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Operation Certain Death Hardcover – 1 Mar 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Century (1 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184413394X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844133949
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Damien Lewis is a former war reporter and one of the nation's "twenty favourite authors" (World Book Day). He is a prolific writer, penning over a dozen books and topping bestseller lists worldwide. Many of his books are being made into movies or TV series, and he scripts his own work as films (time permitting!). His military books include the No. 1 bestseller Zero Six Bravo, and his man-and-dog at war true stories include the phenomenally successful War Dog (The Dog Who Could Fly in the USA), both of which are being developed as films. His war victim memoirs - Slave, Tears of the Desert - have won a string of awards, and were top international bestsellers. He also writes thrillers, and his first, Cobra Gold, is being made into a movie by LA-based Safadi Entertainment. The first computer game with his name attached is "Damien Lewis's Zulu Response" - www.zuluresponse.com - based around the true story of Rorke's Drift, in the Anglo-Zulu War.

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"As a purely military operation it knocks into a cocked hat the lifting of the Iranian embassy siege." -- Brigadier Andrew Stewart

Book Description

"As a purely military operation, Operation Barras knocks into a cocked hat the lifting of the Iranian embassy siege" Brigadier Andrew StewartThis is the inside story of the greatest SAS battle since the Second World War. (2003-07-23)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have about 10 or more special forces books, from bravo 2 zero to CQB. All of them have been good, some great. Operation certain death was arguably the best and most detailed of them all.
The Book brings you straight into the series of events that lead to Operation Barras (aka operation certain death). It starts in Sierra Leone where the Irish Rangers began their ill fated journey and takes you right through the whole military operation that followed in great detail. The auther does a superb job of depeciting the various personalities of soldiers and he explains multiple events at once without the reader getting confused.
The author also points out that he has made every effort to ensure the story was depicted as true to the events possible. I am confident this was done also. Most other special forces books I have read have been from one source (the soldier), however the author sourced his information from the many people involved.
If you are into the special forces this book is a must read, it is also the most recent story involving the SAS, SBS, RAF and the Parachute Regiment.
I have always had alot of respect for these soldiers, this book has increased that. The professionalism that the soldiers display is really something they should be proud of and its reasuring to know that these guys are the ones who are on our side.
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Format: Paperback
I've long been a fan Damien Lewis, and I read each book he brings out. As for Operation Certain Death, it is a fantastic and gripping account of Op Barras in Sierra Leone. This involves the UKSF rescuing some Irish Rangers that have been taken hostage by the West Side Boys, and it is a definite page turner, and I really didn't want to put it down until I completed it. It is a book that I still read and re-read to this day, in fact I would say that it's my favourite book that I have read to date. A must read.........
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Format: Paperback
Damien Lewis is a very good narrator of non-fiction war stories. This is an extremely interesting account of the situation in Sierra Leone, the events leading to and during the kidnap, the planning and the execution of the rescue. The aftermath is also examined including an analysis of the legitimacy of private military companies (mercenaries, in other words) to keep the peace in Africa. This represents the bulk of the book and makes it worth buying for this alone.
However, where the book falls down a bit is the fictionalised accounts of the day to day lives of the rescuing soldiers and the inter-hostage banter. Talented as Lewis is at writing about and commenting on real events, he struggles badly at recreating the atmosphere and camaraderie of being a soldier, either in leisure or about to be sent into difficult situations. Scenes which are, presumably, supposed to show them as tough-but-cheeky chappies are frankly embarrassing. The firing range scene, the coke bottle bombs etc. The dialogue is clichéd and wooden (and written phonetically, except where officers are involved, in a bad attempt to recreate Glaswegian, cockney or Belfast accents). Speaking as a former British soldier, I just hope that people reading this recognises that the author is just plain terrible at this sort of writing and the British army isn’t really composed of such apparent nerds. The somewhat cringe-making title of the book should give you a measure of the fiction aspect of this book.
However, that is a small part of an otherwise excellent book. More than three quarters of this book is worth five stars.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book truly amazing portraying the `The West Side Boys' evil, inhuman, atrocities which at times were gut wrenching. After the capture of the British soldiers and what they were put through, the build up to a rescue couldn't have come quicker for me. The audacious rescue and attack was immense and heightened my emotions! So much heroism, SBS, SAS, 1 PARA, RAF, the hostages, informers, etc. Brilliantly researched and written by Damien Lewis and deserves no less than 5 stars!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a brillaint account of the episode on sierra leone..couldn't stop reading it..this book takes you right there in the middle of the heat,from the tense period of capture to how the background is covered for the un initiated,from the jokes(only comes from supreme confidence) and camradarie,to the focus,the drama and finally "giving them a bloody nose"...Absoltely riveting..
I loved the way, the book has a very clever way of giving you a background so that you are fully engrossed, so that you understand why there was a need to go there,so that you understood the people, the rebels, the conflict..it then goes into length ;pre war with the SAS so that you could see what they had to go through, the laughter and the preparation so that one felt that you were talkin part in it all,and finally the Raid with the SAS,SBS,PARA ....and everyone who supported the heroic effort...Salute to you guys..NEVER FORGOTTEN
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
what an excellent book, coming from a reliable source who was one of the hostages at the time (me) as you can imagine im not going to read it myself but the questions I was asked about the whole time being there means that one of us talked. but if your interested in knowing what happened and what it was like then this book is for you, and decent price. bought as a present for my partner to explain why im the way I am (lol)
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