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Hellfire [Hardcover]

Ed Macy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Sep 2009

The true story of one man's determination to master the world's deadliest helicopter and of a split-second decision that changed the face of modern warfare.

Ed Macy bent every rule in the book to get to where he wanted to be: on Ops in the stinking heat of the Afghan summer, with the world's greatest weapons system at his fingertips. It's 2006 and he is part of an elite group of pilots assigned to the controversial Apache AH Mk1 gunship programme. So far, though, the monstrously expensive Apache has done little to disprove its detractors. For the first month 'in action' Ed sees little more from his cockpit than the back end of a Chinook.

But everything changes in the skies over Now Zad. Under fire and out of options, Ed has one chance to save his own skin and those of the men on the ground. Though the Apache bristles with awesome weaponry, its fearsome Hellfire missile has never been fired in combat. Then, in the blistering heat of the firefight, the trigger is pulled.

It's a split-second decision that forever changes the course of the Afghan war, as overnight the gunship is transformed from being an expensive liability to the British Army's greatest asset. From that moment on, Ed and his squadron mates will face the steepest learning curve of their lives - fighting an endless series of high-octane missions against a cunning and constantly evolving enemy. Ed himself will have to risk everything to fly, fight and survive in the most hostile place on earth.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; First Edition edition (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007288190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007288199
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Ed Macy left the British Army in January 2008, after twenty-three years’ service. He had amassed a total of 3,930 helicopter flying hours, 645 of them inside an Apache. Ed was awarded the Military Cross for his courage during the Jugroom Fort rescue in Helmand Province, Afghanistan – one of the first ever in Army Air Corps’ history.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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 me...one 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring the rain.... 10 Oct 2009
I've just finished reading what can only be described as one of the most riviting books I have read in a long time. Enter Ed Macy, an Apache attack helicopter pilot and gunner. From the very start, you are sent back in time to where it all began... Being a Para, Northern Ireland then Afganistan. You learn all that Ed had to learn, you feel like you are part of that very important cog in the machine. Your mind races with every page as you cannot help but imagine what it's like, what happens around every corner. From there you are "with" him during the tragic accident which was close to costing Ed his career, then it's on to Apache Training. I for one found it very hard to put the book down, at some points having to be pulled away from it so I could go to work. For those of you whom have already read Ed's first book Apache, you will be under no illusions as to what Ed can deliver, for those of you who have not read either of Ed's books, I would recommnend it highly. You get a sense of how the pilots felt when things went wrong, the fear when systems don't work, the hope that when a soldier is hurt, he comes out the otherside. It's amazing and mezmerising to read. I now must find something else to do with my life, perhaps spend more time with the family or maybe I'll just read it again. I'm afraid Ed, your going to have to do another tour, I need another fix.

Purely Brilliant.

Looking forward to the next one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a truly fantastic insight awaits you
If you want to know anything about the Apache attack helicopter or the guys that fly them, get out there and buy this book. a truly fantastic insight awaits you !
Published 14 days ago by Chauffeur
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Very good read life at on and over the front line!
Published 1 month ago by J G Macknight
5.0 out of 5 stars Hellfire, Apache, Chickenhawk - What brave individuals do for us
If you've read Apache then you should read this. It is inspirational in terms of how you can move from a pretty unattractive teenage life and a major physical trauma to protecting... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Makes me feel very humble when you read Eds books.
Couldn't put it down
Published 2 months ago by Nigel slater
5.0 out of 5 stars simply awesome. I was proud to read it.
Truly stunning in terms of the endurance and sacrifice these guys make. Well written and utterly un-putdownable! A must read.
Published 2 months ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good read
bought as a gift been told that this is a really good read.
Published 2 months ago by coco
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great stuff !!
Published 3 months ago by Lars Jönlid
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
A great read and good follow up to fill in some gaps left from Apache; I really enjoyed understanding more about how the gunship works technically.
Published 5 months ago by Stephen Pickett
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Ed Macy.
Wow, I could only dream of living his life.
What an amazing insite into this professional air mans career. Read more
Published 6 months ago by I ADAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Absolutely brilliant, really enjoyed reading the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't know much about the apache and the crews
Published 6 months ago by David Lowry
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