The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival


This book is not just fun reading for determined riflemen, but vital self-defense info. for all security ranks and jobs. The Pentagon lost on the ground 40 years ago, and its squad tactics haven't changed much. Herein lie more advanced techniques for every category of short-range combat. They will permit better small-unit maneuvers (and fewer losses) for every intensity of combat. As Western ordnance turned more lethal, Eastern armies came to rely on tiny semi-autonomous elements. Most provide every rifleman with...

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This book is not just fun reading for determined riflemen, but vital self-defense info. for all security ranks and jobs. The Pentagon lost on the ground 40 years ago, and its squad tactics haven't changed much. Herein lie more advanced techniques for every category of short-range combat. They will permit better small-unit maneuvers (and fewer losses) for every intensity of combat. As Western ordnance turned more lethal, Eastern armies came to rely on tiny semi-autonomous elements. Most provide every rifleman with guerrilla training. Until the Pentagon follows suit, its own infantry enlistees will have less field skill, initiative, and decision-making experience than their Communist counterparts. In any close encounter, they will die unnecessarily and their commanders too often fail to win.

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Editorial Reviews

Manassas Journal Messenger (VA)
Poole shares the capabilities of the foreign fighters ... [who] will most likely confront Americans at war.
Newport News Daily Press (VA)
The book ... explains (how) ... privates, fire teams, and squads ... can acquire short-range proficiency without a massive bureaucratic overhaul.
Camp Lejeune Globe
'[The] Tiger's Way' ... [is] a warrior's guide to victory.
Fort Myer Pentagram
The book has numerous ... illustrations that depict various armies' methods of infiltrating, how they fight in the dark and urban areas, as well as ways to counteract these threats.
Leatherneck Magazine
[This book] will bridge the gap that has been unknowingly created in our rifleman.
National Guard Magazine
[M]any Afghani and Iraqi insurgents are using the Eastern military tactics Poole describes. This makes the book an eye opener.
Oberlin Alumni Magazine
Poole ... believes that while America was preoccupied with technology, the rest of the world may have evolved tactically.... [He] hopes to prepare U.S. soldiers for the type of short-range combat used by our adversaries in the East.
Newhouse News Service
The effective response [in Iraq and elsewhere] is to decentralize [control over] U.S. forces, giving more authority to the sergeants who lead platoons working city neighborhoods, getting to know the people ..., said Poole, who details these ideas in a new book.
[S]o long as the Pentagon thinks only about programs and money, American soldiers and Marines will need to discover post-machinegun tactics on their own. Gunny Poole's books offer them a readily available way to do so.
Fort Leonard Wood Guidon
Poole is a professional teacher of military tactics and has an extensive knowledge of the Eastern enemy.
British Army Review Magazine
If you train infantry, buy this book. I guarantee you will learn something.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963869562
  • Publisher: Posterity Press (NC)
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: 107 illustrations
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 483,385
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Through an inverted military career, H. John Poole has discovered a few things that more promotable people miss. After spending his first two years as a combat commander, he did his last seven as an enlisted tactics instructor. That allowed him to see why U.S. troops have always had so much trouble outmaneuvering their immediate adversaries. Their tactical techniques (like football plays) are quite simply outmoded. These U.S. small-unit maneuvers are so unlikely to surprise anyone as to be "premachinegun" in format. This oversight on the part of their commanders and how to compensate for it forms the framework of Poole's work.

Since retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993, Poole has has traveled extensively in both Communist and Islamist worlds. He has also written 10 other tactics/intelligence supplements and conducted multiday training sessions for 40 U.S. battalions, 9 schools, and 7 special operations units. As most U.S. intelligence personnel know too little about the Eastern thought process and evolution of squad tactics, these supplements provide currently deployed GIs with a rare glimpse into their enemies' intentions. Since 2000, Poole has done research in Russia, Mainland China (twice), North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India (three times), Pakistan (three times), Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Tanzania, and Venezuela. Over the course of his lifetime, he has further traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and most of the Western Hemisphere. He has lived (or been stationed) in Mexico, Panama, Vietnam, and Japan. Between early tours in the Marine Corps (from 1969 to 1971), Poole worked as a criminal investigator for the Illinois Bureau of Investigation (IBI). After attending the State Police Academy, he worked out of the IBI's Chicago office.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Hurry Sunrise

Darkness descends over the rain forest like an undertaker's cloak. Not even the stars shine overhead. As the mist rises from the jungle floor, the croaking of frogs, buzzing of insects, and calling of animals blend into a dull roar. It's so dark that the U.S. perimeter guard sees only shapes in his assigned sector, so loud that he can't hear himself talk. While this young American has buddies less than 20 yards away on either side, he feels isolated and uncomfortable. There are so many shadows, plants, and ground irregularities between those buddies and him, that those 20 yards might as well be 2000. His distant squad leader has the only night vision goggles (NVGs), and his even-more-distant platoon leader has the only thermal-imaging device. Under these conditions, neither piece of technology would help him anyway. The former needs ambient light, and latter can't see through bushes.

Raised in the city and with only six months in service, the U.S. perimeter guard feels out of place in the woods. He has been repeatedly told that he is the best in the world, but he has heard stories. His uncle and grandfather have talked about German, Japanese, North Korean, Chinese, and North Vietnamese soldiers who could crawl up on a wide-awake sentry. The young American is tired. For weeks on end, he has been patrolling all day and staying awake most of every night. Though only 130 pounds soaking wet, he has been lugging 100 pounds of mostly ammunition through every bog and tree fall in the area. At first, he tries to analyze every sound and shadow. Then, his mind wanders back to Trish and home. For hours, he sits erect in his hole, moving in and out of "the here and now." Then it happens. He doesn't notice that the twelve bushes to his front have turned to thirteen. There's a "whoosh," a "thunk," indescribable pain, a suspicion of betrayal, a gasping for breath, and then nothing at all. Private Robert B. "Squirt" Ryan, Jr.—the pride of Cedar Rapids—is gone. He will not have that family of which he and Trish had dreamed. He will not spend his Saturdays fishing with his best friend Bill. He will not become that fireman who would save all those other people.

It is over now for Private Ryan, but questions linger. Did he really have to die? Was his organization somehow remiss? Could his leaders have saved him? How did his opponent get so close? What can the U.S. private do to help himself? These are complex questions that will take many chapters to answer.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Part One: A Growing Threat at 75 Yards
Chapter 1: American Units Must Further Disperse
Chapter 2: Orphaned Squads Are at Greater Risk
Chapter 3: U.S. Riflemen Will Need More Skill
Part Two: The New "Basics"
Chapter 4: Microterrain Appreciation
Chapter 5: Harnessing the Senses
Chapter 6: Night Familiarity
Chapter 7: Nondetectable Movement
Chapter 8: Guarded Communication
Chapter 9: Discreet Force at Close Range
Chapter 10: Combat Deception
Chapter 11: One-on-One Tactical Decision Making
Part Three: What the "Eastern" Soldier Does
Chapter 12: When Told to Hold
Chapter 13: At the Listening Post
Chapter 14: With Contact Patrolling
Chapter 15: On Point
Chapter 16: About Tracking an Intruder
Chapter 17: While Stalking a Quarry
Chapter 18: To Reconnoiter an Enemy Position
Chapter 19: In the Rural Assault
Chapter 20: For Attacking Cities
Chapter 21: During an Urban Defense
Part Four: The Winning Edge
Chapter 22: The Rising Value of the "Little Picture"
Chapter 23: How the Tiger Is Born
Chapter 24: Field Proficiency Has No Substitute
Appendix A: Casualty Comparisons
Appendix B: Enemy Entry-Level Training
Appendix C: Advised U.S. Battledrills
About the Author
Name Index
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