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Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn-Guerrilla Leader and Special Forces Hero Kindle Edition

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Length: 196 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent biography of one the Army's lesser known but very important leaders.  Blackburn's activities in World War II alone would make him a hero, but the author goes on to cite in some detail Blackburn's other contributions in Viet Nam as well as to the evolution of Army Special Forces. The author's detailed accounts of Blackburn's activities make this book a must read for anyone interested in military history, World War II, and particularly for anyone studying or who simply enjoys reading about guerilla warfare or Army Special Forces. " - Military Writer's Society of America

Product Details

  • File Size: 2105 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612000657
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishing (November 10, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0065OCM6K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mike Guardia is an internationally recognized author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed "Hal Moore: A Soldier Once...and Always," the first-ever biography chronicling the life of LTG Harold G. Moore, whose battlefield leadership was popularized by the film "We Were Soldiers," starring Mel Gibson.

He has twice been nominated for the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award and is an active member in the Military Writers Society of America.

As a speaker, he hosts the lecture series "Hal Moore: Lessons in Leadership," which is available for presentation at schools, businesses, and civic organizations worldwide. Mike Guardia has given presentations at the US Special Operations Command and the International Spy Museum. His work has been reviewed in the Washington Times, Armchair General, ARMY Magazine, DefenceWeb South Africa, and Miniature Wargames UK.

He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston. He currently lives in Texas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Aguilar on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a very informative and well-written biography. Most of the book covers Donald Blackburn's WWII service in the Philippines. It's an exciting story and the author tells it well. I especially like how the author included entries from Blackburn's WWII diary. The last three chapters of the book discuss Blackburn's tour of duty in Vietnam (first as an American advisor in the Mekong Delta, then as the chief of SOG), his deployment to Laos as commander of the 77th Special Forces Group, and his organization of the Son Tay Prison Raid.

This country has too many unsung and underappreciated war veterans. Books like this need to be written so that their stories don't die with them. Overall, this book was a very satisfying read. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the leaders of our early Special Forces.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ridgerunner on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting story about a young Army officer in 1941 in the Phillipines islands after the invasion of the Japanese. He organizes Filipinos to fight the Japanese when General MacArthur comes back to take the Islands back from the enemy. Its told from both the American perpective as well as from the Japanese side. The Japanese soldiers terrorized the civilian population, this one reason they lost, because the Filipinos sided with American forces. It goes on to tell about Donald Blackburn's career after WWII, and how he organized special forces in Vietnam.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ecotraveler on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reads like a bus timetable. On (date) Blackburn was in (location) on his way to (another location). The author gives no sense of how Blackburn's efforts fit into the wider war in the Philippines. In fact, he doesn't give much of a sense of Blackburn's piece of the Philippines action or how successful it was, leaving the impression results were limited. This, of course, does not diminish Blackburn's heroism. His career after the Philippines is continues the travelogue-like narrative.

Uninspired writing, no historical perspective. Save your money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rocky on April 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found that the subject of the book was most interesting as i love to read WW11 non-fiction
However this book is just an accumulation of meetings
in many remote towns in the Philippenes with references
to names that were constantly repeated and had little
reference to the total story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While the actions of a small number of Americans who refused to surrender to the Japanese after the fall of the Philippines may not fit in as nicely as OSS OG's in the lineage and origins of US Army Special Forces, some of those who fought in the Philippines as guerillas who learned on the job went on to play significant roles in the formation of US Army Special Forces.

One of those men who went on to become giants in the US Army SF community include Donald Blackburn.

I cannot recommend this book any higher for those wishing to learn about the little known guerilla operations against the Japanese during the dark days of WWII.

I only hope that someday the story of Blackburn's career post WWII reaches open source mass media.

A great resource of ad hoc American guerilla warfare operations in WWII.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Cook on February 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I went into this expecting much more. I don't think it's the fault of the author, men of Blackburn's era typically didn't embellish their stories much; so a harrowing night escape from half the Japanese Army comes out, "We ran through the woods and hid out in the ditches until morning and it was over...". Blackburn is a true American hero. I did gain a perspective on the lives of our "greatest generation".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger A on March 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This could have been a great historical piece but was poorly written. There were a lot more people involved other than Donald Blackburn, perhaps if this had been a biography or had a ghost writer it may have been a lot better. Not worth buying!!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Parker on March 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great and exciting read, brings to light those unknown hardships and valiant efforts that our fathers and grandfathers did when the odds were so much against them in WWII. Honor and duty shone brightly through Donald Blackburn in that war and the conflicts to follow. His clear vision was muddled only by the bureaucrats of the military and civilian bodies.
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