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Nine men. 2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance... First in - the official motto of one of the British Army's smallest and most secretive units, 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. Unofficially, they are the bastard son of the SAS. And, like their counterparts in Hereford, the job of the Pathfinders is to operate unseen and undetected deep behind enemy lines. When British forces were deployed to Iraq in 2003, Captain David Blakeley was given command of a reconnaissance mission of such critical importance that it could change the course of the war. It's the story of nine men, operating alone and unsupported, 50 miles ahead of a US Recon Marine advance and heading straight into a hornets' nest, teeming with thousands of heavily armed enemy forces. This is the first account of that extraordinary mission - abandoned by coalition command, left with no option but to fight their way out of the enemy's backyard. And it provides a gripping insight into the Pathfinders themselves, a shadowy unit, just 45 men strong, that plies its trade from the skies. Trained to parachute into enemy territory far beyond the forward edge of battle - freefalling from high altitude breathing bottled oxygen and employing the latest skydiving technology - the PF are unique. Because of new rules introduced since the publication of BRAVO TWO ZERO, there have been no first-hand accounts of British Special Forces waging modern-day warfare for nearly a decade. And no member of the Pathfinders has ever told their story before. Until now. PATHFINDER is the only first-hand account of a UKSF mission to emerge for nearly a generation. And it could be the last.
'I did not regard myself as a slacker. Even in childhood I taught myself to carry out tasks entrusted conscientiously and carefully. In war, it is no secret that the casual don't survive'. Evgeni Nikolaev was one of Russia s leading snipers of World War II and his memoir provides and unparralled account of frontline action in crucial theatres of war. Nikolaev is credited with a remarkable 324 kills and his wartime service included time in the siege of Leningrad in 1941/1942. His memoir is not an neutral, apolitical account. Far from it. Nikolaev asserts, for example, that Finland attached Russia. As a member of the NKVD is it not surprising that his memoir full of historical misinterpretation and justification of the agency s actions. Equally, Nikoalev is dismissive of his Nazi opponents. He variously describes his Nazi counterparts as bandits and scum and implores the reader to take a look, fellows, at the beast of a bastard I ve laid low . In vivid, arresting recollections he paints his actions in a saintly heroic light. He describes the comfort of the German foxholes, wired with telephone connections, relative to the Russians who fasted without food or water awaiting the moment for a perfect shot. He claimes the Russian soldier was a moral warrior, killing only with head or heart shots. In addition to describing details of his kills, Nikolaev explains how his life was saved when an explosive rifle bullet struck a watch that he kept in his jacket pocket. His life was saved by a surgeon who extracted all the watch parts.
"Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II" is a thoroughly researched narrative of the Allied joint project to invade Burma by air. Beginning with its inception at the Quebec Conference of 1943 and continuing through Operation Thursday until the death of the brilliant British General Orde Wingate in March 1944, less than a month after the successful invasion of Burma, "Project 9" details all aspects of this covert mission, including the selection of the American airmen, the procurement of the aircraft, the joint training with British troops, and the dangerous night-time assault behind Japanese lines by glider.
Based on review of hundreds of documents as well as interviews with surviving Air Commandos, this is the history of a colorful, autonomous, and highly effective military unit that included some of the most recognizable names of the era. Tasked by the General of the Army Air Forces, H. H. "Hap" Arnold, to provide air support for British troops under the eccentric Major General Wingate as they operated behind Japanese lines in Burma, the Air Commandos were breaking entirely new ground in operational theory, tactics, and inter-Allied cooperation. Okerstrom's in-depth research and analysis in "Project 9" shed light on the operations of America's first foray into special military operations, when these heroes led the way for the formation of modern special operations teams such as Delta Force and Seal Team Six.
In early summer 1982--winter in the South Atlantic--Argentina's military junta invades the Falklands. Within days, a Royal Navy Task Force is assembled and dispatched. This is the story of D Squadron, 22 SAS, commanded by Cedric Delves. The relentless tempo of events defies belief. Raging seas, inhospitable glaciers, hurricane-force winds, helicopter crashes, raids behind enemy lines--the Squadron prevailed against them all, but the cost was high. Holding fast to their humanity, D Squadron's fighters were there at the start and end of the Falklands War. Theirs was the first Union Jack raised over Government House in Stanley. 'Across an Angry Sea' is a chronicle of daring, skill and steadfastness among a tight-knit band of brothers; of learning fast, fighting hard, and winning through.
From SAS To Blood Diamond Wars is the story of an outstanding warrior, even by SAS standards.On the point of being demobbed from the SAS, Fred Marafono was recruited by David Stirling for his private security company. After Stirling's death, Fred found himself in the midst of Sierra Leone's Blood Diamond wars, and formed an unbreakable bonding with the country's champion of democracy, Chief Hinga Norman, whose leadership and tragic death are integral to the story.Fred was recruited by Simon Mann for the finest of all private military companies in Africa, Executive Outcomes. Fewer than two hundred of them defeated the rebels in their strongholds. Through political weakness, Executive Outcomes were made to leave the country, and chaos ensued. Committed men like Hinga Norman and British High Commissioner Peter Penfold saw that, in the absence of military commitment from the west, only highly professional former soldiers could spearhead the fight to restore democracy. Three of these veterans kept a vital air bridge open. Fred's final action was supporting the SAS in their brilliant hostage release, Operation Barras.Peter Penfold sums it all up in the book's foreword, writing of the, 'confidence, trust and admiration I have for this remarkable man. '
Geordie Doran ranks as one of the most remarkable fighting soldiers of the twentieth century. Growing up in Jarrow during the Depression years of the 1930s, Geordie signed up as a private soldier in 1946 and embarked on a career spanning 40 years. He saw active service in Germany, Cyprus, the Korean War and Suez; he became an expert in jungle warfare in Malaya and in Borneo, as well as on key special operations in the deserts of Oman and Yemen, and Colonel Gaddafi's Libya. After returning to England in the early 1970s, a serious road accident curtailed his frontline soldiering career; however, he found a new and vital role as a permanent staff instructor with 23 SAS (TA) training the cream of recruits. He left the SAS in 1972, but could not settle into civilian life and found himself a job as a storeman in the SAS Quartermaster's stores - a job which lasted another 12 years, during which time he equipped many famous SAS characters for their famous clandestine missions. GEORDIE DORAN was born Francis William Joseph Doran. From humble origins, Geordie embarked upon an extraordinary career of fighting adventure which included active service in the Infantry, the Parachute Regiment and the SAS. MIKE MORGAN is a senior journalist with the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette and is the author of Sting of the Scorpion, Daggers Drawn and D-Day Hero (The History Press). He lives in North Yorkshire.
Written by the renowned expert Nigel West, this book exposes the operations of Britain's overseas intelligence-gathering organisation, the famed Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and traces its origins back to its inception in 1909. In this meticulously researched account, its activities and structure are described in detail, using original secret service documents. The main body of the book concerns MI6's operations during the Second World War, and includes some remarkable successes and failures, including how MI6 financed a glamorous confidant of the German secret service; how a suspected French traitor was murdered by mistake; how Franco's military advisors were bribed to keep Spain out of the war; how members of the Swedish secret police were blackmailed into helping the British war effort; how a sabotage operation in neutral Tangiers enabled the Allied landings in North Africa to proceed undetected; and how Britain's generals ignored the first ULTRA decrypts because MI6 said that the information had come from a well-placed source called BONIFACE'. In this new edition, operations undertaken by almost all of MI6's overseas stations are recounted in extraordinary detail. They will fascinate both the professional intelligence officer and the general reader. The book includes organisational charts to illustrate MI6's internal structure and its wartime network of overseas stations. Backed by numerous interviews with intelligence officers and their agents, this engaging inside story throws light on many wartime incidents that had previously remained unexplained.
With the SAS: Across the Rhine is the story of the latter part of Captain Ian Wellsted's military career with the Special Air Service, the first part of which was detailed in his well-received SAS: With the Maquis. This is a very personal account, revealing the many emotional as well as physical strains placed upon men in the fighting line. The author takes us back to his time employed with the 79th Armoured Division (the famous 'Hobart's Funnies') preparing for D-Day and his desire for more exciting action, which led first to the Parachute Regiment and then the SAS. Whilst we learn a little of his time with the maquis, the main focus of the story is his part in Operation Archway. A British special forces mission which involved the 1st and 2nd Special Air Service Regiments acting in support of the advance of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery's Allied 21st Army Group in operations Varsity and Plunder, this crossing of the Rhine was one of the largest and most diverse operations ever carried out by the SAS. In this offensive, the SAS teams were thrust deep into German territory, often having to battle their way through the enemy lines to get back to safety. 'I quickly learned that there was no way to control an SAS battle,' Wellsted wrote of his first major encounter in charge of a patrol. 'The din was deafening - seventy odd Vickers and half a dozen Brownings all chattering together. The screech of ricochets and the fire of the enemy made my voice sound like the squeak of a mouse against a church organ. I was helpless.' In one of these encounters, as the war was drawing to a close, Wellsted's troop found itself surrounded. In the ensuing firefight, Wellsted was wounded, bringing his active front line career to an end.
Trunk Monkeys: The Life of a Contract Soldier in Iraq tells the true story of operators from a private military contractor working in Iraq shortly after the Gulf War. From the perspective of grizzled veteran Lewis Steiner who had left the British Army to join the gold rush in the living hell that was war-torn Iraq, Steiner grew disillusioned about the declining situation in the country as he believed that the joint US and UK invasion had made things far worse. This fascinating and often extremely violent book encompasses the highs and lows of operating throughout the country from Basra in the south up to Mosul in the north. Steiner recounts of friends lost due to negligence and poor planning to the realities of conducting a private war surrounded by civilians who might be the enemy. Ultimately injured in an incident that left two dead, Steiner decides to soldier on due to a misguided sense of duty. Armed with his belt-fed SAW machine gun, Steiner accepted a contract located near Tikrit. The missions rapidly become a death sentence to many of the contract soldiers and dogs of war. In some cases, these missions were pointless, costing men, vehicles and the sanity of brothers in arms. Steiner was in the thick of it from dodging enemy ambushes to taking out a suicide bomber and narrowly escaping death in 'Sniper Alley' collecting cranberry sauce for the US forces on Thanksgiving Day. With the pedal to the metal, his Humvee attracted the unwelcome attention of insurgents who tried to blow him up with RPGs. Forget the fictionalised works of Andy McNab, Tom Clancy and Chris Ryan: this is the real deal. This is a firsthand account of the men who decide to pay the ultimate price, but be warned, this tells the real story that the Government does not want you to know.
This is the first book on tracking in a combat situation that includes suggestions for integrating visual tracking operations into existing military doctrine in addition to the boots-on-the-ground detail necessary for soldiers who perform those operations. Learn how to visually track an armed individual or group in a combat situation for the purposes of gaining intelligence, locating the enemy, and/or killing them. This action packed volume is filled with useful photographs and carefully crafted diagrams to fully communicate the skills and actions required to become an expert tracker. Combat Tracking Guide is a functional, readable manual for soldiers, trackers, military organisations, affiliates, and enthusiasts around the world.
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