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SOG Recon Team Habu

Green Beret Nick Brokhausen walks behind an indig team member while walking the Ho Chi Minh Trail trying to lure out an NVA soldier for prison snatch.


This is a really great shot of a CAR15 using a forward vertical fore grip made from a M16A1 grip. You can also see his ODs have been streaked with black spray paint and extra pockets added to the shirt sleeves. Common SOG recon modifications. People often ask why you don’t often see them wearing boonie hats. If you have ever been in the woods wearing a “boonie hat” and tried to pinpoint the direction a certain sound is coming from you will know.

Nick seems extremely casual to be walking what was one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The fellow SOG man who shared this photo says it is a result of Nick having taken too many “green hornets,” a powerful amphetamine issued to SOG recon team personnel for some missions. Like extremely dangerous POW snatch attempts. The pill reportedly ensured 24 hours of stamina with no need for sleep or eating.

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8 thoughts on “SOG Recon Team Habu”

  1. Awesome photo. Green hornet sounds like Pervatin 2.0. Saw a picture last night were some one had put one of those fore grips coming off the side. I’ll try to see if i can find it again.

    Reply
    • I really should emphasize how a lot of these Vietnam SOG pictures I share have not been seen before and are from these guys private collections. They post in a group on facebook of fellow SOG vets and they graciously allowed me to be a member

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  2. Gotta wonder just how much effect drugs had on history during the 20th. I’m pretty convinced of the thesis that WWII would have followed a drastically different course, had the Germans not had access to Pervitin during the invasion of France. Everyone says the French failed, but what actually went down was more like “French military and government had no idea what the Germans were capable of on Pervitin…”.

    One does wonder what WWI would have looked like, had the right wing of the Schlieffen Plan been as methed-up as the Wehrmacht was in ’41. My guess is that they’d have been in Paris before anyone knew what the hell was going on…

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      • It did, indeed. The French were prepared for normal human performance by their enemy; the Germans pulled Pervitin out of their hats, dosed the ever-loving shit out of their men with it, and the optempo they achieved blew the French out of the water.

        Supposedly, even just the movement through the Ardennes would have been virtually impossible without having issued meth to the troops, and having done that sort of long convoy operation, I can easily see that. Give ’em meth, they don’t need rest breaks, they don’t need to stop much at all. Chemically-enhanced is the way they rolled, and given that meth even increases aggression? The French were screwed.

        The more reading I’ve done, over the years, the more sympathy I have for them. They did a lot of things right, but they were also just enough behind the power curve of history that they had their defenses shattered like a diamond-cutter working a stone. Any other moment, we’d have probably seen a replay of WWI, but with the precise conditions there in ’41, we got what we got.

        Of course, that was also true of WWI. Few years earlier, and the Germans wouldn’t have had the Haber-Bosch process to make nitrates out thin air, and given their surreal ignorance of the necessities for war, they’d have run out of explosives before the Allies did. As it was, they only fortuitously captured stocks of nitrates on the docks in Antwerp that enabled them to bridge things over until the new chemical plants came on-line. If the war had started a few years later, with everyone having decent field radios and vehicles in sufficient quantity to allow for logistics to be freed from the tyranny of the rail…? Yeah; again, things would not have played out such that we would have likely seen the charnel house of the trenches.

        If the French and Brits had had the balls to stop Hitler in the Rheinland, or when he went for his other early treaty-violating moves, WWII would never have happened in the first place. As it was, they gave him just enough rope to allow for ’41, and then we got what we got. The Soviets played a role in the stupidity, as well–Had they not given Hitler the resources they did under the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty, the Battle of France would never have happened. So, when Barbarossa kicked off, that was pretty much karma kicking in their door, as well–They sowed, they reaped.

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        • The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact has been almost totally memory-holed. The Soviets were able to use their various propaganda organs post WWII in the US to retcon the war into the Soviets bravely standing alone against the Nazis while Churchill and Roosevelt dithered about opening a second front.

          Somehow it doesn’t get brought up anymore that the Communist organs in the US were strongly pro-war up until the M-R pact, then strongly anti-war after the pact, then strongly pro-war again after Barbarossa.

          That all got forgotten in the Soviet Hero narrative. Bleah.

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        • Kirk — I think you’re completely forgetting that Nazis capture of the Czech border fortifications allowed the Nazis to reverse engineer attacks on and destruction of those fortifications and fortresses, which were state of the art French engineering/designed by french engineers — and such design parameters also extended, generally, to forts on Belgium’s frontiers.

          For instance, at Fort Eben-Emael — while it’s true that gliders did provide a surprise, it’s the specialized explosives (and related tactics) that truly allowed the Nazis to destroy the fort’s defensive armaments and allow the fort to be taken by a force that was a fraction of the size it was designed to withstand… In fact, the Nazis even trained this attacking glider force on a full size mock-up in Czechoslovakia that was built around the Czech’s captured fortifications.

          Beyond the Czech’s loss of fortifications/that tech, the Munich Agreement also ultimately doubled the Nazi’s tanks, artillery, etc, (most more technologically advanced at the time) as the Czechs were forced to surrender, largely without combat, following the loss of their defensible border, despite Czech and Nazi armies being peers.

          Back to the point — chemical enhancement did allow more rapid exploitation of identified deficiencies, but it was truly the rapid defeat, beyond French military planners’ comprehension, that set the stage for the defeat. And without the successes in Northern Belgium, the southern invasion through Luxembourg likely would have at least been met with the bulk of France’s northern tank forces, if not the delay/slow progress of the Nazi’s northern attack allowing French forces to interdict the Nazi’s southern invasion forces further east than Sedan and reinforce the defenses around Sedan in the interim.

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