Book Review: The Last Hundred Yards: The NCO's Contribution to Warfare by John Poole


John Poole is in my view, is the definitive mind when it comes to small unit tactics. He area of expertise comes from doing, researching and training and spans the military and law enforcement. His book The Last Hundred Yards is in my view the best book on the topic of small unit tactics.  Its a book I have owned for 10 years and often refer to for my writing, training and implementation of tactics that translate to the street.

The latest poll question on the LESC web-site The Tactical Content of a Manual Is Mostly Technique And Therefore Only Applicable To Specific Sets of Circumstances? is also from this book and there will be many more to come.

The book spans numerous tactical topics to include; The anatomy of small unit victory, Operate on blind luck or win consistently, Improving ones chance for success, Old habits may get in the way, Perhaps the role of the small unit must change, Successfully traversing the battlefield, Winning chance contact, When prepared enemy positions are encountered, the safest way to attack, What the urban attacker must know are only a few of the topics discussed in The last hundred Yards.

John understands tactical maneuver and the moral, mental and physical dimensions of conflict and the importance of adaptability and frontline decision making and its effects on outcomes in dynamic encounters.

William Lind the father of maneuver warfare states “The Last Hundred Yards is the first book that gives the NCO’s the knowledge and understanding they need to make that transition. As such, its a book of immense importance, and a fitting tribute to all the NCO’s who have paid in blood for the lessons it so apply distills.”

Much of the information in this book can be translated to law enforcement. I highly recommend ‘The Last Hundred Yards to any law enforcement officer looking to improve his skills.  Becoming more effective at what we do takes discipline and determination. The Last Hundred Yards will help you reach your tactical destiny and ensure we are depending on skill instead of blind luck!

“Throughout American history, from Antietam to Hamburger Hill, a victory won with too many lives was not a victory at all.” ~LT GEN Arthur S. Collins U.S. Army (Ret.)

Stay Oriented!