HERRICK 4 told by veterans, in their own words, out now

#1
To my great surprise, I have just this morning received an advance copy of "A Million Bullets", a new book written about Herrick 4. It was a small 'thank you' from the author, who contacted me through Arrse over a year ago,

In a very very tiny way, I helped James (we have never met) to find a way past the barriers being put up by MoD to protect the literary interests of a retired Para General with a son who commanded a Para Coy on HERRICK 4 . You can figure it out - I learn from his intro, that James was forbidden to interview any Paras other than Lt Col Tootal, CO of that Bn. James wanted to get at all the other cap badges fighting in AFG and tell a wider story. If he hadn't, the chances are HERRICK might go down in history as a 'Paras only' affair. It wasn't, and a lot of troops out there with them, had substantially less preparation for it, and did equally well, yet got loads less coverage at home.

Among them are my old Bn about whom I have just scanned some excellent stuff, told in the lad's own words, about combat in (Apocalypse) Now Zad, around page 98.

Fill yer boots. Tell yer friends and family. And a big thank you to James Fergusson for putting it together.

Some Bantam Books blurb artist said:
A Million Bullets: The real story of the war in Afghanistan
by James Fergusson

James Fergusson takes us to the dark heart of the battle zone. Here, in their own words and for the first time, are the young veterans of Herrick 4. Here, unmasked, are the civilian and military officials responsible for planning and executing the operation. Here, too, are the Taliban themselves, to whom Fergusson gained unique and extraordinary access. Controversial, fascinating and occasionally downright terrifying, A Million Bullets analyses the sorry slide into war in Helmand and asks this most troubling question: could Britain perhaps have avoided the violence altogether?

http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/...nd=Search&db=twmain.txt&eqisbndata=0593059026[/size]
About James:
James Fergusson is a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has written for many publications including the Independent, The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and The Economist. From 1997 he reported from Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, covering that city's fall to the Taliban. In 1998 he became the first western journalist in more than two years to interview the fugitive warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. His first book, Kandahar Cockney, told the story of Mir, his Pashtun fixer-interpreter whom he befriended and helped gain political asylum in London. From 1999 to 2001 he worked in Sarajevo as a press spokesman for OHR, the organisation charged with implementing the Dayton, Ohio peace accord that ended Bosnia's savage civil war
 
#4
My copy arrived today. :)

I've only read the (fairly substantial) introduction so far but that is well written, sympathetic and even mentions ARRSE (the named poster will have to buy his own copy to see his post quoted :wink: )
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
When's the author going to provide a 'signed copy' linky thing for ARRSE members?

Michael Yon provides signed copies . . .
 
#6
Just finished it. I was a bit worried about the blurb stating it had 'official' support but it does come across as a very frank report.
 
#7
OldRedCap said:
Just finished it. I was a bit worried about the blurb stating it had 'official' support but it does come across as a very frank report.
Believe me, the 'support' he got was given only after a lot of groundwork (not by me, I hasten to add) to get past a flat refusal by MoD to give him any access at all.

I don't think he was ever under an obligation to pull his punches - and he writes, I believe, as he finds.

Question in my mind after reading it is "How much has changed since HERRICK 4?".

My answer is "nothing substantial" except the support enjoyed by the Taliban (which, to my moind, has increased, inside and outside Afghanistan's borders). The NATO governements - our own included - are still quite determined not to commit any more effort to rescuing the place.

Prognosis for the outcome - poor.
 
#8
We started reading on saturday night, for a ten year yearold my neice is asking a lot of questions and that was just the intro, once we moved on to the Gurkhas the questions became difficult to answer and I thing this may be not suitable for one such of tender years. I am now itching to get on reading it but I am stumped for the moment without a reader.


WW
 
#12
Social_Handgrenade said:
Stonker said:
fluffer said:
I bought it today for fifteen boys! so far so good :lol:
I can't figure out the exchange rate - how many boys to the Pound? :wink:
Oh come on Mr S, its basic maths... 1 pound = 100 penny sweet = 100 boys

Ah, brings back memories of prep school :D
Mr S!!! I've not been addressed as that since - ooooh - 1979, IIRC . . . did I know you in some dim distant Sweetie Shoppee????
 
#13
Just finished reading my copy.

Having only just recently read Patrick Bishop's, '3 Para' I'd say that it is written for the people/units named whereas 'A Million Bullets' is a more considered account of the events and is all the better for that.

There's more depth, more analysis of the prevailing pressures both political and military.

This is probably the most informative account of Herrick 4 that I've read to-date.
 
#17
For what it is worth.

In WH Smith (Aylesbury), yesterday, I noticed "A Million Bullets"* is at No23 in the best-selling hardbacks (behind the autobiog of that fat tw@t Prescott).

A punter - male, early 40s, prosperous, middle class - was skimming through the book, so I engaged him in conversation.

I shared with him Christina Lamb's review of the book.

"Not normally my cup of tea" he said, "but this business in Afghanistan and Iraq really makes my blood boil".

Then he shook my hand, and headed off to the till.
-----------------------
* "A Billion Mullets" :?
 
#18
I've just finished '3 Para' by Patrick Bishop and it was quite a compelling read. I'll be off to Tesco to get 'A Million Bullets' now - are there any other books like these anyone can recommend?
 
#19
Stonker said:
In a very very tiny way, I helped James (we have never met) to find a way past the barriers being put up by MoD to protect the literary interests of a retired Para General with a son who commanded a Para Coy on HERRICK 4 . You can figure it out - I learn from his intro, that James was forbidden to interview any Paras other than Lt Col Tootal, CO of that Bn. James wanted to get at all the other cap badges fighting in AFG and tell a wider story. If he hadn't, the chances are HERRICK might go down in history as a 'Paras only' affair. It wasn't, and a lot of troops out there with them, had substantially less preparation for it, and did equallly well, yet got loads less coverage at home.
Among them are my old Bn about whom I have just scanned some excellent stuff, told in the lad's own words, about combat in (Apocalypse) Now Zad, around page 98.


civil war
[/quote]


i read '3 PARA' a while back... and it was exactley that... just paras on H4. I hope a million bullets actually does tell the whole story, from every cap badge's perspective... cos as I remember it, every single person I came across was mucking in, in their own special way, and when there were rounds flying past.... it was not just 3 para on the receiving end, not by a long shot.

look forward to reading this book....
 
#20
ICShiiteJobs said:
i read '3 PARA' a while back... and it was exactley that... just paras on H4. I hope a million bullets actually does tell the whole story, from every cap badge's perspective... cos as I remember it, every single person I came across was mucking in, in their own special way, and when there were rounds flying past.... it was not just 3 para on the receiving end, not by a long shot.

look forward to reading this book....
The only players he missed out, are the Afghans.

Buy the book - a percentage goes to forces' charity.

I dunno if the same is true of 3 Para.
 

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