Synopses & Reviews
Beginning in the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of menand#151;among them a dentist, a Hollywood movie star, an archaeologist, California surfers, and even former enemies of the Alliesand#151;united to form an exceptional unit that would forge the capabilities of the Navyand#8217;s Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised Americaand#8217;s first swimmer-commandos, an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that inspire todayand#8217;s Navy SEALs.
The pioneering men of the Maritime Unit conducted some of the most daring operations behind enemy lines and even survived one of the Third Reichand#8217;s infamous concentration camps. But after the war, their astonishing record of activity and achievement was classified, lost, and largely forgotten...until now. In First SEALs, Patrick K. Oand#8217;Donnell unearths their incredible historyand#151;one of the greatest untold stories of World War II.
Praise for Patrick K. O'Donnell and First SEALs
"A great American writer"and#151;Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author
and#147;Well researched and very well told, First SEALs is a rousing tale of wartime derring-do that puts the Navyand#8217;s current special warfare units in firm historical perspectiveand#151;an absolute must-read.and#8221;and#151;Stephen Harding, bestselling author of The Last Battle
and#147;Patrick Oand#8217;Donnell is already one of Americaand#8217;s foremost combat historians. This fascinating book now places him in the front rank of special operations historians. Based on many years of painstaking archival research and hundreds of interviews, First SEALs takes us deep into World War II naval special warfare, both European and Pacific. Beautifully written, original, and compelling from first page to last. I highly recommend this book.and#8221;and#151;John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die
and#147;A fantastic story of the first SEALsand#151;brilliantly told! A must read.and#8221;and#151;Alex Kershaw, bestselling author of The Liberator
"One of our finest military historians, Patrick O'Donnell has crafted a terrific, unforgettable narrative of the forerunners of today's amazing Navy SEALsand#151;that puts the reader right in the watery battlefield with them."and#151;Flint Whitlock, Editor, WWII Quarterly magazine
Portland Book Review, 3/5/15
and#147;Those having interest in World War II history will love the result of [Oand#8217;Donnelland#8217;s] researchand#133;The writing in this book is very good, very readable.and#8221;
Proceedings, June 2015
and#147;Oand#8217;Donnell sets the scene for todayand#8217;s SEALs and provides the reader with the history of the inception of Navy special operations.and#8221;
Seapower, June 2015
and#147;Much of the history of the MU was buried in classified archives until unearthed by the author.and#8221;
Military Heritage, July 2015
and#147;Extensive research and interviews have now brought this story back to light. The author is an established authority on special operations forces and his new book sheds light on the origin of the SEALs.and#8221;
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 6/28/15
and#147;Sheds light on a little-known contribution to maritime special warfareand#133;A valuable addition to maritime special operations history, and serves the memory of men who went largely unrecognized for brave and dangerous featsand#133;A good choice for a beach read.and#8221;
From bestselling author Patrick K. O'Donnell, the untold story of World War II's first unit of special operations combat swimmersprecursors of today's US Navy SEALs
From bestselling author Patrick K. Oand#8217;Donnell, the untold story of the origins of the U.S. Navy SEALs
About the Author
Patrick K. O'Donnell is a military historian who has written eight previous books: Beyond Valor; Into the Rising Sun; Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs; The Brenner Assignment; They Dared Return; We Were One (selected for the Marine Commandant's Professional Reading List); Give Me Tomorrow; and Dog Company. His numerous awards include the prestigious William E. Colby Award and the OSS Society's John Waller Award. He has also provided historical consultation for DreamWorks' award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and Fox News. He served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah and is in demand as an expert speaker on WWII espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency on the modern battlefield. Over the past twenty years, O'Donnell has interviewed more than 4,000 veterans who fought in America's wars, from WWI to Afghanistan, and specializes in "unearthing untold true stories that read like novels."