David Blakeley - Pathfinder - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9781409129028
    • Publication date:09 May 2013
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    • ISBN:9781409144113
    • Publication date:10 May 2012

Pathfinder

A Special Forces Mission Behind Enemy Lines

By David Blakeley

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

Nine men. 2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance...

Nine men. 2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance...

First in - the official motto of one of the British Army's smallest and most secretive units, 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. Unofficially, they are the bastard son of the SAS. And like their counterparts in Hereford, the job of the Pathfinders is to operate unseen and undetected deep behind enemy lines.

When British forces deployed to Iraq in 2003, Captain David Blakeley was given command of a reconnaissance mission of such critical importance that it could change the course of the war. It's the story of nine men, operating alone and unsupported, fifty miles ahead of a US Recon Marine advance and head straight into a hornets nest, teeming with thousands of heavily-armed enemy forces. This is the first account of that extraordinary mission - abandoned by coalition command, left with no option but to fight their way out of the enemy's backyard.

And it provides a gripping insight into the Pathfinders themselves, a shadowy unit, just forty-five men strong, that plies its trade from the skies. Trained to parachute in to enemy territory far beyond the forward edge of battle - freefalling from high altitude breathing bottled oxygen and employing the latest skydiving technology - the PF are unique.

Because of new rules introduced since the publication of Bravo Two Zero, there have been no first-hand accounts of British Special Forces waging modern-day warfare for nearly a decade. And no member of the Pathfinders has ever told their story before. Until now. Pathfinder is the only first-hand account of a UKSF mission to emerge for nearly a generation. And it could be the last.

Biographical Notes

Captain David Blakeley was second in command of the elite Pathfinder Platoon and fought in the Iraq war in 2003 and in Afghanistan after 9/11. Before that, with 1 PARA he saw action in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Northern Ireland and was, at one point, the youngest Captain in the British Army. After being seriously injured in Iraq he fought his way back to physical fitness and went on to undertake SAS selection. He now works as a military consultant to TV and film production companies. Pathfinder is his first book. He lives in London.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409144090
  • Publication date: 10 May 2012
  • Page count: 336
  • Imprint: Orion
Real-life black ops - a must have — Bestselling author, Frederick Forsyth
Our elite forces in blistering action against all odds — Bear Grylls
Reveal[s] the entire operation as well as the ugly story of how they were left to possible capture or death by their senior commanders — The Independent
This account is so gripping that I read the review copy from cover to cover within 48 hours of receiving it just before this issue went to press. — Combat and Survival
A truly extraordinary book; fast-paced, gripping, authentic. A taut telling of an elite mission that helped change the course of a war. I joined the Regiment with David Blakeley and served alongside him in Kosovo and Iraq. He was a dynamic and inspirational leader. — Dan Jarvis, MBE MP
Blistering action behind enemy lines - a true soldier's story — Big Phil Champion, author of BORN FEARLESS
An incredible story of heroism and honour beyond measure. Men may want to be David Blakeley, and women will surely want to date him! — Olivia Lee
A fascinating and gripping tale of daring do — MILITARY MACHINES INTERNATIONAL
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