Combat! Books


In the '60s and early '70s, Whitman published a series of hardcover books based on TV shows. These books are aimed at a young audience and vary in quality. Most books involve a child character in the plot.

Combat! The Counterattack

Information provided by Nancy Durgin
(Photo provided by: Donald Papp of Detroit

  • Publisher: Whitman
  • The one Whitman Combat! book is titled "Counterattack!" For a Whitman book, the story quality is pretty good -- certainly worthwhile reading for any Combat! fan. The plot involves a young French boy who tags after the squad, to the delight of all the squad members except for Saunders, who suspects the boy might be a traitor.

This book is out of print, but is available at many used book stores. It is easy to find. Expect to pay about $8 to $15 for a copy in excellent condition.


Lancer Books published three Combat! paperbacks during the show's run. The first book had a red cover, the second a white, the third a blue, giving the colors of the US flag.


Information provided by Lee Glaeser
(Photo provided by: Dave Sanders

  • by Harold Calin
  • A Lancer Books paperback, 70-042
  • Copyright 1963 by Selmur Productions, Inc.
  • 160 pages.
  • COVER: black-and-white photo of Hanley on front cover, Saunders on back cover.

LEE'S ONE-LINE DESCRIPTION: A slightly wounded Hanley finds romance in Paris in this error-filled, third-rate novel.

Front Cover Copy

The front cover has small white lettering "Lancer Books 70-042"; original price was 40 cents. Larger, red lettering proclaims "From the exciting ABC-Television hit comes this new, original story." Then, in inch-high letters "COMBAT!" followed by, in medium-sized white lettering on Hanley's helmet "A story of fighting men ... and their women."

Back Cover

The black-and-white photo of Saunders on the rear cover must be from "A Day in June". His helmet is chalkmarked "PA 142". He is holding an M1 rifle and is behind a beach obstacle. Text, rear cover, small black lettering on red reads:

"From the slow, nerve-shattering crawl across a mined no-man's land to the wild, frenetic charge against the entrenched enemy, COMBAT gives you the true feeling of war. An original novel based on the highly rated ABC-TV show, this taut story follows the life and loves of Lt. Gil Hanley and his men as they battle for another yard of ground, and for survival ..."

Plot Summary

Hanley fights in a confused, poorly written action sequence in the Huertgen forest in Germany with Corporal Cadron [Caje!], Private Braddock, a Sgt. Saunders who keeps calling him "Gil", and a bunch of expendables for about 30 pages. Wounded in the arm, Hanley is evacuated to Paris, where he runs into Subaltern Sidney Rider, a young lady he had met in England. But he could not talk to her then, because he was only a lowly Sergeant. All obstacles removed, the rest of the book is devoted to a particularly poorly written romance that concentrates far too much on French streets names, and oddly, shoes. Hanley returns to the front just in time for the Battle of the Bulge, and the tragic end to the novel.


  • Company is listed as K Company, 12th Battalion, 222nd Infantry (page 35) --- there are only 3 Battalions in a Regiment, and we all know they are in the 361st.
  • All measurements in millimeters presented wrong, the german "88's" called (wrongly) ".88's".
  • Saunders calling Hanley "Gil," and Hanley allowing it.
  • Language is surprising crude in spots for a book written in 1963, PG-13, perhaps an R rating. (I will not supply examples.)
  • And many more....

COMBAT! Men, Not Heroes.


Photo provided by: Dave Sanders

  • by Harold Calin
  • Lancer Books, 70-060. 1963. 127pp
  • Color photo of Lt Hanley on front cover.
  • Title page reads COMBAT II: Men, Not Heroes.
  • This book is particularly prized by fans of Lieutenant Hanley. Somewhat hard to find, but can be obtained by the patient collector.

COMBAT! No Rest For Heroes


Photo provided by: Dave Sanders

  • by Harold Calin
  • Lancer Books, 72-910. 1965. 160pp
  • Drawing on front cover; small black-and-white photo of Hanley & Saunders on back cover.

    This book is somewhat difficult to find, extremely difficult to find in Fine Condition. Use the search box below to check used online bookstores for availability. Expect to pay $5 to $15 in fair to excellent condition. In Fine condition, you can pay from $25 to $50.

Collector Books about "Combat!"

"Combat! A Viewer's Companion to the Classic TV Series" by Jo Davidsmeyer has a section about collectibles with color photos. It is out of print. A revised version is scheduled to be released May, 2002.

TV Toys and the Shows That Inspired Them
"Colonel Clyde" from the CombatFan discussion groups suggests this book:

I came across an interesting little book entitled "TV Toys and the Shows That Inspired Them." This book mentioned most of the shows from the '60s, the toys that were produced and current values. Here's some of what they had to say about our favourite squad members. ..."It was the first war show of the sixties. It was dark. It was gritty. It was COMBAT. Rick Jason, a man never heard from again, starred as Lt. Gil Hanley. Quickly upstaging Jason was a new rising star named Vic Morrow, who starred as Sgt. Chip Saunders..." The author did go on to mention the games, books and playsets, etc., that were issued and anyone that has a complete Official Combat Playset might be interested in knowing it's worth approximately $250.00! Guess it's the memories that go along with them that are priceless. Col. Clyde

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