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Old 28 January 2008, 21:52
MailBuoy MailBuoy is offline
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Anybody read Operation Broken Reed

Operation Broken Reed: Truman's Secret North Korean Spy Mission That Averted World War III?

A coworker told me about it. Pretty amazing story. A group of Rangers, Intel types and UDT guys pose as a captured B-29 crew being escorted by friendly asian troops posing as Chinese Communist guards. They move across Communist Asia reporting on the Chinese and Russian military buildup just when Truman is thinking about escalating the war.
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Old 28 January 2008, 22:52
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Review on Amazon.com:

"By Wayne Lusvardi "Wayne Lusvardi" (Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews

I agree totally with the above book review with the exception that Lt. Col. Boyd unfortunately picked a professional writer, Michael Peterson, who, according to Wikipedia, during a run for mayor of Durham, North Carolina, inflated his past military record; and now sits in prison on a life sentence for murder of his wife, which Boyd discloses in his book. Conversely, it is reported that some 50 persons reviewed the book, most of whom he names at the end of the book. An afterward, written by a Jay T. Young, former analyst for the CIA and Naval officer in Naval Intelligence, also helps corroborate the story. Boyd has a section of the book where he exhorts those who were involved with Operation Broken Reed to come forward to confirm the story. Unfortunately, I could not find a website for this book or author where such first person corroborations could be found. The book is not written to glorify the author but to tell a story. You be the judge."

I'm somewhat skeptical of this account. Needs corroboration.
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Old 28 January 2008, 23:06
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Tracy,
I saw that review which is why I posted the link. But I found this and decided the book needed more examination;

"The book is not written to glorify the author but to tell a story. You be the judge."

I will read it for free as a co-worker has it though it might be weeks before I get the chance.
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Old 25 February 2008, 21:04
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I'm reading the book now.

The book is more 'polished' than I was expecting. However, if the manuscript has been through the forge of a publisher, a professional co-author, and review by those listed at end of the book, the prose and the story have withstood a test.

I think we've all see a lot of books that were just BS from page one that somehow was labeled as non-fiction. This does not seem to fit the mold.

The author responds to the Wayne Lusvardi review....

Quote:
Arthur L. Boyd says:
From Lt. Col. Arthur L. Boyd, author of Operation Broken Reed.

I feel compelled to comment on the review by Wayne Lusvardi. I greatly appreciate his straightforward positive coments and five star rationg concerning the book, but wish to set the record straight in regard to two issues.

The first relates to his statement, "....Lt. Col. Boyd unfortunately picked a professional writer....etc." The fact remains that my only connection with Mike was in regard to his being my story-writing mentor. I didn't "pick" Mike. I contacted Mike following the recommendation of a Harper Collins Publishing editor and my book agent in New York. After submitting my manuscript to Harper it was decided that I required the service of a prolific writer to assist me in the rewrite of the manuscript. Mike had written several best seller books, including "A Time of War." I did not consider Mike's previous political woes, nor his previous military service as a highly decorated U. S. Marine, nor his being under indictment for murder. My sole motive in working with Mike was to capture his writing expertise in making the story readable, accurate, humanized and alive. But most of all, I wanted to assure that the written story will fulfill a goal of honoring brave men who gave their lives to accomplish the mission. To that end, my goal was realized.

I received strong advice to not establish a website for this book or author where such first person corroboration could be found; rather to have anyone who had a part in the mission to go through the publisher in order to make their participation known.

Funds from the sell of Operation Broken Reed will be used to carrry out an extensive search for the true identity of the other nine intelligence team members. Should relations with North Korea continue to improve, I intend to lead a search under the blessing of the MIA/POW agency in Washington D.C. to locate the remains of my comrades that were abandonded along a frozen North Korean road and bring them home for burial on American soil.
I'll post a more formal review when I complete this.
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Old 10 August 2009, 13:25
hugh_ct hugh_ct is offline
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RetPara,
Did you ever make it through this book? The issue of it's veracity has recently been raised in cyptologic history circles. I haven't been able to read it as of yet and I was wondering what your opinion of it was?
My instinct is that it's a little far fetched.
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Old 10 August 2009, 19:07
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Has anyone seen a copy of "The Seven Fingers"? I don't know the author, though it's about the rescue mission to retrieve Gary Powers through Laos. It took four years for the surviving team members to extricate themselves from Laos.

I haven't been able to find this book anywhere; it's out of print.
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Old 10 August 2009, 20:45
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Are you talking about The Five Fingers by Gayle Rivers?
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Old 10 August 2009, 20:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh_ct View Post
RetPara,
Did you ever make it through this book? The issue of it's veracity has recently been raised in cyptologic history circles. I haven't been able to read it as of yet and I was wondering what your opinion of it was?
My instinct is that it's a little far fetched.
Far fetched is a good description. I read the book from cover to cover. The way the book ended, with the never speak of it again type thing TODAY; that immediately brings poser to mind. However, about a week or two ago, there was a show on the Military Channel called The Great Escape: The Final Chapter. That detailed the US effort along with the English effort to aid and communicate with WWII POW's. Those who were part of MIS-X were sworn to secrecy for life. But one person did break that oath and lectured within the Intell Community about it.

There are a few books out there about that effort.

So while the mission and oath of secrecy is possible; it remains a far fetched possibility since only the author and a couple of others survived. Its a good story and a good read.
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Old 10 August 2009, 21:27
Max Power Max Power is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetPara View Post
Are you talking about The Five Fingers by Gayle Rivers?
Just for reference -

http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=4445
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Old 10 August 2009, 22:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetPara View Post
Are you talking about The Five Fingers by Gayle Rivers?
You may be right... If I recall correctly it was 7 fingers; I AM okay with being wrong (if I am), however. I'd just like to read the book.

And thanks for the reference Max

Last edited by Psi Brr; 10 August 2009 at 22:32.
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Old 14 November 2010, 00:01
Northman Northman is offline
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Technical questions

I found Operation Broken Reed interesting, but found some serious plausibility questions in the technical communications descriptions.

1. The frequency range used to communicate was unstated but clearly had to be UHF or at least VHF to be able to transmit while on the move with an inconspicuous antenna. This conclusion is also supported in the fact that the communication went to an aircraft, not a ground station.

2. Why did the North Koreans not detect the signal and DF it? Was the frequency so far out of any expected communication frequency range that they had no way to intercept it or no expectation to find anything there. This again supports the UHF frequency range, but it seems odd that nobody stumbled onto it. The transmitting antenna couldn't have been highly directional because the senders didn't know where the aircraft was -- except up. Also a highly directional antenna, even at UHF, would be physically conspicuous. I kept waiting for some details on frequency and antenna from this experienced communications officer to add plausibility, but there were none.

3. Transmission was hand-sent Morse for up to two hours at a time?? What kind of COMSEC/OPSEC is that?? There were burst devices available at that time. They could afford a crypto machine, but not a burst device? This makes no sense.

Finally a question that isn't technical. There was only one survivor on the ground. OK, but how many survivors of this operation were there in the air?
If this really happened, there must be somebody else out there who was part of it.
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