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Boehm, with journalist and former Green Beret Sasser, reviews his military memories: He entered the Navy as a teenage WW II recruit in the risky Underwater Demolition Unit; in the Battle of Cape Esperance, after his ship was sunk, he had a fight with a man- eating shark during which he lost his wounded buddy and Boehm himself made a narrow escape. Later he infiltrated Castro's Cuba on an intelligence-gathering mission. He blames JFK for losing his nerve in the Bay of Pigs disaster and calling off US air strikes, thereby exposing Cuban insurgents to death and capture. Boehm believes that the perception that America lacked the courage to resist aggression encouraged the Communists, resulting in the Berlin blockade, Communist infiltration of Latin America, and the Vietnam War. Boehm also believes that inter-service rivalry and bureaucratic inertia were the biggest obstacles to creating the new commando force he envisioned. He fought the system as hard as he fought US enemies, incurring five courts-martial (which were eventually canceled). Called into President Kennedy's office to explain his behavior, Boehm persuaded Kennedy to give him authority to create the most elite special force in the world—the SEALs. Fighting in Vietnam, the carefully selected, courageous, dedicated, adventurous SEALs outclassed the Viet Cong in merciless raids and ambushes. Boehm blames the politicians and high brass for losing the war. According to Boehm, his frank honesty and refusal to compromise where lives were at stake held back his career, and he left the Navy still a lieutenant.
Strong, exciting reading, laced with military profanity and humor.
Copyright © 1997 by Roy Boehm and Charles W. Sasser. Reprinted by permission Simon & Schuster.
|Pt. I||Combat at Sea: Sharks and Frogmen (1941-1945)||9|
|Pt. II||UDT: Underwater Warriors (1945-1960)||77|
|Pt. III||SEaAirLand: A Badass Outfit Is Tested (1960-1963)||125|
|Pt. IV||Vietnam: Unconventional Warfare in the Delta (1963-1964)||205|
|Afterword: First SEAL: More Muddy Rivers (1964-1971)||295|
Posted September 15, 2007
Met this man as a customer in SW Florida, and he signed my copy of First Seal. The things this man has done, as put down on paper, is truly amazing. If we lived half an exciting life we would truly be blessed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2003
This book is a concoction of psuedo history and macho fantasy masquerading as fact. Boehm is to be commended for what he actually DID during his naval career but that's it. He did not originate SEAL teams, nor was he "first SEAL." Those interested in the documented facts should consult the article "What A Tangled Web We Weave" by Captain David Del Giudice,USN Ret. (1st CO, SEAL Team 1)in the 2nd Qtr, 2002 issue of the BLAST, magazine of the UDT-SEAL Assn.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 3, 2000
Do yourself the PLEASURE of reading this book! The life and times of Roy Boehm are better then any fiction. He shares victories and losses, GUT WRENCHING fear and the honest bravery of his exceptional life. By the end of his book, you'll understand the Honor of being a Team Member.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.