Saturday, August 09, 2014

Holiday reads......

Back from a week away stripped of all technology and internet access, however it presented a great opportunity to catch up on several books sitting unfinished on the bedside table.

If you find the time, I can recommend the following.

Operation Mayhem - Steve Heaney

No back up. No air-support. No rescue. No chance.
OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of a truly epic elite forces mission: one of the most highly decorated in modern military history.
Airlifted deep into the heart of the African jungle in the midst of a bloody civil war, twenty-six operators from the secret British unit X Platoon were sent into combat against two thousand rebels - being used as bait to lure the enemy into a decisive, do-or-die battle.
High on blood-lust, voodoo and drugs, the rebels were notorious for their brutal savagery. Equipped with captured armour, heavy machine-guns and grenade-launchers, they vastly outgunned the men of X Platoon - who were kitted out with pitiful supplies of ammunition and malfunctioning rifles, plus no body armour, grenades or heavy weaponry.
Intended to last just days, the mission mutated into a desperate siege, as the men of X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders - faced what the rebels dubbed 'Operation Kill British'. Half-starved, surviving on giant African snails, fungi and other bush tucker, this handful of elite warriors were forced to make their stand unaided and alone. They fought using grenades made from old food-tins and 'punji fields' - rows of vicious sharpened bamboo-stakes - as the locals joined forces with them to defend against the onslaught.
Sergeant Steve Heaney was awarded the Military Cross for taking control of the battle after X Platoon lost their commanding officer. His story is full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely heroics with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.
The ferocious close quarter combat at the village of Lungi Lol brought to an end the horrific, decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of this untold true story - one fought and won deep behind enemy lines.

This is a fantastic read, 26 Elite pathfinders in the middle of the African jungle with a lack of equipment, ammo, body armour, food and water pitted against 2000 blood crazed drugged up rebels would seem an impossible task, but superior training, well planned defences and a sense of humour carry them through...

A mix of 'Zulu' and 'Black Hawk Down' reading this book made you feel you were in the thick of it with the pathfinders a true insight into modern day deployments...

Completed in under 3 days - an excellent read.

Meanwhile a real blast from the past - Larry Bond's Vortex.

A fictional 'What if' set in the 1990's.
Years of sanctions and diplomatic isolation have failed to end apartheid and white rule in South Africa. Instead the SA government has become increasingly right wing meanwhile the ANC have grown weary of waiting for the West to press for change by peaceful means, and Marxist hard-liners have come up with a campaign code named Broken Covenant. Its goal: to win by force what years of negotiations and international condemnation have not...the end of white rule and the establishment of a black-dominated government. 

The novel starts with engagements in Namibia  which soon escalates dragging in units from the Cuban Army and ultimately the US Marine Corps.

Some what dated now with the thankful bloodless change of government in modern day South Africa. If you like the idea of companies of BMP's rolling across the veldt pitted against Ratels and Eland's this is for you. 

Now where did I put those Peter Pig South African Infantry?


  1. Not read either, so thank you for the reviews.

  2. Thanks for the review too, a couple to put in my amazon wish list.
    For now, totally absorbed with Joe Ledger's series of books

    1. Just hada look at Joe's stuff it looks like a few more for the list.

  3. Going away next week, so might have to pick one of those up Stu.

    1. I can lend you either buddy, good old hard copies :-)