Cover image for Dirty little secrets : military information you're not supposed to know
Dirty little secrets : military information you're not supposed to know
Dunnigan, James F.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [1990]

Physical Description:
464 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
U102 .D834 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



America's favorite military observers fearlessly take aim at all branches of the armed services to dispel myths, solve mysteries, expose boondoggles, and intrepidly reveal the muck kept secret from the rest of us. Here are more than 900 entertaining and informative short takes about war making around the world, making for an amusing, surprising, and alarming expose.

Author Notes

James F. Dunnigan has written more than 100 books and articles about warfare and diplomacy. A resident of New York City, he is a military analyst for MSNBC and has been a consultant to the State Department, the CIA, and the Army War College.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A witty and informative compilation of nearly 1,000 nuggets of little-known information about modern war, collected from unclassified sources. The text contains a good many surprises to those who follow the murky world of military expenditures and skulduggery. It will be equally useful to the serious student, the casual reader, or the citizen concerned about writing more intelligent letters to his or her congressional representative. For most military-current affairs collections. To be indexed. ~--Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

This sobering collection of informational nuggets about modern warfare provides basic facts (usually in single-paragraph format) about chemical-warfare potential in Third World countries, electronic warfare, the Asian arms race, reactive armor, combat microcomputers, the latest developments in lasers for military use--and almost 900 other topics. Culled from open sources, the book is also rich in trivia: 98% of CIA staff are ``nerds and buffs'' (technicians and academics); the Soviet Army has no basic-training period; federal pensions are still being paid to a dozen widows of Civil War veterans; articles on the benefits of masturbation appear in Soviet military journals. We also learn that more than a million people die every year from the direct and indirect effects of war; this handbook briefly covers the equipment and techniques available for mass and individual wartime slaughter. Dunnigan and Nofi are developers of war-game simulations. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

It's hard to believe that respected military critics Dunnigan and Nofi are responsible for compiling the 900 uninformative bits of trivia which comprise this work. Touted as a collection of deep, dark secrets too sensitive and too shocking to be released to the general public, it has two glaring faults. Firstly, none of this information is secret; there is nothing that the average military buff does not know. Secondly, none of it is even remotely interesting. Three examples of ``dirty little secrets'': American soldiers stationed in Germany prefer American beer; U.S. service personnel may carry umbrellas in their left hand if they keep their right hand free to salute; Lord Nelson had a taste for loose women. Archly written and trying very hard to be sensational, this book is merely dull. Not to be taken seriously.-- Stanley Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.