Now including an excerpt from The Killing School: Inside the World's Deadliest Sniper Program
BEFORE HE COULD FORGE A BAND OF ELITE WARRIORS... HE HAD TO BECOME ONE HIMSELF.
Brandon Webb's experiences in the world's most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, The Red Circle provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist.
Yet it is Webb's distinguished second career as a lead instructor for the shadowy "sniper cell" and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program that trained some of America's finest and deadliest warriors-including Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle-that makes his story so compelling. Luttrell credits Webb's training with his own survival during the ill-fated 2005 Operation Redwing in Afghanistan. Kyle went on to become the U.S. military's top marksman, with more than 150 confirmed kills.
From a candid chronicle of his student days, going through the sniper course himself, to his hair-raising close calls with Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the northern Afghanistan wilderness, to his vivid account of designing new sniper standards and training some of the most accomplished snipers of the twenty-first century, Webb provides a rare look at the making of the Special Operations warriors who are at the forefront of today's military.
Explosive, revealing, and intelligent, The Red Circle provides a uniquely personal glimpse into one of the most challenging and secretive military training courses in the world.
In Level Zero Heroes, Michael Golembesky follows the members of U.S. Marine Special Operations Team 8222 on their assignment to the remote and isolated Taliban stronghold known as Bala Murghab as they conduct special operations in an effort to break the Taliban's grip on the Valley. What started out as a routine mission changed when two 82nd Airborne Paratroopers tragically drowned in the Bala Murghab River while trying to retrieve vital supplies from an air drop that had gone terribly wrong. In this one moment, the focus and purpose of the friendly forces at Forward Operating Base Todd, where Team 8222 was assigned, was forever altered as a massive clearing operation was initiated to break the Taliban's stranglehold on the valley and recover the bodies.
From close-quarters firefights in Afghan villages to capturing key-terrain from the Taliban in the unforgiving Afghan winter, this intense and personal story depicts the brave actions and sacrifices of MSOT 8222. Readers will understand the hopelessness of being pinned down under a hail of enemy gunfire and the quake of the earth as a 2000 lb. guided bomb levels a fortified Taliban fighting position.
A powerful and moving story of Marine Operators doing what they do best, Level Zero Heroes brings to life the mission of these selected few that fought side-by-side in Afghanistan, in a narrative as action-packed and emotional as anything to emerge from the Special Operations community contribution to the Afghan War.
SEAL Team Six is a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes readers deep inside the world of Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world.
After graduating, Wasdin faced new challenges. First there was combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. Then the Green Course: the selection process to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, with a curriculum that included practiced land warfare to unarmed combat. More than learning how to pick a lock, they learned how to blow the door off its hinges. Finally as a member of SEAL Team Six he graduated from the most storied and challenging sniper program in the country: The Marine's Scout Sniper School. Eventually, of the 18 snipers in SEAL Team Six, Wasdin became the best—which meant one of the best snipers on the planet.
Less than half a year after sniper school, he was fighting for his life. The mission: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid and killed his men whenever possible. But everything went quickly to hell when his small band of soldiers found themselves fighting for their lives, cut off from help, and desperately trying to rescue downed comrades during a routine mission. The Battle of Mogadishu, as it become known, left 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Howard Wasdin had both of his legs nearly blown off while engaging the enemy. His dramatic combat tales combined with inside details of becoming one of the world's deadliest snipers make this one of the most explosive military memoirs in years.
Mark Owen’s instant #1 New York Times bestseller, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, focused on the high-profile targets and headline-grabbing chapters of the author’s thirteen years as a Navy SEAL. His follow-up, No Hero, is an account of Owen’s most personally meaningful missions, missions that never made headlines, including the moments in which he learned the most about himself and his teammates in both success and failure.
Featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers a never-before-seen close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the SEALs he served with capable of executing the missions that make history.
Delta Force. They are the U.S. Army's most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won't hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action-to reveal the never-before-told story of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).
Inside Delta Forece
The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit
He is a master of espionage, trained to take on hijackers, terrorists, hostage takers, and enemy armies. He can deploy by parachute or arrive by commercial aircraft. Survive alone in hostile cities. Speak foreign languages fluently. Strike at enemy targets with stunning swiftness and extraordinary teamwork. He is the ultimate modern warrior: the Delta Force Operator.
In this dramatic behind-the-scenes chronicle, Eric Haney, one of the founding members of Delta Force, takes us inside this legendary counterterrorist unit. Here, for the first time, are details of the grueling selection process—designed to break the strongest of men—that singles out the best of the best: the Delta Force Operator.
With heart-stopping immediacy, Haney tells what it's really like to enter a hostage-held airplane. And from his days in Beirut, Haney tells an unforgettable tale of bodyguards and bombs, of a day-to-day life of madness and beauty, and of how he and a teammate are called on to kill two gunmen targeting U.S. Marines at the Beirut airport. As part of the team sent to rescue American hostages in Tehran, Haney offers a first-person description of that failed mission that is a chilling, compelling account of a bold maneuver undone by chance—and a few fatal mistakes.
From fighting guerrilla warfare in Honduras to rescuing missionaries in Sudan and leading the way onto the island of Grenada, Eric Haney captures the daring and discipline that distinguish the men of Delta Force. Inside Delta Force brings honor to these singular men while it puts us in the middle of action that is sudden, frightening, and nonstop around the world.
From the Hardcover edition.
One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat there.
Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come.
Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters—from whom they seized an impossible victory.
Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan’s infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike—the “shaky” medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon’s hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism.
Praise for Lions of Kandahar
“A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.”—Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden
“A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.”—Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
“One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.”—The Seattle Times
“Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar.”—San Antonio Express-News
“Bradley takes the reader into battle.”—Time
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Knowing these great men—who they were, how they lived, and what they stood for—has changed my life. We can’t let them be forgotten. So read about these amazing men, share their stories, and learn from them as I have. We’ve mourned their deaths. Let’s celebrate their lives.”—Brandon Webb
As a Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb rose to the top of the world’s most elite sniper corps, experiencing years of punishing training and combat missions from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. Among the best of the best, he led the SEALs’ clandestine sniper training program as course manager, instructing a new generation of the world’s top snipers. Along the way, Webb served beside, trained, and supported men he came to know not just as fellow warriors, but as friends and, eventually, as heroes. Among Heroes gives his personal account of these eight extraordinary SEALs, who gave all for their comrades—and their country.
Here are the true stories behind the remarkable valor and abiding humanity of those “sheepdogs” (as they call themselves) who protect us from the wolves of the world. Of Matt “Axe” Axelson, who perished on the Lone Survivor mission in Afghanistan. Of Chris Campbell, Heath Robinson, and JT Tumilson, who were among the thirty-eight casualties of Extortion 17, the Chinook helicopter shot down in August 2011. Of Glen Doherty, Webb’s best friend for more than a decade, killed while helping secure the successful rescue and extraction of American CIA and State Department diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012; and other close friends, classmates, and fellow warriors.
In Among Heroes, Webb offers eight intensely personal profiles of uncommon courage—who these men were, what they stood for, and how they came to make the ultimate sacrifice. These are men who left behind powerfully instructive examples of what it means to be alive—and what it truly means to be a hero.
OPERATION RED WINGS is an in-depth examination of the recovery mission to rescue Luttrell, filled with never-before-told details and shocking new revelations. Author Peter Nealen (former USMC Force Recon) and the team at SOFREP have an expansive network within the Special Operations community, providing them with access to exclusive interviews, after action reports, military intel and previously untold accounts of the rescue mission. Nealen and his team have uncovered eyewitness reports that put the "official" story into question as to how the initial rescue helicopter was shot down. If true, this potential coverup will have had severe consequences on subsequent helicopter insertion operations and put lives at risk.
Complete with a foreword by former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, this is a must-have companion to the blockbuster book and upcoming film.
The American generals were flexible. A swatch of hair, a drop of blood, or simply a severed finger wrapped in plastic would be sufficient. Delta's orders were to go into harm's way and prove to the world bin Laden had been terminated.
These Delta warriors had help: a dozen of the British Queen's elite commandos, another dozen or so Army Green Berets, and six intelligence operatives from the CIA who laid the groundwork by providing cash, guns, bullets, intelligence, and interrogation skills to this clandestine military force. Together, this team waged modern siege of epic proportions against bin Laden and his seemingly impenetrable cave sanctuary burrowed deep inside the Spin Ghar Mountain range in eastern Afghanistan.
Over the years, since the battle ended, scores of news stories have surfaced offering tidbits of information about what actually happened in Tora Bora. Most of it is conjecture and speculation.
This is the real story of the operation, the first eyewitness account of the Battle of Tora Bora, and the first book to detail just how close Delta Force came to capturing bin Laden, how close U.S. bombers and fighter aircraft came to killing him, and exactly why he slipped through our fingers. Lastly, this is an extremely rare inside look at the shadowy world of Delta Force and a detailed account of these warriors in battle.
The Instant New York Times Bestseller by Co-Star of Fox's American Grit and Legendary Ranger Nick Irving
Groundbreaking, thrilling and revealing, The Reaper is the astonishing memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving, the 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper with 33 confirmed kills, though his remarkable career total, including probables, is unknown.
Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary military career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labeled him "The Reaper," and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian.
Irving's astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare view of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of an Army sniper on point.
The book contains incredible accounts of major SEAL operations-from the violent birth of SEAL Team Six and the aborted Operation Eagle Claw meant to save the hostages in Iran, to key missions in Iraq and Afganistan where the SEALs suffered their worst losses in their fifty year history-and every chapter illustrates why this elite military special operations unit remains the most feared anti-terrorist force in the world.
We hear reports on the record from retired SEAL officers including Lt. Cmdr. Richard Marcinko, the founder of SEAL Team Six, and a former Commander at SEAL team Six, Ryan Zinke, and we come away understanding the deep commitment of these military men who put themselves in danger to protect our country and save American lives. In the face of insurmountable odds and the imminent threat of death, they give all to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
No matter the situation, on duty or at ease, SEALs never, ever give up. One powerful chapter in the book tells the story of how one Medal of Honor winner saved another, the only time this has been done in US military history.
EYES ON TARGET includes these special features:
A detailed timeline of events during the Benghazi attack Sample rescue scenarios from a military expert who believes that help could have reached the Benghazi compound in time The US House Republican Conference Interim Progress Report on the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi Through their many interviews and unique access, Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter pull back the veil that has so often concealed the heroism of these patriots. They live by a stringent and demanding code of their own creation, keeping them ready to ignore politics, bureaucracy and-if necessary-direct orders. They share a unique combination of character, intelligence, courage, love of country and what can only be called true grit.
They are the Navy SEALs, and they keep their Eyes on Target.
In America’s new war, the first guns in the fight are special operations forces, including the Navy SEALs, specially trained warriors who operate with precision, swiftness, and lethal force. In the constantly shifting war on terror, SEAL units—small in number, flexible, stealthy, and efficient—are more vital than ever to America’s security as they take the battle to an elusive enemy around the globe.
But how are Navy SEALs made? In Warrior Elite, Couch narrated one SEAL class's journey through BUD/S training, the brutal initial course that separates out candidates with the character and stamina necessary to begin training as Navy SEALs. In The Finishing School, Couch follows SEALs into the next levels of training—SEAL Tactical Training—where they master combat skills such as precision shooting, demolitions, secure communications, parachuting, diving, and first aid. From there, the men enter operational platoons, where they subordinate their individual abilities to the mission of the group and train for special operations in specific geographic environments.
Never before has a civilian writer been granted such close access to the training of America’s most elite military forces. The Finishing School is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what goes into the making of America’s best warriors.
On September 12th, 2012, Brandon Webb learned Glen Doherty, one of his closest friends and his former Navy SEAL teammate, was killed alongside Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and two other Americans when the U.S. State Department and CIA headquarters in Benghazi, Libya, were sieged in a shocking terrorist attack. For the next four months, Webb and his team at SOFREP.com, the world’s premier Special Ops website, embarked on a relentless investigation to understand exactly what happened to their countrymen, as well as the roles played by the Obama administration, State Department, and CIA. Drawing on unmatched sources, they spoke to individuals who would talk to no one else, including fellow Special Operations team members familiar with the African theatre, and to well-placed contacts in the Washington intelligence community. This is their report—an unforgettably gripping minute-by-minute narrative of the events and their aftermath as they really unfolded on that terrible day in Libya.
MODERN AMERICAN SNIPERS tells the inside story of some of the most heroic patriots in recent American history by the friends and colleagues who knew them best, including:
* The Legend – Chris Kyle, SEAL Team 3 Chief and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history
* The Reaper – Nick Irving, the first African American to serve as a sniper in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, and its deadliest, with 33 confirmed kills
* Robert Horrigan, Delta sniper who played a critical role in Operation Anaconda
* Don Hollenbaugh, Delta Operator who earned the Distinguished Service Cross while embedded with a Marine platoon in the First Battle of Fallujah
* And many more
In Chosen Soldier, Dick Couch—a former Navy SEAL widely admired for his books about SEAL training and operations—offers an unprecedented view of the training of the Army Special Forces warrior. Each year, several thousand enlisted men and several hundred officers volunteer for Special Forces training; less than a quarter of those who apply will complete the course. Chosen Soldier spells out in fascinating detail the arduous regimen these men undergo—the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well they gather operational intelligence to their skills at negotiating with volatile, often hostile, local leaders.
Green Berets are expected to be deadly in combat, yes, but their responsibilities go far beyond those of other Special Operations fighters; they’re taught to operate in foreign cultures, often behind enemy lines; to recruit, train, and lead local forces; to gather intelligence in hostile territory; to forge bonds across languages and cultures. They must not only be experts in such fields as explosives, communications, engineering, and field medicine, but also be able to teach those skills to others. Each and every Green Beret must function as tactical combat leader, negotiator, teacher, drill sergeant, and diplomat.
These tasks require more than just physical prowess; they require a unique mix of character, intelligence, language skills, and—most of all—adaptability. It’s no wonder that the Green Berets’ training regimen is known as the hardest in the world. Drawing on his unprecedented access to the closed world of Army Special Forces training, Dick Couch paints a vivid, intimate portrait of these extraordinary men and the process that forges America’s smartest, most versatile, and most valuable fighting force.
From the Hardcover edition.
Filled with entertaining anecdotes and an insider's knowledge, Navy SEALs BUD/S Preparation Guide is a must-read for prospective SEALs and armchair military enthusiasts everywhere.
Over the last fifty years, a small Navy unit has evolved into the world’s most celebrated fighting force: the U.S. Navy SEALs. Until now, their stories have been sealed in the chambers of operational secrecy—and the brotherhood of SEAL anonymity. Drawing on exclusive interviews with more than 100 former special operators, highly respected retired SEAL Dick Couch and award-winning author Bill Doyle record their stories in Navy Seals and give us the epic chronicle these legendary warriors deserve.
Navy Seals charts the SEALs story, from their origins in the daring Naval Combat Demolition Teams, Underwater Demolition Teams, Scouts and Raiders commando units, and OSS Operational Swimmers of WWII to their coming of age in Vietnam and rise to glory in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. Illustrated with 40-pages of photographs, here are the greatest missions of the world’s most legendary special operators—in their own words.
Until the war in Iraq, Special Forces were the military’s counterinsurgency experts. Their specialty was going behind enemy lines and training insurgent forces. In Afghanistan, they toppled the Taliban by transforming Northern Alliance fighters into cohesive units. But since that time, Special Forces units have focused on offensive raids.
With time running short, the Green Berets have now gone back to their roots.
Award-winning journalist Kevin Maurer traveled with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan, finding out firsthand the inside story of the lives of this elite group of highly trained soldiers. He witnessed the intense brotherhood, the rigorous selection process, and the arduous training that makes them the best on the battlefield. Here, Maurer delivers a compelling account of modern warfare and of a fighting force that is doing everything in its power to achieve victory.
Retired Marine sniper Jack Coughlin (Shooter) and John Bruning pull back the curtain of secrecy to take an insider's look at the dark and misunderstood world of America's sniper force. Long considered the redheaded stepchildren of the infantry, snipers have been loathed by their fellow warriors, called "ten cent killers" by our media, and portrayed as unbalanced psychopaths by Hollywood. Coughlin and Bruning explore the lives and careers of some of America's most effective snipers during key missions, moments and campaigns in the War on Terror.
Part page-turning thriller, part deeply human drama, Shock Factor takes you from the streets of the modern day "Stalingrad" of Ramadi to the skyscrapers of Baghdad as America's one-shot warriors fight desperate battles against all odds, find themselves at the heart of tense international incidents, stalk key enemy leaders, and discover horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by our own allies. Based on extensive interviews with snipers currently on active duty, Shock Factor's gripping accounts of harrowing combat, buried truths and secrets revealed could only be told by snipers to a trusted member of their own elite and cloistered brotherhood.
On May 2, 1968, a twelve-man Special Forces team covertly infiltrated a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia—where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate. Their objective, just miles over the Vietnam border, was to collect evidence that proved the North Vietnamese Army was using the Cambodian sanctuary as a major conduit for supplying troops and materiel to the south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What the team didn’t know was that they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed a major enemy base. Soon they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of NVA, under attack, low on ammunition, stacking the bodies of the dead as cover in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught.
When Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez heard their distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone. What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft, ran nearly 100 yards through withering enemy fire, and--despite being immediately and severely wounded--organized an extraordinary defense and rescue of the Special Forces team.
Written with extensive access to family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, on-the-ground eye-witness accounts never before published, as well as recently discovered archival, and declassified military records, Blehm has created a riveting narrative both of Roy Benavidez’s life and career, and of the inspiring, almost unbelievable events that defined the brotherhood of the air and ground warriors in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Legend recounts the courage and commitment of those who fought in Vietnam in service of their country, and the story of one of the many unsung heroes of the war.
Since the attacks of September 11, one organization has been at the forefront of America's military response. Its efforts turned the tide against al-Qaida in Iraq, killed Bin Laden and Zarqawi, rescued Captain Phillips and captured Saddam Hussein. Its commander can direct cruise missile strikes from nuclear submarines and conduct special operations raids anywhere in the world.
Relentless Strike tells the inside story of Joint Special Operations Command, the secret military organization that during the past decade has revolutionized counterterrorism, seamlessly fusing intelligence and operational skills to conduct missions that hit the headlines, and those that have remained in the shadows-until now. Because JSOC includes the military's most storied special operations units-Delta Force, SEAL Team 6, the 75th Ranger Regiment-as well as America's most secret aviation and intelligence units, this is their story, too.
Relentless Strike reveals tension-drenched meetings in war rooms from the Pentagon to Iraq and special operations battles from the cabin of an MH-60 Black Hawk to the driver's seat of Delta Force's Pinzgauer vehicles as they approach their targets. Through exclusive interviews, reporter Sean Naylor uses his unique access to reveal how an organization designed in the 1980s for a very limited mission set transformed itself after 9/11 to become the military's premier weapon in the war against terrorism and how it continues to evolve today.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, Nick Irving earned his nickname in blood, destroying the enemy with his sniper rifle and in deadly firefights behind a .50 caliber machine gun. He engaged a Taliban suicide bomber during a vicious firefight, used nearly silent sub-sonic ammo, and was the target of snipers himself. Way of the Reaper attempts to place the reader in the heat of battle, experiencing the same dangers, horrors and acts of courage Irving faced as an elite member of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, while also examining the personal ramifications of taking another life.
Readers will experience the rush of the hunt and the dangers that all snipers must face, while learning what it takes to become an elite manhunter. Like the Reaper himself, this explosive book blazes new territory and takes no prisoners.
Along the way, they endured a U.S .Navy F-14 dropping a 500-pound bomb on supporting Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, the ever-present threat of WMDs, and countless other deadly obstacles.
This is the never-before-told, unsanitized story of how one Special Forces A-team recruited and organized, trained and eventually fought—and won—a legendary conflict that will influence American military doctrine for years to come.
Level Zero Heroes, Michael Golembesky's bestselling account of Marine Special Operations Team 8222 in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, was just the beginning for these now battle-hardened special operations warriors.
The unforgiving Afghan winter has settled upon the 22 men of Marine Special Operations Team 8222, callsign Dagger 22, in the remote and hostile river valley of Bala Murghab, Afghanistan. The Taliban fighters in the region would have liked nothing more than to once again go dormant and rest until the new spring fighting season began. No chance of that—this winter would be different.
Along with Afghan and International Security Forces (NATO), the Marines of Dagger 22 continued their fight throughout the harsh winter to shape the battlefield before the Afghan ground began to thaw. From one firefight to the next, the noose began to tighten around the village of Daneh Pasab and the Taliban command cell operating there. On April 6, 2010, a ground force consisting of U.S. Army Special Forces, Afghan Commandos and Marine Corps special operations conducted a night assault to destroy the heavily entrenched Taliban force, breaking their grip on the valley and stopping the spring offensive before it even began.
But nothing in Bala Murghab comes easily as combat operations wear on the operators of Dagger 22 as they lean on each other once again in order to complete their mission in one of the most brutal environments on earth.
As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable.
From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other. It is also an uplifting human story that reveals how a young Hispanic American bootstrapped himself out of a life that promised a dead-end future by enlisting in the military. That new life begins with the Marines and includes his heroic achievements on the battlefield and the operating table, and finally, of his inspirational triumph over the demons caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatened to destroy him and his family.
American Sniper by Chris Kyle - A 20-minute Summary
Inside this Instaread Summary:
• Overview of the entire book
• Introduction to the important people in the book
• Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book
• Key Takeaways of the book
• A Reader's Perspective
Preview of this summary:Chapter 1
Kyle grew up in central Texas. He loved to hunt and ride horses and would have been a cowboy if he had not become a member of the Navy Sea, Air, Land Teams (SEAL). He had a lot of fun hunting with his mom, dad, and brother as a child. His dad and brother were his best friends growing up.
Kyle learned true patience by learning to break a horse. He got involved in rodeo competitions to quench his thirst for being a cowboy. In 1992, he graduated and went to Tarleton State University with aspirations to join the military afterward. An accident in his freshman year ended his rodeo career when he had to have pins put in his wrist. He became a ranch hand for a man named David Landrum while he was still a student. Landrum’s strict expectations made Kyle want to prove himself. Kyle believes this prepared him to become a Navy SEAL.
Kyle decided to quit school and join the military. He learned about the SEALs and wanted to become one. He investigated the opportunity further and learned that there was no guarantee he would become a SEAL if he joined the Navy. He would need to earn the privilege. Kyle went through the application process, but the Navy disqualified him because of the pins in his wrist. He felt his military career had ended before it began. He went back to work for Landrum and hoped to become a rancher. Shortly afterward, a recruiter called and asked if he was still interested in becoming a SEAL.
training in the world.
What does it take to become a Navy SEAL? What makes talented, intelligent young men volunteer for physical punishment, cold water, and days without sleep? In The Warrior Elite, former Navy SEAL Dick Couch documents the process that transforms young men into warriors. SEAL training is the distillation of the human spirit, a tradition-bound ordeal that seeks to find men with character, courage, and the burning desire to win at all costs, men who would rather die than quit.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Some of the most explosive combat in Special Operations history is almost completely unknown to the Western World. Everyone knows about Navy SEALs and Green Berets but nobody knows about the deep recce, sabotage, and direct action missions conducted by the Rhodesian SAS. The Rhodesian Light Infantry was a killing machine, participating in combat jumps every night during the heat of the Bush War. The Selous Scouts were perhaps the most innovative and daring unconventional warfare unit in history which would pair white soldiers with turncoat black "former" terrorists who would then infiltrate enemy camps.
US military veteran and historian Dan Tharp covers each of these three units in depth in Africa Lost.
The Marine Special Operations Command (“MARSOC”) is the newest component of the military’s shift toward a fully integrated Special Operations Command structure. At first, the Marines were strongly against any Marines serving under anyone other than another Marine.
Then 9/11 happened.
In the years following, Marine forces found themselves growing more agreeable to inter-branch operational command, finally forming the Marine Special Operations Command in 2006. Always Faithful, Always Forward follows the journey of a class of Marine candidates from their recruitment, through assessment and selection, to their qualification as Marines Special Operators.
The assessment, selection, and training regimes are a combination of psychological testing and intense military training as well as being a physical and professional rite of passage. MARSOC Marines must be efficient, agile, independent, and prepared to live hard in the field. They are warriors trained in the full range of military skills, as well as teachers who can train locals to defend their communities and lead them in battle. But above all, they are Marines. Their ability to leverage their numbers by embedding with the locals and to live in remote locations has, in their short history, made them a valuable force and one with great utility in remote reaches of the world.
Retired Navy Captain Dick Couch has been given unprecedented access to this new command and to the individual Marines of this exceptional special-operations unit, allowing him to chronicle the history and development of the Marine Special Operations Command and how they find, recruit, and train their special operators.
Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. Days and nights he and his team—his brothers—would venture forth in heavily armed convoys from their Forward Operating Base to engage in the nerve-racking yet strangely exhilarating work of either disarming the deadly improvised explosive devices that had been discovered, or picking up the pieces when the alert came too late. They relied on an army of remote-controlled cameras and robots, but if that technology failed, a technician would have to don the eighty-pound Kevlar suit, take the Long Walk up to the bomb, and disarm it by hand. This lethal game of cat and mouse was, and continues to be, the real war within America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But The Long Walk is not just about battle itself. It is also an unflinching portrayal of the toll war exacts on the men and women who are fighting it. When Castner returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less insidious foe, an unshakable feeling of fear and confusion and survivor’s guilt that he terms The Crazy. His thrilling, heartbreaking, stunningly honest book immerses the reader in two harrowing and simultaneous realities: the terror and excitement and camaraderie of combat, and the lonely battle against the enemy within—the haunting memories that will not fade, the survival instincts that will not switch off. After enduring what he has endured, can there ever again be such a thing as “normal”? The Long Walk will hook you from the very first sentence, and it will stay with you long after its final gripping page has been turned.
From the Hardcover edition.
In May 2003 President George W. Bush appointed Paul Bremer as presidential envoy to Iraq. Bremer banned the Ba’ath party and dismantled the Iraqi army, which made him the prime target for dozens of insurgent and terrorist groups. Assigned to protect him during his grueling sixteen-hour days were Blackwater security expert Frank Gallagher and a team of former Marines, SEALs, and other defense professionals. When they arrived, Baghdad was set to explode. As the insurgency gathered strength Bremer and the men who guarded him faced death daily. They were not in the military, but Gallagher and his team were on the front lines of the Iraq War. This fascinating memoir takes the reader deep behind the scenes of a highly dangerous profession.
This ebook includes ten pages of action photos from the author’s time in Baghdad.
Heroes are not always the guys who jump on grenades. Sometimes, they are the snipers who decide to hold their fire, the wounded operators who find fresh ways to contribute, or the wives who keep the families together back home. Even a SEAL commander—especially a SEAL commander—knows that. But what’s a hero, really? What do we have a right to expect from our heroes? How should we hold them accountable? Amid all the loose talk of heroes, these questions are seldom asked.
As a SEAL commander, Rorke Denver is uniquely qualified to answer questions about what makes a hero or a leader, why men kill, how best to serve your country, how battlefield experiences can elevate us, and most important, why we fight and what it does for and to us. And in Worth Dying For, Denver shares his personal experiences from the forefront of war today.
Denver applies some of his SEAL sense to nine big-picture, news-driven questions of war and peace, in a way that appeals to all sides of the public conversation. By broadening the issues, sharing his insights, and achieving what civilian political leaders have been utterly unable to, Denver eloquently shares answers to America’s most burning questions about war, heroism, and what it all means for America’s future.
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Firebase Kate held by only 27 American soldiers and 156 Montagnard militiamen. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments—some six thousand men—crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht’s men held off the assault but, after five days, Kate’s defenders were out of ammo and water. Refusing to die or surrender, Albracht led his troops off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam’s heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once...and Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.
It explains how different martial arts have been combined by military units to create hand-to-hand combat systems for defence against multiple assailants, for fighting on the ground, for dealing with edged and impact weapons, what works against attackers with firearms and – more importantly – what doesn’t.
With tips and techniques from unarmed combat experts, the book is divided into two main sections. The first covers the mental preparation needed to be ready to defend yourself. The second covers the physical techniques needed to defend yourself, and if necessary, strike back to temporarily incapacitate your attacker and escape.
With more than 300 easy-to-follow artworks and handy pull-out lists of key information, Unarmed Combat is the definitive guide for anyone wanting to be ready for anything - it could save your life.
In Force Recon Diary, 1970, Bruce "Doc" Norton offers a harrowing sequel to his best-selling Force Recon Diary, 1969, continuing the true story of a navy corpsman who became a Force Recon Team Leader behind enemy lines in the jungles of Vietnam. In the midst of a war set deep in the jungle, the Force Recon Marines often found themselves lacking food, drinkable water, explosives, or even enough radio batteries. Armed with only their own courage, skills, and loyalty to their brothers in arms, the Marines used stealth and cunning to survive in the harsh conditions of Vietnam, where one mistake could prove fatal not just for an individual Marine, but for the entire unit.</p
Within hours of their arrival in Iraq, a grenade bounced off one of the battalion's Land Rovers, rolled underneath and detonated. The ambush marked the beginning of a full-scale firefight during which Mills killed a man with a round that removed his assailant's head. It was going to be a long tour.
Like some post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" nightmare, the place had gone to hell in a handbasket. Temperatures on the ground often topped 120 degrees Fahrenheit, sewage systems had long since packed up, and the stench of cooking waste and piles of festering garbage grew wherever you looked. Throat-burning winds, blast bombs and well-trained, well-organized militias armed with AKs, RPGs and a limitless supply of mortar rounds were the icing on the cake.
If any of Mills's eighteen-man sniper platoon had thought that the people of Al Amarah were going to welcome them with open arms, they were rapidly forced to reconsider. For the next six months, isolated, besieged and under constant fire, the battalion refused to give an inch.
Sniper One is a breathtaking chronicle of endurance, camaraderie, dark humor and courage in the face of relentless, lethal assault.
In the weeks following the attacks of 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency received over 150,000 résumés from people wanting to serve their nation. T. J. Waters became one of more than a hundred students admitted into the CIA?s Clandestine Service to become Class 11, the first post- 9/11 training class. Filled with more information about the CIA?s Clandestine Service Training Program than has ever been allowed into the public domain, Waters takes readers behind closed doors, where the trainees learned methods of subterfuge, mastering disguises, how to withstand interrogations, and how to cross into hostile territory undetected?and provides a moving portrait of ordinary Americans with the courage and determination to go to any lengths to protect their country.
People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. A dog's natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don't have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog-the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table-could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.
Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world's most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
"Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers," says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout dog handler. "The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler." This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.
Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neal is no ordinary soldier. For nearly forty years, he has fought America's enemies, becoming one of the greatest Warriors this nation has ever known. Part Native American, O'Neal was trained in both military combat and the ways of his native people, combining his commitment to freedom with his respect for the enemy, his technical fighting skills with his fierce warrior spirit.
From his first tour in Vietnam at seventeen to fighting in both Gulf wars, O'Neal was nothing less than a super soldier. A minefield of aggression bordering on a justice-seeking vigilante, O'Neal kept fighting even when wounded, refusing to surrender in the face of nine serious injuries and being left more than once. O'Neal earned countless military honors as a member of the elite Army Rangers corps, a founding member of the legendary first Department of Defense antiterrorist team, a member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team, and more, devoting his life to training the next generation of soldiers. His unbelievable true stories are both shocking and moving, a reminder of what it means to be a true American hero.
In O'Neal's own words, he "wasn't born a warrior"—life made him one. American Warrior will serve as inspiration for American men and women in uniform today, as well as appeal to the countless veterans who served their country alongside O'Neal.
Kill or Capture is a true-life thriller that tells the story of senior military interrogator Matthew Alexander's adrenalinefilled, "outside the wire" pursuit of a notorious Syrian mass murderer named Zafar—the leader of al Qaeda in northern Iraq—a killer with the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands.
In a breathless thirty-day period, Alexander and a small Special Operations task force brave the hazards of the Iraqi insurgency to conduct dangerous kill-or-capture missions and hunt down a murderer. Kill or Capture immerses readers in the dangerous world of battlefield interrogations as the author and his team climb the ladder of al Qaeda leadership in a series of raids, braving roadside bombs, near death by electrocution and circles within circles of lies.
Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell - A 15-minute Summary & Analysis
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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson
is a gritty and compelling narrative that recounts what happened when four
United States Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams (SEALs) fought against a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Only one of them survived the ordeal.
Marcus Luttrell and the other members of his Navy SEAL team were sent to the mountains of the Hindu Kush between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were on a reconnaissance mission to locate and kill an associate of Osama bin Laden whom Luttrell refers to as Ben Sharmak in the book.
By the age of twelve, Luttrell was sure that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL. He sought out Billy Shelton, a former Green Beret, and asked him to train him to become a SEAL. Billy lived nearby and volunteered his time to teach…
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The legend was forged in the fires of World War II, when special units of elite navy frogmen were entrusted with dangerous covert missions in the brutal global conflict. These Underwater Demolition Teams, as they were then called, soon became known for their toughness and fearlessness, and their remarkable ability to get the job—any job—done. Years later, the renamed US Navy SEALs (for Sea, Air, and Land) continued to be a wartime force to be reckoned with throughout the remainder of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. They served as rangers and scouts in the jungles of Vietnam, answered the call to duty in Panama, Granada, and in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, while developing into the very best of the best, the cream of America’s Special Forces crop.
Author Orr Kelly offers a rich and riveting history of the SEALs, covering their remarkable triumphs while not shying away from the scandals and controversies. An extraordinary portrait of extraordinary fighting men, Brave Men, Dark Waters shines a brilliant light into the darkest shadows of war, which is where the SEALs have operated for decades with awesome and deadly efficiency.
The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces is the only biography of this exemplary soldier's life. Military historian Alan Hoe offers unique insight into Meadows, having served alongside him in 1960. The Quiet Professional is an insider's account that gives a human face to U.S. military strategy during the cold war. Major Meadows often claimed that he never achieved anything significant; The Quiet Professional proves otherwise, showcasing one of the great military minds of twentieth-century America.
Bestselling author Patrick Robinson helped Marcus Luttrell bring his harrowing story of survival to the page and the big screen with Lone Survivor. But the Afghani man who saved his life was always shrouded in mystery. Now, with The Lion of Sabray, Robinson reveals the amazing backstory of Mohammed Gulab—the brave man who forever changed the course of life for his Afghani family, his village, and himself when he discovered Luttrell badly injured and barely conscious on a mountainside in the Hindu Kush just hours after the firefight that killed the rest of Luttrell’s team.
Operating under the 2,000-year-old principles of Pashtunwali—the tribal honor code that guided his life—Gulab refused to turn Luttrell over to the Taliban forces that were hunting him, believing it was his obligation to protect and care for the American soldier. Because Gulab was a celebrated Mujahedeen field commander and machine-gunner who beat back the Soviets as a teenager, the Taliban were wary enough that they didn’t simply storm the village and take Luttrell, which gave Gulab time to orchestrate his rescue.
In addition to Gulab’s brave story, The Lion of Sabray cinematically reveals previously unknown details of Luttrell’s rescue by American forces—which were only recently declassified—and sheds light on the ramifications for Gulab, his family, and his community. Going beyond both the book and the movie versions of Lone Survivor, The Lion of Sabray is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the brave man who helped the Lone Survivor make it home.
Shirer gives a clear, detailed and well-documented account of how it was that Adolf Hitler almost succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has become one of the most authoritative books on one of mankind’s darkest hours. Shirer focuses on 1933 to 1945 in clear detail. Here is a worldwide bestseller that also tells the true story of the Holocaust, often in the words of the men who helped plan and conduct it. It is a classic by any measure.
The book has been translated into twelve languages and was adapted as a television miniseries, broadcast by ABC in 1968. This first ever e-book edition is published on the 50th anniversary of this iconic work.
In March 2003, M Squadron--an SBS unit with SAS embeds--was sent 1,000 kilometers behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps, an operation so risky it earned the nickname â??Operation No Return' right out of the gate. Caught in a ferocious ambush by Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen, plus the awesome firepower of the 5th Corps' heavy armor, and with eight of their vehicles bogged in Iraqi swamps, M Squadron launched a desperate bid to escape, inflicting massive damage on their enemies. Running low on fuel and ammunition, outnumbered, and outgunned, the elite operators destroyed sensitive information and prepared for death or capture as the Iraqis closed their deadly trap.
Zero Six Bravo contains previously unpublished information detailing the essential involvement of American troops in this astonishing military feat. Zero Six Bravo recounts in vivid and compelling detail the most desperate battle fought by British and allied Special Forces trapped behind enemy lines since World War Two.
In this unflinching autobiography, Craig catapults us into the heat of the action as he describes his active service in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, and gives heart-stopping accounts of his sniper ops as he fought for his life on the rooftops of Basra and the barren hills of Helmand province. Craig was blown up by an IED in Afghanistan and left battling severe PTSD. After his identity was revealed in the press he also had to cope with al Qaeda threats against him and his family. For Craig, the price of heroism has been devastatingly high.
Powerful and compelling, The Longest Kill is a must-read for fans of military memoirs.
As one of the architects of the Cuban Revolution, Guevera had become famous for supporting and organizing similar insurgencies in Africa and Latin America. When he turned his attention to Bolivia in 1967, the Pentagon made a decision: Che had to be stopped.
Major Ralph “Pappy” Shelton was called upon to lead the mission. Much was unknown about Che’s force in Bolivia, and the stakes were high. With a handpicked team of Green Berets, Shelton turned Bolivian peasants into a trained fighting and intelligence-gathering force.
Hunting Che follows Shelton’s American team and the newly formed Bolivian Rangers through the hunt to Che’s eventual capture and execution. With the White House and the Pentagon monitoring every move, Shelton and his team helped prevent another Communist threat from taking root in the West.
Filled with entertaining anecdotes and an insider's knowledge, this is a must-read for prospective rangers and armchair military enthusiasts everywhere.
Company Commander is his story, a riveting first-person account of incredible bravery, telling what it is like to have 200 Paras depending on you constantly, to make decisions which can and do cost lives, to see men under your command killed and injured and being under the most intense pressure imaginable every minute of every day for six long months.
Company Commander is a true leader's story – a unique and vivid mix of front-line battles and strategic decision making and an intensely personal and inspiring account of a tour in the most perilous theatre of war on the planet.
“Down range” is what SEALs in Afghanistan and Iraq call their area of operations. In this new mode of warfare, “down range” can refer to anything from tracking roving bands of al-Qaeda on a remote mountain trail in Afghanistan to taking down an armed compound in Tikrit and rousting holdouts from Saddam Hussein’s regime. It could mean interdicting insurgents smuggling car-bomb explosives over the Iraqi-Syrian border or silently boarding a freighter on the high seas at night to enforce an embargo. In other words, “down range” could be anywhere, anytime, under any conditions.
In Down Range, author Dick Couch, himself a former Navy SEAL and CIA case officer, uses his unprecedented access to bring the reader firsthand accounts from the warriors in combat during key missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Couch creates a pulse-pounding, detailed narrative of the definitive engagements of this war, while painting an unusually intimate portrait of these warriors in the field. The performance of the SEALs in difficult, changing environments—in the heat of the Afghan desert, in the snow-packed Hindu Kush, on the high seas, and in the urban chaos of Baghdad—has been nothing short of extraordinary. The SEALs, coordinating with other American forces, the CIA, and foreign special operations units like the Polish GROM, have once more shown their genius for improvisation and capacity for courageous action in leading the fight against this new and vicious enemy.
The first battle history of its kind, Down Range is a riveting close-up of some of America’s finest warriors in action against a deadly foe.
Also available as an eBook
From the Hardcover edition.
Green Berets • Navy SEALS • Rangers •
Air Force Special Operations • PsyOps • Civil Affairs •
and other special-mission units
The first two Commanders books, Every Man a Tiger and Into the Storm, provided masterly blends of history, biography, you-are-there narrative, insight into the practice of leadership, and plain old-fashioned storytelling. Shadow Warriors is all of that and more, a book of uncommon timeliness, for, in the words of Lieutenant General Bill Yarborough, “there are itches that only Special Forces can scratch.”
Now, Carl Stiner—the second commander of SOCOM, the U.S. Special Operations Command—and Tom Clancy trace the transformation of the Special Forces from the small core of outsiders of the 1950s, through the cauldron of Vietnam, to the rebirth of the SF in the late 1980s and 1990s, and on into the new century as the bearer of the largest, most mixed, and most complex set of missions in the U.S. military.
These are the first-hand accounts of soldiers fighting outside the lines: counterterrorism, raids, hostage rescues, reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, and psychological operations—from Vietnam and Laos to Lebanon to Panama, to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq, to the new wars of today…
Rogue Warrior of the SAS tells the remarkable life story of 'Colonel Paddy', whose exceptional physical strength and uniquely swift reflexes made him a fearsome opponent. But his unorthodox rules of war and his resentment of authority would deny him the ultimate accolade of the Victoria Cross.
Drawing on personal letters and family papers, declassified SAS files and records, together with the Official SAS Diary compiled in wartime and eyewitness accounts from many who served with him, the picture emerges of a soldier who, although a flawed hero, was unquestionably one of the most distinctive combatants of the campaigns in the Western Desert and Europe.