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- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 22mm | 159g
- Publication date: 26 May 2011
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1849830606
- ISBN 13: 9781849830607
- Illustrations note: Illustrations (chiefly col.), maps, col. ports.
- Sales rank: 64,742
In summer 2006 Helmand Province erupted into violence as NATO forces struggled to crush Taliban strongholds. For six weeks the Royal Irish Regiment and the Paras defended Sangin in the face of ever-mounting attacks. At this point young officer Patrick Bury was learning the trade of the infantry in the Brecon Beacons. Paddy had always wanted to be a soldier - a desire fraught with the contradictions of a complex history overridden by a 'warrior calling'. When he arrived in Afghanistan with 1st Royal Irish, he was surrounded by men oozing bloody combat experience. This was not Sandhurst. It was extreme violence and killing. Hades Four One was his callsign and the infantry mantra rang in his ears: 'To close and kill the enemy, in all weather conditions, in all terrain, by day or night.' For six months Paddy and his company dealt with 110 IEDs, of which 60 exploded on them, killing his comrades in the most vicious of ways and fuelling a sense of ever-growing dissatisfaction in the young captain. This powerful and thoughful first-hand account about the 'eternal truths of military life' places the reader in Paddy's boots, sharing every thought, ache, smell and taste of life on the frontline in Afghanistan. He describes modern warfare in a way that creates an understanding of the myriad complexities soldiers are faced with, the conditions in which they operate and the moral and emotional challenges they endure.
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Patrick Bury is 27 years old and served in 1st Royal Irish Regiment until October 2009.
By Vic Preece 25 Oct 2013
A gut wrenching book about the War in Afghanistan.
Written with humour and sensitivity. It had me gripped for hours.
I enjoyed the boos so much that six months later I reread it.
It is a book in class of its own and truthfully one of the best books
to come out of the War in Afghanistan.
It gives a very clear picture of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and
the conditions they living under and touches on the spirit of the soldiers.
One can only but admire these brave young men and I for one do.
By Izzy Les Bouvier 03 Sep 2012
Patrick Bury, brilliantly written by an intelligent, sensitive and mindful person it was humbling to read such a fresh approach to the Afgan problem. Well recommended.