Cover image for First SEALs : the untold story of the forging of America's most elite unit
Title:
First SEALs : the untold story of the forging of America's most elite unit
Author:
O'Donnell, Patrick K., 1969- , author.
Edition:
First Da Capo Press edition.
Publication Information:
Boston, MA : Da Capo Press, 2014
Physical Description:
xi, 290 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"The rich history of SEAL Team 6 that captured Osama bin Laden stretches back to World War II when US intelligence officials formed a team of special-operation combat swimmers. Under the leadership of Captain Jack Taylor ... the Maritime Unit (MU) started training in 1942, learning underwater and covert operation techniques, as it developed an array of James Bond-like new equipment ... Finally deployed in 1944, the unit conducted some of the most daring, behind-enemy-lines operations of the war in Italy, where they linked up with fearsome Italian commandos ... Filled with unforgettable characters ... [this book] cinematically narrates one of the greatest untold stories of World War II and links their storied past to today's gloried US Navy SEALs"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780306821721
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Clarence Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Clearfield Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Grand Island Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction New Materials
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Hamburg Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Kenmore Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Lancaster Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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City of Tonawanda Library D794.5 .O37 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Beginning in the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of men--among them a dentist, a Hollywood movie star, an archaeologist, California surfers, and even former enemies of the Allies--united to form an exceptional unit that would forge the capabilities of the Navy's Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised America's first swimmer-commandos, an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that inspire today's Navy SEALs.

The pioneering men of the Maritime Unit conducted some of the most daring operations behind enemy lines and even survived one of the Third Reich's infamous concentration camps. But after the war, their astonishing record of activity and achievement was classified, lost, and largely forgotten...until now. In First SEALs , Patrick K. O'Donnell unearths their incredible history--one of the greatest untold stories of World War II.


Author Notes

Bestselling author Patrick K. O'Donnell is a military historian who has written eight previous books: Beyond Valor ; Into the Rising Sun ; Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs ; The Brenner Assignment ; They Dared Return ; We Were One (selected for the Marine Commandant's Professional Reading List); Give Me Tomorrow ; and Dog Company . His numerous awards include the prestigious William E. Colby Award and the OSS Society's John Waller Award. He has also provided historical consultation for DreamWorks' award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and Fox News. He served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah and is in demand as an expert speaker on WWII espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency on the modern battlefield. Over the past twenty years, O'Donnell has interviewed more than 4,000 veterans who fought in America's wars, from WWI to Afghanistan, and specializes in "unearthing untold true stories that read like novels."

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Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

There has been little written about the history of the Navy SEALs and their antecedents. O'Donnell (Dog Company) seeks to remedy this with his well-written chronicle of the SEAL's World War I precursor, the Maritime Unit. The unit was formed in 1942 as America's first force of "swimmer-commandos." Members of that motley crew included a dentist, a medical student, and an actor, as well as officers and enlisted men who were enemies before joining the unit. Through a combination of detective work in the National Archives and interviews with surviving members, O'Donnell successfully details the group's past, which provided the foundation upon which the modern SEALs were founded in the 1960s by John F. Kennedy. Using personal narratives, the author describes the Maritime Unit's sea, air, and land missions (the acronym for SEALs) throughout the 1940s. The epilog focuses on the experiences of unit leader and concentration camp survivor Jack Hendrick Taylor and his ongoing battle with PTSD. VERDICT This engrossing account of previously unknown World War II history will be of interest to military aficionados of all levels.-John Sandstrom, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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