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Sniper One: The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege Hardcover – 30 Aug 2007

459 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; 4th Impression edition (30 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718149947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718149949
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.6 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A gritty, speedball run ... it plugs the reader straight into the blood and guts of the action' -- The Times

'A highly-charged, action filled, adrenalin-pumped, page-turning read that, frankly, knocks the socks off all previous British accounts in this genre' -- Sunday Telegraph

'The most vivid account ever of total combat on Iraq's frontline' -- The Sun

'This book may upset the system, but it's a story that should be
told ... their story matches any act of heroism in British history and
they've earned their right to be heard.'
-- MARK SPICER, author of Illustrated Manual of Sniper Skills

'You can taste the dust and cordite. One of the best first-hand
accounts of combat that I've ever read.'

From the Back Cover

'Contact front! Contact front!' Immediately we were down on our
knees and aggressively returning fire. Then we slipped away into pairs.
While one bloke got up and sprinted 10 feet back up the alleyway, the other
emptied all the rounds he could in the direction of the gunmen. Then the
pair swapped roles. Fire and Manouevre, fire and manouevre.

It was like the bank robbery scene in 'Heat'. It's amazing how well you
remember it all when you need to. But still the RPK poured lead at us. A
whole burst went straight between Smudge's legs as he was stopping to turn
and cover me.

'Average?!' I said as we looked at each other in amazement. Then we
carried on ...

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gilbs on 10 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant, warts and all account of a "Peacekeeping" tour in Iraq, told by the Platoon Sergeant of a sniper Platoon. Shot at and mortared from almost the moment they set foot on Iraqui soil, and for most of their tour, it wasn't peace at all, but all out war. As an ex-soldier I try to keep up with what British Forces are doing around the world today, but this amazed and shocked me. It seems to me the truth about what our Services are going through in Iraq and Afganistan is certainly under reported (censored?)and definately unappreciated by the public at large. Huge respect to Dan for telling the tale, it really needed telling, and to the rest of his unit, extraordinary people doing an extraordinary job. Just read this book.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By susie on 2 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Courage, tenacity and a sense of humour go hand in hand in Dan Mills' true tale of his time in war-torn Iraq in 2004.
If I am absolutely honest, this is not the sort of book I would normally read, but it was on my book club's reading list and I'm so glad I picked it up. Sniper One is an honest and action-packed first hand account. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
It is fast paced and written in such a way that even a female civvie like me could understand it.
The only other similar book I have read is In Foreign Fields: Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan in Their Own Words and that one reduced me to tears because I was so moved and humbled by some of the stories. (Again, I wasn't intending to read it. I bought it for my husband and ended up reading it on the train home and couldn't give it to him until I had finished it.) If you are looking for something after the adrenaline rush of Sniper One, I can highly recommend In Foreign Fields. It is the first hand accounts of British soldiers/Marines and RAF personnel who have won medals for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their stories are amazing, humbling and truly inspirational.
Put Sniper One and In Foreign Fields on your wish list.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Elliot on 19 May 2008
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading the paper back edition of "Sniper One."
The paperback edition was only released on Tuesday. I bought a copy on Thursday, and I haven't been able to put it down till I finished it today (Monday).
Unlike some "Sniper" based books this book is more about the situation the soldiers found themselves in, and how they managed the trials of those situations, rather than overly detailed accounts of incredible shots from unbelievable distances (not to say their weren't a few of those, but they just happened as part of the job, more a consequence of the situation the men found themselves in rather than the central emphasis of the narrative).
There is more than enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat, and plenty of tales of professional soldiers maintaining a cool and professional manner, in the most extreme circumstances imaginable (they did us proud).
I was also surprised to find out that the MOD had tried to stop the publication of this book. I found that very surprising as I think this book is probably a fantastic recruiting tool. I think the Army comes off very well in this book, and the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR) comes off particularly well (37 medals and awards seems to suggest the Army thought so as well.)
Any way if you fancy getting a small glimpse of the kind of the hell our boys have been, and still are dealing with (Don't forget Afghanistan.), I can highly recommend this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr Luca on 28 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have ever read and my favourite military book so far - and I've read quite a few. A couple of things other reviews I read didn't touch on.

- I found this a very very funny book. I laughed out loud, loudly in more than 5 places. Things like his descriptions of the crazy characters of his men; the mischief with the dating site, the fight between Louis and John; his sniper poo episode; the behaviour of the something-TAG sergeants in the lethal firefight. These and more were made very very funny by his telling. Perhaps Sgt Dan Mills could be a comedian in his next career.

- Dan Mills and his men expressed a genuine love of fighting. They were genuinely eager to be involved in multiple firefights, perversely happy to be shot at and incessantly mortared. He didn't try to come across as peace-loving or reluctant to be in the situation. Quite the opposite - he said how much the loved the challenge. I've never seen military characters portrayed in quite this way before.

- They were very good at their job. And they deeply loved their work. As expressed by their open mouthed admiration of "The Beast" - a new sniper weapon. And the babbling adolescent anticipation they showed before the F16 attack on a mortar position.

- The ending was a bit poignant. It was a bit disappointing that these super soldiers were unable to find better work after leaving the army. I wasn't too happy about that part. It seemed ridiculous than an elite soldier would end up as a security guard at a university. But I suppose that's the nature of a free society.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on 28 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't wait to get back on the tube tonight as I'm about 5 pages away from the end of this book. It is an intensely gripping account: you find yourself feeling what must be 0.0001% of the adrenalin rush that Sgt Mill's platoon felt in the incredibly hairy circumstances they found themselves in, but the fact that his account can even give you that degree of insight is amazing to me, as I have never been in the sort of places or situations he describes.

The writing is straightforward, punchy stuff. The dialogue is realistically basic and banal. To my mind, it's the fact that certain aspects of the book are fairly unsophisticated that makes me think it must be an honest account. Sgt Mills is also very honest about his own feelings during the battles he describes: I know one reveiwer on here has commented that Mills' lack of concern for the human lives he's taking is "alienating" for the reader, but I think that looking at the book that way misses the point. Mills isn't trying to make you like him, or make you think that it was a just war, or anything like that: he seems to set out to tell the reader exactly how *he* felt, and it seems that he didn't feel a lot of fellow-feeling for the enemy (mainly because they were so intent on killing him and his men). I would have felt more "alienated" as a reader if Mills had tried to present some elaborate moral justification for his actions when it seems that in the heat of the battle staying alive was simply the most important thing (and, crucially, staying alive meant the other guy didn't get to stay alive too).

An excellent book, in my opinion. Be aware that as a female reader you will get funny looks when you get this book out of your handbag on the train. But definitely do read it.
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