THE SCORPION SQUAD #1 BODY COUNT BY ERIC HELM

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tarzan

Copyright 1984

A lonely hill near the Cambodian border is transformed overnight. Three hundred men are working to construct special forces camp A-555 nicknamed the Triple-nickel. Captain Mack Gerber and his A-team of green berets are advising several hundred Vietnamese popular forces, ARVN special forces and Tai mercenaries. The mission is to establish a presence in territory that has long been ruled by the Viet Cong. The Cong know that once the camp is finished it will be nearly impossible to dislodge the Americans presence in the region. So a regiment of VC are assembling across the border in Cambodian to strike while the camp is still vulnerable. Gerber has to not only fight the VC but the incompetence of the South Vietnamese allies and his own general.

The first book in a new series. There is no Scorpion Squad. Its never mentioned in the book. I guess it was some marketer who came up with the title. Figured it sounded cool. I suppose it does but a very inaccurate title for this series. I will say that it is still one of the finest Vietnamese action series ever written. It takes place in 1964 before any large scale American commitment and the US forces were still mainly in an advisory capacity. It shows the myriad problems with the conflict. The impunity that the enemy was allowed to operate in Cambodia without fear of reprisal. The incompetence of the South Vietnamese. The commander of the ARVN would rather lay around in a hammock and drink cocktails. And then there is the general who constantly calls Gerber back to Saigon so he can berate him for fighting the enemy because according to intelligence there is no enemy in the area.

A very good start to a long running series about the Vietnam war. In addition to plenty of action it was very educational about the conflict. Eric Helm was a pen name for two veterans and it had an authenticity about it and also always includes a glossary at the back for all the military terms.

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