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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of british
Enjoyed this book as it gave a no nonsense account of this operation. Surprisingly ,for this raid series of books, the maps work in this kindle format. Recommended for anyone I retested in .modern special forces operations.
Published 16 months ago by Cheyanne

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Now children, here we have a little book about good guys and bad guys and their guns!
To say I was a little dissapointed would be a understatement. Maybe my own fault as I had expected a novel not something akin to a childs picture book,
My problem is with the form factor and writing style of the book rather than the content contained within oh and not taking from the
Published 16 months ago by Tyreman


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of british, 21 Mar 2013
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Enjoyed this book as it gave a no nonsense account of this operation. Surprisingly ,for this raid series of books, the maps work in this kindle format. Recommended for anyone I retested in .modern special forces operations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 21 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Certain Death in Sierra Leone: The SAS and Operation Barras 2000 (Raid) (Paperback)
A clear, concise, and undramatic account of an unusual military operation that sheds light on the problems involving peacekeeping forces in Africa
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good, although I think not quite complete, description of a little known but greatly successful British Army operation, 3 July 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Certain Death in Sierra Leone: The SAS and Operation Barras 2000 (Raid) (Paperback)
This quite honest and certainly very interesting book describes a British Army raid known as Operation "Barras", which took place on 10 September 2000 in Sierra Leone. I liked it and I am glad that I bought it, although there are some things which could be improved, if there ever is a second edition.

1. Operation "Barras"

In the year 2000 British armed forces were heavily commited in operations in Sierra Leone, a country ravaged by a horrible, deadly civil war since 1991. British intervention, code-named Operation "Palliser", began in May 2000 and its first purpose was the evacuation of British citizens and their families from the country, where another extremely violent round of combats just began. Once this objective was achieved, the mandate of British forces was expanded and they were committed on the side of the central government against the various rebel factions (some of them supported by Libya) and also the large, heavily armed bandit gangs which became with time a real scourge...

It was during those operations that on 25 August 2000 a small patrol of twelve soldiers (eleven British and one Sierra Leonese), commanded by Major Alan Marshall, was surrounded by surprise and forced to surrender by a particularly vicious gang of outlaws, named "West Side Boys" or "West Side Junglers" (there were also other names, but they cannot be quoted for sake of decency), commanded by a self-proclaimed "Brigadier-General" Foday Kallay.

The "West Side Boys" were a large gang, counting no less than 300 heavily armed fighters (probably even more). The fighters were - quite typically for this particular civil war - a mixture of men, women, boys and girls of all ages, from grown ups to children as young as 10. Although lacking regular military training, they were very well armed, with numerous FAL and AK-47 automatic rifles, GPMG machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, 60 and 81 mm mortars and also some vehicle-mounted ZPU-2 14,5 mm heavy machine guns. Frequently drunk and almost all the time high on drugs, the "West Side Boys" were completely unpredictable and greatly feared by local population, as their main occupation was to wantonly pillage, burn, torture, rape, mutilate and murder. They also abducted children to make them into soldiers in their Small Boys Unit and young woman and girls to make them into "sex fighters" or "bush wives" - which actually meant sex slaves...

During negotiations Foday Kallay and his second in command, Colonel "Cambodia", agreed to release five of hostages. After that further negotiations reached an impas and the growing aggressivity of Kallay and news about the bad treatments inflicted on the Sierra Leonese hostage Musa Bangura made British leadership decide that it was time to attack...

The operation of rescue of remaining seven hostages took place on the 10 September 2000, in form of a helicopter raid of SAS and Paratroopers against the two strongholds of the gang. All hostages were rescued, as were 22 of Sierra Leonese slaves kept by the gang. And at least twenty-two "West Side Boys" were killed in fighting, while others surrendered or run for their lives. One SAS trooper, Private Bradley Tinnion, was killed by machine gun fire, another British soldier was badly wounded and eleven more suffered lesser injuries. One Sierra Leonese civilian (a slave kept by the gang) was also accidentally killed during the gunfight. Foday Kallay was captured alive, as he surrendered withour resistance - on another hand his wife "Mamy" Kallay (a woman greatly feared by prisoners and slaves of "West Side Boys" for her insane cruelty) went down with a gun in her hand, fighting to the end...

The fate of "West Side Boys" greatly "encouraged" other armed gangs to disarm and disband, helping thus the pacification of the country. The civil war finally ended in 2002 - greatly helped by the pressure applied by the British army...

2. The book.

This book describes the events quite comprehensively and offers a lot of interesting details. Illustrations and maps are honest. The narration is quite clear and mostly interesting. There are two colour plates, which are OK, although not really great. I certainly learned a lot from this book, including the fact that you can shoot a GPMG from the shoulder!

The weaker points, for which I must take away one star are mostly the writing style which is not always the best thing on the market and also the lack of some information. We are not told what happened to Foday Kallay and other "West Side Boys" captured in the raid. We are not told what happened to unfortunate Major Alan Marshall's career... British solders were assisted during this operation by a MI-24 gunship helicopter owned by Sierra Leonese army and piloted by a South African mercenary - but we are offered only the most limited information about it... There is also no pictures of captured weapons and equipements - although here I can understand that for some reason there may still be classified... Finally, the description of the fighting itself is surprisingly laconic, making me think that we may not be exactly told the WHOLE truth about this event - there are some publications in internet which suggest that in fact the "West Side Boys" offered much more resistance and suffered a much, much greater number of casualties...

Still, all those remarks notwithstanding, I liked this book and I am glad that I bought and read it. And I certainly hope that we will NEVER see anymore (and especially not in Europe) such a collapse of state, followed unavoidably by the disappearance of law and public order, as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Congo (Zaire) experienced in the 1990s... Thanks God for the solidity of our institutions and for the service of all those who keep the "Watch on Rhine", preventing the appearance of barbarians like "West Side Boys" in our Western societies...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and heart breaking, 29 Mar 2014
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Recommended to me by Ginge who advised one of the best books read in a while. I could not put this down when started
The author involves you from the start explaining how and why we were involved in this war. 10/10
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Now children, here we have a little book about good guys and bad guys and their guns!, 9 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Certain Death in Sierra Leone: The SAS and Operation Barras 2000 (Raid) (Paperback)
To say I was a little dissapointed would be a understatement. Maybe my own fault as I had expected a novel not something akin to a childs picture book,
My problem is with the form factor and writing style of the book rather than the content contained within oh and not taking from the
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