Sniper One

Sniper One : The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege

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Description

We all saw it at once. Half a dozen voices screamed 'Grenade!' simultaneously. Then everything went into slow motion. The grenade took an age to travel through its 20 metre arc. A dark, small oval-shaped package of misery the size of a peach ...April 7th 2004: a year to the day since the city had fallen. Saddam had been deposed. The Marines and the Paras were long gone and Southern Iraq rarely made it into the news. When Sgt Dan Mills and the rest of the 1st Batallion, The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment flew in, they were supposed to be winning hearts and minds. They were soon fighting for their lives. Within hours of arriving in Iraq a grenade bounced off one of the battalion's landrovers, rolled underneath and detonated. The ambush marked the beginning of a full-scale firefight during which Mills killed a man with a round that removed his assailant's head. It was going to be a long tour. Like some post-apocalyptic Mad Max nightmare, the place had gone to hell in a handcart. Temperatures on the ground often topped 50c, sewage systems that had long since packed up, the stench of cooking waste and piles of festering rubbish that grew wherever you looked. Throat-burning winds, blast bombs and well-trained, well-organised militias armed with AKs and RPGs and a limitless supply of mortar rounds were the icing on the cake. If any of Mills' 18 man sniper platoon had thought that the people of Al Amarah were going to welcome them with open arms, they were forced to rapidly reconsider. For the next six months, isolated, besieged and under constant fire the battalion refused to give an inch. Cimic House, their HQ, may have been shit, but it was home. And its defence, the most intense the British army fought in 50 years, was a modern day Rorke's Drift. "Sniper One" is a breathtaking chronical of endurance, camaraderie, dark humour and courage in the face of relentless, lethal assault.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 38mm | 762.03g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 16 page colour inset
  • 0718149947
  • 9780718149949
  • 248,246

Review quote

"One of the best first-hand accounts of combat that I've ever read." --Andy McNabshow more

Review Text

Another testosterone-laced memoir of an elite unit kicking butt in Iraq, this one with a cheerful, politically incorrect British twist.Having missed out on Operation Iraqi Freedom a year earlier, the author's 15-man sniper platoon in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment was thrilled to learn in April 2004 that it was finally shipping overseas on a "peacekeeping" mission. Soldiers whose enlistment was expiring eagerly signed up again. Arriving in Iraq, Mills and his men cringed at the heat, loathed the poor sanitation, pitied the poverty, despised Iraqi police, Iraqi soldiers and all civilian superiors, but loved the American forces' vast arsenal and luxurious amenities. Their assignment took them to a large city - lacking, the author repeats, sewage and trash collection - where they quickly walked into an ambush and found themselves enmeshed in a vicious insurgency. Mostly, they defended their base in the city center and fought as infantry, but circumstances often required their specialty, so readers looking for technical details about sniping will not be disappointed. Mills, an 18-year veteran of tours in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Bosnia, never conceals his and his men's love of fighting. While American career soldiers have been known to admit this in their memoirs, they usually feel obliged to justify it by proclaiming their love of country and reminding readers of the sacrifices our troops make to protect us from hordes of suicidal maniacs. Mills has no interest in defending America's invasion of Iraq, and he adopts the traditional British soldier's view of the enemy as wacky foreigners, genuinely dangerous but terrible shots.A military memoir refreshingly devoid of the usual patriotic overlay. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Author information

Sgt Dan Mills commanded an 18 man sniper platoon during the siege of Al-Amarah. During a long army career he's served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands. He is still in the army. Sniper One is his first bookshow more