Related to: 'Maverick One'

Orion

Pathfinder

David Blakeley
Authors:
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.

Adrian Weir

Adrian Weir is a successful military history author.

Alan Clark

Alan Clark, educated at Eton and Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practise. Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton 1972-1992; Kensington and Chelsea, 1997-99. Various junior ministerial appointments in the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments of the 1980s. Best-known for his Diaries (three volumes) which The Times placed in the Samuel Pepys class. They were filmed by the BBC with John Hurt as Clark and Jenny Agutter as Jane Clark. Alan Clark died in 1999.

Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the DAILY TELEPGRAPH. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University; in 2003 he was knighted for services to Franco-British relations. He died in 2017.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994 . He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. His books include Napoleon and Wellington in 2001, Hitler and Churchill (based on BBC-2 series) in 2003. What Might Have Been (editor) in 2004. His History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 was published in 2006 and won the Walter Bagehot Prize .

Andy McNab

Andy McNab joined the infantry as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was 'badged' as a member of 22 SAS Regiment and was involved in both covert and overt special operations worldwide. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, 'will remain in regimental history for ever'. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993. He wrote about his experiences in three books: the phenomenal bestseller Bravo Two Zero, Immediate Action and Seven Troop. He is the author of the bestselling Nick Stone thrillers. Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK. He is a patron of the Help for Heroes campaign. www.andymcnab.co.uk

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure. He spent three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he perfected many of the skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, watching him pit himself against Mother Nature. His TV show, MAN VS WILD/BORN SURVIVOR, became one of the most watched programmes on the planet with an estimated audience of 1.2 billion. He also hosts the hit adventure show RUNNING WILD on NBC in America, as well as THE ISLAND WITH BEAR GRYLLS for Channel 4 and MISSION SURVIVE WITH BEAR GRYLLS for ITV in the UK. He has authored a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, GHOST FLIGHT, and the number one bestseller, MUD, SWEAT & TEARS.Find out more at www.beargrylls.com or follow him on Twitter @BearGrylls

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is the author of five critically acclaimed books including the Sunday Times bestselling EMPIRE OF THE DEEP and WHAT PRICE LIBERTY?, for which he received a Somerset Maugham Award. He was born in 1980 and educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a first-class degree and an MPhil in history.

Bernard Ireland

Bernard Ireland has retired from the Ministry of Defence where he worked on a number of Anglo-French projects. Now a fulltime author, he is a fluent French speaker and an internationally acknowledged expert on military history. He is the author of Jane's Battleships of the 20th Century, Jane's Century of Naval Warfare, and Jane's Naval Aviation and The Mediterranean Campaign.

Christopher Robbins

Christopher Robbins is a well-known journalist who has written for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE OBSERVER, THE INDEPENDENT, THE TIMES and THE SUNDAY TIMES. He lives in London.

Colin S. Gray

Colin S. Gray is Professor Emeritus of Strategic Studies, University of Reading. He has published thirty books on strategic matters.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was the author of numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He was also the author of seven biographies and a number of other non-fiction works, and won the Gregory Prize for his poems POINTS OF CONTACT.

Elizabeth Buchan

Elizabeth Buchan lives in London with her husband and two children and worked in publishing for several years. She has written numerous novels and in 1994 she won Romantic Novel of the Year Award with Consider the Lily which was an international best-seller. Her short stories have been published in various magazines and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her website is www.elizabethbuchan.com.

Ernest K. Gann

Ernest K Gann graduated from Culver Military Academy (now Culver Academies) in 1930. He flew for American Airlines and then the US Army during World War II. He lived in Washington and wrote and published prolifically.

Fanny Blake

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written a number of novels, including With a Friend Like You and Women of a Dangerous Age, and various non-fiction titles, as well as acting as ghost writer for a number of celebrities. She is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine.Find out more at www.fannyblake.com or follow her on Twitter @fannyblake1

Gordon Corera

Gordon Corera is a journalist and writer on intelligence and security issues. Since 2004 he has been a Security Correspondent for BBC News where he covers terrorism, cyber security, the work of intelligence agencies and other national security issues for BBC TV, Radio and Online. He has reported from across the United States, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and presented a number of programmes focusing on intelligence agencies including MI6, MI5, GCHQ, the CIA, NSA and Mossad. He is the author of SECRET PIGEON SERVICE, INTERCEPT, THE ART OF BETRAYAL (entitled MI6 in paperback), and SHOPPING FOR BOMBS.

Iain Ballantyne

Having written about the global activities of the Royal Navy for more than 20 years, Iain Ballantyne has spent time in most types of warship, from nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, to destroyers and frigates. He has sailed in minefields off war-torn Kuwait, witnessed embargo enforcement in the Adriatic and counter-terrorism sweeps in the Mediterranean. Iain has also voyaged into Arctic waters and accompanied Royal Marines on fast boat patrols off Hong Kong. He won an award for his action-packed depiction of the pursuit and destruction of Hitler's flagship, as recounted in KILLING THE BISMARCK, his last book prior to HUNTER KILLERS for Orion. In 2017 Iain Ballantyne was awarded a Fellowship by the UK's Maritime Foundation, one of its top annual awards, in recognition of his immense contribution to the maritime cause since 1990, as a journalist, author of naval history books and Editor of WARSHIPS magazine from 1998 to the present.http://www.iainballantyne.com/

Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan was born in 1972 in Ayreshire. After graduating from Edinburgh University, she worked for six years in the health service, moonlighting as a cartoonist and a stand-up comic. She lives with her partner in London.

John Keegan

Britain's most distinguished military historian and senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for many years, Sir John Keegan is the author of THE FACE OF BATTLE, widely considered a classic of military history. His other books include THE MASK OF COMMAND, THE PRICE OF ADMIRALTY, SIX ARMIES IN NORMANDY and THE SECOND WORLD WAR. His book THE HISTORY OF WARFARE sold 60,000 copies in the US and 25,000 in the UK. He is Defence Editor of The Daily Telegraph and was knighted in 2000.

Mick Flynn

Squadron Corporal Major Mick Flynn CGC MC is currently the most highly decorated serving soldier in the British Army. He has seen active service in Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He is currently based in Windsor with his wife and children. He is the author of BULLET MAGNET and TRIGGER TIME.