Special Forces Operator: Serving with the SAS and MRF

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
Robert W Brown has certainly had an interesting life and shares much of what he can tell in this fast paced autobiography.

His opinions on British Ruperts are particularly cutting, and given that he has served with the Australian 2 Commando, grey zone irregulars in Laos, Parachute Regiment, MRF, Rhodesian SAS and 6 Recon Commando in the SADF, along with various other contractor and Intelligence roles, one can presume he knows of what he speaks. He doesn't exactly pull his punches.

The book follows his early life in the slums of London, emigrating twice to Rhodesia and Australia, his military career in various airborne forces and his latter move into Military Inteligence and black ops. It is however not a tell all account and you sometimes have to read between the lines.

Indeed he details one aborted assassination where the description of the intended target still has me puzzling as to whom he might have meant, despite having some knowledge of the local politics of the time. Surely he didn't mean....Descriptions of operations from more than 40 years ago are often left deliberately vague though several ambushes are given the 'whiff of cordite' treatment. As he points out, if executed correctly it is just like a drill, routine to be in a foreign country without backup and leaving no witnesses.

After being badly injured on a raid his career turns more towards the intelligence side, killing enemies is easy but finding out out who needs the good news is more difficult. Descriptions of elan and derring do from the Hereford Writer's Guild are ten a penny in this popular genre but his unique experiences working for the MRF and South African's MI do set this tome apart. It is more modest, honest , politically incorrect and far reaching than your average SF book, and not an exercise in creative writing. Lots of photos of documents are provided as evidence of non waltyness.

On the downside it is a bit on the short side at 196 pages and more than a quarter of that deals with his childhood. I demolished it in a day and wished there was more, particularly on the Rhodesian and NGO side, though he does explain that he has many NDAs which he intends to honour. Three tours of Northern Ireland with the Paras are dealt with in a few pages, contracting in Iraq even less. Periods of time in other countries are given less space than the breeding habits of our hoccifer class. Incest aside politics takes a backseat too, so some knowledge of the wider events is assumed.

Woke ruperts with quaint notions of British moral superiority won't be in their comfort zones, though it's difficult to think of an honest first person account from the last 400 years where they would be.

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Would that be the SADF who enforced Apartheid viciously, or is that me being a Woke Rupert?
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Would that be the SADF who enforced Apartheid viciously, or is that me being a Woke Rupert?

I say Woderwick, there's a wumour that something mean happened in war. Mean I tell you!

Meanwhile I'm sure we can all commiserate with Alfred's feelings should you buy this book. It would really upset him / her / it and the entire congregation of wokeists.
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Having read this hagiography, I hardly feel I need to read the book, you’ve brought it to life for me perfectly.
 
Having read this hagiography, I hardly feel I need to read the book, you’ve brought it to life for me perfectly.

Hagiography. New word, tucked away for future use.

The book sounds like a good read, it shall go on my list.
 
Hagiography. New word, tucked away for future use.

The book sounds like a good read, it shall go on my list.
Ditto.. (the book on the list, and the word Hagiography...:))
 
Thinking about it I reckon this one will go the same way as the title, 'Only my friends call me Crouks' by a bloke who had been in the Selous Scouts. One minute it was there for sale, then the next they were all gone and people are wanting silly money for a thumbed through copy.

I shall get mine this week, before I miss out..........again.
 
Okey dokey, I just bit, and my copy will land on Wednesday.. interesting review!
 
D

Deleted 178869

Guest
Any book should be great if based on real life, just speaking in general here for a lass who's never served and wouldn't pass any fitness tests for now, but hats off to these guys. Family not knowing when they will be home etc, the added danger and risks, takes a true man.

Would love to meet someone like this, the story's he would have to tell about situations and that.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Any book should be great if based on real life, just speaking in general here for a lass who's never served and wouldn't pass any fitness tests for now, but hats off to these guys. Family not knowing when they will be home etc, the added danger and risks, takes a true man.

Would love to meet someone like this, the story's he would have to tell about situations and that.
@Flight where are you?
 

Cruthin1967

Old-Salt
Would that be the SADF who enforced Apartheid viciously, or is that me being a Woke Rupert?
SADF may well have done their fair share of horrible shit. But any worse than Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade?
 
SADF may well have done their fair share of horrible shit. But any worse than Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade?
Ive yet to see a list of such horrible shit. Do you have one you could forward or post here?
 
Ive yet to see a list of such horrible shit. Do you have one you could forward or post here?

We'll start with Project COAST and Operation DUEL shall we, and take it from there?

Project Coast claimed its first victims at the end of 1982, when "Operation Duel" was launched, which aimed to eliminate hundreds of SWAPO prisoners and SADF informants. Col. Johan Theron, counterintelligence officer in the Special Forces, testified at the Basson trial that he received muscle relaxant pills from Basson in December 1982, and killed approximately 200 SWAPO prisoners, then dumped their bodies from aeroplanes out to sea.

 
SADF may well have done their fair share of horrible shit. But any worse than Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade?
All done when Mugabe was the blue eyed boy of the west and BMATT Zimbabwe were training the other four brigades of the Zimbabwe Army.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
SWAPO / SWAVO were horrible c****. They took pleasure in everything they did, including turning on 'their own' - Lubango was somewhere you were not likely to survive.
 
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