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Midnight in Some Burning Town: British Special Forces Operations from Belgrade to Baghdad Hardcover – 8 Jul 2004

2.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (8 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297846248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297846246
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,767,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'... an absorbing and authoritative read... a thoughtful and provocative book, never more so than when Jennings turns his expert eye on the proliferation of private security outfits in Iraq, expecially Baghdad.' (DAILY MAIL )

'Christian Jennings has pulled off a bit of a coup in writing his revealing account of SAS actions in a number of campaigns from the Balkans to Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. The spills and thrills of the men in the black balaclavas, desert turbans and shamargs dazzle and amaze like the fables of Scheherezade and the Thousand and One Nights.' (EVENING STANDARD )

About the Author

Was based in Central Africa from 1994-98, writing for the Sunday Telegraph and Reuters. He then reported from Kosovo for four years for the Economist and Daily Telegraph and now covers European and military affairs from London.

Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
A mix of already known facts collected from open sources. Readers of british dailies won't learn much and the mix of urban legends and unconfirmed reports does little for the overall credibility of the book.
On a different note, Jennings, a deserter from the French Foreign Legion, uses every opportunity to settle score with everything French; this is both tedious and unnecessary in such a book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does the British Special Forces a disservice, uncritically telling war stories presenting the SAS and SBS as walking on water, and bashing everybody else.
The author seems to have a special disliking for the US and the French, and loses no opportunity to let his own opinions shine through, badly masked as objective facts.
After the attempt at semi-factuality in the first three-fourths of the book, the author devotes the last part to a badly written fantasy of how an operation to arrest top war criminals from the war in Bosnia would be carried out. Ludicrous and tiresome would be a kind description of that part.
A waste of good paper.
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Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this book and it arrived just before I jetted off to England. Reading 100 pages on the flight over, I realized this book has little to say about British special forces like the Special Air Service or Special Boat Service. What interesting information about either is contained in the introduction. The rest of the book is mainly a recounting of various 1990s conflicts and the War on Terror but has little to do with British special forces operations. The author, who has written about the Balkan conflicts, goes into detail page upon page about the Balkan conflicts with maybe one or two speculative sentences about SAS operations. It's obvious he didn't know or couldn't write about them so he decided to fill pages with irrelevant details about Macedonian government operations. The War on Terror segment was no better and when I read blatant errors like calling former US CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks the "Special Forces" commander, I gave up on the book. I left it at my hotel in Manchester and if you're lucky enough to stay at that particular hotel you might still find it there.
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