- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Quercus Publishing (27. März 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1782060839
- ISBN-13: 978-1782060833
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 2,5 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 118.408 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Zero Six Bravo: 60 Special Forces. 100,000 Enemy. The Explosive True Story (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. März 2014
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'One of the most remarkable stories in the history of special forces' operations' DAILY EXPRESS -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.
I was a but surprised that there were nit any operational awards made to any if the SAS team for their actions in the Operation.
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Those elements were present in a British Special Forces operation in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, in March 2003. M Squadron with 60 men, was tasked to travel 1,000 kilometers behind enemy lines to accept the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps. However, when M Squadron reached its objective, 5th Corps was far from ready to surrender. Against overwhelming odds in numbers, firepower and supplies, M Squadron fought a tenacious battle for its very survival until it could be extracted. The fight they put up was truly one for the books! But unfortunately, some dubbed M Squadron as the ones who ran away from the enemy.
Now, in Zero Six Bravo, author Damien Lewis sets the record straight and details the many acts of valor and heroism performed by the members of M Squadron in the hostile environment of the Iraqi desert. Thank you Mr. Lewis, for doing such a great job in getting the true story of M Squadron out there. The public need to know and the participants deserve it.
The factors surrounding this particular mission are most compelling: Super-elite British SAS/SBS forces (which included a smattering of Americans) driving open-top Land Rovers over 1,000 miles into Iraq to force/urge an enemy fighting force of 100,000 to surrender. The almost absurd risk of the mission earned the nickname "Operation No Return" before it even started. Despite the raiding force's superior technology, weaponry and skills, the uncertainty of how the Iraqi's will react to the surrender request would dictate not only success or failure, but life or death for the British operators. Basically, the mission added up to driving 1000 miles into enemy territory just to kick a hornet's nest and see how it reacts.
This book certainly has the ingredients for a nail-biting thriller, but it falls a little short of being great in the sense that it dragged on a little too long (roughly 2/3s of the book) before the real action starts popping. Another issue is that Lewis opted to focus on one unit's experience of the mission (M Squadron) as opposed to an overall view. In other words, we're only getting part of the story. There are some instances where the narrow perspective of one unit's predicament leaves readers guessing at what other units in the group are doing in critical moments ... Lewis simply details one of several finely-tuned cogs in the well-oiled 60-man machine and it isn't even the commanding cog. When the entire force runs into the enemy and everything goes awry, the narrow scope Lewis presents hints at other units in the group acting less-competently (getting mired in river bed and failing to prevent the enemy from obtaining sensitive/classified equipment). While this surely may be unintentional, it comes across that way at times.
When the British force is ambushed before reaching their objective, the action starts ratcheting up exponentially. The combat described in the book is more "cat and mouse" with the SAS/SBS men (the mice) driving around the desert at night trying to avoid a hunting party that appears to include tanks from the Iraqi 5th Corps and diehard Saddam loyalists (Fedayeen) zipping around in Toyota's with heavy machine guns mounted to them (the cats). The sense of desperation and frustration are clearly outlined as the group finds itself surrounded with avenue of escape and not enough ammunition or manpower to fight its way out of the predicament. The last 1/3rd of the book is action-packed and exciting; it just took a little too long to get there.
While I was a little disappointed in Lewis' presentation, ZERO SIX BRAVO was a worthy read in that it sheds light on how elite soldiers respond so well when the stuff hits the fan. Bad intelligence resulted in 60 men facing certain death, but these men innately found ways to handle everything thrown at them (in the dark, no less) ... amazing. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a screen-adaptation of the story. One thing I do find mind-boggling: that of the book being written in part to offset these SAS/SBS being labeled as "cowards" for refusing to die or be captured (they fought their way out of a disaster). You seriously have to wonder what special-kind of idiot would seriously label any Special Forces soldier as "cowardly". If anything, the book certainly dispels that ridiculous notion.
For some questionable reason, British intel thought that the 5AC was ready to surrender. Instead, while the British unit thought that it was secretly infiltrating into a protective, shallow wadi near the 5AC, they were being monitored by the Iraqis all along. The Iraqis ambush the Brits, who miraculously escaped with none of their own being killed. However, the Brits have to flee in a desperate pell-mell haste, and loose a couple of their vehicles in deep mud. I found this remarkable tale to be told quite well. It explains how the mission was organized, and explains how this unit tried to infiltrate Iraq. The justification of the mission itself seemed to be based on very dubious intel analysis.
I found it quite incredulous that the Brits weren’t able to receive U.S. close-air support simply because the Brits were just too close to the enemy, and the Americans didn’t fire because they wanted to avoid causing “friendly fire” casualties amongst the Brits.
The battle-exfiltration process is a real nail-bitter, with great writing in describing the harrowing battlefield action – simply unbelievable at times, how the Brits constantly got repeated “lucky breaks” in escaping the constant Iraqi attacks.
Some reviewers were critical of the number of pages devoted to analyzing the pre-battle preparations -- I thought they were useful in helping to understand what all needs to be contemplated before running off to battle. I really enjoyed this story; I could hardly put the book down for a break.
Sometimes, however, a war story deserves to be told about an event that didn't have the same impact on its associated war. Sometimes the importance of telling the story comes not from the significance of the engagement itself, but the need to correct inaccuracies resulting from the 24-hour news cycle's rush to judgment . . . and to defend the honor of those who live their lives defending us.
Such is the case with Zero Six Bravo. The event itself was not consequential in terms of the prosecution of the Iraq War in 2003. 60 members of Britain's special forces entered deep into northern Iraq with the mission of taking thousands of Iraqi soldiers prisoner. As absurd as this sounds, someone in the military leadership determined that an entire corps of the Iraqi army would immediately surrender as soon as hostilities began and 60 soldiers would be enough to take them all into custody. Unfortunately, the Iraqis didn't understand their assigned role in this mission and attacked the Brits. Chased by 10,000 infantry troops, mechanized attack vehicles, T-72 tanks and heavily armed packs of radical Fedayeen, the British SAS / SBS soldiers in M Squadron fought their way out of the traps and into open terrain, ultimately to be evacuated from the area by helicopters. Tragically, some in the media, rushed to publish their story and unencumbered by any sense of editorial responsibility, blasted the special forces troops for panicking and running away.
Correcting this tragic misperception is the real story in Damien Lewis's Zero Six Bravo. In the book Lewis defines the original mission, explains the training and then walks the reader through the entire 1,000 kilometer mission in and out of Iraq. Helpful maps of key combat areas assist the reader in following the mission and understanding how overwhelming and dire the situation was for these soldiers. As you read the story you are left with a renewed sense of respect for these soldiers' courage, endurance and perseverence. Far from panicking, the soldiers protected each other, mantained their discipline and even took time to blow up classified equipment as they managed a remarkable exit from a combat zone where they were outnumbered by more than 100 to one. Thanks to their professionalism and their commitment to each other, none of the soldiers in M Squadron were killed during the mission. Lewis describes this mission as ranking "up there with the most epic undertakings by British Special Forces" and his detailed account of the mission provides more than sufficient backup to his claim.
The book itself is relatively short and reads very fast. Lewis's descriptions of the equipment have the same living character qualities you find in early Tom Clancy novels. For example, the Land Rovers known affectionately by the soldiers as "pinkies" come out of this story as heroic as the soldiers. His descriptions of the combat are also compelling and easy to follow.
On the down side, the portrayal of the soldiers themselves comes off as contrived. In any historical account the author must take some license with recreating specific conversations, I get that, but it was not done well in the book. The actual soldiers are not identified in the book - for the sake of security - but the soldiers described in the book come across as fictionalized characters right out of Central Casting, almost to the point of being stereotypical. Their conversations read like the kind of dialogue you'd find in a bad TV show script. Lewis used a lot of the dialogue to develop the characters rather than advance the story, and I didn't think it worked at all.
In spite of the mishandled characters, Zero Six Bravo was a book that needed to be written and one well worth reading. The book reinforces several beliefs that we tend to hold:
1. Military / political leadership during a war is often completely insane,
2. The media learns to respect responsibility to the truth as much as it cherishes freedom of the press, and most importantly,
3. our special forces troops are valiant warriors who deserve our respect for the incredible things they do.