Best Special Forces Books

Jamey Muller
May 7, 2021
best-special-forces-books

It’s a secretive world they live in, and to have a glimpse into their exploits through movies and books is astounding. Here are the Top 10 of the best Special Forces books that allow readers to experience only the most highly-trained soldiers could experience in real life.

The 6 Best-Selling Special Forces Books

10 Best Special Forces Books

1. Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War by Jessica Donati

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Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War
  • Hardcover Book
  • Donati, Jessica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 01/19/2021 (Publication Date) - PublicAffairs (Publisher)

Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War by Jessica Donati is a must-read for all war story lovers and book enthusiasts of all kinds. It tells about amazing real-life stories of soldiers and war heroes, one of which is Hutch, a battle-worn Green Beret on a secret mission to recapture a city from Taliban control. Jessica Donati narrates true-to-life drama that tells about how Caleb survived after stepping on a bomb during a mission in Sangin, how Andy and his team figured their way after a foiled raid attack with a crashed Black Hawk, and so on.

To win hard-fought battles in Afghanistan, America under both the Obama and Trump administrations depended almost entirely on US Special Forces to get the job done. Eventually, the hope to provide peace in the war-torn country failed, and brave men like Hutch, Caleb, and Andy had to rely on their courage, bravery, and tactical training to survive, with limited resources, little governmental oversight, and contradictory orders. This book is a triumphant for author and Wall Street Journal national security reporter, Jessica Donati.

2. Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force by Dan Schilling

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Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World's Deadliest Special Operations Force
  • Hardcover Book
  • Schilling, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 06/25/2019 (Publication Date) - Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force by Dan Schilling, a New York Times bestseller, talks about true heroism personified and exemplified by John Chapman, a Medal of Honor recipient and Special Ops Combat Controller. Literally, the brave Special Forces officer defended his territory alone at dawn and saved the lives of 23 comrades-in-arms. Mortally wounded, badly hurt, and almost unconscious, the incredibly brave soldier single-handedly engaged two dozen Al-Qaeda fighters. He gave up his life for his comrades and thus posthumously earned the Medal of Honor. The book features firsthand accounts and classified documents provided by those who saw Chapman’s extraordinary last stand. Alone at Dawn also features a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s deadliest special operations force – the Air Force Combat Controllers, a team of experts whose skills exceed those of the Navy SEALs and Army Delta Force operatives.

3. Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior by Dick Couch

Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior
  • Couch, Dick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 03/25/2008 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)

Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior by Dick Couch. When America’s military could not get the job done, they call on Special Forces that have been trained with extraordinary skills and forged with superhuman courage. They are the Green Beret, and this book looks into the training regimen that these elite soldiers undergo to make them the best of the best. Dick Couch spent an entire year at the Green Beret training facilities and provides a firsthand encounter of how this legendary group of soldiers are trained. Couch spills to the world how it is like to become a Special Force, from the demanding selection process, grueling physical and mental exercises, high-level technical training, and the simulated battle encounters where soldiers are tested on how to solve problems in the field in order to save lives and win wars. As a result, the Green Beret is able to produce the country’s best, smartest, most versatile, and most valuable Special Forces unit.

4. Special Operations Mental Toughness: The Invincible Mindset of Delta Force Operators, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers & Other Elite Warriors! by Lawrence Colebrooke

Special Operations Mental Toughness: The Invincible Mindset of Delta Force Operators, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers & Other Elite Warriors!
  • Colebrooke, Lawrence (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 12/04/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Special Operations Mental Toughness: The Invincible Mindset of Delta Force Operators, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers & Other Elite Warriors! by Lawrence Colebrooke. America’s Special Operations Forces are the best in the world not only for their fighting skills and physical prowess, but also for their smarts, decisiveness, resilience, mental toughness, and ability to suppress their fear and stress during the most dangerous situations possible. They are the elite of the elites – Navy SEALs, Delta Force, Army Rangers, and others – for their mental fortitude. This book tells readers how Special Forces become to be so. Colebrooke talks about The Rite of Passage, The Special Operator Mindset, How to Control Fear, Stress and Anxiety, and Methods of Developing Exceptional Self-Confidence, among others. Readers will have a glimpse into what these elite warriors go through and be able to understand how Special Forces operatives are chosen, how they develop mental toughness, tactics, and techniques, and so on. Such will help any reader – soldier or not – become the best version of who they are, and develop strength of will and a winning mentality.

5. Death in the Highlands: The Siege of Special Forces Camp Plei Me by J. Keith Saliba

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Death in the Highlands: The Siege of Special Forces Camp Plei Me
  • Hardcover Book
  • Saliba, J. Keith (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 280 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Stackpole Books (Publisher)

The Siege of Special Forces Camp Plei Me by J. Keith Saliba. The Vietnam War was the most enigmatic war in the military history of America, if not the world. Brotherhoods were forged, military tactics and strategies were formed, and acts of heroism were written in the annals of history. In Death in the Highlands, J. Keith Saliba draws on archival research materials and combat veteran interviews to reconstruct a pivotal battle in Hanoi. The communist army was on the verge of capturing the entire country and was hell-bent on wreaking havoc on the arriving American troops. On October 19, 1965, some 4,000 Vietnamese soldiers slowly and successfully surrounded Plei Me, which was controlled by a few American Green Berets and Montagnard allies. The North Vietnamese army smelled blood and began to pound. What ensued was bloody Ia Drang Valley fights that lasted for weeks and the siege of Plei Me, which ushered the first major clashes between America and North Vietnamese armies.

6. Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines by Eric Blehm

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Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines
  • Legend The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines
  • Blehm, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 04/26/2016 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)

Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines by Eric Blehm is the true-to-life account of the heroic rescue mission of Sergeant Roy Benavidez, U.S. Army’s 240th Assault Helicopter Company and a Green Beret Staff Sergeant. Outnumbered and in the brink of surrender, a group of American soldiers were surrounded by North Vietnamese army troops in Cambodia, a few miles from the Vietnam border. As would any superhero with extraordinary bravery, Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez responded to their distress call and came to the rescue. He flew in and bravely hovered his helicopter over the ensuing battle. He was immediately and severely wounded, but still he was able to organize the defense and rescue of the Special Forces team. Written by New York Times bestselling author Eric Blehm, Legend is based on stories provided by family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, eye witnesses and recently discovered archival military records. The book engages readers with a riveting narrative of Benavidez’s life and career and most inspiring acts of bravery.

7. Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds by Rusty Bradley

Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds
  • Lions of Kandahar The Story of a Fight Against All Odds
  • Bradley, Rusty (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 05/19/2015 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds by Rusty Bradley. The battles that were fought in Kandahar Province in Southern Afghanistan were stories of extraordinary soldiers who risked their lives for the cause. Lions of Kandahar highlights the bravery of one such elite warrior, Captain Rusty Bradley who fought to reclaim the province in 2006 during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Bradley led his Special Forces A-team against a thousand seasoned Taliban fighters. The book talks about what happens next. According to book readers and critics, Rusty Bradley’s Lion of Kandahar is a powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan” with crisp narrative of what happened on that fateful day. Others said the book is “one of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.” Bradley talks about his personal battle and triumph through hell, and according to Time, through his book, “Bradley takes the reader into battle.”

8. The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander by Pete Blaber

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The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander
  • Cover shows heavy wear and has curled cornors. Pages show normal wear.
  • Blaber, Pete (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 09/07/2010 (Publication Date) - Dutton Caliber (Publisher)

The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander by Pete Blaber is a first-hand encounter of an elite Delta Force – Pete Blaber. This extremely brave warrior fought in some of the most dangerous, intriguing, and important military and political encounters, and lives to write about them. He shares details that only an insider would know, one that has intimate understanding of warfare and possesses the heart, mind, and spirit of a true fighter who would do what it takes to win. Blaber, however, takes a step further. The book talks about life not only in the combat zone, but also to the everyday life of a civilian. The book talks about the author’s experiences as a Delta Force Operator and the lessons he learned that is vital to life; lessons from which readers of the book will benefit. The book enlightens civilians about what it takes to win a war with insights that could only come from a Special Forces operative.

9. The Elite: The A–Z of Modern Special Operations Forces by Leigh Neville

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The Elite: The A–Z of Modern Special Operations Forces
  • Hardcover Book
  • Neville, Leigh (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 11/26/2019 (Publication Date) - Osprey Publishing (Publisher)

The Elite: The A–Z of Modern Special Operations Forces by Leigh Neville. Everybody loves a spy movie, a peek into a world of secrets, conspiracies, and warfare. The Elite is about all of these and more. It provides an insightful overview of Special Forces units around the world, including the Delta Force and SAS, with controversial and never-before-seen photographs to make one’s reading experience as real and visceral. With this book, Leigh Neville ushers readers into the secretive and esoteric world of modern Special Forces. Neville tells stories of real modern warfare in Iran and the recapture of the Iranian Embassy in London, stories that Hollywood producers would fight over the rights to create a movie. English special agent James Bond 007 comes to mind as the book takes a closer look at hi-tech four-tube night vision goggles worn by the SEALs, special parachutes used in covert operations, and other technologies, tactics and strategies known only by Special Forces.

10. Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military’s Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit by Charlie A. Beckwith

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Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military's Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit
  • William Morrow & Company
  • Beckwith, Charlie A (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 05/14/2013 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military’s Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit by Charlie A. Beckwith is an insider’s account of the US Army’s most elite and secretive special forces unit. The book provides an insider’s account of what it takes to be the best of the best. It is written by no less than the legendary founder and first commanding officer of Delta Force, Charlie Beckwith. The unit’s name itself is a stuff of legends. Delta Force is epitomized in movies, featuring extraordinary men with superhuman courage and fighting skills that are too good to be true. As a result, they have become legendary. The unit’s existence is so secretive and elite, it would seem that they have been made up by Hollywood. This book unravels the secrets and makes Delta Force accessible to everyone. Charlie Beck revolutionized American armed combat and his memoir provides a heart-pounding, first-person, insider’s view of what the legendary Delta Force is all about.

Best Special Forces Books

We all fight our own secret wars. We are heroes in our own respective rights and herein lies the universal appeal of stories, movies, and books about the courage, heroism, and indomitable spirit of Special Forces operators; men who fight for a cause and find ways to triumph despite overstocked odds. America’s Special Forces have fought and won wars around the world in the name of democracy and human dignity. They epitomize the best in each individual, one with extraordinary courage and the highest level of discipline. Hollywood made these special and elite warriors accessible, and rightfully so. Their stories deserve to be told and their bravery acknowledged because Special Forces are real-life superheroes. Special Forces were formed in response to the Second World War. To end the wars, armies needed men with superior valor and mental toughness. In the US, Special Forces include the Green Beret, Delta Force, SAS, and the like. They are engaged and called on for special military activities, mostly covert operations. They are a few select military personnel with special training and are equipped with unconventional tactics, techniques, and strategies. In other words, Special Forces operators are the best of the best, elite of the elites.

Final Thoughts: Best Special Forces Books

These are the 10 best books on Special Forces that will usher ushers into the covert world of elite warriors and real-life heroes. They present heroic narratives that are more amazing than fiction. Special Forces have penetrated enemy lines in the name of freedom and human dignity. They are people, flesh and blood like you and me, and these 10 books reveal how they became Special Forces. Their stories of bravery deserve to be told. It is now up to us, the readers, to pick up any, if not all of these intriguing titles and learn from what these amazing humans have learned the hard way.

Jamey Muller
Jamey is a 24-year-old living in Houston, Texas. He's an aspiring financial analyst with a passion for anything finance related. Over the last few years, he has taken many digital courses and read books on anything he's interested in. In his freetime he likes to hang out with his friends and likes to play video games.

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