SAS – Bravo Three Zero.

SAS – Bravo Three Zero.

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Des Powell is an member of the Parachute Regiment who got selected for the SAS and during a twenty year career with them he was involved in Op Granby as part of the Scud hunting patrols Bravo One Zero, Bravo Two Zero and Brave Three Zero.

Damien Lewis has been a war reporter over two decades covering conflict in Africa, the Middle and Far East.

The book covers the background to and setting up of the Bravo patrols made famous by the two books 'Bravo Two Zero' and 'The One That Got Away' by...

Click here to read the full review.....
 

Boxy

GCM
With nearly all the photos captioned “Yours Truly” but I didn’t buy it for the photos, am about 2/3 of the way through it
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
With nearly all the photos captioned “Yours Truly” but I didn’t buy it for the photos, am about 2/3 of the way through it
Yes, that was a bit of an irritant, but I decided to leave that out as it did not inhibit the story itself.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
He comes across as a bit of a Gym Queen type - lookatme, all the time.

Now nobody reaches WO2 in the SAS by just coasting through life so he is obviously a good soldier and member of the SAS. But the continual "If only they had listened to me......" tone throughout the book really turned me off. A good point regarding photo captions has been made above and I feel this ethos permeates the rest of the book.

Now to be fair, the book was written by Damien Lewis who has a hard-on for anything SAS so the bigging up may be down to him and not "Yours truly". However the overall tone ruined, for me, a great tale of derring-do and an appreciation of what went on in Op Granby and it wasted in the telling.
 
He comes across as a bit of a Gym Queen type - lookatme, all the time.

Now nobody reaches WO2 in the SAS by just coasting through life so he is obviously a good soldier and member of the SAS. But the continual "If only they had listened to me......" tone throughout the book really turned me off. A good point regarding photo captions has been made above and I feel this ethos permeates the rest of the book.

Now to be fair, the book was written by Damien Lewis who has a hard-on for anything SAS so the bigging up may be down to him and not "Yours truly". However the overall tone ruined, for me, a great tale of derring-do and an appreciation of what went on in Op Granby and it wasted in the telling.
Haven't read it, but I know DP and 'Gym Queen' is very apt indeed!
 
Peter Ratcliffe - RSM of the SAS in GW1 - in his Eye of the Storm book says similar about B20.

They were advised by Ratcliffe and others to take vehicles but McNab and Ryan said they would go in on foot. That was their right according to Ratcliffe, and whilst he could have made it an order, that was not the done thing. The results of that decision are widely known.

My point being that two senior NCOs both thought the B20 team made the wrong decisions so can't be dismissed lightly. Powell does have valid points regardless of his own personality quirks.
 
Secret Santa brought me this book, which is a good tale, badly told.

By that I mean there should have been more references to the fact he was in the SAS, instead of it only being mentioned a couple of times every page.

I've not quite finished reading it yet, but like most idiosyncrasies, they can become annoying to the point of distraction.

I'm glad I didn't buy the book.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
He comes across as a bit of a Gym Queen type - lookatme, all the time.

Now nobody reaches WO2 in the SAS by just coasting through life so he is obviously a good soldier and member of the SAS. But the continual "If only they had listened to me......" tone throughout the book really turned me off. A good point regarding photo captions has been made above and I feel this ethos permeates the rest of the book.

Now to be fair, the book was written by Damien Lewis who has a hard-on for anything SAS so the bigging up may be down to him and not "Yours truly". However the overall tone ruined, for me, a great tale of derring-do and an appreciation of what went on in Op Granby and it wasted in the telling.
I picked it up in an idle moment in Tesco’s and by the time I’d read ‘Yours truly’ for the fifteenth time in three pages I put it straight back on the shelf.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Peter Ratcliffe - RSM of the SAS in GW1 - in his Eye of the Storm book says similar about B20.

They were advised by Ratcliffe and others to take vehicles but McNab and Ryan said they would go in on foot. That was their right according to Ratcliffe, and whilst he could have made it an order, that was not the done thing. The results of that decision are widely known.

My point being that two senior NCOs both thought the B20 team made the wrong decisions so can't be dismissed lightly. Powell does have valid points regardless of his own personality quirks.
I agree with you, vehicles was the correct call and Powell's team made that call and subsequently had more success. It is the manner of telling that spoils it, and for this I don't put any blame on Powell, but on Lewis as the highly experienced writer who should have picked this up and shown Powell in a better light.

Reading the book, that team did a great job under extreme!y trying conditions, so hopefully the story will be rewritten one day to reflect this.
 

Ritch

LE
Damien Lewis is known for repeating himself. The last book I read that he was involved in was the one with the Apache crews - not the Ed Macy books.

Everytime he wrote down a.chat he had with the crew, it was "Barry remarks", "Tom remarks", Bob remarks". It was used dozens of times in the first few chapters.

Really the only book I truly liked was the one he did with the JTAC - Firestrike 7/9
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
There was clearly something very wrong in SAS at the time. I assume that it's all been swept up and fixed. For sure there won't be an authoritative book in public domain in my lifetime. Although given that the SAS wannabes of the Pathfinder Platoon made similar mistakes (insufficient cold weather gear) I doubt it.

Interesting that the now retired WO2 author manages to switch back to the voice of a (frankly) gobby Para Cpl who had yet to learn to control aggression.

I was shocked at admin failings, shocked at poor ability to maintain a simple vehicle, shocked at the poor relationship with officers. Shocked too about the clannishness of para within SAS. And, of course, the comms failures.

(Note, shocked does not mean I was surprised.)
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
he could have made it an order, that was not the done thing. The results of that decision are widely known.
It's called weak leadership.

It's the role of a superior commander to correct errors of his juniors. If the junior can't take it promote a replacement.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
It's called weak leadership.

It's the role of a superior commander to correct errors of his juniors. If the junior can't take it promote a replacement.
If the Sqn OC was who I used to work for, he was a big believer in letting the man on the ground make his own decisions!
 
It's the role of a superior commander to correct errors of his juniors.

Is that because superior commanders are always correct ? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I also believe that the C/S B20 were left with the dregs of equipment that the other C/S's left behind - In particular the vehicles, which were not fit for purpose and were deemed to be more of a hinderance than an asset.

If the Sqn OC was who I used to work for, he was a big believer in letting the man on the ground make his own decisions!

That got phased out in the aftermath of Options for Change in favour of maximum micro-management.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
As alluded to above, the faliings in planning and execution of the "Bravo" patrols is well documented in Peter Radcliffe's "Eye of the Storm"

B Sqn (hence the Bravo c/s) had a reputation for taking the SF deferral to the NCOs' opinion in operational decision making, and the "Chinese Parliament" style of command, to extreme.

There will be many on here that will have worked with, or even in, UKSF, and will agree that notwithstanding their outstanding capabability and reputation, they have an institutional self belief in their own mythology that occasionally leads to them to become unstuck.

As an aside, there cannot now be many of the living members of the Bravo patrols that hasn't written a book.
 
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There was clearly something very wrong in SAS at the time. I assume that it's all been swept up and fixed. For sure there won't be an authoritative book in public domain in my lifetime. Although given that the SAS wannabes of the Pathfinder Platoon made similar mistakes (insufficient cold weather gear) I doubt it.

Interesting that the now retired WO2 author manages to switch back to the voice of a (frankly) gobby Para Cpl who had yet to learn to control aggression.

I was shocked at admin failings, shocked at poor ability to maintain a simple vehicle, shocked at the poor relationship with officers. Shocked too about the clannishness of para within SAS. And, of course, the comms failures.

(Note, shocked does not mean I was surprised.)

But were you shocked?
 
As an aside, there cannot now be many of the living members of the Bravo patrols that hasn't written a book.
[/QUOTE]

I haven't, for you know, persec'n stuff.
 

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