American Commando

American Commando

Evans Carlson, His WWII Marine Raiders, and America's First Special Forces Mission

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : NAL Caliber, c2009.
ISBN: 9780451226921
Characteristics: xi, 337 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., plans ; 24 cm.


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Sep 26, 2015

When we get into battle, we ask no mercy, we give none.

Sep 26, 2015

I promise you nothing but hardship and danger,...

Sep 26, 2015

If a man has only legs he get tired.

Sep 26, 2015

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail;...


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LRS1969 Nov 30, 2015

Excellent Book about an exceptional, very advanced Marine officer who pioneered a lot of what became modern day Special Operations.

I must say, however, that I believe that "cobragunship" is mistaken in his review. Then Lt. Col. Carlson and his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (organized and operated in a VERY unorthodox manner) seems to have been confused by this Reviewer with Col. Merritt Edson and his 1st Raider Battalion.

The 1st Raider Battalion (with attached elements of the 1st Paramarine Bn.) were THE key component in the Battle of Edson's Ridge (12–14 September 1942) which was the second of three attempts (and first of two major attempts) by the Imperial Japanese Army against Henderson Field (and was a definite conventional military defensive operation).

The first attempt, the Battle of Tenaru (August 21, 1942) involved the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marine Regiment.

The third attempt, just over a month later (the Battle for Henderson Field, 23—26 October 1942), involved neither Marine Raider Battalion.

The 7th Marines (especially the 1st Battalion under Lt. Col. Christy Puller) bore the primary brunt of this attack, along with elements of the 2nd Marines and 5th Marines - and the 3rd Battalion, 164th Infantry (a North Dakota National Guard unit).

The 2nd Marine Raider Battalion under Colson (THIS book) was noted for its amphibious raid operation on Makin Island in August of 1942 in the Gilbert Islands group (with Guadalcanal being a part of the Solomon Islands group, some distance away).

The 2nd Raider Battalion was dispatched to Guadalcanal after the Battle for Henderson Field - and was thereafter famed for its conduct in "Carlson's Patrol" (aka "The Long Patrol") conducted from 6 November to 4 December 1942. "In the operation, the 2nd Raiders attacked forces under the command of Toshinari Shōji, which were escaping from an attempted encirclement in the Koli Point area on Guadalcanal and attempting to rejoin other Japanese army units on the opposite side of the U.S. Lunga perimeter. In a series of small unit engagements over 29 days, the 2nd Raiders killed almost 500 Japanese soldiers while suffering only 16 killed.."

Both of these actions truly SpecOps.

Merritt Edson and his battalion were much more conventional (though elite) in nature, while both Colson and his battalion were very unorthodox.

The history of the Guadalcanal Campaign, especially being the first American offensive of WW2, is pretty much basic Marine History 101.

Feb 17, 2012

An excellent book about an extremely tough leader of an early Special Forces unit and his outstanding service on Guadalcanal early in the march up the Pacific Islands. His brave unit of outstanding warriors fought off numerous attacks from the fanatical Japanese to save Henderson Field. Lucky the Japanese was still using their suicidal banzai attacks.Highly recommended!


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