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on 10 November 2007
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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on 2 June 2009
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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on 19 May 2008
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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on 18 July 2008
I just finished this book. I haven't reviewed a book on amazon before but felt compelled to do so here.

Sgt Dan Mills captures the essence and mood of his men and Iraq perfectly. It is neither a scathing attack on the MOD nor a gritty tale of life as a sniper and what they endure. He just tells the story how it was.

Sgt Mills and the British Army in my opinion are regularly and routinely forgotten for what they are for the United Kingdom, the best in the world with the crap they are given. He expertly describes life as it was and how the soldiers all just got on with it with good old fashioned British spirit rather than bemoaning the MOD or his superior officers. When he does moan he looks at both sides of the coin and gives, in my opinion, one of the most balanced and true reflections on life in the now media forgotten front lines. Regularly we hear of death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan and here we see the effect it has on the front lines, and the boys and girls that knew them.

If the MOD did try to ban this book, I am disgusted and it should be a wake up call to all the people who send our boys there and forget about them until the next election. I am sure Sgt Mills had more to say but it is a credit to his professionalism and integrity he told the story the way he did and still made it so gripping and honest. I guess that is more about the situation they were all put in.

All in all if you are interested in Snipers and life in Iraq this is a book you wont put down. It is funny, emotive and most of all honest as well as being fair to everyone involved.

Squaddies and the Army are always labelled thugs in the UK but for me this book labelled them for what they are. The British backbone which no-one will break and I am proud to have protecting me. Worth every penny of my taxes and the price of the book. I hope it makes him millions, unlike Andy McNab & Chris Ryan!
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on 12 April 2008
This is a smashing read and account of events going on with little media coverage - I am French but understand that even in the UK the press is not overwhelmed with stories about British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan.
I found the book very well balanced between life/action report and technical details, the latter being sufficient to support the first instead of invading the foreground.
I suppose Dan Mills and the men around him are of the stuff that bought Britain an empire (Red Coats and all), helped us French understand it was time to stop spreading mayhem all over Europe (Waterloo) and liberated Europe in 44/45.
And still I cannot help feeling upset that soldiers' lives are put at a risk for no clearly identifiable reason and gain with many restrictions as to the amount of force they can employ, be it for tight budgets or because of limited rules of engagement. I have been trained as a platoon leader in the infantry, in the late 80's the motto was still a full head-on confrontation with armies of the Warsaw Pact, meaning heavy metal all the way. One of the many grandeurs of these men is they had to do with being fired at before opening up while not being granted the full firepower of western armies. As observed in the book, it is a miracle that the battle group lost two men only... but the additional few who got severely injured with everlasting consequences must not be forgotten.
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on 4 October 2009
This is not the type of book that I would read normally. However it caught my eye and seemed to pop up everywhere so I decided to give it a go.

It is packed full of funny incidents such as the soldiers setting up an internet dating profile of a "Perfect woman" and tricking on of the other lads into falling for her. Genius. But there are also the reminders of just how dangerous and serious it is out there, people getting shell shocked and the obvious threat of attack from the enemy.

The photos within the book and the map of the city help the reader to see just how real this story actually is, and also how important it may become as a first hand account of this modern war.

Combining barrack room banter with life or death action and incredible acts of bravery and skill, it is impossible not to get into this book. There is no heavy political questioning for the need or reasoning for the war. And why would there be? This is a book written by a man who is simply sent there and as to deal with that. This is the story of how he, and his team, does it.
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on 22 May 2008
I can not express how much i liked this book. As soon as i started reading it i couldn't put it down. Sgt Dan Mills is a solider's solider, who was there to do his job and not get caught up in the political BS that has now permeated into all walks of life now. It is fair to say that when the proverbial hit the fan, Sgt Mills and his boys stood tall and took it. Not only that, but they gave it back and then some.

Sgt Mills writing isn't full of eloquent analogies, but is just straight forward talk about his experiences during his tour in Al Amarah. This engages the reader a lot easier as the experiences he writes about don't need it and would only slow the pace of the book down.

If i ever met Sgt Mills he would def have a pint on me, as what he did, and his fellow troops did is enough to make you bloody proud.
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on 15 June 2011
I picked this up for a quid at a boot sale and I wish I could go back and give the guy some more money! I have read military history and first hand accounts for most of my adult life (from 'The Recollections of Rifleman Harris' to 'Pheonix Squadron' and 'Tornado Down') but this is the first account of the Iraq War that I have read. I can only imagine that the others will be a disappointment after this. I couldn't put this down. I dreamt about it at night. I laughed out loud about the dating web-site prank. I felt I was on the roof of CIMIC house with the snipers from Y Company. A brilliant and compelling read from the very first page to the very last. I take my hat off to Sgt Mills and the Y Company boys.
A word of warning though: don't read this if you don't like the 'F' word...
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on 7 July 2008
From what you read in the newspapers, saw on the news, I bet you thought life in Iraq was a doddle.
Ever wondered what was meant by the simple phrase "heavy fighting", ever wondered how YOU would fare.
Take Rourkes Drift and stretch it from 2 days to 4 months - get the idea? Peace keeping was never supposed to be like this. Sgt Dan Mills tells it how it is, no trying to analyse why they were there, just that they were and had a job to do.
It is no wonder the MOD were against it being published. The Government just do not want us, safe at home, to know just what a mess they have got our troops into. Those of a 'politically correct' and nervous disposition should not read this book. It is a no holds barred tale of what "heavy fighting" actually means and makes you proud of our armed forces.
If Sgt Mills is at a loss of what to do in civvy street - more writing like this please. Only someone who has been in the exclusive 'front line' club can inject that realism into fiction.
I read this book cover to cover in only a few days and then......I really, really wanted to read it again but this time with the map in front of me so I didn't need to keep flicking to the front of the book and back again. I am trying to read my next book - but the idea of reading Sniper One again just won't go away.
How often does that happen?
Despite books having better pictures, this book would make a blockbuster film, if only to show that there were others than Yanks out there: but only if it is true to the written word.
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on 9 May 2008
This is possibly the best book I have ever read, very well written and keeps you turning page after page, just impossible to put down.
It is said this is a true story I have no reason to doubt this. politicians should read this maybe they might equip our soldiers a litte better, with the best of everthing right down to the rifles. The best of everything for the best soldiers in the world, well done lads.
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