McManners, a former British commando and a veteran of the 1982 Falklands conflict, presents a vivid introduction to elite military units of Europe, Russia, Israel, and the U.S. Following a brief historical tour of special unit operations prior to the Vietnam war, McManners surveys modern units such as the British SAS and Royal Marines, Israeli parachute commandos, French Foreign Legion, and several American forces, including Green Berets, Delta Force, Army Rangers, Marines, and Navy SEALs. Celebrated actions such as the famed 1976 Israeli hostage rescue at Entebbe, Uganda, and the 1993 "Black Hawk down" incident in Mogadishu, Somalia, are illustrated with historical photos and in some cases with 3D action maps. Sidebars provide historical and political background of each action. Following the review of individual units is a section on equipment and techniques, in which uniforms, insignia, camouflage and survival gear, vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and weapons of special forces are presented with sharp, clear photographs and basic specifications. Medical and survival kits, explosive devices, signaling equipment, and many firearms are photographed with parts broken down and arranged for display. An index and a gazetteer of current special forces units around the world complete the volume. Although most of the actions portrayed here involve counterterrorism, the photos of violent action, dead and wounded combatants, and the obvious fascination with lethal weaponry will not be to every reader's taste. Nevertheless for military and commando enthusiasts, it is a visual feast, beautifully laid out and designed, and lavishly illustrated with more than 700 color photos and diagrams. VOYA CODES:4Q 4P M J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, DK, 192p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Appendix., $30. Ages 11 to Adult.
Modeled on the well-established and popular layout of the Eyewitness Books series, Dorling Kindersley has introduced a new collection of high-interest titles about spying, organized crime, forensic science, and the Special Forces. Each volume begins with a definition and history of the topic. The length of these introductory sections varies from a couple of pages in Crime Scene to over 100 pages in Ultimate Special Forces. Large historical sections in Ultimate Special Forces and Ultimate Spy offer detailed coverage spanning the world wars through to the current "War on Terror." These robust sections use historical photography, maps, and facsimiles of documents to engage readers. Remaining sections are organized to fit the unique aspects of each theme. From equipment used in spying to the stages of forensic science investigation, each title provides a good balance of visual data alongside written text. Most volumes include indices, glossaries, and timelines. While the Ultimate Insider's Guides share a similar format with Eyewitness Books, one thing that sets them apart is their coverage of mature themes. Organized Crime includes detailed reports of human trafficking, extortion, bribery, prostitution, and violent crime, accompanied by explicit documentary photography. Glossy covers and vivid photography may draw reluctant high school readers. This series offers an accessible means for the exploration of four high-interest subjects by older readers.