Hunting in the Shadows Book Review

Peter Nealen  is fast becoming a guaranteed, legitimate writer and analysis on current world conflicts and the ever changing world of the Marine Corps Special Operations endeavors. His hard hitting analysis and history on many Tier One websites is second to none. If he writes it, I know it is reliable.  It is a rarity that an author can jump back and forth between HistoJournalism and ball busting fiction with equal effectiveness. But if follows that a man who can conquer the most difficult courses and standards that the Marine Corps has to offer can and will master whatever he chooses to lay his sights on.

I have to admit when first reading the series, I was thrown off by the first person narrative. It’s not often that I have been able to keep my attention or interest in First Person fiction that has a lot of ground to cover. As I kept reading, I unknowingly fell right in as rear security for the Team. This book holds uniqueness among the new wave of military fiction. The flow of the action continues from point to point and ratchets higher and higher.

The operational details, language, down to the dead time an Operator spends fighting an irregular war are second to none. This can only come from a person who has been there and done that more than once. What Nealen is giving us is a glimpse inside the mind of a Tier One Operator under very inhospitable circumstances. No detail is left undone yet it is not in the least cumbersome.

Before you read the American Praetorian Series, you might want to clean the rifle, lace up the boots, check and double check your gear because you will be unsure of where you are after a session of reading.  I highly recommend this book and its prequel for people wanting to go to the Sharp End for a new mission.  D.R. Tharp Author of Africa Lost: Rhodesia’s COIN Killing Machine and the Task Force Intrepid Series.

Pathfinder Company: 44 Parachute Brigade-‘The Philistines’ Book Review!!!

Graham Gilmore has given us a very well packaged history of the short lived but highly trained and effective unit in the SADF. The Unit is Legendary among Southern African Wars due to its unique formation and composition. Some of the very top soldiers to ever live, Col.Breytenbach, CSM Peter McAleese, CSM Dennis Croukamp and others concieved, trained and deployed a unique experimental unit to fulfill the need for a specialized troop to recce and coordinate airborne drops of troops. Their selection process in the Drakensburg mountains was as tough as the SAS, SEAL’s, Delta, etc.

One of the most interesting factors of this study is the relationship it had to Rhodesia’s foreign troops from Europe, the UK, Canda, Australia/New Zealand and the US. After the Bush War in Rhodesia was lost through the UK and the US installing Mugabe, the men of Rhodesia’s special forces were disbanded and treated as fugitives. South Africa capitalized on the experienced men and leadership by forming the Pathfinders and funneling others to units in the SADF. However, many traditional Afrikanner staff officers were shocked by the operational methods and discipline of Rhodesia’s soldiers. The foreigners greatly disappointed the rigid culture of officers in the SADF. Col. Breytenbach realized the potential for the unit as he did with the Recce’s and other units.He himself was a Leader. Colonels don’t usually demand they be the vanguard of a unit in the bush seeking contact with the Terrs. Yet this is the type of unit the Pathfinders of Phillistines were.

Like American units in WW2 or Vietnam such as the Marine Corps Raiders, or the LRRP’s, they appeared, shook up traditional doctrine and eventually the bureaucracy won and cut their nose of to spite their face. Yet the stories of the men are stuff of legend and a very unknown unit now is able to be studied from a person who had been there, done that. I highly recommend this book to any person who is interested in Special Operations, whether it be in Africa or Afghanistan. 6 stars . Dan Tharp author of Africa Lost: Rhodesia’s COIN Killing Machine, Task Force Intrepid: The Gold of Katanga- Bravo!

http://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Company-Brigade–Philistines-ebook/dp/B008BLQK1S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379871161&sr=1-1&keywords=graham+gillmore

 

Hunting Shadows- Now Live

I have come to respect the writings and opinions of Peter Nealen, A former Force Recon man and now novelist/SOFREP author. His fiction rings with authenticity because he has lived the life. His second Novel – Hunting Shadows is now live on Amazon. Do yourself a favor and read his novels and writings at http://www.SOFREP.com

 

HUNTING SHADOWS

It Can Never Be Simple… It has been a year since the bloodbath of East Africa. A year since the shooters of Praetorian Security committed themselves to fighting a war the powers that be refused to acknowledge was even happening. Jeff Stone is now a Praetorian Security Team Leader. The bulk of the company is deployed to Iraqi Kurdistan, ostensibly to protect the oil facilities on some of the few functioning oil fields that are still supplying oil to the West, but also to hunt terrorists on the side. The constant, low-level insurgency that has plagued Iraq since the war has not died down, and now, at the nadir of Western power, appears to be gaining momentum. Iraq is beginning to fall apart. Tensions between the Iraqi government and the Kurds are threatening to flare up over the perpetual flashpoint of Kirkuk. Worse, the battle for supremacy between the Shia extremists of Iran and the Salafists, loosely gathered under the banner of Al Qaeda, is spreading into Iraq. The chaos is spreading like wildfire. It’s going to be a rough deployment…

 

Tier Zero by Hank Brown

There is a quiet revolution going on in the publishing world. Most of it is by indie writers and publishers who have decided to bring back something for men to read. That’s right R-E-A-D. In our day and age of the Internet, 500 cable channels and endless 24 hour a day news and talk shows it appears that this ancient desire has been funneled into 50 shades of Gray, and other tripe.

This has left out the Men in our society from partaking in the most fruitful of all mental occupations. I wish I had a bumper sticker that said, Sit Down, Shut Up and Read a Book. The NYC literati community decided that it was above putting out good quality Mens Adventure series and killing off one of mens previous favorite past time. Reading a rip roaring Adventure story. You might ask, what mental exercise is it to read a gun and run novel?

There are now a select few who are writing to the educated Man, versed in politics, geography and weaponry at a level not so in the past. Novelists worth their Dime rise to that level. When men of this caliber aren’t reading non fiction or the WSJ, in their down time, they like to read an engaging story up to their level.

Hank Brown is one of these writers who has an affinity for the past at his blog and the New Generation of ‘Dude-Lit’ as he calls it at

http://twofistedblogger.blogspot.com/

His newest novel it Tier Zero that meets up the past with the present. His surviving characters from the gritty Hell and Gone meet up for a ‘one last time’  mission to rescue the daughter of Tommy ScarredWolf from sex traffickers and pirates in the south seas.

Etching in commonalities of the silent majority of men’s men, he crafts a story that moves along at a good pace bringing us to a story that is full of action, intrigue and Shock and Awe. Tier Zero is the best of both ages of Dude-Lit. I highly recommend this book to fans of Men’s Adventure and Military Fiction. While you’re at it scarf up the prequel, Hell and Gone.  At 4.99 on your Kindle, you wont be disappointed. D.R. Tharp

 

 

Preview of Kivu Crisis….

Six Blue Helmets stood watch over the main gate of the compound outside of Bukavu. The United Nations compound, a mixture of permanent metal structures, temporary buildings and tents housed 300 soldiers from various countries all under the Blue Banner. Adjacent to one of the few paved roads in the Eastern Congo, it saw a lot of activity.

MONUSCO, the U.N. mission to stabilize the Congo had small base camps across the country with the majority in the East. Started in the late 1990’s, it never ran out of riots and human tragedy to monitor. Its ineffectiveness was a constant point of ridicule worldwide. Its enthusiasm to engage in confronting militias and protecting the civilian population, derided.

The scandals involving the soldiers never ceased. From Ivory trading, Arms Trafficking to the rebels they were there to fight, the smuggling of Gold out of Africa to the horrific allegations of trafficking in underage girls for sexual slavery. Many believed that they were no more than a token effort by the world to establish peace and the rule of law in a place where it could not be achieved. Profits were good for a large number of companies involved in the products of War Fighting.

Manned mostly by third world nations such as Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Pakistan, South Africa and countless others, the soldiers were in a situation that was not that far removed from conditions in their home countries. The motivation to bring peace, prosperity and democracy was skewed when their homes had little more to offer.

The rotation of the gate guards was on time. Six Pakistanis relieved six Egyptians, turning over the log books and demonstrating the readiness of arms for duty. Once the Egyptians had left, the NCO in charge of the gates went into the shack sat down and poured a cup of Chai to help keep him awake for the next 4 hours. A laptop was available and he quickly opened his favorite pages. The Nation, a leading newspaper in Pakistan, his personal Hotmail account and his favorite site..teeniefiles.com, which was updated every day. As a good Muslim, he of course admitted it to no one. Pakistan owned the world record, according to multiple news sites, for searching and viewing pornography on the internet. If his troops didn’t complain, he would allow them fifteen minutes each on the computer.

He opened his Hotmail account and searched through the spam to find a message from his wife. This deployment had been easier than in the past because they had managed to afford a home computer and communicated daily. The email was mostly dry, telling him about her day and her father and mother and their little boy, Hussein. Though housekeeping details were boring, he at least felt in touch.

“Sergeant, can I take a cigarette?” asked one of the soldiers manning a PKM Machine Gun.

“Yes, if you will give me one as well,” he said sheepishly.

“Very well.”

The Sergeant took a sip of his Chai and stood up as the soldier handed him the cigarette and lit it for him. They both inhaled deeply and looked up at the night sky.

“Do you hear that?” The Sergeant asked. The sounds of a helicopter were coming from the east. They had no reports of any incoming aircraft tonight.

“Perhaps it is going to the airport and using the highway as a guide.”

“Let me radio the guard shack at the Helo pad.” After a short communication it was clear that nothing was expected this evening.

 

 

Dak-Ho Kwon sat in the cabin of the MI-24 Assault Helicopter. After receiving the all clear from Malouff, the two Russian built helicopters took off and headed across Lake Kivu towards their hard target. Fully armed, including two port and starboard machine guns configured to shoot out of the side windows, they would incapacitate the camp. Anyone left over would be held prisoner.

“Target in sight. Zebra 1, you have the ball,” Kwon heard across his headset. He shouted out to the seven other North Koreans to stand to.

The number two helicopter hooked left to prepare for a south to north gun run. The Command chopper crossed onto land and over the highway that paralleled the giant inland sea. Flaring at 800 meters from the front gate the weapons operator in the nose of the Hind lit up the Yak-B Gatling gun, spitting incendiary rounds into the guard tower and gun emplacements. Three bursts later, none of the guards were moving.

The Pilot hovered while the other made a fiery pass over the camp then circled counter clockwise, allowing the window guns to rip through metal buildings, tents and weapons caches, causing secondary explosions and fire. Through the Night Vision Goggles the weapons operator could see bodies stumbling around and falling. The pilot slid the Hind to the left and right giving the Yak B a chance to traverse the area. After another round or circling, Kwon gave the order.

“Cease Fire!”

The two flying tanks could have done much more damage to the point of leaving it a charred, lifeless pit but that wasn’t the plan. As the blackened up North Korean commandos inside the helicopters had rehearsed, they were set down on the north and south side of the camp and began to sweep with the Hinds hovering overhead, collecting what was left of the Blue Helmets.

Horseback Warriors of Rhodesia

I would like to let readers know that I have released an interview with Michael Watson a former member of the Greys Scouts, a horseback light infantry unit in the Rhodesian Bush War. It is not a very well known unit but deserves attention by military historians. Thank you to Mr. Watson and the best of luck with his future endeavors on writing his compilation and hopefully, we can get some more info up on SOFREP.com about specific dust ups and ops.

Please read and post it on your facebook, twitter, etc.

http://sofrep.com/15456/greys-scouts-interview/