“the SAS, it was in his blood”.
RIP Mr McAleese

John McAleese (1949-2011) – The man who made the SAS famous

The Sun:
Legendary former SAS hero John McAleese, who helped end the 1980 siege of the Iranian Embassy in London, has died.
Mr McAleese, who was in his early 60s, is thought to have suffered a heart attack on Friday in Thessaloniki in Greece.

He saved 19 people during the raid 31 years ago, after blasting open a window and storming the property.

Tragically his son, Serjeant Paul McAleese, 29, was killed by a roadside bomb while helping a fatally injured comrade in Afghanistan two years ago.

Source: The Sun

Former SAS hero

MAC was an SAS legend – a word I don’t use lightly.

His was an outstanding soldier, winning the Military Medal yet still proving himself time and time again, during the Falklands War, the Iranian Embassy siege and in Northern Ireland.

I first met him practising his golf swing with his assault rifle in the jungles of South East Asia.

For the next ten years I had the privilege of going on operations with him in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. I learnt a lot. John was what the SAS called a “complete soldier”.

He could overcome whatever was thrown at him because he had the one quality prized in all soldiers: Determination.

It gave him the drive to keep going when others would stop and that meant men wanted to follow him.

Andy has written an extended version that you can find on Facebook


The Third Chiswick Book Festival takes place from September 16th to 18th 2011. Make a weekend of it, at St Michael & All Angels, Chiswick House and the Tabard Theatre! And don’t forget – entries for the Young People’s Poetry Competition close on August 31st….

Once again we have an exciting lineup of speakers, including: Michael Morpurgo (Warhorse, Shadow, Little Manfred), Kate Mosse (Labyrinth, Sepulchre, The Winter Ghosts),
Daisy Goodwin (My Last Duchess), Rosamund Lupton (Afterwards), Andy McNab (War Torn and Dead Centre), and many more!

There are events for most tastes, including a Children’s Book Festival.

The 2011 Festival is based in St Michael & All Angels Church & Parish Hall, with some events taking place in the Tabard Theatre, Bath Road.

The Chiswick Book Festival is a non-profit-making, community event. The previous two Festivals raised over £11,000.

Go to the Chiswick Book Festival website for more information

Programme Saturday Afternoon
Saturday Day Pass – £5

Tickets will go on sale from Saturday August 27th at:
Waterstone’s (1st Floor)
220-226 Chiswick High Road
London W4 1PD
Tel: 020 8995 3559
or via Advance Booking Form

5.45pm Andy McNab: War Torn and Dead Centre (requires individual ticket!!)

The latest book by the best-selling author of Bravo Two Zero, War Torn traces one platoon’s experience of warfare in the 21st Century. Packed with high-octane excitement, it also explores the impact of war’s aftershocks upon the soldiers and those who love them. On September 15th, his latest Mark Stone book is published – Dead Centre. And in October, Andy McNab publishes Battlefield 3: The Russian, a novel based on the game Battlefield 3, on which he is a creative advisor.
Please note: photography is not permitted at this event.

# Please note: the printed leaflet incorrectly says admission for this event is by Saturday Day Pass. We apologise for the error.


Squaddie ‘chops off Taliban fingers’ – Scot probed over digits stash

The Sun
By Nick Sharpe, Chief Reporter, and Lynn Davidson
Published: 08 Aug 2011

A Scots squaddie has been accused of slicing off the fingers of dead Taliban fighters.
The soldier, from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, is under investigation over claims he kept the digits from mutilated corpses in Afghanistan.

A source revealed: “The allegations have rocked the battalion.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

‘We need Our Boys aggressive to do job’

“What we have to remember is that this is not a knitting circle — these lads are trained killers and we need them to be aggressive.

You want the lads to get sparked up, to get excited, because that’s what allows them to do things they would never do in normal life.

In turn, though, the officers who are in charge of them have a huge role to play when situations like this one arise.

They are told in training that they have to ‘grip’ the soldiers — they have to curb their worst excesses as soon as they arise.

This guy should have been quickly sat down and told that what he was doing was out of order.

Whether the officers didn’t know about it or were too weak to stop it doesn’t matter — there has clearly been a failure of the command structure here.

I’ve seen people take ears and fingers from dead enemy.

Generally it was because they wanted a souvenir.

But a few days later they are going to look at it and think ‘What the hell did I do that for?’.

Most likely that is why this guy was doing what he did.

Sometimes it’s the trigger finger of the dead enemy that gets chopped, to send a message to those of them who are left behind.”


Here are this years tour dates (so far).. it’s got to be possible to meet Andy McNab sometime!!! Good luck all

Saturday 17 September, 12-2pm
12-13 High St
Colchester CO1 1DA
(Tickets free)
Further details: 0843 290 8251

We are very excited to have the thriller writer Andy McNab coming to the store to sign copies of his latest Nick Stone novel. Unfortunately photography will not be permitted during this event.

Monday 19 September, 8pm (though not mentioned on their website yet!)
Toppings Bookshop
Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS
(Tickets £7 redeemable against the price of the book)

Tuesday 20 September, 12-2pm
7-9 High St
Salisbury SP1 2NJ
(Tickets free)
Further details: 0843 2908575

The new Nick Stone thriller is coming out, and Andy McNab will be in Salisbury signing copies. Come and meet the Bravo Two Zero legend turned bestselling novelist and patron of Help for Heroes. Signed copies can be reserved. Unfortunately, no photography will be permitted at the signing.

Tuesday 20 September, 7.30pm
The Drill Hall – Organised by Chepstow Bookshop
Lower Church St
Chepstow NP16 5HJ
(Tickets £4 redeemable against price of book)

SAS hero and author of the bestseller “Bravo Two Zero” Andy McNab returns to Chepstow to talk about his new Nick Stone novel “Dead Centre.”  Please note that tickets must be bought in advance for this event and strictly no photography is allowed (including mobile phone).

Wednesday 21 September, 7pm
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
(Tickets £10 Standard /Concession: £7.50)
Further details: 020 7881 6600
See also our earlier post on Grey Man’s Land

Friday 23 September, 12.30-2pm
Leadenhall Market
(Tickets free)

Friday 23 September,  7pm
297a High St
Lincoln LN2 1AF
(Tickets £3)
Further details: 01522 540011

Andy McNab will be in store talking about and signing his new thriller.

Saturday 24 September, 12.30-2pm
1/5 Bridlesmith Gate
Nottingham NG1 2GR
(Tickets free)

Saturday 8 October, 4.45pm
The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (Montpellier Gardens)
(Tickets £8)
Further details Cheltenham Festivals website

Bigger and better than ever, the Festival returns for its 62nd year with a heady brew of the best writers, thinkers and agenda-setters brought together for an amazing 10 days of discussions, debates and happenings that will stay with you for ever.
To celebrate 50 years since it was first published, Catch-22 has been selected as this year’s Big Read. It’s a particularly appropriate choice given that its author, Joseph Heller, did his last ever public event at Cheltenham in 1999. Now, admirers of this classic novel, academic Sarah Churchwell, and authors Mohammed Hanif and Andy McNab discuss its enduring appeal. Photography is not permitted at this event.

Saturday 8 October, 8.45pm
The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (Imperial Square)
(Tickets £10)
Further details Cheltenham Festivals website

What is it really like to be a soldier in the thick of battle? Who better to ask than SAS man turned author, Andy McNab. Here he reflects on “modern day heroes fighting modern day wars”, and the real-life stories from the battlefields of Afghanistan collected in his book, Spoken From the Front. Photography is not permitted at this event.


Amazon: ‘As bullets whiz by, walls crumble, and explosions throw you to the ground, the battlefield feels more alive and interactive than ever before. In Battlefield 3, players step into the role of the elite U.S. Marines where they will experience heart-pounding missions across diverse locations including Paris, Tehran and New York… Since 2002, EA’s series of Battlefield games have set the standard for realism and ambition. And in Autumn 2011, with the global release of the hotly anticipated Battlefield 3, they’re raising the bar even higher. Battlefield 3 will be the most authentic, vivid, all-action first person shooter ever. To be published alongside the game, Battlefield 3: The Russian is also best in class – the first time that a games publisher has worked so closely with an internationally bestselling author. Never before has a tie-in book benefitted from this level of collaboration from the creative team behind the game itself. Nor has it been written by a thriller writer with such a strong track record and reputation. Displaying all of McNab’s trademark grit, authenticity and insight, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a scorching top-of-the-line military thriller and a heart-stopping race against time. Prepare to be blown away …’


03.08.11 | Graeme Neill

Orion has bought world rights to an Andy McNab novel tying into the forthcoming Battlefield 3 videogame.

Deputy publisher Jon Wood and non-fiction publishing director Rowland White bought world rights to Battlefield 3: The Russian from Mark Lucas. It will be published on 28th October, the same day the game goes on sale. Grand Central will be the US publisher. McNab is working as a consultant on the forthcoming game, which is one of the most eagerly awaited of the autumn. The novel provides the backstory to a Russian Special Forces operator who is a character in the single-player videogame. It will be co-written by Peter Grimsdale.

White said: “I’ve been a fan of Andy McNab’s since Bravo Two Zero first kept me awake into the small hours. Admiring the spectacular success of the career as a novelist that followed Andy’s original non-fiction blockbuster I never, for a moment, thought I’d get the chance to work with him. But Transworld have generously offered Andy a busman’s holiday. And, with Battlefield 3: The Russian, he has excelled himself, delivering trademark military authenticity and insight alongside a ticking time bomb of a plot. I can promise sleepless nights all round.”

McNab said: “It is impossible for any single medium to fully capture the emotion and intensity of war. The Battlefield 3: The Russian novel is one window into the experience, and the game is another. They complement each other perfectly. Working with [Battlefield 3 developers] DICE has been a fantastic ride. Battlefield 3 is going to surprise people this autumn. The story, the characters, the world and the intense action come together to create a resonant, memorable experience.”

Source: The Bookseller