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An Ordinary Soldier: Afghanistan: A ferocious enemy. A bloody conflict. One man's impossible mission [Kindle Edition]

Doug Beattie MC
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

On 11th September 2006 - exactly five years after the attacks on the Twin Towers - a modern day Rorke's Drift was played out in the town of Garmsir, known as the Taliban gateway to Helmand Province. 40-year-old Capt. Doug Beattie of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment was charged with the mission to help retake Garmsir from the Taliban. His commanders said it would take two days; it actually took two weeks of exhausting, bloody conflict in which at times he would be one of only a small unit up against a ferocious enemy in impossible conditions.For his repeated bravery Doug Beattie was decorated with the Military Cross.
AN ORDINARY SOLDIER offers an extraordinary insight into the mission in Afghanistan and, crucially, the relationship between British troops and the Afghans they serve alongside. Above all, it's Beattie's personal story of being what he modestly calls 'an ordinary soldier' - someone who balances being a loving father and husband with that of fighting in the world's most hostile place. It demands to be read.

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Product Description


A riveting read...One of the strengths of the book is Beattie's description of working with the Afghans
-- The Sunday Times, October 26,2008

About the Author

Doug Beattie entered 1 R Irish as 17-year-old. He served as an NCO in Bosnia, an RSM in Iraq, and is currently in his final tour of duty in Afghanistan before he retires in autumn 2008. Co-writer Philip Gomm is Westminster Correspondent for ITV News.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1550 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (21 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,154 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly heartfelt account of modern warfare 23 Jan. 2010
By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE
Author Doug Beattie won a Military Cross for his actions described in this book, which take place in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2006. You might therefore expect some ferocious combat in his book, An Ordinary Soldier and you certainly get that but also something else that is often missing from other military memoirs: emotional honesty.

Beattie lays himself open to the reader, describing his actions - sending men off to fight and sometimes die, calling in merciless air support to batter other people, shooting wounded soldiers and so forth - in describing these, he is highly self-critical: are these the right things to do? Are these actions comparable to the Nazis? Can I still retain my humanity? Am I the same person? This reflection is both honest, candid and laudable.

Another facet of Beattie's book that is commendable is how he describes the relationship betwixt the British forces and the Afghanis who choose to fight alongside them: passionate but disorganised, poor but generous; some he admires a great deal, others he cannot stand.

As with other books describing the war in Afghanistan, one wonders just what we are doing out there, what we are actually achieving at such a cost of lives, both Afghanis and British? Beattie seems to get bogged down in a series of firefights, attempting to dominate land, only then having to relinquish it; nothing but the spilling of much blood seems to be the end result. There are certainly no military victories, much less any "nation-building" to describe.

Doug Beattie's book, An Ordinary Soldier, will be familiar to readers of the genre in terms of the military aspects portrayed therein and as such does not sufficiently differentiate itself from other titles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book, not simply because I have always appreciated true stories of courage and heroism in war, but also because a nephew of mine recently returned from Helmand province, after a six month tour of duty as a lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Quite simply, I wanted to gain some appreciation of what he may have experienced during his "tour."

The dust jacket of the book gives you a small idea of what to expect: a prone soldier in camouflage uniform is blazing away with a somewhat bizarely named GP ("General Purpose") machine gun; a cloud of smoke rises from an explosion in the distance: and a Chinook helicopter is lumbering away, doubtless removing one or more seriously injured casualities.

In some ways, this book is similar to others in the genre; eg, working class youth/young man joins up for adventure/escape unemployment/escape a life of crime, (or the consequences), etc. In common with other books (eg, "Hellfire" by Ed Macy (please see my other reviews)), it gives a brief account of the author's early life and career. Unlike some other war non fiction titles, the climactic action does not simply occupy a few pages; it starts at page 81, and reaches page 292 out of 301. However, there the resemblance ends, for this is a book which was not originally intended to make money for it's author or publishers. Rather, it was one soldier's private and personal attempt to cope, single handedly, with nightmarish, post traumatic stress consequent on deadly combat. Perhaps bizarely, in a 25 year military career spent in such places as Northern Ireland and Iraq, this was the first occasion when the author actually killed anyone in the course of his duties.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of the Afghan conflict. 7 Oct. 2008
By Pedros
If I had to list my top ten war books this would be up there. Well written with well documented facts and accounts of fierce fighting that rate as one of the best ever written from this conflict. Certainly as good as Sniper one and eight lives down from the Iraq war this will find a place onto many book shelves to be read and reread.
Like so many war books this is not for the faint hearted.
I have just been told that Doug Beattie has cancelled his book signing date with waterstones in Colchester due to the numbers of soldiers coming back wounded and says he will show them some respect.
This should truly deserve our respect for them and for Doug.
Just for this book. It will give all a true reflection of our boys, their commitment to the cause and why we should all respect that.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candid, honest and an awe-inspiring story 9 Oct. 2008
By S. Roy
Superb insider's account of life in the UK military inside Afghanistan that tells it how it is from a soldier's perspective - and ignore the modesty in the title - for truly this is no ordinary soldier but a heroic one. Written with a mature viewpoint that avoids cliche and sensationalism, this is a book that educates, informs, and brings home the reality of war in a way not often available in other media.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, Compassion, a must read... 7 Mar. 2010
As an Ex Soldier of 22 years I can totally understand what Doug is all about, for those who read his books will be in no doubt of the stress, strains of both married life and service demands put on you the soldier(serviceman) and their families. Mix this together with the opertional tasks given you to perform in clearly the most ridicluous constraints, of manpower, equipment, time etc you wonder why they do it. Soldiers make the most amazing friendships in their service time, that last a lifetimes, the common bond is not affected by class, colour, religion or education. Dougs book gives the 'civillians' a great understanding of what it means to be at the sharp end in no uncertain terms with the thoughts and concerns that soldiers are left to deal with afterwards.
A absolute must read for everyone..
Many thanks Doug.
Bob Scott (ex WO2)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
an harrowing glimpse into what our soldiers face every day
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars delivered as advertised
delivered as advertised
Published 3 months ago by andrew pettitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by roy williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good.
A very good book, which tells the story about what 'our boys' (and girls) had to put up with when on tour.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars In excellent condition for second hand
Very god deal, well worth the money. In excellent condition for second hand.
Published 7 months ago by Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars For ordinary soldiers and ordinary people
A book deserving 5 stars. Anyone reading it will be given a thought provoking experience. The book details the battle for Garmsir early stages of the time spent in Afghanistan by... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs J E Ashmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and modestly told
Doug Beattie's book is well worth reading to see how the Afghan campaign moved on, from those early days of stand up battles with the enemy, when the Army was stretched to breaking... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Openside 7
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 9 months ago by craggles
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read! I would recommend this book!
Published 10 months ago by Mark Dziedzic
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
A good read easy page turner of life at the front
Published 10 months ago by J G Macknight
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