The Majestic Twelve: The True Story of the Most Feared Combat Escort Unit in Baghdad

Jack W. Lynch, II, Author, Rick Lynch, With with Rick Lynch. St. Martin's/Dunne $25.99 (324p) ISBN 978-0-312-56121-5

One unexpected aspect of the Iraq war was how quickly it developed into a struggle for control of the roads against an enemy increasingly expert in every kind of ambush technique, from remote-controlled improvised explosive devices to civilian-screened ambushes. Not for a century had U.S. forces' responses been so correspondingly ad hoc. Lynch, a retired master sergeant, is a marine of the old school who brought 23 years' experience as an infantryman to the problem. His solution was to create a convoy security force, the Majestic Twelve (which borrowed its name from the purported committee of scientists formed to investigate UFO activity). They were volunteers, individualists impatient with the routines of straight duty and bonded by a mission. The team made over 200 escort runs, never lost a man, and had a set of dramatic combat experiences and run-ins with higher authorities. Lynch, however, controls his narrative by blunt honesty about even his sexual urges after a fight. This is a useful addition to a growing body of Iraq War combat literature. 10 b&w photos. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!