Bull$hit Alert - Books to Avoid?

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
In my youth, I loved Bravo Two Zero, The One That Got Away and any number of Damien Lewis books. The dashing tales of unbelievable heroism which truly humbled my younger self, particularly ones that coincided with my little bit of time in the sandpit.

Unfortunately, as I've grown older, I have been disillusioned with military memoirs in general as it appears that the QMS now issues "Pants, flaming, author size."

To clarify: I am not dissing Andy McNab or Chris Ryan as such, as it isn't right or proper. However, some people have questioned the veracity of their accounts.

Tom Carew is a particularly egregious teller of fibs with his book, "Jihad!" A book I read, believing it was accurate and offered a niche view of a Brit fighting with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the '80s.

My questions to ARRSErs are:

Can you recommend a military book that is MOSTLY accurate?
What's the WORST military book in terms of truthfulness?

Thanks in advance.

Edited for clarification.
 
Last edited:
Think there was a discussion on here to the effect that there was no need to make up shit, his background being sound.
 

ches

LE
For a big pile of pooh you'd have to be going some to beat that load of utter cobblers written by that chopper Bullshitter Bruce in the Nemesis File.
 
Soldier Spy by Tom Marcus.

Read a few chapters and binned it. May be true but felt bullshitty.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
For a big pile of pooh you'd have to be going some to beat that load of utter cobblers written by that chopper Bullshitter Bruce in the Nemesis File.
Think i managed to read 10 pages or so before giving up at the point when two landrovers full of SAS blokes turned up, grabbed him and his kit and sent him off to war...

Fiction wise, some of the most atrocious books have been the Soldier A, B, C etc of the SAS monstrosities - telling of how the SAS could spint down a hill and manage head shots fired from the hip at 500 metres, of SAS ID cards... The best worst one was a Squadron HALO jump into Columbia to rescue two captured comrades, that resulted in a series of events that meant while the rescuers left via helicopter, the two former hostages tabbed out with two others to the coast (all four getting killed on the beach)...
 
Its Army themed although not really a book, but most of the articles are bollocks.

 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Soldier Spy by Tom Marcus.

Read a few chapters and binned it. May be true but felt bullshitty.
Read that and enjoyed it, although the bloke (if true) had some serious issues....
 
Bad:
Anything by Bear Grills and his time with Them(R) Parachuting not his thing it seems or following training drills.
If I bull5hited said all I could have done in the Army I would be Logistics Director/Millionaire

Good:
A Breed of Hero's by Alan Judd about a fictional para commando officer in NI in the 80's.
Interesting book, good detail and worth a look.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Accurate - Quartered Safe Out Here
B0llocks - Devil's Guard
 
Read that and enjoyed it, although the bloke (if true) had some serious issues....
The biggest one being a out-and-out narcissist.

If he had not spent the first half of the book talking about how good he is and how easy everything was then it may have been a bit more believable.
 
This...

Worst...military...book...ever...



This one is pretty good though...

 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Bad:
Anything by Bear Grills and his time with Them(R) Parachuting not his thing it seems or following training drills.
If I bull5hited said all I could have done in the Army I would be Logistics Director/Millionaire

Good:
A Breed of Hero's by Alan Judd about a fictional para commando officer in NI in the 80's.
Interesting book, good detail and worth a look.
IIRC, A breed of Hero's was made into a one-off TV play in the 90's, pretty good i thought.
 
Soldier Spy by Tom Marcus.

Read a few chapters and binned it. May be true but felt bullshitty.
If it were true, then the dit about him being the hero who thwarted a terror attack on a couple of bus loads of school kids on their return from France was missed by the press.

The 'fact' that the SAS supposedly hard stopped the bad guys car, smashed through the windscreen and pulled him out at gunpoint seems to have gone unreported.

As has the subsequent trial, verdict and sentencing of what would rate as a high profile terrorist incident.

Something smells fishy, and I'm not talking about the contents of Baldricks apple crumble.

A complete pile of dog doo.
 

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