Col Stuart Tootal - Danger Close - Talk in London - 26/01

#1
In case this is of interest to anyone:

[align=center]Danger Close – Commanding 3 PARA in Afghanistan – Col Stuart Tootal (former Commanding Officer of 3 PARA)

A talk at the Royal Geographical Society – Tuesday 26th January 2010 (7pm)

in aid of

The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust and the Army Benevolent Fund


3 PARA were the first British unit to be sent to the lawless province of Helmand in southern Afghanistan in 2006. The deployment was heralded as a peace support mission, but the Taliban thought differently. 3 PARA ended up firing nearly half a million rounds of ammunition in a level of combat not experienced by the British Army since the Korean War. With 1,200 soldiers, 3 PARA held a disparate number of isolated outstations against relentless enemy attack.

Throughout the 6 month tour of duty resources were stretched to breaking point and the award of 32 gallantry decorations, including a Victoria Cross, is testimony to the ferocity of the fighting which occurred over the same ground that is now held by six times the number of British troops.

Stuart Tootal uses photographic slides from his book Danger Close and front-line video footage to provide a fascinating talk on leading soldiers in battle, the realities of war and the challenges of succeeding in Afghanistan. He will also talk about the general treatment of British soldiers when they return from the frontline (an issue that had a profound influence on his decision to resign from the Army).

The talk will be at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore. The entrance to the hall is on Exhibition Road and the doors (and bar) will open at 6; Colonel Tootal’s talk will start at 7 pm. Copies of Danger Close will be on sale at the special price of £14.50 and following the talk he will sign copies of this fascinating book.

Advance tickets: £15 – cheques (made payable to Stuart Tootal) and SAE to Bielinski, 105 Bishops Road, London SW6 7AU. Alternatively, credit card payments can be made by calling the Army Benevolent Fund on 020 7414 3321.

All proceeds from the talk will be donated to the Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust (providing assistance to wounded soldiers and the next-of-kin of those killed in action) and the Army Benevolent Fund.

For further details please e-mail: harryhorsfall@btinternet.com

Danger Close – Published by John Murray – RRP £18.99

The (Parachute Regiment) Afghanistan Trust is a registered charity, No 1121647

The Army Benevolent Fund is a registered charity, Nos 211645 and SCO39189
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#3
Excellent book, excellent guy - at least he was before he changed capbadge ;)

Talk should be well worth going to, and the proceeds are going to a good cause.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#4
Hard-hearted dispassionate historian types may also wish to read

' A Million Bullets ' by James Fergusson - in order to, as they say on the exam paper - ' compare and contrast '

The book also focuses on OP HERRICK 4 , but from a slightly wider angle, including a lot of first hand testimony from non-Airborne perss who were closely involved eg Royal Irish, HCR, Gurkhas and Royal Fusiliers with in particular, an extended piece on the hair-raising defence of Now Zad.

SOURCE

The Paras in Now Zad were relieved by platoon from D Company of 2 Gurkha Rifles and then a Company from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. From June to November 2006, in what was the longest defence of a static trench position in British Army history, the soldiers were holed up in the police compound in the centre of the town and, on occasion, came perilously close to being overrun.

In the course of just one month, July, the Gurkhas repulsed over two dozen attempts to overrun the compound, firing more than 30,000 rifle rounds and 17,000 machine-gun rounds. They killed an estimated 100 of their attackers, without losing a single man on their own side.

The Fusiliers then took over on 30 July, spending 107 days under attack before being relieved by 42 Commando Royal Marines in November 2006
(without wishing to take anything away from the courage and tenacity of the Parachute Regiment , not everyone who was engaged , it seems , views the 3 PARA deployment in the same terms as the maroon machine)
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
Goatman said:
Hard-hearted dispassionate historian types may also wish to read

' A Million Bullets ' by James Fergusson - in order to, as they say on the exam paper - ' compare and contrast '

The book also focuses on OP HERRICK 4 , but from a slightly wider angle, including a lot of first hand testimony from non-Airborne perss who were closely involved eg Royal Irish, HCR, Gurkhas and Royal Fusiliers with in particular, an extended piece on the hair-raising defence of Now Zad.

SOURCE

The Paras in Now Zad were relieved by platoon from D Company of 2 Gurkha Rifles and then a Company from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. From June to November 2006, in what was the longest defence of a static trench position in British Army history, the soldiers were holed up in the police compound in the centre of the town and, on occasion, came perilously close to being overrun.

In the course of just one month, July, the Gurkhas repulsed over two dozen attempts to overrun the compound, firing more than 30,000 rifle rounds and 17,000 machine-gun rounds. They killed an estimated 100 of their attackers, without losing a single man on their own side.

The Fusiliers then took over on 30 July, spending 107 days under attack before being relieved by 42 Commando Royal Marines in November 2006
(without wishing to take anything away from the courage and tenacity of the Parachute Regiment , not everyone who was engaged , it seems , views the 3 PARA deployment in the same terms as the maroon machine)
I have also read this book, not bad for something written by a journo.

I seem to remember some of the non-airborne lads mentioning in the book that at times they felt as though they were being left behind and the command giving preferential treatment to the Paras.
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Went to the talk - very good.

Refreshing to hear a senior officer giving a frank account of a tough few months on ops. No punches pulled in terms of accountability but not delivered in a dirty fashion.

Great turnout and fair amount raised for the charities.
 

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