BRAVO TWO ZERO - Andy McNab

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Book Title: 
Bravo Two Zero
ISBN: 
0552141275
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Book Review

BRAVO TWO ZERO is the identifying sign given to an eight-man British Special Air Service patrol that was sent into Iraq to find and destroy a major land-line telecommunications link and Iraqi Scud missile launchers during the Gulf War.
 
Andy McNab is the leader of the ill-fated, and some would say doomed from the start patrol, which is landed right into the middle of a major Iraqi troop staging area, on foot, backed up with radio frequencies that wouldn't work and up against it from the start. When they are seen by a local child who reports them to the Iraqi army then their attempts to escape are mostly unsuccessful. They did manage to reach a designated emergency pickup point, but rescue aircraft never arrive. They then attempt to follow a 300km long escape route to Syria but after getting separated, and suffering from hypothermia and severe weather (including snow), four members of the team are captured, three die and only one makes it into Syria. The captured team members are then repeatedly tortured and interrogated by Iraqi authorities until being repatriated out of Iraq in a series of prisoner exchanges.
 
The Regiment (as the SAS is known) is made up of a certain style of soldier - they are tough, rough and trained to expect anything and handle everything. They call a spade a shovel and take their roles as soldiers very very seriously. Andy McNab has a certain style in his writing of BRAVO TWO ZERO that is very no-holds barred, to the point and graphic. Much like, one would expect, they would talk amongst themselves.
 
This is a true war story - there's no room for moral consideration of who or what is right in any of this - it's very brutal on all sides. The SAS team are tortured mercilessly and the descriptions of that are extremely graphic - but on the other side, killing people is something that they regard quite matter of factly as part of their own plans.
 
Definitely a book for those who like their war stories unspun.

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