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Hellfire [Kindle Edition]

Ed Macy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

He launched the weapon that changed a war.

May 2006. Ed Macy arrives in Afghanistan along with the Apache AH Mk 1 on its first operational tour. It's an unfamiliar combat zone with a limited role for the Apache and Ed's time is spent escorting Chinooks. But one month later, during Operation Mutay, with 3 Para pinned down in Helmand, the arguments about the Apache's potential are thrown out and Ed deploys the first ever Hellfire missile in combat.

That squeeze of the trigger changed the war for the British and the Taliban alike. The £4.2bn Apache programme was dramatically redirected to fighting the enemy head-on and turned Ed and his squadron into one of the British Army's greatest assets.

Ed recounts the intense months that followed Mutay: the steep learning curve, the new missions, the evolving enemy and the changing Rules of Engagement. He also sheds light on his early career as a young paratrooper, his operational baptism as a pilot and how both shaped his ability to fly, fight and survive during that fateful first Afghanistan tour against a cunning and ruthless enemy.

It was here, in the dusty wastes of Helmand that Ed, his colleagues and the Apache found themselves on trial for their lives and for the reputation of a machine on which the British government had staked a fortune. The crucible of fire that awaited them in Helmand would cement the fate of man and machine forever.

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Product Description


Praise for ‘Apache’:

‘Puts you right in the cockpit with your finger on the trigger. A truly awesome read; and a climax that Hollywood couldn’t invent…’ Andy McNab


Praise for 'Apache': 'Puts you right in the cockpit with your finger on the trigger. A truly awesome read; and a climax that Hollywood couldn't invent!' Andy McNab

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1275 KB
  • Print Length: 451 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007288204
  • Publisher: HarperPress (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TU1QI4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Hellfire is the name of the missile in the arsenal of weapons carried on the Apache attack helicopter. This book is the second written by Ed Macy describing his experiences flying in an Apache helicopter and fighting in Afghanistan. This book moves back in time from the first novel and covers approximately three months in the summer of 2006, during the first deployment of Macy and other pilots who had recently been trained to operate the Apache. Macy takes this opportunity to more fully fill in the reader on his childhood and entrance into the military. He also explains the accident which happened to him that meant he would never make it into the Special Air Service. So how did Macy end up flying an Apache attack helicopter? Some very good/bad luck and a royal mess-up within the military medical community. Add a whole lot of self confidence and hard work and Mr Macy was able to defeat the odds and fly that incredible fighting machine.

I read the first book, Apache, and wondered how I would like having Macy take me back in time to his first deployment in Afghanistan. Well, I liked it just fine. This book is presented in the same way as "Apache", opening with a mission of engagement in Afghanistan then moving back in time to show how Macy arrived at that point in his life. There is not a focus on one particular engagement such as the Jugroom Fort battle in "Apache". Rather, this book covers many engagements with the enemy in Afghanistan. I particularly enjoyed the incidents described when Macy was flying other types of helicopters in Northern Ireland, before his time with the Apache. After approximately 150 pages the accounts of the missions flown from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan become the focus of the action.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Apache... 2 Nov. 2009
I reviewed Apache by Ed Macy, gave it 5 stars and fully expected Hellfire to be as good. It wasn't. It was better. OK, so it doesn't have the mission where everyone broke every rule and landed inside the Taliban's garden to rescue a fallen marine but I never expected it too. Macy and his mates shouldn't have got away with what they did in Apache and its testimony to them that their courage was awarded by the Queen with bravery medals. Crikey, 3 Military Crosses and 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses for a handful of men, for a couple of hours work, during one mission is an achievement we'll probably never see again. Oh listen to minute I'm the cake queen, the next, an authority on medals and bravery. I have a point to my ramblings and it has substance so bare with me whilst my cake bakes because I've only 15 minutes to write this...I read up on what it takes to receive an MC and a DFC. Without doubt, Macy and his mates were incredible, some may say a bit mental but brave nonetheless.

As Macy has a single MC behind his name it was pretty obvious to me that I was unlikely to read about such feats of bravery in his new book. After all, a mission like that had never happened before and most probably won't again. So what would it be about? The cover of Apache fulfilled by `doing what it said on the can'. It wasn't hyped up to be anything than it wasn't and if anything, it was better. Hellfire proposed something completely different. It said that, "Ed bent every rule going to get where he wanted to be... it was one man's determination to master the world's deadliest helicopter...under fire and out of options, Ed has one chance to save his own skin... Ed and squadron faced the steepest learning curve of their lives.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you appreciate how hard it is 18 Nov. 2009
I've read quite a few modern and historical aviation books over the years and "Hell Fire" represents a very good account of the problems faced "in theatre" by aviators and ground crew.

While this may sound dry, Ed (now no longer flying Apaches according to the book) writes well, and spurs you on to read from cover to cover as quickly as possible.

If you live near an active Apache airfield (as I do) and see them fly locally, you get to appreciate just what these aviators do is simply amazing. Put 'apache swarm' into you tube to see more.

The book covers details on some of Ed's training before eventually reaching the "peak" of helicopter flying as he'd planned all along. Ed also manages to convey just how the rules of engagement are very restrictive in modern asymmetrical warfare.

A great read if you've not read other Apache books.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 18 Nov. 2009
By Ms. J. Bedford VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is on behalf of my 75 yr old mother who is an avid reader of all these types of books. She said she read it twice to make sure she did not miss anything!

This was a brillant read and one of the best I have read - this one was exceptional
He goes into so much detail and you feel like you are with him on the tasks.
He didn't pull any punches, I believe it was how he described.
Refreshing to read a honest author that does not make it up to make the read better ( as some others I will not name)
I have both of his books (the other one Apache is just as good) but Hell Fire is the best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, a rivetting read 21 Feb. 2011
Very difficult to put down, this is the engrossing story of one man's journey from youth spent in northern backstreets, to a successful career in a British Army parachute regiment; a serious road accident which ended that career, and his determined, and successful drive to reclaim his army career as a helicopter pilot.

Giving a vivid portait of service life, the text is liberally seasoned with anglo saxon vernacular; however, this is unlikely to offend many readers, as it's not the kind of book which would be shared among the womens' guild of Little Darsham-on-the-Meadow.

Most electrifying are the descriptions of combat support flights in Afghanistan: the reader is given a vicarious taste of battle not likely to be experienced by many in this time of general peace. Ed Macy's ability to describe the sheer terror felt by capable men, desperately trying to evade determined and accurate anti aircraft gunnery, leaves me in no doubt that he could well enjoy a successful, and lucrative second career as a writer of military fiction.

The book is well illustrated with colour photographs and diagrams, and it will leave the reader in no doubt of the courage and professionalism of our armed forces; also the complexity of successful military operations fought far from home, in a hostile climate and environment.

Thoroughly recommended, though it would have been helpful to have items from the glossary of acronyms quoted at the foot of the pages where they occur.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic, so realistic, feals like you are there.
Published 16 days ago by 882PPB
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read just like Apache
After picking up Apache and being totally enthralled with it, this book matches! Another great page turner! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin Burgess
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok good read
Published 1 month ago by BB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book, couldn't put it down, beautifully written well worth the read
Published 1 month ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars HELLFIRE(actually hellfire missiles).
One hell of a writer,really puts you in both seats of the APACHIE HELICOPTER.Various accounts of various battles that Ed Macy had been involved in. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael E.
5.0 out of 5 stars A real incite to how skilled and amazing these pilots are
What a read, no nonsense, factual, a real incite to how skilled and amazing these pilots are.
Published 2 months ago by Eddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love the way the book is written. Its like you are there with him sharing the experience
Published 3 months ago by Mrs L Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
great book
Published 3 months ago by Malcolm Butterworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Together with the first book they ate a great read
Published 4 months ago by Ian N
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exciting, pacy and well-written. Fascinating account of Ed Macy's journey to become an elite Helicopter pilot.
Published 5 months ago by H. Murray
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