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Operation Barras: The SAS Rescue Mission Sierra Leone 2000 (Cassell Military Paperbacks) Paperback – 13 Jan 2005

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (13 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304366994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304366996
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In Operation Barras William Fowler describes the historic setting for British involvement in Sierra Leone that led up to the rescue mission. The build up to the airborne assault by the SAS and Paras on September 10 is covered in great detail and you are pitched into the action. It is an insider's book that will appeal to soldiers and anyone with an interest in the development of post colonial Africa.' (EYE SPY) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The inside story of the most daring SAS rescue mission ever

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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I knew very little of the events surrounding the British deployment to Sierra Leone. I couldn't have pointed to it on a map, save to say it was in Africa. Having read this book, I now feel that I know a hell of a lot more about the subject. Anyone who's read OPERATION CERTAIN DEATH by Damien Lewis may be slightly put off by this books more in depth look at the politics and international viewpoints, but these really flesh out the conflict and subsequent hostage rescue story. Not as fast paced or testosterone heavy as Lewis's book, but these are clearly books written in totally different styles for different audiences. The title is a little misleading, as although the rescue is a theme of the book, the overall story is of the savage conflict, and the pathetic (and often hypocritical) international (i.e UN) response.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well written and well researched book, however coverage of the actual op only begins about 120 pages in and only lasts about a further 30 or 40. The book should be called something like "A History of Conflict in Sierra Leone" as there is barely a chapter dedicated to the op itself. Hugely disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll begin with a declaration - the author is a friend and former colleague. As such this book's style was not a surprise for, in addition to being as thorough an account of how Major Harrison and his men were rescued as may be published in an unclassified format, Officer Fowler has gone back through history to explain Sierre Leone's history and development and exactly how, and to a degree why, the "West Side Boys" kidnapped "our lads".
The history unfolds and previous recent British involvement in Sierre Leone is described and, logically, we find ourselves within the hut with the captives. The efforts of the diplomats and UN forces to deal with the situation ahead of the arrival of the British rescue force and the setting-up of the operation are all described, together with as full an account of the actual rescue and its aftermath as can be told at present.
Officer Fowler has secured good sources and researched the background thoroughly, yet his account is full of the personal comments and observations one might expect from a military man.
The tale of the Army's reaction to the arrival of RAF Police 'to check for contraband' before boarding their Hercules transport home is but one example. It rang true and made me laugh.
There is some more detail to be added I know (as does the author - hence only 4 Stars!) but, for now, this is probably the best account I have seen of the incident. Try it - you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book - I read it in a matter of hours. The title is misleading, as Operation Barras only forms the framework of the book. Most of the text deals with the politics and history of Sierra Leone, the civil wars and the international reaction to them.

The sections dealing actually with Barras are balanced, sensible and matter of fact, without any of the hype that often surrounds Special Forces operations (shame about the sub-title...). Over all the book deals with the operation in the best possible way, with the facts of the case, well supported by the testimony of those who were there, but set within it's historical and political context. The author, in a very readable style, sets out not only what happened, but why, and how it is important.

Thoroughly recommended.
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