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Michael Lee Lanning

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Lieutenant Colonel Michael Lee Lanning, USA (ret.), “retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel after more than twenty years' service. During his assignment to Vietnam, he served as both an infantry platoon leader and a company commander in the 199th Infantry Brigade (Light).” Michael Lee Lanning is the author of Vietnam, 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal; The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam; American Revolution 100: The Battles, People, and Events of the American War for Independence, Ranked by Their Significance; Mercenaries: Soldiers of Fortune, from Ancient Greece to Today’s Private Military Companies; The Civil War 100: The Stories Behind the Most Influential Battles, People and Events in the War Between the States; Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam; The Giant Book of Military Leaders - The 100 Most Influential Leaders Of All Time; Blood Warriors: American Military Elites; African-American Soldier: From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell; Vietnam at the Movies; Inside the LRRPS: Rangers In Vietnam; Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U.S. Military Intelligence ; Defenders of liberty: African Americans in the Revolutionary War; and, The Battles of Peace.

 

Michael Lee Lanning is also the co-author of Inside The VC And The NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces and Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam.

 

According to the book description of Vietnam, 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal, “Lieutenant Michael Lee Lanning went to Vietnam as an eager young patriot who was confident of surviving the war. After six months in-country, he was promoted at age 23 to company commander, and his sense of duty began to shift from his nation to preserving the lives of the men in Bravo Company.

 

Lanning and his men faced an enemy who was patient, elusive, and firm in the belief that they could outlast the Americans. The young commander also confronted the prospect of sudden, violent death, bone-numbing weariness, and the stench of blood and decaying flesh. He would lose friends and would acquire a cynical contempt for all Vietnamese, both allies and enemies.

 

Vietnam, 1969-1970, like its predecessor, Lanning's The Only War We Had, is taken from the journals the author kept during his tour of duty. He writes, "I dusted off men with wounds that will disable them for the rest of their lives. I dusted off a dead man that was one of the best soldiers I ever have known. I am realizing the full burdens of being a company commander.”

 

The Library Journal said of Inside The VC And The NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces, “Written by two U.S. Army veterans of the Vietnam War, this study blends history, eyewitness accounts, and data from a RAND Corporation study and other military sources to draw an intimate, candid portrait of the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army that is unexpected and often startling. Under a capable leadership and remarkably effective logistical network, these volunteers, draftees, and even dragooned subjects displayed resolve, tenacity, and, most impressively, patience; a selection of comments from the American officers and enlisted men who fought against them bears witness to the respect they inspired. The authors also provide a short history of the country since American withdrawal. An absolute necessity for Vietnamese studies collections and a revealing document for anyone connected with this conflict.”

 

According to the book description of The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam, “In my year in Vietnam, I walked the booby-trapped rice paddies of the Delta, searching for the elusive Viet Cong, and later macheted my way through the triple-canopy jungle, fighting the North Vietnamese Regulars...I sweated, thirsted, hunted, killed. Somewhere in all my experiences, I overlapped the situations of nearly every infantryman and many others who served." Michael Lee Lanning's journal of his first tour of duty in Vietnam provides an unvarnished daily account of life in the field - the blood, fear, camaraderie, and tedium of combat and maneuver. Fleshed out with narrative and detail years later, the pages of this memorable book, first published in 1987, show an eager young recruit growing before the reader's eyes into a proud but bloodied combat veteran. Subsequent volumes in his “Vietnam Trilogy” will detail Lanning's tour as a company commander and his postwar investigation into the mind of the enemy. Through his eyes, readers see the reality of a war that did not always receive glory but was, in his words, “the only war we had.”

 

According to the book description of American Revolution 100: The Battles, People, and Events of the American War for Independence, Ranked by Their Significance, “The American Revolution 100 brings you to the charred battlefields and inside the maneuverings of the greatest leaders of the war that gave birth to America. In comprehensive fashion, it explains, analyzes, and ranks the war's most significant events, leaders, and battles according to their importance.

 

Celebrated veteran and military expert Michael Lee Lanning introduces the war's various causes and primary players. The 100 ranked entries that follow include bloody battles, outspoken politicians, military heroes, causes of the conflict, and monumental events.

 

The War of Independence pitted king against colonialist, monarchy against democracy, where men risked execution for treason to bring to life the model government that would inspire a world. The American Revolution 100 brings to life its battles, people, and events, including maps and illustrations. 100 of the great names and historic events of the war that gave birth to America, ranked by a decorated military veteran and author.

 

Beginning with Lexington and ending with Yorktown, The American Revolution 100 brings to life the defining moments, battles, people, and leaders who gave birth to a great democratic nation. In comprehensive fashion, celebrated veteran and military expert Michael Lee Lanning ranks and analyzes the war's most significant events, showing how each influenced the outcome.

 

Relive the memorable battles, when a country of citizen-farmers prepared themselves to take on the mightiest army in the world. Learn about the influential figures and forces of the time - from George Washington, the Continental Army, and Benjamin Franklin to William Howe, the Hessians, and George III. Included too are the parts played by America's nascent navy, Tom Paine's Common Sense, the participation of African and Native Americans, the British parliament and army, and much more.”

 

According to the book description of Mercenaries: Soldiers of Fortune, from Ancient Greece to Today’s Private Military Companies, “Privateers, contract killers, corporate warriors. Contract soldiers go by many names, but they all have one thing in common: They fight for money and plunder rather than liberty, God, or country. Now acclaimed author and war vet Michael Lee Lanning traces the compelling history of these fighting machines–from the “Sea Peoples” who fought for the pharaohs’ greater glory to today’s soldiers for hire from private military companies (PMCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

What emerges is a fascinating account of the men who fight other people’s wars–the Greeks who built an empire for Alexander the Great, the Nubians who accompanied Hannibal across the Alps, the Irish who became the first to go global in their search for work. Soldiers of fortune have always had the power to change the course of war, and Lanning examines their pivotal roles in individual battles and in the rise and fall of empires.

 

As the employment of contract soldiers spreads in Iraq and America’s War on Terrorism–the U.S. paid $30 billion to PMCs in 2003 alone–Mercenaries offers a valuable inside look at a system that appears embedded in our nation’s future.”

According to the book description of Blood Warriors: American Military Elites, “They’re some of the toughest and most highly trained fighting men in the world—going where no ordinary soldier would go and doing what no ordinary soldier would dare. Outnumbered and outgunned, operating in small teams of five or six-deep in enemy territory far from help, they rely on their wits, their skills, and each other to get out alive.

Blood Warriors is a penetrating, no-holds-barred account of the training, missions, and history of the military elites who mold America’s most dangerous and highly skilled warriors . . . from the navy’s SEALs and the Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaissance to the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, Rangers, and Special Forces. Here’s an in-depth look at each unit’s methods and standards: what’s required and what it takes to survive and succeed. Whether gathering intelligence, capturing prisoners, executing raids and ambushes, or just creating havoc in enemy territory, these men know that death is their constant companion—and one small misstep could mean body bags for everyone. Maybe that’s why America calls them heroes.

 

Booklist said of The Civil War 100: The Stories Behind the Most Influential Battles, People and Events in the War Between the States. “Lanning takes the unique approach of presenting the Civil War by first identifying and then ranking by order of influence its 100 most significant leaders, battles, and events. He begins with the Battle of Antietam, which he labels the bloodiest day in American military history, and ends with the little-known battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas. The entries include other battles, politicians, military heroes, and what Lanning calls the causes of the conflict. Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Sheridan, Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, and John Brown are included, as expected. But also documented are such topics as blockades and blockade runners, communications and transportation, war correspondents, draft riots, and black soldiers and sailors. A map, photographs, or illustrations supplement each entry.”


Inside The VC And The NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces (Texas A&m University Military History)
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

Vietnam, 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal (Texas A&M University Military History Series)
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

American Revolution 100: The Battles, People, and Events of the American War for Independence, Ranked by Their Significance
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam (Texas a&M University Military History Series)
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

The Battles of Peace
Michael Lee Col Lanning  More Info

Inside the Crosshairs
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

The Civil War 100: The Stories Behind the Most Influential Battles, People and Events in the War Between the States
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam
Michael Lee Col Lanning  More Info

Mercenaries: Soldiers of Fortune, from Ancient Greece to Today#s Private Military Companies
Michael Lee Col Lanning  More Info

Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam
Michael Lee Col Lanning  More Info

Defenders of Liberty: African Americans in the Revolutionary War
Michael Lee Lanning Lt. Col  More Info

The Military 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Leaders of All Time
Michael Lee Lanning Lt. Col  More Info

Blood Warriors: American Military Elites
Michael Lee Col Lanning  More Info

Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U.S. Military Intelligence from George Washington to the Present
Michael Lee Lanning  More Info

According to the book description of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam, “At the start of the war in Vietnam, the United States had no snipers; by the end of the war, Marine and army precision marksmen had killed more than 10,000 NVA and VC soldiers--the equivalent of an entire division--at the cost of under 20,000 bullets, proving that long-range shooters still had a place in the battlefield. Now noted military historian Michael Lee Lanning shows how U.S. snipers in Vietnam--combining modern technology in weapons, ammunition, and telescopes--used the experience and traditions of centuries of expert shooters to perfect their craft.

 

To provide insight into the use of American snipers in Vietnam, Lanning interviewed men with combat trigger time, as well as their instructors, the founders of the Marine and U.S. Army sniper programs, and the generals to whom they reported. Backed by hard information and firsthand accounts, the author demonstrates how the skills these one-shot killers honed in the jungles of Vietnam provided an indelible legacy that helped save American lives in Grenada, the Gulf War, and Somalia and continues to this day with American troops in Bosnia.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of The Battles of Peace, “Billed as "one company commander's battle against drugs and racial conflict in the war to rebuild the post-Vietnam army," this is less an adventure tale than a story of organizational behavior. A veteran of more than 20 years' service, Lanning ( Inside the LRRPs ) describes his 18 months of company command (1974-1976) in Germany in a pk longwinded narrative crammed with forgettable sketches of his platoon leaders and details only buffs might enjoy (the appendixes include lists of the company's equipment inventory and personnel). The army was in trouble: drug abuse and racial incidents were increasing, and the end of the draft meant that volunteers came from the "bottom of society." Lanning describes how he administered punishments to restore discipline, provided an "open door" to hear grievances and prepared troops for maneuvers. Eventually his company won battalion honor awards. Lanning notes that none of his actions were innovative; success requires only that one "follow the basics . . . well and with enthusiasm, fairness and good intentions. “Moreover, he notes, “the real key to any long-term success is peer pressure.”

 

According to the book description of Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam, “Operating on four-to-eight-man teams, the heroic patrols of Force Recon ventured far into the very backyard of the enemy, using tacics associated more with their adversaries than with the U.S. military. They were the eyes and ears of the units they served, and their operations were marked by close combat, extraordinary bravery, and nearly unbelievable survival despite overwhelming odds.”

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