Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
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Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  603 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The last great secret of the Vietnam War is revealed in a gripping book that is the culmination of efforts for which the authors received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative
reporting. TIGER FORCE is the searing story of a group of elite army soldiers in Vietnam who spun dangerously out of control and went on a horrific seven-month rampage. It is also the story of how these...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 13th 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published 2006)
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Matt
There is a quote, attributed to Ernest Hemingway, that war, no matter how necessary or justified, is always a crime. While the sentiment (war is terrible) is understandable, the statement is not strictly true. In the law, murder is an unjustified killing. In war, the killing of combatants is sanctioned by governments; accordingly, it is not murder.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's a free-for-all. To the contrary, there have always been rules of warfare (ignore those legal isolationists who argu...more
Sean
It was unfortunate that these men were the scapegoats of circumstance... bad leadership, a few crazy bastards that wore necklaces of ears and indiscriminately sprayed hooches and zapped villagers. But, to think of these actions as something that were done by the entire military in Vietnam is just plain wrong. This was an elite unit of men that were frustrated over the way the war was being prosecuted, infected by a few psychotic soldiers (that were crazy long before they entered the army), and i...more
Mary Wescott
My Dad had me read "Strong Men Armed" I learned so much and had a whole new appreciation of my Grandfather and his life in service. However, This book is about a platoon and their atrocities in Vietnam. It didn't sink in until Chapter 12 when I realized it wasn't just a few random acts of violence. That's what the whole book was about, so I quit reading it.While I'm not naive enough to believe that these atrocities didn't happen, I don't want to read about them. My Dad is a Vietnam Vet, and I'm...more
Chris
This is an outstanding book that should be studied by all military professionals and anyone interested in Vietnam. It describes a rouge platoon that has lost the since of right & wrong and committed atrocities. They story begins many years after the war, and the reader discovers than of the men who made it our of Vietnam, not many made it out of the 70s. Guilt was the biggest killers and manifested itself through drugs, alcohol, and domestic violence. These men had criminals for leaders and...more
debbie
this was a superb book...it tells the story of Tiger Force, a platoon of US army special forces soldiers...in the beginning they are an elite group of men, doing special "jobs"...by the middle of the book they have lost control completely and are performing heinous acts such as murder of civilians, rape, and mutliations...the second part of the book tells of the quest to bring those involved to justice...this never happened even though the investigation went on for years and was well documented....more
Bob
This story is appalling and heart breaking, detailed, and told well. You don't know whether to be disappointed/disgusted with the men who committed atrocities aginst Vietnamese civilians or furious with the leadership that let it happen and covered it up. I fully acknowledge that the North Vietcong were no saints and committed many atrocities of their own, but we were supposed to be the "good guys." I hope the army learned something from these experiences and we don't have to read books like thi...more
Dustin Gaughran
This is an unbelievably well researched book about how soldiers already on the edge of sanity can quickly lose it all when they're set loose with no restraints. One person in particular was just pure evil in the jungle, and his exploits are sickening. It's worth reading just for the sake of knowing what really happened. Vietnam sucked for literally everyone involved, and the Tiger Force was a large reason why for many unfortunate villagers that had no stake in that pointless war.
Tin Wee
The book is about a lesser known atrocity in the Vietnam war which was covered up by Army immediately after the war. A cautionary tale of what can go wrong when soldiers who are out in the field for too long lose their voices of conscience, watch their comrades die without understanding why, and resentful of a HQ that does not seem to understand the difficulties on the ground. A good investigative piece - I was left feeling very indignant because justice was never done for this case.
Melissa
I had to temporarily stop reading this book about half-way through because the atrocities it describes were so disturbing. The second half of the book focuses more on the military investigation of the war crimes committed by the unit Tiger Force in 1967 in Vietnam. The book is engaging and an important account of not only the war in Vietnam but the lack of political will by the 1970s to prosecute war crimes.
Caitlin Seaman
This book reminds me of a horrific accident. Unbelievably graphic, there were days when I refused to read on because I was disgusted at what I was reading. Despite this, I knew I had to keep reading; I wanted to know everything that happened, I was captivated by what the men of Tiger Force were going through. The psychological and physical war that these men went through is incomprehensible.
Tom
A disturbing read ....
Christopher Nieman
Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss, two reporters for the Toledo Blade, wrote a hard-hitting series of articles about a special task group that engaged in numerous atrocities during the Vietnam War. The article series won Sallah and Weiss the Pulitzer Prize for investigative newspaper reporting.

This is an expansion on the article series into book form.

Sallah and Weiss found of several of the former soldiers from Tiger Force, and they document their experiences from the unit.

Tiger Force made addition...more
Fred
Another book that I purposely sought out because it was highly rated and recommended based on my other reading through Goodreads. Luckily I found a copy on Amazon Prime for like $3.99 as a hardback because this is definitely one to add to the library.

First, it isn't at all what I was expecting. This is a very dark, and very disturbing book that tells the tale of what is probably the greatest series of war crimes ever committed by American forces. A series of war crimes that were investigated for...more
Joan
This review can also be found on my blog, The Spastic Writer: http://thespasticwriter.blogspot.com/...

Tiger Force throws no curves; it is a straightforward book that delivers what Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss promise to deliver right from the front of the cover. The “true story of men and war” presents itself in a simplistic, chronological structure that nevertheless does justice to a highly disturbing story.

The book begins with a prologue that sets up the after-story of one of the most notor...more
Eric

This book is an investigative report that uncovers the atrocities committed by a rogue army unit. The authors are not veterans, and were not a part of this unit.

This particular unit was kept off the Army's books in order to do some dirty work that ordinarily is not appropriate for an army unit.

While they say war is hell, some of the men in this unit behaved things that crossed the line. Probably not on par with the My Lai massacre, but it seems there were some rotten apples in this unit that sp...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Sallah and Weiss, who won a Pulitzer Prize (along with fellow reporter Joe Mahr) for their reporting on the Tiger Force in the Toledo Blade in 2003, have crafted a compelling, chilling story. Reviewers draw obvious parallels between the events detailed here and the My Lai massacre, as well as recent incidents from the war in Iraq. The book is a primer on journalistic technique, the narrative drawn from firsthand accounts in interviews with victims' families and more than 40 former members of th

...more
Lucian Laurie
This is another cautionary tale about the cult of hero worship. These soldiers were "the best of the best" and they were given wide latitude because of it. The book's description of their "descent into hell" is shocking, not only to the reader, but to the soldiers who lived through it. Many of them are haunted about their experiences. I have seen this so many times in the military over the last 40 years, the elite, totally trusted by their superiors, losing their way. I still subscribe to the ol...more
Jeffrey Belcher
This was a pretty good book. The Vietnam War was a difficult time for most soldiers. This book shows both the good and bad of a special unit tasked to do a nearly impossible mission. Though the book discusses a unit that did many bad things, it told the story as to why they did them. It was captivating and well written. I would recommend it to those who are not overly critical of the military, so no to the liberals. But to those who are quick to be overly critical, war brings out the best and wo...more
Christopher
Excellent expose.
Tragedy b/c the individual soldiers were placed in a morally compromising situation.
Disturbing b/c of
- the # of innocent noncombantant killed
- the psychological damage done to brave men who volunteered to serve their country
- the degree to which various officers and Army administrators actively suppresses the scandal
- the likelihood the event will recur b/c the Army has not acknowledged what occurred nor learned from it

A must read for those interested in the Mai Lai massacre, th...more
Tom
A sad example of how our government treats our troops, and then covers up the facts. The reporting is excellent, well-researched, and the narrative is compelling. The reporters did a good job of being unbiased in their coverage of Tiger Force, and talking about their PTSD, while still laying bare the facts of what some of these soldiers did during the Vietnam War, which could be called mass murder. Here's hoping that things have changed enough in the last 35 years that this can never happen agai...more
Betsy Boo
Ok...so now I'm obsessed with this stuff.
Jane
Tiger Force is shocking and horrifying, but above all it is a tragic, heartbreaking tale "of men and war". It is written in a down-to-earth, reportage style that makes the pages fly by - but this wasn't what I enjoyed about the book. It wasn't just a report of the next biggest case after My Lai; it was a look at the heart of man. I can only compare it to Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness, both books that exposed the darker side to our nature. Reader, beware.
Kate
Excellent book by two former Toledo Blade journalists about how things can quickly get out of hand and turn very ugly during war. The story focuses on a unit that basically ran amok and committed numerous atrocities in Vietnam, and how it was covered up for years by the military. I particularly thought it was important how the story showed that several soldiers tried to stop what was happening. I don't often give a book five stars but this one deserved it!
Tyler
Horrific. The book focuses on the atrocities but only pays lip service to the motives for why atrocities were committed
Amy Hendricks
There are no words to describe how I feel about this book. The emotions that it draws from the reader are so intense and honest. Anyone who has ever had an interest in the subjects of war, psychology, good vs evil, right vs wrong, what being human means, etc., must read this book! It will absolutely blow you away. I cried like a small child in the middle of my college campus and didn't care who saw.
Donald Redmond
A disturbing look at the results of a lack of oversight and controls over a Special Forces platoon in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in mid-to-late 1967. The Army's attempt to cover-up the atrocities by the troops and the lack of will to prosecute those responsible. particularly the officers, is as appalling as the killing of innocent civilians.
Barbara
Sad. Life is sad but has some happy bits. War never has happy bits. Brave Army investigators never gave up first) tracking down the vague allegations of war crimes in Song Ve and second) tracking the responsibility for those crimes back up the chain of command to those ultimately responsible for the seven months of atrocities. No happy endings here.
Tb
The extensive investigation that makes a book quotable is evident throughout Tiger Force. As a teenager I lived within the Ft. Hood community and watched as 1st Cavalry and 2nd Armored Div. rotated in and out of Viet Nam. The effects on their families varied across the spectrum from mayhem to solidifying. But there was always an effect.
Christian Medina
tiger force is a wonderful war book that describes the events that had happened in the war. its the vietnam war and its one team force that is treking through the forests and it puts you in the moment. It shows you whos doing what and describes what they're doing/ hearing
Heycynh
Wow! So much of Vietnam is too violent to bring to the classroom. However, this was an amazing journey through one of histories biggest government cover-ups. If you read it, be prepared for the shock value and equally prepared for the surprising consequences (or lack thereof.
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