Saturday, 3 December 2011
Bravo Two Zero
So quite some time ago. Possbily in the mid to late 90s I stumbled across a book called Bravo Two Zero. You might have heard of it, or at least of it's author, a man named Andy McNab. It was amazing, a tale of human bravery told at break-neck pace with a surprisingly humourous style. It kick-started an obession with military books. And it must have done in hte publishing world too. There were hundreds to choose from. I read a fair proportion. Ah, the life of a solider, it certainly sounded good. Most of these books didn't fix on standar squaddies either, but the SAS. The Really good ones. Just getting in sounds impossible. To do so they had to pass something called selection, which is a bit like the Tweleve Tasks of Asterix only with more endurance and less magic potions. Anyway, Bravo Two Zero concerns one mission during Iraq War 1 that went a bit wrong. Everything went wrong in fact and everyone in the squad either got captured by Iraqis or killed (except one). It's a really 'good' story and I can recommend it (and I've read it about 5 times, so yes I really like it). But, it is just one man's view. As you might see from the picture above other people have put forward their version of events. Chris Ryan escaped and his book The One that Got Away, is also very good. The other book pictured above tries to tell a more turthful version of events as these first two have been a little 'sexed up'. It's a good book. A historian called Michael Asher also examined them in his book the Real Bravo Two Zero, to find out just how truthful they were being. Erm, not an awful lot seems to be his conclusion but that's for you to decide. What I really like about this is the fact that these four books tell the same story from four different perspectives. Everyone experiences the world differently and it is fascinating to see how things played out for everyone, or to see an outside voice try to prove them wrong.
Anyway, if you enjoy solidery books and haven't read any of these I'd have a go. Andy McNab's is by far my favourite and the best to start with. The others are more like fillers to add details, correct them, or even debunk them. Try them you might like them!