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Iraq Archives - Themself
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Tag archives for Iraq

Iraq Wars

Book Review – Zero Six Bravo by Damien Lewis

Zero Six Bravo: 60 Special Forces. 100,000 Enemy. The Explosive True Story by Damien Lewis My rating: 4 of 5 stars I make a point of reading first hand accounts of special forces operations. I started with world war two tales of the SAS and have worked up to the present time. Since the Bravo Two Zero fiasco I don't expect much from tales of recent events. This particular book tells the tale of a Special Boat Service mission in Iraq in 2003. It suffers a bit from excessive hypebole, presumably to garner sales. However it is actually very readable, and although much of the outcome is telepgrahed in advance the way it's done is through a good hook to keep you reading to find out the detail of how/what happens. Well before all the debates in Parliament in 2003…
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Midnight in Some Burning Town –a Review

I actually enjoyed reading this book, even though it wasn’t the book that I thought I was buying. I had ordered it expecting that it would tell me about the various special forces missions that UK forces had been up to between the first Gulf War in 1990-91 and when it was published (in 2004). It sort of covered that, but there was no real detail to much of the early stuff, for example the Sierra Leone mission is dealt with in a couple of pages. I’ve seen some other (much more detailed) accounts of the events (from the point of view of the Paras and the kidnapped Major). However, where it does come into its own is when it explains the issues around Kosovo and Macedonia. The author obviously had a strong interest in this period (possibly based on…
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Condor Blues – British soldiers at war

A very interesting book about the British Army experience from the point of view of two platoons embedded in training the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps (ICDC) in the aftermath of the invasion (so the first half of 2004 approximately). Both platoons belonged to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, but one was on secondment from the PWRR. From the content of the book it is clear that it was not authorised by MOD as it is highly critical in places. Also none of the main players come out of it looking terribly good, you see their flaws and the bad side as well as the bravery and the compassion in places (as well as other emotions at other points). For example,  after a severe contact two of the Iraqi insurgent casualties were found to be carrying ICDC identity cards – which…
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The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa

This is an excellent update of an old classic. Two books in one, the author's have brought Swinton's Duffer's Drift and re-written it for the modern conflicts (which bear more than a passing resemblance to the Boer War). Swinton's book is in the second half of the volume.  The basis for Duffer''s Drift (if you aren't familiar with it already) is that a young officer en route to the Boer War has a series of dreams about his first independent command. In each dream it all goes horribly wrong, but on waking he learns some lessons which he then takes with him into the next dream (without remembering the details of the previous dream). Over the course of six dreams he manages to learn enough lessons for a successful outcome. The scenario is well set out, with appropriate maps and…
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Making A Killing, James Ashcroft

Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq The author is a former British Infantry officer who subsequently became a private security contractor and worked in Iraq for eighteen months from the end of 2003 to the beginning of 2005. It was co-written with a professional author. Synopsis An insider's account of life as a private security contractor in Iraq. In September 2003 the author arrived in Iraq at the start of an 18-month journey into chaos. In "Making a Killing", Ashcroft provides a first-hand view of the world of private security where ex-soldiers employed to protect US and British interests can make up to $1000 a day. But he also reveals a new kind of warfare where the rules are still being written. Although hostilities are officially over, the fighting goes on. Scores of US…
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