7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thoughtful and entertaining, 5 Jun. 2008
Ben Barry was the Commanding Officer of an infantry battlion in Bosnia for six months in the winter of 1995-96. It was the coldest winter in living memory, a fact that played a huge role in the difficulties and demands of operations. The battalion's role changed signficantly once the Dayton Peace Treaty was signed in December 95 and they moved from being UN to NATO troops: they pushed into areas closed to the UN, separated the warring factions, marked out the new border and tried to kick-start peace. It was a huge job, and a crucial chapter in the turbulent history of the Balkans. As such Ben Barry was at the hub of these events, and his skill is to put complex operations and military jargon into language that anyone can understand. An excellent glossary and introduction to the battalion helps greatly.
The book is easy to read, articulate, and a nice blend of anecdotes and analysis. Likewise he mixes personal reflections and concerns with political and high-level discussion. He does a fine job of explaining clearly and drawing together the experiences of all the disparate elements of the battalion. He is generous in his mention of other members of the battalion, and has clearly consulted a wide range of people. The colour photos are excellent.
This is an excellent companion volume to Les Howard's recent book on the same tour from a private soldier's perspective. Ben Barry faced a whole different set of pressures and problems, yet brought back the battalion in excellent shape and having made a large contribution to peace in the area, a peace that still holds. This book is a must for any political or military students.