- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Trusted Mole: A Soldier’s Journey into Bosnia’s Heart of Darkness Hardcover – 17 Apr 2000
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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'.See all Product description
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 48 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
At times the detail is a little too much and this is a hefty tome to plough through, not helped by more abbreviations than I have ever encountered in a single work. There are very useful maps scattered through the book; they would be far more useful if they were listed under the contents page so that on a Kindle one could find them easily.
As a military memoir Major Stanley(his field name)'s account has greater depth and far more interest than most and his mental and moral investment in his work shines through; to then be accused of spying by the British government is about as huge a slap in the face as one could possibly imagine. The book might be improved here by an additional chapter in a new edition about the collapse of this case and the success of his subsequent civil case.
As to Bosnia, he (accurately) sums up the eventual situation thus:
"Net result: NATO first, Croats second, Serbs third, Muslims fourth and UN last. Ironic, isn’t it? The winner in a peace support operation is a warfighting machine. The loser is the peace organisation. And, the very people the international community was hell-bent on helping came last in the local league."
And then, most importantly in Milos Stankovic's case, this shows the endurance of one, special man during the unthinkable bleak circumstances which severed his military career. Thought-provoking, heartfelt and unforgettable.
The author worked tirelessly for, and often reminds us herein of “the little people” who are trampled underfoot by the war machine.
Very little jargon, so relatively straightforward to follow the trail.Highly recommend - make an excellent gift for those interested in politics, history, war, military as well as mankind and the way we are.Trusted Mole: A Soldier's Journey into Bosnia's Heart of Darkness
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?