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Beyond Hell and Back: How America's Special…

Beyond Hell and Back: How America's Special Operations Forces Became the… (2007)

by Dwight Jon Zimmerman, John D. Gresham

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To illustrate the development of the U.S. Special Forces, the authors tells us about seven missions that eventually confirmed that creating and funding such forces was necessary in the changing world of military conflict. The missions include Son Tay (attempted rescue of POW's in Vietnam), Rescue of BAT 21 (downed pilot in Vietnam), Operation Eagle Claw (disastrous attempt to rescue the American hostages in Tehran), rescue of Scott O'Grady (downed pilot in Serbia), and two behind the lines missions in Iraq.
The authors describe the background for the mission, weapons involved, the planning, the mission itself and finally the consequences for the development of special forces. There was much resistance to special forces in the military hierarchy and this had to be over come by convincing the leaders that this was how military campaigns of the future will be fought.
Very readable; in fact, one could be convinced one was reading fiction except this reader remembers the headlines. I have also read other accounts of most of these events. ( )
  lamour | Jan 23, 2013 |
Details the seven defining Special Ops missions: Son Tay Raid, Rescue of Bat 21, Task Force Normandy, Operation Eagle Claw, Basher 52, Karbala Gap, Task Force Viking
  CommandoLibrary | Feb 11, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dwight Jon Zimmermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gresham, John D.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312363877, Hardcover)

An inside look at seven of the most harrowing and significant Special Operations missions ever.
Courage beyond reason. Loyalty beyond faith. Perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity. These are just some of the qualities of the members of the U.S. Special Operation Forces. BEYOND HELL AND BACK details the seven defining Special Ops missions that have made the Special Operation Forces the best fighting unit in the world, including:
*THE RESCUE OF BAT-21: The largest and longest Combat Search and Rescue mission in the Vietnam War lasted 17 days and cost the lives of 13 Americans--all to rescue one man and the invaluable knowledge he alone possessed.
* TASK FORCE NORMANDY: Planned in secrecy and executed with flawless efficiency, Task Force Normandy was an Army/Air Force Special Operations joint op that fired the opening shots behind enemy lines in Operation Desert Storm.
*OPERATION EAGLE CLAW: The devastating Special Forces operation mounted to retrieve 52 American hostages in Iran resulted in the deaths of
eight members of the rescue team. This failure ultimately led to the creation of Special Operations Command.
*BASHER 52: Captain Scott O'Grady was shot down over the "no fly" zone above Bosnia, and his daring rescue was one of the Marine Corps' finest operations ever.
These are a few of the dramatic true tales that represent the defining moments that helped shape the operational methods, planning, and deployment for all future Special Ops missions. BEYOND HELL AND BACK is the greatest collection of Spec Ops missions ever assembled.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:28 -0400)

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