- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK; 1st Penguin Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141029013
- ISBN-13: 978-0141029016
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 119 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,218,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sniper One: The Blistering True Story Of A British Battle Group Under Siege Paperback – International Edition, June 24, 2008
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"One of the best first-hand accounts of combat that I've ever read."--Andy McNab, international bestselling author of "Bravo Two Zero" "Mills powerfully describes the demanding work of his snipers before and after the city was brought under control...British participation in Iraq has been largely ignored in the U.S. That should change with Mills's page-turning account."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "Possibly the year's best book, so far, on combat in Iraq."--"Booklist" "A gritty, speedball run...strong, cohesive, and complete...plugs the reader straight into the blood and guts of the action."--"The Times "(UK) "Another testosterone-laced memoir of an elite unit kicking butt in Iraq, this one with a cheerful, politically incorrect British twist....A military memoir refreshingly devoid of the usual patriotic overlay." --"Kirkus Reviews"
About the Author
Dan Mills served for 24 years as an Infantry Soldier reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2. During his long military career he served on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Dan was awarded a 'Mention In Despatches' for Gallantry for his services during The Iraq War. Since leaving the Army in 2010, he has forged a career as a writer and security consultant, amongst other things. Sniper One is his first book
Top customer reviews
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Additionally, this isn't written in the Queen's English, which is also refreshing. I got more of the feel of what it would be like to have been in Iraq with this troop because Sgt. Mills was using everyday language.
Personally, I would have liked to have read a bit more about his first-hand sniper work but there was enough other action to keep the book interesting. But I'm finding that this is kind of a British thing. Brits tend to be much less dramatic about what they did on a day to day basis while in the service and more about sharing their glory with their mates. I can definitely appreciate this but with a title like "Sniper One" I was figuring there would be more sniper work covered. (I learned that 'Sniper One' is the call-sign of the sniper company's commanding officer. He is the head sniper but much of his work was away from the cross-hairs.)
The only things missing from this book are the same things missing from most military books...maps and a glossary. There needed to be maps in order for the reader to better follow along. Also, a glossary would have been nice for those of us that don't know things like rank and the size of various fighting units.
Mills gives an ever so brief account of his life before going to Iraq. The build up was almost movie-esque as Mills leads you towards the climax with teasing tidbits about conflict elsewhere compared to their peaceful existence in Iraq. This is soon shattered as Mills' patrol accidentally parks next to the Iraqi insurgency headquarters. From there on the fighting grew more and more intense. Just as quickly as the fighting started, though, it seemed to die down as the Brits finally took things on the offensive and showed the Iraqi fighters what they are capable of. This seemed to quiet things down some. They even got to take a leisurely swim in their swimming pool. This is where Mills memoir shines. The conflict erupted again, completely surrounding the British in their compound. RPGs and AK47s were constantly bombarding them, not too mention mortar rounds dropping on them at all times of the day.
Mills does an expert job of describing the action as it ebbed and flowed. Just as you though the fighting was done it would erupt with more intensity. When one all out attack ended you learn it was just a probe to see how the British responded, leading to the even bigger assault on the complex. Mills drops in some exciting anecdotes throughout, constantly showing the reader what its like in a war torn city on an everyday basis. Ultimately the British could have leveled the city, but that wasn't their purpose there. The "special forces" bloke who made it in past enemy lines was evidence of this as he brought in the mother lode of all sniper rifles and called in a precise aerial attack on a mortar team.
In the end Sniper One is an amazing account in one man's tour in a war torn country, constantly under siege. Mills does an excellent job in not only telling his story but in describing everything with such an ebb and flow that it kept me interested throughout the whole memoir. Just as I thought it was over the attack resumed. A definite recommend.
Most recent customer reviews
We all saw it at once. Half a dozen voices screamed 'Grenade!' simultaneously. Then everything went into slow motion.Read more
This guy can write.
A well written account of some serious fighting in a miserable place.