Michael E. Haas


Haas, Michael E. [COL/USAF (Ret.)]. Apollo's Warriors: U.S. Air Force Special Operations During the Cold War. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 1997. Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2002. [pb]

To Crear, AIJ 18.1&2, this account of the activities of Air Commando and Air Special Operations Squadrons "is well organized by time and place.... It is well written and generously illustrated." Seamon, Proceedings 124.9 (Sep. 1998), finds that the illustrations go beyond the merely decorative and "add immeasurably to almost every anecdote." He believes that the author has told the story of the Air Force Special Operations Force "with a novelist's art and the authority of a trained historian."

[MI/AF/SpecOps & Spec/Ops]

Haas, Michael E. [COL/USAF (Ret.)]. "The Clandestine Services in Korea: 1950-1953." Intelligencer 14, no. 2 (Winter-Spring 2005): 97-103.

The author surveys the problems and ultimate failure in the use of unconventional warfare in Korea.


Haas, Michael E. [COL/USAF (Ret.)] In the Devil's Shadow: U.N. Special Operations during the Korean War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000.

Clark comment: In the interest of truth in reviewing, I should note that I was one of the prepublication reviewers for this work and am quoted on the dust jacket thereof. That said:

Haas provides a cautionary tale of why unconventional forces under the control of conventional leadership can be a mix deadly to the unconventional participants, especially if they are non-Americans. The same panoply of political-military problems that Haas so clearly details as plaguing unconventional planning and execution in Korea was revisited when the United States tried to mix conventional and unconventional warfare in Vietnam.

While a number of recent books have taken readers inside the tactical aspects of specific unconventional warfare elements operating during the Korea War, Haas gives us a broader picture that places on-the-ground activities within their political-military context. His efforts to address the "why" questions alongside the "what" -- to dig deeper than mere description -- advance our understanding of the Korean War as a whole.

For Sinnett, NIPQ 16.4, the author "follows the actual experiences of [the various allied special forces] in a very informative and interesting way.... This book ... should be of interest to anyone trying to understand what we were doing in Korea." Boose, Parameters, Summer 2002, finds that Haas "vividly describes the daring operations and the problems of organization and coordination" in special operations in Korea. Although it has "some repetition and chronological confusion," overall the work "is a readable account and ... the most thorough single-volume description of Korean War special operations to date."

Mercado, I&NS 15.4, says that In the Devil's Shadow "has much to recommend it. The author offers in a single volume an accounting of the various organizations, officers, and operations involved in special operations. While one risks losing one's way in the book's jumble of military acronyms and organizations, the book offers a compact description of each major player in the bureaucratic competition."

To Stewart, JFQ 119 (Spring-Summer 2001), the author gets "the most out of available evidence. He has put together a lively and readable book that helps fill one of the largest voids in the history of the Korean War.... Where the account is found wanting, it is often from lack of data rather than lack of effort or failure in interpretation.... In the Devil's Shadow should be read if for no other reason than for its account of the bureaucratic backbiting and its operational consequences."

Lint, Military Intelligence 30.2 (Apr.-Jun. 2004), notes that the author "discusses both the intelligence and the partisan insertion operations and problems. He points out that both operations used the same techniques; however, the doctrinal lines were not clear on operational coordination, actual location of partisan operations, and the relationships between the G2 and G3. He also brings to light the organizational bickering between the new Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Army, and General MacArthur’s headquarters."


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