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Steven McLaughlin (Lancashire, UK)

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Fighting Scared: My life in the SAS (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS)
Fighting Scared: My life in the SAS (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS)
by Robin Horsfall
Edition: Paperback

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A military classic in every sense, 10 Jun. 2007
I had the pleasure of meeting Robin when we were both featured as guests on a political discussion show. To say it was an honour would be an understatement - he has a military record and personal history that marks him out as a truly remarkable man. Having firstly met him, and secondly read his book, I can well understand how he's gained such a legendary reputation amongst the military community.

Robin became a boy soldier at the tender age of 15 on the famously robust `Junior Leaders course'. If you've ever wondered why the British Infantry has consistently produced the finest NCOs in the world then one need look no further than this course: in the 1970/80s most of our RSMs were graduates of this scheme. Following on from that Robin became an elite Para at just 17 (another outstanding feat), and even more impressively, a fully blown SAS trooper at just 21.

But Fighting Scared is much more than just another Special Forces memoir, and the author's moving personal story of a grim childhood, and consequent fears and self-doubt, resonates throughout the expertly written text. Robin's story has a profound humanity and self-awareness behind it, and he explains clearly, and demonstrates with graphic candour, why walking away from violence is often the hardest thing to do.

Most readers will undoubtedly relish the adrenaline packed descriptions of daily life within the SAS and the remorseless cycle of military op's; but for me the story of his struggle for acceptance and fight for respect and dignity, within the Para's and basic training, was equally valid. Robin teaches us that the greatest victory of all is to merely stand up and be counted, and that if a man ever desires to be exceptional, then he has to be prepared to sacrifice everything he has.

An outstanding story and a true military classic.

Steven McLaughlin

Author of Squaddie - a soldier's story

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