Sod That for a Game of Soldiers Paperback – 1 Jun 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Mark (Tom) takes you through his upbringing with no punches pulled which culminates with him joining the Junior Paras at aged 17. Not old enough to drink, vote, or watch an adult movie, Mark joins the world of men and provides a good insight into the hardships which are faced by any aspiring Para.
From September 1981, to April 1982 he develops as a paratrooper, becoming a "Crow" with 3 Para. With his friends: Ian Scrivens, Neil Gross and Jason Burt (all 17) he finds himself in one of the hardest battles since Korea - The Battle for Mount Longdon.
Mark takes you with him through the TAB across east island into the battle and paints a very grim and emotionally taxing account of what war really is alongside such well known members of 4 Platoon such as Sgt Ian Mackay VC. As they charge through withering fire on Mount Longdon, he loses one of his close friends soon after breaking cover, but by the end of the day he will have suffered further loss. As Major Chris Keeble of 2 Para describes his experiences, it is "gutter fighting".
It is unlikely that you will fail to be moved by this account
It's a thoroughly absorbing account and an opportunity to pay our respects to the young me that fought and died on those distant islands.
I have recently laid the book down after what i can describe as one of the most moving accounts that i have ever digested.
Mark Eyles-Thomas served with the Parachute Regiment, calling all other members of the armed forces who did not earn the Maroon beret as HATS, is what is best described as banter, mickey taking and having a massive sense of self pride. What the Paras and other elite units do is not normal, these people are close, because of what they are asked to do; by people sat in their living rooms and cosy offices. Is the reviewer so naive as to think those HATS do not have their own colourful language to describe those who call them HATS?
I can give this informed statement, as i served as a Hat for nearly ten years, i am immensley proud of my military sevice, like Mark i joined the Army as a sixteen year old, and also lost a friend during operations in Bosnia.
People should not be put off from reading this book because of Marks description of non Paras, Mark tells it like it is, sometimes people tell you the truth can hurt, read the book and understand that this is about normal young men asked to do a very abnormal job, its consequences and what makes our British Army the best on the planet.
You will not be disapointed
A must to read. A small price to pay indeed is Remembrance. Our armed forces must never be taken for granted.
In response to some of the less positive comments, the point has to be made that the author makes it quite clear in the preface that he is telling it exactly as he lived it, because to dress his experiences in a sugary coating would be a gross disservice to those friends he left behind. The constant disparaging references to "hats" may seem offensive to some readers but don't be so quick to judge. For generations, the British army has used regimental pride as a key motivator to great effect. The author simply bought into the Paras particularly enthusiastic implementation of that system and if he still feels so passionately 25 years later then he's earned that right, in my opinion.
For me the book was riddled with insight and was very thought provoking. In some cases the author makes quite clear the point he is trying to get across but much of the time he simply presents his evidence and relies on the reader to actually think about what was going on. The opening paragraphs are a very good example of that. One reviewer has described them as "pretty dull" and yet for me they are essential to the story as they expose the factors that contributed to Mark's decision to enlist at the earliest opportunity. There was nothing all that remarkable or extraordinary about his upbringing. No abuse, deprivation or malicious neglect. Like so many kids, he quietly suffered the adverse effects of parental separation and a father incapable of forging a proper emotional bond with his son.Read more ›
Likewise, if you, like me at the age of twenty, saw the unfolding events of the Falklands campaign on the television and just wished you were there with the lads that actually went, then you can do no better than read Mark Eyles-Thomas' account of life in 3 Para as they trained and prepared to take Mount Longdon prior to entering Stanley to recapture what had been taken from the islanders.
Entitled `Sod that - For a Game of Soldiers' this book tells in such an honest and yet endearing way the journey of one young man as he entered the Parachute Regiment and met three young men who would become very close friends. As is always the case with such friendships, they are never forgotten and create a bond that lasts for eternity, a bond that not even death can break.
So, at the age of forty six, with news of the twenty fifth anniversary of the campaign fresh in our minds, I listened to a radio 2 interview with Jeremy Vine and was moved to buy the book in order to share something with the author, even though I could not stand beside these friends in battle. I still do not know what it was that made me buy the book but I will be eternally grateful to Mark Eyles-Thomas that I did.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent. Not a book to be read by the faint-hearted. This is what war is really like ... grim, exhausting and tragic. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Frank Durham
Enjoyed the book, my only criticism is the author is very disrespectful of any other serviceman that was not Parachute Regiment.Published 14 months ago by Tony McNally (Mack)
This book is one man's story, and shows what it was really like for the Paras, who without proper equipment and transport, forced marched across the Falklands, then fought one of... Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2014 by Bobby
The battle for Mount Longdon truly brought to life by Mr Thomas. This is a gripping and first rate personal account of what it's like to go through and witness the horror of... Read morePublished on 18 Dec. 2013 by Gary
I enjoyed this book as it was reccomended by friends who had served in the Falklands.
It says it as it was without all the frills of exaggeration just to sell a book like Andy... Read more
This book really needs to be read by all young adolescents in the UK to give them a reality check on how lucky they are. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2012 by A. R. Krantz
This is the story of four seventeen year old boys, lads considered by a government they couldn't vote for to be too young for a tour of Northern Ireland yet old enough to... Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2012 by keef
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