Maverick Soldier

Infantry Soldiering in Central Africa, Malaya and Vietnam, 1951–1985, and beyond

Digger Essex-Clark

Maverick Soldier is the forthright, nuts-and-bolts account of John Essex-Clark's unmatched experience as a warrior, leader and teacher. Essex-Clark has fought in wars with the Australian, British, United States and Rhodesian armies. In peacetime came tours of duty in North America and Western Europe.
Publication date:
December 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
40 b/w illustrations, 6 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781910777022

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
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£19.95
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Overview
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Maverick Soldier is the forthright, nuts-and-bolts account of John Essex-Clark's unmatched experience as a warrior, leader and teacher. Its telling is all of a piece with the man himself: bluff, astute, no-nonsense. The story is well described by its title: an infantryman whose contemporaries say he possessed an old-fashioned and Australian-styled culture of tradition linked to common sense, bravado, innovation, creativity, inquisitiveness, deliberate aggression in sport and on the battlefield, and who respected little the privileges of rank or a superior's past experiences or book knowledge. He was a bluff and outspoken nonconformist unbranded by any army in which he served. His primary loyalty was to his men and then to the Sovereign to whom he had sworn his allegiance, which included his nation. He led from the front, as an exemplar should, and took the same risks as the men he led. In the course of "stumbling", as he puts it, or "bulldozing", as others would say, from the rank of private to brigadier, Essex-Clark has fought in wars with the Australian, British, United States and Rhodesian armies. In peacetime came tours of duty in North America and Western Europe.

Military readers and armchair witnesses to war will be challenged by his trenchant views on army obsession with technology and the paucity of subtle tactical or strategic thinking. Various controversies are aired: whether Australians were 'pussyfooters' in Vietnam, bastardization at Duntroon, how best to conduct counter-terrorism, the effects of post-modernism and the internet on military culture, and the dangers of the overwhelming obsession with modern management and bureaucracy diluting inspirational and motivating leadership. He is angered by what he sees as a"surfeit of military dilettantes and budding bureaucrats and celebrity seekers, and a dearth of officer warrior-chiefs" in the army. His interests are strategy and battle tactics, leadership and training, and he writes particularly for today's young soldiers whom he loves with an old-fashioned generosity, and to whom he can declare with conviction, "I had no angst about being a soldier."