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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
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 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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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 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.

13 of 14 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.

5 of 5 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jarrett K Rowe
  • 2019-08-15

Not fannof the narrator

Great book. My only issue was the narrator. This is the second book I have listened to with Mr Morey and I find his voice to be better suited for a horror novel, rather than a great war story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Codebreaker1003
  • 2019-05-08

Boring, boring, boring

Do you like long unconnected boring stories told from an outside perspective?
Are you a big fan of hearing about SOG missions from the officers who had no part of them?
Do you like reenacting?
Then this book is for you!

If you enjoyed “we few” or any other war story that is told from a first person perspective, then this is going to bore you to death... I sat through the whole thing, never once remembering a name or an especially amazing mission. It was just painful, like hearing a war story from a officer who never left the united states. Please do yourself a favor and read “we few” where the story is told first hand and passionately. Not this garbage.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex R.
  • 2020-01-18

Must Read

Vietnam is historically portrayed in a pessimistic light. This book changed the way I view how some Americans chose to fight that flawed war. Even when the deck was stacked against them. If you love military history, this is a book to read.

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  • Nathaniel Bunker
  • 2020-01-10

Great book.

Real life Rambo’s. I want to see that movie. I hope the rest of Mr Plaster books are made Available on audible.

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  • Mariano Quinteros
  • 2020-01-03

Honorable Tales of the Best of us.

This Book tells the stories of Green Berets that a generation only hope to emulate.

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  • melamama
  • 2019-12-30

Tier One quality in Military Books-Creme de la creme

This book is my favorite of about 50 military books. From truly innovative deception and psyops, to brave rescues and the use of audacity and air power to kill oppressive, warmongering communists in astounding ratios this book is packed with unique content and stories that exceeds most all other book’s high points.
Maybe in 30 years from 2003 we’ll get a flood of ‘suicide mission yet somehow impossibly survived’ stories as they become declassified but I’ve never seen a better source of wild tales.
I gave this 5/5 despite the narrator irritatingly saying PLAT-oon over and over, as that’s the only mispronunciation. Most voice actors are abysmal with anything remotely military calling helos “hellos” making me literally groan while listening, but this book is worth putting up with his few small sins.