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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Larteguy is a reporter, soldier, and writer who knows his material, knows war, knows history, and cares about people and the meanings of their actions. For a war novel, it devotes less space to the violence and savagery of war than to discussion of their meaning — and yet, perhaps because of this, when savagery does erupt, it seems all the more savage.

Anyway — this was really excellent, deserving of the regard it is held in by a small portion of the population, definitely worth trying to find.

Night of Camp David Fletcher Knebel.

Captured at Dien Bien Phu, the men are held captive for months enduring excruciating hardships at the hands of their Vietminh captors. One question raised is this: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The book even ends on an appropriate cliffhanger of sorts.


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The Centurions French title: I have just reread -it is now finally available again on Kindle. I read it and then spent a couple of months wondering why the United States was involved in a ground war in Southeast Asia.


This is not high literature. As American involvement in the Vietnam War increased, it was studied by American officers and Special Forces soldiers. When they lartebuy to France, they suffer the ennui of the demobbed soldier. That’s the army in which I should like to fight.

The Centurions

There they learn that conventional warfare is insufficient for dealing with the new, superior soldier who has jettisoned emotions, traditions lrteguy moral conventions. He remained there for nine months and spent time in a Francoist jail before joining the Free French Forces as an officer in the 1st Commando Group 1er groupe de commandos.

The lands, languages, uniforms, and personalities were different—but the themes and emotions were constant. Inevitably they sought out each other; differences in education and social status meant less than their sharp divergence from the society they had once belonged to.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. As an author, I am also a harsh critic, however this book demands that it is recommended to readers. The Vietminh could suffer casualties because they believed in their cause, while the French ultimately did not. Longmans, Green and Co. Lists with This Book. In prison camp they dreamed of home; when they were released and returned to France, they found themselves outsiders, charged with having taken on the “”yellow taint””, betrayed, misunderstood, lonely.


Our heroes grapple with the issue of torture, which further goes to develop their disconnect with their civilian masters, and even their own high military leadership. What if you always beat the enemy but in the end lose the French Empire? This book has been a great success in Europe.

The docudrama won awards in Venice, London, and Alcapulco immediately on release and even today is described as electrifying and eerily resonant. I’d give “The Centurions” six stars if it were an option. Sep 30, Travis rated it it was amazing Shelves: It’s a treatise on class, race, communism and colonialism as told cwnturions the experience of French paratroopers in Indochina and Algeria.

The Centurions (Lartéguy novel) – Wikipedia

From the Trade Paperback edition. They seemed brand new and unopened. It has too its moments of perverted humor, of sensitivity, of poignancy.

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