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on 30 April 2005
I searched for a while to get this book and once I begun to read it I could not put it down. Having served in the army for 10 years I have read many military history books about the Gulf war, Falklands and in particualrly the Troubles in Northern Ireland. I first thought that I would stereo type a Para trooper who then went on SAS selection and expected many beefed up war stories but I was wrong. This book is fantastic in that he tells his whole career and very good war stories to the level where it is not too much or two little. His experiences of action and military life is brilliant and would recommend any body to read it. For a soldier who has gone through a hell of a lot and survived to tell his story is magic - well done 'Billy' Ratcliffe
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on 20 September 2003
I have read many books concerning this subject and this one is by far the most truthful account of the sas in action during the first Gulf Conflict.
The others do in most cases make good reading but if you read them all with care you will find a whole host of inconsistencies amongst the various authors.
I really enjoyed this book easy writing style,never a dull moment or area in the book where i thought this is getting boring Peter Ratcliffe should write more about his experiences with the SAS iam sure he could entertain his readers with some excellent stories, after all you cannot spend 25 years of your life in the worlds most respected and feared regiment without having some memories to write about.
I hope Mr Ratcliffe reads this and decides to put pen to paper again.
A great read reccomended to anybody
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on 13 October 2006
I have recently read Peter Ratcliffe's book.

I have read one or two other books over a period of years about life in the SAS. Having served in the Army for 25 years myself and also having held the appointment of RSM, i was interested to read Mr Ratcliffe's attitudes and feelings concerning the plethora of 'stories' that have emerged about the Regiment that used to be the Army's best kept secret!

I was also 'recommended' this book by another ex soldier who had informed me that it was a very good read indeed. I found the story to be fairly well balanced but would have liked a little more insight into what he did / was involved with in between deployments.

The author provides a captivating story stretched over his 25 year service in the Army. More importantly, he highlights on many occasions the courage of his convictions. Ratcliffe the soldier was certainly not affraid to confront people head on regarding issues of competency or professionalism! This is also apparent with regards to his synopsis of the writings of many of those who have gone before him.

In all, the book was excellent value for money, and i like others found it difficult to put down. No sensationalism, No BS, and also a frank honesty over failures, mistakes and shortcomings within the Military, Army and his Regiment.

I particularly found the chapters deicated to the SAS involvement in the Falklands Campaign to be very interesting and informative. Again, the balance of detail, humour, fact and summary provides one mans thoughts and observations based on raw experience in War Fighting without the 'Rambo' and 007 element appearing!

Pure and simply, reading some of the other 'SAS' books and reading Peter Ratcliffe's book is the divide between glorified fiction and honest fact. I fully recommend this book to all who have an interest in military life and the Special Air Service. Well done Mr Ratcliffe, CD
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on 3 June 2005
This is a book by someone, like ex SAS Robin Horsfall,Who dosn't hide behined wrong names . A man who is not afraid to show his face, all in all, a book that deserves to be on your book shelf. If you are interested in the SAS, Then Peter Ratcliffe..Robin Horsfall..and Michael Asher. are the ones to go for. 100 stars all the way.
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on 13 January 2004
A good read. Mind you with so many contrary accounts of the SAS in the first Gulf war, who do we believe? Probably Ratcliffe more than anyone else, but still it makes you wonder.
This book, more than the other McNab/Ryan/Spence/Crossland stories, shows the SAS in a bad light. It tells of cowardice, incompetence, bad planning and basic stupidity in the ranks of what was once (still is?) the most capable military unit in the world. As such it is very worrying. One of Stirling's initial requirements for the then-new SAS was "The unrelenting pursuit of excellence". After reading this book, one wonders if that is in any way still true. Cant put it down, a real page-turner, but the sideline issues of rivalry, cowardice and basic stupidity are the real surprise.
This book will encourage Britain's enemies.
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on 19 December 2002
like many young men(my age being 20) i have read many books on the army the majority of them about the special forces, i used to regard the book bravo two zero as my bible,the eye of the storm however changes that it changed my entire point of view it told what in most peoples eyes would be the most realistic account of the sas in action in the golf war. i myself am now a serving member in the parachute regiment i joined up two months after reading this book,it did not influence my decision. however i can vouch for the fact that not all rsm's are as fair minded as peter ratcliff appears to be.all in all a good book and well worth a read.
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on 30 November 2013
An eye-opener to the 'real' SAS. In some ways reality is quite disappointing - compared to the heroics of Bravo two zero. Too much time was spent criticising the other books written by SAS members though. I did like the thoughts and description of leadership - the right man for a difficult job.
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I've read more than a few Special Forces biographies and whole this does cover well trod ground, it offers a more senior perspective and sheds light on some other famous SAS books.
Peter Radcliffe takes us from his rough childhood into the Paras and then the SAS, we get background into Oman, the Falklands and then the Gulf. The main meat is in an operation he led in the Gulf, previously covered by two of the troops involved in published books.
Radcliffe comes over as a professional and experienced soldier and as such his views and story carry a degree if gravitas unusual in these type of things. His insight into the infamous Bravo Two Zero mission was very interesting and points out where McNab omitted things and exaggerated the events of the mission. Radcliffe saw him as a weak leader who would not listen to advice and it is hard to disagree on this evidence. His account of his own Gulf mission does differ from some of the other participants and once agiain the evidence would suggest his version is the correct
one. As a RSM he was senior enough to be involved in mission planning and he saw the after mission accounts too so it once again gives a more logical perspective to the exaggeration of others.
So, nothing new, but an important alternative view to sexed up accounts of others.
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on 20 March 2014
Written as a record of his time in the SAS, The author is to be respected for his portrayal and for the jobs that were done
which are related more as a report than elaborate story.

However the comments about other publications and authors detract from the achievements of this author. Having read some of the other publications I have my own opinions on the wisdom and level of success achieved during the events portrayed, and other readers will draw their own conclusions. This should have been omitted.

Still a good read though.
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on 6 April 2005
As a 'virginal' reader of SAS books I approached this from a different angle. I had not read Bravo two zero or any other Gulf war/SAS books previously. I have however read piles of factual (well as factual as can be) books about the SAS and their methods etc.. I haven't read any of the numerous McNab style books because I didn't want to have to wade through the rubbish to get to the factual stuff. Peter Ratcliffes book however, was a godsend! No hyperbole, No 'added on drivel' just realistic accounts of his career. Warts and all. Well done Billy. A great book.
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