I must have read it for the first time shortly after publication, either when at school/in the Cadets or early in my Regular Army life.: that is to say, at a time when I was not much acquainted with the possibility of failure or defeat of British soldiery.Men at Arnhem was one of the best books I have read from a personel view of a Company Commander and comand in battle during WW2. Athough he originaly wrote it as a novel it was obvious it was an auto-biography and was about 156 Para Bn originaly formed in India in 1941 as 151 Para Bn. In my mind it is more readable than 18 Platoon, although that book was good. I am suprised it wasn't on the reading list for junior officers or at Sandhurst. Maybe because it was from a Company Commanders view.
Agreed - designed for the Arctic and fell apart if overused in temperate environs.. . . is ideal for wear in cold dry climates, where high wind can aggravate the risks of operating in ambient temperatures well below freezing.
In cold, wet conditions, however, it's a different story. Repeatedly get it wet and muddy, then wash and dry it, it very soon abrades away to look like you were wearing it when your clown car exploded.
Trust me on this (and maybe @Bubbles_Barker see #73 above)
Did you push him into the canal?And another ruddy thing, why do fishermen need a massive great trolley full of gear just to catch a creature with a brain the size of a pea ?
One bloke I was chatting to had £2000 worth of kit including scaffolding to build a seat over the bank to get a foot closer to the canal.
Got issued OGs for my final Sandhurst exercise in Cyprus - became Uber ally alongside 44 pattern kit added to 58 pattern etc...I wore OG shirts for ages afterwards until they fell apart but in my youth the combination of arctic smock and technicolour jungle trousers was the absolute zenith of early 80s cool.Lightweights, huh, to be really ally it had to be O.G.s
The two wind proof smocks were the ‘SAS’ and artic smocks in lightweight gaberdine material. the SAS smock had the plain hood, the artic smock had the hood with a wire and snorkel flap.My first was super light material. Later versions issued to me were heavier material.
It first came out in 1976 and there were several re-prints. I read several times over the years. Some books you can read when you are young, think they are brilliant books but you read them decades later and they are not so good. An example was 'The Forgotten Soldier' by Guy Sajer very popular over the years with the squaddy literary fraternity. I read it when I was 18 and thought it was great, but read it again many years later and realised it was likely to be a fake.I must have read it for the first time shortly after publication, either when at school/in the Cadets or early in my Regular Army life.: that is to say, at a time when I was not much acquainted with the possibility of failure or defeat of British soldiery.
Reading it again, 40(+) years later (and having spent time walking the battlefield with the author, among others, 30 years ago) it resonates entirely differently.
It's a no holds barred first hand account of a badly planned (yet gallantly, heartbreakingly gallantly fought) mission going catastrophically South even before the author's boots had made first contact with Dutch soil.