6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Gripping Story of a Pathfinder patrol,
This review is from: Pathfinder: A Special Forces Mission Behind Enemy Lines (Hardcover)This book by David Blakeley, who was Second in Command of the little-known Pathfinders unit, looks set to be the outstanding special forces patrol account of the Second Gulf War ' in the way that Bravo Two Zero was of the First.
At the start of the war, Pathfinders were tasked to recce an airfield deep into Iraq at Qalat Sikar and facilitate a PARA landing. But the high command wouldn't allow them to use their unique HALO, High Altitude Low Opening, capability to reach the airfield; so, under Blakeley's command, a patrol of nine men travelling in three jeeps moved at night through the US Marines' forward position at Nasiriyah to penetrate 150 kilometres behind enemy lines. According to Intelligence, the area was relatively benign. Intelligence was way out, and the patrol had to go through country held by units of the Iraqi army and Fedayeen fiercely loyal to Saddam Hussein. For a while they succeeded by stealth and bluff, but luck ran out and it became an into-the-valley-of-death-drove-the-nine-men operation against overwhelming odds with heavy firepower. Defying fate and death, they survived the gauntlet.
This is a gripping account, and in the telling of it, Blakeley comes across as a modest man who is generous with credit to his mates, and attributes much to the quality of their training and their discipline in the field.