2009
25.08

“He was just an amazing, loyal and kind guy. Everybody loved him. He was a hero and he died a hero.”

Published: 22 Aug 2009

The son of an SAS legend was blown up trying to save a comrade, it emerged yesterday.
Brave Serjeant Paul McAleese, 29, of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, tried to rescue a comrade hit by a Taliban bomb when a second one went off, killing him instantly.

Sjt McAleese – known as “Mac” – was the son of SAS hero John McAleese, who took part in the storming of the Iranian Embassy in 1980.

Last night his widow Joanne, who gave birth to the couple’s first child Charley only in April, said through her tears: “He was my hero.”

Sjt McAleese was patrolling in Helmand as Afghans voted in their election when tragedy struck. First, Pte Jonathon Andrew Young, 18, of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was hit by an improvised explosive device. As “Mac” ran to help a second IED went off. Both men died at the scene, taking the death toll of British troops in Afghanistan since 2001 to 206.

Bravo Two Zero author and Sun security adviser Andy McNab served with John in the SAS and saw Paul fighting in Basra in Iraq. He said “Paul was killed in action, whilst trying to save the life of a fellow soldier. No action speaks more heroically than that.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun 

2009
25.08

20 August 2009 – By Chris Visser

He survived torture in Iraq, worked undercover in Northern Ireland and is believed to be wanted dead by a string of terrorist groups. Yet former SAS officer-turned-author Andy McNab could be set for his toughest challenge yet – surviving a trip to the mean streets of Preston.

McNab, who penned Bravo Two Zero, is to give a talk about his new books… but the Lancashire Evening Post cannot reveal where. A publicist issued a list of security demands to keep the 49-year-old safe on his visit.

These included not revealing the location of his visit, banning photographs and having his every move shadowed by burly guards. And it seems the security threat to Mr McNab’s life is greater than the head of state – Queen Elizabeth II.

The Lancashire Evening Post reported on May 20 last year that the Queen was to visit Fulwood barracks to present the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment with its new colours on June 26 – a FULL month before the event – after it was announced on a list of Mayoral engagements.

Organiser Elaine Silverwood, of the SilverDell book store in Kirkham, said: “They have got their driver but I have got to have a security presence and it will be a closed event.”

“I have got to have all the names and addresses of ticket holders on a spreadsheet. No photographs will be allowed at all. I have heard when he does these events there’s strict criteria that you have to fulfil.”

But Ms Silverwood is thrilled to have secured an event with the author of Bravo Two Zero and Immediate Action. She added: “It’s just a great opportunity; he does very little promotion.”

“He will be talking then will do a question and answer session and sign his books. It’s dead exciting and I’m chuffed to bits.”

Andy McNab, which is a pseudonym, came to public prominence in 1993 following his account of the failed SAS patrol Bravo Two Zero in Iraq, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The book, later turned into a film starring Sean Bean, features the story of an eight-man SAS patrol tasked with destroying communication links between Baghdad and north-west Iraq and with tracking Scud missile movements in the region during in the first Gulf War. It details how three of the team were killed, four were captured – including McNab himself – and one escaped. But the book has been controversial with alleged inconsistencies – the strength of enemy combat they encountered was disputed in Michael Asher’s The Real Bravo Two Zero.

The ex-soldier, who has also awarded the Military Medal for his service in Northern Ireland, has gone on to write various novels. But his life is deemed to be at risk and his identity and image remains a mystery.

He is due to discuss his new novel Exit Wound and non-fiction title Spoken From The Front – Real Voices from the Battlefield of Afghanistan.

Further details about the event will be released nearer the time.

Source: Lancashire Evening Post

2009
25.08

Published: 15 Aug 2009

Twelve powerful handguns have been stolen from an Army base.
The SIG Sauer 9mm firearms, like the ones used by Jack Bauer in TV thriller 24, went missing in a shocking security lapse.

The mini arsenal of pistols disappeared at a training exercise. A source said: “This is a humiliating security blunder – Army top brass are absolutely livid. They have really tried to hush it up.”

The weapons, standard issue to all forces, belonged to 1 Royal Horse Artillery, based at Assaye Barracks, in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

An urgent investigation is being headed by the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police.

The MoD last night confirmed 11 of the guns have been found at a house by Thames Valley Police. A serving soldier has been arrested and is in military custody.

The source added: “It’s ironic the remaining gun, to be used to protect the country, may be used to terrorise and kill Brits.”

Sun security adviser Andy McNab said the weapon is highly dangerous in the wrong hands. The SAS hero added: “For gangsters, it is a huge status weapon.”

The SIG Sauer, which actor Kiefer Sutherland uses as Bauer, replaced the ageing Browning for Brit troops two years ago.

Source: The Sun

2009
06.08

Review by Ecstatic Gaucho Blog 

The enduring effects of war was one of the themes of Andy McNab’s first radio play Last Night, Another Soldier that aired on Saturday. McNab is best known for his first book Bravo Two Zero, which tells about his involvement in a failed SAS patrol in the First Gulf War in 1991. I’ve never read the book, but must have built up preconceptions that it was fairly gung-ho. I think must have had these ideas, because the play surprised me.

McNab’s attitude to conflict is a bit more complex. His autobiography, published last year, told how his friends and fellow SAS members suffered after leaving the regiment for the mundanities of civilian life. The portrayal of war in Last Night… was not exactly glorious either.

The story centres around Briggsy, an 18-year-old squaddie on his first tour in Afghanistan. Starting with a firefight in an Afghan maize field, and it’s clear that battle is exhilarating. It’s also very dangerous – one a soldier dies a gurgling death.

Briggsy isn’t just in Afghanistan because he’s after a buzz. A desire to create a stable, democratic Afghan state isn’t really what’s driving him either. He’s from Peckham (like McNab himself) and was brought up by his mum after his alcoholic dad left. The army offers a future, an education and a tight bond of comradeship. It also offers him a connection to his dad.

Mr Briggs Senior was in the army too and served in the Falklands. After talks with the platoon medic and his own taste of battle, Briggsy starts to suspect that his dad’s wayward behaviour was probably as a result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Afterall, 258 British soldiers died in the conflict in the South Atlantic, but over 300 have committed suicide since then.

The play shows the comradeship of the army as central to the experience. Briggsy’s colleagues are drawn from all corners of the UK, and even Fiji, but have to lay down any differences in those Central Asian fields. The brotherhood of the soldiers takes precedence over questions about the morality of what they are doing.

The ethics of what Britain and the Western powers are doing in Afghanistan is not really dwelt on for too long in the play. Last Night… is in a sense an open work: the reader is left to work out whether we think the enterprise is a good thing or not. McNab’s soldiers might say that decisions like that are made by ‘pencil necks’ behind their desks.

The Afghan conflict is a conundrum. It’s difficult to know if we should we be there, or even if can we make a difference. Whatever happens, there’s bound to be someone collecting newspaper cuttings about it for some time to come.

2009
06.08

Thursday 06 Aug 2009

Today, GoSpoken.com, mobile platform for audio and eBooks, and the book publisher Faber and Faber announced a partnership to bring their ebooks to mobile. The full catalogue of almost 200 ebook titles from Faber and Faber will be made available to all UK mobile phone subscribers.
‘We actively seek to make the books we publish available to as many readers as possible. This means being open-minded about formats. Mobile phones represent a new and hugely interesting market for ebooks and GoSpoken are now the ideal platform to make this intention a reality.’ Henry Volans, Head of Digital Publishing, Faber and Faber

GoSpoken.com has established relationships with Vodafone UK, Hutchison 3G UK, Orange, Nokia and BlackBerry. A books-on-mobile icon was pushed out to all BlackBerry Storm and Bold devices on the Vodafone UK network in February this year.

Ex-SAS (Special Air Service) operative turned best-selling author, Andy McNab founded the audio-and-eBook-for-mobile company, which was then supported by Lord Ashcroft’s investment organisations. GoSpoken now offers more than 5,000 titles from authors now including the Faber authors Alan Bennett, Sebastian Barry and P.D. James. Mobile phone owners can browse and buy Faber and Faber’s titles in text format and download each book in minutes over any operator’s network.

Most of Faber’s eBooks cost between £7 and £10 and can be purchased via the mobile phone bill or mobile credit card payment.

“Since leaving the armed forces, books have become my life, so making them easily accessible in this way is a natural progression,” said Andy McNab, founder of GoSpoken.com.

The service is accessible at GoSpoken.com or by texting SPOKEN to 60300 (UK).

Source: Book Trade

2009
05.08

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. ~Leo Tolstoy

Now of course most of us read McNab and are proud of it but if for some reason you have to hide it…. We got this sent this morning. It’s from this weeks ‘Private Eye’. Thanks! It’s funny!!

McNab cartoon Private Eye