By David Blakeley
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.
Putin And The Rise Of Russia
By Michael Stuermer
A brilliant analysis of Putin and the key role a resurgent Russia has to play in world affairs.When the Soviet Union collapsed, the world was left wondering about its destiny. Russia is still an enormous power with a population exceeding 140 million, immense military resources and giant energy reserves - in short, a vast land full of promise and opportunity.Russia has the potential to be a force of stability or a force of turmoil, but when it comes to global affairs, can she be persuaded to join the world order? Will yesterday's revolutionary power become tomorrow's stabilizer?Professor Stuermer's authoritative and timely account considers a Russia going through a defining phase after the departure of Vladimir Putin. History is on the move: we face an open and challenging future in which Russia, for better or for worse, will play a key role.