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Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan developed and reinforced many natural cave systems to use as supply bases and defensive positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda further strengthened these positions in the 1990s. Following the events of September 11, 2001, these cave systems have once more come to prominence and sites such as Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in news headlines around the world. This title provides an analysis of these caves and underground systems, and discusses the U.S.-led Coalition's tactical approach to dislodging the enemy from these fortified positions.
This title follows one recruit through commando, raiding and amphibious training in Scotland, and into action. It shows how the Rangers differed from the standard infantryman in both their combat mission and their combat skills, and how tactics were modified in the light of lessons learned. The experiences of battle covered include the Rangers' first action during the 1942 Dieppe raid, fighting elite Italian Bersaglieri units at Station de Sened and the Afrika Korps at Dernaia Pass in 1943, spearheading the invasion of Sicily and Italy in late 1943, and the gruelling combat up the Italian boot until war's end. Packed with first hand accounts, and many unpublished photographs, it provides a vivid description of life among the elite soldiers of Darby's Rangers during World War II (1939-1945).
Since the US Navy SEALs came into existence in 1983, they have become famous for their daring missions, advanced and unconventional tactics, hard training and hard-fought successes. SEALs have taken part in numerous conflicts ranging from Grenada in 1983, the invasion of Panama and operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and Liberia. Most recently, SEAL units have participated in the ongoing missions of Operation Enduring Freedom in the war in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in the war in Iraq.Now in paperback, this bestselling book from respected authors Mir Bahmanyar and Chris Osman offers readers a focus on modern combat operations between 1983 and 2006, examining various combat operations, the Navy SEAL training regimes, and the development of tactics and weapons. It includes first-hand accounts from SEALs on the ground, including revealing accounts from those currently involved in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an eye-opening insight into the shadowy and mysterious world of the US Navy SEALs, guaranteed to appeal to anyone with an interest in modern military operations, current events, and even those interested in becoming a Navy SEAL.From the Trade Paperback edition.
No American military unit can claim as colorful and volatile a history as the Rangers, who have led the way in America's wars for well over 300 years. This book traces the Rangers from the time of Robert Rogers during the French-Indian War of the 18th century to the most recent combat operations in Iraq. With a focus on today's Army Rangers, who combine the rugged individualism of American frontiersmen with the finely honed ability to operate as a close-knit team, wreaking havoc behind enemy lines, this fascinating volume incorporates many first-hand accounts of dramatic Ranger actions by the combatants themselves.From the Hardcover edition.
The outlook for a victory of the Allied Powers was dim in the spring of 1942. Britain was being unmercifully bombed and threatened with invasion. Rommel's forces were rampaging across North Africa toward Alexandria. Only two American divisions had arrived in the European theatre. Stationed in Ireland, they were green, untested troops, their combat deployment a matter of speculation even to the high command. It was then that General Lucien K. Truscott conceived the plan of organizing an American commando unit to be known as the "Rangers," a name made famous in American history. "On every frontier the name has been one of hope for those who required protection; of fear, for those who have lived outside the law." Major William O. Darby was placed in command of the first Ranger Battalion. Darby proved himself an officer of such extraordinary powers of leadership that his unit was forever after known as "Darby's Rangers." This was the organization destined to be the first American ground forces to battle the Germans in Africa and Europe in World War II. The Spearheaders is an account from an enlisted man's point of view of the intensely dramatic career of the Rangers from their beginnings as soldiers in Ireland, through their grueling training in Scotland, to their role in the bloody fighting in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.This is a story of war as intimate and individual as the diaries, letters and memories on which it is based. Here are the courage, determination, hope and occasional moments of weakness of gallant American boys from the "next doors" of Maine and California, Oregon and Florida. Here, too, are unforgettable pictures of the grandeur and misery of war, bawdiness and bloodshed, its triumphs ultimate futilities. Dominating the aggregation of his startlingly individualized subordinates is the commanding figure of Major Darby himself. Like Caesar he could call each of his men by name, congratulate them: "A helluva shoot . . . every company came through ... a beautiful job... now we got to get our tails out of here"; inspire them: "The outfit that can slip up the enemy and stun him with shock and surprise - that is the outfit that will win battles, and that is the outfit I want"; console them: "I'm sorry . . . damned sorry . . . I knew you would put on a good show."The Spearheaders is no ordinary war history. In line with present Army doctrine, it demonstrates the value of tough, resourceful, hard-trained troops, capable of swift dispersal and penetration instead of massed movement susceptible to atomic blasts. Its vivid writing, its empathy with those who served, its appreciation of the Ranger spirit more than the Ranger achievements, make it rekindle in the hearts and minds of all Americans the great heritage, proud history and high ideals of their nation.
This study of the US Army Ranger takes the reader through the distinct stages of training and acceptance, including the Ranger Indoctrination Program and Ranger Battalion training, and details the developments in Ranger weaponry, equipment and clothing since the early 1980s. Using first hand accounts, it shows what it was like to fight in Panama in 1989, in raid missions in Iraq in 1991 and Somalia in 1993, and brings the unit up to date with the 3rd Battalion's deployment to Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. It also covers the culture of the Rangers, from their special language and terminology, to the rites of passage that lie behind the formal training program.
After the United States' failures in special operations missions during the late 1970s and 1980, a decision was made to revamp its unconventional military capabilities. The subsequent reorganization and redesignation in 1983 created the SEALs as they are known today, and later the all-encompassing command for US special operations forces under which they operate. Since then, these Navy Special Warfare (NSW) forces have operated in Grenada, the Persian Gulf, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and Liberia. NSW units have also participated in the ongoing missions of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. This book looks at the history, organization, training, uniforms, equipment and missions of the US Navy SEALs since their redesignation until the recent conflict in the Gulf.