Instaread Summary of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans At War by Mary Roach
Five out of five stars
When the words “science” and “war” are combined, the first thought is almost always about the glittering and powerful weapons simulated in video games. However, in this book, the emphasis is on the more mundane aspects of the foot soldier (grunt). Although, there is mention of the enormous expenses of some weapons systems and the dubious return on expenditure. Some of the less glamorous topics mentioned in this summary are the processing, absorption and evaporation of sweat and male genital reconstruction after battle injury.
This summary is a fascinating look into some of the research that is taking place that may improve the efficiency of the modern soldier. It is a demonstration that small ball tactics can often have a more meaningful result than the fanciest of new weapons.
A detailed example that appears in this summary is the phenomenon of deck-slap. When a vehicle rolls over a mine that explodes, the concussive force drives the floor up and severely damages the feet of the occupants. The damage is so severe that amputation rates following deck-slap are around 45 percent.
I found this summary so interesting that I now want to acquire and read the book. Since so much U. S. military activity is now conducting operations in areas of insurgency in extreme climates, making improvements at the level of the individual soldier is even more critical. This book and summary are demonstrations as to the why and how this is done.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.