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Saturday, 3 December 2011

December 2011, still in the IANS Books Non-Fiction Top Ten, and I adore "Seal Team Six"

Thank you so much buying public, in India, the book is still in the IANS top ten non-fiction list for the week of December 1st 2011. I see that the books move around the list somewhat but to stay up in this reputed lists of bestsellers is a real honour. Clearly many are finding the book of interest!

I would love to get time to read all the other books in the top ten. How long does it take you to read a book?

I am absolutely rivetted at the moment by "Seal Team Six, Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper" authored by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin.

The level of detail in the book in itself is fascinating; the kind of guns and equipment used, where the Navy Seals place them on their bodies, what face camouflage is used and when, how the helicopters need to compensate or risk danger when they are letting the Seals drop down by rope, these matters and many more make up the bread and meat of an incredible narrative. Wasdin turns out to be a Seal par excellence, not only because of his strength and physical abilities, but because of something he learnt at a young age due to a brutal stepfather who belted him at the drop of a hat-sometimes for no fathomable reason at all.

Wesdin says quite frankly that he learnt as a child to control his feelings to the extent that he could block out the pain of excessive beatings, which were so severe that they marked his body for lengthy periods. It gave him the ability to withstand the various training stages he went through in the US navy as he climbed higher in the elite forces to eventually reach his zenith. He could stand having his body drop to near freezing temperatures for a long time, he could manage sleep deprivation, hunger and complex procedures deep underwater with his hands tied behind his back because none of it, he says, compared to being woken up in the middle of the night when he was fast asleep and being beaten without logic or explanation.

He also writes of being taught in the Seals to only exercise the level of violence that was strictly required on the ground; unneccesary killing is not encouraged. And on one operation, he describes vividly about when he fed 14 captured starving enemy soldiers his own rations, and how he learnt to see the humanity in those he was fighting.

I would love to know what you think of "Seal Team Six" or if you have any similar recommendations.

1 comment:

Italia said...

The Navy Seal training was intense but the combat was surreal at times especially in Mogadishu. I can only Thank Mr. Wasdin for his service to his country and am truly grateful for what he did. Again politic's didn't let the job get done but that doesn't diminish what the troops did in Mogadishu. To those doubting the credibility of Mr. Wasdin I suppose you also believe Bin Laden is alive too. This is a must read you will not be disappointed.