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SAS: A Soldiers Perspective [Paperback]

Col. Thomas A. Hillary
1.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: 16.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Oct 2009
This book provides an in sight into my lifetime experiences from birth to the present day. It also concentrates thoroughly on defining the qualities desired of an SAS military leader. In terms of personal experiences of leadership I would say that the military provided me with a blueprint of acceptable leadership behaviours. Looking at the training I went through with Special Forces reveals some of the unique qualities that are required to fulfil this role. I would say that conventional military regiments differed somewhat to the democratic, even abdicratic approach of Special Forces units such as the SBS, SAS and 2REP French Foreign Legion. While I was serving with the Marines I wanted to transfer to a Special Forces unit but was refused entry to the organisation because of my commitment to the Marines. This was a great issue at the time but I eventually rejoined the SAS regiment anyway after resigning from the Marines. My first period of SAS training followed passing of the usual Battle Fitness Test (BFT) that was completed while at a barracks off the King's Road in Chelsea. I can explain that my first thoughts about joining the SAS occurred in 1976 when I was serving as a junior guardsman at Pirbright in Surrey. The inspiration came from my platoon commander who had previously been a member of the Guards Independent Parachute Brigade. This was a unit that largely preceded G Squadron of the SAS Regiment. Later actions then included the Iranian embassy incident under direction of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) team and patrols in areas of Northern Ireland that were subject to violent terrorist actions. I served also with 23 and 21 between 1985 and 1992 and the Scots Guards and French Foreign Legion experiences came early in my career.

Product details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (5 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438991223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438991221
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,048,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Col. Thomas A. Hillary BSc (Hons) CertEd PgCMS PhD FRGS CGeog Tom Hillary was born in 1960, the son of a coal-miner from Brandon, just outside the cathedral city of Durham. His experience as a leader of adventurous outdoor activities and expeditions was developed through opportunities provided by Her Majesties Forces. He has served with the Scots Guards, Royal Marines and Special Air Service Regiment. Many of the missions he has been involved in were a unique learning encounter designed to provide skills and insight through experience. Tom's recent involvement in outdoor adventure is substantial in that he has organised and carried out expeditions with numerous groups around the country. He feels that his work with young people and Durham University Exploration Society has been particularly rewarding. Many of the competent members of the society have travelled to many and varied parts of the world. Over the years he has developed a distinct philosophy on outdoor education and believes that good leadership is not convincing people to do it his way but to ensure that everyone's ideas are heard. When it comes to doing something difficult, everyone must work to make it happen. The Expedition Advisory Centre within the Royal Geographical Society is one of the most prestigious authorities for advice on planning major expeditions in the United Kingdom. Tom has been an RGS fellow and is on their 'expedition list' and list of lecturers on expedition topics. He has organised and presented lectures and workshops to universities, colleges, clubs and societies, corporate companies and young people. He has planned quite a number of expeditions and has provided a wide variety of talks and practical demonstrations on expedition topics. He has worked for the Universities of Northumbria, Sunderland and Durham and has successfully completed his Doctorate in Sport Psychology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAS, A soldiers perspective 6 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Is this guy really a Col.? In whose army? Dad's Army? Badly written and generally stating the obvious. Not the sort of book you would expect from sombody of this claimed rank.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Semi-Literate Nonsense 29 Dec 2012
Even perusing the "Look Inside" section above, you can see that this book is utter tripe - badly written ("Many of the missions he has been involved in were a unique learning encounter designed to provide skills and insight through experience"), generic and without any real substance. RMA Sandhurst would be embarrassed if one of its proteges had produced this gibberish. It is entirely untrustworthy and smacks throughout as a work of pure fantasy. You will find no mention of a Col. Thomas Hillary anywhere. The author also states he was present at the Iranian Embassy siege of 1980, yet plenty of other detailed books written on the subject, by both soldiers and historians, have never mentioned him. Not a single university, company, group, charity or anything else he lists above has ever even mentioned him anywhere on the internet. No doubt the author would claim this was because of the "secrecy" of his profession - but then why would you publish and book and tout yourself out to companies if this was the case? How would they ever get in touch?

You can even see the author's fantasies in the blurb above - Author House are a self-publishing company (hence the wildly different prices between the Kindle version and the print copy), and RGS Fellowship is available for 93 per year, with no prior qualification required. The Expeditionary Advisory Centre also hasn't existed for 3 years now.

A load of utter poo. Avoid.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, a fraud 28 Dec 2012
These books will always attract readers. However, my doubts started at the cover when I noticed his medals were in the wrong order (yes, there is an order). After this, his claims were totally implausible. There were some truths yet were quickly dashed by dreadful inaccuracies. Then there were statements of the obvious that were ridiculous. Please do not indulge such buffoonery by buying. I only blame myself; one would hope a true SAS Colonel who had served as recently as the Gulf War would not be on a parade such as this with his beret.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Am Outraged 30 Dec 2012
This book disgusts me as does the author . The fact that it's self published via a vanity printing company tells you all you have to know about the standard of writing . Not even the company who printed the Budgie books by The Duchess Of York twenety years ago would touch this with a bargepole such is the low standard os scribblings within . " Colonel Hiliary " as he likes to call himself has never passed a GCSE English grade never mind attended University for a PhD

But it's what he claims in the book that disgusts and sickens me . He claims to have been in The SAS, Royal Marines , Scots Guards and French Foreign Legion . This is patently total fantasy because that's not how it works in the military and no one has done anything close to what " Colonel Hillary " has done . Believe me this guy is a Walter Mitty character of the most obscene kind

Even for a soldier with an undistinguished career like mine when I was awarded a Victoria Cross for my time in Ulster , awarded bar for the second gulf War and again for my time in the " Sandpit " AKA " The 'Stan " I never came close to doing half the things " Colonel Hillary " has claimed . In fact the only thing I can remember clearly from all my military service is the time me and my best mate " Spanny " were surrounded by the Taliban and Spanny told me to makr a run for it while he covered my retreat with his Vickers machine gun . I never saw Spanny after that . He was listed as MIA but his courage was enough to earn him a posthumous Victoria Cross . He was a real man , a real soldier and I think about him everyday . Interesting that " Colonel Hillary " never ever goes in to any detail about his military experiences . If he's done half of what he's claimed he must have had many stories like the one involving Spanny .
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This is the biggest pile of unmitigated manure that I have ever had the misfortune to read. The author is clearly in need of professional help since he appears to live in a fantasy world that only occasionally coincides with reality. Not only is the whole story riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, his knowledge of the military is, at best, patchy. There are so many flaws in his fairy tale that it's difficult to read it without laughing out loud. Interestingly, the London Gazette, which records details of all commissioned officers and their promotions makes no mention of the good 'Colonel'. Maybe he was so deeply immersed in the world of Special Forces that his personal details must remain forever secret? Oh no, apparently that is not the case since he has a Facebook Page (albeit under a different name)- should I post a link here for your amusement? The poor man is the archetypal Walter Mitty character who at least deserves recognition as a true leader of that ilk. Many people have made up a military background that they don't live up to, this individual has taken such indiscretion to a new level. If I were to recommend this book to anyone (which I don't) it would be to serving or ex soldiers because, if nothing else, it is quite funny (even though that wasn't the author's intent).

Edited to add: Several months on and I can't believe that you are still advertising this tripe. I would have said "selling this tripe" but I am fairy certain that nobody has bought this diarrhoea ...............ever. Amazon you really ought to ashamed of yourself. This book is to literature and the military what Myra Hindley and Ian Brady are to child minding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
It has all been said by other reviewers, so l can really only add that this is utter drivel. I am disgusted that l paid for this. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal
This was cheap, which is just as well, because it is bizarrely awful. The title seems designed to make you believe that the main subject is the SAS and one man's experience... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Reprobate
1.0 out of 5 stars Dear God!!
Ok, I managed two or three paragraphs in the Introduction. Is it me or does this read like it's been put through Google Translate! It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Read more
Published 13 months ago by nigel22
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book was read by my husband.

He said it was a great story and would recomend this book to his friends.
Published 14 months ago by Les
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
Click on the "look inside" feature before you buy this rubbish. If my 10 yr old stepson wrote this I'd probably tell him off for not trying
Published 14 months ago by Mark
1.0 out of 5 stars Walter Mitty: An Autobiography
Thank you Amazon for your 'Look Inside' feature; perhaps this will stop people wasting their cash on a complete work of fantasy. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Matt Truswell
1.0 out of 5 stars Walts Anonymous
Don't know what planet this guy is from but it's not one where decent honest soldiers are - this piece of s*** is an absolute insult to soldiers everywhere
Published 15 months ago by Colin M Crossley
1.0 out of 5 stars Pile of Kack
There were no lifts in Chelsea Barracks Other Ranks accommodation. I spent quite some time in the Scots Guards and have never painted a leaf, cleaned a square with a toothbrush or... Read more
Published 15 months ago by C. Murley
1.0 out of 5 stars Doubtful fiction...
Please, please, please, do NOT waste your money on this unless you really enjoy fantasy fiction.

I served in the British Army during the period this person writes about,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Roger Morris
1.0 out of 5 stars SAS fantasist
I would rather slam my penis and testicles in the sock drawer that read this drivel!

That should about cover it...
Published 15 months ago by SAS Thomarrse Hillary
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