6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
The *Other* Side, 23 May 2004
Being a fan of Asher's other works and having devoured McNab's and Ryan's books on the ill-fated patrol, I poured through this with interest.
Asher seems to make it a point to take the Arab side in every detail he finds, acting in the role of counsel for the other side. He sparingly credits the patrol members with performing above-normal acts of heroism and endurance.
The writing is good. His cross-referencing of McNab's and Ryan's books is air-tight. The on-the-ground research is detailed in that he followed the patrols' paths. However, in the field, he assigns each Bedu he meets with the highest virtue and credibility. Though the some of the claims of distances covered and contacts made by Bravo Two Zero are easily debunked, it is not well-balanced to trust the Bedu in every detail.
It does seem the patrol could have been better prepared by each of them studying some Arabic, learning about the Bedu, rechecking comms and having a firm E&E plan. The patrol was extremely far behind enemy lines and this was their first contact under such circumstances so some decisions probably, in retrospect, were not optimal. However, these men were on the ground making out the best they could at the time given their lot.
This is well worth a read. The fog of war assures that the details of each patrol members' accounts will be lacking in some regard. But it should be remembered, Asher easily located the Bedu involved in contacts with the patrol, proving that the Bedu were not so inaccessible as to be exempt to subjection to Iraq.