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Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
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Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War

3.9 28
by Michael Sallah, Mitch Weiss

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The last great secret of the Vietnam War is revealed in a gripping book that is the culmination of efforts for which the authors received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative
reporting. TIGER FORCE is the searing story of a group of elite army soldiers in Vietnam who spun dangerously out of control and went on a horrific seven-month rampage. It is also the story


The last great secret of the Vietnam War is revealed in a gripping book that is the culmination of efforts for which the authors received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative
reporting. TIGER FORCE is the searing story of a group of elite army soldiers in Vietnam who spun dangerously out of control and went on a horrific seven-month rampage. It is also the story of how these crimes, buried by the army for decades, at last came to light through the heroic persistence of a few individuals who could not forget.

Editorial Reviews

In the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, no platoon was more elite than the commando corps dubbed Tiger Force. In 1966, the very first year of its existence, this highly decorated unit received a presidential citation for its Vietnam War bravery. But for seven months beginning in May 1967, Tiger Force paratroopers went on an extended rampage, committing numerous atrocities, including torture, corpse mutilation, and the mass killing of unarmed civilians and prisoners. After the war, the army pursued a four-year investigation of the murders (which numbered in the hundreds) and other crimes, but then quietly dropped it. Toledo Blade journalists Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss received a Pulitzer Prize for feature articles that exposed the war crimes and the cover-up. Tiger Force tells the ever-timely story of what happens when good soldiers go bad.
Stanley Karnow
To a large extent, the Tiger Force's misconduct mirrored the incapacity of the platoon's officers to control their men's excesses. As the war dragged on without visible signs of progress, morale deteriorated and the atrocities were increasingly symptomatic of their dehumanization. As though to repeat history at its worst, U.S. guards at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad have been convicted of abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi inmates. Against this backdrop, Tiger Force adds a graphic, frightening dimension to our knowledge of the Vietnam tragedy, as well as our knowledge of ourselves. It is bound to be read far into the future.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
During the Vietnam War, Tiger Force was the code name of an elite platoon of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry. Its pedigree was impeccable. The battalion's executive officer, Maj. David Hackworth, organized the 45-man volunteer force in 1966, and it became one of the war's most highly decorated units, paying for its reputation with heavy casualties. But for seven months beginning in May 1967, Tiger Force descended into a moral abyss. Operating in what was defined as enemy country, the platoon engaged in an orgy of atrocities that ranged from taking ears, scalps and teeth to the mass killing of unarmed civilians. Conservative estimates count victims in the hundreds. From 1971 to 1975, the army mounted an investigation that documented the crimes, but decided "nothing beneficial" could result from prosecuting the platoon members or their leader. And so the story remained the stuff of rumor until Toledo Blade reporters Michael Sallah, Mitch Weiss and John Mahr responded to a tip and started interviewing former Tiger Force members. The resulting newspaper series, "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths," won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and forms the basis of this outstanding book. In the best tradition of investigative journalism, the authors let the story speak for itself, and thus force readers to wonder: was Tiger Force's behavior aberrant or was it part of a half-submerged pattern spanning the entire war? (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In 1967, the Tiger Force platoon of the 101st Airborne went on a seven-month-long rampage through South Vietnam's central highlands that left dead more than 325 civilians, mostly children, women, and old men. Sallah (investigations editor, the Miami Herald) and Weiss (editor, the Charlotte Observer) here expand their 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning series "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths," written with John Mahr when they worked at the Toledo Blade. The result is a searing narrative, difficult to read yet difficult to put down, about Tiger Force's descent into a leaderless and ruthless unit, in which, as one of the ex-soldiers puts it to the authors, the objective was to "kill anything that moves." The second part of the book describes the uncompromising investigation into the atrocities, begun five years after the slaughter and led by the army's warrant officer, Gustav Apsey. His work was hampered because the facts had not begun to emerge until the events were several years old. In addition, according to law, many of the worst abusers could not be prosecuted because they had left the military. Those reluctant but willing to talk had questionable credibility, in part because it was evident that they suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder. The authors, who spoke with former soldiers from Tiger Force and with Vietnamese witnesses, seek to understand why the investigation stalled; no one was ever charged in these killings. Sallah and Weiss warn: lessons that could have been learned might have limited recent prisoner abuses, most recently at Abu Ghraib and Guant namo Bay. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/06.]-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Journalists Sallah and Weiss expand their Pulitzer Prize-winning account of American atrocities in Vietnam to book length. Tiger Force was a Special Forces-like unit made up of men who had already passed tough paratrooper training. Founded by David Hackworth-reputedly the model for Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now-the unit was intended to "outguerrilla the guerrillas," scrapping the techniques of conventional warfare to take the fight to the enemy in the jungle. Along the way, it also scrapped the rules of war; as Sallah and Weiss show, every soldier received written instructions over what was and was not allowed but just as quickly threw them away. Unlike Special Forces, Tiger Force was made up of a mixed lot, elite only in the fighting sense. Many had done jail time, and many Tiger Force veterans died young, of cancer or cirrhosis or suicide; one of the most violently inclined, an Apache Indian always close at hand at the book's darkest moments, died at 34. But commanders set the tone, and Tiger Force's leaders were close to psychopathic in their hatred for Vietnamese people, no matter what side they were supposed to be on: The most damning passages point to a breakdown of discipline and dangerous, murderous incompetence at the top. In that climate, many of Tiger Force's soldiers took to killing indiscriminately while trying desperately to "minimize the emotions associated with the events"-and thereby justifying their actions, even as some of the soldiers tried to steer their comrades back on course. Said one, "The valley was a shitty place for all of us. But we didn't have to pick on civilians. We were the Tigers. We were above that."It took years of tireless research on thepart of an Army investigator to bring this appalling story to even the barest glimmer of light. Sallah and Weiss do a solid job of unearthing the rest of it.

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Little, Brown and Company
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Tiger Force

A True Story of Men and War
By Michael Sallah Mitch Weiss


Copyright © 2006 Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-15997-2

Chapter One


Even through the haze of smoke in the dimly lit lounge, Sam Ybarra glimpsed Ken Green as he walked through the door. "Kenny, over here!" shouted Ybarra over the music blaring from a tape deck. Meeting, the two friends hugged as the other soldiers looked up from their beers and shot glasses.

It had been nearly a year since they arrived in Vietnam, and this was one of the few weekends the two could meet on a break. They'd been waiting it out, and now at long last it was time to down beers and later slip into the brothels that lined the streets of Kontum. Green introduced Sam to two buddies, Leon Fletcher and Ed Beck. For days, Ken had been telling them about his time with "Crazy Sam"-cruising the streets of Globe, Arizona, in Green's blue 1964 Chevelle SS, guzzling Ripple with the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" crackling over the radio. And now, in this sad and near corner of Southeast Asia, the two old friends were together again.

To most people, they were as opposite as they were close: Green was boyish, good-looking, and cocky-the type of guy who could turn heads in a crowded room. Ybarra was dark skinned, with a round, pockmarked face-awkwardly shy unless he was drinking. But forall their differences, they shared something in common: they were constantly in trouble.

Green was known for his temper-quick to start fights with other students at Globe High School, regardless of their age and size. Though he stood only five feet, five inches, he rarely backed down. Everyone knew to stay away from him. As a junior, Green had brutally attacked another student who was a year older and a foot taller for looking at him the wrong way in the hallway. Dozens of classmates watched in horror as he pummeled the student senseless on the floor. It took three teachers to pull him away.

Back home, on some summer nights, Green would sneak out of the house with his .22 rifle and head for a ridge overlooking a dam on nearby Lake Roosevelt. Patiently, he would wait for Sheriff Dutch Lake to drive onto the roadway over the dam, and then Green would shoot out the lights on the road before fleeing into the darkness. The sheriff suspected it was Green but could never prove it. Nor could the sheriff prove that Green was the one who rolled a boulder onto the dirt runway at the tiny Lake Roosevelt airstrip, shutting down flights for hours. By the time authorities arrived to remove the large rock, Green and the two buddies who carried out the prank had vanished. But they left their calling card on the boulder: the words "Fuck You," painted in black.

His father, Melvin, was a laborer for the state highway department who also ran Carson's Cafe, a diner on Lake Roosevelt. He was quick to discipline his son for misbehaving, sometimes beating him in front of his friends, but those beatings only made Green more defiant. Once, his father grounded him for coming home with alcohol on his breath, ordering him to work extra hours at the diner with his sister and older brother. Instead of washing dishes, Green stole his father's boat, later flipping the craft in a race on the other side of the lake. The beatings that followed his pranks only seemed to make him more aggressive, and by his late teens, he was getting into fights almost weekly.

Ybarra was angry, but for more obvious reasons: he was painfully aware of his own physical appearance and never felt accepted in the small mining community that looked down on Mexicans and Native Americans. Sam was burdened with the shame and angst of being a "half-breed," and his longing for a father who had died when Ybarra was five was profound. (Manuel Ybarra was a truck driver for the Inspiration Consolidated Copper Company when he stopped at a bar on the way home and was stabbed to death in a brawl.)

Besides getting into fights, he was arrested three times for underage drinking and once for disorderly conduct. At sixteen, he had dropped out of high school, guzzling beer and wine behind Mark's or Pinky's-the two nightspots in town that catered to Native Americans. He was too young to go inside, so he would wait outside the door and ask elders from the reservation to buy him a Coors or a pint of Thunderbird.

In Globe, Indians and whites weren't supposed to socialize. It had been that way for generations. But by the 1960s, some of those rules began to be challenged. Though Ybarra and others from the reservation went to "Indian schools" during their grade-school years in the 1950s, they were now attending the white public schools. Whites and Indians were at this point playing on the same football and basketball teams, and even joined in school dances. Still, the older Indians would tell Ybarra to stay out of the white bar, The Huddle.

Green and Ybarra didn't meet until high school, where they began hanging out in the parking lot before classes. Though they came from different worlds, they found something in common: they were angry and were quick to pick fights. Ybarra was an outcast, and Green was becoming one.

Their bond became deeper after Green began driving, and the two started skipping school and drinking. "No one knows the shit that Sam has gone through," Green told family members who tried to discourage him from associating with Ybarra. It was them against the world, as ferocious as suns.

And now, here they were in late May 1967, ten thousand miles from home and oblivious to the soldiers around them in the bar. They ordered Black Labels and toasted each other.

"At least we're both still alive," said Green.

The night before they had enlisted, the two friends had sat in Green's car downing beers when they heard a radio broadcast about the war. They began talking about joining the Army. Sam had challenged his friend: "If you do it, I'll do it."

Green had agreed. As a boy growing up along Lake Roosevelt, he was spellbound at the sight of the paratroopers dropping from the sky during training exercises. And when Green and Ybarra hunted deer and quail in the nature preserves near the lake, they often talked about what it would be like to be soldiers. Besides, there was nothing for them in Globe, except working in the copper mines. Ybarra knew all about that life: his relatives had toiled underground for years, and he didn't want any part of it.

The next day, they showed up at the local recruiting office and enlisted under the Army's buddy system. Together they entered the 101st Airborne in January 1966 and, after jump training at Fort Benning, Georgia, were sent to Vietnam, Ybarra in July and Green a month later.

It had been about ten months since they arrived in Vietnam, leaving behind their lives in Arizona, and for most of that period, they were assigned to different units. Green was in a mortar platoon but spent most of his time humping in the mountains in the heart of South Vietnam with heavy equipment and only sporadic contact with the enemy. Ybarra's experiences were different-and it showed even in his uniform. Unlike the others in the lounge that night, he wasn't wearing the traditional olive green. Instead, he was dressed in tiger-striped fatigues and a soft-brimmed jungle cap, and he carried his own sidearm and hunting knife.

Tiger Force, the 101st Airborne's version of Special Forces. Badass of the badass.

Ybarra had actually been sent to a signal corps after arriving in Vietnam, but quickly grew bored and asked to be transferred to the Tigers in early 1967. He didn't regret his move. As soon as he joined the platoon of forty-five men, he felt part of a special team of soldiers who were treated differently than the grunts in the line companies. He remembered the first time a battalion commander addressed his platoon in Phan Rang: "You're the Tigers, men," he reminded them before they went on a reconnaissance mission. "The Tigers always get it done, no matter how many gooks you see." It was an exceptional group that allowed no exceptions.

Tiger Force was founded in November 1965 by Major David Hackworth to "outguerrilla the guerrillas," a platoon known as a "recondo unit" because it was to carry out reconnaissance and commando functions. The model for Apocalypse Now's Colonel Kilgore, Hackworth was a hell-for-leather soldier of savage brilliance who had revealed himself as a daring hero during the Korean War. In Vietnam, he had realized that conventional warfare was a dead end. Following his lead, his commanders found the best way to locate the new enemy was to blend into the jungle terrain. That meant breaking into small teams, donning camouflage, and carrying enough rations and supplies to last several weeks. They would leave themselves behind.

Such was Hackworth's answer to an enemy that moved in intricate underground tunnels and carried out hit-and-run tactics.

Beyond surveillance, the Tigers were often ordered to perform impossible maneuvers, such as acting as a blocking unit for retreating guerrilla forces and often relieving much larger line companies trapped in firefights. In February 1966 at My Canh II, an area covered by rice paddies and mountains in the Central Highlands, the Tigers were trapped by a well-fortified enemy until the unit's own commander, Lieutenant James Gardner, heroically charged three bunkers. Gardner was killed, but his actions allowed his platoon to escape, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. At Dak To, a city just thirty-five kilometers from Laos, eleven Tigers were killed on June 11, 1966, when they pursued a fleeing North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regiment. In that case, as it would be often, they had been the first unit sent to face the enemy. Let the other guys mop up-the Tigers wanted fresh blood, even if it meant some of it might be their own.

Only forty-five men were accepted in the Tigers, and that was only after three months of combat experience and a screening process by commanders that included a battery of questions, mostly centered on the soldiers' willingness to kill.

Ybarra had impressed the officers. With cold, steely eyes, he said he could kill without hesitation-using a knife, M16, or even his own hands. It made no difference. Ever since jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia, he had been looking for a home. He hated the structure of the line companies-the chain of command, the rules, the officers. The Tigers were different, part Green Beret, part line company. They would break into small teams, two or three men at a time, creep deep into the jungles, "and do whatever the hell you want to do," he was fond of saying. When the commanders told him he was accepted into the platoon, he was "thrilled."

After several rounds of beer, Sam sank down into his chair. There was so much smoke in the lounge it was almost impossible to see across the room. Not that there was anything special worth noticing. The room was a typical makeshift military bar, with round Formica-top tables, folding chairs, and thin wood walls built on a raised bamboo platform, and filled with the stench of cigarettes and whiskey. There were hundreds of these cheap versions of nightspots in South Vietnam that were supposed to remind American soldiers of the watering holes they left behind. The only prop in the lounge was the flickering Black Label neon light dangling over the bar.

Ybarra guzzled the last of his beer, leaned over, and began telling Green and the others about the Tigers' most recent battle. On May 15 Ybarra and the Tigers were called to a valley west of Duc Pho in the heart of the Central Highlands-Quang Ngai province-where another Army reconnaissance unit, the Hawks, was pinned down by enemy fire. In the late morning, with a dozen Tiger Force soldiers at the bottom of the valley, the enemy launched a surprise attack. "They were fuckin' all over the place," Ybarra angrily recalled. Well-fortified enemy bunkers at the top of the valley suddenly opened up, and NVA soldiers began shelling the helpless Tigers below.

Led by the Tigers' commander, Lieutenant Gary Forbes, the platoon members charged the bunkers but were forced down by a flurry of mortars and .50-caliber machine-gun fire. For hours, the platoon was at the bottom of the basin, dodging artillery, grenades, and bullet fire. Tiger Force radioed for helicopters to evacuate the wounded, but each time a chopper tried to land, it was forced to leave because of enemy artillery. One helicopter was able to land in a rice paddy but was immediately hit by fire and destroyed.

By early afternoon, Tiger Force was no closer to escaping and was running low on ammunition. But the platoon finally caught a break when the soldiers found a new position and were able to call in American air strikes without being hit. For two hours, U.S. jets dropped bombs on the bunkers. The combination of air strikes and the arrival of some additional American troops allowed the Tigers to escape. By the end of the day, two were dead and twenty-five wounded. For some of the injured, including Lieutenant Forbes, the war was over.

Because of the losses, Sam admitted the Tigers "were down" and unable to go back out on maneuvers until they could find reinforcements. The battalion officers were trying to bring in new volunteers. Now Ybarra did his part. He turned to Green. "You need to come with me, Kenny. You need to be a Tiger."

Green always knew when Ybarra was serious; his smile would disappear and his eyes would narrow. He had seen the look many times before, and he saw it now.

Vietnam in early 1967 was still vastly different from what it was to become at year's end. There was still a sense of patriotism that had not yet been eroded by the bitterness of the Tet Offensive and casualties that would soon turn most Americans against the war. Until now, most of the conflict had been marked by skirmishes and, if not wild optimism, at least a sense of inevitable triumph.

Through most of the conversation, Green's friend Leon Fletcher was quiet. But after several minutes, he grew agitated. "You don't want to join these guys, Kenny," he said. "You're going to get yourself killed."

Fletcher had looked up to Green. Ken had been the one who took the time to show Leon the basics of survival, from throwing him to the ground during sniper attacks to teaching him how to avoid booby traps. And now Fletcher thought it was time to return the favor.

Green was quiet for a moment, and then he turned to Fletcher. "At this point, I just want to kill a lot of them. My job is to kill."

Ed Beck joined in. After several months in South Vietnam, he was looking for real action-not just maneuvers or air strikes with no real targets. He had come to Vietnam to escape, not just from the boring western suburbs of Chicago but from a wife who was making his life miserable. "How do we get in?" he asked.

Before Ybarra could answer, Fletcher interrupted again. "You guys are crazy. You're supposed to be trying to stay alive. Why do you want to join a fucking recon unit?"

Ybarra quickly cut him off. "Look, man, stay out of this," he said, jabbing a finger at Fletcher. "Don't be telling Kenny what he's going to do. We go way back." There was not a trace of friendliness in his comment.

Ybarra's anger may have been what Green most admired, especially when his fury involved protecting Ken's right to do whatever the hell he wanted to do. Green turned to his friend. "I'm in, man. Tell me what I need to do."

"If you're going, I'm going," Beck said.

For Green and Beck, it was their way of finally taking part. Like so many others in the bar that night, they had been in high school when the first U.S. fighting units arrived in Da Nang in March 1965, and had watched the television reports of a war that was supposed to stop the spread of Communism.


Excerpted from Tiger Force by Michael Sallah Mitch Weiss Copyright © 2006 by Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss were co-authors of the Toledo Blade's remarkable series on the Tiger Force massacre. Together, they won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for their Tiger Force stories. Sallah currently is the investigations editor for the Miami Herald. Weiss is now an editor with the Charlotte Observer.

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Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really terrible book. It is an attempt by two authors forty years after the fact to describe so called factual events from during the Vietnam War. The premise of the book rests upon the supposed exploits of a squad or platoon of men (approx 10-40 men, based on unit strength) that acted under orders to clear a free fire zone in 1968. The authors attempt to graphically expose various crimes such as civilian atrocities. The worst they come up with is a baby was killed and mutilated. Regrettable, but bad things happen in war. Left unmentioned by the authors are the atrocities performed by the Vietnamese on their own people (Hue, VC indoctrination squads etc)as well as on captured US soldiers. The emphasis in the book is...US all bad, Vietnamese a friendly innocent peace loving people. The two authors are another example of after the fact armchair journalists who attempt to judge the actions of others through their own skewed visions and present them as so called facts. In closing, I'm not trying to justify any sort of wrongdoing on the part of US forces, but I think the authors should have more of a balanced perspective. All they manage to do with this book is discredit all those who went and served honorably. I urge you not to buy this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just read the excerpt of Ken Green And Sammy Yabarra. Since I grew up with both of them as youths in Globe...I can say that whoever did the investigative work had enough grasp on local info, but obviously over sensationalized to the extent that they left out some essential elements of truth and perspective that should have been apparent.They were NOT murderers - they were soldiers from backgrounds that made them excellent candidates for the job they were called/and or volunteered to do. If they were sanitized reporters who were good at telling stories about the dead 30 years after-the-fact, then they wouldn't have gone - but been draft dodgers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This us the first time as a service member that I read an entire book for my professional military education. The story quickly caught my attention and as I read the book, I was shocked by the events that took place. Great story and recommend it to anyone to read.
jorge1711 More than 1 year ago
If what was write is only partially true, we as a nation have a powerful lesson learnt, which needs to be corrected. When I was in the RVG, I was more fearful of US troops than I was of the VC/NVA.
EugeneTX More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding work regardless of how you measure it. The police investigation by Gustav Apsey brought clarity and truth to the original allegations and laid out for all to study how individual psychosis can become group psychosis. There are a number of intersects when one or more people within the platoon became aware of the behavior and could have done something to stop it. For the one reviewer, I have been there for 2 and one-half tours. You do not live in constant fear unless it is rocket, mortar, or artillery attack in which you can only hide. There is no way you can ever justify murder as an excuse for your own failings. For just a little context, these farmers in the coastal plains all the way around Viet Nam, were working ancestral lands for the most part. Before 1968, all of these people would have told you how much they loved the Americans, which was true, and hated the VC and later the NVA because they were taxed so heavily on their produce, which took away rice they needed to feed their family for the year. In fact, some of our best informants came from farmers who were trying to get rid of the tax collectors. They hated the relocation centers just as any Arizona rancher would have hated being forced to move to a population center or southern farmers who had been forced to leave his family lands. In other words, we started killing the people we were supposed to be protecting. This included, as the book points out, innocent old men, disabled old men, women, and children. I have been there. I have talked and eaten with these people. They are gentle and kind and still curious and loving toward those who really let them down. As you read this book, really get into understanding it by mentally comparing what you read to local farmers that you have known in NC, SC, Florida, GA, AL, MS, and LA. These people then and now cared only about their plot of land and feeding and clothing their family. Donald Wood will be remembered as someone who resisted joining the madness and trying to stop it. The Psychiatrists who did the early evaluation on Ybarra was working with the old DSM II and the Sociopathic or Antisocial Personality were two reasonably new concepts and just barely understood when DSM III was released in 1980. How one person could have started manifesting such behavior and then pulling in almost all others is , I think, pretty well unknown. I think the book would be an interesting starting point for the American Psychological/Psychiatric community to begin a study directly related to this case and how we prevent its reccurence in the future. I think it would be criminal for the APAs not to get involved. This is an excellent foundation for further study. For all others, I would simply say that if you can justify the types of psychotic behavior exhibited in this book, you may need (and probably do) serious psychiatric help yourself. This book is simply outstanding. The authors have written a work that few will exceed.
Ducate More than 1 year ago
This is a book that takes you beneath the surface of a controversial war and exposes everything wrong with the U.S. military policy in Vietnam: body count, free-fire zones, dehumanization, etc. This book is scary and yet, it tells the truth. I've read many military books, especially about the Vietnam, but this is undoubtedly one of the most compelling. Kudos to these journalists.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader of military and political history, I unequivocably recommend this book. This is one of those books that evokes passion from both sides -- those who were in favor of the war, and those opposed. But from someone who knows the military, I have to applaud this work, as difficult as it is to read and comprehend what happened. I actually drew sympathy for the soldiers who committed these unspeakable acts, because the authors took you inside and made you understand what happens to men in war. Great work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By far, one of the best military books I have read in the last several years. I am a veteran, so it takes a lot for me to say that, and I was in Saigon, so this is coming from someone who lived with a lot of anger for a long time. More than any work, Tiger Force helped break down and explain the American military strategy in Vietnam, and in the end, why it failed. This is based on hundreds of Army CID investigations records of the longest war-crime case of the Vietnam era. This story is based on the soldiers' own words from this investigation -- not from someone trying to remember. This is in their own words and it's chilling. This is about a platoon that completely went over the edge and into the abyss, killing hundreds of Vietnamese. I know there will be a lot of people who will be hand wringing and mad as hell that these events were brought to light, but you know? The truth hurts and they should get used to it. The most incredible part of this book is that the records were initially given to the reporters/authors by Henry Tufts, the man who founded the Army's CID. There was a reason he did this -- so for one moment, just try to think about why an outstanding officer and noted Army colonel would have unburdened himself of these records. Because he wanted the truth to come out. Now, it has.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why did the authors wait for David Hackworth (founder of Tiger Force) to die, before publishing this book? I'm sure "the colonel"  would have some choice words and opinions on this work. The book is difficult to read. The authors tend toward run-on sentences and convoluted word craft. Yes, I can read the big words, along with small, but surely they must have been paid by word count! They tend to over-emphasize facts supporting their theses, while glossing over or ignoring other pertinent information. They perform much more like prosecuting attorneys and not investigative journalists. they purport to be.The writing style was more suited to a work of fiction than an honest effort  at journalism.
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basiclly a much slpwer version of Apocalipse Now
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bookworm1118 More than 1 year ago
An absolutely gripping book. I had the happy privilege of reading a pre-release copy of this book and couldn't put it down. Very well written and very thought provoking. A must-read for any history buff.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating book to read. Extremely well researched. Difficult subject to write about but done very well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When you read a book like this, you want to stop all wars because you realize that ubless you have strong commanders, you're going to have atrocities.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great reality into what went on during The War. It is very detailed and has a good flow. It also is really cool that the author takes many soliders from the team and follows them from there past to present time. !!!Ouststanding must read!!!