Dusty Warriors: Modern Soldiers at War Hardcover – 3 Apr 2006
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‘Richard Holmes is a first-rate writer and with this exciting, affectionate account of his regiment at war he has set a standard for other military authors to aspire to.’ Daily Mail
‘…the action is superbly described…gripping…an important milestone for future generations wanting to understand the British Army and the post-invasion turbulence of Iraq…essential reading.’ Sunday Times
‘You will not be able to put it down…thought-provoking and profoundly perceptive…it is a piece of contemporary military history written with the author's trademark fluency, pace and wit…’ Spectator
Praise for ‘Tommy’:
‘Holmes is one of our foremost military scholars and a skilled writer who knows his audience well. This is excellent popular history: scholarly, highly readable and utterly absorbing.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Monumental … Every page of this is worth reading.’ Time Out
‘Where Holmes’ book comes brilliantly to life is in his use of first-hand accounts of the trench experience … It is Holmes’ achievement to make this familiar landscape come alive with the humanity of those who fought in it.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Holmes has produced yet another fascinating, balanced and original book of a highly emotive subject. ‘ Sunday Telegraph
Praise for ‘Redcoat’:
‘“Redcoat” is not just a work of history but of enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge. This is a wonderful book, doing justice to men who have long deserved a chronicler of Richard Holmes’s skill.’ Bernard Cornwell
‘It would be hard to exaggerate the excellence of this book. Vivid, comprehensive, well-written, pacy, colourful.’ Simon Heffer
‘A wonderful book, full of anecdote and good sense. Anyone who has enjoyed a Sharpe story will love it.’ Bernard Cornwell, Daily Mail
‘Beautifully written, “Redcoat” is a vivid account of squalor and suffering almost beyond belief, for the men, their wives and followers, and their horses. One of the best chapters is a description of barrack-room life that will turn a few stomachs in this more fastitidious age.’ John Canon, Times Literary Supplement
‘“Redcoat” is the story of the British soldier from the Seven Year War through to the Mutiny and Crimea. It is consistently entertaining, full of brilliantly chosen anecdotes and rattles along at a good light infantry pace.’ David Crane, Spectator
‘All the best-known soldier writers are discussed here, and their anecdotes are told with enthusiasm and aplomb … This is an army from another world, and “Redcoat” is a splendidly entertaining, moving and informative description of its strengths and foibles.’ Hew Strachan, Daily Telegraph
From the Back Cover
' A compelling and fast-moving narrative of the courage,
restraint and fortitude shown by British soldiers in impossible
circumstances. An important milestone for future generations wanting to
understand the British Army' Sunday Times
Despite 24-hour rolling media coverage of modern conflict few of us
understand what is demanded of the contemporary 'Tommy' - what it's like
when your day job includes grenades, bayonets and night operations. Now, in
Dusty Warriors, we have a compelling, exciting, sometimes terrifying
picture of real life in the modern army.
Foremost military historian Richard Holmes has drawn on the testimonies and
personal photographs of Britsh soldiers in Iraq to vividly capture their
day-to-day experiences - from camp kitchens to the rooftops of Basra and Al
Amarah, from a sweaty improvised gym to the heart of an armoured convoy
barrelling out across the desert.
'First-rate ... with this exciting, affectionate account of his regiment at
war Holmes has set a standard for other military authors to aspire to.'
'Thought-provoking and profoundly perceptive. This book will open eyes to
the stirring realities of life at the tip of the bayonet' Spectator --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of Holmes's great strengths as a military historian is his understanding of, and sympathy for, the private soldier, the ordinary infantryman (and these days also woman) on whom the grand plans of generals and politicians ultimately depend. This comes over in a big way in "Dusty Warriors". In many ways the book is like the soldiers themselves: not macho, not gung-ho, not at all what civilians would expect really, but instead professional, cynical, humorous, searingly honest and grimly realistic. To a demilitarised society like ours where most people have no contact with the military, and no experience of danger, much of the detail will be shocking. But it's how it is. This is a world away from Hollywood and fictional accounts of special forces. This is a real army, our Army, people like us, doing a difficult and dangerous job.
It's also a job that most of the country doesn't even know is being done. Holmes says he wrote this book because the media's coverage of the Army's work in Iraq is so poor.Read more ›
I went to Richard Holmes' talk at the National Army Museum where this was launched, and was priviledged enough to hear and question a number of incidents and experiences recounted. The lasting legacy which stays with me has to be the perverse hypocrisy of living in an age of instant global multi-media, allowing us to carry a battle to a living room in real time, and yet never before in the history of the UK, has a conflict in which our troops are engaged been so little known or understood on its own streets.
This book dispelled a number of myths under which the bulk of the UK population continue to debate and vote under. It reminded me of Robert McNamara's letter to Bill Clinton, where he reiterated his belief that it was the duty of every citizen to question their government's decision to send their youth to war. To do that we must understand exactly what we are sending them into, and this book helps us to do just that.
This may not be his best book, but right now it is definitely Essential Reading.
This book follows the story of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment (1PWRR) throughout their deployment to Al Amarah in Southern Iraq in 2004. Richard Holmes brings the story to us brilliantly. Superbly written and masterfully drawing upon the personal diaries and reports of the soldiers who took part in the battles of dirty, dusty Al Amarah. With brilliant descriptions of how an infantry unit works and a highly accurate, unobtrusive decoding of military jargon, this book pinpoints all that is good about the British Military without hiding any of the shortcomings.
Any unit that can win a VC, a hatful of MC's and various other bravery awards in 6 months is a good one. 1 PWRR comes across as well lead, with a very close and selfless camaraderie, but perhaps the most telling thing about this unit is that they are like so many in the British Army. However, they and their attached units from other famous regiments were the ones in Al Amarah when things kicked off. British Soldiers engaging the enemy daily. Prolonged, intense gun battles, mortar attacks, sniping and fixed bayonets.
Read it. You will not fail to be impressed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being that Richard Holmes has personal ties to the regiment written about in the book, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's written through rose tinted glasses. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr. Ben 'Goatboy' Waters
Detailed and informative account of how it really is in modern battle, and the living conditions that have to be enduredPublished on 8 Mar. 2014 by Mr R Simmons
I wish I could write a review of this book that was as good as the book itself. It's a fly on the wall look at the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR) on a tour in Iraq... Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2011 by Manly Reading
A stunning bird's eye view of a contemporary British Infantry Regiment, undertaking its duty on our behalf and in the most trying of circumstances. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2011 by Iain Davidson
A very gripping book written with great insight. I particularly liked the style of using short sharp eye witness accounts of the soldiers involved in each incident. Read morePublished on 16 May 2010 by Mr. R. D. Crewdson
23 reviews all in praise of the master; lets be different, shall we?
If you want something approaching an official regimental history of the Prince of Wales Royal... Read more
Richard Holmes hits the nail on the head in his preface when he discusses the challenge in striking the right balance between journalism and history. Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2008 by SAP
As both an eminent historian and the Colonel of PWRR, Richard Holmes had unique access to the first hand accounts of the soldiers across the battalion featured in this story and... Read morePublished on 3 April 2008 by Richard Butlin