Special Operations And Elite Units, 1939-1988

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In contemporary military parlance, special operations denotes unconventional, often covert, military actions usually performed by specially trained forces for strictly defined objectives. In this volume, Roger Beaumont provides the most comprehensive survey available of modern special operations literature. His wide-ranging introduction sets the subject in its historical, typological, and national contexts, offering an illuminating overview of the use of special operations and elite units from the second World War to the present. The bibliographic entries describe a broad sampling of materials, from those accessible through interlibrary loan services to those far removed from central archives and major research libraries. The aim throughout has been to provide both those new to the subject and seasoned researchers with a single, easy-to-use source for information about this little-known and commonly misunderstood facet of military practice.

Following the detailed introductory essay, the bibliographical section is dividied into 10 categories: background and analysis, elite forces, special operations in major wars, special operations in low-intensity conflict and counterinsurgency, counterterror operations, biography and autobiography, bibliography, official sources, critiques, and popular images. Entries are arranged alphabetically within these sections. Complete author, title, and subject indexes are included to further aid the researcher and four appendices provide valuable supplemental information on elite forces and counterterrorist operations. Scholars and students of military affairs, government officials, and practitioners of special operations will find Beaumont's work indispensable.

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Editorial Reviews

This bibliographic reference tool will give outstanding service to students of military affairs and in particular those interested in special units and operations from just prior to WWII to the present. Very useful indexes and appendices. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ROGER BEAUMONT is Professor of History at Texas A&M University.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword by Roger J. Spiller

Background and Analysis

Elite Units

Special Operations in Major Wars

Special Operations in Low-Intensity Conflict/Counterinsurgency

Counterterror Operations



Official Sources


Popular Images

Appendix A: Contemporary Elite Force List by Country

Appendix B: Some Elite Forces Formed Since 1939

Appendix C: Major Counterterrorist Operations Since World War II

Appendix D: Principal Airborne Combat Operations



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