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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIVELY AND COMPELLING NARRATIVE WELL-TOLD
leaving aside all questions of the legitimacy of the war,what is striking about the story is the utter and complete lunacy of the original mission which the SF was tasked to do and that British soldiers-one American in their group- had such poor air support having to struggle in and struggle out again on the Chinook shuttle....following this of course the men took a...
Published 4 months ago by Kenneth D. Watson

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable story... too much repetition
Much as I admire some of his previous books this narrative is fairly repetitive & slow reading. No doubting the sentiment & bravery of the guys involved but story strung out & far better if written in half the words.
Published 18 months ago by Jim.M


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable story... too much repetition, 16 Dec. 2013
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Much as I admire some of his previous books this narrative is fairly repetitive & slow reading. No doubting the sentiment & bravery of the guys involved but story strung out & far better if written in half the words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read that perhaps misses it's best angle?, 26 Jun. 2015
I have just read another's review that basically says "a good book but it gets a bit repetitive". I would say that pretty much sums it up. I have not read a book by this author before and enjoyed the read. You can tell he's coming at it from a positive and respectful angle, and there is always merit in trying to get the "real version" out there to redress the balance after negative press formed on half (if that) of the story. This must be very frustrating for those either involved or connected to those involved, who are sworn to silence or forbidden from trying to defend themselves or their loved ones. At least from this angle, the book is something I appreciate

Having read all of the main texts on the Bravo Two Zero debacle, I would have liked this book to have explored more of the similarities in failure. At one point in the book Lewis says that lessons were learned from Bravo Two Zero, but after reading the book it hardly seems the case, save for the use of vehicles and the issue of cold weather clothing. The incredible intelligence failures could have been explored more...or perhaps Lewis didn't want to turn it into an analysis of where it all went wrong. For me, the book could have benefitted from an in depth post script covering the post mortem that must surely have taken place. In a way the almost unbelievable repeat of such a clusterf*** was the really interesting story, and that was not investigated.

The action is repetitive. Ok that might be how it happened, but somehow it became frustrating to read. It would probably transfer to screen better than it does on paper.

The book is a good read if you appreciate stories about human spirit, and the incredible will to survive. It is hard to read without thinking how you might cope yourself in such a situation, and realising you wouldn't at all. You leave the book with a great respect for everybody involved (except for those behind the desks who dreamed it up)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIVELY AND COMPELLING NARRATIVE WELL-TOLD, 15 Feb. 2015
By 
Kenneth D. Watson "ken" (australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
leaving aside all questions of the legitimacy of the war,what is striking about the story is the utter and complete lunacy of the original mission which the SF was tasked to do and that British soldiers-one American in their group- had such poor air support having to struggle in and struggle out again on the Chinook shuttle....following this of course the men took a hammering in the media with their SAS commander sacked when the real issue was which idiot or group of idiots would send a team way into enemy territory to take the surrender of a massive enemy force-100,000 strong-without absolutely guaranteed and corroborated intelligence??? (Its also interesting to note that the earlier mission described to board the NV Nisha was also based on flawed intelligence)And one can guarantee almost that these idiots didnt even get a wrap on the knuckles.......rant over.
Its a well-told and lively narrative,with many human touches and little descent into SF jargon of brave men doing a tough and impossible mission and their escape.You dont have to agree with why they were there or indeed any of it to enjoy a powerful adventure.It could be shorter and chapters 2 and 3 dont tell you much(
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a page turner - i enjoyed it, 15 Mar. 2015
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i was sceptical as a few books of this ilk recently (there's a lot been popping up) havn't cut the mustard. This one does, albeit i took some scenes with a pinch of salt - i wondered if the action had been 'ramped up' a bit for good effect. All true?.. oh well i'll never know i guess. btw here's a cpl' must-read 10/10 books - 'We Were Soldiers Once, And Young' by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway... and Bat-21 Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton, USAF. Both true and backed up by archive evidence. but neither were served well by hollywood imo
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate fiction novel, 7 Aug. 2013
As other people have said, this book is light on facts, and heavy on 'Boys own' fiction. A Sqn (-) task to take the surrender of a Corps, seriously!!!

Having been in the military for over 30 years, 5 of which spent in the Middle East in various countries, there are times I have almost thrown it in the bin (but it was a present so I am persevering!).

There are so many holes I don't know where to begin, but lets start at the beginning of the book. We are supposed to believe that Sgt Grayling (Grey) is an experienced SF op but when almost discovered by a boy goat herder, in order to try to keep the mission a secret (and not let the boy escape) he considers blowing him away (and half his goats) with a .50 Cal HMG!!! They dont make much noise do they, oh and unlike an assault rifle (which most Arabs have access to - from the 1st Gulf War) it couldnt be passed off as celebratory fire. Or, now heres an idea, why not take him down by hand and silently.

Terminology is incorrect, JTAC stands for Joint Tactical Air Controller Damien, not what you wrote. The Squadron Sergeant Major (SSM) goes from being the 'Troop SSM (!), to the RSM, back to the SSM. The clue is in the title. Now the SF boys tend to shy away from 'the rules' as we know but no one, ever, in my experience, says 'Afirm' on the radio (unless they are a Yank or been watching too may war films). The answer should be Roger over, or Roger out or even Ack but come on. These seemingly small issues undermine the credibility of the book.

If you are after a serious book with credible insights, avoid this like the plague!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 10 Jun. 2014
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Fast paced and exciting story. Hard to believe the outcome in terms of casualties but the story doesn't come a cross as over hyped. The author has really given a great insight into what it was like to be there behind enemy lines and living by their wits, skill and experience
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lions led by donkeys., 7 Dec. 2014
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Want to know what against the odds really means? Then this is the book for you. Lions led by donkeys was coined in WW1,Sadly, little seems to have changed.
First couple of chapters are character and mission descriptions, but then the action begins, and doesn't stop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous account against the odds, 10 Jan. 2015
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An explosive action packed account of a secret operation carried out behind enemy lines in Iraq, having served in the Iraq conflict myself I find this type of account thoroughly awe inspiring.

Any who is interested in modern history this is worth a read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your nose will turn red, your children will disown you and your wife will run off with a Spanish waiter called Pedro., 10 Aug. 2014
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I bought this book to read on my hols in sunnier climes and I wasn't disappointed, in fact it became a struggle to put the book down, lever myself from my sun-lounger and plop into the pool. Gripping, fast-paced and well written this has to be up there with the best of genre. As others have said, the "story" was one that wasn't widely reported and was new to me - had it been a work of fiction I would probably be marking it down for its unbelievability.

My only criticism is that it ended a little abruptly: the story was told, but it would have been good to have a little more detail on what some of the main players did next. But if a book leaves you wanting more then it has probably done its job well.

If you enjoy this sort of book, buy this - you wont be disappointed. But watch out for that red nose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn, 13 Jan. 2015
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Enjoyed reading about this sf mission to Iraq ,very interesting,can't remember any of the bad publicity these men received,but it was probably written by someone who'd not go anywhere near a violent conflict.
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