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Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best account yet of the SAS in action" Sunday Times "Extraordinary" The Times "Gripping" Daily Telegraph "Magnificent" Independent on Sunday "A gripping account of special forces at work...a tremendous adventure story" Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Their mission: To take out the scuds. Eight went out. Five came back. Their story had been closed in secrecy. Until now. They were British Special Forces, trained to be the best. In January 1991 a squad of eight men went behind the Iraqi lines on a top secret mission. It was called Bravo Two Zero. On command was Sergeant Andy McNab. "They are the true unsung heroes of the war." -- Lt. Col. Steven Turner, American F-15E commander. Dropped into "scud alley" carrying 210-pound packs, McNab and his men found themselves surrounded by Saddam's army. Their radios didn't work. The weather turned cold enough to freeze diesel fuel. And they had been spotted. Their only chance at survival was to fight their way to the Syrian border seventy-five miles to the northwest and swim the Euphrates river to freedom. Eight set out. Five came back. "I'll tell you who destroyed the scuds -- it was the British SAS. They were fabulous." -- John Major, British Prime Minister. This is their story. Filled with no-holds-barred detail about McNab's capture and excruciating torture, it tells of men tested beyond the limits of human endurance... and of the war you didn't see on CNN. Dirty, deadly, and fought outside the rules.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Island Books; Reprint edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440218802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440218807
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Griffen on December 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What an amazing story. Bravo Two Zero tells the tale of a squad of British SAS soldiers on a mission in Iraq during the Gulf War to take out mobile Scud launchers. When I started reading the book, I expected to read about the detailed accounts of how the launchers were wiped out and how Sgt. Andy McNab's team contributed to this effort. I was shocked as a chain of unfortunate events ruined the mission and put McNab's team in great peril. Several of them died and some were captured by Iraqi troops.
Bravo Two Zero is not for the faint of heart. The detailed account of McNab's torture and brutal beatings at the hand of the Iraqis is tough reading. I'm in awe of the fortitude and subtle defiance that he and his men exhibited in the face of such terrible cruelty.
But don't mistake this book for a "prison journal." It's anything but. McNab goes into great detail about how the Scud hunting missions and special forces missions in general are planned and executed. You begin to realize that even the best-laid plans can be subject to failure if minute details are overlooked. As McNab points out however, in a speech he recalls from his regimental commander, the true mettle of a soldier is measured not only by his successes, but by how he performs when all hell has broken loose and the mission seems to be a total failure.
Bravo Two Zero is not only an amazing real-life adventure story, but also a testament to the endurance, determination and courage of the British SAS troops who took part in the Gulf War, playing a crucial role in the defeat of Sadaam Hussein.
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131 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Maxwell on July 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Andy McNab has become a bestselling fiction author in the UK. But his first book, Bravo Two Zero, was supposed to be the nonfiction true story of the ill fated mission behind Iraqi lines that he commanded during the Gulf War. But the truth is that McNab was writing fiction from the very beginning! It has been proven that McNab exaggerated and blatantly lied about what happened during the mission. Those looking for a true account of a Special Forces mission should look elsewhere. All McNab does is tell fairytales to turn himself into a pop culture war hero. So many credible sources (including other surviving members of the BTZ patrol) have given reliable testimony that McNab's version of events was false that I find it hard to believe that he has not become a laughing stock to the general public (supposedly he is now regarded with "contempt and ridicule" within the SAS itself).

Basically, McNab took a real event that he was involved in and turned it into a pop culture Rambo fantasy of what an SAS mission is like. His lies and misrepresentations are so numerous that its embarassing. The squad's mission was NOT to hunt down and attack mobile SCUD launchers and destroy an all-important fibre optic communications line. Their mission was to man an observation post and report any significant activity on an Iraqi Main Supply Route. As for the SCUDs, they were to report any sightings of the mobile launchers so that those targets could be marked for airstrikes (not to attack the launchers themselves). This stuff may not sound as action-esque and sexy as the mission McNab describes, but it makes a lot more sense, and it is the way a small spec ops patrol alone behind enemy lines would really operate.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By "bulldog51" on October 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the true story of operation gone horribly wrong during the Gulf War. An eight-man team of the elite British Special Air Service were dropped by helicopter into the desert of western Iraq, each carrying well over 200 lbs. of equipment. Their mission was to watch a road for military traffic and hunt for mobile Iraqi SCUD missile launchers. They were soon discovered by a local shepherd boy. The local Iraqi militia were called out, and the poop hit the fan.
Their radios didn't work, and so they had no way to call for an extraction. They decided to trek 100 miles west to the Syrian border. But one man had injured his leg during the evasion of the Iraqi forces. Another had been wearing his thermal underwear since the compromise, and so had sweating profusely the entire time and was now dangerously dehydrated. How any managed to survive is a true testament to the power of the human will, and to the rigorous standards to which the SAS trains its men.
The overall book is excellent. McNab has put together one of the most readable military stories I've ever come across. It's a cliche, but this book is a real page-turner. There's military jargon galore, but he usually explains it for the layman reader. A glossary at the back helps with that, and with some of the British army slang, but the regular British stuff you have to figure out by context.
It's the little things McNab adds that make this book so readable and "enjoyable," (if you can use that word about a book in which a man describes himself and his friends being tortured, and some dying gruesome deaths.) To a military professional, the tactics and gear of the SAS are an interesting part of the book. [To my grunt bubbas, make sure to check out the pictures of the packs and gear they carried.
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