I bought this book on a whim, it looked good and the price was right but I really did not know what to expect.
Well what a fantastic book and piece of history to stumble across!! The author conveys one of Britain's secret hot wars within the cold war period with unrivalled clarity.
I simply did not appreciate this period of history within the British Armed forces prior to this. The entire campaign in Oman was of exceptional importance for a number of reasons, mainly oil and this explained (as it usually does) the reason for the UK's interest in the conflict.
I really must take my hat off to the author, for not giving me one thrilling story, but several each with their own sub-plots, from the original coup, through to the initial Op JAGUAR and finally the epic battle of Mirbat from both the ground and the air, which quite frankly should be taught in all schools in the country alongside Rorke's Drift as an epic battle of desperation won against overwhelming odds.
Rowland White also brings up some interesting points or criticisms which are very apt today, British politicians wanting to fight wars on the cheap without proper equipment, the lack of any real recognition of the battle and the embarassingly low MiD award to L/Cpl Labalaba when he was probably one of the SAS regiment's bravest soldiers in the battle and I have seen and read of VC's being given out for a lot less than his actions that day!!
Finally the author makes some poignant observations about how this successfully conducted campaign against insurgency, though against communists, may be cross-applied to the modern conflicts we are in today in trying to maintain stable governments in various states around the world. It is almost as if this entire campaign has been forgotten by the British politicians, yet it would serve as a valuable template for the similar operations we find ourselves in today.
If you want to learn more about British world influence in the Cold War, modern history of the SAS or simply just want a really good entertainingly told slice of British modern history, buy this book you will NOT be disappointed!!!