“Zimmerman and Gresham excel at distilling incredibly complex mission planning and execution, making this a great read for military buffs, as well as for casual readers interested in the underlying issues that have fueled recent U.S. military conflicts.” Publishers Weekly
“Two highly qualified writers on military affairs provide an excellent introduction to the U.S. Army Special Forces in combat. It consists of a series of excellent narratives of crucial episodes, from the abortive Son Tay POW rescue mission in Vietnam to the Iran hostage rescue to recent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In each, Zimmerman and Gresham cover the action well and integrate portraits of key leaders, from Bull Simons of the Son Tay mission on, and the development of support technologies, especially reconnaissance drones and stealth helicopters. They also account for how recruitment has changed with changes in tactical doctrine required by new areas of responsibility, and they provide a superb bibliography for readers wishing to press their Special Forces knowledge forward. Neither Special Forces nor this study of them has very many equals.” Booklist
“From the audacious Son Tay raid, to the tragedy of Desert One, to the remarkable successes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Dwight Zimmerman and John Gresham have compiled a remarkable history of the missions that span the full spectrum of SOF capabilities. BEYOND HELL AND BACK is an excellent beginning to providing insight into some of the hundreds of historical missions that have helped forge today's modern Special Operations Forces.” Sgt. 1st Class Frank Antenori, US Army (retired), bestselling author of ROUGHNECK NINE ONE: The Story of a Special Forces A-Team at War
“Once regarded as the red-headed stepchild of the armed forces, special operations has become the point of the spear in the global war on terrorism. This book records the recent feats of America's special operations troops--Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Delta Force, others--in a clean, crisp narrative that often reads more like a riveting screenplay or novel than military history. It shows that even in an age of high-tech gizmos, the human element--the warrior with guts and skill--is as important as it was in the days of Alexander the Great. A must-read for military professionals and laymen alike.” Philip Caputo, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of the bestselling A Rumor of War.
“Desert Storm's success depended on the integration of special operations and conventional air power. Task Force Normandy became the pattern that led to much larger operations in Afghanistan and again in Iraq. To understand how we now fight, you must read BEYOND HELL AND BACK.” General Chuck Horner, USAF (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, SPACECOM and co-author with Tom Clancy of EVERY MAN A TIGER.
“When I need to know something fast about the operational and technical aspects of the military today, I reach for the phone and call John Gresham. His decades of working closely with the military, here in Washington, DC and in the field are why I and others trust him regularly to give us the roadmap to what we need to know for our own work. BEYOND HELL AND BACK is just the latest reason for keeping his number close.” Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author
“I was there from the beginning of modern American Special Operations, so for me the stories in BEYOND HELL AND BACK are more than just history. They are some of the threads of my life, and those of the community I served in for more than three decades. Ably told by Zimmerman and Gresham, this is the story about how we made the force that is today America's tip of the spear in the Global War on Terror.” Colonel Lee Mize, USA (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient