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Pathfinder: A Special Forces Mission Behind Enemy Lines

Pathfinder: A Special Forces Mission Behind Enemy Lines [Kindle Edition]

David Blakeley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Real-life black ops - a must have (Bestselling author Frederick Forsyth)

Our elite forces in blistering action against all odds (Bear Grylls)

Reveal[s] the entire operation as well as the ugly story of how they were left to possible capture or death by their senior commanders (The Independent)

This account is so gripping that I read the review copy from cover to cover within 48 hours of receiving it just before this issue went to press. (Combat and Survival)

A truly extraordinary book; fast-paced, gripping, authentic. A taut telling of an elite mission that helped change the course of a war. I joined the Regiment with David Blakeley and served alongside him in Kosovo and Iraq. He was a dynamic and inspirational leader. (Dan Jarvis, MBE MP)

Blistering action behind enemy lines - a true soldier's story (Big Phil Champion, author of BORN FEARLESS)

An incredible story of heroism and honour beyond measure. Men may want to be David Blakeley, and women will surely want to date him! (Olivia Lee)

A fascinating and gripping tale of daring do (MILITARY MACHINES INTERNATIONAL)

Book Description

Nine men. 2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most definitely a 'yes' 1 Mar 2013
I must confess to being a bit sceptical when a friend recommended I read this. It's been ten years & I kind of thought all the best books had come out about this war - and said so. I'm ex-forces and like the genre but not so much I can suffer an average or worse book - esp as I'm normally a slow reader. So I was wrong and I'm big enough to write my penance! The book was excellent on all levels and really swept me into his world and carried me along. Obviously the events/story = v strong & truly edge of the seat stuff but what I think it has over, say Bravo 2 Zero, etc is that the guy can obviously WRITE. It has that writer's need to convey but still maintain the ease of reading - descriptions, characters become real, their motives and why decisions are taken (at all levels, top to bottom - partly helped by the fact that Blakeley was 2IC of the unit AND fighting with his patrol, leading from the front). It's also honest eg the moments of self-doubt and the loneliness of being in charge: as an officer you can't ever quite relax as one of the boys. This honesty is what I found lacking in books like Chris Kyle (RIP)'s account. There's the laugh out loud stuff that I think only ex-service writers can convey. I like Sebastian Faulks but even in WW1 the soldiers were having laughs - it's what bonds and makes a unit great. I actually would have given this 5 stars if the book had been bigger - I've waited this long to hear this story and I felt like I could have done with more, say about his early days. Maybe that wasn't the writer's fault or maybe he's going to do more. I hope the latter. Penance done, enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 18 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Incredible escape, good comrades, good decisions by Chinese parliament. Disappointed by Headshed reaction for air and their take on an operational decisions made on the ground by experienced operators. They should have been put in a pinkish and sent out front. I would wager an entirely different reaction. Well done David and the lads. DON Monro
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, with reservations 24 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once it gets warmed up, this is a pretty good read. The climactic battle is as exciting as any thriller - but the first half of the book is all planning and background stuff and is only interesting if you are interested in that sort of thing! I certainly agree with another reviewer about the way he goes on about his expensive watch and sunglasses - a couple of (e-book) pages at least on the watch alone! It made him sound like an adolescent fantasist - and in fact the author doesn't come out of the book as well as he perhaps thinks.

Reading between the lines it seems as if there were some doubts within his team regarding his leadership qualities even before the mission. Then, when his team were in a fix, he came up with a plan that could well have got them all killed and which none of the others agreed with - and he had to give way to the majority. Once on their mission they were spotted by someone in a car who actually deliberately mingled in with their convoy, clearly noting their vehicles and manpower, and openly phoning someone as he did it. The author says he couldn't so anything because the man spying on them was dressed as a civilian - but it is a decision (completely ridiculous in a war zone near the front lines to my mind) that nearly got him and all his men killed. I'm no military expert, but in fact I wonder how the whole mission reflects on the British army. (Spoiler alert) A unit that specialises in stealth and silent parachute insertions behind enemy lines, they were refused permission to make an air drop and told to drive through the enemy front line along a main road in un-armoured vehicles - with no air support on standby for when things went wrong! No wonder the Americans couldn't believe it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read 27 April 2013
By JohnnyP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Might sound a bit boys own but this account was very gripping.
All concerned must have been blessed to get through as they did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 18 April 2013
By Phil
Cover to cover I was fully immersed into the book. Informative and a great combination of humour and intensity throughout the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 6 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written book about a team of special forces I'd never even heard of!

The bravery of these men contrast starkly against the seeming lack of funding and kit our forces all seem to suffer from
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read from cover to cover! 14 Jun 2012
This book is a great read and had me gripped from start to finish. From the moment the action kicks off it doesn't stop and you get to really visualize what these guys went through and the close calls had me completely on edge! As a reader i tend to dip in and out of books on war, but this is one i would definitely recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 18 Oct 2013
By Anna Q
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book opens up a new world to all of us. Heartrendering at times and very well written and gives the reader an insight into the forces that we would never know.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant, page turner
Published 4 days ago by rick ogier
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
very good read which shows the work of the Elite soldiers are capable off. fair play to the pathfinders for this mission.
Published 10 days ago by M. I. Francey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
BRILLIANT book could not put it down. Recommended.
Published 11 days ago by Aw Coates
1.0 out of 5 stars his poor lack of judgement and lack of responsibility put his ...
I had the misfortune of crossing paths with this self obsessed "want to be" at Headley court he is a vain vile human being he obviously has an axe to grind with H do to... Read more
Published 13 days ago by JIM ARMSTRONG
5.0 out of 5 stars Derring Do
A tale of courage, daring and some would say madness by a small band of men who pride themselves in there professionalism
Published 15 days ago by Norrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want to put it down
Really well written and informative enjoyed from start to finish it goes to show that these guys go the extra mile...
Published 16 days ago by princered
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 19 days ago by CUPRA
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as I expected, thanks
Published 1 month ago by MR R A CLIFFE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, thanks
Published 1 month ago by Mr A. J. Southby
5.0 out of 5 stars a cracking insight into the bravery and professionalism of our elite...
To say that David's book was unputdownable is an understatement of massive proportions. You get to experience some of the fear, excitement and elation of the life changing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J A Hobby
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