Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Starship Troopers - The annual read

"I always get the shakes before a jump . . ." thus starts one of the greatest military science fiction novels of all time, Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein. Even today, the book has stood the test of time, and was a big influence on my decision to be an Infantry officer. 

When I attended the Command and General Staff College, I was pleasantly surprised to see the novel on the required reading list. Today, the novel is still on the reading list for the US Army, Navy and United States Marine Corps.

I just finished my annual reading of the book . . . something I do annually!

This is a poster for the movie directed by Paul Verhoeven who admitted he never finished reading the book.  Please don't watch it . . . you'll thank me later.  Not only does the movie miss most of the points of the book and, as a retired infantry officer (Regulars By God!), it's embarrassing to watch. 

One of the worst scenes in the book is when the platoon is defending an outpost and the bugs are coming. I can see the nuclear rockets strapped to the backs of the (so called) Mobile Infantry! So what do they do? Break out the SMALL ARMS (sigh). How about the scene when the platoon surround a bug in a circle, and then they all fire at the bug! In a circle? They would have hit each other. (Note: That's a safety violation) And please don't get me started on how they portray Lieutenant Rascak.

Do not watch the movie!

The book sums it up nicely: "For the everlasting glory of the Infantry . . ."


  1. I loved the book as a teen. (Loved Dorsai! by Gordon Dickson, too.) I didn't realize it got that much respect among actual professional military personnel.

    When the movie came out, I was extremely disappointed. I agree with you; it's just not watchable.