- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 49 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: March 29, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BTOS6MU
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn - Guerrilla Leader and Special Forces Hero Audiobook – Unabridged
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Several items of interest were detailed in this biography. Don's involvement with the Igorot tribesmen, more specifically the Ifugao Headhunters, and their merciless, barbaric dealings with the Japanese are graphically portrayed, (in print that is), ie. decapitating Japanese soldiers and their sympathizers with their prized and somewhat cherished bolo-bolo knives . Additionally his dealings with the "longhairs", a Filipino rouge guerrilla band that Blackburn and his Ifugao warriors convinced to work with the allies. Talk about conflict resolution... by "convincing" this rouge group of opportunist to work with him, the local Filipino people now had a horse to bet on. This triumph in it's own right helped garner 22,000 men and women to fight against the Japanese invaders.
After the war, Mike details Blackburn's military history to include how efficient his jungle warfare survival troops were by infiltrating and penetrating Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, the Panama Canal, and on two occasions Camp David. His soldiers on all occasions slipped in undetected and left tell-tale signs that they did so. In the case of Camp David their surreptitious activities were done right under the noses of the Secret Service and the USMC guarding that facility. Also the Son Tay raid in Vietnam was discussed. Blackburn was the architect of that rescue attempt, in which POW were targeted for repatriation. Of course history tells us that this was a flop, as no prisoners were present during the rescue mission. Although the mission was considered by the press to be a failure, the attempt actually brought about some positive changes for prisoners and how they were treated from that point on. North Vietnam now realized that they were vulnerable to the powers that may be.
Overall an easy and enjoyable read.
He later played a major role in establishing the U.S. Army Special Forces and developed a successful strategy for their deployment in Vietnam.The account of his involvement in planning the 1970 Ton Say raid to attempt to rescue American POW's in North Vietnam is very interesting. Although no POW's were actually rescued, POW's subsequently confirmed that their treatment improved after the raid because the Vietnamese realized they were not invulnerable.
About half of this book is dedicated Blackburn's WWII time with the other half to the rest of his career. I sort of hoped the book went into more detail about his WWII time. Getting some information on what the Japanese were doing at the time (more information about their counter-insurgency strategy, for instance). Additionally, more information about Blackburn's time in Vietnam would have been nice. But the book is brief at just over 200 pages.
Despite the shortness of the book, it is worth reading and I think Blackburn's life is worth knowing about.
Highly recommend this book for military buffs and for leaders who want an outstanding role model of a soldier who would not quit.Blackburn was truly a silent warrior who did not get the recognition he deserved for his exploits.
Most recent customer reviews
I well written . Seems hard to believe someone could survive all he went through. I would recommend this book.