5.0 out of 5 stars A book written by a man who was before his time
To understand Charlie Beckwith and Delta Force, probably the best way to do that is to first understand the British SAS. Beckwith was a huge fan of the SAS, he got most of his ideas from the SAS and all in all had it not been for the SAS, there would have been no Delta.
This book is a story that describes how Beckwith went thru a life changing experience when he...
Published on Dec 14 2003 by Eric Rucker
3.0 out of 5 stars a man with a plan
Charlie Beckwith had a vision and he made it happen. That vision was to give the US military an entity that could do the kind of things the SAS does for the British. The result: the Delta Force. Most of the book talks about Beckwith's formative experiences in Vietnam and training with the SAS before his bureaucratic wrangling and efforts to bring Delta into existence...
Published on July 17 2003 by mackattack9988
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book written by a man who was before his time,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)To understand Charlie Beckwith and Delta Force, probably the best way to do that is to first understand the British SAS. Beckwith was a huge fan of the SAS, he got most of his ideas from the SAS and all in all had it not been for the SAS, there would have been no Delta.
This book is a story that describes how Beckwith went thru a life changing experience when he underwent a Green Beret exchange tour with the British 22nd SAS Regiment in the early sixties. And then he came back to the USA and spent the rest of his Army career lobbying the Army bureaucracy to build a unit based on the SAS model. This lobbying effort was intensely personal and emotional for Beckwith and frequently involved frustration and disappointment.
Beckwith describes his battles with the Army's conventional bureaucracy, which was powerful and all encompassing. But he also describes his frustrations with the Army's already established special forces of that era...the Green Berets and Ranger Battalions of the sixties and seventies. Beckwith describes how he got little to no support from the regular Army in establishing an SAS type unit, but also how the Green Berets and Ranger Battalions tried to block and stymie his efforts.
Eventually, in the mid to late seventies Beckwith got his wish with the help of a handful of sympathetic, high ranking General officers. To build a truly unique special operations unit based exclusively on the British SAS model. It was neither Green Beret based nor Ranger Battalion based, although most of the early Delta operators were veterans of one of the two mentioned units. It was an American unit, but based on a foreign unit known as the SAS. This all occurred in the extremely anti-special forces political climate of the seventies...right after Vietnam.
Beckwith's career ultimately culminated in the failed 1980 Iranian rescue mission. Which was a huge political disaster for the Carter administration. After which he retired from the Army and sort of faded away. He died in 1994. Its sad that Beckwith never got to see his life's hard work become fully appreciated after the 911 debacle. Beckwith was truly a futuristic thinker, an innovator and creative person.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the British SAS, Delta or for anyone who has an intense dislike for bureaucracy and the status quo.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading!!!!,
This review is from: Delta Force (Hardcover)Col. Charlie Beckwith is the founder and first commanding officer of Special Forces Operational Detatchment-Delta, aka Delta Force. Col. Beckwith's book begins with his exchange service as a Special Forces Captain with the British Special Air Service. The SAS made such an impression on Col. Beckwith that he designed Delta's organization, selection and training on the British SAS model.
The book covers Col. Beckwith's service in Vietnam, with the precursor of Delta, whose mission was to go behind enemy lines and locate NVA and VC units. He continues with his battles with U.S. Army brass to get Delta established as a counter-terrorism unit and finishes the book with the aborted rescue attempt of the American hostages in Iran.
The book gives an insight of Delta Force as it was first conceived and organized by it's creator but does not cover any recent Delta operations.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)This was a really good read, and who better to write about Delta Force than the creator and first commander? All and all it is a slow paced book, but it is straight forward and the time span is relatively small. You have to remember Col Beckwith founded Delta Force but as tradition goes he was only the commander for a few years. I would recommend Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney if you are going to get this book. When you put them together you get a really good unclassified account of what Delta Force is about.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book!!,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)This is a good book!! The author gives you a feel for the pain he went through getting Delta Force started. The book had some interesting parts in it. I liked the part when they were planning the Iran hostage rescue. A reminder that this not an action book, but a book about a part of US military history.
3.0 out of 5 stars a man with a plan,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)Charlie Beckwith had a vision and he made it happen. That vision was to give the US military an entity that could do the kind of things the SAS does for the British. The result: the Delta Force. Most of the book talks about Beckwith's formative experiences in Vietnam and training with the SAS before his bureaucratic wrangling and efforts to bring Delta into existence. There is also an important section on the failed Iranian hostage rescue mission in 1980. Beckwith's writing is very conversational; it reads like you're sitting with him at the O club. If you're interested in special operations and/or the tragic story of the rescue mission, you'll definitely want to read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and engaging,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)This book was very difficult to put down once I started reading it. Beckwith has a way with words that makes it seem like he's sitting next to you telling you a story. While reading the book, I felt like I knew Charlie Beckwith and his way of thinking--that's how much personality he put into this book.
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment--Delta (SFOD-D) is the military's formal name for Delta Force. Delta is perhaps America's foremost elite counterterrorist unit along with the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and Navy SEAL Team Six. Beckwith created Delta Force after spending a year with the British Special Air Service (SAS) and seeing how the US had a void that a unit like the SAS could fill. Thus, Delta was formed with the SAS in mind.
A word of caution to people who are considering reading this book. The book tells of how Delta Force was formed...from its beginnings as a US version of the British SAS to its failed first mission freeing the hostages in the Iran. If you're looking for something on what Delta Force currently does and how its operators are currently trained or selected, this isn't the book for you. Beckwith tells us how the first Delta operators were trained and selected, but that selection process has probably changed some by now. This book is more a detailed history on the formation of the Delta Force, and not a book on its current engagements and operations (which are most likely classified anyway).
I HIGHLY recommend this book.
2.0 out of 5 stars boring...,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)Delta Force was the most boring book I've ever read. It is like reading a school history book. There is seldom ever any excitement. The book has names, dates, and places about how Beckwith became involved in Delta Force. He talks about his time in Vietnam and in the Iran hostage rescue (the only two things that spark up some excitement). Other than that, this book was very boring. ... Also, I have to admit that Beckwith did a great job writing it.
4.0 out of 5 stars FOUR STAR BOOK!!!,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)The only book I've read willingly, since high school, COVER to COVER.
I was surprised how ensnared I was while reading the SAMPLE PAGES here at amazon.com. The SAMPLE PAGES start off with the author, Charlie Beckwith, a young United States' Green Beret, on the shores of Great Britain, and follows his shell-shocked induction into the unorthodox echelon of its elite military special forces, known as the SAS.
The book itself, begins with the author, a mature colonel commander of an already established elite Army shadow-unit, known as Delta Force, on route with generals to brief (then) president Jimmy Carter on the fragile hostage crisis escalating critically out of control in Tehran, than fades to his early years as a young special forces exchange soldier with the British SAS --a place were most of his unconventional views would be shaped-- and how it all lead up to that very critical junction in history. We follow him from his training with the SAS, through his growing pains as a young green beret soldier in Vietnam, to his underdog fight with the U.S. military bureaucracy in the hopes of establishing a "SAS-capable" unit, able of fill the "gaping holes" now evident in the U.S. special forces. Through trial and error Charlie painfully learns the ins-and-outs of a rigid Army bureaucracy, bent on protecting its traditions, and money, in the face of it's obvious flaws.
Charlie Beckwith may have not expected all the walls he would have to overcome when going against the Army convention, and often thought of giving up; when commanders threw his recommendation papers in his face. But, eventually, an emotional Charlie, and his perseverance, paid off. With the bloody dawning of a terrorism movement now escalating throughout the world, and no means of combating it with traditional military means, and fear now gripping the Carter administration, Charlie Beckwith, after years of battling the system, is commissioned to create his unique Delta unit, in the hopes of freeing American hostages trapped inside the U.S. embassy of Tehran.
Delta Force was finally born. But It's ultimate test would now come in the form of an impossible mission, across the perilous deserts of Iran, into the capital city of Tehran, and fight it's way out of the city -- to bring home the American hostages and restore public faith in the Carter administration.
3.0 out of 5 stars Light on the Action,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)I picked up this book thinking there was going to be a good amount of detail of past missions. After reading the book I found that my assumption was wrong. The book starts out with the author's career during the Vietnam War and ends with a description of the Iran hostage rescue operation in 1980. The majority of the book is a review of the author's struggles to set up the Delta Force and a lot of detail on the training that took place. If this is what you are looking for then the book will interest you. If you are after a lot of combat action then you will be disappointed.
I did find the slow and painful description of how the Army bureaucracy works to be an eye opener. I would have thought all the higher ups would have jumped at creating a group like Delta but that just was not the case. This could be a case study for persistence in how the author got his group up and running. Overall I found the book to be well written and interesting. There were a few slow spots in the middle, but not so bad that it would make you put down the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
This review is from: Delta Force (Mass Market Paperback)Great book. Outlines the difficulties in getting a new idea sold in a rather inflexible/bureaucratic system.
It is a long way from identifying a requirement, to actually get someone interested to set measures to fill a deficiency. A lot of turf wars involved.
I actually expected a fact book on Delta's history/capabilities and ops involved. What I found was a really well written story of the man who pursued the issue of creating Anti-Terrorist capability within the US Forces. Now everybody will understand the vision this man had and how important this topic always was and always will be.
I liked the credit given to the SAS, that I consider the finest unit in this area of work.
I would have liked for the book to continue further than the Iran operation (especially as I actually bought the book for the purpose of getting information about the Somalia Ops), but it is clear the it ends when Col Beckwith left the unit, as he is the author. Great book that is really hard to put down.
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Delta Force by Charlie A Beckwith (Mass Market Paperback - May 25 2000)
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