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Osprey Elite 4 : US Army Special Forces 1952-1984

The world was in an unsettled condition in the early 1950s. The Korean War had broken out; there were dozens of Communist-inspired and backed rebellions and civil wars in progress; and massive Soviet forces were poised on the borders of Western Europe. It was in this setting that the seed for Special Forces was germinated. The seed had been planted by Brig. Gen. Robert A. McClure, Chief of the Army Psychological Warfare Staff Section. Gen. McClure's goal was to form a guerrilla or unconventional warfare [UW] organisation within the US Army: a difficult task, as the Army was conventional in thought, convinced that 'push button' warfare was well within sight, felt it could rely on nuclear weapons, and tended to regard so-called 'élite' units with some disdain. From its very inception the United States Army Special Forces [SF] has been enmeshed in controversy, its mission misunderstood to varying degrees, and its very existence opposed by some of the Army hierarchy, nevertheless they continue to serve in this highly specialised role in all manner of differing conditions. Former weapons specialist with the Special Forces Group Gordon L. Rottman chronicles the history of this unique organisation accompanied by 12 full page colour plates by Ron Volstad.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • The Beginnings
  • Expansion and Growth
  • Vietnam
  • Since Vietnam
  • Organisation
  • Selection and Training
  • Insignia
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Elite


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