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Customer Review

on 27 March 2005
As a former soldier who did not serve in the Falklands (before my time!) I thought this book was a great read and very informative. I can understand why it does not appeal to everybody as a lot of the things squaddies get up to can turn the stomachs of civilians but, nonetheless, it is an incredibly accurate insight into the lives and lifestyles of serving soldiers.
The book essentially covers three subjects, seemlessly narrowing in on the main topic as they go. A general introduction to the army and its environment is followed by a more specific introduction to the parachute regiment, culminating in the Falklands campaign and the action fought by 3 Para to take Longdon.
The style is very easy to read and will be a real 'eye-opener' for both soldiers and civilians alike. Anybody who has been under fire will identify immediately with both the fear and the gallows humour that prevails under such circumstances. At many points in the book I found myself laughing out loud having been reminded of various military 'traditions' and situations which crop up from time to time in any serviceman's career.
There was also a deep and abiding respect for 3 Para and what they achieved in attacking an enemy of equal strength, well entrenched on high ground, with no artillery support (a situation all the text books tell you should be avoided) and winning through as a result of exceptional training, discipline, courage, and force of will.
There is also a lot of peripheral information about the Falklands campaign in general, outlining for example some of the ridiculous mistakes that were made during the course of the war and how the soldiers overcame the resulting problems in order to succeed.
The after-action incident involving the shooting of the Argetinian prisoner is dealt with honestly and in some detail and shows that particular episode in a more balanced light. The reader must decide which standpoint to take but can do so from a position of having the facts at his disposal as opposed to the allegations promulgated through 'objective' tabloid reporting at the time.
Any student of recent military history will find this book a valuable addition to their collection, as will anybody who wants to better understand what drives the British soldier to fight and win under the harshest of conditions.
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