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The book comes from the perspective of Sgt. Dan Mills as he completes his tour of duty in Iraq. Sniper One is the callsign attached to the Lead Sniper of a team on Duty. And in the book Sgt. Dan Mills is 'Sniper One' Having read many wartime memoirs from various 'on the front lines' correspondants and journalists I can quite categorically say that none even come close to this. Seasoned journalists and writers have failed to deliver the rivetting read Sgt. Dan Mills potentley puts together here. This is a first-hand account that is full of action from start to finish. Sgt. Dan Mills expertly transports you to war-torn Iraq, alongside his team of humble heroes, with his expertly crafted words. His tour was supposed to be in the form of a peacekeeping tour, unfortunatley during his tour violence escalated and he and his team were mortared and shot at from pretty much the minute they arrived. My book collection at home is full of books of this nature and Sniper proudly sits atop the pile. Like I said before first hand accounts like this are few and far between. Books of this type are usually from a foriegn correspondants persepctive and sadly sometimes fail to deliver. Whenever I choose books of this type now I always ensure that they are first hand accounts from servicemen. No offense to the foriegn correspondants and writers but they simply can't capture the intensity and adrenaline that the guys with experience of being in the fight deliver. It took me less than 2 days to read this book cover to cover and have read it many times since.
This book is an utter tour de force for the war genre, and is arguably one of the best warfare books i have ever read. This book is written my a Brittish Army sergeant from the 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales regiment, who goes by the name of Sgt. Dan Mills. The book is written from the Perspective of Sgt. Mills throughout, and follows him and his squad of snipers as they get shipped out to Cimic house in Iraq, which was to become one of the fiercest battle grounds of the Iraq war. The book itself is interspaced with two picture sections, which depict some photographs of Sgt mills and his squad throughout their tour, and also incluse some action shots of Spooky gunships and mortar fire aswell. You can tell with this book that, unlike many other modern warfare books, that the writer has actually has large ammounts of background knowledge and experience with warfare and the army, which comes through in his depiction of the battle scenes, as well as the crushing boredom and heat of the theatre of war that is Iraq. The book is very professionally written, which is rather surprising, as usually you find that for a very realistic perspective you sacrifice writing qualiity, but not so with this book. All in all, i personally think this book is one to rival Bravo two zero, both in action and writing quality. If you like the war genre, i strongly suggest getting this book.
As someone interested in all things military I was bought this book as a present by a friend leaving for a posting to Germany, along with the words 'If you don't read this in one sitting I will be amazed.' Many books have been published lately within the military history genre which focus on the ongoing battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of which I have read myself but for anyone with an interest but not an in depth knowledge of the military equipment, slang and general humour some of these can be very hard going. Sniper One is not one of those books, Sgt Dan Mills manages to tell his story of life in the Combat Zones of Southern Iraq in a way that opens it up to even those with no military knowledge whatsoever, explanations are given on manoeuvres, equipment, and why things are done the way they are done, but all the while being entirely unpatronising. Sgt Mills begins his story with the news that his battalion the Prince of Wales royal regiment are being called up for front line service in Iraq, although originally told it would be a peace keeping tour, one where it would be less about fighting and more about winning hearts and minds upon arrival the men realise the tour is going to be anything but peaceful. Based in Cimic House in downtown Al Amarah, the men of PWRR find themselves in the midst of a tough battle with local Iraqi OMS fighters. Sometimes it's out and out hatred for the British soldiers that fuels the fighting but sometimes it's inter fighting between the local tribes that leads to the soldiers being caught in the crossfire. Far from being just highly trained Snipers, a majorly difficult skill to master in itself Sgt Mills and his team get involved in many other aspects of the job as well, including on more than one occasion having to save colleagues from some very sticky situations. Mills shows you to dramatic effect the true grit, determination and training it takes to get through and defeat the enemy, especially when they outnumber you by more than ten to one. In the fight against the OMS and in a fight for their lives Sgt Mills is honest enough in his story telling to show us how things could have been done better with hindsight as well as showing exactly how all that training you go through at home that you can't imagine being useful suddenly kicks in and can be the thing that saves a life, be it yours or a fellow soldier. Of all the military books I own, Sniper One has probably managed to be my favourite, even taking over from the autobiography of one of my heroes Johnson Beharry. I read this book on the plane to Gran Canaria this year and had to keep reading even after I got to the hotel and into the early hours to finish it because it is one of those books that has you hooked from the beginning to the very end. One thing to note in Sniper One is that being a true story and being written as a first hand account there is a fair amount of swearing throughout the book which could offend some people although not something that bothered me. I have under protest recently lent the book to three members of my family and friends and thankfully it has made it back to me in one piece and has been loved by all, one of my friends has been out to buy her own copy so she can add it to her bookshelf. I believe this will appeal to people of all ages, whether from a military background or not, anyone who enjoys an action packed story from beginning to end and can endure a bit of bad language get down to your local bookstore and get your hands on Sgt Dan Mills story of life under siege in Southern Iraq.
I was recently at the airport in a WHSmith store just browsing the books. If im honest - i was never a big reader, infact, i hardly read at all. Previously I started books but never finished them. This book really changed that. I decided to pick it up because it seemed like it would be an interesting read - especially from the first five opening lines I read in store in the prologue. These lines grabbed me immediately and I just had to buy it. Buying this book was no mistake at all. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's put my faith back in to reading too. This book is about a Sniper platoon in the Iraq war. It is written from the first hand experience of the head of the platoon; Sgt Dan Mills. They are sent out on a peace keeping tour but end up being so far away from peace as is possible to imagine. The reason I most enjoyed this book was because of its truly honest account. It really is a no holds barred book with great detail and description so that you really can get an honest and true account of what a soldiers life is about. The action in this book is terrific too. It is less about the amazing sniper shots that you would read in some sniper books, and more about the general activities and jobs the platoon had to do and the situations they found themselves in. Some of these situations being very far away from sniper duty! That's not to say you don't get a bit of the sniper stories as well, there are a few very detailed descriptions of long range beauty shots made by the platoon - which just makes the read more exciting. The accurate and gritty description given throughout the book makes you really feel like you are out there with the lads and in the thick of the action. While reading this book you also feel like you learn something. There are some great detailed paragraphs about the equipment and guns and vehicles they use in the war- all helping to give you a real first hand account of modern warfare. Another great attribute of the book is that it read like a story. While being a first hand account it still went through in an ordered fashion and so it felt like a thriller, or something similar, to read. The pace never dropped and I was constantly turning pages at a stunning rate. I think everyone always uses the terms 'couldn't put it down' but in this case it really was true for me. And this is rare for me since I have always been able to put books down! Apart from a great read, this has also increased my faith in reading and I think I have finally found a genre that I am very fond of. Since reading Sniper One I have also now read the brilliant Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab, and two other books.
to begin with, may i explain that i went to the trouble of getting this put on dooyoo myself, because of how brilliant i really thought it was. from one page to the next, there was no time for sleep. for 10 hours ( near enough straight ) i sat and read this book and didnt put it down unless i had to. ok so what is this book about? quite simply its a sniper platoon, which are on a ''peace keeping tour'' in southern Iraq. but this soon goes pear shaped and they end up having to fight for their lives the book begins with a prolouge, an insight of what these boys really did get into. it begins by throwing us into the deep end, a gun fight. big, bad and certainly ugly. as you begin the actual book itself and have finished the prolouge the tempo begins to calm down. But this is only becuse you begin with sergeant dan mills and his teams breifing by his officer in command (CO). The tempo slowly builts in this book which is what i think makes it so succesful, unlike most sniper books which are simply about the shots themselves, this is a full hands on account of southern iraq, and it quite simply displays the skill and determination that the sniper platoon of the princess of wales royal regiment operate and enforce. furthermore it displays the violent and harsh lives that these boys lead. although this book is about a sniper platoon, dont kid yourself in thinking that sniping is their only duty, by far you would be wrong in doing so. amounst sniping, they had to perform patrols to maintain order in the streets and provide much needed cover for any other team. there are a few surprise's and twists in this book, and these is a lot of humour as well considering their in a war zone. overall this book is amazing, and i would reccomend it to anyone. EDIT: one thing i forgot to mention was the language used in this book. there is quite a lot of swearing ( thanks to becksfletcher for pointing that out to me! )