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.

Alan Clark

Alan Clark, educated at Eton and Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practise. He was the Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton (1972-1992) and for Kensington and Chelsea (1997-1999). He held various junior ministerial appointments in the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments. He kept a regular diary, which was published in three volumes as IN POWER 1983-1992, INTO POLITICS 1972-1982 and THE LAST DIARIES 1993-1999. They were adapted for television by the BBC and shown in 2004. Clark died in 1999 of a brain tumour.

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 is a biographer and historian of international renown whose books include EMINENT CHURCHILLIANS and SALISBURY: VICTORIAN TITAN (awarded the Wolfson Prize for History). His recent book NAPOLEON THE GREAT won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon. Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Literature and Arts. He appears regularly on British television and radio and writes for a number of national newspapers.

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

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of CRETE: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), STALINGRAD (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), BERLIN: The Downfall, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN (Premio La Vanguardia), D-DAY: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARDENNES 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and ARNHEM: The Battle for the Bridges. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

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.

Colin S. Gray

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

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.

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.

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 An Italian Summer and Our Summer Together, and various non-fiction titles, as well as acting as ghost writer for a number of celebrities. She was also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine for over twenty years.Find out more at www.fannyblake.com or follow her on Twitter @fannyblake1

Gary Sheffield

Gary Sheffield is Professor of Modern History at King's College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and author of Forgotten Victory: The First World War - Myths and Realities and The Somme. He broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and writes for the national press. He lives in Oxfordshire. Dr John Bourne is Director of the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-President of the Western Front Association. He has written widely on the First World War, including Britain and the Great War 1914-1918 and Who's Who in the First World War. He lives in Birmingham.

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.

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

John Hughes-Wilson

John Hughes-Wilson (author of Military Intelligence Blunders) and Cathryn Corns lead 'Shot at Dawn' battlefield tours through France and Flanders.