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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Always a bit of a wild child Padraig o keefe left his native Cork at the age of twenty one to fulfill his dream of becoming a soldier.His destination the almost mythical French Foreign Legion,this bold move set him on an extremely dangerous life path.Padraig tells it like it is from Bosnia to Cambodia to a near fatal ambush in Iraq the reader will not be spared the gory...
Published on 11 Oct. 2008 by Foxylock

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
This is not one but two books. Part of it deals with the Foreign Legion and what it was like being there in the early 90's, while the remainder deals with the author's experiences as a 'hired gun' in some of the hotspots of the planet, over the last few years. The part of the book that deals with the Foreign Legion is interesting, in the sense that it relates the...
Published on 8 Jun. 2009 by Phoebus Athanasiou


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 11 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq (Paperback)
Always a bit of a wild child Padraig o keefe left his native Cork at the age of twenty one to fulfill his dream of becoming a soldier.His destination the almost mythical French Foreign Legion,this bold move set him on an extremely dangerous life path.Padraig tells it like it is from Bosnia to Cambodia to a near fatal ambush in Iraq the reader will not be spared the gory details.We see what life is like behind the closed doors of the Legion and the death row like existence of a private security operative in Fallujah.This sometimes graphic always gripping book is a must read but beware the faint hearted!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 8 Jun. 2009
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Phoebus Athanasiou "Phoebus" (Germany) - See all my reviews
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This is not one but two books. Part of it deals with the Foreign Legion and what it was like being there in the early 90's, while the remainder deals with the author's experiences as a 'hired gun' in some of the hotspots of the planet, over the last few years. The part of the book that deals with the Foreign Legion is interesting, in the sense that it relates the experiences of someone who has actually seen action with the Legion. This certainly is an advantage over other books on this subject. The second part of the book is also interesting in its own right, offering an insight into the world of security contractors in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. The impression I was left with was that some of the narrative, on both parts of the book, was somewhat spoiled by the author's misgivings about leaving the Legion - allegedly because of the deterioration of its standards during the author's stay - with the knowledge that he could never return. The author reverts to this point so frequently throughout the text that the reader could legitimately be left with some doubts as to his actual motives for leaving the Legion.
Other than that, an interesting book (in places, something of a page-turner) that I would recommend to anyone interested in the Legion and security contractors.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book out of many unfinished stories in the author's life., 8 Dec. 2008
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This review is from: Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq (Paperback)
This is a very interesting book. In fact this is rather a collection of stories and things that happened to the author. Amazingly - all he does is unfinished., but put it all together and it makes sense and first of all brings you a great book.

Recommended - good for anyone. I was unable to put it down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 17 Feb. 2012
By 
shane lynch (dublin, ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq (Paperback)
Im from dublin and i joined the Legion in 2001, so a few years after paddy, but it was interesting for me to read the book as things that he was describing about the legion,the paths it was heading in when he was leaving it.... Were how it was for me as i was there.
Things like the losing of its Esprit de corps, the mass influx of the Polish and the rest of the East europeans registered with me as i read.
Aswell i found it interesting as his legion was alot harder than my legion, when i was there we certainly got punchs and slaps on a regular basis, but never a rifle butt to the face like poor old paddy..... i remember the NCOs telling us they had it harder than us when they were coming up ha ha ha
I found the start of the book a bit slow, but i suppose you get that with every book having to explain the obligatory childhood story etc....
But its a good read, especially to anyone whos served in the legion or like-wise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, 1 May 2009
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M. Groot - See all my reviews
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excellent read, think that he is holding back when telling about his first time in Bosnia because there was plenty of fun and (illegal) action. i know cause was there in 1993 attached to the 2e rep (i was a member ofthe UN Sign Bat)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book - real page-turner, 5 Sept. 2009
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V. Rumsey - See all my reviews
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This book is at times funny, sad, shocking - but always fascinating. Written with real wit and intelligence, it's sometimes easy to forget that Paddy is writing about real life; some of the situations are so hair-raising, the violence so casual. At times un-put-downable, this is a real page-turner of a book. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent honest and raw, 29 Nov. 2008
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Ciaran Quinn - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq (Paperback)
This is a fantastically honest book from a very level headed guy. Im in the Military myself and this book is a must for ant military enthusiasts and those just interested in a good honest read. If your looking for a detailed account of the legions training you may be a little disappointed . However if your looking to find an excellent account of a soldiers life, attitude, and mental change this is the book for you. In general a great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars foreign legion biography, 13 Oct. 2010
Having had some experience with the legion,i was eager to read this book,as usual the ones that aren't bigged up are the best.Did not want to put it down,excellent.Nice to read a factual,action packed biography on a subject that most people in the uk know bugger all about.Shame that as per many soldiers,they pay such a heavy mental price.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all as good as i'd hoped., 24 April 2009
By 
Edward Simpson (County Down, NI) - See all my reviews
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First of all this book reads well, which I suspect may be attributable mostly to the journalist in the pairing, however, that's pretty much all I have to say in the positive.

I may be wrong but I get the sense that O'Keefe actually thinks very highly of himself and his actions and this rankles me slightly. He seems to have a belief that his 5 years in the Legion qualifies him to be the foremost military and security expert in Ireland when setting up his businesses and is keen to pin the failure of one of them on anyone but himself. Then, after an 8 year absence from military life (a longer period than ever he was a soldier) he suddenly can't fight the urge to go back to war, it's just pure coincedence that there now happens to be a lucrative market for any ex military in Iraq. But he's not in it for the money, of course, he's there for the thrill of being in a warzone again which is why he spent so long away from the life.

What really galls is the bluff at the end about how he is not a mercenary. Whilst I agree on his definition, I think he has classified himself in the wrong category. He clearly cares little about why there is conflict in Iraq or what drives insurgents to attack. His interest is self serving.

There are far better journals from veteran military men written with greater honesty than O'Keefe.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Graphic and a good read but it is all me me me, 26 Sept. 2014
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While the first part of the book deals with Padraig before he joined the legion and his initial recruit training. He has given no insight into the vigorous training required to be a fully fledged member of the French Foreign Legion.
The second part of the book is about his time working as a security person around the world. In other words he sold his gun to the highest bidder. Graphic and a good read but it is all me me me.
Certainly for light reading it is worth the money. I enjoyed it.
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Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq
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