Top positive review
An outstanding book, beautifully written.
6 November 2018
This is a tale of courage, ingenuity, forbearance, humanity and a ruthless determination to win through. General Delves captures the drama with fairness and balance – even those who fall short are dealt only faint praise. He especially admires the contribution of the Royal Navy and 3 Commando Brigade.
There are also many lessons here for the coming generation in the Services. Delves shows how to pick apart a problem to its essentials and then form a winning plan, collaboratively but without losing control. How to get on with the other elements in a combat team and work with them. How to rise above setbacks and resist being hostage to your worst fears, whilst always keeping an open mind.
Delves also shows how Special Forces operate and demonstrates what is needed for them to succeed against otherwise superior enemies (and demolishing many myths about Special Forces along the way). Crucially, he shows what happens when the things that make SF work – recce, intense preparation, go with the plan of the bloke on the spot – are missing. His last operation nearly ends in disaster as they mount a diversionary attack without time for recce or proper planning.
I was privileged to be one of Delves’ contemporaries and it was great for the curtain to be lifted, at last, to learn what actually happened!