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Bravo Two Zero - The True Story Of An SAS Patrol Behind Enemy Lines In Iraq

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The book recounts the story of an SAS patrol behind enemy lines in Iraq, in 1991, which was led by the author.


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The book recounts the story of an SAS patrol behind enemy lines in Iraq, in 1991, which was led by the author.

30 review for Bravo Two Zero - The True Story Of An SAS Patrol Behind Enemy Lines In Iraq

  1. 4 out of 5

    Igor Ljubuncic

    This is a great book. BTZ is one of the more famous SF operations (gone wrong) stories told in the modern era, made even more popular in a namesake movie with Ned Stark. It is told from the POV of the patrol leader Andy (pseudonym) leading his eight-man team on cable-cutting and Scud-hunting mission in Iraq just before the ground invasion phase of the 1991 Gulf War. They get discovered, they get captured. Most of the focus is actually not on the fighting - even though the introduction and the brie This is a great book. BTZ is one of the more famous SF operations (gone wrong) stories told in the modern era, made even more popular in a namesake movie with Ned Stark. It is told from the POV of the patrol leader Andy (pseudonym) leading his eight-man team on cable-cutting and Scud-hunting mission in Iraq just before the ground invasion phase of the 1991 Gulf War. They get discovered, they get captured. Most of the focus is actually not on the fighting - even though the introduction and the brief combat elements are rather engaging - but it is on the evasion and escape, the difficult weather conditions, the separation of the team into two groups, the death of some of the patrol members, and then the eventual capture of Andy just 4 km from the Syrian border. The second half of the book is about his time in captivity - including interrogations and torture, and it's a somewhat difficult read, because it tells things the way they are - not like in the movies. It's gritty and sad. On his release, Andy was one of the few who did not suffer from PTSD, and he went back to his life without too many traumas, but still a changed man. However, the best piece is the last piece. Andy tells a story how an army captain changed his life - you're not thick, you're uneducated - and how he finally read his first book (something for 10-year-olds) when he was about 20, and that this was the proudest moment of his life. And from someone who could barely read to a bestseller, well that's quite a ride that transcends bullets and explosions. Andy's message to kids in schools (and those in trouble with the law) is that education should come first. That this was the most important part of his SAS journey - not the missions. It's a very humble and emotional message. I also know some people who say they know Andy - and I've seen there's a lot of controversy around the book, and the follow up books (by Chris Ryan and another SAS fellow) sort of stir up a controversy, but I'm really not interested in the politics and the intrigue. I take BTZ for what it is, and it's a really good, engaging soldier's story, with some less than glamorous details you don't normally think about when you speak militarese. Quite recommended. Igor

  2. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    First of all, this review is concerned with the book and the book alone; forget the conspiracy, bad mouthing and follow-ups which have followed in the decade since this came out. Instead, I'm just focusing on Bravo Two Zero the book and the book alone. Of the various true-life war accounts written over the past century, it certainly stands out as a corker, chronicling the ill-fated 1991 mission from beginning to chaotic ending, beginning with the initial planning back at base, moving to behind e First of all, this review is concerned with the book and the book alone; forget the conspiracy, bad mouthing and follow-ups which have followed in the decade since this came out. Instead, I'm just focusing on Bravo Two Zero the book and the book alone. Of the various true-life war accounts written over the past century, it certainly stands out as a corker, chronicling the ill-fated 1991 mission from beginning to chaotic ending, beginning with the initial planning back at base, moving to behind enemy lines combat, and ending in the various mission members going their separate ways. McNab writes a believable, in-your-face account of what it’s like to be at the receiving end of brutal torture and the experience of taking part in a fierce firefight, his style alert and friendly, drawing you into the tale and refusing to let you go until the bitter end. It certainly is a brutal story – at least a third is taken up with prolonged descriptions of torture and other barbarity, and death and dehydration abound. Other parts are exciting but tragic, such as the heroic shoot-outs which result in death and destruction, I couldn’t put the book down. It stands as a testament to McNab’s skill that he propels you along energetically despite the subject matter, with entertainment being the keyword here, and it IS entertaining – I’m sure most readers have dreamed about what it would like to be a soldier, well this is your chance to face the savage truth and I guarantee it’ll put most off for life or give you a taste for similar non-fiction works.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Supratim

    I am giving this book a rating of 3.5 Review to come soon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Fitzpatrick

    "I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge. As an Alan Partidge devotee, I thought it only proper I should read the great man's favourite book. It tells the story of an SAS misson during the first Gulf War. As an insight into the functioning of a special forces unit, it's a great read. Although heavy on jargon and military slang, it's always fast paced and it never gets in the way of "I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge. As an Alan Partidge devotee, I thought it only proper I should read the great man's favourite book. It tells the story of an SAS misson during the first Gulf War. As an insight into the functioning of a special forces unit, it's a great read. Although heavy on jargon and military slang, it's always fast paced and it never gets in the way of the story. For me one interesting thing was how the prose style was so different to what I normally read. I'm used to wooly liberal platitudes and quite waffly stuff. This was not that. McNab's clear-cut, no-nonsense, military attitude comes through as it is writteen. It was very refreshing, a literary pallette cleanser, if you will. It's an incredible adventure story, told with suprising humour and warmth at times. It was a lot better than I expected, although unlike Alan, I don't think I'll be re-reading it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    4,25 stars - English paperback - Thanks Trevor for the book - found the raiding entery in an old agenda. 🌷🌸🌷

  6. 4 out of 5

    K Kamath

    I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, but one was the way it was written. I mean I believe I could actually see the method of writing, whether from taped interviews and transcriptions or from careful notes. The book was written the way McNab speaks and that voice is what comes through. You get the sense you are being told the story by a gifted story-teller, the kind of guy you want to hang out with and listen to his stories because, first and last, he tells a good story. The narrative mov I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, but one was the way it was written. I mean I believe I could actually see the method of writing, whether from taped interviews and transcriptions or from careful notes. The book was written the way McNab speaks and that voice is what comes through. You get the sense you are being told the story by a gifted story-teller, the kind of guy you want to hang out with and listen to his stories because, first and last, he tells a good story. The narrative moves from dramatic descriptions and character interaction to explication smoothly, beautifully. If McNab wrote this without editorial help, he has a rare kind of genius. I am reminded of Joe Simpson's Touching the Void, a first-time book that has amazing vividness and pacing; and then there's Arabian Sands by Thesiger, which has similar vividness. Regardless of truth or fact or whether you like tales of men doing manly things, Brave Two Zero has literary merit in a number of ways lacking in most fiction today. Whether this is viewed as autobiography or fictionalized biography, it's a great read. What do we pick up a book for, anyway? Isn't it to be entertained? Oy! Another pint, please.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Farebrother

    Perhaps the ultimate action thriller - because it's all true. Mere mortals can only wonder at the feats of sheer physical endurance, not to mention courage and resourcefulness, displayed by members of the world's elite fighting force. Enough said? I won't bother to repeat what many learned commentators have said before me. I've read the book several times, and it never fails to grip and amaze.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    "Britain's government has spent five years trying to gag Mike Coburn. His account of an SAS mission that went wrong is more about truth than heroics, reports Nick Ryan. Bravo Two Zero. For many people those three words conjure up the image of the soldier hero: the special-forces trooper - the kind of cool-minded killer who could go anywhere and seemingly do just about anything. It was the call sign for a British Special Air Service (SAS) patrol during a mission in the 1991 Gulf War that was "comp "Britain's government has spent five years trying to gag Mike Coburn. His account of an SAS mission that went wrong is more about truth than heroics, reports Nick Ryan. Bravo Two Zero. For many people those three words conjure up the image of the soldier hero: the special-forces trooper - the kind of cool-minded killer who could go anywhere and seemingly do just about anything. It was the call sign for a British Special Air Service (SAS) patrol during a mission in the 1991 Gulf War that was "compromised" behind enemy lines. Three of the eight-man team were killed, and four captured and tortured, while trying to destroy Scud missile launchers in north-west Iraq. One managed to escape by foot across the desert into Syria. For Andy McNab, the patrol's leader, and Chris Ryan, the soldier who escaped - both names are pseudonyms - the military blunders led, ultimately, to remarkable financial success. Bravo Two Zero, McNab's lionised account of the mission, which was published in 1993, sold millions of copies and launched a slew of copycats. Ryan followed with his story, entitled The One That Got Away."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vijai

    What an exhilarating read! different versions of the real-life mission notwithstanding I am compelled to say, this book's narrative sounded as close as one could get to being sincere. Only a man from the trenches could narrate so gruesome a story of interrogation and surviving it. I was honestly surprised that a highly trained commando could write so well. Maybe he had help but not all that way I am hoping. A must-read for all action-thriller lovers. However, I say that in reverence and deep res What an exhilarating read! different versions of the real-life mission notwithstanding I am compelled to say, this book's narrative sounded as close as one could get to being sincere. Only a man from the trenches could narrate so gruesome a story of interrogation and surviving it. I was honestly surprised that a highly trained commando could write so well. Maybe he had help but not all that way I am hoping. A must-read for all action-thriller lovers. However, I say that in reverence and deep respect for the soldiers who made such unmatchable sacrifice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megha

    I was looking for books covering the politics and upheavals in Middle East. This book is biography of a Special operations soldier - SAS from UK. The operation - Bravo Two Zero was carried out in 1st Gulf war in 1998, I picked thinking its from the 2003 Iraq war. But glad I did. The mission was to survey the scuds, cable lines in Iraq and the operation was called Bravo Two Zero. When reading the risky operation, the responsibilities, the decisions to be taken on the fly, the physical and mental p I was looking for books covering the politics and upheavals in Middle East. This book is biography of a Special operations soldier - SAS from UK. The operation - Bravo Two Zero was carried out in 1st Gulf war in 1998, I picked thinking its from the 2003 Iraq war. But glad I did. The mission was to survey the scuds, cable lines in Iraq and the operation was called Bravo Two Zero. When reading the risky operation, the responsibilities, the decisions to be taken on the fly, the physical and mental pressure, stories of endurance of the soldiers from the patrol, one can't stop wondering if man really has the potential to endure so much pain. It is definitely extraordinary story of extraordinary people. (btw, there were accusations that McNab exaggerated, would be picking Soldier Five by another member from same team) The book was more from a soldier's point of view, and the opinions expressed over humanity were restricted to that of a prisoner i.e. with the Iraqis seen in bad light. But this is a soldiers tale in the battlefield and is fair. I wonder if there are any books from the other side, a Iraqi civilian's view of foreign troops in their country. What must have been on the mind's of Iraqi people and soldiers when they saw foreign army enter their land and air - the great Iraqi Invasion. Though we agree that Saddam was a terror but we know that Iraq in his time was far better than what is now - ruled by Al Qaeda and ISIS. Looking back, we know that there were no weapons of mass destruction. The lives of these brave soldiers were risked for what? Was it really for protection of civilians? The torture and deaths of soldiers, civilians .. was it all worth?

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

    A must read for all fans of true war stories. I think most people in the UK, if not the western world, who was around at the time of the first Iraq war will have at least heard of this mission. This narrative takes us from the period when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait up until after the war had ended and the prisoners of the patrol code-named Bravo-Two-Zero returned home. I find that it is almost always worthwhile reading first-hand accounts alongside the 'official' histories as they tell you mu A must read for all fans of true war stories. I think most people in the UK, if not the western world, who was around at the time of the first Iraq war will have at least heard of this mission. This narrative takes us from the period when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait up until after the war had ended and the prisoners of the patrol code-named Bravo-Two-Zero returned home. I find that it is almost always worthwhile reading first-hand accounts alongside the 'official' histories as they tell you much more and also provide you with the small but ultimately what can be the important details. Andy McNab does this, and provides an insight not only into what happened, but also what he was thinking and feeling at the time. His descriptions of his torture is brutal but not gratuitous, and includes his own perspective which surprisingly, is not 'these guys are evil' and in fact relates his surprise at points that he is not tortured as bad as the horror stories about what had happened to Iranian prisoners a decade earlier had led him to expect. I will say that it is worth reading The One That Got Away: My SAS Mission Behind Iraqi Lines as well to provide the different interpretations of the same events by two different people with two different outlooks and attitudes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fabio Laporta

    Iraq, January 1991. During the first war in Iraq, one team of 8 soldiers of the Royal Special Air Service, the elite special forces of the Royal Army, was sent to operate beyond the Iraqi lines, in the middle of the desert. The name of the team was BRAVO TWO ZERO and their mission was to cut off some phone lines and to destroy Scud missiles mobile launch stations of Suddam Hussein. After a huge fight against Iraqi troops they aborted the original mission and instead escaped toward the border wit Iraq, January 1991. During the first war in Iraq, one team of 8 soldiers of the Royal Special Air Service, the elite special forces of the Royal Army, was sent to operate beyond the Iraqi lines, in the middle of the desert. The name of the team was BRAVO TWO ZERO and their mission was to cut off some phone lines and to destroy Scud missiles mobile launch stations of Suddam Hussein. After a huge fight against Iraqi troops they aborted the original mission and instead escaped toward the border with Syria. Four of them were captured, just one was able to escape and the other three died. Andy McNab describes in this book step by step every single moment of those days in the desert, his and his team's feelings, worries and emotions. This is a great book not just for the story itself but because the author describes in particular the special forces strategies, how to plan a mission, how to survive in a desert when you are not well equipped (because the intel info were not detailed enough) and how to conduct one enemy tactical interrogation. The book is so well written that you can see yourself in the room with Andy during an interrogation or in jail. However, my favorite part of the book is the fact that all his considerations and all his lessons learned and are still actual and still useful for military guys like me. Really great book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trung

    As a fan of military history, I do have a passing understanding the 22nd Special Air Service with our allies in England. The boys at Hereford are a tough lot and we used the Regiment in establishing our own 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. If you find yourself in the mood to find out what tough really is, read this book. Bravo Two Zero is a harrowing story. One that you may have heard about once or twice in passing. The story is not so much about the failure of a patrol to locate As a fan of military history, I do have a passing understanding the 22nd Special Air Service with our allies in England. The boys at Hereford are a tough lot and we used the Regiment in establishing our own 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. If you find yourself in the mood to find out what tough really is, read this book. Bravo Two Zero is a harrowing story. One that you may have heard about once or twice in passing. The story is not so much about the failure of a patrol to locate and destroy Scud in Iraq, but about human perseverance and the chronicle of one man and his men and how they survived over a month of capture and torture at the enemy's hands. Andy McNab's writing style is sharp, concise, and reads more like a narrative story than anything else. It's a great read and at the end of it, you will have a greater appreciation of the men who go out there to do what they gotta get done. Another book, written by one of McNab's teammates, Chris Ryan, entitled "The One That Got Away", chronicles Ryan's perspective through the ordeal and the actions he took that led him to have the longest Escape & Evasion period in SAS history (180 miles).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I absolutely loved this book. I only began reading Andy McNabs books last year and have read a few of the Nick Stone series, some of which I have liked and others less so. This book is completely different in that it is the true account of an SAS mission behind enemy lines. McNabs style of writing could be better however I think that this adds to the authencity of the account. After reading this, I am keen to read the Chris Ryan book "The one that got away" which is by a member of the same missio I absolutely loved this book. I only began reading Andy McNabs books last year and have read a few of the Nick Stone series, some of which I have liked and others less so. This book is completely different in that it is the true account of an SAS mission behind enemy lines. McNabs style of writing could be better however I think that this adds to the authencity of the account. After reading this, I am keen to read the Chris Ryan book "The one that got away" which is by a member of the same mission and will give a different perspective. All in all I found the book utterly compelling and the fact that it is a true story makes it even more amazing. The author is a brave man. A hero.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    A very good start and it had me gripped but lost interest and became fustrated quite soon after. A large amount of un needed detail on what I feel could have been cut down. 200 out of 400 pages of the same context spun changed slightly and repeated brought me close to insanity. Bravado for the work gone in but does it seem fabricated, defiantly so. Such a popular book on secrect services and i have no real idea why it's gained such acclaim.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A really informative book about what it's like to be in the sas. The levels of torture that Andy and the other men had to go through is just horrific. Certainly not a job that many could do.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Glen Gilpin

    "Well, at least it can't make us pregnant"

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jemma

    Not a book I would normally have gravitated to but I admit, I was curious because the year I worked in a bookshop, this was our top seller. Also, this is the book I have bought most copies of ever, not for myself but from a variety of wholesale intermediaries as demand outstripped supply that year. So probably time to read it. I nearly did so about a decade ago but saw a bit of a TV version and found it unwatchable. Then I got a free copy, can't remember why though. Anyway, at nearly 20 years la Not a book I would normally have gravitated to but I admit, I was curious because the year I worked in a bookshop, this was our top seller. Also, this is the book I have bought most copies of ever, not for myself but from a variety of wholesale intermediaries as demand outstripped supply that year. So probably time to read it. I nearly did so about a decade ago but saw a bit of a TV version and found it unwatchable. Then I got a free copy, can't remember why though. Anyway, at nearly 20 years later, the time seemed overdue to read this. I can see why this was popular, it is a bit of a page turner. Though it could have been called 101 ways I was tortured and things do slow down as he is tortured for at least half the book and it is quite repetitive. Nonetheless, this is the best account of what it is like to suffer so that I've read and is hopefully the nearest I will ever come to suffering this myself. Reminds me of Orwell's account of being wounded in Spain a little, which is the perfect near death tale. Andy's frankness is also remarkably disarming. He affects no graces whether talking about his failed relationships, SAS life or the torture and you have to congratulate him for that. All-in-all, this left me with renewed gratitude that there are people out there doing this on our behalf. The explanation of the uses of explosives was discomforting (terrorists must have much the same attitude) but again you can't fault the honesty. The only thing that doesn't ring true is all the detail about their procdedures. You do have to wonder if he would really explain how the SAS work and their torture resistance techniques, as all the next enemy needs to do is read the book to understand them and develop effective counter measures. In this sense, I think Andy may be being more discrete than he appears. The SAS must surely know of Che Guevara's work on revolution which was read by the CIA and used to develop counter-insurgency methods. The lesson of which is don't print how you do stuff as it is a gift to your foes in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Rabacal

    This kept me from homesick reading Bravo Two Zero when I was in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. A very beautiful true story from the account of a British SAS who was really deep in Iraq. From Amazon.com review "Their mission: To take out the scuds. Eight went out. Five came back. Their story had been closed in secrecy. Until now. They were British Special Forces, trained to be the best. In January 1991 a squad of eight men went behind the Iraqi lines on a top secret mission. It was called Bravo Two Zero. O This kept me from homesick reading Bravo Two Zero when I was in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. A very beautiful true story from the account of a British SAS who was really deep in Iraq. From Amazon.com review "Their mission: To take out the scuds. Eight went out. Five came back. Their story had been closed in secrecy. Until now. They were British Special Forces, trained to be the best. In January 1991 a squad of eight men went behind the Iraqi lines on a top secret mission. It was called Bravo Two Zero. On command was Sergeant Andy McNab. "They are the true unsung heroes of the war." -- Lt. Col. Steven Turner, American F-15E commander. Dropped into "scud alley" carrying 210-pound packs, McNab and his men found themselves surrounded by Saddam's army. Their radios didn't work. The weather turned cold enough to freeze diesel fuel. And they had been spotted. Their only chance at survival was to fight their way to the Syrian border seventy-five miles to the northwest and swim the Euphrates river to freedom. Eight set out. Five came back. "I'll tell you who destroyed the scuds -- it was the British SAS. They were fabulous." -- John Major, British Prime Minister. This is their story. Filled with no-holds-barred detail about McNab's capture and excruciating torture, it tells of men tested beyond the limits of human endurance... and of the war you didn't see on CNN. Dirty, deadly, and fought outside the rules."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robbie G

    After taking a breather from military books with Fevre Dream, i got back to the elite warriors scene with the SAS for a change. It's always refreshing to read army action from the British point of view. different jargon, lingo, lifestyle. It was after watching The Unit tv series that I got into Eric Haney's IDF. And then I was recommended by my brother to watch Strike Back, the Brits' own Unit-like tv series, found out it was based on a book as well, by Chris Ryan. Who was with the Bravo Zero Tea After taking a breather from military books with Fevre Dream, i got back to the elite warriors scene with the SAS for a change. It's always refreshing to read army action from the British point of view. different jargon, lingo, lifestyle. It was after watching The Unit tv series that I got into Eric Haney's IDF. And then I was recommended by my brother to watch Strike Back, the Brits' own Unit-like tv series, found out it was based on a book as well, by Chris Ryan. Who was with the Bravo Zero Team in Desert Storm. and had his own account as well with The One That Got Away. But instead of going straight into that, I opted to start with Andy McNab's account as it was the first from a series, yes there was a succession of books that told the account. it turned out to be a pissing contest for all the members, each on disputing the other. Although dragging in the middle on all the torture scenes, this was good in a way that it was a break from the american military speak. Especially that the style rendered here is a straightforward, voice-from-the writer approach you'd actually feel like the author is just plain speaking the narrative. Found out halfway through the book that it was Sean Bean who played the two-part tv episode, so it sort of sounded like Sean Bean who was this virtual storyteller in my head

  21. 5 out of 5

    S.

    22 SAS carried out a long-range deep interdiction/surveillance mission during the First Gulf War and ended up being placed between two regiments of the Iraqi Army. one eight-man element ended up being engaged in a 100-mile dash for freedom / running gun-fight that has generated no less than five separate books, starting with this one, by the element's commanding NCO, "Andy McNab." the resulting furore generated accusations and counter-accusations, with even the original assignment of the combat 22 SAS carried out a long-range deep interdiction/surveillance mission during the First Gulf War and ended up being placed between two regiments of the Iraqi Army. one eight-man element ended up being engaged in a 100-mile dash for freedom / running gun-fight that has generated no less than five separate books, starting with this one, by the element's commanding NCO, "Andy McNab." the resulting furore generated accusations and counter-accusations, with even the original assignment of the combat team contradicted by various accounts. possibly one of the most argued over small-team missions in military writing history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravo_Tw... like Blackhawk Down, much of the work's literary prominence is because it was among the first military actions since the fall of the Soviet Union and quite some time before the major wars of the 2000s. with little overall US/UK military action during the 1990s, the events of just a few men became heavily examined, discussed, and written about. a solidly written story 4/5; learning all the controversey post-reading probably to some degree weakens the overall experience.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joe Curtis

    Andy McNab an ex SAS infantryman tells the story of his mission in the first gulf war. Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero. Dropped into the middle of Iraq, an eight man SAS squad is given orders to sever a main communications line that ran from north-west Iraq to Baghdad and to destroy any Scud missiles they find being launched along the way. But on the second day, they are compromised. They are forced to run from the entire Iraqi army and flee to the Syrian border, along the way they are subject to Andy McNab an ex SAS infantryman tells the story of his mission in the first gulf war. Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero. Dropped into the middle of Iraq, an eight man SAS squad is given orders to sever a main communications line that ran from north-west Iraq to Baghdad and to destroy any Scud missiles they find being launched along the way. But on the second day, they are compromised. They are forced to run from the entire Iraqi army and flee to the Syrian border, along the way they are subject to very bad weather conditions which conclude in hypothermia among the men, but on the last leg they find themselves in a massive firefight near the Syrian border. Three men are killed, one man escapes and the remaining four are captured and subject to unbelievable torture while the war still rages around them. This is an amazing book not just because of the things that happen or the way it's written but also because you read it and just know it's all real too. This book ticks off my "Book made into a film" box on my bingo board.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Don

    I'd heard good things about this book and that it contained the amazing (true) story of an SAS patrol operating in Iraq. I had no idea nearly half of the book was about the author's experiences as a POW after his patrol was discovered. What he and others were forced to endure was truly horrible. The writing wasn't perhaps as polished as a professional writer's, but I thought it added more to the story. It sounded like how a hard-working, professional soldier would describe what was happening to h I'd heard good things about this book and that it contained the amazing (true) story of an SAS patrol operating in Iraq. I had no idea nearly half of the book was about the author's experiences as a POW after his patrol was discovered. What he and others were forced to endure was truly horrible. The writing wasn't perhaps as polished as a professional writer's, but I thought it added more to the story. It sounded like how a hard-working, professional soldier would describe what was happening to him. As such, the language was coarse at times. On the negative side, it tended to drag on during some sections and the flow of events (esp. when he was telling what happened from others' points of view) could have been better. Being an American, I had to guess sometimes what the (British) author meant by some of the terms he used, but the brief glossary in the back helped with most of them. Overall, I liked it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

    "I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge. I have a soft spot for military memoirs, but reading this publishing phenomena 20 years+ after it came out, you really have to wonder what all the fuss was about. There's not a lot of literary merit to be found here. It's a clunky piece of writing and McNab's inability to reflect on anything in a more this-is-what-happened-next narrative offe "I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge. I have a soft spot for military memoirs, but reading this publishing phenomena 20 years+ after it came out, you really have to wonder what all the fuss was about. There's not a lot of literary merit to be found here. It's a clunky piece of writing and McNab's inability to reflect on anything in a more this-is-what-happened-next narrative offers little insight. It's a compelling narrative and I suppose there is a directness to the writing, but describing killing people and being tortured with the same tone as opening a ration pack gets you ticking off an awful lot of the Hare checklist. It ends up being unintentionally insightful and unattractive look at special forces.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oscar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bravo-Two-Zero is a book based on the adventures of the SAS patrol lead by Sgt Andy McNab. The Soldiers in the patrol call signed Bravo-Two-Zero(that's where the title comes from,lol) are Sergeant 'Andy McNab' Sergeant Vincent (Vince) David Phillips Corporal 'Chris "Geordie" Ryan' Lance Corporal[11] Ian Robert "Dinger" Pring Trooper Robert (Bob) Gaspare Consiglio, Trooper Steven John "Legs" Lane, Trooper Malcolm (Mal) Graham MacGown, Trooper 'Mike "Kiwi"Coburn' The book is based in Iraq and the UK. Overall Bravo-Two-Zero is a book based on the adventures of the SAS patrol lead by Sgt Andy McNab. The Soldiers in the patrol call signed Bravo-Two-Zero(that's where the title comes from,lol) are Sergeant 'Andy McNab' Sergeant Vincent (Vince) David Phillips Corporal 'Chris "Geordie" Ryan' Lance Corporal[11] Ian Robert "Dinger" Pring Trooper Robert (Bob) Gaspare Consiglio, Trooper Steven John "Legs" Lane, Trooper Malcolm (Mal) Graham MacGown, Trooper 'Mike "Kiwi"Coburn' The book is based in Iraq and the UK. Overall the book is based on how there lives where in hell and beyond. I think this i a great book and would recommend it to anyone that is interested in history, warfare, military defense or just plain old Andy McNab.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ray Kelly

    Bravo Two Zero was the call sign of an eight-man British Army SAS patrol, inserted behind enemy lines into Iraq during the First Gulf War in January 1991 as part of the prelude to the Coalition ground invasion of Iraq. This top secret mission was commanded by Sergeant Steven Mitchell and this is the entertaining tale written under Mitchell’s pseudonym Andy McNab. Soon after being dropped the patrol found themselves surrounded by Saddam's army without working radios and with brutally cold weather Bravo Two Zero was the call sign of an eight-man British Army SAS patrol, inserted behind enemy lines into Iraq during the First Gulf War in January 1991 as part of the prelude to the Coalition ground invasion of Iraq. This top secret mission was commanded by Sergeant Steven Mitchell and this is the entertaining tale written under Mitchell’s pseudonym Andy McNab. Soon after being dropped the patrol found themselves surrounded by Saddam's army without working radios and with brutally cold weather. Filled with no-holds-barred detail about excruciating torture, it tells of men tested beyond the limits of human endurance. Of the eight who went out, only five returned and this is the story of this mission, one of the most highly decorated British patrols in over 100 years.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Andy McNab vividly captures the minutiae of what it means to be a special forces commando. His simplistic use of dialog and description only serves to heighten the tension. It's not so much as if you're reading a novel about commandos behind enemy lines as if you're actually in on the debriefing of those commandos. Any fan of military adventures fiction or otherwise should enjoy this book. The insights into how SAS missions are planned are simply amazing and the matter of fact way in which McNab Andy McNab vividly captures the minutiae of what it means to be a special forces commando. His simplistic use of dialog and description only serves to heighten the tension. It's not so much as if you're reading a novel about commandos behind enemy lines as if you're actually in on the debriefing of those commandos. Any fan of military adventures fiction or otherwise should enjoy this book. The insights into how SAS missions are planned are simply amazing and the matter of fact way in which McNab presents his story makes the reader feel as if they're some bloke he's talking to down at the pub. Well worth it and don't be surprised if you have trouble putting it down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cody

    I really enjoyed this book. Apparently there's some controversy about it? I haven't heard any of it, but I see it in some of the other reviews. Anywho, the book itself is very good. McNab tells his story very matter-of-factly. It doesn't sound impossible or even improbable really. A very readable account of Special Forces procedure and a capture and torture. He doesn't dwell too much on the mental state, but you get the feeling that mental state, as long as you're sane, isn't something you worry I really enjoyed this book. Apparently there's some controversy about it? I haven't heard any of it, but I see it in some of the other reviews. Anywho, the book itself is very good. McNab tells his story very matter-of-factly. It doesn't sound impossible or even improbable really. A very readable account of Special Forces procedure and a capture and torture. He doesn't dwell too much on the mental state, but you get the feeling that mental state, as long as you're sane, isn't something you worry too much about when you're trapped and a prisoner in a foreign country. You just worry about staying alive and not being broken by interrogators, and this book really conveys that, I feel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    Nice read, but apparently Chris Ryan's The One That Got Away: My SAS Mission Behind Enemy Lines and Michael Asher's The Real "Bravo Two Zero". Maybe Mike Coburn's Soldier Five: The Real Truth About the Bravo Two Zero Mission are more accurate. Nice read, but apparently Chris Ryan's The One That Got Away: My SAS Mission Behind Enemy Lines and Michael Asher's The Real "Bravo Two Zero". Maybe Mike Coburn's Soldier Five: The Real Truth About the Bravo Two Zero Mission are more accurate.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Mclellan

    I found this book to be quite interesting espicially considering it is a non-fiction book, it was quite fast paced and thrilling and it is a true story which makes it even more exciting and thrilling however it makes some of the horrendous scenes even more horrendous and there are indeed various horrendous scenes including horrific torture scenes which are highly graphic detailing extensively the torture that these men are placed through. I highly recommend this book as it is thrilling, interest I found this book to be quite interesting espicially considering it is a non-fiction book, it was quite fast paced and thrilling and it is a true story which makes it even more exciting and thrilling however it makes some of the horrendous scenes even more horrendous and there are indeed various horrendous scenes including horrific torture scenes which are highly graphic detailing extensively the torture that these men are placed through. I highly recommend this book as it is thrilling, interesting, well written and a true story. I personally found this book very interesting.

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