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3 Para [Paperback]

Patrick Bishop
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Jun 2008

Afghanistan in the summer of 2006. In blazing heat in remote outposts the 3 Para battlegroup is pitted against a stubborn enemy who keep on coming. Until now, the full story of what happened there has not been told. This is it.

In April 2006, the elite 3 Para battlegroup was despatched to Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. They were tasked with providing security to reconstruction efforts, a deployment it was hoped would pass off without a shot being fired. In fact, over the six months they were there, the 3 Para battle group saw near continuous combat – one gruelling battle after another – in what would become one of the most extraordinary campaigns ever fought by British troops.

Around parched, dusty outposts reliant on a limited number of helicopters for food and ammunition resupply, troops were subjected to relentless Taliban attacks, as well as energy-sapping 50 degree heat and spartan conditions. At the end of the tour, the Taliban offensive aimed at driving the British and Afghan Government troops out of Helmand had been tactically defeated. But 3 Para paid a high price: fourteen soldiers and one interpreter were killed, and 46 wounded.

‘3 Para’ will tell the stories of the men and women who took part in this extraordinary and largely unreported saga. Best-selling author Patrick Bishop has been given exclusive access to the soldiers whose tales of courage and endurance provide an unforgettable portrait of one of the world's finest and most fascinating fighting regiments, and a remarkable band of warriors. Their bravery was reflected in the array of gallantry medals that were bestowed on their return, including the Victoria Cross awarded to Corporal Bryan Budd and the George Cross won by Corporal Mark Wright, both of whom were killed winning their awards.

3 Para’s saga of comradeship, courage and fortitude is set to become a classic.

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3 Para + Ground Truth: 3 Para Return to Afghanistan + Danger Close: The True Story of Helmand from the Leader of 3 PARA
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (2 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007257805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007257805
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Bishop has been a foreign correspondent for over twenty years, reporting from conflicts all over the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling 'Fighter Boys', 'Bomber Boys' and '3 Para'.

Product Description


‘Wonderfully compelling … a fast-paced story of incredible bravery that at times reads like a thriller.’ Christina Lamb, Sunday Times

‘Bishop gives a gripping insight into deployment in Afghanistan last year of 3 Para…written with the fluent, rich and engaging fashion typical of the author's as a journalist.’ The Times

‘He presents an inspiring story of courage, discipline and…selfless comradeship…the frenzy of close–quarters combat…is captured particularly vividly…fast–paced and absorbing.’ Daily Mail

Book Description

Afghanistan, Summer 2006. This is war.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Front Line Action 28 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
3 PARA is an old fashioned book about a close-knit regiment, the author clearly admires the Toms and enjoys telling the classic British army tale (the boys are holed up without adequate numbers and ammunition fighting a savage enemy - and that's just the Americans). It is not a book for those who despair of war, although it doesn't hold back the details of deaths in action.

I enjoyed it.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is something about 3 Para. 15 Dec 2007
It was April 2006 and 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (3 Para) Battle Group were deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan for a 6 month tour of duty. What they were expecting to encounter and what they found on arrival were entirely different things. The pre-deployment intelligence suggested the tour was likely to pass without a shot being fired whilst they concentrated on a task which required them to provide security for a reconstruction programme.

Six months later, the Battle Group returned home having fought one continuous battle after another during which they defeated the Taliban within Helmand Province. That military success did not, however, come without a price. 18 Officers and men died during the tour after another two had lost their lives in preliminary operations.

It is many years since I served with 3 Para and I well remember the stories of both Sergeant Willetts who saved many lives in Northern Ireland for which he was awarded a posthumous GC in the 1970s and, in 1982, Sergeant Ian McKay who was awarded the last VC of the 20th Century. Now, in just 6 months in 2006, 3 Para had added yet another VC and another GC in addition to many other honours and awards to their illustrious Battalion and Regimental history.

Written by a professional foreign correspondent who was given access to all the information and personal stories required to create this significant, and important, work of literature about a series of modern military actions, Patrick Bishop has done an excellent job in providing an informative and readable account of exactly what happened.

This is what our forces are doing in Afghanistan. Doubtless, in many ways, it will be similar to what our forces are doing in Iraq.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falklands - Walk In The Park Compared To This 22 Oct 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had the honour of taking part in the attack on Tumbledown Mountain with the 2nd Bn Scots Guards 25 years ago. We had different challenges, including an extended supply line, compared to those written about. But our experiences were over quickly, unlike the fierce fighting that took place over a prolonged period by the soldiers described in the book.

"3 Para" is an honest account that does not pull punches or try to be politically correct. In addition to the well researched descriptions of battles/contacts, it also gives the big picture, in a way that can be easily followed. You can taste the fear in your mouth as you read how our troops reacted during the fog of war.

I believe this book is a must for any serving or retired military person. You hear the age old cry of "the youth of today are this or that", well this book confirms that our soldiers today are something very special. Although entitled "3 Para", it also includes material on a number of other units. I have read many military accounts over the years, but 3 Para is at the top of the list. This is the book for the person who tells you "they never read books". It is also a book that would make interesting reading for our Politicians (of all parties). This book also confirms, what soldiers who have been in active service, have known for hundreds of years - you don't do it for your Queen and Country - you do it for your mates!

This book will help you remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice during this and other conflicts. It should also help you think about those who have suffered terrible injuries and are living today.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blistering and brilliant! 20 Sep 2007
A superb piece of reporting that takes readers right to the heart of this campaign and near-forgotten commitment. Afghanistan, the searing heat of summer 2006, and 3 Para deploy to Helmand province to support reconstruction. It should be relatively peaceful. Instead, constant attacks ensue in gruelling conditions. Bishop puts us in the firing line too. Supplies dwindle, dust and heat rise, and the Taliban keep coming. This is edge-of-the-seat writing, sharp, gripping. While armchair critics have abandoned concepts like duty, heroism, courage, all three are here in abundance as 3 Para pay the price we ask of our armed forces. Patrick Bishop does a superb job of telling their story - our story, the story we write from the increasingly carping safety of home. This is a tribute to brave men. It reminds us what we ask, and what we owe. A brilliant book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Paras 22 Sep 2007
This is a great book that puts you out there on the ground with the Paras. Plenty of action along with an insight into the day to day grind of a modern soldier fighting a brutal war in difficult conditions. The constant battles and fire fights are what strikes you about the 3 Para tour of Afghanistan, literally daily contacts....and these are amply covered in this book. We should do more in this country to highlight the service that we are getting from our armed forces....a great book about great soldiers, they were great in 82 and still are!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure if I will finish it !
This book started out as an interesting , informative and , one would hope , accurate account of the Afghanistan situation. Read more
Published 9 days ago by martin loveday
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Good read - great look at modern combat operations. Patrick Bishop once again impresses me with his good descriptions of the battlefield.
Published 10 days ago by Xyz232
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate description of real life events
This is a first rate description of real life events experienced by 3 Para in Afghanistan, should be required reading for a all armchair critics of our involvement in that country
Published 1 month ago by Bondy4822
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Couldn't put it down, after the initial intro it was none stop action all the way. Total bravery and selflessness.
Published 1 month ago by gary haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
It's worth a read didn't think it would be but it's quite good can't wait to start the second book.
Published 4 months ago by MR Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for those who wish to know the reality of life for our soldiers...
This record of the very real situation in Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of our soldiers is both absorbing and terrifying at the same time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by father famine
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 Para
I did not think this book was as interesting as 'wings' and similar aviation themed books, all of which I own and have read avidly, but as I am ex-RAF this is probably to be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pete
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent read
Read this after Danger close, which was 3 Paras commanding officers book about helmand in 2006. This was a good factual book with information about lots of the main players in the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Para
3 Para is one of the most informative and realistic documentary style of publication which reports what really has been going on from early days of British Troops in Helmand, which... Read more
Published 11 months ago by HBL
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently written
Enjoyed the read and gave a very good insight to what factually took place. Well to all who took part.
Published 12 months ago by Philip
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