- Gebundene Ausgabe: 416 Seiten
- Verlag: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (8. Mai 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0340752491
- ISBN-13: 978-0340752494
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,9 x 3,7 x 24,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.771.789 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Tiger Force (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 8. Mai 2006
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'A vital and damning glimpse at what really goes on behind the wartime headlines.' -- Metro
For seven months in 1967 the soldiers of Tiger Force lost control in a frenzy of torture, mutilation and cold-blooded murder. Stories started to leak back of women and children blown to pieces; of innocent civilians being routinely executed; of beheaded children and necklaces made from the severed ears of the dead. Afterwards no-one would talk about what happened, and the official investigation was swiftly curtailed.The actions of Tiger Force in the Vietnam war have never been made public. The experimental unit of elite soldiers found itself in a brutal and baffling war where there were no rules, and their reaction was catastrophic.TIGER FORCE is the previously unheard account of the true actions of these doomed men, and the consequences of this dark chapter in recent history. For the very first time, Pulitzer-prize winning authors Michael Sallah and Mitchell Weiss reveal the awful truth behind the American military's wall of silence.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Eingesetzt mitten im Niemandsland, nur wenigen kommandierenden Offizieren bekannt und noch wenigeren Rechenschaft schuldig, verselbständigte sich diese Einheit im Laufe des Krieges zusehends und wird letzendlich zu einer amoklaufenden Todesschwadron.
Salah und Weiss verpacken die Geschichte der Tiger Force in einer Art Roman, der in zwei Teile gegliedert ist. Der erste Teil beschreibt das Wirken der Einheit in den Dschungeln Vietnams. Sie vermitteln eindrücklich die Atmosphäre eines Dschungelkrieges, mit seinen allgegenwärtigen Gefahren von Sprengfallen, feindlichen Scharfschützen und giftigem Getier.
Es wird sehr anschaulich der psychologische und menschliche Niedergang der Einheit von den ersten ungerechtfertigten Tötungen unbewaffneter Zivilisten bis hin zu systematischen Exekutionen beschrieben. Es wird erzählt, wie die wenigen aufrechten Soldaten, die sich diesen Greueltaten entgegenstellten, meist auf eigenen Wunsch diese Einheit verließen und wie ursprünglich anständige Menschen, vor allem neue Rekruten, aufgrund fehlender moralischer Vorbilder immer tiefer in den Sog von Gewalt derjenigen gerieten, die alle Vietnamesen ausrotten wollten.
Der 2. Teil der Geschichte befasst sich dann mit der Aufdeckung dieser Greueltaten durch die Abteilung für Kriegsverbrechen der US-Armee, im Laufe derer ehemalige Teammitglieder Stück für Stück die Wahrheit ans Licht brachten, und der ungeheuerlichen Entscheidung sämtliche Anschuldigungen unter den Teppich zu kehren, bis die Dokumente schließlich von Weiss und Sallah erneut entdeckt wurden.
Dieses Buch beschreibt eines der dunkelsten Kapitel der US-Militärgeschichte in seiner vollen Brutalität und lässt einem mehr als einmal eisige Schauer über den Rücken laufen. Es ist schlichtweg ein Paradebeispiel dafür, dass jeder Krieg bei vielen Menschen moralische Grenzen verwischen lässt und die dunkelsten Seiten zum Vorschein bringt.
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I think they did an excellent job of dissecting the pathology of a combat unit gone terribly, terribly wrong. When your command structure has gone to hell and the strongest characters in your unit are sociopathic at best and psychopathic at worst, you're in a place where most GI's would not want to be. I think it took a lot of courage and character to resist the leadership and strongest personalities of the unit who were intent on the murder of anyone who got in their way--including babies. By no stretch of any sane person's imagination were these honorable acts. Atrocities in the heat of battle, 1 or 2 bad apples in unit gone bad until disciplined by their commanders, etc., these are understandable. But this stuff in this book is as bad as My Lai. My Lai was basically only a one day incident where an Americal Division line outfit went berserk and killed somewhere around 500 people--which God knows is horrible enough. These Tiger Force atrocities were over a period of months. Their commanders clearly knew what they were doing and encouraged it. How far up the ladder it went, I don't know. But it sounds like the news probably got up to at least to the 101rst Division commander. The commanders are the ones whose doorsteps this blame should be laid upon. It was a failure at all levels, but damaged kids like Sam Ybarra always seem to have a way of finding a way into the military. It's up to the commanders to either straighten them out or weed them out. Otherwise, they're more guilty than the grunts committing the atrocities.
Most of the murdered Vietnamese appeared to be only guilty of being peasant farmers that didn't want to leave their land. Only those of the "gook hating" vet persuasion couldn't squeeze out a lot of sorrow for those innocent victims. Yet, I even felt sympathy for their pathetic murderers. So many of them had terrible lives after Vietnam. Drugs, booze, illness, early death.... Whether their pain was inflicted upon them by their own belated consciences or whether it was from the hauntings of the ghosts of their Vietnamese victims, we'll never know.
May all of their departed spirits find peace.
I would hope, though, that the commanding officers who made these events possible be brought to justice. I'm not holding my breath, though.
Next time we decide to march off to war in a patriotic fever, let's check to make sure that this war is really necessary. This applies not only to Vietnam, but also Iraq and many other past fool wars that we've gotten involved in.
This is a story about some unfortunate young men that got used up as wars tend to do to the actual fighters. They ended up committing unspeakable acts (most of the worst details are left out) in the Vietnam War and their lives were ruined. It is not a story about the middle aged and above men who directed and produced the script. Those men didn't get caught.
The young men recruited into Tiger Force were appealed to on the basis of their patriotism. They knew this unit would be deployed into one hot spot after another and likely suffer relatively high casualties. And they were pumped up with encouragement that they were the ones doing the hard work, the dirty work in the service of their country.
The narratives show that Tiger Force had more than its share of social outcasts. They also show that these young men, who had never experienced a normal upbringing, were extremely patriotic. The young men justified what they did at the time in terms of how it would benefit their country and some of them reenlisted.
Tiger Force was founded by David Hackworth, a major at the time. Hackworth, a highly decorated soldier (now deceased), understood that the U.S. had to make adjustments in the war effort because it was using WWII tactics against a guerrilla force in the jungle. Hackworth was successful convincing the Army brass to use smaller more mobile and camouflaged units in the jungle. Tiger force was the first of the new units that got established. Tiger force soldiers wore military clothes and gear and carried weapons that didn't even have to be U.S. government issued.
Tiger Force members were infantry elites. When they moved through the dense foliage, they were silent and didn't smoke. They did everything - ambush, recon and saving other units pinned down. They came in frequent contact with the enemy resulting lots of casualties on both sides and yet their members volunteered for additional tours more often than other units.
With this perspective it is much easier to understand the value of this book. The civilian leadership along with the very top military leadership decided to clear entire geographic areas within Viet Nam to deny the enemy support and sanctuary. This is exactly what presidential hopeful John Kerry complained most about when he became a famous anti-war protester. Tiger Force, simply because it operated as it did, was a logical unit for those most responsible for the atrocities to use in their plans. Tiger Force was commanded to clear areas of civilians. This was not what Hackworth envisioned when he founded the outfit.
The Vietnamese civilians that were ordered by the U.S. military to vacate their areas really had nowhere good to relocate. They resisted and kept returning to their homeland, and many became victims of the policies and soldiers carrying out those policies.
The thing I appreciated most about this book was that it finally gave the story of many former members of Tiger Force. Those that survived didn't fit into civilian life. They were into drugs and alcohol much of the time and often lived almost a nomadic lifestyle. These men suffered because of their prior experience in Viet Nam. That's a significant point and I give credit to authors Sallah and Weiss for their dedication and research.