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Sharp Introspection on the Falklands War,
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This review is from: Sod That for a Game of Soldiers (Paperback)
This book really needs to be read by all young adolescents in the UK to give them a reality check on how lucky they are.
This story emanating from the 1980's is much closer to home than the dark days of WW2, not that I mean to belittle the tremendous sacrifices from back then in any way.
A young 17yo lad leaves school and joins the army for a laugh. Little did he realise he would be fighting one of the fiercest land battles for the British Army since WW2 only months later.
An expertly told eyewitness autobiographical account of friendships formed and made with fellow para's and the ominous sense of adventure those young lads had when heading off to their first war. This dream of heroism is soon shattered. The misconception that war has got any cleaner since the days of the world wars and the bayonet with the advent of modern technology is soon brushed aside.
Ironically the assault on Longdon itself is very WW1-esque and brutally portrayed. The book really comes to life at this point however, with the sense of helplessness and loss experienced by Thomas in his transition from boy to man in one battle. The friends lost and the immense difficulty Thomas has to reconcile how he managed to survive and his friends did not makes the reading experience very real indeed.
Some reviewers comment negatively on the inter-forces rivalry brought out in this book. The fact is this is a)nostalgia by the author b)Still exists in some guise today and is likely to have been accurately portrayed for the time and c)misses the point that when push comes to shove, all british armed forces muck in together and have tremendous professionalism and pan-regimental cooperation in war.
This is a tremendous book which is so so important for teenagers and young adults to read alongside the regular modern military historians, to whom this book will be a worthy addition. It portrays what it means to serve your country and why learning from this can help forge a better future for us all.