The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam—now back in print When The Centurions was first published in. The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam – now back in print. When The Centurions was first published in , readers were. Jean Larteguy (the pen name of Jean Pierre Lucien Osty, ) spent time in prison in Spain in , the year I was born. He then joined.

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The book, “A Savage War of Peace” by Alistair Horne provides strong background for them, and is also an excellent companion if you want a broad and concise overview of the entire conflict from its earliest origins to the bitter end.


We are experiencing technical difficulties. He is best known for his Algerian War Trilogy. Trivia About The Centurions. And why are we drawing that line at all? For example, the centuripns on the back cover and the above-mentioned review both highlight Colonel Raspeguy as the main character, but for the first half the book, he is in the background and only briefly mentioned.

The book is surely required reading for all who are puzzled by the failure of conventional militaries in the face of rebels.

The Centurions (Lartéguy novel) – Wikipedia

And cengurions particular soldiers, as the name of the book strongly implies and specific events in the book make explicit, are atavisms of a kind of man that emerged from the aristocracy from which the French aristocracy was born, the Roman aristocracy. Where shall we draw the line between acceptable and barbaric behavior?

Why are people fight is everything. For a war novel, it devotes less space to the violence and savagery of larfeguy than to discussion of their meaning — and yet, perhaps because of this, when savagery does erupt, it seems all the more savage. Once released, these officers take what they have learned and practice their newly learned lessons in Algeria.


But those complaints are minor relative to how much I enjoyed the book. Jun 03, William rated it really liked it. Please try again later. Hue Mark Bowden. The book is divided into three sections: I’d like France to have two armies: It’s a tremendous trilogy — you could read The Mercenaries first, then this one, then the final one, The Pretorians.

In his autobiography, Larteguy writes that he got the name of the book from when he was traveling with the Foreign Legion in the Sahara and came across an old Roman column at an oasis. Immediately it was hailed as a classic, a true example of the immediacy of classic status when a book carries with it such honesty and a sense of history in the making.

They see themselves as disconnected from the politics, the people, and even the morals of their country. All of them are coming unwillingly to realize that the world is changing, war is changing, and France, too, the France they have loved and fought for, is changing, shrinking, losing its grip on the far-off lands it once controlled.

I’d give “The Centurions” six stars if it were an option.

It follows the trials of the survivors of Dien Bien Phu in captivity by the Viet Minh who were none too delicate in their handling of these courageous men. I highly recommend this great novel to those interested in reading about combat and the aftermath of losing a war of counterinsurgency.

In the old days the Chinese used to bind their women’s feet to make them smaller; that was the fashion; it must have had some religious or erotic significance.


The Centurions

I recommend it to my students at Glasgow University as a ‘must-read’ for American History – Vietnam studies. Our French centurions end this book huddled on a far-off hillside in the cold and rain; they have only one another. In both cases, France went there first and failed first, before the United States did. Tthe notorious read, if there ever was one.

The Centurions by Jean Larteguy | : Books

There is much to think about in this novel; the problem is that most of it is extremely unsettling. One reason this book is so interesting is because of its attention from the contemporary American military because of the similarity of the struggles – Vietnam still looms large, of course, but also the bonds between combat troops, the separation of a warrior culture from civilians, and the long grinding struggle of military occupation, which to Engaging and psychologically tense depiction of French soldiers, centurions, from the prison camps after Dien Bien Phu to the guerrilla wars of Algeria.

Well known for being on the short list of David Petraeus’ favorite books, as well as providing literary justification for torture, rape and murder by military forces in order to combat against the western world’s new enemies. You can reach into history and come away with double-handfuls of people – as individuals, mighty warriors, as groups, fearsome soldiers – that support an argument for the martial excellence of highlanders.