Academic journal article Military Review

The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq

Academic journal article Military Review

The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq

Article excerpt

THE GODS OF DIYALA: Transfer of Command in Iraq, Caleb S. Gage and Gregory M. Tomlin, Texas A&M University Press, College Station, 2008, 297 pages, $29.96.

The Gods of Diyala is a platoon leaders' view of the Iraqi insurgency and as such is a much-needed complement to the "bigger picture" of narratives by senior officers, correspondents, and political analysts. This is the story of two artillery lieutenants who find themselves fighting as infantrymen in the heart of the Sunni Triangle against a growing and evolving insurgency.

Although the book was written as a memoir, it reads like an objective report chronicling the authors' transition from an army before 9/11 to subsequent combat in Baquba, Iraq, and inconclusively to their eventual rotation out of Iraq. Readers looking for entertainment, excitement, and vivid descriptions of modern combat will be disappointed. On the other hand, those looking for a junior officer's tip-of-the-spear perspective on counterinsurgency warfare will find this an invaluable addition to the growing volumes of Iraq War literature. The Gods of Diyala isn't so much about events or how things happened; it is more about the perspectives, leadership, and the adaptability of young officers and their ability to accept increasing responsibilities in difficult and complex situations. …

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