2008
25.08

In News of the World Douglas Wight writes about Andy’s upcoming non-fiction novel Seven Troop.

I can’t say that I like the article very much, for I’m sure it (Seven Troop) is meant to be more then this article suggests. I think it’s a very welcome change PTSD is recognised (or getting there) but I think this article doesn’t do right to the subject as it should not be read out of context. This seems just sensational journalism to me. But then that’s only my opinion. Decide for yourselves when you read the whole article. I’m only giving you some snippits here.

“THEY are Britain’s elite troops—but after the last whiff of gunsmoke in their careers of courage disappears, the men of the SAS often find themselves in a new kind of hell. And unlike their famous motto, when it comes to coping with life after danger, Who Dares does not always Win. In a gripping new book, Seven Troop, SAS hero Andy McNab—author of best-seller Bravo Two Zero—today reveals how some comrades were driven to madness, suicide and murder when their glory days were over.”

“After years of fighting in the army’s elite, McNab himself knows what it’s like to stare into the abyss of madness. He needed to undergo therapy after a failed mission in Iraq. “Until quite recently PTSD had been perceived in the military as a sign of weakness—guys often wouldn’t admit they were suffering,” he says. He claims today’s soldiers are exposed to horrors in Iraq and Afghanistan that used to be reserved for special forces. And he calls for more counselling to be made available for our crack troops before a “major mental-health crisis faces those who have served our country”.

“Special Forces men are never going to have an easy time of it in the real world. They just have to try to get on with it, and some do that better than others. “But it’s a chilling fact that more guys—about 300—have killed themselves since returning from the Falklands than the 255 that were lost in action there.”

“Meanwhile at night McNab deals with a recurring dream . . . about his three “brothers” who are now dead — Al, Frank and Nish — all of them freefalling in a parachute exercise. “We scoffed at the notion of brotherhood but that’s what we were—brothers in arms,” says McNab. Now he’s the only one left alive, fighting for the kind of treatment for our troops abroad that could have saved his SAS mates.”

You can read the full article here

2008
23.08

Andy was a special guest at the Harrogate festival last month. In the Times Online an article from writer Simon Kernick who “takes us behind the scenes at the sixth annual Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival”.

About Andy he writes:

“In the evening we host special guest Andy McNab, who’s interviewed by Laura Wilson. I meet Andy beforehand in the Green Room and am mildly surprised to find he doesn’t have a blacked-out face. He’s a great talker, though, and, thanks to Laura’s expert prompting, and plenty of questions from the audience, we get a fascinating insight, not only into his background and his books, but also his views on our current military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Go here for the full article in the Times Online

2008
13.08

Lots of articles yesterday about teenagers falling behind on their English skills, I’m quoting the Times Oline:

Minister sends for the SAS to lure teenagers from computers to books.

Improvements in school standards have ground to a halt, the Government admitted yesterday as it published test results showing a decline in English and science.

A third of 14-year-old boys failed to meet the lower of two expected standards in English and one in five has not even reached the level of an 11-year-old. Ministers have now missed the targets in the Key Stage 3 tests in English, maths and science that they hoped to have exceeded by last year.

Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, said that teenagers needed to be inspired by action and adventure books by writers such as the former SAS officer Andy McNab and Jeremy Clarkson.

Read the full story here

Teenage ‘boys’ seem to be ‘far worse than girls when it comes to literacy’ btw.. Why is that?? Anyway, it seems McNabs job encouraging reading is not done yet!

2008
08.08

In his latest newsletter Andy tells us about his new novel “Brute Force” but coming up first is “Seven Troop” on September 11: Andy’s true-account on his time in the Regiment and what happened after Army discharge, settling into civilian life. 

He also speaks about Afghanistan and Facebook… so if you’re interested (of course you are, or what are you doing here??) go to the Official Website and catch the Newsletter yourself!

2008
07.08

Greymansland was informed (bows gracefully to the source) that the title of the new Nick Stone novel, coming up this November, has been altered into “Brute Force”. The synopsis still stands.

Perhaps that is the reason why the cover is still not published?

We also learned that there has been made a slight alteration to the Seven Troop cover: Andy’s decorations DCM and MM have been added.

Last – but definitely not least: all fans start saving up their money, Andy has been spending 4 days in the studio to narrate the audio version of Seven Troop! So apart from the printed version, us die hard fans will have to get hold of that one too!!

2008
06.08

A while back we posted about the cool “Crossfire competition” of which Andy said:

“I have teamed up with Tesco to bring you the best competition this side of Basra. You could win signed copy of all of my books, plus the chance for you and a friend to win a SAS-themed experience which includes training from ex-army/Special Forces instructors in survival skills, camouflage, unarmed combat and live weapons handling.”

The winner of this competition is Jimmy and he was so kind to send us a report of the day. Thanks Jimmy!

Hey, I have finally done the “SAS-themed experience”.

We arrived at the car park for the venue at about 8.30am to be met by an army personnel. After a 10min walk we reached the area for the training.

The first impressions were not good, it looked shabby.

We were split into 3 teams (2 teams of 8 and 1 of 7). There was a time table and each team had an hour at every station.

Our first was the “killing house”: Clear 4 rooms in about 25 secs. After having a go ourselves we were then shown how to do it correctly. Each room had picture boards of good guys/bad guys. The shot you got was done with a lot of noise and bb guns firing around us. This was good.

Our second item was the “car extraction with a vip”. Get the vip out of the car and into a safe house asap (they said about 20 seconds – the major who was running the day said that he had to do this once in Bosnia!!) once again, last go was done with noise and bb guns.

The 3rd item on our list was “live weapon handling”. The weapon for the day was a pump action shot gun. We were shown how to use the gun and then walked through a corridor and then we would turn right. On turning right there were 6 pictures (3 goodguys/3 badguys). We had 6 seconds to decide and discharge the gun. You might think this is easy – no!! Lets put it this way – I’ll make the tea!!

Lunch.

After lunch we had “unarmed combat”. Being a 3rd dan black belt this was right up my street, and a good opportunity to fling my mate about (also a black belt). The guy showing us this was amazing, so fast.

Next on the list was “live grenade handling”. For this we got to throw one of the training devices that the army trains with. We were shown how to throw correctly and then we had to crawl under nets and try and throw through a hole 4ft by 2ft, once again this was done with noise and bb guns. Out of the 8 in our team no one managed to get it on target.

The last thing we did was “vip protection”. We were shown how to exit a car and how to follow the vip, watching at all times and then what to do under fire. We got a few goes at this and then the last was done under fire.

All in all it was a good day, the shabbyness did not take away from what we were doing.

Speaking to these guys gives you much more respect for what they do as we spent 1 hr doing each of the above and they spend 6 months doing each.
Amazing!!

It was worth the round trip of 750miles.

Jimmy