Navy Seals: A History of the Early Years

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For the first time with the full cooperation of the UDT/SEAL Museum Association in Florida, author Kevin Dockery has compiled the most in-depth and revealing history of the U.S. Navy SEALs-from their roughshod origins as the daring Underwater Demolition Teams, Scouts, and Raiders of World War II, to the formation of the modern fighting force known as Navy SEALs.

Illustrated with archival photos throughout, and supplemented with in-depth ...
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1st Edition, VG+/Fine A 1/2" & 1" black line on top page ends & a 1/2"long black line on bottom page ends, o.w. clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates, DJ ... tears, etc. ISBN 0425178250 Price is unclipped. Read more Show Less

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Overview

For the first time with the full cooperation of the UDT/SEAL Museum Association in Florida, author Kevin Dockery has compiled the most in-depth and revealing history of the U.S. Navy SEALs-from their roughshod origins as the daring Underwater Demolition Teams, Scouts, and Raiders of World War II, to the formation of the modern fighting force known as Navy SEALs.

Illustrated with archival photos throughout, and supplemented with in-depth interviews with veteran UDT divers and SEAL personnel, this book chronicles the formation of an elite fighting force unsurpassed in combat on land, air, or sea-and captures the spirit of those rare men who make up the finest fighting force in the world.

Author Biography: Kevin Dockery has been a soldier in The President's Guard under Presidents Nixon and Ford, been a grade-school teacher, radio broadcaster, gunsmith, and historian. He even spent time in Iraq and Kuwait during Desert Storm as what he refers to as a "corporate mercenary." He has written a number of books detailing the history of the Navy SEALs and the lives of the men who lived that history.

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Editorial Reviews

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Kevin Dockery has conducted extensive, exclusive interviews with members of the Navy's Underwater Demolition Team -- one of the many precursors of the modern SEAL force -- and retired SEAL personnel to bring the reader an in-depth and fully authorized look at the beginnings of these units and the brave men who fight in them. Dockery traces their history, from their origins in WWII -- where they fought in North Africa and as part of the Normandy invasion force -- to their efforts in Korea and their subsequent commissioning by the Navy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425178256
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/31/2001
  • Series: Navy Seals Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.22 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2001

    Engaging Stories of Secret Heroes!

    Navy SEALs is an oral history book in the tradition of The Greatest Generation. 34 fascinating personal histories are contained, and are put into context by carefully researched essays to link together the action tales. The histories are well chosen to highlight key points in the history of U.S. underwater operations by individuals prior to 1975. Each history is impressively illustrated by extensive photographs that make you feel like you are on the scene. The Navy SEALs, the direct action component of the Navy's special warfare community, were not established until 1962. The bulk of this book looks at the predecessor organizations in World War II and Korea which developed the expertise that ultimately led to the establishment of the SEALs. The book also briefly describes the launching of the SEALs and the role of the SEALs in Vietnam. The original concept of individual in-the-water warfare dated back to World War II. In the 20th century, U.S. forces had had no amphibious landings prior to that time. Suddenly, a capability was needed to clear underwater obstructions to support such landings. Seebees were initially recruited as volunteers for their demoliton skills, and taught how to swim so that mines and other obstructions could be blown away. Later, Navy Scouts and Army Rangers developed skills to do reconnaissance on landing sites before the battles occurred. Poor surveillance and planning at Tarawa meant that more Marines drowned than were killed by the Japanese when the transports could not get over the reefs. Underwater Demolition Teams were critical in landings to make room for the troop and tank transports. Although the valuable role of these brave men soon became known to the Navy, there were not enough of them. Hitler's Fortress Europe came with lots of obstructions that needed to be eliminated for any landings to succeed. For the critical landings on D-Day in Normandy, UDTs were supplemented by other personnel. Despite this increase, they were only able to complete their assignments in clearing 5 of 16 50-yard areas on Omaha beach (after taking a horrific 50 percent rate of casualties). Without the courage and skill of these heroes, D-Day might not have succeeded. The book is equally interesting as an example of how to create an elite, high-performance unit within a large organization. People in government organizations and large businesses will be fascinated by the ways that individual initiative can be encouraged. I especially enjoyed the many stories about how those who couldn't stand the hum-drum life on board ship and ship's discipline joined the SEAL predecessors. The book also recounts how key equipment and methods were developed. The current SEAL concept is vastly removed from its predecessors. The predecessors were usually expected to stay below the high water line, where the Marines were to take over. Today, SEALs (standing for SEa, Air, and Land) are expected to be able to parachute, fight guerrilla battles on land, and conduct extensive underwater operations. The same dedication to excellence and to country is maintained as a common heritage. I would also have enjoyed this book if it had been edited differently to isolate the different aspects of what these men experienced. For example, all of the references to training could have been put together with material about these experiences. All of the references to reconnaissance could have been put together. That would have made the book more of a history, and less of an oral history, but it would probably have made for smoother reading. Perhaps Mr. Dockery will rework the material into that more familiar form at some point in the future, as well. Clearly, you will be glad to read the stories in this book. It will make you proud of some of our fellow Americans in new ways. After you finish enjoying this book, I suggest that you find someone who served in the SEALs or one of its predecessors. Ask them about their experiences i

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