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Blackjack-33: Fourteen Deadly Days with the Mobile Guerrilla Force in Vietnam
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Blackjack-33: Fourteen Deadly Days with the Mobile Guerrilla Force in Vietnam

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
“You have to react instinctively. In this game there’s no second place, only the quick and the dead.”
In Vietnam, Mobile Guerrilla Force conducted unconventional operations against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. Armed with silencer-equipped MK-II British Sten guns, M-16s, M-79s, and M-60 machine guns, the men of the Mobile Guerrilla Force operated in the steamy,
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 19th 2010 by Presidio Press (first published January 1st 1999)
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Feb 15, 2012 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Or as I like to call it, the "Whack whack whack. Whump whump whump. Karoumph!" book (for all its repetitive sound effect interruptions to dialogue), it is a very effective and visceral description of combat, wounding, strain, and all the wages and gambles of life in a dirty guerrilla fight. The sound effects are at first odd and annoying until you see them for what they are; sucking you into the audio of that soldiers world until you know the (whack=M16, whump=AK47, Karoumph=bomb/mortar, ta-to-t ...more
Doug DePew
Apr 19, 2011 Doug DePew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military history enthusiasts
James C. Donahue has done an excellent job in "Blackjack 33" of capturing what it was like to serve in the jungles of Vietnam. His descriptions of both combat and the jungle are incredibly vivid. This book is filled with action from beginning to end, but what hit me as most authentic were the dialogues. His conversations in the book with his fellow American advisors and the Cambodians he served beside are remarkably real. He captures the bond of brothers in arms in a way that few other authors h ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Kent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
This is a near minute by minute account of about a month of time when the author was serving as a medic with Special Forces during Vietnam. It is extremely detailed, which I wonder about the details the author kept in a diary, as the book was released 30 years later. They are so intricate in-fact that they must be seared into the author's memory.

This is not the Vietnam that most men served in as it is about the Mobile Guerrilla Force that was made up of experience American soldiers and teams of
‘Blackjack 33’ vividly conveyed the James Donahue’s wartime experiences in Vietnam. Donahue’s focus on the American Special Forces (in which he served) was quite interesting in and of itself. But the tactics of the mission (a guerrilla raid deep inside the Viet-Cong/NVA forbidden zones) and the participation of ethnically Cambodian irregulars (trained by the Americans) made it even more so. In particular, I appreciated the author's comments on tense, but extremely important relationship between ...more
Steve Parcell
Good informative read.

Especially liked the empthasis on the in field medical procedures during the battles. Really gives you an insight in to the emergency treatment that was administered during fighting.

Also liked the explanation of how booby traps were set to inflict fatal and comprehensive damage. Not for the faint hearted.

Good summary at the end as to who was killed and what the survivors are doing now and after Vietnam.
Rick Vanbuskirk
Jul 30, 2016 Rick Vanbuskirk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy read, don't put it down after he first 2-3 chapters gets very good the rest of the way. As an OIF and OEF these guys truly had challenges I could have never imagined! These guys are the true Hero's!
Amazing story of American soldiers working side by side with indigenous troops behind enemy lines. This first person narrative is filled with hair raising accounts of stalking the NVA behind enemy lines. Not filled with fluff it delivers non-stop action.
I felt the same reoccurring phrases and descriptions came up. The scenery never really changed, and the day to day life was very repetitive.
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