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Looking for Trouble: SAS to Gulf Command - The Autobiography Hardcover – 22 Sep 1994


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (22 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002552450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002552455
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 428,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

For anyone who wants to know about the SAS, about British military action since the war, or who simply wants to read the compelling life-story of the most charismatic of leaders, 'Looking for Trouble' is essential reading.

"A commander who made men do almost impossible things by doing them himself first… A soldier who from the most undisciplined and unpromising beginnings achieved complete mastery of himself and the men who fought under him"

"The SAS is where he found his calling. The wars he fought – in Malaysia, Oman, Borneo, Aden and the Falklands – form a roll-call of Britain's post-Second World War battle honours. De la Billiere tells the story of the action with modesty, in simple but gripping prose."

"Naughty boys should not be allowed to read this book, for it shows that persistence in the planning and execution of escapades that break all the rules can lead to the status of national hero."

"An amazingly modest general, a loner from a searing childhood. His autobiography is fascinating not only for his derring-do soldiering career, mostly with the SAS, but his sense of endless quest and ease in taking risky decisions."


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
General Sir Peter De La Billière ranks amongst the greatest of post-World War Two British military commanders. He served in every conflict from Korea to the first Gulf War and ended that career as a full General with two Knighthoods (Knight Commander of the Bath and Knight Commander of the British Empire - the latter of which superseded the CBE awarded previously) a DSO, two MCs and a Legion of Merit. He was in charge of the British special forces who so successfully stormed the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980 bringing swiftly to an end that very public siege. In 1990 he was the British Forces commander under General Norman Schwarzkopf in the first Gulf War. It is interesting to note that he failed Staff College (a pre-requisite qualification for higher military office.) at his first attempt.

In this book, which has caused something of another storm - if only because the SAS do not like people writing about their activities (especially former members of the Regiment), the General tells it exactly as it was. As another reviewer said "it should be essential reading for anyone seeking to lead people" - and not just military personnel.

Leadership and responsibility are, by their very nature stressful activities - especially for those who care. Whilst not wishing to belittle - in any way whatsoever!, the stress associated with civilian occupations, stress under fire is probably the greatest stress of all. As General Norman Schwarzkopf said when being interviewed on television; "It doesn't take a hero to order men to their deaths!" It was that single statement which revealed "his" own caring nature.

Of course, there was a time when British (and other) generals did order men to their deaths in their hundreds of thousands.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. D. Shackleton on 9 May 2004
Format: Paperback
A excellent honest book from a remarkable and intresting man. I was in the forces who served in the Gulf War 19991. DLB to me was one of the big cheeses who we never met or saw. So I just had him down to most big chiefs I came across in the army, not really intrested in the lower ranks. How wrong I was this man started at the bottom and worked his way up to the top. Via the SAS as a soldier to the Director of the SAS and on to lead the British Forces in the Gulf War. I strongly recommend you buy and read this book as it gives a great insight to the stress at the top.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandro on 7 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent autobiography by one of the most significant British Army Officers ever. His extensive experience with the SAS and his officer career is what differentiates this from similar books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Hamill on 2 Dec 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great read if your into military and/or adventure books. The author writes in a style which is as if he is talking to you personally. The book has so many different adventures that it could easily have been a series of books. There is the chapter about his time fighting in the Korean War, the chapter where he and a companion sail from the UK to Africa another where he drives his family across the desert to his next posting and many other adventures.
I found this book a truly great read and a book I'm sure I will read again.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of how a naughty and adventurous schoolboy is rewarded with a fascinating career as an SAS trooper, commander and director before becoming a General responsible for Britains allied tri-force during the Gulf War. The story is primarily that of post-war SAS missions, and secondly of the author himself. Expect to learn, although in summary, about the SAS in Malaya, Borneo, Oman, Northern Ireland, the Iranian Embassy siege, the Falklands and Gulf Wars - and more!. The author has a style that reads effortlessly both in wording and due to his ability to tell a tale: chapters seem to fly by. However, as the author climbs into senior ranks so too is he removed from the action: since the book progressively follows his career I found my interest peaked with his account of operations in Oman. (about ½ way through) Nevertheless at no time was I bored and the story ends well with a brief summary of the Gulf War. The book has profoundly changed my perception of the SAS from that of a glorified Bond-style counter-terrorism squad to what they really are: an ever dynamic, extremely brave, constantly active and highly competent regiment. It is books like this one that make me re-evaluate the worth of working behind a desk: i.e. don't waste your life!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Green on 20 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is superb - I don't know why it has taken me so long to get round to getting a copy!

It has some hilarious stories from his early life, right the way through Sir Peter's career.

But the main point is ably summarised on the back dust jacket:

"A commander who made men do almost impossible things by doing them himself first... A soldier who from the most undisciplined and unpromising beginnings acheived complete mastery of himself and the men who fought under him" (Daily Telegraph)

Now I need to read his other book 'Storm Command'!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Private to General is a career and a half in anyone's estimation. A quiet hero. Fascinating read! Although I have to admit some bias; he used to be my boss many years ago.
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