This book is written by a 5th Marine Sniper veteran from Vietnam, which is both good and bad. The good part is that it is coming from someone who was there and is the real deal, and for that alone the book is probably worth reading. But I will be honest and say that the book is more a culmination of unrelated short stories, or experiences, of the 5th Marine Snipers in late 1966 and early 1967, and is not a historical account. It can be difficult to follow as the stories are not necessarily in chronological order and typically do not relate to each other from one chapter to the next. The writing is not the greatest as there are a few too many “… the enemy’s head exploded like a smashed pumpkin” references as well as some odd inconsistencies like referring to the 173gr bullet and then in another chapter referring to it as a 168gr bullet, without any sort of explaining of why they may have been using 168’s (I don’t believe they ever did). Beyond that, the separate stories/chapters are good for giving an account of what it was like to be a combat sniper on the Vietnam battlefield and Mr. Culbertson certainly deserves credit for sharing the experiences of the 5th Marine Snipers, and for that, despite the books shortcomings, it is worth the read.

 

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