US MACV-SOG Reconnaissance Teams in Vietnam, Gordon L. Rottman

US MACV-SOG Reconnaissance Teams in Vietnam, Gordon L. Rottman

Warrior 159

MACV-SOG was the cover name for an organisation that was founded to carry out covert operations in and around North and South Vietnam. One of its duties was to carry out deep penetration missions into Laos and Cambodia to scout out the Ho Chi Minh trail, the military road through neutral territory used by the North Vietnamese to carry supplies into the south. These missions were carried out by small teams, with a core of two or three American military personnel who carried out the reconnaissance and a larger group of local soldiers, who effectively served as bodyguards.

Rottman covered a lot of ground in this book, starting with a background to the formation of MACV-SOG, before moving on to the selection, training and equipment of the reconnaissance teams. The experience of battle chapter focuses on a sample mission, from planning through the mission itself to the eventual extraction from hostile territory. This is an effective approach that helps give a concrete idea of the stresses of each mission.

The book is well illustrated, with a mix of modern illustrations and contemporary photographs, including a small selection of photos taken during missions. Overall this is an interesting, well presented and well written look at a little known special forces unit.

Introduction - MACV-SOG
Recruitment and Selection
Equipment and Weapons
Conditions of Service
Belief and Belonging
On Campaign
Experience of Battle
Aftermath of Battle

Author: Gordon L. Rottman
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 64
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2011

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