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Special Operations are military operations requiring unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment, and training often conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and characterised by one or more of the following: time sensitive, clandestine, low visibility, conducted with and/or through indigenous forces, requiring regional expertise, and/or a high degree of risk. Special Operations Forces (SOF) are those active and reserve component forces of the services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organised, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Since 2001, the Department of Defense (DOD) has increased the size and funding of SOF and emphasised SOF's importance to meet national security needs. SOF deployments have focused on the Middle East and placed significant demand on the force during this period. This book examines trends since FY 2001 in authorised special operations military positions; the extent to which DOD has determined total funding for SOF; and the extent to which DOD has taken steps to manage the pace of SOF deployments, among other issues.
What was the Home Guard? Who were the men and women who served in it? And what can be said of their real role and significance once the popular myths have been stripped away? Despite the fame of the Home Guard - of Dad's Army - the true story of this wartime organization tends to be neglected. The myths obscure the reality. Stephen Cullen's aim in this thoroughgoing new study is to cut through the misunderstandings in order to reassess the Home Guard and its contribution to Britain's war effort - and to deepen our understanding of the men and women who were members of it. He sets the Home Guard in the long historical context of domestic defence planning, then focuses on the preparations made before the outbreak of the Second World War. In detail he traces the changing role of the Home Guard during its wartime existence as it adapted to meet the multitude of challenges it faced - from civil defence and intelligence gathering to training for guerrilla warfare.
In the age of modern warfare the changing landscape of the 21st century battlefield has demanded a transformation within the US Marine Corps Special Operations. Adapting to a huge range of combat environments, an enormous array of specialist uniforms, protective armour and battlefield electronic devices have been developed to facilitate missions in the most extreme conditions. A special forces operator may now have available to him a dozen distinct types of body armour and two dozen different weapons; never before in American military history has so much been given to so few. Authored by J. Kenneth Eward, professor at the American Military University, and illustrated throughout with photographs and meticulous colour plates, this volume offers the first detailed, authoritative study of the characteristics, and performance in the field, of the most modern combat gear and weapons provided for USMC specialist operators to date.
During the Vietnam War, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG) was a highly-classified, U.S. joint-service organization that consisted of personnel from Army Special Forces, the Air Force, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units, and the CIA. This secret organization was committed to action in Southeast Asia even before the major build-up of U.S. forces in 1965 and also fielded a division-sized element of South Vietnamese military personnel, indigenous Montagnards, ethnic Chinese Nungs, and Taiwanese pilots in its varied reconnaissance, naval, air, and agent operations. MACVSOG was without doubt the most unique U.S. unit to participate in the Vietnam War, since its operational mandate authorized its missions to take place "over the fence" in North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, where most other American units were forbidden to go. During its nine-year existence it managed to participate in most of the significant operations and incidents of the conflict. MACVSOG was there during the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, during air operations over North Vietnam, the Tet Offensive, the secret bombing of and ground incursion into Cambodia, Operation Lam Son 719, the Green Beret murder case, the Easter Invasion, the Phoenix Program, and the Son Tay POW Raid. The story of this extraordinary unit has never before been told in full and comes as a timely blueprint for combined-arms, multi-national unconventional warfare in the post-9/11 age.Unlike previous works on the subject, Black Ops, Vietnam is a complete chronological history of the unit drawn from declassified documents, memoirs, and previous works on the subject, which tended to focus only on particular aspects of the unit's operations.
As elite troops, the German Fallschirmjager (paratroopers) were regularly engaged in front line combat during the Second World War. Their famed actions such as the fighting in Scandinavia, the taking of the Belgian fortress Eden-Emal in May 1940, and the Battle for Crete just a year later, have given them the reputation of being determined, courageous and loyal soldiers. This book continues the pictorial history of the Fallschirmjager, focusing on the period following the bloody Battle for Crete. Used as elite infantry, first in the USSR and then in Africa, the Fallschirmjager were able to reconnect with their glorious past, whether in Italy or on the Greek Islands, as they jumped from their Ju 52s to engage the enemy. Their hard fighting in Italy helped to cement the legend of 'the Green Devils', with the British General Harold Alexander describing them as 'tenacious, highly-trained men, hardened by their many actions and combats'. However, during the fighting in Normandy, the Ardennes and on the Eastern Front, the number of veterans decreased, meaning it was the young German paratroopers who finally surrendered the III Reich on 8 May 1945.
The Royal Navy at the start of the twenty-first century had undergone the most remarkable transformation. The Fleet is today the smallest since the start of the Napoleonic wars as surface vessels are no longer viable as a principal line of defence. That preserve is now in the hands of Britain's nuclear-armed submarine fleet, well chronicled in THE SILENT SERVICE and the Air Force, as outlined in STRIKE COMMAND. This book will complete the triangle of our essential military might, telling the story of today's sea-going ultra-mobile, rapid reaction, missile- and aircraft-carrying task force. John Parker includes personal interviews from the men and women who have served in the Senior Service to bring his story vividly to life.
It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two U.S. Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets. The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the juggernaut they expected when and if a war began. The plan was Special Forces Berlin. The first 40 men who came to Berlin in mid-1956 were soon reinforced by 60 more and these 100 soldiers (and their successors) would stand ready to go to war at only two hours' notice, in a hostile area occupied by nearly one million Warsaw Pact forces, until 1990. Their mission should hostilities commence was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, intelligence tradecraft and able to act if necessary as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit that had no parallel. It left a legacy of a new type of soldier expert in unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for other deployments including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the U.S. government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told.
In the bestselling tradition of American Sniper and Shooter, Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary 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 labelled 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 a sniper on point.
This three-volume set is unquestionably the best reference on German SS military uniforms ever produced. This spectacular work is a heavily documented record of all major clothing articles of the Waffen-SS. Hundreds of unpublished bw photos were used in production. Original and extremely rare SS uniforms of various types are carefully photographed and presented here.
Immortalized by the movie "A Bridge Too Far," the parachute
landings of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were the first
part of an Allied breakthrough attempt. In the late summer of 1944,
the First Allied Airborne Army began to plan a complex operation to
seize a Rhine River Bridge at Arnhem in the Netherlands. The
airborne mission was code-named Operation "Market," and the ground
assault was designated Garden. The American portion of Operation
"Market" was to employ the two divisions of Gen. Matthew Ridgway's
US XVIII Airborne Corps to seize key terrain features that might
otherwise delay the advance of British tank columns towards the
ultimate objective of the Rhine bridge at Arnhem. The plan
envisioned landing the US 101st Airborne Division near Eindhoven to
clear a path for the advance of the armored divisions of the
British XXX Corps, and to land the 82nd Airborne Division around
Nijmegen to seize the Waal river bridges there. In view of the
problems experienced in Normandy with night landings, Operation
"Market" was scheduled to take place on the afternoon of September
17th, 1944, with an elaborate tactical air plan to suppress German
NOW WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY W. STANLEY MOSS'S DAUGHTER GABRIELLA BULLOCK AND AN AFTERWORD BY PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR Ill Met By Moonlight is the true story of one of the most hazardous missions of the Second World War. W. Stanley Moss is a young British officer who, along with Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, sets out in Nazi-occupied Crete to kidnap General Kreipe, Commander of the Sevastopool Division, and narrowly escaping the German manhunt, bring him off the island - a vital prisoner for British intelligence. As an account of derring-do and wartime adventure, made into a classic film starring Dirk Bogarde, Ill Met By Moonlight is one of the most brilliantly written, exciting and compelling stories to come out of the Second World War.
The Sky Men is the story of F Company of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th U.S. Airborne Division. They were all volunteers to a new, dangerous, and elite corps a Airborne. In the midst of the hardest European winter in forty years, the 17th Airborne Division was committed to action against the German Army west of Bastogne, Belgium. From their first day in action, the green paratroopers a caught up in the toughest fighting of the Bulge when the American Army stood up and began slugging its way back to the start line a attacking through knee deep snow and over bald terrain, demonstrated exceptional courage in closing with the enemy. In March 1945, Operation Varsity sends F Company parachuting across the Rhine and into the final battle for the conquest of Nazi Germany. The Sky Men includes many never before used documents, with the personal accounts of nearly one hundred men of F Company and other associated organizations.
The New York Times-bestselling book by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland that teaches all dog owners how to have the close relationship and exceptional training of combat dogs. In Team Dog, Ritland taps into fifteen years' worth of experience and shares, explaining in accessible and direct language, the science behind the importance of gaining a dog's trust and then offering invaluable steps for how to achieve any level of obedience. His unique approach uses entertaining examples and anecdotes from his work with dogs on and off the battlefield and direct tips from the Navy SEAL guidebook to teach dog owners how to: choose the perfect dog for their household, establish themselves as the -team leader, - master -command and control, - employ -situational awareness, - and to solidify their dog's position as the family's ultimate best friend. Team Dog introduces pet owners everywhere to the new and distinctive authority on how to train your dog . . . the Navy SEAL way.
Former Army Ranger Kris Paronto, a survivor of the 2012 Benghazi siege that was subject of the book and movie 13 Hours, provides powerful, motivational tools for surviving and thriving to bring readers discipline, motivation, success, and peace to life.
Thousands of people have heard Kris "Tanto" Paronto speak about his experiences in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. But before he was a security contractor, Tanto was a US Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Rangers are trained to lead by being pushed to their physical and mental limits so that they can perform against impossible odds in punishing situations. In THE RANGER WAY, Tanto shares stories from his training experiences that played a role in his team's heroic response in Benghazi. Being a Ranger is, by design, not for everyone, but anyone can use the expectations and techniques of Ranger culture to achieve personal victory.
In THE RANGER WAY, Tanto explains the importance of demanding excellence when you commit to improving your life. He shows you how to define your mission, set goals that are in alignment with your values, and develop a battle plan that will maximize your chances of success. You will learn why you should never quit and why that is different from never failing. Tanto uses his experiences in Basic and Ranger Training to explore how to deal with mistakes and disappointment like a leader, accept responsibility, and turn every obstacle into an opportunity for growth. You will learn why being of service to others, and being willing to sacrifice, will help you succeed, and how the power of humility, strength, faith, and brotherhood will sustain you on the road to accomplishing your mission.
When the shadowy, notorious Spetsnaz were first formed, they drew on a long Soviet tradition of elite, behind-the-lines commando forces from World War II and even earlier. Throughout the 1960s-70s they were instrumental both in projecting Soviet power in the Third World and in suppressing resistance within the Warsaw pact. As a powerful, but mysterious tool of a world superpower, the Spetsnaz have inevitably become the focus of many 'tall tales' in the West. In this book, a peerless authority on Russia's military Special Forces debunks several of these myths, uncovering truths that are often even more remarkable. Now, since the chaotic dissolution of the USSR and the two Chechen Wars, Russian forces have seen increasing modernization, involving them ever more in power-projection, counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism and the Spetsnaz have been deployed as a spearhead in virtually all of these operations. This book offers a unique, absorbing guide to the secrets of the Spetsnaz, their most noteworthy missions and personalities, but is also packed with details such as orders-of-battle, equipment and operational doctrine.
Covers the use and design of the Panzer II armored fighting vehicle.
The invasion was launched to round off Hitler's Balkan Campaign against Crete in May 1941. The Island was important to Britain's control of the Eastern Mediterranean and Churchill was determined that the Island would be held.
The British garrison was largely made up of New Zealand and Australian troops who had been evacuated from Greece, with little more that what they stood up in. On the other hand the German Commander, Kurt Student, had overwhelming air superiority, which negated the Allied naval superiority. But the Germans had almost fatally underestimated the number of Allied troops.
While British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers, however, showed what they were capable of, the battle for Crete was eventually won through sheer nerve, the confidence of the German soldier in his superiority and the power of the Luftwaffe. That said, the cost in killed and wounded was such that Hitler would never again contemplate another large airborne operation.
Phoenix Rising recounts the paradoxical birth of SOF through the prism of Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue fifty-two Americans held hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. When terrorists captured the Embassy on November 4, 1979, the Joint Chiefs of Staff quickly realized that the United States lacked the military capability to launch a rescue. There was no precedent for the mission, a mission that came with extraordinary restrictions and required a unique force to take it on. With no existent command structure or budget, this force would have to be built from scratch in utmost secrecy, and draw on every branch of the U.S. military. Keith Nightingale, then a major, was Deputy Operations Officer and the junior member of Joint Task Force Eagle Claw, commanded by Major General James Vaught. Based on Nightingale's detailed diary, Phoenix Rising vividly describes the personalities involved, the issues they faced, and the actions they took, from the conception of the operation to its hair-raising launch and execution. His historically significant post-analysis of Eagle Claw gives unparalleled insight into how a very dedicated group of people from the Chief of Staff of the Army to lower-ranking personnel subjugated personal ambition to grow the forces necessary to address the emerging terrorist threat - a threat which the majority of uniformed leadership and their political masters denied in 1979. The Special Operations capability of the United States today is the ultimate proof of their success.
In the Gray Area is a Marine officer's reflection of his tour of
duty as the leader for an advisor team embedded with an Iraqi Army
infantry battalion. In February 2008 Major Folsom deployed to Iraq
as Team Leader, Military Transition Team 0733. During this
deployment his advisor team was embedded with the 7th Iraqi Army
Division. Tasked with the mission to train, coach, mentor, and
advise the new Iraqi Army's 3rd Battalion, 28th Brigade, the
Marines of Military Transition Team 0733 - the "Outlanders" -
quickly found the reality of their advisor mission fraught with
Formed in the summer of 1941 in the North African desert, the British Special Air Service (SAS) have justified their elite status time and time again in operations all over the world. SAS Undercover Operations charts the early days of 'the regiment', and follows their major combat actions right through to their current deployment in the war against terrorism. The book begins with the SAS in North Africa in World War II, before describing operations in the Mediterranean and northwest Europe. It then traces the reformation of the SAS in the early 1950s, and its deployment in the counter-insurgency operations in Malaya and Borneo against communist guerrillas. From there, SAS Undercover Operations covers missions in Aden and Oman, before detailing the role of the SAS in protecting the security of the British Isles - particularly in Northern Ireland. The SAS were one of the first units in the world to develop a counter-revolutionary warfare capability to deal with such threats, which was put to good use in the infamous Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. SAS Operations then goes on to describe more recent operations. Starting with the regiment's involvement in the 1982 Falklands conflict, the book examines the vital role that the SAS played in hunting Iraqi SCUD missiles in the 1991 Gulf War. The SAS' part in the UN operations in the Balkans is described, and their deployment in Sierra Leone, dramatically rescuing British hostages. It then goes on to relate the actions of the SAS after the incidents of 11 September 2001, overthrowing the Taliban and the unit's attempts to find Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorists. With specially-commissioned colour artworks and rare action photographs, SAS Undercover Operations is a highly-illustrated guide to the combat history of the SAS, showing exactly why and how they have earned their deserved reputation as one of the world's elite combat and counter-terrorist units.
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