Ghost Force - Ken Connor

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Alec_Lomas, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. I met Ken in November 1998 in London at his book launch on Oxford Street. It seems such a long time ago, but his views are still very pertinent.
    His book is an 'unofficial' history of the Special Air Service and unlike the 'official' authors, Philip Warner, Tony Geraghty, Anthony Kemp and John Strawson, he writes from the standpoint that he participated in the operations that he comments on - Malaya, Borneo, Aden. Dhofar, NI, and covers 25 years of his service.

    Ken is a polemic by any standards and his book is a testament to that very dominant aspect of his character. The book is the better for it, which makes it in my view a cracking soldiers read. He's not to be thwarted or persuaded by the Tuans otherwise. Well he came from the Parachute Regiment after all.

    A veledictory comment on the final page - "The Regiment cannot re-form itself; it is condemned to survive because too many careers depend on it. The only solution is for the SAS to be scrapped- the Regiment that I knew and served with has effectively been disbanded anyway." Realist or dreamer............ you decide.
  2. I read the book when it first came out (and have subsequently read it a few more times).Its a million miles away from the boys own cartoonishness of some of McRyans ilk,while being a much more insightful and satisfying read than many of the official histories.

    His disections of the 'Regiments' impact on the geo political stage are first class and were a real eye opener,and his musings on the future of modern warfare are a breath of fresh air in a post cold war climate.

    All in all Ghost Force is a great book and Connor himself,IMHO,is certainly a man who should be listened to.
  3. I have to agree with both of the above comments.

    The book makes very interesting reading, especially useful in assessing other books about "THEM" and more so those written by "THEM".

    By way of example I think it points to the major logistical and organisational failures during Gulf War 1 and the problems created for the Regiment by officers who previously would have shunned SF service but who now see it as imperative for promotion.

    I suspect for many in the Regiment they wish the Iranian Embassy seige had never happened.
  4. bought it around 2000; I like the hilarious episode where the police, trying to promote their dogs for anti terrorist work (around 1969/70) lay on a demonstration...
  5. You've got me curious now, guys! I get paid tomorrow, too...
  6. Can you imagine if the MOD was to scrap 'Them' and form a super duper super secret-squirrel force, the opportunities that would give the Walts, they could say what they wanted..."Yeah, I'm 18 stone coz I'm deep deep undercover and I can’t talk about it”.
  7. Been a long time since I read it but I remember been slightly sceptical about the BRITMIS incident. That was until his driver gave me the complete lowdown. Proper Secret Squirrel stuff!

  8. 'deep deep underblubber and I can't walk or breathe properly' more like...