This section of Elite UK Forces lists some of our favourite UKSF related books, all of which are available to buy from Amazon.co.uk
Zero Six Bravo
Zero Six Bravo follows M Squadron, SBS, on an ill-fated mission during the second Gulf War. Some 60 SBS operators, led by an SAS officer, were given the task of covertly inserting into Northern Iraq in order to accept the surrender of the Iraqi Army's 5th Corps, a 100,000-strong formation that included entire infantry and armoured divisions. The 5th Corps were believed by military intelligence to be demoralised and ready to lay down their arms. Without a pre-arranged point of contact with the Iraqis, M Squadron was to drive blindly into enemy territory in a convoy of some 20+ 'Pinkie' Land Rovers, somehow find and make contact with the 5th Corps, then take and oversee the surrender of this massive array of enemy forces.
As with other aspects of the war, the intelligence behind this mission, which M Squadron had already dubbed ' Operation No Return', would prove to be severely flawed. Rather than oversee a peaceful surrender, M Squadron was about to get sucked into one of the most prolonged and intense SOF fire fights of the entire campaign.
The book is told through the eyes of an SBS veteran with the moniker, 'Grey', who commands a Pinkie driven by 'Moth' and its HMG manned a U.S. SOF embed known as 'the dude'.
The story starts with M Squadron training in Africa as the SBS acquire and hone their mobility skills. We then follow the squadron as it is airlifted into the Iraqi desert before moving off on their seemingly impossible mission. There is an ever-growing sense of tension that builds until the explosive first contact with the Iraqi forces, then continues as the SBS put in a fighting withdrawal against ever increasing odds. Lewis deftly keeps ratcheting up the sense of anxiety and frustration as the Iraqi forces, who were clearly weren't in any mood to surrender, begin to close in on M Squadron, who are eventually split into smaller units and scattered across the desert. The tension caused by being hunted by a relentless, efficient, well-equipped and prepared enemy, with superior numbers and firepower is palpable, and continues all the way to the nail-biting climax.
Zero Six Bravo is a story we have waited nearly 10 years to hear. It was known that a SBS mission had been compromised during the opening stages of the 2nd Gulf War. In a propaganda coup for Saddam, a captured British Land Rover and Quad Bike were paraded on Iraq TV. Worse still, some press reports branded the SBS as cowards who had panicked under fire. Lewis's book, which draws on personal accounts of the UKSF men involved, gives the lie to any such accusations.
Zero Six Bravo is a fantastic record of special forces soldiering but, more than that, it sets the record straight about this controversial operation. A must read.
Zero Six Bravo is published on the 14th of March and can be pre-ordered from Amazon via the following links:
The SAS Story
A compact but fact-filled book which charts SAS history from World War 2 all the way until the current war on terror. There's plenty of colour photos throughout, along with little snippets of info on weapons, tactics etc, which makes this a great resource for dipping into every now and then.
A great addition to anyone's SAS library.
Killing Rommel is a fictionalized story, based on real events of World War 2. Told in the style of a first person memoir, the story features a mission by the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) to assassinate the German general before his Panzer divisions could sweep into the Middle East oil fields.
The LRDG was a British special forces unit that transversed the North African desert in armed cars and trucks. During the Africa campaign the unit carried out behind the lines reconnaissance and hit and run attacks as well as inserting and extracting SAS troops - in fact the SAS's experiences with the LRDPG inspired much of their own desert warfare tactics.
The book is a fascinating and compelling insight into the men of the LRDG and much is revealed in the tale's telling of both their tactics and their character. It's evident that the author has really done his homework.
Recommended for all military history buffs and lovers of a good yarn.
The Regiment: The Real Story of the SAS
A history of the Special Air Service by ex-23 SAS member, Michael Asher which covers the unit's first 50 years, including World War 2, campaigns in the Middle and Far East, The Falklands War and Operation Desert Storm.
You may know Asher from various tv documentaries, including Channel 4's 'The Real Bravo Two Zero' in which he demythologized the infamous Gulf War SAS foot patrol's mission. Unlike many other SAS authors, Asher pays a great deal of attention to the human story. Ever since Operation Nimrod in 1980, the British press have fostered a mythological image of the SAS as some super warrior elite with almost superhuman abilities. Asher's history of the SAS is a refreshing change from the norm. By focusing on the SAS men's humanity, by grounding the stories in reality, Asher shows their achievements to be even more remarkable. The section on World War 2 is especially interesting and well told and highlights the sheer determination and inventiveness of the SAS's founding fathers.
Highly recommended both for the overall tone and the attention to detail throughout.
|Operation Certain Death
by Damien Lewis
Gripping and detailed account of Operation Barras. Lewis tells the story from both the hostages and rescuers point of view and the rescue mission is told in exquisite detail.
Operation Certain Death is a fascinating and thrilling read.
|Pebble Island (Elite Forces Operations Series)
by Jon Cooksey
A highly detailed account of the daring SAS raid on Pebble Island. In May 1982, as the British Task Force steamed South to retake the Falklands from Argentine invaders, an SAS assault force launched a daring attack on an enemy airstrip.
An excellent read and a must for anyone interested in an in-depth look at the Special Air Service operation on Pebble Island.
Bravo Two Zero
|The Real "Bravo Two Zero"
A controversial examination of the events as told by McNab and Ryan in their memoirs. Asher, a former territorial SAS member, repudiates the more gung ho aspects of the B20 myth with eye witness accounts from Iraqis.