50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulls no punches - puts blame and praise where due
I served some 22 years in the Army and was lucky to do a couple of attachments to the Paras. This book is an excellent stripped down account of what soldiers and airmen face in Afghanistan. One of the most concise and complelling collection of stories about the conflict but more importantly the human dimension, the costs in lives and injuries - which are far greater than...
Published on 19 Aug 2009 by J. Guest
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passionate individual, pedestrian book
There have been many, many books written on Britain's most recent conflict in Afghanistan; Colonel Stuart Tootal's Danger Close is the first to be written by a senior commander who was actually there.
Many of the books already written on the subject, despite being well-meaning, are often rather mundane to read and can be viewed at best as a source for future...
Published on 28 July 2011 by Mr. Tristan Martin
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant,
What a brilliant an accurate account of battle from a commanding officer and his battalion a great read well done sir
5.0 out of 5 stars A compulsive read!,
You can smell and taste the action - excellent. Download it now and experience soldiering in the 21st century as if at first hand.
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!!,
What a superb account of what life under fire is really like! I would strongly recommend that anybody who has never been shot at, read this book and gain a soldiers eye view of what living and working in a war zone is really like.
4.0 out of 5 stars Stuart Tootal gives a no holds barred account of the Paras in Afganistan.,
This was a great book, and gave the reader an insight not just to the battles that took place but also the political motivations and restrictions that senior commanders had to cope with in terms of man power and kit. It gave me the impression sometimes that we are a fighting force held together with sticky tape, which ultimately puts lives at risk. This is in stark contrast to U.S. forces that go fully equipped not wanting for anything seemingly. Stuart Tootal recounts times where we had to beg and borrow ammunition and equipment from the U.S. Military which for a supposed superpower makes me ashamed to be British.
Stuart Tootal also recollects the poor aftercare received by wounded service men in hospitals such as Selly Oak, and even as a 'lilly livered' civvy I can fully understand the need for recovering service personnel to be with their own. The attitude of so called 'health professionals' seemed also poor. So much so that I wondered if pictures of men in action on the battlefield should not be plastered around the ward to remind nursing staff of the sacrifice these guys have made.
The only real critisism I would make of this book is that many of the actions are recounted second hand, and that the author was not actually there on the ground, so the reality of the the situation described could not be described as visceral but rather clinical. As the CO you can understand that the job is not to be in the thick of the battle but to take a 'helicopter' view and command from this overall vantage point, and to rally the troops.
The Author has in my mind though come accross as a thoroughly decent guy with high moral standards which I applaud wholeheartedly, and I admit to unashamedly shedding a tear whilst reading his farewell speech to his soldiers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
This says it all what the colonel says in his epilogue I agree with I salute all those who have served past and present especially those who will never age .
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.,
Interesting read from an officers view point.The author clearly holds the men under his command in massively high regard and is rightly critical of the way the government send these young men to War and the way they are treated when they return home with life changing injuries.Not a real combat soldiers eye view of 3 Paras time in Afghanistan as it's written mainly as as a third party view of the action but touches often on command decisions as you would expect it to.Well worth a read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading to appreciate the danger undertaken in Afgan,
An excellent account of the life and the difficult work done in Afghanistan by the troops on the ground. Excellent
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership in a difficult situation,
I thought this was intelligent, well written and meant. It shows how Helmand in 2006 was underestimated as a task. It also shows the fighting qualities of the british Army especially 3 Para. Could be renamed as against all odds.
5.0 out of 5 stars Danger Close - Excellent Read!,
An all round well written book, conveying the good, the bad and the ugly about 3 PARA's deployment in Afghan.
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Reality,
Well I am not sure where to start, this book engenders almost every emotion that I possess. From the offices and barracks in the UK, through to the preparation and planning of an overseas posting. Then from the first moment when these magnificent soldiers are deployed in action, we live each moment of every day with them. We grow to respect them, smile with them, celebrate with them and too often, we grieve with them and for them.
I think we see that the Para's and other Regiments featured never lose that cohesion, spark and comradery that only soldiers who have been under fire seem to possess.
There was a line in this book that had me close to tears, Col. Tootal was describing an awful awful day involving multiple injuries and fatalities to some of his men. He describes the final gesture made to the deceased soldier by his best friend, which was simply to ruffle his hair. A gesture of farewell, love and respect.
I won't repeat the exact wording, but as Colonel Tootal writes that the gesture nearly broke him.
I will say this book also describes with great clarity the political, governmental, international and funding difficulties which were prevalent in Afghanistan at the time. Any UK citizen will be aware that this and previous goverments sent our young men into battle with inadequate support and supplies, and when our injured troops returned, they were not treated as hero's but in many cases received sub-standard care.
I know and hope that things have changed significantly in more recent times, but any reader of this book will no doubt be outraged at the reality that Col. Tootal describes. It was a stain on this country that will not be soon forgotten.
Read it today and never forget the sacrifice of these guys.
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Danger Close: The True Story of Helmand from the Leader of 3 PARA by Stuart Tootal Dso (Paperback - 4 Mar 2010)