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Bravo Two Zero Paperback – 14 Sep 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Books (14 Sep 1998)
  • ISBN-10: 0552476250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552476256
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,332,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andy McNab joined the infantry as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was 'badged' as a member of 22 SAS Regiment and was involved in both covert and overt special operations worldwide.

During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, 'will remain in regimental history for ever'. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993. He wrote about his experiences in three books: the phenomenal bestseller Bravo Two Zero, Immediate Action and Seven Troop.

He is the author of the bestselling Nick Stone thrillers. Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK. He is a patron of the Help for Heroes campaign.

www.andymcnab.co.uk

Product Description

Review

A gripping account of special forces at work...a tremendous adventure story -- Duff Hart-Davis Daily Telegraph Superhuman endurance, horrendous torture, desperate odds - unparalleled revelations Daily Mail One of the most extraordinary examples of human courage and survival in modern warfare The Times The best account yet of the SAS in action -- James Adams Sunday Times One of the best books to emerge from the first Gulf War...Magnificent -- John Nichol Independent on Sunday --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

Book Description

A classic of modern war literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Reader on 7 April 2008
Format: Paperback
You'd be suprised how many people still haven't read this book, yet everyone has heard of it - maybe due to the film starring Sean Bean released in 1999.

Bravo Two Zero was the call sign of an 8 man SAS team led by Andy McNab (not his real name) dropped deep behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf war. Their mission was to monitor and disturb the movement and deployment of Scud missiles being used by Saddam Hussein.

The mission goes badly wrong and the team find themselves extremely close to a large force of Iraqi military and a terrain and climate that they were largely unprepared for. They are soon discovered and pursued enormous distances day and night until most of the group have been either killed or captured. McNab was captured and the story recounts in gruesome detail the torture and psycological tecniques used to attempt to break the men down. It's gripping and exciting and you actually feel like you're there with him. These are some very tough guys.

However no review of the book would be complete without mention of the subsequent critisism levelled at McNab by other members of the patrol. Chris Ryan in his book 'The One that Got Away' says that McNab played up his own role and actually was largely responsible for the mission's early failure - Ryan clearly sees himself as the real hero of the mission, being the only member to survive the pursuit and flee to Syria.

Subsequently another surviving member of the expedition, Mike Coburn, released 'Soldier 5: The real truth behind the Bravo Two Zero mission' claiming that neither Ryan or McNab give an accurate portrayal of events and both dramatised the story for the purposes of publication (for example making up most of the major gun battles).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. S. T. Walker on 4 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
Many books have a reputation which precedes them, some reputations might be a deterrent. Readers like myself may worry that if anyone sees you reading Bravo Two Zero they will think you're one of those pitiful 'chairbourne ranger' dreamers who fantasize about being part of the military elite: I've met more than a few of these in my time... Partly because of this kind of thing, I avoided this title for many years, but having now read the book I would heartily recommend it to anyone, even if only to be able to speak about it from experience.

The book raises many questions. For example, satellite photography technology has been around for many years now, so why was the patrol not provided with detailed images of the terrain? Why was the concentration of Iraqi forces in the drop-zone so badly underestimated? Why didn't the military have information on the weather conditions the patrol would encounter? According to other books such as "The Quiet Soldier", the cardinal rule taught during training for the SAS is "you must kill immediately". So why leave so many witnesses alive to compromise your location?

More pertinently, we have no idea how accurate the book is; by all accounts Chris Ryan's "The one that got away" presents a wholly different version of events. Most avid readers can't have failed to notice that both Andy McNab and Chris Ryan have since become surprisingly prolific authors and I'm sure their "true story" beginnings can have done no harm to their new careers. I for one do not begrudge them their post-military success, though had I realized that a military career could be such a useful passport to becoming a fiction author I might not have walked past the door to the army recruitment centre all those years ago.

So...
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Becker on 27 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
Special Forces indeed
A definite page turner. I read it going to work, coming from work, and even at work (when no colleagues were watching). But my job, being a human-computer interaction specialist, is *very* boring compared to the work of the SAS, the British Special Forces. Although I don't think I would want to trade places.
The book cover of my version of Bravo Two Zero was somewhat misleading. It cited the British premier John Major saying it was the SAS who destroyed the SCUD missile sites in the Gulf War, and it cited the American General Norman Schwarzkopf saying that the SAS were the eyes of the allied forces deep in enemy territory. So I expected the book to show a very successful commando mission in Iraq. Other SAS missions were a great success, but in the Bravo Two Zero mission much went wrong...
That doesn't make the operation of the main team of 8 soldiers less heroic, not at all. The gun fights in which the team were heavily outnumbered but in which they still wreaked havoc, the distances they had to walk causing their feet almost to fall of, the hypothermia, hunger and thirst they suffered: all was very impressive. And, probably worst of all, the extensive torturing some had to go through when they were caught, but which they still survived, makes those British soldiers truly admirable men. It much surprised me that, at the same time, they remained very humane during their stay, not killing one single Iraqi civilian even when that might have significantly improved their chances of survival.
What did surprise me however, were the extremely shallow emotional lives these SAS commandos seemed to have.
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