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on September 6, 2005
Asher wasn't trying to "put the boot in" with this book - quite the opposite. He was trying to rehabilitate the late Sgt. Vince Phillips, who both McNab and Ryan criticized in their accounts.

Asher's background as both an Arabist and former Territorial SAS member gives him a rare insight into the story of Bravo Two Zero. He can explain both the tactical aspects of desert warfare (and spot where McNab and Ryan's claims don't add up) and the reactions of the Bedouin and Iraqis they were among. Against all the odds (and despite the efforts of his Iraqi handlers) he manages to find and interview many of the key Iraqi players in the story - the goatherd who first breaks their cover, for instance. These interviews open up new perspectives on the B20 story, and give some insight into Iraqi and Bedouin culture. Some things turn out to have happened differently than McNab/Ryan claimed; some things they couldn't have understood at the time, with their lack of Arabic and understanding of Arabic society.

The Real Bravo Two Zero isn't as racy as Bravo Two Zero or The One That Got Away, but there are enough unexpected twists and surprising revelations to keep you reading. If you enjoyed either of the above books and want to know how much to believe, or want a wider perspective on the story, this book's well worth it.
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on December 19, 2007
Of all the SAS Gulf War 1 related books, this one is the most misunderstood. People either read it and slam Mcnab and Ryan for being liars, or they find some criticism for Asher trying to 'cash in' on the Bravo 2/0 bandwagon.
Asher's treatment of Mcnab and Ryan is fairly gentle and respectful. He states in the beginning that he just wanted to get to the bottom of what really happened to his friend, Vince (one of the deceased members of the patrol), and despite inconsistancies of the stories, wasn't on a dirt digging mission. I found in some parts he was almost apologising for Ryan and Mcnab.
He acknowledges, and emphasises just how incredible a feat their 3 or so days of E&E in the desert, and during one of the coldest winters Iraq had seen for a long time (we're talking colder than England in the winter), really was.
Asher does his best to retrace the footsteps of the patrol, and gives credit where it is due. But he also presents his evidence when fact and fiction clash (I was a still new to the Army and the cavalry when Mcnab's book started doing the rounds and even then I found it hard to swallow Mcnabs account of 'armoured vehicle' killing).
The real stories in this book are one man's love of a region and it's people, his journey to uncover a truth and the incredible story of human endurance and survival he discovered instead. Read it with this in mind and you'll find yourself reading it a second time.
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on March 7, 2006
A very interesting book that reveals shocking facts about the Bravo two Zero mission of the SAS. The author has carefully researched his finding and they make logical sense. It also puts to shame Andy Mc Nab and Chris Ryan (members of the mission) who wrote books about their self acclaimed bravery during the mission. I dont think that the author has gone through the trouble and the research to down play the SAS or the shameful recruits (Andy & Chris) but has done a commendable job in redeeming respect for late Sgt Vince Phillips (another member of the mission) who's name was disgraced by Andy & Chris in their books.
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on March 6, 2006
I always thought that the B20 story was a little bit fictitious and Michael Asher puts forward a convincing logic to his story. If you read his findings you'll start to see holes appear in McNab's and Ryan's versions. By Asher's accounts, these men have already disgraced the regiment by bad-mouthing a fallen comrade and lied about/embellished the rest.

Asher goes back to the LUP, where the whole cock-up begins, and then traces the supposed journey all the way through to its conclusion by talking to local people who were present at the time. Unless the whole of the Iraqi people were there to spin a yarn, it's hard to deny that the truth is not what is in the other books. There is no disgrace in the truth.
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on May 13, 2009
The fourth standing order of Roger's Rangers was "Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer." Insert SAS for Rangers and I'm sure the same standing order applies for the SAS.

The general public is neither Ranger (SAS) or an officer. McNab and Ryan were not inclined to follow this fourth standing order when writing their books. Indeed when you get right down to it, the SAS would have been more upset with them if they had been 100% truthful. Consider the fact the that the SAS and the British Government went to court to stop the publication of Coburn's "Soldiers Five" which is probably the most accurate of all books written by surviving patrol members.

Asher's book notes that much of the Rambo stuff in Ryan's and McNab's books was not mentioned in the official Regimental debrief. This is a clue that Ryan and McNab knew when to to tell the truth (to the SAS) and when to spin a good story ( to the civilians to read over crumpets and tea).

Asher's makes it clear in the beginning that his purpose was to find out what happened to Vince Phillips and clear his name, if possible. It was obvious to many people that Phillips was catching a lot of blame in the books that was flat out unjust. Even Ryan and McNab have recanted parts of their books concerning Vince Phillips since the publications of their books..

In short if you want a good read with lots of shoot'em ups, read McNab and Ryan. If you want to read a more truthful account with not so much gun play, read Coburn's "Soldier Five."

If you are looking for a clear perspective on the B-2-0 patrol, from a more objective view point, then check out Asher's The Real Bravo Two Zero. Yes, Asher throws some blame on McNab and Ryan, but in fairness to Asher, McNab and Ryan opened themselves up to the criticism when they (1) wrote their books and (2) broke the Regimental Code of Silence.

Asher explains that Vince suffered a leg injury when leaving the LUP by the MSR. The Iraqi tell of a bllod trail at the scene, which means he was not only injured but lost blood. He attempted to remain with the patrol as best he could but also proved to be a burden to the patrol, especially to Ryan. Ryan, in turn had to live with the guilt of leaving a man behind who would most certainly die without assistance.

If you want to get a good understanding of what happened, then Asher's story is probably closer to the truth but needs to also be read with caution. Quite Frankly I have a hard time believing that Bedouins never lie. My guess is the Bedouins also follow Roger's 4th standing order and Asher is not a Bedouin. For instance, they may not have known exactly where Phillips died but were probably close to the right spot. They may have also been a little reluctant to admit to maybe beating on prisoners a little bit when they first caught them. however, because of other circumstantial evidence including the Squadron Debrief, and interviews with other SAS members, I feel Asher got the crucial details as well as many of the small details correct.

The details presented in his book ring true and seem to be more in keeping with the SOP of the SAS. Definitely should be read if you are an SAS enthusiast or have read the other books.
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on March 13, 2012
This is what I imagine really too place. The other two tended to enhance what happened.For them , I guess it sold books and made them millions. But what a load of crock.
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on July 12, 2007
For a long time the books of Ryan and McNab were the only accounts of B2-0. Both books are great, but it is noteworthy that their accounts differ on some subjects; for example on the purpose of their mission(!), on how they got discovered and on the taxi hijack.

In this book Asher tries to find out the truth about B2-0. It is exciting, but also astonishing, to read what really happened. Especially McNabs book appears to be full of exaggerations and pure lies.

The author also tries to rehabilitate patrol member Vince who was accused of cowardice and appointed as the one responsible for the failure of the mission (mainly by Ryan).

In reaction Asher is blaming - especially - McNab for everything that went wrong during the mission. Unfortunately the author is doing this almost without any nuance in an irrational way. This makes his book less reliable.

But overall his book is absolutely worth reading. Ryan and McNab come up with different stories and at least one of them is not telling the true. This books confirms that the true story is different. Read it and pass judgement on what to believe and what not.
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on June 12, 2007
The level of investigative effort Asher puts into this book is extreme. And yes, he seems the perfect character to uncover the truth too, being experienced in both the SAS and in Arabic culture, first hand. The book impresses the reader with an honesty missing from McNab's and Ryan's books, without condemning them for wanting to make a truckload of money from their stories.
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on November 20, 2012
Very informative and interesting learn things in this book that I wasn't aware of jut by reading Chris Ryan and andy ncnabs books
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on August 21, 2009
Michael Asher writes a book: The Real Bravo Two Zero. Um, ok. Was he there? Was he one of the 8 patrol members during the original patrol? The answer: NO.

Right, wrong, or indifferent. Asher is/was a "Reserve" SAS Soldier. Even in the Brit Army, such a status DOES NOT raise him to the level of being a true SAS Soldier. In fact, most are considered "wanna be's." Let us take that aside and look at the facts.

Asher went to Iraq 10 yrs after the Gulf War and attempted to disect what had been written. His MAJOR premise: "The people of this region do not lie. They would would rather die then be caught in a lie." Really? Then Asher uses, as a major instrutment a man in his book, a man he quotes and says tells the truth, etc. However, this same man lied to him about what happened too and where Sgt Vince Phillips handgun is??? WTF? Asher constantly says these people would rather die then lie. Yet, his major player LIED to him about where and what happened to the handgun. Of course, that is nothing. Its just a technicality. The fact is, if he and others lied about the handgun, what else was lied about?

Let us not forget Asher went to Iraq when Saddam was still in power. Do you really think, Saddam was going to allow the truth to be told to Asher? Oh, I forgot, he "slipped" the Iraqi guards so he could speak to the "truth telling, would rather die then lie, beduion." Uh, the same persons who lied about the handgun. Golly, gee whiz wally. You think Saddam and his people didn't tell anyone who spoke with Asher to tell them a story which would have made what Andy/Chris/Mark said not true? Oh please, say it isn't so.

Asher is a moron and someone who was played by an administration. The people who support him are also ignorant and moron's themselves. Their poor ego's can't handle the fact, Andy and others, did more then they could. So it is easy to bash him, put him down, etc.

Read Bravo Two Zero, The One That Got Away, and Soldier Five. They ALL, basically, say the same thing. There are very minor differences between each book. Oh, well Andy says he was lead scout and Chris says he was. So? All three books confirm a firefight in the beginning, the patrol split, the cab hijacking, and being captured. Asher wasn't there for any of this. But he has the balls to call into question what three members of the patrol, who were on the ground, have written? He needs to hide his head in the sand and wish he didn't have his ass handed to him. What a loser.

Oh yeah, the 250 number people like to say Andy said were killed. NO WHERE does Andy McNab say this. He says, "Intelligence told HIM 250 were killed." NO WHERE does Andy McNab say he and his patrol killed 250. He states intelligence told him that and that is what he is reporting. Read, understand, and quit being so narrow minded, etc.

I am sure, and I do not doubt, Andy McNab has embellished, read again: EMBELLISHED, what occurred. At the sametime, embellishing a story and lying about it, are two totally different things. Asher, a simple solider at best, wasn't there. He needs to STFU and go back to his hiding place. The stories put together by the TRUE members of the patrol do no deviate much at all. And, if they were in lock step with each other and had no difference, THEN I would be calling into question what really occurred.

Michael Asher you suck and should bury your head in the sand. Further, you should never be allowed to write such a BS book again.
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