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Task Force Helmand: Life, Death and Combat on the Afghan Front Line

By Doug Beattie MC

A gripping, no-holds-barred account of war in the twenty-first century.

In 2006 Doug Beattie was awarded the Military Cross for his part in recapturing the southern Afghan town of Garmsir from the Taliban. He was due to retire from the British Army in 2007, when his CO made a desperate plea: stay on for one more tour. Torn between his love for his wife and children, and an overwhelming sense of duty towards his other family, the Royal Irish Regiment, in March 2008 he returned to Afghanistan.

The story of what he endured there makes for gripping reading. If 2006 had been hellish, then 2008 was off the scale. For six months Beattie led British and Afghan troops into repeated, exhausting battles with the Taliban. He took part in 50 major contacts and innumerable smaller skirmishes. Here he describes in detail the action-packed reality of combat on the front line.

An exceptional soldier who knows the horror of watching men die, Doug Beattie writes of the chaos and ferocity of war with the utmost honesty and humanity. This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the armed forces and armed conflict, and anyone who wants to understand the reality of war.

Praise for Task Force Helmand:

‘A truly vivid account, and surely one of the most enlightening’– Manchester Evening News

‘A unique chronicle of Afghanistan … thoughtful, compassionate, sometimes disturbing’ – Daily Telegraph

‘Beattie is good at describing the heart-pounding action of close quarter fire fights as well as the dry humour of day-to-day life with soldiers’ – Military Illustrated

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