Special Ops

Book reviews

US Special Ops by Fred Pushies covers the history, weapons, and missions of elite military forces. It’s an broad overview of military special operations in the United States, from weapons, gear, missions, and the troops. It’s a topic that’s often of interest among firearm enthusiasts. Due to their clandestine nature, these elite forces are cloaked in an aura of intrigue that has only ratcheted upward with the expanded roles they have assumed in today’s world, not to mention their recent and frequent appearances in film, books, and other mass media.

This book covers the entire scope of America’s elite fighting forces, beginning with their earliest days. Profiles of hundreds of weapons, gear, vehicles, missions, and commandos, from eighteenth-century fighters like Francis Marion right up through the most advanced capabilities of today’s Green Berets, Rangers, SEALs, Marine Force Recon, US Air Force combat controllers, CIA Special Activities Division, and more. There are over 350 entries in all. From the tomahawks used by Rogers’s Rangers to special-ops legends like Col. Aaron Bank to Operation Neptune Spear and beyond, US Special Ops is a comprehensive, informative, and unique survey of all aspects of US special operations, past and present.

Despite the mystique, there is no magic inherent in special operations. It’s a collection of studied and evolved tactics and training procedures of very human personnel willing to undergo the rigors. Given the amount of attention and interest given among some gun owners, it’s likely a topic that will arise in your shop. Having a knowledgeable overview may be helpful in lieu of fanciful tales.

The Suomi Submachine Gun by Leroy Thompson is more focused, covering primary weapons development in Finland in the World War Two era. As the title suggests, the Suomi is featured but this is more than a book about subgun. Other designs by the Finns in this period are covered, such as the Lahti-Saloranta m/26, was well as history of the Winter War, Continuation War, and Lapland War with notes on Finnish tactics of the time.

Featuring first hand accounts and specially commissioned color artwork, this is the story of one of WWII’s most distinctive and respected infantry weapons. Initially used by the Finns as a light machine gun, it eventually became a dedicated submachine gun, and even pressed into the role of a sniping weapon.

Read more in the July 2017 issue.

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