We Few

U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam

Nick Brokhausen

A riveting memoir from a special forces soldier of Recon Team Habu which conducted some of the most dangerous missions of the war behind enemy lines in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Date Published :
April 2018
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005805
Pages : 360
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$32.95

Overview
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This riveting memoir details the actions and experiences of a small group of Americans and their allies who were the backbone of ground reconnaissance in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. On his second tour to Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. This unit was part of MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group), or Studies and Observations Group as it was innocuously called. The small recon companies that were the center of its activities conducted some of the most dangerous missions of the war, infiltrating areas controlled by the North Vietnamese in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The companies never exceeded more than 30 Americans, yet they were the best source for the enemy’s disposition and were key to the US military being able to take the war to the enemy, by utilizing new and innovative technology and tactics dating back to the French and Indian Wars.

Brokhausen’s group racked up one of the most impressive records of awards for valor of any unit in the history of the United States Army. It came at a terrible price, however; the number of wounded and killed in action was incredibly high. Those missions today seem suicidal. In 1970 equally so, yet these men went out day after day with their indigenous allies - Montagnard tribesmen, Vietnamese, and Chinese Nungs - and faced the challenges with courage and resolve.

About The Author
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Special Forces veteran Nick Brokhausen joined the SOG on his second tour in Vietnam, and took part in some of the most dangerous missions of the war, deep in enemy territory. After Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen has led an interesting life, which has included work in security projects in a number of countries. He now runs a tech company and an armoring company.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Acknowledgements
Author’s Note
Prologue

1 The Road to Mandalay
2 Keys to the Kingdom
3 First Blood
4 Cold Storage
5 Buff aloes Can Dance
6 The Coolest Man Alive
7 Polite Society Meets Reality
8 We Few, We Happy Few
9 Luck is a Fickle Mistress
10 Blue Eyes
11 Operation Afrika Corps
12 Selection Process
13 Bright Light
14 The Anthill Mob
15 With Texans Expect Bumps
16 As Through a Glass Darkly
17 Saltwater Therapy
18 Monkeyshines
19 Isn’t Science Wonderful
20 The Cuckoo’s Nest
21 Little Island in the Sun
22 King of the Cannibals
23 Rubik’s Cube
24 Gin and Heartbreak

REVIEWS
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“Although teams of specially trained commando troops who go behind enemy lines began conducting secret missions as far back as WWII, Special Forces, as they’re now commonly called, didn’t start attracting major media attention until the First and Second Gulf Wars. In this riveting account of his own role in these elite military units, Brokhausen shows how often they were used and how brutally effective they were during the Vietnam War, when he belonged to a small squadron dubbed Recon Team Habu. In the early 1970s, his crew led raids and intelligence-gathering operations in enemy-controlled areas of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Mostly composed of indigenous tribal Vietnamese soldiers, the teams regularly suffered horrific casualties yet brought back critical information about guerrilla troop movements that immeasurably aided the U.S. war effort. In colorful, military-jargon-laced prose leavened by gallows humor, Brokhausen pulls few punches describing what it was like to navigate remote jungle terrain under the constant threat of enemy fire. A smartly written, insider’s view of one rarely seen Vietnam War battleground.”

- Booklist

“Brokhausen mixes irreverence, perversity, and sarcasm with touches of gonzo journalism to recreate his 1970 tour with the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group… Brokhausen draws convincing pictures of his fellow Green Berets’ combat skills and idiosyncrasies and the areas in which they operated. He taught me lessons about Special Forces tactics and weapons—more than I learned from Ken Burns’ television saga on Vietnam, which I never finished watching.”

- Vietnam Veterans of America

“We Few pulls no punches. This book endlessly recounts the wanton thievery that Special Forces men routinely engaged in, their predilection for random acts of violence, and their many dust-ups with REMF authority. Brokhausen is as hard-boiled as they come, but this book is also replete with plenty of humor, even if it is obsidian black… an excellent and exceptionally raw look at the Vietnam War just at the apex of its unpopularity… this battle-scarred memoir is an excellent tribute to the generation that fought, laughed, and died in Southeast Asia.”

- New York Journal of Books

“I can see why this book soon became a cult classic on its first publication ten years ago - it is essential reading, and spectacularly well written and quite riveting, for anyone with an interest in the conflict that defined modern-day America.”

- Books Monthly

Special Forces veteran Brokhausen starts this memoir with the remembrance of a dream. He’s on a fishing trip with his brother, who turns toward him, sobbing, and reaches for him. But it’s not his brother; it’s a Viet Cong soldier Brokhausen killed, cleaving his skull in half with a trenching tool. “I took his future,” the author muses, and the dream ends. The prose is clunky at times, and the mentality of the soldiers can be sophomoric, but niceties of style are beside the point here because Brokhausen writes painfully and truthfully of the realities of war. The combat scenes are wrenching; the constant drinking, thieving, and fighting is disturbing. One passage describes how Special Forces troops would borrow from new recruits, figuring that when payback time came at the end of the month, there was a 50 percent chance the soldier who loaned the money would be dead and the borrower would get off free. Throughout this personal narrative, Brokhausen shows the harrowing state of mind that exists when walking outside means putting one’s life at risk. VERDICT Gritty and real. For all readers interested in war memoirs.

- David Keymer, LJ, April 2018

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