Ranger Up Book Reviews: Dead Eagles by Phil Ward
Dead Eagles, by Phil Ward, is about dead Nazis. That’s the basics of it. It’s a somewhat lighthearted rampage through a stagnant war; the era of World War II in which the Battle of Britain was winding down but America had not officially entered to unleash our own brand of ass whippings.
The novel, written by Phil Ward, tries to be serious from time to time, but dry and slightly twisted humor stands out more. At times the action sequences are a little too convenient, but Mr. Ward (a former Ranger and Vietnam veteran) still obviously knows his tactics. The reader trails along in a sort of right seat ride with the leadership of Raiding Forces, a small British Special Operations Unit led by an American, Major John Randal. Their job; to make life a living hell for Nazis through things that would be considered terrorism nowadays; things like assassination, kidnapping, and piracy. But hey, the victims were Nazis so I certainly wasn’t feeling any pacifistic indignation. I think most of society, with the exception of some goose stepping idiots out there, agrees that Nazis are fair game for any kind of fictional violence that human creativity can come up with.
The basic plot follows Major Randal as he leads Raiding Forces on several smaller missions leading up to what the reader might expect to be the climax, capturing a German war ship out of a neutral port. But, of course, there is a twist at the end in the form of a slightly unexpected blood bath. Though it’s a little short on the personal lives of the characters, there is plenty of action and adventure and some military history. The book stays faithful to the weapons and tactics of the era and the soldiers we now call the Greatest Generation.
Having had a past obsession with World War II history myself, it was enough to keep my attention. My only real complaint was the lack of enlisted men in the story. The main characters were all officers or civilians, and they got most of the action as well as all of the female attention. As an NCO myself though, I will admit I’m a little biased in that area. Therefore, I can’t begrudge the author, a former Army Officer, the right to throw his fictional officers a bone… and some girls… and all the action…
You can find Dead Eagles on Amazon here.