Squaddie: A Soldier's Story Paperback – 3 May 2007
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"The British Jarhead . . . I'd like the entire MoD to read Steven McLaughlin's book" (Vicki Woods Daily Telegraph)
"A candid look at life for the average enlisted soldier . . . offers a powerful insight into the motivation that drives youngsters to sign up as well as the fear which follows when they realise they're off to Iraq" (Teri Judd The Independent) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'The British Jarhead . . . I'd like the entire MoD to read Steven McLaughlin's book' -- Vicki Woods, Daily Telegraph
'A candid look at life for the average enlisted soldier . . . offers a powerful insight into the motivation that drives youngsters' -- Teri Judd, The Independent
'The well-read, articulate McLaughlin explodes the squaddie stereotype, giving thoughtful and cogent answers' -- Ian Sinclair, Morning Star
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Top Customer Reviews
The level of detail that McLaughlin goes into is astounding, and whether he is describing weapons systems, basic training, battalion life or operational tours - his descriptions are always bang-on, totally convincing, and unnervingly accurate. Several times reading this book I had to put it down and have a little daydream, such is the level of personal recall it stirred inside.
Those of us who have been there will know what he is talking about; being beasted around Catterick by depot-screws, trying to reassemble an SA80 in the field and losing your camstud, scraping the carbon off a Gimpy when your hands are so cold you just want to curl up and die, platoon mongs and stag bitches, etc - I swear this book took me right back in an instant.
In this day and age of overblown and exaggerated Special Forces accounts it's refreshing to see an ordinary soldier embracing his experience and celebrating the sheer bloody grind of being an Infantryman. What I particularly liked about this book is the total lack of heroics and the grim honesty with which the author appraises his own fears and weaknesses - and he confesses to many. McLaughlin is his own severest critic and openly admits his failings, going so far as to show himself in an extremely bad light at times - unlike other `heroes' we could mention.Read more ›
Squaddie is not about supermen diving through windows or marching hundreds of miles on bleeding feet, but about the very unglamourous and frequently violent existance of everyday infantry troops at home and abroad - in this case the Royal Green Jackets.
No stone is left unturned, and in great detail Mclaughlin takes us on a often hilarious journey through a tough basic training, daily barracks life and culture, and a chaotic Iraq tour, finishing with a sharp insight into the modern-day Northern Ireland operational tour.
His honesty is both painfull and apealing, such as when told he was off to Iraq, he confessess his immediate response was 'bollocks to winning medals' and how 'the s..t was pouring out of him' as departure day loomed.
Squaddie is a grimly bleak and humourous account of life at the sharp-end in the British infantry, and i can not commend it highly enough - read it and you will understand just what our soldiers have to go through on a daily basis.
If your looking for a tale of heroic leadership under enemy fire then i am afraid 'Squaddie' is not the book for you, and you will be very dissapointed. But if you want to know how it really is - both the good bits and the bad - then give it a whirl. Mclaughlin's book should be made compulsary reading for the following people:
Schoolboy dropouts searching for an identity and trying to escape from an abusive steparent - as Mclaughlin clearly was.
Privately educated and privaleged Sandhurst cadets who want to understand and motivate their men - take note Prince Harry!
Concerned parents worried about teenage boys being taken in by recruitment sgt's tales of skiing and surfing - only to end up in Iraq.
And anybody else with merely a passing interest in the army. The book would make a good film and i look forward to maybe seeing that come about. One thing is for certian, the working-class British Squaddies now have a voice, and about time too.
As a young man Mclaughlin had some serious eyesight problems, which prevented him from enlisting, but once he got them sorted out he joined a fine regiment (Royal Green Jackets) and graduated as a Combat Infantryman at the age of 31! Well that alone impresses me and shows that this guy has some of that `bulldog spirit' the British are so famous for.
He then takes us on a very detailed and tough tour through basic training; daily barracks life (lots of fighting and drinking - some things are the same for all soldiers!), and a couple of operational deployments to Iraq and Northern Ireland. As an American soldier the book fascinated me because I have always rated the British military very highly - like the country itself they are very small, but very, very good.
Mclaughlin comes out very strongly against the Iraq invasion, but you know what, the guy has served there and earned the right to have his say, so I say good luck to him. For what its worth, I am proud as hell to have been in Nam - but I think it was a Goddamn tragedy and so is Iraq.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can relate to Steven"s story as i was at Catterick myself in 1996 as a Infantryman at 28 well told story and totally believable as any soldier will tell you. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Graham1969
A great read which is well written. I was an instructor at Winchester when the author says he was in training there, I don't claim to know him but I understand what he was putting... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
He sounds like a really good egg, who will watch your back, when you get to know him.
He joined the Army for all the wrong reasons, and didn't stay long enough to make a... Read more
Squaddie is an articulate account not only of life in the British Army at home, in Iraq and in Northern Ireland, but also of one man's struggles to overcome seemingly... Read morePublished 5 months ago by d ellison lomax
I’ve always had an interest in what our guys go through in the forces so thought I’d give Squaddie a whirl after hearing so much about it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great read that gives a good insight into the day to day life of the average soldier. This book does not set out to be a heroic tale full of adventure, instead it aims (and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mrs. Lanning
A great look at life in the ranks
This book was recommended to me by a friend who served in the army and I have to say it doesn’t disappoint. Read more
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