Across the Fence: Expanded Edition: The Secret War in Vietnam Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
For eight years, far beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the glare of media distortions, American Green Berets fought a deadly secret war in Laos and Cambodia under the aegis of the top secret Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group, or SOG.
Go deep into the jungle with five SOG warriors surrounded by 10,000 enemy troops as they stack up the dead to build a human buttress for protection. Witness a Green Beret, shot in the back four times and left for dead, who survives to fight savagely against incredible odds to complete his missions.
Shudder as an enemy soldier touches a Green Beret’s boot in the dark of night. Cringe as a Sergeant on SOG Spike Team Louisiana calls in an air strike on his team to break an enemy’s wave attack. A team member dies instantly, and a Green Beret has an out-of-body experience as he watches his leg get blown off.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 34 minutes|
|Author||John Stryker Meyer|
|Narrator||John Stryker Meyer|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 27, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#6,278 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#5 in Vietnam War Biographies (Audible Books & Originals)
#7 in Vietnam War
#20 in Vietnam War Biographies (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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We are fortunate that any one of these men survived to tell about what they did. I'll read it again (probably many times 'again') and I'm sure that each time it will be just as unbelievable to me that at that time, faced with the knowledge of what was happening 'back home' and with the stupid restrictions place on them by politicians and careerist superiors, they still did an almost suicidal job.
Top reviews from other countries
Across the Fence is necessarily light on detail, but gives an excellent insight into what the small teams faced, crossing in secret into enemy territory, in compete deniability. The teams were also usually massively outnumbered.
I have the utmost respect for these teams
Amazing men doing an unbelievable task in a horrific environment.
The story flowed well and went from mission to mission seemlessly.
If I had one quibble with the story it's that some of the missions didn't seem to have a core goal/task. Although their primary task is reconnaissance. There was a couple of times where I felt they were being put into the jungle to walk around without a specified target task. Though this information may be omitted for other reasons.
Very very enjoyable.
When I think about special forces operations today I think covert, silently in silently out with the odd Bravo Two Zero style mission where special forces operatives are discovered and have to fight for their lives.
What became quickly apparent was that American special forces operating 'over the fence' (that is in supposedly neutral countries bordering Vietnam) fighting for their lives was a regular experience. Quite often the missions were compromised before they even got going, leading to massive fire fights and death or evacuation for the special forces.
The book also highlights the incredible bravery of the native South Vietnamese troops that formed part of the combat teams, and also flew the kingbee helicopters transporting the teams at great personal risk. It also shows the ordinary soldiers respect for the (sometimes suicidal) bravery and tenacity of the NVA.
The book also, for me, highlights the futility of this war because in all of the missions that are recounted in the book virtually none seemed to achieve a great deal - even though many men on both sides died. This is not to denigrate in any way the remarkable bravery of the special forces troops, but the conditions they were operating in made major successes very difficult to achieve.
As for the quality of writing, well this is a soldiers memoirs not a great literary novel and so it is just fine and rattles along at a decent pace.
All in all if you are interested in this sort of thing, well worth a read.
This book, like SOG, brilliantly describes what it was like for a team of 6 to 8 men, to creep silently through the jungle in 'Charlie's backyard', gathering intelligence and, if lucky enough, capturing a prisoner. If all went well, the enemy would never know they were there. Invariably, with the odds of remaining undetected stacked massively against them, the men of SOG had to fight for their lives.
The actions, bravery and sacrifices described in this book are astounding. If this were a work of fiction, the author would be criticised for inventing scenarios that were just too incredible and unbelievable. When you are reminded that the events described actually happened and that there were men willing to take these risks and act with such bravery, it is awe inspiring.