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.

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 Telegraph. 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. He was knighted in 2003 for services to Franco-British relations.

Annie Jacobsen

ANNIE JACOBSEN is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and an investigative reporter whose work has also appeared in The National Review and The Dallas Morning News. Her two-part series The Road to Area 51 was one of the most read in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, Jacobsen lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.Follow Annie Jacobsen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnnieJacobsen.

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor served as a regular officer in the 11th Hussars in Germany. He is the author of Crete - The Battle and the Resistance, which won a Runciman Prize, Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife Artemis Cooper), Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, Berlin - The Downfall, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award, and The Mystery of Olga Chekhova. Stalingrad and Berlin have been translated into twenty-five languages and sold more than two and a quarter million copies between them. His latest work, A Writer at War - Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945, is an edition, with his Russian researcher, Dr Luba Vinogradova, of Grossman's wartime notebooks. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France, Antony Beevor has also been the chairman of the Society of Authors and is a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He lives in London and Kent and has a daughter and a son.Go to www.antonybeevor.com for more information. Antony Beevor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/antonybeevor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Antony-Beevor

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started in the UK, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend 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 is currently the youngest ever Chief Scout to the UK Scout Association and is an honorary Colonel to the Royal Marines Commandos.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

Born in 1980, Ben Wilson's first book was published when he was just twenty-four, and he is one of our best renowned and admirably young historians. He lives in Suffolk.

Bryan Perrett

Bryan Perrett left the army as a successful career officer to take up the pen as a full-time writer. Able to write to any brief (he was captioning picture-strips for schoolgirl comics at one point), he found his metier as a military historian and writer of good, fast, episodic, narrative popular histories. His many books, all founded on meticulous research from primary sources, find a wide popular readership. He is the bestselling author in the bestselling Cassell Military Classics series.

David Blakeley

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.Visit David Blakeley's website at http://www.davidblakeley.co.uk and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/daveblakeley.

David Devereux

David Devereux is a former professional exorcist. His non-fiction debut, MEMOIRS OF AN EXORCIST was published by Andre Deutsch in 2006. He has also written radio comedy scripts. When not writing he enjoys Noel Coward songs, cinema, art and walking. And the occasional drink.

David Morgan

David Morgan was awarded the DSC for his services in the Falklands War. He left the forces in 1991 and now flies commercial jets for Virgin Airways. A dedicated aerobatic pilot, he regularly flies at air shows.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas (1926-) was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He holds a personal chair in the University of Wales, Cardiff, now Cardiff University. His numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn and featuring Sergeant Verity of Scotland Yard, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He is 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. He lives in Bath with his wife.

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

Frank Pope

Frank Pope is the Ocean Correspondent of The Times and presenter for the BBC. Previously he worked on underwater expeditions all over the world under the auspices of Oxford MARE (Maritime Archaeological Research and Excavation Unit), including the excavation of Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Agamemnon. He divides his time between London and Nairobi.Visit Frank Pope's website http://frankpope.co.uk and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/papafranco.

Guy Sajer

Sajer was a French citizen living in Alsace, who served as a foreign conscript in the German Army during World War II, fighting the Russians on the Eastern front in the Grossdeutschland Division.

Henry Porter

Henry Porter has written five novels for Orion and one children's novel. In 2005, his novel Brandenburg, which is set in East Germany at the time of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. His thriller Empire State, the first about extraordinary rendition, was also nominated for the award. His books have been widely acclaimed and translated into over a dozen languages. For five years he campaigned against the attack on civil liberties by the government in the Observer newspaper where he writes a column. During that time he debated with Tony Blair in a public exchange of emails about his government's record on surveillance, databases and the rights of the individual. He has been the London editor of Vanity Fair since 1993.

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 International Fleet Review magazine from 1998 to the present.http://www.iainballantyne.com/

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is the author of numerous anthologies and books on military history. He lives on a farm in Herefordshire with his wife and two children.Join John Lewis-Stempel on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/John-Lewis-Stempel and follow him on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/JLewisStempel.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson has spent most of his working life as a staff journalist on British national newspapers, including the Daily Mail and latterly the Daily and Sunday Express. He is married with three grown-up sons and a daughter.

Martin Windrow

Born in 1944 and educated at Wellington College, Martin Windrow is an Associate of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain. He has worked in publishing since the mid-1960s as a commissioning editor and author.

Michael Asher

Michael Asher served in the Parachute Regiment and SAS. A fluent Arab speaker, he has lived for years among the Bedouin peoples. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, his published books include SHOOT TO KILL (1990), THESIGER: A BIOGRAPHY (1994) and an acclaimed biography of Lawrence of Arabia. His THE REAL BRAVO TWO ZERO (2002) was a Sunday Times Top 10 best seller.