March 12, 2003, 07:43 PM
Has anyone read Silent Warrior by Charles Henderson? It could have been called Marine Sniper Part 2. It is more stories about Carlos Hathcock.
March 12, 2003, 10:32 PM
I have read it. Good book but not quite as good as the original. If you liked the other, be sure to read this one anyway.
Wish we had ole Carlos in the desert. Hope we have some budding ones. More power to 'em!
March 13, 2003, 04:59 AM
i will start by saying that i respect Gunnery Sgt, Carlos Hathcock's Bravery and his record (as in what the marine corps officially says he did,) and i feel that the text below does not degrade that shining exaple to all who come after him. my point lies with the WRITER, and the choices ect HE made. which Hathcock had no choice (nor real input) in.
remember folks Henderson himself admited that "Marine sniper" as it appears now is NOT how the original concept for the book was intended, it was meant to be more of a compilation of experiences of SEVERAL Snipers. but the editors told him to cut it down to a smaller volume. so he took his most charismatic character and made all the good stories revolve around HIM. YES hathcock made the long shot with the M2 and a scope, the incident of shooting the Viet sniper through his own scope is confirmed.
but, many of the rest unfortunately fall in to the three following categories. Wasn't Hathcock that did it but real shooter was KIA before end of tour (or otherwise unable to complain), was an unconfirmed (but sellable) RUMOR that revolved around Hathcock (Carlos WAS known in Marine match and precision shooting circles), or was a complete fabriocation that the Marine Corps allowed to fly b/c it SOUNDED good (or even created to have placed in the book, for the PR/recruitment value).
remember also that Gunny Hathcock almost NEVER commented on the varicity of the claims made by Henderson. and even then only on the incidents for which there is some outside confirmation (after action reports, etc). and also that Silent warrior did NOT come out till after Carlos Hathcock passed away (sorry that's a bit of a give away to me, now no one can actually TALK to the subject of the book to prove or disprove).
better (more accurate, ie not written to impress) accounts of Vietnam (and other) Era snipers are provided by reading the following books.
Dear Mom: a sniper's vietnam by Joseph T. Ward, (contains contact with/accounts of the real USMC top sniper Chuck Mahinney, through Ward being assigned to the same sniper platoon before Mahinney left to become a door gunner)
Sniper in the Arizona, and 13 Cent Killers By John Culbertson (the second book is actually VERY and i mean SCREAMINGLY critical of the Henderson books as bordering on BS, and says WHY "marine sniper" has an at least partial ring of fictionalization to it for every man interveiwed for the writing of 13 cent killers)
One shot, One kill by Charles W. Sasser (highly recomend this one, an over veiw of the whole gammut of operations)
the "SNIPER" books by Adrian Gilbert (each is titled starting with sniper then subtitled "the world of combat sniping" "the weapons, skills, adn the experiences" ect.) also Stalk and Kill by the same Author, all are objectivie look at the history, art, equipment, ect of the deadly world of sniping/military shrpshooting
Insde the crosshairs: snipers in vietnam. By Michael Lee Lanning
i've read all of the above except for one or two of the Adrian Gilbert books, and they are all in my oppinion good reads and unlike when i (re)read the henderson books, i felt as if the wroiter was treating his subject as Human instead of SUPERhuman.
if you;ve ONLY read the henderson books i HIGHLY suggest that you read at Least "dear Mom", "one shot one kill" and the Gilbert books.
there is another book on the subject of USMC snipers in vietnma that was a good read, but unlike the list above it's author decide to be rather self-agrandizing, so it loses the "truth over 'sounds cool' " recomendation.
as i said Marine sniper was a good read, but now that i'm out of High School and reading such books for historical value, info, insight. well it falls flat. the only thing that keeps it out of the same category as "and a hard rain fell...." (the biggest repackaging of vietnam rumors adn urban myths to ever hit the shelf) is the fact that 80% of the book IS provable, but simply embellished and fitted around one instead of many shooters.
ok i've got my asbestos long johns on you can flame away, but before you do make sure that you actually read the Henderson books, with a critical eye toward "does this incident SOUND like it might be BS/too fantastic to be true?? (lone white boy crawling through a nation covered in armed, pissed off asians who know the land WAY better than he EVER will, and Living to tell the tale) if so, Does henderson tell me where to find his sources, can this be proven by those outside sources.??" way too many times the answer to question one will be YES, and the answers to the rest will be NO. this is a sign of "this don't add up" and therefore it shold be taken with more than just a grain of salt.
March 13, 2003, 06:26 AM
*ahem* do I smell a flamer?
Hehe- I've read One Shot One Kill, and Sniper (skills/weapons/exp) by Adrian Gilbert. I both found them to be an interesting read. Good enough for me. As for Gunnery Sgt, Carlos Hathcock, he could probably shoot better than me, and chances are, he could out-shoot you, Detritus. This is pointless rambling. 4:19AM it is. Yes.
March 13, 2003, 11:35 AM
I know Hathcock could outshoot me. I never said he couldn't.
My problem and beef has to do with how Charles Henderson took the stories of many men and used them to portray Hathcock as a sniper god. He was great, granted, but even Hathcock didn't want to be up on that pedestal. He always viewed his skill as a job and nothing more.
And also, my complaints about the content of the book have nothing to do with the description of Hathcocks marksmanship, they have to do with descriptions that Henderson uses to put Hathcock into the picture to take a particular shot. Henderson has a great imagination for a good story, but he forgets to put the rest of the supporting troops and arms into the picture WITH Hathcock. Even as great as Hathcock was he was not suicidal enough or stupid enough to put himself in the lone situations that Henderson portrays him in.
The picture is a scream, my wife is still cackling. Of course she thinks that I vent flame like a JATO.
March 13, 2003, 12:14 PM
Read it for fun, not for academic purposes. Sure better reading reading than the toothpaste tube.
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