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Bomb Hunters: In Afghanistan with Britain's Elite Bomb Disposal Unit Paperback – 7 Jul 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007427964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007427963
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A vivid and absorbing portrayal of a unique and dedicated group of soldiers.’ – General Sir Mike Jackson, formerly Chief of the General Staff.

‘[a] scintillating book’ – Short List

This is a powerful piece of reportage – The Financial Times

‘The great merit of Bomb Hunters, Sean Rayment’s study of the British bomb disposal units in Afghanistan, is that it lets us hear the true voice of the soldier.’ - The Financial Times

‘Bomb Hunters is highly recommended’. – The Daily Star

“(the book)…amply demonstrate(s) why we should be just as interested in Afghanistan as ever... it is no longer enough merely to depict action for action’s sake – now the action must be there for a reason.” - The Telegraph

“The authentic voice of the British soldier is irresistible: unforgettably funny, realistic and brave. One in 10 soldiers are killed or injured in Afghanistan.” - London Evening Standard

“In Bomb Hunters, ex-paratrooper-turned-war-correspondent Sean Rayment joins some of the Army’s top Ammunition Technical Officers (ATOs) on tour to find out what their daily life is like, and how they deal with the stresses of undertaking such dangerous work.” - Legion magazine

About the Author

Sean Rayment served as a Captain in the Parachute Regiment in the late 1980's. As a journalist, he has specialised in war reporting for the past ten years, undertaking assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, the Gulf and Africa. He has been embedded with the British Army on more than a ten occasions.


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I spent seven months in Brimstone 32, one of the IEDD teams in Sean's book and I am pleased he has captured the reality of our work in support of the overall mission in Helmand. He has shown that although we live and work in a high risk environment, we bear the same risks as every other soldier out on patrol ie coming under fire and in danger of becoming casualties from undetected devices. It is only when get to the target area that our job takes on a slightly different role from those in the Battle Groups, we stop focussing on being soldiers and switch back to being an IEDD team until we have completed the task and have to patrol back to our base. Like any group of soldiers, it is our training and teamwork that gets us through the difficulty and dangers of our work, whether on task or even waiting to go out on task and Sean frequently exposes that throughout the book.

I am pleased Sean chose to tell our story and I was pleased to be part of the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Sean Rayment is the distinguished defence correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph. Bomb disposal in Afghanistan is a fascinating subject for a book. The combination of the two should be a recipe for success and I am glad to say that Bomb Hunters does not disappoint - far from it. Rayment, himself a former captain in the Parachute Regiment, provides a gripping and gritty insight into the courageous group of men who constantly risk their lives defusing the Taliban's weapon of choice - the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The statistics given in this book - coupled with Rayment's incisive interviews with men on the front line - leave the reader in no doubt just how dangerous their job is in Helmand province. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan now stand a one in ten chance of becoming a casualty - being killed or wounded. Bomb Hunters is war reporting at its best and anyone reading the book will find it difficult not to agree with the final conclusion of Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes GC - that asking these brave bomb disposal operators to carry out tours of fully six months in duration is unacceptable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is as good piece of journalism that reports accurately life in Afghanistan for the young men and women working in the Counter-IED Task Force around Helmand Province. 6 months isolated from friends and family, working 10-14 hours a day, in extreme heat carrying 80 pounds of kit, all for a cause that you don't really understand and on top of that you have to find, disarm and safely remove something that is tailor made to kill you whilst dealing with the 'normal' every day routine of getting shot at. Anyone fancy bomb disposal?

Afghanistan doesn't get reported in the news so much anymore, with other conflicts in the Arab world taking the focus away; it makes it even easier for the British public to forget what is actually going on at the moment in Helmand Province and why our soldiers are being killed.

Sean Rayment has taking it upon himself to get to the front, take the same risks and endure what the bomb disposal teams endure every day. The book contains a lot of interviews, not only with officers that are trained to answer media questions but with soldiers from private up warrant officer. Interviews with soldiers such as Staff Sgt Karl Ley whose team managed to clear 139 IED's in a 6 month tour.

The book is concise, all of the military jargon is explained and acronyms are expanded. One of the interesting points I picked up from reading this book is how patriotism is changing, maybe only 70 years ago soldiers would be fighting for land, pride and the glory of an empire. Now most of us just fight for each other, we do what we can with the equipment we've got and we try to do whatever it takes to get all our guys back home in 6 months time with all of their limbs and no major injuries. Anything else is seen as failure.
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Format: Hardcover
Sean Rayment's recognised talent for reporting the truth, no matter
how controversial, is born out in this outstanding account of life in
the most dangerous place on earth, Afghanistan.
This is the book governments don't want you to read.

Hilary Meredith Solicitor
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bomb Hunters is a very special book. It is The Hurt Locker for real, a stunning story about the bravest men imaginable. It puts you right there in Afghanistan in the middle of all the bombs and bullets alongside these amazing men as they do their work. You see what the Bomb Hunters do and how they do it and you realise just what heroes they are. These are the men who clear landmines so other soldiers can pass over safe ground and the risks they take with their own lives are impossible to exaggerate. It's jaw-dropping stuff.

As well as the action you get to know the Bomb Hunters as men and as characters because of the time Sean Rayment spent with them. He writes in a very personal way about his experiences with them and obviously got to know them very well and came to like them very much which makes a reader like them too, as well as admire them for their raw courage. And so it is even more devastating when things go wrong and men die, which in this job they do a lot. Rayment, to his credit, does not hide that or other truths about war and Bomb Hunters is all the better for it. The sadness he feels when men are killed is described incredibly powerfully.

Bomb Hunters is quite simply as good a book about the realities of war as you will ever read.
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