Steve Heaney, MC and Damien Lewis - X Platoon - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409148517
    • Publication date:24 Sep 2015

X Platoon

By Steve Heaney, MC and Damien Lewis

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The untold story of the Pathfinders, one of the most secretive units in the British military.

For three decades one of the most secretive units in the British military has been a mystery force known as X Platoon.

Officially there was no X Platoon. The forty men in its elite number were specially selected from across the Armed Forces, at which point they simply ceased to exist. X Platoon had no budget, no weaponry, no vehicles and no kit - apart from what its men could beg, borrow or steal from other military units.

For the first time a highly decorated veteran of this specialised force - otherwise known as the Pathfinders - reveals its unique story. Steve Heaney became one of the youngest ever to pass Selection, the gruelling trial of elite forces, and was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations - serving on anti-narcotics operations in the Central American jungles, on missions hunting war criminals in the Balkans, and being sent to spy on and wage war against the Russians.

The first non-officer in the unit's history to be award the Military Cross, Steve Heaney reveals the extraordinary work undertaken by this secret band of brothers.

Biographical Notes

Steve Heaney joined the Parachute Regiment Juniors at sixteen, then passed Parachute Regiment selection and joined 3 PARA in 1987. Three years later he successfully undertook selection into X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders. He went on to serve with that unit for over a decade, working with almost every Special Forces unit with which the British military has links. In 1999 he was promoted to Platoon Sergeant. The following year, he was the first non-officer in the unit's history to be awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and courage during Operation Mayhem.

Sergeant Heaney left the British military in 2001. Since then he has worked in the Middle East as a senior military advisor to one of Britain's key allies.

Damien Lewis worked as a war- and conflict-reporter for major broadcasters across Africa, South America, the Middle and Far East, and has won numerous awards for his journalism. In 2001 he wrote his first book, an international number-one bestseller translated into over thirty languages and made into a film and stage play. His Special Forces books OPERATION CERTAIN DEATH, ZERO SIX BRAVO and CHURCHILL'S SECRET WARRIORS were SUNDAY TIMES bestsellers, as were his co-authored military books, FIRE STRIKE 7/9 and IT'S ALL ABOUT TREO. Several of his elite forces books are in the process of being made into movies or TV dramas.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409148500
  • Publication date: 19 May 2016
  • Page count: 368
  • Imprint: Orion
This fast-paced book is difficult to put down. — Military History Monthly
W&N

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore
W&N

Titans of History

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore

NEW UPDATED EDITIONThe giant characters of history - from Mozart to da Vinci, Shakespeare to Einstein, Henry VIII to Hitler, Catherine the Great to Margaret Thatcher, Jesus Christ to Genghis Khan - lived lives of astonishing drama and adventure, debauchery and slaughter, but they also formed our world and will shape our future. Through the lives of not just kings, empresses, sultans and conquerors, but also explorers, artists, prophets, courtesans and psychopaths, Simon Sebag Montefiore recounts the lives of the titans who changed the world: the characters we should all know, and the stories we should never forget.

W&N

The Audacious Crimes of Colonel Blood

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

Benjamin Franklin in London

George Goodwin
Authors:
George Goodwin

For the great majority of his long life, Benjamin Franklin was a loyal British royalist. In 1757, having made his fortune in Philadelphia and established his fame as a renowned experimental scientist, he crossed the Atlantic to live as a gentleman in the heaving metropolis of London. With just a brief interlude, a house in Craven Street was to be his home until 1775. From there he mixed with both the brilliant and the powerful, whether in London coffee house clubs, at the Royal Society, or on his summer travels around the British Isles and continental Europe. He counted David Hume, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley, Edmund Burke and Erasmus Darwin among his friends, and as an American colonial representative he had access to successive Prime Ministers and even the King.The early 1760s saw Britain's elevation to global superpower status with victory in the Seven Years War and the succession of the young, active George III. These two events brought a sharp new edge to political competition in London and redefined the relationship between Britain and its colonies. They would profoundly affect Franklin himself, eventually placing him in opposition with his ambitious son William. Though Franklin long sought to prevent the break with Great Britain, his own actions would finally help cause that very event. On the eve of the American War of Independence, Franklin fled arrest and escaped by sea. He would never return to London. With his unique focus on the fullness of Benjamin Franklin's life in London, George Goodwin has created an enthralling portrait of the man, the city and the age.

W&N

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore
W&N

Hubris

Alistair Horne
Authors:
Alistair Horne
Orion

Operation Mayhem

Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis
Authors:
Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis

2,000 blood-crazed rebels. 26 elite British soldiers. One man's explosive true story.Airlifted into the heart of the Sierra Leone jungle in the midst of the bloody civil war in 2000, 26 elite operators from the secret British elite unit X Platoon were sent into combat against thousands of Sierra Leonean rebels.Notorious for their brutality, the rebels were manned with captured UN armour, machine-guns and grenade-launchers, while the men of X Platoon were kitted with pitiful supplies of ammunition, malfunctioning rifles, and no body armour, grenades or heavy weapons.Intended to last only 48 hours, the mission mutated into a 16-day siege against the rebels, as X Platoon were denied the back-up and air support they had been promised, and were forced to make their stand alone. The half-starved soldiers, surviving on bush tucker, fought with grenades made from old food-tins and defended themselves with barricades made of sharpened bamboo-sticks, tipped in poison given to them by local villagers.Sergeant Steve Heaney won the Military Cross for his initiative in taking command after the platoon lost their commanding officer. OPERATION MAYHEM recounts his amazing untold true story, full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely fortitude with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.

W&N

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
Authors:
Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

*Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize*When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.Malala Yousafzai's extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

W&N

Bolivar

Marie Arana
Authors:
Marie Arana

The dramatic life of the revolutionary hero Bolivar, who liberated South America - a sweeping narrative worthy of a Hollywood epic.Simón Bolivar's life makes for one of history's most dramatic canvases, a colossal narrative filled with adventure and disaster, victory and defeat. This is the story not just of an extraordinary man but of the liberation of a continent.A larger-than-life figure from a tumultuous age, Bolívar ignited a revolution, liberated six countries from Spanish rule and is revered as the great hero of South American history. In a sweeping narrative worthy of a Hollywood epic, BOLIVAR colourfully portrays this extraordinarily dramatic life. From his glorious battlefield victories to his legendary love affairs, Bolívar emerges as a man of many facets: fearless and inspiring general, consummate diplomat, passionate abolitionist and gifted writer.

Orion

Maverick One

David Blakeley
Authors:
David Blakeley

The explosive sequel to the bestselling PATHFINDER.For the first time ever an elite British operator tells the gruelling story of his selection into the Pathfinders - Britain's secret soldiers. Pathfinder selection is a brutal physical and psychological trial lasting many weeks. It rivals that of the SAS and takes place over the same spine-crushing terrain, in the rain-and-snow-lashed wastes of the Welsh mountains. For two decades no one has been able to relate the extraordinary trials of British elite forces selection - until now.Captain David Blakeley goes on from completing selection to serve with the Pathfinders in Afghanistan post 9/11, where he had a gun held to his head by Al Qaeda fighters. From there he deploys to Iraq, on a series of dramatic behind-enemy-lines missions - wherein he and his tiny elite patrol are outnumbered, outgunned and trapped. MAVERICK ONE is unique and extraordinary, chronicling the making of a warrior. It culminates in Blakeley fighting back to full recovery from horrific injuries suffered whilst on operations in Iraq, to go on to face SAS selection.

W&N

The War Behind the Wire

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel

The last untold story of the First World War: the fortunes and fates of 170,000 British soldiers captured by the enemy.On capture, British officers and men were routinely told by the Germans 'For you the war is over'. Nothing could be further from the truth. British Prisoners of War merely exchanged one barbed-wire battleground for another.In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage, with a literal spanner put in the works of the factories and salt mines prisoners were forced to slave in. British PoWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped. Then escaped again. No less than 29 officers at Holzminden camp in 1918 burrowed their way out via a tunnel (dug with a chisel and trowel) in the Great Escape of the Great War. It was war with heart-breaking consequences; more than 12,000 PoWs died, many of them murdered, to buried in shallow unmarked graves.Using contemporary records - from prisoners' diaries to letters home to poetry - John Lewis-Stempel reveals the death, life and, above all, the glory of Britain's warriors behind the wire. For it was in the PoW camps, far from the blasted trenches, that the true spirit of the Tommy was exemplified.

W&N

Washington's War

Michael Rose
Authors:
Michael Rose
W&N

Uncle Bill

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller
W&N

The Inheritor's Powder

Sandra Hempel
Authors:
Sandra Hempel

In the nineteenth century it was criminally easy to bump off unwanted relatives. A Household Thrown into Chaos Plumstead village, 2 November 1833. Wealthy landlord, George Bodle is taken violently ill. He dies within hours. When his wife, daughter and two maids are also taken ill, there is only one terrifying explanation . . . arsenic poisoning. A Murder Most FoulYet, while arsenic was readily available over the counter in the 1800s, poisoning was almost impossible to prove. As the evidence mounted up, a picture emerged of bitter family rivalries, brewing resentment, greed and ill-will. A Sensational TaleIn this account of one of history's most notorious poisonings, Sandra Hempel tells the story of the birth of toxicology - the science of poison - and of a mystery which gripped the nation.

W&N

Brunel

Steven Brindle
Authors:
Steven Brindle

A celebration of the life and engineering achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel by two of the world's foremost authorities.In his lifetime, Isambard Kingdom Brunel towered over his profession. Today, he remains the most famous engineer in history, the epitome of the volcanic creative forces which brought about the Industrial Revolution - and brought modern society into being.Brunel's extraordinary talents were drawn out by some remarkable opportunities - above all his appointment as engineer to the new Great Western Railway at the age of 26 - but it was his nature to take nothing for granted, and to look at every project, whether it was the longest railway yet planned, or the largest ship ever imagined, from first principles. A hard taskmaster to those who served him, he ultimately sacrificed his own life to his work in his tragically early death at the age of 53. His legacy, though, is all around us, in the railways and bridges that he personally designed, and in his wider influence.This fascinating new book draws on Brunel's own diaries, letters and sketchbooks to understand his life, times, and work.

W&N

True Stories of the SAS

Robin Hunter
Authors:
Robin Hunter
W&N

Getting Our Way

Christopher Meyer
Authors:
Christopher Meyer

A highly informed insider's account of some of the 'honest men' as they sought, by fair means or foul, to get Britain its way in the world.GETTING OUR WAY recounts nine stories from Britain's diplomatic annals over the last five hundred years, in which the diplomats themselves are at the centre of the narrative. It is an inside account of their extraordinary experiences, sometimes in the face of physical danger, often at history's hinge. Be it Henry Killigrew's mission to Edinburgh in 1572, Castlereagh at the Congress of Vienna, Our Man in Washington and the Nassau Deal, or the handover of Hong Kong to China, we can see how Britain has viewed its interests in the world and sought to advance them. Some of these dramatic episodes record triumph, some failure, but all of them illustrate how the three pillars of the national interest - security, prosperity and values - have been the foundation of British foreign policy for half a century. Each story is illuminated by colourful anecdotes and insights drawn from Christopher Meyer's first-hand experience of international relations. Moreover, the book is a salutary reminder that foreign policy and diplomacy begin and end with the national interest. And far from being the preserve of aloof aristocrats, the pursuit of our national interest is replete with an extraordinary combination of high principle and low cunning, vice and virtue, all with the specific aim of 'getting our way'.

W&N

The Battle of Normandy 1944

Robin Neillands
Authors:
Robin Neillands
W&N

The Viceroy's Daughters

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

The lives of the three daughters of Lord Curzon: glamorous, rich, independent and wilful.Irene (born 1896), Cynthia (b.1898) and Alexandria (b.1904) were the three daughters of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898-1905 and probably the grandest and most self-confident imperial servant Britain ever possessed. After the death of his fabulously rich American wife in 1906, Curzon's determination to control every aspect of his daughters' lives, including the money that was rightfully theirs, led them one by one into revolt against their father. The three sisters were at the very heart of the fast and glittering world of the Twenties and Thirties.Irene, intensely musical and a passionate foxhunter, had love affairs in the glamorous Melton Mowbray hunting set. Cynthia ('Cimmie') married Oswald Mosley, joining him first in the Labour Party, where she became a popular MP herself, before following him into fascism. Alexandra ('Baba'), the youngest and most beautiful, married the Prince of Wales's best friend Fruity Metcalfe. On Cimmie's early death in 1933 Baba flung herself into a long and passionate affair with Mosley and a liaison with Mussolini's ambassador to London, Count Dino Grandi, while enjoying the romantic devotion of the Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax. The sisters see British fascism from behind the scenes, and the arrival of Wallis Simpson and the early married life of the Windsors. The war finds them based at 'the Dorch' (the Dorchester Hotel) doing good works. At the end of their extraordinary lives, Irene and Baba have become, rather improbably, pillars of the establishment, Irene being made one of the very first Life Peers in 1958 for her work with youth clubs.

W&N

Last Flight of the Luftwaffe

Adrian Weir
Authors:
Adrian Weir