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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, couldn't put the book down.
I have about 10 or more special forces books, from bravo 2 zero to CQB. All of them have been good, some great. Operation certain death was arguably the best and most detailed of them all.
The Book brings you straight into the series of events that lead to Operation Barras (aka operation certain death). It starts in Sierra Leone where the Irish Rangers began their...
Published on 10 Mar. 2004 by Mr. Maguire

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Operation Certain Death
Undoubtedly well-researched but the verbal interchanges between the British soldiers are at best irritating and at worst, wholly embarrassing (at times I had to skip full paragraphs). If you have an interest in this event and the history surrounding it then this book is definately worth considering, but only if you can tolerate the constant phonetics used to portray...
Published on 8 Aug. 2006 by S. R. Randles


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, couldn't put the book down., 10 Mar. 2004
I have about 10 or more special forces books, from bravo 2 zero to CQB. All of them have been good, some great. Operation certain death was arguably the best and most detailed of them all.
The Book brings you straight into the series of events that lead to Operation Barras (aka operation certain death). It starts in Sierra Leone where the Irish Rangers began their ill fated journey and takes you right through the whole military operation that followed in great detail. The auther does a superb job of depeciting the various personalities of soldiers and he explains multiple events at once without the reader getting confused.
The author also points out that he has made every effort to ensure the story was depicted as true to the events possible. I am confident this was done also. Most other special forces books I have read have been from one source (the soldier), however the author sourced his information from the many people involved.
If you are into the special forces this book is a must read, it is also the most recent story involving the SAS, SBS, RAF and the Parachute Regiment.
I have always had alot of respect for these soldiers, this book has increased that. The professionalism that the soldiers display is really something they should be proud of and its reasuring to know that these guys are the ones who are on our side.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, couldn't put it down......, 31 July 2013
This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
I've long been a fan Damien Lewis, and I read each book he brings out. As for Operation Certain Death, it is a fantastic and gripping account of Op Barras in Sierra Leone. This involves the UKSF rescuing some Irish Rangers that have been taken hostage by the West Side Boys, and it is a definite page turner, and I really didn't want to put it down until I completed it. It is a book that I still read and re-read to this day, in fact I would say that it's my favourite book that I have read to date. A must read.........
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost 5 stars..., 11 Jan. 2006
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This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
Damien Lewis is a very good narrator of non-fiction war stories. This is an extremely interesting account of the situation in Sierra Leone, the events leading to and during the kidnap, the planning and the execution of the rescue. The aftermath is also examined including an analysis of the legitimacy of private military companies (mercenaries, in other words) to keep the peace in Africa. This represents the bulk of the book and makes it worth buying for this alone.
However, where the book falls down a bit is the fictionalised accounts of the day to day lives of the rescuing soldiers and the inter-hostage banter. Talented as Lewis is at writing about and commenting on real events, he struggles badly at recreating the atmosphere and camaraderie of being a soldier, either in leisure or about to be sent into difficult situations. Scenes which are, presumably, supposed to show them as tough-but-cheeky chappies are frankly embarrassing. The firing range scene, the coke bottle bombs etc. The dialogue is clichéd and wooden (and written phonetically, except where officers are involved, in a bad attempt to recreate Glaswegian, cockney or Belfast accents). Speaking as a former British soldier, I just hope that people reading this recognises that the author is just plain terrible at this sort of writing and the British army isn’t really composed of such apparent nerds. The somewhat cringe-making title of the book should give you a measure of the fiction aspect of this book.
However, that is a small part of an otherwise excellent book. More than three quarters of this book is worth five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So many emotions and heroism, 4 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
I found this book truly amazing portraying the `The West Side Boys' evil, inhuman, atrocities which at times were gut wrenching. After the capture of the British soldiers and what they were put through, the build up to a rescue couldn't have come quicker for me. The audacious rescue and attack was immense and heightened my emotions! So much heroism, SBS, SAS, 1 PARA, RAF, the hostages, informers, etc. Brilliantly researched and written by Damien Lewis and deserves no less than 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the legends of gberi bana and magbeni, 18 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
What a brillaint account of the episode on sierra leone..couldn't stop reading it..this book takes you right there in the middle of the heat,from the tense period of capture to how the background is covered for the un initiated,from the jokes(only comes from supreme confidence) and camradarie,to the focus,the drama and finally "giving them a bloody nose"...Absoltely riveting..
I loved the way, the book has a very clever way of giving you a background so that you are fully engrossed, so that you understand why there was a need to go there,so that you understood the people, the rebels, the conflict..it then goes into length ;pre war with the SAS so that you could see what they had to go through, the laughter and the preparation so that one felt that you were talkin part in it all,and finally the Raid with the SAS,SBS,PARA ....and everyone who supported the heroic effort...Salute to you guys..NEVER FORGOTTEN
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Operation Certain Death, 8 Aug. 2006
By 
This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
Undoubtedly well-researched but the verbal interchanges between the British soldiers are at best irritating and at worst, wholly embarrassing (at times I had to skip full paragraphs). If you have an interest in this event and the history surrounding it then this book is definately worth considering, but only if you can tolerate the constant phonetics used to portray regional accents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, 28 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
Sometimes you get a book that you just can't put down, it may take you a few hours but you read it from cover to cover and are simply breathless at the end. This is that book made even more memorable because it is a true story, so do yourself a favour and buy a copy, you wont regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certain Death, 13 Nov. 2010
By 
M. Jarvis (Tenbury Wells, Worc's) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A true story with a great deal of inside information which makes for a fascinating read. Very well researched which brings to light all the main characters.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncelebrated triumph, 12 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
As a graphic and detailed look at one of the most succesful and largely un-commented on special forces operations of recent times, the book does remarkably well. The book has a quick pace without losing detail, and the author does manage to move between the main protaganists and geographical areas without losing clarity. The sections detailing how the plans for the rescue were drawn up and finalised give a good insight into the working practices behind this kind of military operation.
The main problem with the book comes from the authors bad idea to write accents as they would sound. I know what an accent is, he didn't need to phonetically spell all their spoken words.
Still, this is a good book, that reads like a hollywood movie, and tells a tale that anyone,not just those into SAS type books can be gripped with.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that had to be told, 28 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Operation Certain Death (Paperback)
This is the story of such an important operation in the history of British Special Forces that it would have been a crime to leave it untold. Damien Lewis tells it superbly.
While I am no literary expert, I know a well written book when I see one and I couldn't put this one down! The story encompasses the very worst humanity has to offer and very close to the best. My hat goes off to the Royal Irish Rangers, and in particular Major Martial, for the way they handled themselves in such an awful situation.
If you're interested in things military, or just incredible true stories, then read it.
As the Rangers might say; Spot on!
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Operation Certain Death
Operation Certain Death by Damien Lewis (Paperback - 26 May 2005)
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