Delta Force

San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. 310, Endpaper maps. Illustrations. Glossary. Index. DJ edges worn, soiled and has small tears and chips. Charles Alvin "Charlie" Beckwith (January 22, 1929 – June 13, 1994) was a career U.S. Army Special Forces officer best remembered for creating Delta Force, the premier asymmetrical warfare unit of the U.S. Army. He served in the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War, and attained the rank of colonel before his retirement. As the 7th SFG(A) operations officer, Beckwith went to work revolutionizing Green Beret training. Beckwith recognized that, "Before a Special Forces Green Beret soldier could become a good unconventional soldier, he'd first have to be a good conventional one." Beckwith restructured 7th's training, basically rewriting the book on Army special operations training from the real-world lessons he had learned with the SAS. Beckwith also had learned that a symbol of excellence like a beret had to be earned. Derived from a Kirkus review: Charlie Beckwith was the ground commander who unhesitatingly aborted the Iranian-hostage rescue mission, told the country why, and held up his head. What we didn't know was that Beckwith had worked and fought for nearly 20 years to get his elite counter-terrorist unit, Delta Force, into operation and then to train it for what was to be its historic baptism-of-fire. There's flavor, color, drama, and conviction here. In 1962, as a "hotshot Green Beret captain with Special Operations experience," Beckwith arrived in England to spend a year with the British Special Air Service. The officers were on a first-name basis; officers and sergeants held a weekly, all-night bull session; but the training exercises were "deadly serious," and physically and mentally shattering. US Army-man Beckwith--"Straight lines. Square corners. Yes, sir! No, sir! Three bags full!"--was disoriented; impressed, converted. He went to Malaya with the SAS, proud to have earned his regimental beret; deathly sick (with leptospirosis), he refused removal to an American army hospital; going home, "I knew I had stumbled upon a concept" of a special, flexible, behind-the-lines unit--that "would improve many of the things we did." Nobody wanted to hear. Beckwith wrote a report, submitted it, agitated, put it away. In Vietnam, he made his crack DELTA unit as autonomous, and SAS-like, as Special Forces would permit. Still no response. Meanwhile Beckwith "decided to get my act together"--earned the credits he needed for a college degree, got a promotion and "the one job that fitted me perfectly": commandant of the Special Forces School. Then in 1975, almost "out of nowhere," he was asked to prepare a report on the SAS. There follows a dogged, explosive struggle to get the Delta Force concept approved; to recruit and train the unit (shooting, climbing, detonation skills; operate selected machinery and wheeled and track vehicles; stabilize an injured person. . .); and, from the day after the embassy seizure, to prepare for a rescue mission. Beckwith had no doubt then, and he has none now, that Delta could have extricated the hostages had they gotten to the compound without triggering a massive Iranian military response; by his accounting, the helicopter piloting was a problem from the outset; there was never any question of proceeding "without six flyable helicopters." General Vaught shouldn't have asked him to--and, if ordered to go on (from the White House), he would have pretended audio-transmission problems. Forthright first-person history--engrossing and eye-opening even for those with reservations about special operations or the rescue mission. Condition: Very good / Good.

Keywords: Intelligence, Iran, Counterterrorism, Hostages, Jimmy Carter, Hostage Rescue, Rangers, James Vaught, Special Forces

ISBN: 0151246572

[Book #13877]

Price: $50.00