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Book Review – US Special Ops

The History, Weapons, and Missions of Elite Military Forces; by Fred Pushies; Quarto Publishing Group USA; Paperback, 320 pages; 325 color and 55 b/w photos

 

 

Veteran author Fred Pushies knows his stuff when it comes to special operations forces, and that fact is evident throughout US Special Ops: The History, Weapons, and Missions of Elite Military Forces.

This encyclopedic guide to weapons, vehicles, missions, people, and pieces of specialized gear spans four centuries and more than 350 entries, from the weapons and tactics of Rogers’ Rangers and the “Swamp Fox,” Francis Marion, right up to today.

US Special Ops cover DMN

US Special Ops: The History, Weapons, and Missions of Elite Military Forces; by Fred Pushies; Quarto Publishing Group USA; Paperback, 320 pages; 325 color and 55 b/w photos

Because books of this sort are essentially collections of tidbits of information, the quality varies according to the talent and expertise of the writer in creating each entry. US Special Ops: The History, Weapons, and Missions of Elite Military Forces succeeds because Pushies not only knows the minutiae of his subjects – from “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell’s penchant for carrying an ’03 Springfield in preference to a sidearm (or for that matter how he got the name “Vinegar Joe”) to the nickname for AFSOC MQ-1 Predator control vans – but also manages to write each entry so that it is interesting, informative, and even humorous to both the expert and the layman.

On the downside, while the photos are usually representative and accurate, many are the usual public domain fare rather than new or relatively unknown images, and some of the written entries could also have used more proofreading. Overall, however, the very high quality, glossy pages of this book contain an entertaining, informative, and comprehensive survey of the special operations universe.