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3 Commando Brigade [Paperback]

Ewen Southby-Tailyour
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 May 2009

'The 3 Commando Brigade's six month deployment in Helmand Province was among the finest pieces of soldiering I have come across' General Sir Richard Dannett, Chief of General Staff

In October 2006, the Royal Marine Commandos took up their six month tour of duty in war-torn Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan - the toughest and hottest war zone on earth. After the tactical retreat of their predecessors, the Paras, the Marines knew they would have to take a different approach to have any chance of success. So they took the war to the enemy. Roving and aggressive, the Commandos forced the insurgent Taliban on to the back foot. As a result, they were involved in daily fire fights of an intensity not encountered by British troops since North Korea.

3 Commando Brigade is a thrilling first-hand account of that dogged, heroic pursuit of the Taliban by the ordinary Marines, sailors and soldiers responsible. It is a story of valour, fortitude, supreme physical and mental fitness, and unrivalled professionalism under the most testing of circumstances. The account explodes from the first page with Operation Glacier, a graphic, no-holds-barred account of a Commando attack on a key Taliban base south of Garmsir - a battle that ends with the dramatic recovery of a Corporal's body from alongside the fort by Apache helicopters. From this opening salvo the action never lets up, offering a startlingly honest account of the war in Afghanistan as told by the junior officers, corporals and marines on the ground.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091926963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091926960
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 12.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Masterly... To say that the story is 'action-packed' is an understatement" (HRH Prince Philip)

Book Description

A heartstopping account of the men of 3 Commando and the six months of brutal combat they faced in Afghanistan

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herrick 5 1 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well written account of 3 Commando Brigade's tour of duty in Helmand; one that we've already seen on Chris Terril's COMMANDO. The author (an old Falklands hand) balances some ripping tales of valour with an account of what the Brigade was trying to do on a more operational and strategic level. You see how the individual actions fitted in to the overall picture. At a chapter a month you see the operation unfold with lots of planning and lots of action. Kit-heads will find lots to enjoy as will those who wonder how the blazes you fight an enemy like the Taliban; very professionally, seems to be the answer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing historical account 30 Aug 2013
By I bite
This book was a gift and I went into it with an open mind, not knowing exactly what to expect. Having read some of the previous reviews, I can understand why some people found it dull but not to me. I like the Patrick Bishop type of factual novel such as '3 PARA' and 'Ground Truth' but this book falls into a different genre and should be judged in that light.
It really does highlight the tough conditions in which our troops work in Afghanistan but doesn't over-dramatise the hardships. It is factual and matter-of-fact which paradoxically heightens the drama and makes it all the more real.
We are blessed in the UK with some very courageous soldiers who do their duty even when the outcome seems pointless. The hope is that enough damage will be done to the Taliban's command and control structure coupled with a huge loss of life amongst their warriors that it will bring about a political solution to the troubles in Afghanistan but reading between these lines it is all too evident that any minor gains will soon be lost.
It is a factual and realistic account of 3 Commando's six-month tour or duty in Helmand in 2006 and is a well-written contribution to the historical bibliography of the Afghan conflict.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay 4 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not the most gripping account of wartime but not to bad either....worth a look if you have a specific interest in the area covered
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dry, disjointed, disappointing 19 Aug 2009
By Mr. Tristan Martin VINE VOICE
Military historian and retired Royal Marines Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour has written in 3 Commando Brigade, a rather dry and uninteresting book that I would generously characterise as modest in its' retelling of events in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2006.

In the author's notes at the end of the book, Southby-Tailyour thanks a colleague in helping to shape his manuscript "... into something more appealing to a wider audience... from 'niche market' to 'mass market'." This was not achieved. 3 Commando Brigade remains the work of a military historian. Perhaps this book will become invaluable as a source for future historians but as a book in its' own right, it does not succeed.

There is no dramatic narrative to this book, though perhaps that is the author's intention - to remove any 'glamour' from the awful truth of the battlefield. However, neither are there any strong characters to this book. Names occasionally repeat but not to the point of familiarity, stories are told and fragments of scenes are depicted but nothing really holds together. Firefights that take hours are skimmed over rapidly. The book becomes self-limited as a collection of disjointed non-linear recollections and quotes.

Despite the author, one still leaves this book with a tremendous admiration for the determination of the soldiers involved, though also quite strongly, that they are achieving next to nothing out there. Hills are 'taken' and compounds are 'cleared' and these operations are deemed a 'success' by those in command but there certainly seems to be an underlying acknowledgment that what the marines have done will not last, that their achievements are ultimately transient.

It is hard to recommend 3 Commando Brigade. I wanted to understand what life is like for the British foot soldier in a contemporary war zone but Ewen Southby-Tailyour didn't enlighten me as much I would have wanted.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marines at their best...READ IT!!!!!!! 18 Sep 2008
By Pedros
It is always annoying when reading' that a mistake appears, something a proof reading should have picked up and yet is missed.Page 57, "on 8 October 2008 3 commando Brigade's brigadier, Jerry Thomas, formally took over from 16 air assault Brigade's brigadier, Ed Butler." If this was so then it has not happened yet!!!!
Having said that it takes nothing from the account of the marines in Afghanistan. I also like the fact that the Royal Engineers are mentioned often for the work that they have carried out.These boys are usually the unsung heroes in any conflict and at last they have been given recognition in this book.
It is written factually and contains many verbal anecdotes from the troops themselves. Along with the all important detail of action by troops and enemy alike, with good annalysis of equipment used, it aligns all parameters with intricate ability to bring all the supporting groups into the equation whilst still giving a first hand account of individual heroism in the field of battle.
I like the style of Ewen Southby-Tailyour and indeed found the opening prologue, detailing the Jugroom fort mission to rescue the body of Mathew Ford,an awesome account that puts this book on everyones must read list.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a dry read 30 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book was an ok read however there are better, more personal books on the war out there. But saying that it must be hard to write such a book, going back over all the events from the tour.
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