First SEALs: The Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit

Paperback | October 27, 2015

byPatrick K. O'donnell

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In the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of men united to form an exceptional unit. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised America's first swimmer-commandos—an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that live on in today's Navy SEALs. Often armed only with knives and wearing nothing more than swim trunks and flippers, the Maritime Unit's combat swimmers and other operatives carried out seaborne clandestine missions in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean theaters of World War II. In First SEALs, Patrick K. O'Donnell unearths their incredible history—one of the greatest untold stories of World War II.

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In the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of men united to form an exceptional unit. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised America's first swimmer-commandos—an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that live on in today's Navy SEALs. Often arme...

Bestselling author Patrick K. O'Donnell is a combat historian who has written nine books, including the William E. Colby Award winner Beyond Valor, Dog Company, and We Were One (selected for the Marine Commandant's Professional Reading List). The author is the recipient of numerous awards include the prestigious OSS Society's John Wall...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:October 27, 2015Publisher:Da Capo BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306824140

ISBN - 13:9780306824142

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Praise for Patrick K. O'Donnell and First SEALsClive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author"A great American writer"Stephen Harding, bestselling author of The Last Battle“Well researched and very well told, First SEALs is a rousing tale of wartime derring-do that puts the Navy’s current special warfare units in firm historical perspective—an absolute must-read.”John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die“Patrick O’Donnell is already one of America’s foremost combat historians. This fascinating book now places him in the front rank of special operations historians. Based on many years of painstaking archival research and hundreds of interviews, First SEALs takes us deep into World War II naval special warfare, both European and Pacific. Beautifully written, original, and compelling from first page to last. I highly recommend this book.”Alex Kershaw, bestselling author of The Liberator“A fantastic story of the first SEALs—brilliantly told! A must read.”Flint Whitlock, Editor, WWII Quarterly magazine"One of our finest military historians, Patrick O'Donnell has crafted a terrific, unforgettable narrative of the forerunners of today's amazing Navy SEALs—that puts the reader right in the watery battlefield with them."Military Review, U.S. Army"One of the world's preeminent military historians"Sacramento Bee"The Navy's Sea, Air, and Land teams (SEAL) are rightfully legendary, but until now their origin has been obscured by time. In this behind-the-scenes history, readers learn how a World War II group known as the Maritime Unit became the template for today's elite special force."Portland Book Review, 3/5/15“Those having interest in World War II history will love the result of [O’Donnell’s] researchThe writing in this book is very good, very readable.”Proceedings, June 2015“O’Donnell sets the scene for today’s SEALs and provides the reader with the history of the inception of Navy special operations.”Seapower, June 2015“Much of the history of the MU was buried in classified archives until unearthed by the author.”Military Heritage, July 2015“Extensive research and interviews have now brought this story back to light. The author is an established authority on special operations forces and his new book sheds light on the origin of the SEALs.”Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 6/28/15“Sheds light on a little-known contribution to maritime special warfareA valuable addition to maritime special operations history, and serves the memory of men who went largely unrecognized for brave and dangerous featsA good choice for a beach read.”Military, January 2016“An excellent book that brings to life the exploits of the members of the OSS Maritime Unit in WWIIA great story about a generally unknown part of U.S. WWII military history. If your interest is Special Force operations, you need this book in your library.”