William Fowler - Operation Barras - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

Operation Barras

By William Fowler

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The inside story of the most daring SAS rescue mission ever

The inside story of the most daring SAS rescue mission ever

In September 2000 eleven British soldiers were captured by a notorious militia gang in Sierra Leone. The so-called 'West Side Boys' had subjected their part of the country to a long reign of terror, murdering, kidnapping and mutilating anyone who stood in their way.

Now British soldiers were at their mercy. Surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, any resistance would have seen them all killed; yet their hopes of a quick exchange soon faded. They were assaulted and subjected to mock executions. Negotiations with the 'Revolutionary United Front' leaders and the 'West Side Boys' proved futile. Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered the armed forces to get the men back.

The SAS and elements of the Parachute Regiment were rushed to West Africa and a naval squadron assembled offshore. The stage was set for the biggest British military operation on the continent for a generation - and their most daring rescue mission ever.

Biographical Notes

Educated at Clifton College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, William Fowler was land forces editor of DEFENCE magazine and a contributing editor to JANE'S INFORMATION GROUP. A long term territorial soldier, he served with British forces in the Gulf War and graduated from the French Army Reserve Staff Officers course at the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He conducts regular battlefield tours and broadcasts on radio and television. He is married and lives in Hampshire.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780225685
  • Publication date: 20 Dec 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N
Gollancz

Eagle Rising

David Devereux
Authors:
David Devereux

Jack's back! And this time he must face a terrifying supernatural threat from Europe's recent past.Someone has been mad enough to revive the most terrifying evil of the last 60 years. And only one man is bad enough to stop them.Eagle Rising takes Jack to the rotten heart of big business and the dark secrets of a neo-nazi magical sect intent on giving the world back to a terror from the darkest days of the 1940s. Jack must infiltrate the closed corridors of big business and reach the core of a conspiracy amongst some of the most high-pwered city executives in the country. A cabal of business men with occult interests and an insane hunger for the return of an old and dark order.Described as a mix of Dennis Wheatley and Ian Fleming Devereux lives up to the billing with his new novel.

Gollancz

Hunter's Moon

David Devereux
Authors:
David Devereux

"My name is unimportant, but you can call me Jack. I'm a musician by choice, a magician by profession, and a bastard by disposition.I'd been doing the magic thing for about five years when they found me. They said I had a talent, that I was smart enough and fit enough and enough of a shit that I could serve my country in a way most people never even get to hear about. And I did want to serve my country, didn't I?I didn't really want to contemplate what might happen if I said no."And so Jack found himself on the front line of a secret war that most people simply wouldn't believe was possible. Working for a secret organisation tasked with defending our country from whatever supernatural threat faces it. MI5 know nothing about and would laugh if they found out. Well at first they would . . .Whether wiping out a group of demon summoners, infiltrating a coven determined to assassinate the PM or rooting out a neo-nazi sect who are trying to bring back Hitler from the dead Jack is a very modern sort of magician - trained in a variety of the dark arts but also a dab hand with a Heckler and Koch, skilled in unarmed combat and electronic surveillance.David Devereux has combined the action writing of McNab and Ryan with dark supernatural thrills and produced a blistering new breed of supernatural thriller. This is Dennis Wheatley for the 21st century.

W&N

Tank Action

David Render, Stuart Tootal
Authors:
David Render, Stuart Tootal

A gripping account of World War Two, from the perspective of a young tank commander.In 1944 the average life expectancy of a newly commissioned tank troop officer in Normandy was estimated as being less than two weeks. David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France to join a veteran armoured unit that had already spent years fighting with the Desert Rats in North Africa. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in Normandy, in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements defied expectations and earned him his squadron's nickname of the 'Inevitable Mr Render'.In Tank Action David Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War in Western Europe, from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.

Orion

X Platoon

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

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.

Orion

Ghost Flight

Bear Grylls
Authors:
Bear Grylls
Orion

The Anniversary

Veronica Henry, Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan, Philippa Gregory, Matt Haig, Andy McNab, Richard Madeley, John O’Farrell, Hairy Bikers
Authors:
Veronica Henry, Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan, Philippa Gregory, Matt Haig, Andy McNab, Richard Madeley, John O’Farrell, Hairy Bikers

Original stories from Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan, Philippa Gregory, Matt Haig, Veronica Henry, Andy McNab, Richard Madeley and John O'Farrell - with special anniversary recipes from The Hairy Bikers.A young woman with memories of D-Day and a life both dangerous and excitingA father and son with a shared birthday and deeply held secretsA single mum taxi driver, whose envy for the rich couple on their way to the Ritz soon changesThe unlikely marriage, born in the depths of warThe Tudor wife receives the ghostly message, 'Never marry a dangerous man'An agoraphobic widower, unable to visit his wife's graveThe Elvis impersonator who finds hope for a new romance with Marilyn MonroeThe ex soldiers burdened with the consequences of one bad decisionThe long-held memories of a wartime tragedyThe anniversary supper which changed the world...THE ANNIVERSARY - a collection of the very best short fiction around.

W&N

Hubris

Alistair Horne
Authors:
Alistair Horne
Orion

Operation Mayhem

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

Maverick One

David Blakeley
Authors:
David Blakeley
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

The story of how George Washington beat the British out of America - and how Iraqi insurgents are now using the same tactics to push the Americans out of IraqIn 1775, George Washington took command of a ragbag army of American insurgents and took on the might of the British Army. Through a brilliant campaign of ambush and indirect attacks, he finally succeeded in defeating the greatest military power in the world, and won America its independence.Today it is the USA that is the world's dominant superpower. When they entered Iraq in 2003 they made the same mistakes that the British made over 200 years ago: they underestimated the popular hostility against them, and believed they could fight a widespread insurgence using troops trained for conventional warfare. They are beginning to learn, as the British did, that sheer military power is not enough.As a former Director of UK Special Forces and Commander of the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia, Michael Rose is uniquely experienced in counter-insurgency warfare. In this hard-hitting book he explains the principles of guerrilla warfare as used in the American War of Independence, and shows how those same principles have been adopted by the insurgents in Iraq.

W&N

Uncle Bill

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller

Masterly biography of the 'greatest commander of the 20th century'In 2011 the National Army Museum conducted a poll to decide who merited the title of 'Britain's Greatest General'. In the end two men shared the honour. One, predictably, was the Duke of Wellington. The other was Bill Slim. Had he been alive, Slim would have been surprised, for he was the most modest of men - a rare quality among generals. Of all the plaudits heaped on him during his life, the one he valued most was the epithet by which he was affectionately known to the troops: 'Uncle Bill'.Born in Bristol in 1891, the son of a small-time businessman, he was commissioned as a temporary Second Lieutenant on the outbreak of the First World War. Seriously wounded twice, in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1918. Between the wars he served in the Indian Army with the Gurkhas and began writing short stories to supplement his income.Promotion came rapidly with the Second World War, and in March 1942 he was sent to Burma to take command of the First Burma Corps, then in full flight from the advancing Japanese. Through the force of his leadership, Slim turned disorderly panic into a controlled military withdrawal across the border into India. Two years later, having raised and trained the largest army ever assembled by Britain, Slim returned to drive the enemy out of Burma and shatter the myth of Japanese invincibility which had hamstrung Allied operations in the East for so long. Probably the most respected and loved military leader since the Duke of Marlborough, he later became a popular and successful Governor-General of Australia in 1953, was raised to the peerage, and died in London in 1970.This masterly biography has been written with the full co-operation of the Slim family.

W&N

True Stories of the SAS

Robin Hunter
Authors:
Robin Hunter
W&N

Go! Go! Go!

Will Pearson, Rusty Firmin
Authors:
Will Pearson, Rusty Firmin

The first comprehensive account of the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980.GO! GO! GO! tells the action-packed story of the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege. It is a comprehensive, detailed and gripping account of an unforgettable six-day drama that shook Britain -- and the wider world -- to the core. Drawing on original and unseen source material from ex-SAS soldier Rusty Firmin, the police and the British Government, GO! GO! GO! takes us to the heart of the whole operation.The assault planning and training, strategy and tactics are described in detail, and the personal stories of the gunmen revealed -- who they were, where they came from, why they did it and Saddam Hussein's direct involvement. Compelling accounts of each day of the siege from the hostages' points of view show how they dealt with captivity individually and collectively. New material explains the negotiators' tactics and their cool exterior versus their internal turmoil as negotiations reached crisis point.

W&N

The Somme

Peter Hart, Nigel Steel
Authors:
Peter Hart, Nigel Steel

A major new history of the most infamous battle of the First World War, as described by the men who fought it.On 1 July 1916, Douglas Haig's army launched the 'Big Push' that was supposed finally to bring an end to the stalemate on the Western Front. What happened next was a human catastrophe: scrambling over the top into the face of the German machine guns and artillery fire, almost 20,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed that day alone, and twice as many wounded - the greatest loss in a single day ever sustained by the British Army. The battle did not stop there, however. It dragged on for another 4 months, leaving the battlefield strewn with literally hundreds of thousands of bodies. The Somme has remained a byword for the futility of war ever since. In this major new history, Peter Hart describes how the battle looked from the point of view of those who fought it. Using never-before-seen eyewitness testimonies, he shows us this epic conflict from all angles. We see what it was like to crawl across No Man's Land in the face of the German guns, what it was like for those who stayed behind in the trenches - the padres, the artillerymen, the doctors. We also see what the battle looked like from the air, as the RFC battled to keep control of the skies above the battlefield. All this is put in the context of the background to the battle, and Haig's overall strategy for the Western Front, making this the most comprehensive history of the battle since Lyn MacDonald's bestselling work over 20 years ago.

W&N

Bloody April

Peter Hart
Authors:
Peter Hart
W&N

Jutland, 1916

Nigel Steel, Peter Hart
Authors:
Nigel Steel, Peter Hart
W&N

The Battle of Normandy 1944

Robin Neillands
Authors:
Robin Neillands

A fresh and incisive examination of one of the Second World War's crucial campaigns, the battle for Normandy in the months after D-Day.What happened to the Allied armies in Normandy in the months after D-Day, 1944? Why, after the initial success of the landings, did their advance stall a few miles inland from the beaches? Why did the British take so long to capture Caen? Why did the US infantry struggle so much in the bocage south of Omaha beach? Who was right about the conduct of the land campaign - Eisenhower or Montgomery? How did the Germans, deprived of air support, manage to hold off such a massive Allied force for more than two months? And if Enigma was allowing the Allies to read German battleplans, why did things go wrong as often as they did?THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY re-examines the demands and difficulties of the campaign and sheds new light on both with the aid of accounts from veterans on both sides. (Oral history forms a large part of the book.) It also analyses in detail the plans and performance of the commanders involved: Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Crerar and, of course, Rommel. Controversial and at times catastrophic, the Battle of Normandy was the last great set-piece battle in history and is long overdue for reassessment.

W&N

Cochrane

Donald Thomas
Authors:
Donald Thomas

Bestselling account of the life of a real Horatio HornblowerThe life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, later 10th Earl of Dundonald, was more extraordinary than that of Nelson, more far fetched than that of Hornblower or Patrick O'Brien's Jack Aubrey. Born the son of an eccentric and indigent Scottish peer, he entered the Royal Navy in 1793. In a series of outstanding and heroic actions, often against seemingly overwhelming odds, he made his name fighting Napoleon's navy as one of the most dashing and daring frigate captains of his day, before embarking on a career as a mercenary admiral.

W&N

Last Flight of the Luftwaffe

Adrian Weir
Authors:
Adrian Weir

The account of one of the most extraordinary stories to come from the closing days of the Second World War.Desperate times drive determined men to desperate measures. In April 1945, their cause already clearly lost, an ill-assorted, ill-equipped group of Luftwaffe crew decided on one final 'death or glory' kamikaze mission - their trage an incoming USAAF Eighth Air Force bomber formation, their only weapons their aircraft.Adrian Weir has researched this remarkable flight to retell it minute by minute: a hopeless gesture of immense courage, thrilling as the reader flies in the cockpit with the German pilots towards the unstoppable aircarft of the Mighty Eighth. Including accounts from the survivors of the mission, this is one of the most extraordinary stories to come from the closing days of the Second World War.