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Sod That for a Game of Soldiers Paperback – 1 Jun 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Kenton Publishing; 3rd Edition edition (1 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954622324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954622329
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
A well written and heart-felt account of the events leading up to and during the Falklands War by someone who was there.

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.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I feel i have to write in a retort to Jayetee's reveiw. The comments about the authour being rude and abusive, although being his/her personnel opinion should not stand.
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
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Format: Paperback
A truly moving & courageous account of a young Para's experiences during the Falklands War including the battle for Mount Longdon. The style is candid & compelling. The book deals with some very difficult subject areas including close quarter fighting, combat aftermath & reconciliation.

A must to read. A small price to pay indeed is Remembrance. Our armed forces must never be taken for granted.
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Format: Paperback
With so many positive reviews there should be little reason for anyone to doubt this book is essential reading. Mark's story is compelling and I'm not ashamed to admit it moved me to tears on more than one occasion.

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.
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Format: Paperback
If you, like me, have wanted to become a soldier and not been allowed due to an assortment of so called problems that the Army decided to put in your way to stop your entry into the armed forces at the early age of sixteen, then you, like me, will have always been interested in reading and learning about life in the armed forces; what it really would or could have been like if you had joined all those years before.

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.
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