What are you reading right now?

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
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Just finished "A Rumour of War" by Philip Caputo, lve seen it mentioned in this thread a few times.

Wow, just.....wow.

Caputo mentions other books at the end of his, one of witch l have just ordered, its called "Close Quarters" by Larry Heinemann. Anyone read it?
There are a couple of books that I reviewed on this site that are excellent. One is 'Alpha 16' by Peter Clark, about an infantryman's tour in Vietnam and the other is called something like 'White water and Hot Lead' ( I can't recall the title at present nor can I find the review) but it is about the brown water navy. Very good book indeed. Then, there is always 'Chickenhawk'
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
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That's the badger!
 
Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket by Richard Holmes. Excellent.
Good read that and sits together nicely with the ones he did on Marlborough and 'Tommy'. Incidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting him (Holmes, not the Duke!) at a talk he gave at the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot about 2007-8. A thoroughly nice man and always happy to answer questions; taken way too soon.

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Good read that and sits together nicely with the ones he did on Marlborough and 'Tommy'. Incidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting him (Holmes, not the Duke!) at at talk he gave at the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot about 2007-8. A thoroughly nice man and always happy to answer questions; taken way too soon.

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Thanks. I'll look the other books up.
 
Good read that and sits together nicely with the ones he did on Marlborough and 'Tommy'. Incidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting him (Holmes, not the Duke!) at at talk he gave at the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot about 2007-8. A thoroughly nice man and always happy to answer questions; taken way too soon.

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Agree. He also wrote Sahib about the British soldier in India. Saw him give a talk at Bovington about the PWRR in Iraq and had the pleasure of a brief chat with him afterwards. An absolutely lovely bloke. It was him using ARRSE as a source that led me here.
 
Agree. He also wrote Sahib about the British soldier in India. Saw him give a talk at Bovington about the PWRR in Iraq and had the pleasure of a brief chat with him afterwards. An absolutely lovely bloke. It was him using ARRSE as a source that led me here.
I forgot to mention that about six months after his talk, we literally bumped into each other in a shop doorway in the 'Shot and he remembered me.

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Agree. He also wrote Sahib about the British soldier in India. Saw him give a talk at Bovington about the PWRR in Iraq and had the pleasure of a brief chat with him afterwards. An absolutely lovely bloke. It was him using ARRSE as a source that led me here.
Was that for his “Dusty Warriors” book? All of Richard Holmes’ books are great. He has a really good way of explaining military experiences in a very human way.
 
Mission Critical, by Mark Greaney - the latest in his Gray Man series.

Mark Greaney has been writing with and then ghost writing for the late Tom Clancy for many years. His own series follows the adventure Of Court Gentry, the gray man, a burned and then re-instated CIA direct action operative. The stories are ok if you suspend belief at times, I enjoy them and they help fill in the blanks between waiting for the latest 'Clancy' and 'Bosch' novels.
 
Was that for his “Dusty Warriors” book? All of Richard Holmes’ books are great. He has a really good way of explaining military experiences in a very human way.
It was. His description of his being under fire for the first time raised a few laughs. He was in the back of a warrior when they started taking hits. One of the blokes in the back suddenly started up the football chant "Play up Pompey. Pompey play up".
 
I read this


a few weeks ago. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The WD campaign is one of those that really interests me on many levels so this was right up my street to start with but the level of detail, the narrative & use of the anecdotal stories just make this a joy to read. I found it 'unputdownable' for the most part. The latter part of the book looks at the LRDG involvement in actions in the Greek islands & the mainland as the Germans retreated & shows some squandering of the force with some sad losses of long serving campaigners.
Well worth a read by anyone with a passing interest.
 
I read this


a few weeks ago. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The WD campaign is one of those that really interests me on many levels so this was right up my street to start with but the level of detail, the narrative & use of the anecdotal stories just make this a joy to read. I found it 'unputdownable' for the most part. The latter part of the book looks at the LRDG involvement in actions in the Greek islands & the mainland as the Germans retreated & shows some squandering of the force with some sad losses of long serving campaigners.
Well worth a read by anyone with a passing interest.
Link invisible to me and name of book not quoted in your text.
 
Link invisible to me and name of book not quoted in your text.
"The Men Who Made the SAS: The History of the Long Range Desert Group", by Gavin Mortimer.

The attached blurb:
"Established in June 1940, the Long Range Desert Group was the inspiration of scientist and soldier Major Ralph Bagnold, a contemporary of T.E Lawrence who, in the inter-war years, explored the North African desert in a Model T Ford automobile.

Mortimer takes us from the founding of the LRDG, through their treacherous journey across the Egyptian Sand Sea and beyond, offering a hitherto unseen glimpse into the heart of this most courageous organisation, whose unique and valiant contributions to the war effort can now finally be recognized and appreciated."
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
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Just finished Sniper One, about Y Coy, 1PWRR on their tour of Iraq, 2004.

Firstly, it sounded like a great tour was had, inasmuch as one and all got to mix it up with the enemy and engage in some serious lead swapping. It sounded like they took some malleting with the incoming and they gave back more so good for them.

Secondly, I expected the usual "we're ******* professional, my boys are ace, Ruperts are cnuts" approach to the telling and wasn't disappointed. However, I was surprised that he took a few swings at his OC who came out of the tour with an MC and no mention in the book of why or how, despite his obvious pride in the regimental tally of gongs at the end.

Thirdly, I finished the book with the sense that a lot more had happened on the tour, Mills was more than aware of it, yet it was about his team and their experiences, even as if the rest of the company were there in a lesser role.

Call me cynical but reading up on the BG's time left me thinking that he'd painted a unnecessarily one-eyed view of what, in anyone's book, would be a fantastic display of courage, tenacity and sheer bloody mindedness by a large body of dedicated soldiers. Hats off to all of them and acknowledgement by one and all justly deserved.
 
Multi-book reading depending on my mood
Callsign hades, Patrick Bury.
Utopia for realists, Rutger Bregman
Jason Molina riding with the ghosts, Erin Osmon
Reflected Glory, Carney lakes (probably a two yearly re read)
 
I've just finished American Sniper by Chris Kyle (RIP).

A fairly enjoyable and interesting read, but, and without speaking ill of the dead, he came across as a bit of a bully. Holding new guys down and shaving their eyebrows off, choking people out as some kind of initiation ritual.

Also SEAL recruitment was a bit of an eye opener, IIRC he was turned down at the careers office when he first tried to join, and then they phoned him up some months later, and offered him a place on the next course. Very strange!!

Very brave guy, but I don't think I would have liked to go for a drink with him.
 
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Just finished this as it's fairly close to home.

A horrible cloud to have over one's head and for so long. Not sure I would have been so patient during the inquiry questioning!

I remember the PWRR being utterly chin-strapped and very stretched at the end of Telic 4, but also maintaining a high level professionalism regardless.
 
View attachment 387467 Just finished Sniper One, about Y Coy, 1PWRR on their tour of Iraq, 2004.

Firstly, it sounded like a great tour was had, inasmuch as one and all got to mix it up with the enemy and engage in some serious lead swapping. It sounded like they took some malleting with the incoming and they gave back more so good for them.

Secondly, I expected the usual "we're ******* professional, my boys are ace, Ruperts are cnuts" approach to the telling and wasn't disappointed. However, I was surprised that he took a few swings at his OC who came out of the tour with an MC and no mention in the book of why or how, despite his obvious pride in the regimental tally of gongs at the end.

Thirdly, I finished the book with the sense that a lot more had happened on the tour, Mills was more than aware of it, yet it was about his team and their experiences, even as if the rest of the company were there in a lesser role.

Call me cynical but reading up on the BG's time left me thinking that he'd painted a unnecessarily one-eyed view of what, in anyone's book, would be a fantastic display of courage, tenacity and sheer bloody mindedness by a large body of dedicated soldiers. Hats off to all of them and acknowledgement by one and all justly deserved.
May I recommend "Dusty Warriors: Modern Soldiers at War" by the late Richard Holmes who, in 2004, was Honorary Colonel of 1 PWRR and visited them whilst they were in Iraq. He provides a much better overview of the activities of the regiment rather than the, albeit dramatic, events in Al Amarah. There are also photos of "Tigris".

This is not to denigrate Dan Mills' book which I still consider to be one of the best of its genre but his area of concern was Al Amarah alone. I thought his explanation of the difference of opinion with his OC was understandable. The regiment had gone on the tour thinking that it would be a peace-keeping mission and I doubt the command had really considered what was going to happen in any other event. No-one foresaw that it was going to be as gritty as it became.

The OC was concerned with getting all of his command out alive while his sniper platoon sergeant had got the war-fighting bone well and truely between the teeth. Everyone was getting tired and on edge - it was always going to have its friction points. Featherstone went on to lecture on leadership at Sandhurst and Mills left the army
 

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