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Trusted Mole: A Soldier’s Journey into Bosnia’s Heart of Darkness Hardcover – 17 Apr 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (17 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002570246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002570244
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 5.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Fuelled by outrage at his arrest in December 1997 by MoD police, Milos Stankovic, a major in the Parachute Regiment of the British Army and the son of a Royalist Serb, decided to write his extraordinary story: a dramatic tale of life on the edge in war-ravaged Bosnia. Because of his fluency in Serbo-Croat, Stankovic (known as "Mike Stanley" in the Army) acted as the high-powered go-between for General Mike Rose (commander of Britain's UN force) and the Bosnian Serb leaders Mladic and Karadzic (who hated each other). Shuttling between the two camps, he played a crucial part in securing the release of UN hostages and in establishing ceasefire accords. His life was constantly at risk; nevertheless, with Rose's full support, he ran a 'Schindler's List' operation, smuggling families (Serb, Croat or Muslim) out of besieged Sarajevo. His arrest came as a thunderbolt. What lay behind it will be revealed in the book and will ignite an international controversy.

From the Back Cover

'Trusted Mole' is the powerful and disturbing first-hand account of a British soldier of part Yugoslav origin painfully caught up in the savage maelstrom of the Bosnian war. Armed only with the pseudonym 'Mike Stanley' and an antiquated Serbo-Croat vocabulary, Milos Stankovic – an officer in the Parachute Regiment – worked brigadiers and two British UN generals, Mike Rose and Rupert Smith.

His experiences plunged him deeper and deeper into Bosnia's heart of darkness, where all human life was lived 'in extremis'. His own Balkan heritage likewise drew him in: his Scottish grandmother had been a nurse on the Salonika front in the First World War; his father was a former Royalist Yugoslav who had fought in the Second World War; and his mother in 1945 had driven one of the first UN ambulances around Bosnia and Montenegro.

In helping to negotiate cease-fires between rival warlords, securing the release of UN hostages and organising the escape Sarajevo of stricken families, Milos Stankovic was propelled from one nerve-wracking crisis to another. Throughout he was engaged in the highly dangerous game of bridging the gap between alien Balkan and western mentalities. His was a role for which there was no military rule-book, and in the general climate of suspicion and paranoia his close contacts with the Bosnian Serb leadership of Dr Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic caused him to be branded by the Americans and the Bosnian Muslims as a Serb spy in the UN and later as a British spy – General Rose's 'trusted mole'.

In a final, horrific twist, the author was arrested by the British authorities on suspicion of being a Serb spy. At journey's end, Milos Stankovic was now confronted with the awful and inescapable truth of 'Mike Stanley'.

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48 customer reviews

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