Before the Green Berets...Before the Navy SEALs...Before the Army Rangers...There was the Long Patrol." November 1942: in the hellish combat zone of Guadalcanal, one man would make history. Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson was considered a maverick by many of his comrades-and seen as a traitor by some. He spent years observing guerrilla ...
Before the Green Berets...Before the Navy SEALs...Before the Army Rangers...There was the Long Patrol." November 1942: in the hellish combat zone of Guadalcanal, one man would make history. Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson was considered a maverick by many of his comrades-and seen as a traitor by some. He spent years observing guerrilla tactics all over the world, and knew that those tactics could be adapted effectively by the Marines. Carlson and an elite fighting force-the 2nd Raider Battalion-embarked upon a thirty-day mission behind enemy lines where they disrupted Japanese supplies, inflicted a string of defeats on the enemy in open combat, and gathered invaluable intelligence on Japanese operations on Guadalcanal. And in the process they helped lay the foundation for Special Forces in the modern military. Here for the first time is a riveting account of one man, one battalion, and one mission that would resonate through the annals of military history.
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Other authors have written about Evans Carlson and his WWII Raiders. But John Wukovits' book is by far the best, zeroing in on that one topic. I first learned about "American Commando" in researching the role of a local boy, John William "Bill" Studer, who was one of the select members of Carlson's Raider battalion. Wukovits mentions Studer by citing a couple of stanzas of a poem Studer wrote about the life of a guerilla on Gualdacanal during the "Long Patrol," a month enemy lines. It was Carlson's use of guerilla tactics at Makin Island and on Guadalcanal that set the precedent that led to formation of units like the Navy Seals. Wukovits covers his topic with a detailed and very readable account of the life and accomplishments of Evans Carlson.
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