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Opinion of Harold Coyle?

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  • Opinion of Harold Coyle?

    In the same vein as the larry Bond thread, who had read Harold Coyle's work, and was it your opinion?

  • #2
    Well, I've only read Team Yankee and More Than Courage, but I didn't particularly like either. I did find it interesting, however, that Coyle tends to focus on one group of soldiers as opposed to the bigger picture.
    To whispers of Beethoven...

    "Mein Gott! Die Invasion. Sie kommen!"
    -Werner Pluskat

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    • #3
      Yeah he is ok.

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      • #4
        Read a few of his books, I find him an able author.

        Now accuracy, well that is a burden to every author eventually.
        Life is change. Built models for decades.
        Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
        I didn't for a long time either.

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        • #5
          I like Coyle more than Bond or Clancy. The only book of his I find tedious is Code of Honor.

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          • #6
            Personally, I liked Team Yankee a lot. He seemed to capture the small essences of life in the field that made it all that much more believable for me. Things like having to sleep on a lumpy pile of equipment inside a track, the constant exhaustion, and that was even BEFORE combat. I can't personnally imagine what it must be like IN combat.
            Anyhow, after that novel, he seemed to get deeper and deeper into a "women in the Comabt Arms" rant that totally lost me. I don't care to get into a discussion on that, it's been done before, but I just lost the ability to suspend disbelief after he got onto that bandwagon.

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            • #7
              I used to read his stuff but quit when he wrote the one about the drug dealers duping Mexico and the US into a war. A little too far over the top for me. That was Coyle wasn't it?
              Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by revans View Post
                I used to read his stuff but quit when he wrote the one about the drug dealers duping Mexico and the US into a war. A little too far over the top for me. That was Coyle wasn't it?

                Yeah he did, Also he wrote Against All Enemies which is about a conflict between the US Goverment and the Great State of Idaho.

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                • #9
                  I'm reading his The Ten Thousand right now and I'm almost finished. It is a good read and unlike Clancy, he has a good editor. His battlefield descriptions are the best part of the book and that counts for a lot. These merits are enough that I've ordered Team Yankee and I'm looking forward to getting it.

                  The faults are his idealized images of basically everything US: The President, politicians, and journalists are altruistic even when they are using a deception plan. There is none of the incredible friction of command that has existed between most presidents and commanders in the field.
                  Also the issue of females in combat is laughably unbelievable: It's not the concept but the treatment of it - passing reference is made to real problems (like pregnant, unmarried female soldiers in a forward base) but they are treated almost as if they are to be expected and mean nothing! This is too bad as his dirtbags (all male) are believable and show his experience.
                  Overall the book is very PC and seems like it would get the Army's stamp of approval.
                  ......good battlescenes though.

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                  • #10
                    Team Yankee is his best book, yet it ends all too soon. I guess reflecting on the speed of a modern war in Europe, but still....

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                    • #11
                      I have read all of Coyle's books and I generally like them. He presejnts a good view of unit tactics and the enormous amount of planning and coordination that goes into even the smallest attack plan in the modern military, and he presents a good overall picture of armored combat.

                      Like all authors, he tends to gloss over some of the grittier realities, perhaps to keep the main story line from bogging down, and he writes in a timeline in which women have been accepted into combat units. His descriptions of the first female lieutenant in a mech infantry unit are often humorous and poignant as she struggles to find both acceptance and a little privacy for certain essential functions.

                      Overall, Coyle is my favorite combat author, right up there with Stephen Coonts, because of the ability to capture the humanity of soldiers, not just the nuts and bolts of the equipment. I place him well above authors like Clancy, and lightyears ahead of Mr. Cheese Whizz - Dale Brown. I do have to say that I haven't cared as much for his latest two, however. Just not quite my kind of read, or something, but they seemed a bit off for Coyle's usual books.

                      Still, I own quite a few of Coyle's books along with Coonts', something that is not true of Clancy or Brown.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                      • #12
                        Not a fan at all. I agree with Naffenea that Team Yankee is his best book, in fact, his only good one. I found his knowledge of the military pretty weak (you'd think that he learned more when he was in). Nowadays, I don't even pick up his books in the book store.
                        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


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                        • #13
                          I don't mind some wild deviations from modern history if the opposing sides look good enough. From looking at his other books it seems like he actually tries to come up with creative premises, and from the one I'm done with and the newly aquired Team Yankee, it seems like Coyle is there to 'scratch an itch' for ground warfare without giving us a giant, complex story like Clancy would. Maybe I just want the Turkey leg and not the whole feast, ya know what I mean?
                          At least, some of these concepts look better than just another 'terrist hunters' or renegade, old-guard 'commie comeback' plotline.

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                          • #14
                            Swampwolf, I'm not sure if your comment was in response to mine or to earlier comments, but Coyle's errors are not just "wild deviations from modern history". The point where I put down the last book of his that I've opened (many years ago) was when the Chief of Staff of the Army forms a Joint Task Force and deploys it down south somewhere. That's where I shut the book and got on with my life.

                            - Chief of Staff of the Army doesn't control joint forces and can't form a JTF.
                            - His reponsibilities are to make sure the force is armed, trained, and equipped. He has no authority to deploy them or to put them in combat.

                            These are fundamentals that any field grade officer knows -- Coyle should know better. He knows company and battalion level things, but has no idea (that I can see) how the Army functions above that level.
                            Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                            Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                            "Never pet a burning dog."

                            RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                            http://www.mormon.org
                            http://www.sca.org
                            http://www.scv.org/
                            http://www.scouting.org/

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                            • #15
                              You're talking about Code of Honor. That book almost made me throw away all his other books in my library. He took some of my most favorite characters in the entire literary universe, and threw them away. It was obvious after about 20 pages that he was bored with the world and just wanted to get it done.

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