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Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War [Kindle Edition]

Michael Sallah , Mitch Weiss
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

At the outset of the Vietnam War, the Army created an experimental fighting unit that became known as "Tiger Force." The Tigers were to be made up of the cream of the crop-the very best and bravest soldiers the American military could offer. They would be given a long leash, allowed to operate in the field with less supervision. Their mission was to seek out enemy compounds and hiding places so that bombing runs could be accurately targeted. They were to go where no troops had gone, to become one with the jungle, to leave themselves behind and get deep inside the enemy's mind.

The experiment went terribly wrong.

What happened during the seven months Tiger Force descended into the abyss is the stuff of nightmares. Their crimes were uncountable, their madness beyond imagination-so much so that for almost four decades, the story of Tiger Force was covered up under orders that stretched all the way to the White House. Records were scrubbed, documents were destroyed, men were told to say nothing.

But one person didn't follow orders. The product of years of investigative reporting, interviews around the world, and the discovery of an astonishing array of classified information, Tiger Force is a masterpiece of journalism. Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for their Tiger Force reporting, Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss have uncovered the last great secret of the Vietnam War.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. During the Vietnam War, Tiger Force was the code name of an elite platoon of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry. Its pedigree was impeccable. The battalion's executive officer, Maj. David Hackworth, organized the 45-man volunteer force in 1966, and it became one of the war's most highly decorated units, paying for its reputation with heavy casualties. But for seven months beginning in May 1967, Tiger Force descended into a moral abyss. Operating in what was defined as enemy country, the platoon engaged in an orgy of atrocities that ranged from taking ears, scalps and teeth to the mass killing of unarmed civilians. Conservative estimates count victims in the hundreds. From 1971 to 1975, the army mounted an investigation that documented the crimes, but decided "nothing beneficial" could result from prosecuting the platoon members or their leader. And so the story remained the stuff of rumor until Toledo Blade reporters Michael Sallah, Mitch Weiss and John Mahr responded to a tip and started interviewing former Tiger Force members. The resulting newspaper series, "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths," won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and forms the basis of this outstanding book. In the best tradition of investigative journalism, the authors let the story speak for itself, and thus force readers to wonder: was Tiger Force's behavior aberrant or was it part of a half-submerged pattern spanning the entire war? (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Sallah and Weiss, who won a Pulitzer Prize (along with fellow reporter Joe Mahr) for their reporting on the Tiger Force in the Toledo Blade in 2003, have crafted a compelling, chilling story. Reviewers draw obvious parallels between the events detailed here and the My Lai massacre, as well as recent incidents from the war in Iraq. The book is a primer on journalistic technique, the narrative drawn from firsthand accounts in interviews with victims' families and more than 40 former members of the Tiger Force, as well as a suppressed 55-page document that came out of an army investigation. The authors visited the sites of many of the atrocities, pinpointing them through old radio logs. The result is one of the most important books on the Vietnam War.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 980 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316066354
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (May 15, 2006)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In 1966 volunteered for the draft and then for the airborne. I arrived in Vietnam in November 1967, and was assigned to the 101st Airborne, 1st Brigade, 327th, 2nd Battalion, Charlie Company, 3rd Platoon -- the "3rd Herd." I was the medic -- "Doc Quinn." I was wounded in A Shau Valley on March 21, 1968 and left Vietnam for good a month later. I grew up in the military, spent 5 years in Asia by the time I was 13 years old, got jungle survival training from the 1st Special Forces attached to my Boy Scout Troop in Okinawa in 1960-61 (training that helped make Vietnam the best camp out I ever had). That was when I first heard of a place they called "Indochina."

When I joined my platoon I heard stories of atrocities committed by people in our division, including rape and murder. These stories were told in matter-of-fact ways. I don't remember if particular units within the 101st were named.

The 1st Battalion had the Tiger Force. My 2nd Battalion had the Hawk Recons, the 502nd had the Recondo's. All were elites within elites and spirited units. I remember the day that orders came down that the Hawks had to give up their boonie hats and wear steel pots like the rest of us non-recon types. They went on "strike" for a few hours, burned off a lot of ammo into the hills to make their feelings known, and, finally, kept their boonie hats and the issue was forgotten.

When I read some of the original articles that were later reshaped into "Tiger Force," I thought -- so, that was where some of those rumors were coming from.

No one in my platoon, during my four months tenure with it in the field, committed any war crimes that I am aware of. In fact, they seemed quite a decent lot of very young men.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-Rate Military Epic June 14, 2006
In 1967, I was part of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in the Quang Tin province and I can say without a doubt that the rumors about the Tigers were always making the rounds. I took the time to read the book for several reasons, some of which I will share. Shortly after the articles appeared in the newspapers and Internet in 2003, I had to make a trip to Washington DC, so I stopped at the National Archives in suburban DC to research this investigation -- or at least get what I could. I spent three years as a librarian/researcher after the war (it's about the only thing I could do at the time), so I pulled all the records of the Coy Allegation, or the Tiger Force case. I know that many of the records are missing, but I did manage to read the entire case file in a day and a half. The book not only accurately portayed the case, but added significant context that the reports do not. Few people realize how badly General Westmoreland wanted to control the central highlands. He would have done anything at the time (1967). We were erroneously led to believe in what was known as the "Scissors Theory." That if somehow South Vietnam was severed, we would not be able to mobilize troops to the DMZ. First, we relied totally on air support, so I find it difficult to believe we would lose the war because our infantry would somehow not be able to move northward if the VC or NVA managed to take control of those strategic provinces. There's no question the 1/327 was used in our ridiculous strategic hamlet program, and for anyone to say otherwise is a liar and a fool for trying to pass on such nonsense. The Tigers were a part of the 1/327. After reading the case file, it was clear the investigators found probable cause against many of the soldiers. Read more ›
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller May 19, 2006
I was a bit suspect of this book for many reasons when I bought it at Barnes and Noble. So many of the soldiers aren't even around anymore. The events were more than three decades ago. A lot of ghosts. But after finishing this work, I'm not disappointed. This is a great book -- one, I believe, that should be read by all students of military history. This is a lesson on what can go wrong in war and why we need to carefully assess why we choose to go into armed conflicts. First, my concerns witht he book were put aside when I saw that the authors drew on investigative transcripts of interviews with the soldiers by Army agents -- a lot of interviews over many years. Then I saw that so many of the former grunts were still alive. I guess it's fair to say Tiger Force was a very special unit and I believe anyone who belonged to this squad should be proud. They were the elite in Vietnam. But there's no question that things went really, really bad in 1967. When the brainy generals in Vietnam decided to turn these guys loose on civilians they might as well have been brewing a recipe for a bomb. I still question why would the Army take intense, bush killers and mix them in with Vietnamese farmers and not expect the worst? This is why hundreds of Vietnamese civilians died from this platoon. What I liked about the book was that it showed how the men began crossing over -- one by one, sometimes very painfully. The authors did a great job of telling the story through the soldiers. In some ways, it's very sad. On another level, it's a story that needs to come out. Tell the truth and learn from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I would like to believe that the book is a work of ...
A platoon runs amuck and commits serious war crimes. I would like to believe that the book is a work of fiction, but some of it is probably true. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matthew J. Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exactly what I wanted and expected, and the product got to my house quickly.
Published 1 month ago by Hambz
1.0 out of 5 stars If you like military war stories that put you in the jungle ...
If you like military war stories that put you in the jungle and into the boots of the soldier, then this book is not it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by H.G. Galt
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Army recognized battle fatigue and combat ethics
This was one of the greatest historical military books I have ever read. There is so much that is covered up from the Vietnam War. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. White
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story that needs to be known more.
This book gave me a horrific view of how far men take war to a whole another level. It also shows how the good side of people who try to bring the murders to justice, despite... Read more
Published 9 months ago by C. D. Card
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiger Force
Tigers were the Battalion Recon unit for the 1st battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, part of the 1st brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Screaming Eagle
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiger Force
The lead investigator of this story has been a good friend of mine for many years and I never knew of this incident until just recently. Read more
Published 13 months ago by George Britton
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I am still reading it, but so far it has awesome stories. It jumps right into the situation, and does not talk to much about things they were in before. Still reading.
Published 15 months ago by new_texican
1.0 out of 5 stars A Tiger Force member speaks:
The first clue would be the use of the word "TRUE". Generally true stories don't need this kind of reinforcement. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
The book is an add to my book collection of books that are on my CMC Reading list. Just like the others on the list it's important to a Marine and I know I will enjoy the read... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Antiwon T. Sampson
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