but most people don’t realize that he was an infantry platoon/company commander in WWI. This book, written by Rommel, describes his experience in WWI in a series of vignettes. Masterfully written, each vignette ends with a series of “lessons learned” making it easy to learn from. It is stunning to see how often boldness, violence of action, and raw aggression enabled Rommel’s company of men to outfight and sometimes capture entire regiments of enemy troops. The lessons, a century old, still ring true for many aspects of modern combat.

Fangs of the Lone Wolf by Dodge Billingsley

A series of vignettes about the Chechen rebels fighting against the Russians from 1994-2009. Like Rommel’s book, each vignette is followed by a section of “lessons learned” which make the stories easy to learn from. It is impressive and insightful how the Chechens, without any armored vehicles or air force to speak of, fought back against a modern combined arms army. The stories in this book reveal that an unconventional force must employ unconventional tactics to succeed.

MCWP 3-11.2 Marine Rifle Squad

The second most useful Marine Corps publication for civilian use behind “Scouting and Patrolling”. This manual lays out the organization, equipment, and training of the tried and true 13-man rifle squad that has served the Corps well since 1944. Civilian readers should remember that, although the Marine Corps is a light(ish) infantry force, it is still a conventional military and a lot of the conventional wisdom doesn’t necessarily apply to unconventional operations. It is available in PDF form here.

Tactical Wisdom Series by Joe Dolio

Joe Dolio, a former Marine himself, has written an outstanding line of field manuals specifically for civilian applications. He has done an excellent job of eliminating the conventional “big military” thinking from these manuals to give you only information that is relevant to the common man’s resources, training, and mission set. The entire series is excellent, and he continues to write new ones. I highly recommend these books for use as reference material to supplement good training. You can buy them from his website here.