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Danger Close: The True Story of Helmand from the Leader of 3 PARA Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848542585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848542587
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'At last, a commander telling us the cold, harsh truth about this war. An excellent and compelling read' (Andy McNab)

'A gripping first-hand account of the realities of frontline command at the start of the bitterest war that Britain has fought for generations' (Patrick Bishop, author of 3 PARA)

'Tootal offers the perspective of a man in charge ... he tells the story well ... passionate admiration for his men is matched by disdain for others' (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)

'The first senior commander to provide an account of the fighting, Tootal's book is refreshingly free of the gung-ho machismo and sentimentality that afflicts other lesser entries of the genre' (The Sunday Tribune)

'Gripping account' (Essex Chronicle Series)

'Captures the essence of combat...a gritty portrayal of unforgiving combat'

(East London Enquirer)

Book Description

A compelling and human portrait of modern war.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I served some 22 years in the Army and was lucky to do a couple of attachments to the Paras. This book is an excellent stripped down account of what soldiers and airmen face in Afghanistan. One of the most concise and complelling collection of stories about the conflict but more importantly the human dimension, the costs in lives and injuries - which are far greater than the politicans acknowledge. More damning as no politician has sons/daughters out there letting them know what parents and loved ones at home must live through, before and especially after serving in such a combat zone. Saddened by lack of support to our troops especially when they come home injured and have a long and slow support system. Col Tootal has done his boys & ladies proud, a shame he is no longer serving, the type of commander any soldier would wish for. Please read this book to understand what the other end of a British political decision means to those who have to uphold policy abroad - with the wrong equipment and restricted support. The young men who usually bear the brunt of scoieties complaints should be proud of what they achieve in Afghanistan, especially as the politicans at home, including the PM take for granted what and how they achieve success against heavy odds.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read most books about the war in Afghanistan written by soldiers, it made a change to see things from the commanders point of view. Colonel Tootal has written an excellent account of his time in command of 3 Para during their first deploment in 2006. One can almost feel his frustration as political mission creep imposes more and more difficulties on him and his overtasked Battalion. One can feel his pain as his men are killed and wounded as the Battalion becomes embroiled in ceaseless combat with the Taliban.He is scathing about the way the wounded are treated once back in UK (what has changed in 3 years). Overall a thoroughly well balanced book which gives an excellent account of the burden of command. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Col Tootal has provided a gripping and accurate account of Op Herrick 4 whilst avoiding the usual glamour and hyperbole that is characteristic of modern military writing. This book gives a fantastic insight into the emotional, military and political pressures facing a commander in Afghanistan. The descriptions of the Catch 22 situations the 3 PARA Battlegroup faced at the outset of the movement to Helmand Province demonstrate how admirably the soldiers under Col Tootal's leadership performed. His pride in the infantrymen, cavalrymen and airmen under his command, whether Paratrooper or not, comes across in spades and is evidenced by his outspoken response to the treatment of injured soldiers and equipment shortages on the front line. This is a testament to today's `Playstation Generation' soldiers and demonstrates that the British Army, at the front line, has maintained the resolve of its forebears. A thoroughly good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written from the heart of a man that deserved to be an infantry CO, with forthright honesty, no holds barred and obvious respect and care for his men.
He was our 2ic and had a well respected reputation. I haven't met a 3 Para soldier who served on the 2006 Op who had a bad word for him, very few CO's get that respect.
He was put into an extremely difficult political situation and made to undertake tasks that a lesser unit would not have accomplished, that is a credit to the men of the 3 Para Battle Group and his ability to juggle constant demands on a battle group that was sent to accomplish other tasks. To juggle all demands given to him whilst being s*** on by the powers above shows his commitment, but he did it all with thoughts of his men first.
This is an excellent book that would be enjoyed by all, including non-military personnel. It covers every aspect of the 2006 operation, the action, the dramas, the politics and the heartbreak - and it's all true, told with obvious honesty and feeling.
It is hard to understand that this is not written by a professional journalist as it captures all the realism, the essence of combat, the adrenaline rush, the raw courage and determination of the lads, the sheer professionalism and of course the downside in dealing with loss and motivation.
This tour was the epitome of professional soldiering and it has been covered faultlessly.
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By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stuart Tootal was out in Afghanistan when the politicians still thought this was a peace-making mission. This meant he was short of everything except aggressive opponents; as a result this is a war fought by platoons where every sortie from their own Fort Zinderneuf attracts an enemy ambush. The power of the support weapons available to the Paras has a Starship Trooper quality, but when casualties are taken that edge can be lost. Because Tootal was a Lieutenant-Colonel I had expected something rather staid and "correct". How wrong I was.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another book about the problems faced by British Forces in Afghanistan, and the battles against what was a guerrilla type of army that wore no uniform, and didn't abide by the normal rules of war. British troops at their best in dealing with an enemy that had all the advantages of when and where they would unleash their attacks on a force that was mainly confined by strict rules of engagement and not allowed to fight the rebel Taliban on equal terms without the threat of being charged for some minor offence that in any earlier wars would have seen the person possibly awarded a medal.
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