The Fighters Book Review

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The Fighters:  Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq

by C. J. Chivers

Hardcover in dustjacket, 400 pages, indexed

Published by Simon & Schuster August 2018

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1451676646

ISBN-13: 978-1451676648

Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches

The Fighters follows the stories of six American military personnel through their deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In some cases this is a single tour, in others there are multiple deployments.  The progression of both wars is viewed through their personal perspectives, and those perspectives and the wars themselves change over time.   The protagonists are:

  • a Navy fighter pilot, flying F-14s and later F/A-18s from carriers
  • a Navy corpsman assigned to a Marine platoon
  • an Army OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter pilot
  • an Army infantryman
  • a Marine platoon commander
  • an Army Special Forces sergeant.

The stories are very personal and often tragic.  Chivers pulls no punches and gives the reader the whole story, both the good and the bad.  The book is arranged chronologically, so the chapters follow one individual and then shift to another, later returning to the original person on a later deployment.  It is thoroughly researched and very well written, just as you would expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  I can recommend it without hesitation to anyone interested in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

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Hasegawa F/A-18D Hornet in 1/72 Scale

This is Hasegawa’s McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D, which I picked up at a show for the princely sum of $5.  I was browsing the stash and before I knew it there it was on the bench getting its cockpit painted.  It does comes with a load of drop tanks, pods, and missiles, a little surprising for a Hasegawa jet.  Even with the canopy closed the ejection seats will still be prominent and need replacing.  I used Verlinden’s SJU-5/A resin seats, also found at a show in one of those big boxes of detail bits.  Sometimes those boxes are worth sorting through!  The model was painted Dark Ghost Grey on top and Light Ghost Grey undersides.   Not much difference between the Light and the Dark.  The two colors are quite close and tend to blend together but you can see a hint of the difference at the nose.

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