SOG - A Photo History of the Secret Wars

Maj John L Plaster USAR (Ret)

A new edition of this classic illustrated history of the operations and operatives of MACV-SOG in the Vietnam War.
Date Published :
May 2022
Publisher :
Casemate
Illustration :
Fully illustrated (700 photos)
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240848
Pages : 456
Dimensions : 10 X 8 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$49.95
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Overview
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A new edition of this classic illustrated history of the operations and operatives of MACV-SOG in the Vietnam War.

In 1972 the U.S. military destroyed all known photos of the top-secret Studies and Observations Group, with the intention that details could never be made public. But unknown to those in charge, SOG veterans had brought back with them hundreds of photographs of SOG in action and would keep them secret for more than three decades.

In this new edition of SOG: A Photo History, more than 700 irreplaceable photos bring to life the stories of SOG legends Larry Thorne, Bob Howard, Dick Meadows, George Sisler, "Q" and others, and document what really happened deep inside enemy territory: Operation Tailwind, the Son Tay raid, SOG's defense of Khe Sanh, Hatchet Force operations, Bright Light rescues, HALO insertions, string extractions, SOG's darkest programs and much more.

About The Author
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Major John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.), served three 1-year tours in Southeast Asia with the top secret Special Forces covert operations unit, MACV-SOG. Qualified as a paratrooper and a Green Beret weapons and communications NCO, he led intelligence-gathering recon teams deep behind enemy lines in Laos and Cambodia on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Leaving Vietnam as a staff sergeant, due to his extensive combat experience he received a direct commission as a reserve officer. Under the GI Bill he attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. In 1983 he co-founded the National Guard Sniper School which quickly became a major national training program, instructing hundreds of students from all military services and many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Spanish Foreign Legion. After retirement he continued to instruct for police agencies. He twice served as the Chief of Competition for the U.S. and European Military and Police Sniping Championships, personally designing the targets and running the matches. In addition to guest lecturing at various Special Operations schools and the U.S. Army’s Command & General Staff College, he has authored a number of books.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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PART ONE: THE SECRET WAR BEGINS
Chapter 1: Colby’s Covert War
Chapter 2: Switching Back—SOG Is Born
Chapter 3: Shining Brass

PART TWO: THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL
Chapter 4: Unfolding the Mysteries of the Trail

PART THREE: SOG’s AIR ARM
Chapter 5: Blackbirds and Night Skies
Chapter 6: Special Helicopters and Special Crews
Chapter 7: FACs and Fighters

PART FOUR: RECON WEAPONS, MISSIONS, AND TACTICS
Chapter 8: Recon Equipment and Weapons
Chapter 9: Recon Missions
Chapter 10: NVA Counterrecon Forces and Tactics
Chapter 11: Recon Tactics and Techniques

PART FIVE: RECON OPERATIONS
Chapter 12: Getting Teams In and Out
Chapter 13: HALO: The Ultimate Infiltration Technique
Chapter 14: The Recon Ethic
Chapter 15: Into Cambodia

PART SIX: SOG’S HATCHET FORCES
Chapter 16: Hatchet Force Operations
Chapter 17: Operation Tailwind

PART SEVEN: OTHER FRONTS IN THE SECRET WARS
Chapter 18: Bright Light Rescues
Chapter 19: The Greatest Raid of All
Chapter 20: SOG in the Defense
Chapter 21: SOG’s Darkest Programs

Afterword
Glossary

REVIEWS
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"...could very well stand on its own as a history of SOG."

- The VVA Veteran

"...gives fascinating insight into this shadowy organization."

- Military Heritage Magazine

"For the true “secret war” buff or scholar, this photo essay is an extraordinary addition to one’s personal library."

- ARGunners.com

"​Recommended."

- AMPS Indianapolis

"...military historians, military history buffs, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Viet Nam war are given an informative and memorable access to information sought to be suppressed from the American public by military brass and the Johnson administration."

- Midwest Book Review

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