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Cry Havoc [Hardcover]

Simon Mann
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Book Description

27 Oct 2011
On 7th March 2004, former SAS soldier and mercenary Simon Mann prepared to take off from Harare International Airport with an aeroplane full of heavy weaponry and guns for hire. Their destination: the former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea. Their mission: to remove one of the most brutal dictators in Africa in a privately organised coup d'etat. The plot had the tacit approval of Western intelligence agencies and, according to Mann, the backing of a European government and the endorsement of a former British Prime Minister. Simon Mann had personally planned, overseen and won two wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. Everything should have gone right. Why, then, did it go so wrong? When Simon was released from five years' incarceration in two of Africa's toughest prisons, he made worldwide headlines. Since then, he has spoken to nobody about his experiences. Now, he is telling everything, including: * His belief that the CIA deliberately compromised the coup to court favour with Equatorial Guinea's President Obiang, in return for access to the country's vast oil resources. * How the British government approached Simon in the months preceeding the Iraq war, asking him to suggest ways in which a justified invasion of Iraq could be engineered. * The financial involvement of a controversial and internationally famous member of the British House of Lords in the plot, backed up by banking records. * Simon will also tell of his pain when he had to tell his wife, Amanda, who gave birth to their fourth child while he was incarcerated, that he believed he would never be freed.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 351 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843584034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843584032
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 14.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Simon Mann is from a strong military background. His paternal grandfather served with the Scots Guards in the Great War and his maternal grandfather served as a senior engineer in the South African Division in World War II. His father and three uncles also served in the Scots Guards in World War II, his father winning two MCs and a DSO. Born into the Mann brewing dynasty, Simon Mann went to Eton and then Sandhurst. The Scots Guards and the SAS followed. Simon then became a businessman, drifting slowly but surely into the world of security consultancy and intelligence for hire. Mann rejoined the British Army for the first Gulf War, serving on the staff of General Sir Peter de la Billiere. From there, Simon became an oil man, a move which threw him into the Angolan Civil war in 1993. This was followed by his involvement in the civil war in Sierra Leone form 1994 to 1996. In 2004, he was arrested in Zimbabwe because of his involvement in the plot to overthrow the ruling tyrant of Equatorial Guinea. Simon has seven children and now lives by the sea with his wife, Amanda.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is an extraordinary story. But the writing is dreadful - which is a great pity because Simon Mann is undoubtedly one of Britain's foremost military entrepreneurs, greater even than Mike Hoare of Congo fame.

There is a penchant for lots of short, sharp sentences bundled together. Like this. Tap-tap. All staccato. In a single paragraph. To give a sense of pace. Obviously. This is OK but it needs leavening with a copywriter's artifice to make the passages flow. It is odd that his literary agent and publisher didn't do something about this. And the chronology is muddled. Thus the book is robbed of both clarity and impact. How much more vivid it could have been, dammit.

But if you like the genre, stick with it because the content saves the book. Just about. I am filled with admiration for his sense of high-risk adventure. A buccaneer on the side of the angels - more or less. I am still not completely clear as to why he didn't abort the effort on Equatorial Guinea but I guess that when you perceive that you have powerful organs of state - or states in this case - backing you, albeit implicitly, and a project gathers momentum, you pass the tipping point so there's no turning back.

Moreover, the book provides a lot of history; it is about rather more than the Equatorial Guinea debacle and some successes add a positive note to the concluding disaster.

I found his description of his time in captivity quite harrowing. Interestingly, it seems his spell in E Guinean jails was less awful than that in Zimbabwean hell-holes. Ghastly. One salutes him for coping with five and a half years' incarceration with considerable resourcefulness as well as mental resilience. And he writes movingly about his release.

Two small asides.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .....and release the dogs of war! 26 Dec 2011
This for me was a must read book. Given the press speculation, repeated Government denials in the UK media and the personalities involved you had to read Simon Mann's first hand and exceptionally personal account of the events to get to the truth of what happened during this failed coup. Given the circumstances of his recording of the facts you just have to roll with the punches as it jumps from location to location, times and events. It provides the reader with a real insight as to what Simon Mann was going through personally at every stage of the mission planning, execution and his evential capture and internment. Cut away the fact that you may not agree with his politics or his thirst for financial gain through what he hoped would be the successful execution of the mission it is a rivetting read and a true personal account. There is much more that is not said in the book but it will keep you enthraled. It captures his moods as they happen, his survivors instinct while in captivity, his mental strength and discipline all combined to develop strategies to keep one step ahead of the prison staff, while throughout there is the constant threat of deportation and execution. The narrative provides the reader with a microspope with which to examine Simon Mann who is truly a remarkable character. Thoroughly enjoyable and strongly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a very disappointing book 4 Sep 2012
By KD7
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very interested in the underlying story re the EG coup and the various characters associated with it and their motivations. Frankly if you share these goals keep your money in your pocket as you will be none the wiser at the end.

Frankly this is the worst book I have read in the last decade. The prose is dispiriting and the style jumping from one topic to another reflects what I think is the reality of a greedy, intellectually challenged fool trying to string out a story to construct a book.

Strong recommendation, this book is appalling and life is too short to read this rubbish when there are millions of great books out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable 19 Aug 2012
By Hector
I had been waiting for Simon Manns story for some time. As other reviewers have said - this is impossible to read it is so badly written. I would suggest he finds an editor to describe his life story which should be fascinating. Cry Havoc went into the charity box. Disappointing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars PAPPI KAK 14 Dec 2011
Warning! To all readers who have waited for this side to be told be prepared to be disappointed.
First, not sure why so many names, places, and simple facts had to be changed when many parts of this story has been told in detail before by Eeben Barlow, Jim Hooper and Al J. Venter. A specific example is the misrepresentation of the Battle of Soyo, Angola. This altering just adds to the confusion and is only compounded by the exclusion of an index.
Second, this book reads like Tom Clancy fiction with one character being at the center of all the important decisions and events. When compared to other sources some events appeared manufactured just to inject the author into the fight.
Please to all that read this book as a single source take the time to read the titles linked below. When that is done decide for yourself if this book is fact or fiction. This is not an attack just an attempt for the truth to be flushed out and passed on to others.

Executive Outcomes: Against All Odds
WAR DOG: Fighting Other People's Wars -The Modern Mercenary in Combat
My Friend the Mercenary
Shadow Company [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 2 days ago by Mrs SJ Harrison
2.0 out of 5 stars Reading material
Not what I was expecting from this book. Had I known the what it was about in more depth, I would not have purchased it.
Published 4 months ago by Silver fox
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Good book, bought after watching program on TV, well written, keeps you interested all the time, based on true events and stories, worth reading and having
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Cry Havoc
This book is a good account of what it took in ENG and written by a true professional who was out on the ground.
Published 7 months ago by Marc
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing story
For me any literary shortcomings were more than compensated for by a truly remarkable and engrossing story told in a factual and self-depreciating style.
Published 7 months ago by heston
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Action Stuff
A great book, parts of it not that well written but he was probably writing it in note form while in prison.
Published 9 months ago by G
3.0 out of 5 stars nice read
bought this for my son for a good read whilst out in AFGHANISTAN. I thought I was doing a good thing at the time but it turns out he would rather read any thing but reading about... Read more
Published 11 months ago by linnibin
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Confusing and badly written. I gave up after a couple chapters. For an ex-officer I'd expected better, perhaps his time behind bars has caused him problems. Read more
Published 11 months ago by John B
As one who had followed the newspaper reports of Simon Mann`s incarceration in an African Jail. I found it fascinating to read the international background and skullduggery... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Romans in the North
3.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing story
... doesn't always make an amazing book. It feels a bit hard criticising someone of Simon Mann's exceptional calibre, but while he is a true adventurer, he certainly isn't a great... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Luke
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