Military Historian and Author
Michael F. Dilley
Michael met Lance Zedric at a reunion of the Alamo Scouts, a World War II reconnaissance unit of the Sixth Army in the Southwest Pacific. Lance was writing a book about that unit and Michael was covering the reunion for Behind The Lines magazine. The two hit it off and decided to collaborate on some articles about the Alamo Scouts for the magazine. They discussed what Michael termed special purpose, special mission units in American history - he had a particular interest in those from colonial times to the Civil War and especially in World War II, and Lance was interested in the period beginning with the Indian Wars up to modern times. Lance's book (Silent Warriors of World War II - The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines) was published in 1995. After that, he convinced his publisher (Gene Wheeler at Pathfinder Publishing in Ventura, CA) to back them in a book that included both of their interests. They sent various write-ups of the units back and forth to each other, editing, expanding, and improving. Eventually they were satisfied. Elite Warriors was an Editor's Choice Selection of the Military Book Club for New Year 1998.
Elite Warriors - 300 Years of
America's Best Fighting Troops
ISBN: 0-934793-60-3 (hardcover)
This book is a comprehensive, survey history of special purpose, special mission units that have fought in America and for America from 1670 to the present time. The earliest units discussed are English units that fought in the American colonies before there was a United States and the most current units are those involved in the military venture in Bosnia. The US military has never had a shortage of volunteers to fill the ranks of these units. Usually those volunteers were strong-willed individuals who required equally strong-willed leaders. The leaders pushed them to the limits of their endurance but kept them focused on their missions. The book tells the story of 52 separate military units of American special warfare, from colonial times until the mid 1990s, a mix of solid historical fact and intruiging perspectives on the characters of the men who made up these forces. Units described range from Willet's Rangers (1670) to "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion of the Revolutionary War to John Mosby's daring raids during the Civil War, to the Alamo Scouts and Navajo Code Talkers of World War II to the modern Special Forces, SEALs, Air Force PJs and other Gulf War era units.
"...may be the single best overview of American special operations history ever written...if I were Minister of Compulsory Reading, every American would read Elite Warriors..."
Kenn Miller, Senior Editor
Behind The Lines magazine
"There is something here for everyone - the bibliography alone is worth the price of the book."
George F. Cholewczynski, Military Historian, Author of Poles Apart
"...a must addition to your library..."
Marion (FL) Star-Banner
"You'll be amazed by these...stories of American special warfare, colonial times until today."
Military Book Club
"Finally, someone has put together all the pieces of the history of the U.S. military's elite forces."
Gary Linderer, Author of Eyes
of the Eagle, Eyes Behind The Lines
Retired Officer Association magazine
"...an extemely ambitious...history of US Special Operations from 1676 to the present..."
Chute & Dagger
"The authors set out to paint with a broad brush - they have accomplished their mission, ensuring that they include all the unclassified units that have conducted special operations and putting their activities in the proper context of SOF history...their historical coverage prior to 1960 is especially well done and the book is highly recommended for Army Rangers, who would greatly appreciate the wealth of information on early Ranger activities."
Military Writers Society of America
"Readers will be intrigued by these stories of American special warfare from colonial days up through today. Elite Warriors reveals insights into the character of the men who made up these forces and the perilous missions to which they were assigned.
Midwest Book Review
"...provides a marvelous breadth to anyone interested in finding out more about the U.S. special operations community."
"A customer" (four out of tive stars)
"This is a fine history of those in uniform (although not always) who dared and maybe didn't always win but who went forward when others couldn't or wouldn't."
Whitetrak (five out of five stars)
"This book was required reading for my Unconventional Warfare class in college...and I gotta say this was a very informative book on America's unconventional warfare units."
Sean Rogers (five out of five stars)
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