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This is, by far, the best book I have read about the Falklands war.
James (Scouse) O’Connell was a 22-year old Private in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment when, along with his fellow soldiers, he was deployed to the Falklands to engage the Argentinian invaders. Three days in June describes the last few days of the war when 3 Para fought the battle of Mount Longdon. By the time the battle was over, 23 of their number were dead and 48, wounded. Sergeant Ian McKay was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. James O’Connell was left with life-changing injuries, the result of a bullet that entered his face through his nose and removed his cheek-bone and right eye.
Candid, gritty and, at times, gruesome, this is a warts ‘n’ all account by the young men who were there, and told in their words. This makes the book all the more readable as it’s the perceptions, the humour, the fears, the honesty and the sheer heroism of these men that shines through.
From the moment I opened the first page of the hardback, I suspected I was going to be in for a treat. The book looks and feels of very high quality and the content certainly delivered.
A book for anyone with even the remotest interest in military history, this is a book to savour, enjoy and then have pride of place on any bookshelf.
When 3 Para began their assault under cover of darkness on Mount Longdon in June 1982, nobody knew what to expect. The three platoons of B Company each approached the mountain silently, treading carefully through a series of defensive minefields. But following an explosion, fighting quickly escalated with shocking speed and severity, resulting in some of the bloodiest close hand fighting, terrible injuries, and shocking loss of life experienced by British troops since the Korean war.
Recreating 3 Para's bloody Falklands battle from multiple angles, James O'Connell - who fought there and was seriously injured himself - has written a gut-wrenching 360 degree classic.
Frustrated by highly inaccurate books about the battle, O'Connell decided to set the record straight. What he did next was extraordinary - he revisited the Falkland's five times with comrades and Argentine soldiers and literally walked through the battle with them, step-by-step, creating an unprecedented masterpiece of immersive military publishing.
Combined with rare access to the Battalion's records and radio logs, the resulting book is the last word on Mount Longdon, and might be the most harrowingly realistic description of modern warfare you will ever read.
|Publication date:||3rd June 2021|
|Author:||James O'Connell, Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike|
|Publisher:||Monoray an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group|
Former members of 3 Para and its attachments recall the brutal fighting and hostile terrain they faced during the battle for Mount Longdon. Combined, their perspectives provide a formidable account of the clash that reveals their tenacity, teamwork, courage and humour. For me this is the definitive title on the campaign that inspired me and many of my peers to join The Parachute Regiment. If you only read one book about the Falklands make sure it's this one. -- Cpl Adam Jackson, Para - Soldier Magazine
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, where he still lives, James O'Connell enlisted in the Parachute Regiment in 1979. In April 1982, after a posting in Cold War Germany and a tour of Northern Ireland, the call came to take part in the British Task Force to re-capture the Falklands. During the attack on Mount Longdon, James was shot in the face. A bullet passed through his nose, destroying his right eye, cheekbone and front teeth. Though he survived, five years of reconstructive surgery followed, and James left the army in 1985 as a result of his injuries. Following the conflict, transition to civilian life ...More About James O'Connell, Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike