Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice

Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice

by William H. McRaven


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Vice Adm. William H. McRaven helped to devise the strategy for how to bring down Osama bin Laden, and commanded the courageous U.S. military unit that carried it out on May 1, 2011, ending one of the greatest manhunts in history. In Spec Ops, a well-organized and deeply researched study, McRaven analyzes eight classic special operations. Six are from WWII: the German commando raid on the Belgian fort Eben Emael (1940); the Italian torpedo attack on the Alexandria harbor (1941); the British commando raid on Nazaire, France (1942); the German glider rescue of Benito Mussolini (1943); the British midget-submarine attack on the Tirpitz (1943); and the U.S. Ranger rescue mission at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines (1945). The two post-WWII examples are the U.S. Army raid on the Son Tay POW camp in North Vietnam (1970) and the Israeli rescue of the skyjacked hostages in Entebbe, Uganda (1976). McRaven—who commands a U.S. Navy SEAL team—pinpoints six essential principles of “spec ops” success: simplicity, security, repetition, surprise, speed and purpose. For each of the case studies, he provides political and military context, a meticulous reconstruction of the mission itself and an analysis of the operation in relation to his six principles. McRaven deems the Son Tay raid “the best modern example of a successful spec op [which] should be considered textbook material for future missions.” His own book is an instructive textbook that will be closely studied by students of the military arts. Maps, photos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780891416005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1996
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 64,341
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) served with great distinction in the Navy. In his thirty-seven years as a Navy SEAL, he commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. He is now Chancellor of the University of Texas System.

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Theory of Special Operations

Excerpted from "Spec Ops"
by .
Copyright © 1996 William H. McRaven.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Spec Ops 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
POPULAR MECHANICS featured an excellent article on the advancements made to ameliorate SEAL Team missions as well as a report on the blueprint for success of the Bin Laden raid based on the principles and examples written and directed by Cmdr. William McRaven.
Guest More than 1 year ago
God this book is good just read it and get motivated
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lessons on special operations practices derived from case studies. Amidst expected features like speed, security, and motivation, one key element of most successful missions is thorough rehearsal. An obvious point once explained, perhaps -- McRaven recommends at least two full dress rehearsals for any operation. The case studies themselves are fascinating insights into the frictions of war and the power of technology, surprise, and sheer daring. I maintain that the Mussolini rescuers were lucky...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a fascinating read describing the elements of special Operations and several missions with analyses of the results of each mission.
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