Our foremost military historian offers us a compelling and at times terrifying account of what it means to be a contemporary soldier, written in the words of the men and women of his regiment who are currently completing a dangerous and bloody six-month tour of duty.
In this remarkable book, Richard Holmes draws on the testimonies of the 700 soldiers of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment to capture in vivid detail the average soldier's day-to-day experience of war. Embroiled in a conflict often too dangerous for reporters to cover, these soldiers – most of them young, many without any previous experience of warfare – have kept ongoing records of the drudgery, anxiety and horror involved in fighting a violent and increasingly unpopular war against a ruthless and resourceful enemy. All have risked their lives, and many have died. Others have been recognised and awarded for their courage, resourcefulness and gallantry – Private Johnson Beharry recently became the first man to be awarded the Victoria Cross in twenty-three years.
With these intimate and revealing glimpses of life in the modern army, Richard Holmes paints a sweeping portrait of a new generation of soldiers – grunts, gallants and heroes – and the sacrifices their decision to fight for their country entails.
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‘Richard Holmes is a first-rate writer and with this exciting, affectionate account of his regiment at war he has set a standard for other military authors to aspire to.’ Daily Mail
‘…the action is superbly described…gripping…an important milestone for future generations wanting to understand the British Army and the post-invasion turbulence of Iraq…essential reading.’ Sunday Times
‘You will not be able to put it down…thought-provoking and profoundly perceptive…it is a piece of contemporary military history written with the author's trademark fluency, pace and wit…’ Spectator
Praise for ‘Tommy’:
‘Holmes is one of our foremost military scholars and a skilled writer who knows his audience well. This is excellent popular history: scholarly, highly readable and utterly absorbing.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Monumental … Every page of this is worth reading.’ Time Out
‘Where Holmes’ book comes brilliantly to life is in his use of first-hand accounts of the trench experience … It is Holmes’ achievement to make this familiar landscape come alive with the humanity of those who fought in it.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Holmes has produced yet another fascinating, balanced and original book of a highly emotive subject. ‘ Sunday Telegraph
Praise for ‘Redcoat’:
‘“Redcoat” is not just a work of history but of enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge. This is a wonderful book, doing justice to men who have long deserved a chronicler of Richard Holmes’s skill.’ Bernard Cornwell
‘It would be hard to exaggerate the excellence of this book. Vivid, comprehensive, well-written, pacy, colourful.’ Simon Heffer
‘A wonderful book, full of anecdote and good sense. Anyone who has enjoyed a Sharpe story will love it.’ Bernard Cornwell, Daily Mail
‘Beautifully written, “Redcoat” is a vivid account of squalor and suffering almost beyond belief, for the men, their wives and followers, and their horses. One of the best chapters is a description of barrack-room life that will turn a few stomachs in this more fastitidious age.’ John Canon, Times Literary Supplement
‘“Redcoat” is the story of the British soldier from the Seven Year War through to the Mutiny and Crimea. It is consistently entertaining, full of brilliantly chosen anecdotes and rattles along at a good light infantry pace.’ David Crane, Spectator
‘All the best-known soldier writers are discussed here, and their anecdotes are told with enthusiasm and aplomb … This is an army from another world, and “Redcoat” is a splendidly entertaining, moving and informative description of its strengths and foibles.’ Hew Strachan, Daily TelegraphFrom the Back Cover:
' A compelling and fast-moving narrative of the courage,
restraint and fortitude shown by British soldiers in impossible
circumstances. An important milestone for future generations wanting to
understand the British Army' Sunday Times
Despite 24-hour rolling media coverage of modern conflict few of us
understand what is demanded of the contemporary 'Tommy' - what it's like
when your day job includes grenades, bayonets and night operations. Now, in
Dusty Warriors, we have a compelling, exciting, sometimes terrifying
picture of real life in the modern army.
Foremost military historian Richard Holmes has drawn on the testimonies and
personal photographs of Britsh soldiers in Iraq to vividly capture their
day-to-day experiences - from camp kitchens to the rooftops of Basra and Al
Amarah, from a sweaty improvised gym to the heart of an armoured convoy
barrelling out across the desert.
'First-rate ... with this exciting, affectionate account of his regiment at
war Holmes has set a standard for other military authors to aspire to.'
'Thought-provoking and profoundly perceptive. This book will open eyes to
the stirring realities of life at the tip of the bayonet' Spectator
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Book Description HARPERPRESS, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007212844
Book Description HARPERPRESS, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007212844