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SOG

The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam
Written by: John L. Plaster
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Plaster’s riveting account of his covert activities as a member of a special operations team during the Vietnam War is “a true insider’s account, this eye-opening report will leave readers feeling as if they’ve been given a hot scoop on a highly classified project” (Publishers Weekly).

Code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most secret elite US military unit to serve in the Vietnam War - so secret that its very existence was denied by the government. Composed entirely of volunteers from such ace fighting units as the Army Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos, and Navy SEALs, SOG took on the most dangerous covert assignments in the deadliest and most forbidding theaters of operation. 

In SOG, Major John L. Plaster, a three-tour SOG veteran, shares the gripping exploits of these true American warriors in a minute-by-minute, heartbeat-by-heartbeat account of the group’s stunning operations behind enemy lines - penetrating heavily defended North Vietnamese military facilities, holding off mass enemy attacks, launching daring missions to rescue downed US pilots. Some of the most extraordinary true stories of honor and heroism in the history of the US military, from sabotage to espionage to hand-to-hand combat, Plaster’s account is “a detailed history of this little-known aspect of the Vietnam War...a worthy act of historical rescue from an unjustified, willed oblivion” (The New York Times).

©1997 John L. Plaster. All rights reserved. (P)2019 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Amazing story about amazing warriors

Seems to me a review of their actions and upgrades in decorations are in order.

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  • Lee Ward
  • 2019-03-06

More, give me more.

Hardly anybody talks about SOG. Survivors who fought this way have something to say. It took 22 years from Plaster's hardcover in 1997 to get 2019 on Audible. It's 14 hours of epic audio content on the Secret Wars.

Plaster provided harrowing accounts and even a little analysis. So many SOG teams disappeared. Tactics on each side changed daily. Strategic reconnaissance missions and unconventional warfare behind enemy lines, some mastery over fear, that's what it's about.

We got Nick Brokhausen's book 'We Few' on Audible. We got Lynne M. Black's book 'Whisky Tango Foxtrot' (but not yet on Audible). SOG warriors have memories, and listeners are like wolves to get the scent of it. This will never end 'cause we should have more.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • David Ginaitis
  • 2019-02-25

Wow

Great group of stories a TON of black operational action. We need more from the Vietnam vets, to understand in detail what they went through. I’ll read it all.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Hans
  • 2019-06-02

Fascinating and funny, mostly

This is a history of a mostly-unknown facet of the Vietnam War and giving credit to some really amazing people for what they did there.

The first portion outlines complicated organization tables and narrates long lists of individuals, If you don't know any of those people it's deadly boring. After half an hour I was ready to shut the book down and return it, Instead, I skipped ahead two chapters, where it became more interesting. Much of the book was fascinating, but suffered from a lack of continuity – not truly a story but a series of vignettes. Some of it was funny. One part was so funny I doubled over laughing and almost fell down. Truth.

There are a whole lot of names, home towns and personnel details throughout the book giving credit to some truly heroic men. This dies not make for an interesting book, but these guys truly deserve credit.. I was there as a REMF, frightened by every RPG that came within a hundred yards.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-03-02

Amazing

I’ve read and listened to hundreds of military books and the stories contained within this book are some of the best. They are historically accurate and tell the amazing story of this special operations community during the Vietnam war.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Marksharrar
  • 2019-07-21

Truth be Told

after reading this tremendous account of the greatest team of warriors I am again convinced that we could have won the war if they let you run the war. I'm beyond amazed at your courage! and your brotherhood. As a veteran all I can say is thank you all for your service and sacrifice! MOH across the board

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  • Alexander in Scottsdale
  • 2019-07-14

Badass

Highly inspirational true tales of America's bravest! Medals of Honor, recon, POW rescues.. great narrator as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M Council
  • 2019-09-09

Great listen

I thought the book started a little slow, but I understand the need to explain all the different military acronyms and structure for those of us that are unaware. Lots of gripping detailed stories of brotherhood and heroism. My favorite parts were the tellings of the psychological ops they employed against the enemy. Definitely worth a listen!

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  • William C. Butcher
  • 2019-08-21

Totally mind boggling experiences

I had no idea of the extent of US involvement in North VN and Laos by special operations personnel, aided by "Yards". This non fiction telling of the experiences by air assets (fixed and helo), on the ground snoop and poop plus firefights, successes and losses is enlightening and fascinating. What these people experienced is (almost) beyond imagination. As usual, the DC desk jockeys and State Dept. embassy (especially Ambo Sullivan in Laos) were, to say the least, not helpful.
Whether or not you were in VN, as was I, you will be amazed at the skills, bravery and secrecy surrounding SOG and won't be surprised to learn that McNamara got his nose into this effort.

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  • S. Mersereau
  • 2019-08-20

Home of the Brave

The SOG operators were some of the most remarkable soldiers in Vietnam - or anywhere. They were the eyes and ears, and often sword point of our politically misguided war, where every advantage was undermined and victory was never a goal.

While Washington politicians played with maps, these men were risking all to win the war and save brother soldiers. They are the noble warriors, the unsung heroes of Vietnam.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-17

Great war history!

Great history and men that should never be forgotten. God bless all our Vietnam vets!