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before you go to Stan

#1
Someone very dear to me has stuck his hand up to go to Afghanistan next year. Clearly being raving runs in the family. Anyway can anyone recommend a book for him that best gives the (sandy) flavour of being out there and doing the great job that a lot of you do?

Thanks in advance

OldTyke
 
#3
For a truly historical perspective of the region and to prove that nothing changes, 'The Great Game' by Peter Hopkirk is very good and thick enough to last a few weeks as well. Full of stories of derring-do, tragedy, farce and herosim in equal measure.

'The Sewing Circles of Herat' by journalist Christina Lamb is also not bad and gives a good personal view of the last 15-20 years of Afghanistan history covering the rise and fall of the Taliban as she documents her own travels there. She meets some of the key players along the way, including a young Karzai when he was flirting with the Taliban (before the lunatics took it over) which makes it all the more interesting.
 
#6
oldtyke said:
thankyou for those good ideas. is there anything autobiographical by someone who has recently served there that you recommend?

oldtyke
what exactly are you sniffing for.
something not right here.
you from the papers.
 
#7
3 PARA the book by Patrick Bishop

to get a feel of how it came to this

Taliban by Ahmed Rashid

where the HUMINT comes from

The Interrogators Chris Mackey and Greg Miller (US forces) reading this at the moment. Not bad but not warry.

Warry film 9th Company. Russian language with english subtitles. Very good but pehaps a tad off putting. Follows russian conscripts through training and to one of the last battles before the pull out in 1989. Maybe not something to show the parents though...

Edited to add, some rave about The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad but I found it just too depressing going on about how badly women were treated. Not our culture and we are not going there to change it.
 
#9
tearsbeforebedtime said:
Warry film 9th Company. Russian language with english subtitles. Very good but pehaps a tad off putting. Follows russian conscripts through training and to one of the last battles before the pull out in 1989. Maybe not something to show the parents though...
Second that . Great film :salut:

And good luck to the person going out there to do the business
 
#12
Anyone read An Ordinary Soldier? Beattie was an CSgt at RMAS when I was there - came accross as a top man. I hear it's a good read?

Also, out of interest, how did Ross Kemp come across in his series? Is it worth getting hold of the DVD?
 
#13
Ozduke said:
Anyone read An Ordinary Soldier? Beattie was an CSgt at RMAS when I was there - came accross as a top man. I hear it's a good read?

Also, out of interest, how did Ross Kemp come across in his series? Is it worth getting hold of the DVD?[/quote]

Very well and yes.
 
#14
'The Places In Between' by Rory Stewart and 'From Africa To Afghanistan' by Greg Mills are both excellent factual reads. Stewart (a diplomat) walked across Herat province in early 2003 (I think!) and the book details his contacts with the Afghan CIVPOP.

Mills worked as an advisor to Gen Richards in Kabul and his book is about trying to rebuild the country's infrastructure.
 
#15
1) "The great game" by peter Hopkirk, A great historical read on the area and why it is such a complex place to try and control. will give the reader an understanding of the people and their mindset

2) The entire Flashman series
 
#16
Mr_Deputy said:
The Hunt for Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger by Robin Moore.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0375508619/?tag=armrumser-21

This is a pretty good look at what happend in Afghanistan straight after 9/11. The tide of hatred that the US was feeling and the fact that Al Queda really did get a hell of shoeing - particulalry by Green Beret types using an enormous amount of Close Air Support. Describes local leaders, local politics. Also shows relationship between US and the Northern Alliance. Covers things like the SAS assistance (respectfully written up - including details of one attack on a fort by SAS) also the well-known Royal Marine sweeps of the caves looking for AQ and Bin Laden...so the British contribution is not over-looked.
er big no. the author's initial reliance and involvement with Jonnny "I've got my own torture cell" Idema have undermined the credibility of the book.

The special forces community referred to in it have condemned it as a work of fiction and Moore subsequently disavowed it.

Back to thread
Would Million Bullets and Mentioned in Dispatches be worth putting on the list?
 
#17
psychobabble said:
'The Places In Between' by Rory Stewart and 'From Africa To Afghanistan' by Greg Mills are both excellent factual reads. Stewart (a diplomat) walked across Herat province in early 2003 (I think!) and the book details his contacts with the Afghan CIVPOP.

Mills worked as an advisor to Gen Richards in Kabul and his book is about trying to rebuild the country's infrastructure.
Stewart OBE also served briefly as an officer in the Black Watch. He has achieved so much for someone so young.
 
#18
'The Bear went Over the Mountain' by Lester Grau. This is about Soviet tactics against the Mujahideen and by all accounts is required reading in the Frunze Military Academy.
 
#19
Cant remember the proper title but was a red cover and called 'The Bear came over the mountain' about the russian involvement.
Also Unholy wars by John Cooley, Its about Afghanistan, America and International terrorism. It starts at the beginning on how certain organisations got involved and how some of it has come full circle to bite us on the b*m! (Not a nightime read though).

And finally 'A short walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby nothing to do with the war, but as they say only tourism follows wars :roll: as if!! but a great read by a great travel writer, soldier and human being.
 
#20
blacknasty said:
Cant remember the proper title but was a red cover and called 'The Bear came over the mountain' about the russian involvement.
Also Unholy wars by John Cooley, Its about Afghanistan, America and International terrorism. It starts at the beginning on how certain organisations got involved and how some of it has come full circle to bite us on the b*m! (Not a nightime read though).

And finally 'A short walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby nothing to do with the war, but as they say only tourism follows wars :roll: as if!! but a great read by a great travel writer, soldier and human being.
Did you not see the post before yours then!! :D
 

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