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Squaddie: A Soldier's Story Paperback – 3 May 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845962427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845962425
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Book Description

'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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Squaddie is without doubt the most original soldier's story of recent times; it is long overdue and most welcome, particularly for anyone who has ever served in the British Infantry. I myself served eight satisfying years in the QLR and left as a Platoon Sergeant, but until now I had never read a book that accurately captured the Squaddie experience - both the good, bad, and truly awful bits too!

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.
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Format: Paperback
At long last a book that tells us what it is really like to be one of HM's soldier's at the sharp end! Having read well over a dozen SAS books and numerous ex-Colonels accounts i was begining to despair of ever finding a book that showed what plain, dirty old fashioned soldiering is all about - until i discovered this gem.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by a pal who served in the authors regiment(Royal Green Jackets) many years ago, and i have to say i can now see why! The book is a brutally honest and at times extremely disturbing portrait of life in the lower ranks of the infantry.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book while on holiday in England a few weeks back after hearing all about in the British press. Squaddie has turned out to be a very controversial book over there and it has some pretty strong opinions about the War On Terror. Well first off it is one hell of a read and just about one of the best soldier's stories I have ever read - and believe me as a Vietnam vet and retired `Infantry grunt' I have read a few!

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.
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