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IN FOREIGN FIELDS: Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan in their own words [Kindle Edition]

Dan Collins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If you only read one book about our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, read this one.
A searing, jolting, action-packed series of 25 amazing tales of courage, by medal-winning soldiers, Royal Marines and RAF men in their own words.
These are the bravest of the brave, a collection of modest, honest, proud Brits who showed true grit when it mattered most.

Sgt Chris Broome CGC saved the life of Pte Johnson Beharry VC and others, and led his bayonet-wielding men in charges on heavily-defended enemy positions.

Sgt Terry Bryan CGC and his multiple were ambushed and fought a running battle through the streets of Basra for 45 minutes, pursued by hundreds of insurgents. They kicked their way into a house and held a mob of 200 at bay for three hours... until they were rescued by a QRF including Cpl Terry Thomson CGC. The QRF lost a man of their own and battled their way through to Bryan and his men with amazing bravery.

CSgt Matt Tomlinson CGC RM and Cpl Shaun Jardine CGC ran straight towards men with machine guns, ignoring a hail of fire to kill their attackers.

Pte Michelle Norris MC climbed up onto the top of a Warrior armoured vehicle, in the middle of a huge firefight, to save the life of her sergeant. Around 60 rounds were fired at her, some clipping her webbing or hitting the vehicle two inches from her body. (She remains the only woman to win the Military Cross.)

LCoH Andrew Radford CGC ran 70 metres through the Taliban's rocket propelled grenades and machine gun fire to rescue a terribly injured mate...then ran all the way back with him on his shoulders.

Lt Tim Illingworth CGC charged Taliban positions on his own, after the Afghan army men with him were killed or fled.

Flt Lt Matt Carter MC jumped out of a flying helicopter, at night, straight into a firefight with the Taliban, because his comrades were in trouble.

Lt Hugo Farmer CGC led his men through ferocious Taliban fire to recover the body of Cpl Bryan Budd VC.

This list goes on and on... astonishing stories by amazing people, of whom Britain should be tremendously proud.

From the elite shock troops of the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines, to heroes from other famous regiments like The Royal Anglians, The King's Own Scottish Borderers, The Royal Welch Fusiliers, The Life Guards, The Blues and Royals, The Queen's Dragoon Guards, The Queen's Royal Hussars, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, The Light Infantry, The Royal Horse Artillery, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, The Royal Logistic Corps, The Royal Engineers, The Royal Army Medical Corps, The RAF Regiment, and The Territorial Army, these are tales from the very sharp end of modern warfare.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan may not enjoy popular support, but our soldiers - who do not have the choice of where and who they're fighting for - do.

Each day in these two countries is a desperate battle for survival against deadly and implacable enemy forces, and each day brings new acts of bravery, courage and self-sacrifice that seem to belong to a bygone age. These enthralling and captivating stories shine new light on our fighting men and women.

'Enthralling, awe-inspiring, untold stories' - The Daily Mail

'Excellent... simply unputdownable. Buy this book.' - The Sun

'Modesty and courage go hand-in-hand... an outstanding read.' - Soldier Magazine

'The book everyone's talking about' - News of the World

'Astonishing feats of bravery' - Independent on Sunday

'A book that was crying out to be written' - Defence Focus

'A remarkable book... an uplifting read' - Pennant

'Riveting and unique... magnificent. A book to savour.' - Dr Richard North, Defence of the Realm

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'In Foreign Fields' Review 2 April 2008
By Beatus
With regards the content of the book, Dan Collins states that the purpose of 'In Foreign Fields' is for the winners of gallantry awards in Afghanistan and Iraq to tell their stories in their own words, however in doing so he has achieved much more. Of course the book allows the reader to get a better feeling of the incidents that took place and how these individual's actions during those incidents won them their gallantry medals, but more importantly it demonstrates the humility and selflessness of British servicemen and women with much more clarity and credibility than I have experienced from other books regarding current military conflicts.

In my opinion the only exposure the majority of the British public appear to get regarding British Forces involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is largely negative and impersonal, 'In Foreign Fields' to my mind is the perfect antidote to that. It is almost impossible for someone sat in middle England, whose only exposure to the wars is via snippets in newspapers or television news regarding the tragic death of a serviceman or the politics of the conflicts, to have any grasp of what is really occurring on the ground. For me, 'In Foreign Fields' provided that insight in a unique and tangible way.

What also struck me about the book were not only the insights into current operations but also the very real and personal insights into the life and psyche of the modern British serviceman. Without exception, the individuals who contributed to the book all talk about how they were thinking of others at the time of the incidents and the safety and welfare of their comrades rather than their own. They state that they feel there may have been others worthy of recognition who did not receive it and how their awards were as much for them as for themselves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By susie
I bought In Foreign Fields as a present for my husband, but started to flick through it and then couldn't put it down.

The stories, as told by the medal-winning soldiers/marines/airmen themselves, are incredible. Some of their accounts reduced me to tears.

Without exception, they are incredibly brave and humble - many of those featured have suffered as a result of seeing their mates injured and killed - and they are not gung-ho about killing Iraqis or the Taliban. Many showed great compassion for the people whose country they were in.

We only get snippets of information from the press, usually when someone is killed. In Foreign Fields opened my eyes to what is really happening out in Iraq and Afghanistan and made me proud to be British.

A brilliant, brilliant book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Foreign Fields 3 Jan. 2008
An excellent book, recommended to anyone - some incredibly modest accounts of outstanding acts carried out by young men (and one woman) who showed great professionalism and bravery.

I hope this helps to convey to the British public what people are doing in our name and how they do our country proud. One does not necessarily have to support the political decision that lead to the wars in which they fight to support such people and they certainly do deserve our admiration and support.

Dan Collins has doen an escellent job in putting these stories together.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to savour 2 Dec. 2007
It's been done before, but it is still a clever idea - an anthology of interviews of military men, describing their wartime experiences. In this case, it is 25 medal-winners from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, assembled by Dan Collins, writer and former journalist, who freely admits that he "has never fought a day in his life".

His lack of military experience, however, does not hinder the enterprise. Collins does not seek to impose his own personality on his subjects and lets them talk freely, describing their own experiences, subject to only the lightest of editing. The hand of the author though, is present throughout, as he frames each interview in a coherent structure, deftly interwoven with extracts from each of the medal-winners' citations.

Of the twenty-five, it is impossible to pick favourites. Every one of the accounts is riveting and unique. Not in any order, therefore we pluck Lance Corporal Dickson, MC., a Territorial Army soldier deployed to Iraq. He was caught in an ambush while riding an open-topped Land Rover, part of an escort for a convoy of water tankers driving through Basra.

Braving a withering hail of fire, IEDs and RPGs, he stayed at his highly exposed post in the back of the Land Rover, even after being wounded. Mind you, such is this man's Army that, after taking a round that went in through his rear deltoid and followed a track down his rib cage, lodging in his back, his Sergeant told him to get back to his post and "...stop being a lazy sod!". No mummys' boys these!

Then we have Major Mark Hammond, something of a rarity - a Royal Marine Chinook pilot.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book, made me proud again 11 Jan. 2008
I've never served in the Army or the Marines, and have to admit I have no more than a passing interest in what they do. Sorry, make that 'HAD no interest'.
I was given this book as a Christmas present and spent most of Christmas Day and evening totally engrossed in it. From the front cover picture, which apparently shows Commandos in real-life battle action against the Taliban (scary) to the back cover, which is packed with quotes from the 24 men and one woman featured inside, it has you absolutely hooked.
It's a rich and varied collection of stories - from the bomb disposal expert who defused the biggest bomb ever found in Iraq right under the noses of the enemy, to the 18 year old girl who climbed up on to an armoured vehicle in the middle of a huge battle to save the life of her sergeant who had been shot in the face, to the sergeant who counted out enough bullets to kill his men and commit suicide as a howling mob closed in, to the corporal who ran through a huge barrage of machine gun fire and grenades to pick up and carry back a terribly injured mate... these are the stories you just don't get to hear about in full in the papers. Why? I don't know. Maybe the soldiers (and Marines and RAF) don't like talking, because they come across as amazingly modest.
Seriously, and I'm not the sort of person to say this, you will weep tears of pride for these people. Makes you proud to be British once again.
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