Author: John L. Plaster
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Major John L. Plaster recalls his remarkable covert activities as a member of a special operations team during the Vietnam War in a “comprehensive, informative, and often exciting…account of an important part of the overall Vietnam tragedy” (The New York Times). Before there were Navy SEALs, there was SOG. Short for “Studies and Operations Group,” it was a secret operations force in Vietnam, the most highly decorated unit in the war. Although their chief mission was disrupting the main North Vietnamese supply route into South Vietnam, SOG commandos also rescued downed helicopter pilots and fellow soldiers, and infiltrated deep into Laos and Cambodia to identify bombing targets, conduct ambushes, mine roads, and capture North Vietnamese soldiers for intelligence purposes. Always outnumbered, they matched wits in the most dangerous environments with an unrelenting foe that hunted them with trackers and dogs. Ten entire teams disappeared and another fourteen were annihilated. This is the dramatic, page-turning true story of that team’s dedication, sacrifice, and constant fight for survival. In the “gripping” (Publishers Weekly) Secret Commandos, John Plaster vividly describes these unique warriors who gave everything fighting for their country—and for each other.
Author: Gordon L. Rottman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
In 1964 Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, activated a joint unconventional task force known as the Studies and Observation Group-MACV-SOG. As a cover its mission was to conduct analysis of lessons learned in combat by all branches of service. SOG's real mission was to conduct covert strategic reconnaissance missions into Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam as well as sabotage and 'Black' psychological operations. Ground, air and naval assets were employed to insert, collect, extract, and otherwise support these operations. This book tells the complete story of these covert agents, from their recruitment and training, through to their deadly black-ops in the jungles of Vietnam.
Author: Robert Gillespie
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
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.
Author: John L. Plaster
This is the companion photo history to SOG: The Secret Wars of American's Commandos in Vietnam. In 1972 the U.S. military took steps to ensure that such a book could never be printed by destroying all the known photos that existed of the top-secret Studies and Observations Group. But unknown to those in charge, SOG veterans brought back with them hundreds of photographs of SOG in action and kept them secret for more than three decades. More than 700 irreplaceable photos bring to life the stories of SOG legends Larry Thorne, Bob Howard, Dick Meadows, George Sisler, "Q" and others, and documents what really happened deep inside enemy territory: Operation Tailwind, the Son Tay raid, SOG's defense of Khe Sanh, Hatchet Force operations, Bright Light rescues, HALO insertions, string extractions, SOG's darkest programs and much more.
Author: Thom Nicholson
Publisher: Presidio Press
"When we cross the border: no ID, and it's kiss yourself good-bye if Charlie gets ahold of you." In Vietnam, the Military Assistance Command's Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) fielded small recon teams in areas infested with VC and NVA. Because SOG operations suffered extraordinary casualties, they required extraordinary soldiers. So when Capt. Thom Nicholson arrived at Command and Control North (CCN) in Da Nang, SOG's northernmost base camp, he knew he was going to be working with the cream of the crop. As commander of Company B, CCN's Raider Company, Nicholson commanded four platoons, comprising nearly two hundred men, in some of the war's most deadly missions, including ready-reaction missions for patrols in contact with the enemy, patrol extractions under fire, and top-secret expeditions "over the fence" into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Colonel Nicholson spares no one, including himself, as he provides a rare glimpse into the workings of one of the military's most carefully concealed reconnaissance campaigns. From the Paperback edition.
Author: Nick Brokhausen
Publisher: Open Road Media
A Green Beret’s gripping memoir of American Special Forces in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. In 1970, on his second tour to Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. Officially, it was known as the Studies and Observations group. In fact, this Special Forces squad, which Brokhausen calls “an unwashed, profane, ribald, joyously alive fraternity,” undertook some of the most dangerous and suicidal reconnaissance missions ever in the enemy-controlled territory of Cambodia and Laos. But they didn’t infiltrate the jungles alone. They fought alongside the Montagnards—oppressed minorities from the mountain highlands, trained by the US military in guerilla tactics, armed, accustomed to the wild, and fully engaged in a war against the North Vietnamese. Together this small unit formed the backbone of ground reconnaissance in the Republic of Vietnam, racking up medals for valor—but at a terrible cost. “In colorful, military-jargon-laced prose leavened by gallows humor, Brokhausen pulls few punches describing what it was like to navigate remote jungle terrain under the constant threat of enemy fire. A smartly written, insider’s view of one rarely seen Vietnam War battleground.” —Booklist “[An] exceptionally raw look at the Vietnam War just at the apex of its unpopularity. . . . This battle-scarred memoir is an excellent tribute to the generation that fought, laughed, and died in Southeast Asia.” —New York Journal of Books
Author: LTC Fred S. Lindsey, USA Ret
We could call this book “Special Operations Recon Mission Impossible.” A small group of highly trained, resourceful US Special Forces (SF) men is asked to go in teams behind the enemy lines to gather intelligence on the North Vietnamese Army units that had infiltrated through Laos and Cambodia down the Ho Chi Minh trails to their secret bases inside the Cambodian border west of South Vietnam. The covert reconnaissance teams, of only two or three SF men with four or five experienced indigenous mercenaries each, were tasked to go into enemy target areas by foot or helicopter insertion. They could be 15 kilometers beyond any other friendly forces, with no artillery support. In sterile uniforms - with no insignia or identification, if they were killed or captured, their government would deny their military connection. The enemy had placed a price on their heads and had spies in their Top Secret headquarters known as SOG. SOG had three identical recon ground units along the border areas. This book tells the history of Command and Control Detachment South (CCS). The CCS volunteer warriors and its Air Partners – the Army and Air Force helicopter transport and gunship crews who lived and fought together and sometimes died together. This is the first published history of CCS as compiled by its last living commander, some forty years after they were disbanded. It tells of the struggles and intrigue involved in SOG’s development as the modern-day legacy of our modern Special Operations Commands. Forbidden to tell of their experiences for over twenty years; their After Action Reports destroyed even before they were declassified – surviving veterans team together to tell how Recon men wounded averaged 100 percent; and SOG became the most highly decorated unit in Vietnam and all were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Author: Frank G. Greco
A combination memoir and combat photography book, Running Recon reflects both the author's experiences in the top-secret Studies and Observation Group (SOG) from April 1969 to April 1970, and the collective experiences of SOG veterans in general. What sets it apart from other Vietnam books is its wealth of more than 700 photographs, many never before published, from the author's personal collection and those of his fellow SOG veterans.
Author: Stephen L. Moore
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Uncommon Valor is a look into the formation and operation of an advanced Special Forces recon company during the Vietnam War. Code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most covert U.S. military unit in its time and contained only volunteers from such elite units as the Army’s Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and Air Force Air Commandos. SOG warriors operated in small teams, going behind enemy lines in Laos and Cambodia and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, tasked with performing special reconnaissance, sabotaging North Vietnamese Army ammunition, attempting to rescue downed U.S. pilots and other black ops missions. During that time, Forward Operating Base-2’s (FOB-2's) recon company became the most highly decorated unit of the Vietnam War, with five of its men earning the Medal of Honor and eight earning the Distinguished Service Cross-America's second highest military award for valor. Purple Hearts were earned by SOG veterans at a pace unparalleled in American wars of the twentieth century, with casualties at times exceeding 100 percent. One, Bob Howard, was wounded on fourteen different occasions, received eight Purple Hearts, was written up after three different missions for the Medal of Honor, and emerged from Vietnam as the most highly decorated soldier since World War II's Audie Murphy.
Author: Ronald Pawly
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Dressed in distinctive green uniforms and classically inspired copper helmets, the Dragoons of the Imperial Guard were raised in 1806 by the same criteria as other Guard units – by selection of picked, literate veterans from Line regiments who had six to ten years of service, and citations for bravery in at least two campaigns. The following year they were named Dragons de l'Impératrice in a unique compliment to the Empress Josephine. As a ceremonial regiment it enjoyed many privileges, but it also saw combat on a number of occasions, including the battles of Essling and Wagram (1809), the Russian campaign (1812, when it suffered severe losses), at Bautzen, Wachau and Leipzig (1813), in the 1814 Campaign of France, and at Ligny and Waterloo (1815).
Author: John L. Plaster
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
John Plaster’s riveting account of his covert activities as a member of a special operations team during the Vietnam War is “a true insider’s account, this eye-opening report will leave readers feeling as if they’ve been given a hot scoop on a highly classified project” (Publishers Weekly). Code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most secret elite US military unit to serve in the Vietnam War—so secret its very existence was denied by the government. Composed entirely of volunteers from such ace fighting units as the Army Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos, and Navy SEALs, SOG took on the most dangerous covert assignments, in the deadliest and most forbidding theaters of operation. In SOG, Major John L. Plaster, a three-tour SOG veteran, shares the gripping exploits of these true American warriors in a minute-by-minute, heartbeat-by-heartbeat account of the group’s stunning operations behind enemy lines—penetrating heavily defended North Vietnamese military facilities, holding off mass enemy attacks, launching daring missions to rescue downed US pilots. Some of the most extraordinary true stories of honor and heroism in the history of the US military, from sabotage to espionage to hand-to-hand combat, Plaster’s account is “a detailed history of this little-known aspect of the Vietnam War…a worthy act of historical rescue from an unjustified, willed oblivion” (The New York Times).
Author: J. S. Economos
Nearly a decade in the making, Gentle Propositions is a Vietnam War odyssey as experienced through the eyes of a young Special Forces soldier who volunteers to run recon with MACV-SOG out of Command and Control Central (CCC) at the beginning of 1969. This novel is a work of historical-fiction which includes a unique blend of both imaginary characters and real people who take part in both real and fictional events in time. Foreword by Lynne M. Black Jr.
Author: David Gibbins
How far would you go for Rome? Carthage, 146 BC. This is the story of Fabius Petronius Secundus – Roman legionary and centurion – and of his general Scipio Aemilianus, and his rise to power: from his first battle against the Macedonians, that seals the fate of Alexander the Great's Empire, to total war in North Africa and the Siege of Carthage. Scipio's success brings him admiration and respect, but also attracts greed and jealousy – for the closest allies can become the bitterest of enemies. And then there is the dark horse, Julia, of the Caesar family – in love with Scipio but betrothed to his rival Paullus – who causes a vicious feud. Ultimately for Scipio it will come down to one question: how much is he prepared to sacrifice for his vision of Rome? Inspired by Total War: Rome II, from the bestselling Total War computer strategy game series, Destroy Carthage is the first in an epic series of novels. Not only the tale of one man's fate, it is also a journey to the core of Roman times, through a world of extraordinary military tactics and political intrigue that Rome's warriors and citizens used to cheat death.
Author: Tom Marshall
Publisher: Ballantine Books
"The risk of a fatal catastrophe was constant. The NVA was the enemy, but the ultimate opponent was, quite simply, death. . . ." For assault helicopter crews flying in and around the NVA-infested DMZ, the U.S. pullout from Vietnam in 1970-71 was a desperate time of selfless courage. Now former army warrant officer Tom Marshall of the Phoenix, C Company, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne, captures the deadly mountain terrain, the long hours flown under enormous stress, the grim determination of hardened pilots combat-assaulting through walls of antiaircraft fire, the pickups amid exploding mortar shells and hails of AK fire, the nerve-racking string extractions of SOG teams from North Vietnam. . . . And, through it all, the rising tension as helicopter pilots and crews are lost at an accelerating pace. It is no coincidence that the Phoenix was one of the most highly decorated assault helicopter units in I Corps. For as the American departure accelerated and the enemy added new, more powerful antiaircraft weapons, the helicopter pilots, crew chiefs, and gunners paid the heavy price of withdrawal in blood. For more than 30 Percent of Tom Marshall's 130 helicopter-school classmates, the price of exit was their lives. . . . From the Paperback edition.