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Trigger Men: Shadow Team, Spider-Man, the Magnificent Bastards, and the American Combat Sniper Hardcover – March 18, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Halberstadt (Roughneck Nine-One), a prolific chronicler of the U.S. military, pulls no punches in this uncompromising examination of the shadowy world of the combat sniper. Halberstadt warns forthrightly that this is a book about "the business of hunting people . . . and killing them in a calculated, methodical way" and "requires brave readers." Drawing on the observations of thirty military snipers and his own time shadowing Army Sniper Class 2006-3 through five weeks of grueling training, the author methodically surveys the training, weapons, traditions, and missions of modern military snipers. There is ample technical information about the snipers' primary weapons-the M24 and M40 sniper rifles-and the vagaries of engaging long-range targets-referred to as voodoo ballistics by practitioners. There also is an insightful analysis-with first-person commentary from veterans of Iraq-of the changing role of the sniper on the modern urban battlefield. No longer the "unloved stepchild," today's sniper is a major part of the new battle space and is responsible for a disproportionate number of enemy casualties. As Halberstadt warns, this book is not for the squeamish, but for those looking for a thorough primer on the role of the military sniper in today's counterinsurgency missions, this is a solid introduction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"A chilling look inside what a sniper's effect has on both friend and foe. Straightforward and insightful.”--Jack Coughlin, Gunnery Sergeant, USMC (Ret.), and New York Times bestselling author of SHOOTER
Praise for ROUGHNECK NINE ONE:
"A gritty inside look at a Special Forces team at work." --Publishers Weekly
"A rare glimpse into the inner workings of a Special Forces A-team...A true story that is easy to read and hard to put down." --Army Magazine
“A gripping account…A notable contribution to the literature on both the Iraq war and the capabilities of special-ops units.” --Booklist
“A terrific inside look at a Special Forces A-Team at war.” –Sean Naylor, author of Not a Good Day to Die
“ROUGHNECK NINE ONE takes you behind the scenes into the struggles, complications, preparation, training, and turf issues faced by our most elite forces as they go into battle.” --Col. Gerald Schumacher, US Army Special Forces (Retired), author of TO BE A US ARMY GREEN BERET
“A powerful no-holds barred, first-hand account of actual ground combat in Iraq. ROUGHNECK NINE ONE most definitely captures the professionalism, comradeship, self-sacrifice, and courage that define the heart and soul of America’s finest warriors---US Army Special Forces. A must-read book!” --Col. Tom Yarborough, USAF, author of DA NANG DIARY
Top customer reviews
And it manages to do so without falling prey to the same kind of puffed-up braggadocio that largely ruins "Long Rifle" (another sniper book).
The only con is the book is a bit choppy - a consequence of dealing with different personalities and perspectives.
Overall, an interesting read.
Trigger Men is a must-read book for anyone who is intrigued or even remotely interested in the craft of the sniper. Once a person comes to grips with the fact that the work of the sniper saves untold lives, the morality of the act is unquestioned. Men and women are living and walking today who would have been killed had the snipers of Halberstadt's book hesitated to take the shots. And, so when I decided to write a story relative to snipers, although it is only a short story, I knew I needed to have a resource that was totally accurate and believable. Trigger Men is painstakingly technical and true to the equipment and process of being a sniper. Although it is not written in a literary style that carries a plot and presents a story, the vignettes of the aspects of being a sniper during the conflicts since Vietnam are compelling and engrossing.
And, even though I know is was not Hadlerstadt's intent to provide a history of snipers since their inception, I would have much enjoyed the comparison of snipers of WWI and WWII with the modern day sniper. As a boy I still see visions of "Sgt. York" as played by Gary Cooper. I wonder if there was any sniper effort in the First World War. Of course, I also know of the legend of the Russian sniper, Vassili Zaitsev, and the German, Major Konig. Just a little history of that era would have been interesting.
As a conclusion, I find Trigger Men to be a fascinating book. It wasn't written to be a novel and doesn't read like one. However, it goes beyond my expectations for presenting the skill and process of the sniper in an easy and simple way so that I, as a novice, may write and converse reasonably accurately. It is an important book in my library.
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