Spec Ops

Spec Ops Summary

Vice Adm. William H. McRaven helped to devise the strategy for how to bring down Osama bin Laden, and commanded the courageous U.S. military unit that carried it out on May 1, 2011, ending one of the greatest manhunts in history. In Spec Ops,a well-organized and deeply researched study, McRaven analyzes eight classic special operations. Six are from WWII: the German commando raid on the Belgian fort Eben Emael (1940); the Italian torpedo attack on the Alexandria harbor (1941); the British commando raid on Nazaire, France (1942); the German glider rescue of Benito Mussolini (1943); the British midget-submarine attack on the Tirpitz (1943); and the U.S. Ranger rescue mission at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines (1945). The two post-WWII examples are the U.S. Army raid on the Son Tay POW camp in North Vietnam (1970) and the Israeli rescue of the skyjacked hostages in Entebbe, Uganda (1976). McRaven—who commands a U.S. Navy SEAL team—pinpoints six essential principles of “spec ops” success: simplicity, security, repetition, surprise, speed and purpose. For each of the case studies, he provides political and military context, a meticulous reconstruction of the mission itself and an analysis of the operation in relation to his six principles. McRaven deems the Son Tay raid “the best modern example of a successful spec op [which] should be considered textbook material for future missions.” His own book is an instructive textbook that will be closely studied by students of the military arts. Maps, photos.

Book Reviews


Still Poorly Edited3 star

Points 1 & 2 from the first review below still stand, however the maps are now enlargeable. Otherwise, this would be a 5 star book.35

Krieg Adler

Good book3 star

Although the book was very good, it is marred by three things. First, the ebook has numerous typos. It appears book was scanned into PDF and then no one checked spelling or words. Second, it seems that the photos and captions were thrown into a hat and randomly pulled out. It is near impossible to match the photo to its caption. Third, the maps are way too small and cannot be enlarged. The maps are pretty much useless. It seems no one ever did a quality check of the scanned product.35

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