First SEALs
Patrick K. O'Donnell

Book cover image

Narrated By: John Pruden

Duration: 7 hours and 3 minutes

What to expect

From bestselling author Patrick K. O'Donnell comes the untold story of World War II's first special operations combat swimmers—the forerunners of today's Navy SEALs.

In the summer of 1942, an extraordinary group of men—among them a dentist, a medical student, a Hollywood star, an archaeologist, a British commando, and even former enemies of the Allies—formed an exceptional unit that would later become the US Navy's Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams. Known as the Maritime Unit, it comprised America's first swimmer-commandos, an elite breed of warrior-spies who were decades ahead of their time when they created the tactics, technology, and philosophy that live on in the Navy SEALs and shape the battlefield of today.

During the war, the unit conducted some of the most daring operations behind enemy lines, but after the war its astonishing record was classified, lost, and buried—until now. In First SEALs, Patrick K. O'Donnell tells the remarkable story of World War II's Maritime Unit—one of the greatest untold stories of World War II.


Special and elite forces, Military history, Second World War, Military history

Listen to a sample

“Well researched and very well told, First SEALs is a rousing tale of wartime derring-do that puts the navy’s current special warfare units in firm historical perspective—an absolute must-read.”

Stephen Harding, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Battle

“A fantastic story of the first SEALs—brilliantly told! A must-read.”

Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author

“A great American writer.”

Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author, praise for the author

“Patrick O’Donnell has set the gold standard for war histories rich in color, drama, and detail.”