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Dalriaden

Must read military novels (nonfiction)

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Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrel - The book was excellent and powerful, haven't seen the movie because I wasn't sure how it would affect me.

 

House to House by David Bellavia - An absolute must read from an Infantryman's viewpoint in Fallujah. Funny, sad, poetic, encompassing everything from day to day combat to hand - to - hand fighting it's a very powerful and vivid novel.

 

From a newspaper clip about the hand to hand fight that occured but in much less detail:

 

When another jihadist began firing from upstairs, Bellavia returned fire and killed him. Suddenly, a fourth enemy jumped from a closet in the bedroom, yelling and firing his weapon as he leaped over a bed trying to reach Bellavia. The insurgent tripped and Bellavia wounded him.

“He had gray hair and there was something in his eyes, he was scared of me, and that empowered me,” Bellavia said. “So he ran up the stairs and I ran after him.”

Bellavia slipped on the bloody stairs—a slip that would save his life. A bullet hit the wall just where his head would have been. He followed the wounded insurgent’s bloody footprints up the stairs to a room on the left and threw in a fragmentation grenade.

Entering the room, Bellavia saw it was filled with propane tanks and plastic explosives. He hesitated to fire his weapon for fear of setting off an explosion.

The insurgent was flat on his back on the floor. “I saw he was reeling so I took the M-16 that I had and just started beating him with it.” The man fought back, swinging his AK-47 into Bellavia’s jaw, punching him in the face and slamming a foot into his crotch.

“Never in a million years would I expect something to devolve into such an animalistic fight,” Bellavia said.

It ended when Bellavia took a Gerber knife from his belt and stuck it into the man’s collarbone.

“He did the creepiest thing at the end of it,” Bellavia said. “He took his hand and caressed my face. It was really creeping me out because he was almost forgiving me in a sense.”

The insurgent was one of five that Bellavia killed that day. He was awarded the Silver Star and is being nominated for the Medal of Honor.

http://www.americanvalor.net/heroes/1848

Secret Commands: Behind Enemy lines with the Elite warriors of SOG, and SOG: The secret wars america's commandos in vietnam by John L. Plaster

 

Studies and Observation Group with its rather unassuming name were some of the leanest, meanest, hardcore fighters in Vietnam. They operated in North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, the books are memoirs of John L. Plaster's and also contain short stories from other members. While everyone knows of Green Berets and Navy seals operating in Vietnam fewer know about SOG, a group composed of the elite from all branches who did everything from reconnaisaince sitting a few feet away from the ho chi minh trail, to snatch and grabs to get prisoners for intelligence, infiltrating depots to put in ak-47 ammunition that would blow up in the chamber when discharged and putting non lethal poison in rice stores that would make it's recipients violently sick. Sog performed everything from these psy-ops to being air lifted into dominating terrain in the middle of enemy terroritory with no other plan then to wreak as much havoc as they could. SOG had a near 100% casualty rate and were the unseen heroes of the war.

 

MSG Roy P. Benavidez earned a medal of honor helping a sog team that was pinned down by a battalion of NVA, Robert L. Howard was nominated for 3 separate medal of honors during his time with SOG. In total macv-sog had 11 medal of honor recipients and did some absolutely amazing feats.

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Those are all great reads!

 

I would also recommend these two:

 

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason - A book about a Vietnam Huey pilot. It details his time in theater really well exploring both the actions and physical emotions of a pilot in a war zone. 

 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - This one has gotten some good publicity lately and I believe a movie is being made from it. It recounts and absolutely amazing story about a WWII bomber pilot in the pacific theater and his experience being shot down. 

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@[member='FeatherSton3'] I've heard good things about that one but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll definitely download it and give it a read. Is it pretty similar in style to books like No Easy Day and Lone Survivor?

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@[member='FeatherSton3'] I've heard good things about that one but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll definitely download it and give it a read. Is it pretty similar in style to books like No Easy Day and Lone Survivor?

Havent read it but Clint Eastwood is directing the movie adaptation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xNDrSG1A8U

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That looks like it will be worth a watch. Now that I think of it I think the book Fearless by Eric Blehm mentions Chris Kyle in some of his accounts. 

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@[member='CanadianDesperado'] I read the book a while back and enjoyed it not for the war stories, (which honestly aren't all that well written) but for the realistic portrayal of what family life is like for heavily deployed members of our military. I think CPO Kyles made his book much better by including excerpts from his wife. Her point of view was invaluable in the story. 

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Dead Center- a vietnam ERA Marine Sniper novel

 

Marine Sniper- Another Vietnam ERA one. 

 

My Men are my heroes- a Marine Novel about Iraq

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