- Sgt Craig Douglas
I am not going to bullshit you – it's not what this diary is about, I am not a sniper and didn’t kill anyone. I am going to bring you into my world in that six month period of my life. Together we are going to call in fire missions, bash our heads against brick walls in frustration, burn camel shit and walk over to the wriggly tin shit houses in our combat body armour.”
When I first picked up this book I wasn’t too happy with the Diary layout, however I soon forgot that once I had gotten into a few pages. This diary does what it promises’ and more. Being an Ex Sapper I had no understanding of how a group of gunners operated, Craig got the white lanyard out of the way very quickly and I was in his dirty, dusty desperate world of FOB Inkerman in no time at all. Craig assists the non military readers by translating squaddy speak for them, for example a chalk is a group of passengers assigned a place to sit on a flight. Ironic then as once in the FOB which was manned by Marines he has to get them to explain Heads and Scran!.
This diary is not a shoot ‘em up and knock ‘em down tale, it confirms what respect the British Army has for the Taliban. Also it affirms that the average Gunner is more interested in discussing his last bowl movement than he is politics and that the lack of Mail and constant cancellation of Helicopter transport did more damage to moral than the enemy. It’s a great read well observed and I suspect that this will be the equivalent of “ Tommies” in a hundred years time, for it is a soldiers book where food and a comfortable lavatory mean more to the lads than anything else. There is one shortcoming which I feel I must point out to you, we have constant references to Emma, a medic who teaches herself how to call fire missions down on the dastardly enemy, lots of mentions.... but no photos, come on Sgt Douglas you know the rules !
Absolutely well deserving 4.5 mushrooms and well done for getting this story published.