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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:26 pm 
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The idea of walking into a recruitment office and cheerily applying to join one of the world's most fearsome special forces regiments seems a bit like turning up at NASA and saying you want to be an astronaut please - but you don't know the first thing about flying an aircraft, let alone going to the moon in a machine that will kill you if you press the wrong button. "Don't worry" you can imagine them saying, "just come back next weekend and we'll get you in the simulator for a bit of practice. Bring your trainers." The SAS must be the only special forces outfit in the world that will take a man off the street and give him a crack at selection. I don't know if that fills me with hope or not, but it certainly makes for a very interesting read.

"Ballinger" was invited to try out for 21 SAS Regiment - one of two Territorial Army Reservist battalions of the famed SAS - by a shadowy ex-Army type who slipped him a bit of paper with a number on it and told him to give them a call. Righto. Anyway he does - or there wouldn't be a book I suppose - and after a year of hearing nothing while they check his name isn't really Paddy O'Toole, he gets his call-up to attend a physical at a barracks in London. He goes for the physical with all the other hopefuls - he's told to bring his trainers - and then the whole lot of them are taken for a run, on which about 80% (I can't remember exactly, but loads) - Walter Mittys all - promptly and obligingly bale and go back to the pub, their special forces careers over, but the stories no doubt just beginning. I have met several of these unlikely heroes leaning against pub bars, fag in one hand, pint in the other, the odd one even with a mouldy old bit of paper confirming he went for that physical. "Yeah, it was terrible. They made us run to Swindon." Okey Dokey. Taxi for one please. One particular not-so-quiet-soldier I once encountered had a little plasticated "SAS Veterans' Association" membership card in his wallet, like you do - in case you didn't believe he was a trained killer who got thrown out for being too hard. Whatever. Wish I was going with you man. That's the problem with the SAS. They are spawning a nation of killers - conversation killers.

For those who have actually laid off the sausages for a bit and are committed enough to have a serious go, the rules are simple: they will throw you out ("bin" you) just because they don't like you; they will bin you if you get an injury or illness which precludes you from continuing with the selection/training (although they will let you come back and try again if they like the cut of your gib); and if you miss a single weekend of training (you must attend every single weekend for like a couple of years)...you guessed it. Seeya.

It's a good, well ordered book (though with bizarre flash-backy gap-year-in-India bits thrown in - dunno what that was about) and the author writes in an un-fussy style which lets the drama of the story come through. Some of the other reviewers have commented approvingly on the usefulness of the book as a primer for prospective selection candidates. I couldn't possibly comment on that myself, being a louche lounge lizard, albeit an evil genius, but I can report that it is a jolly good read, and tells the story of man who has undergone a gruelling and quite unique ordeal.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:33 pm 
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Kinell, Batfink, you`ve sold me :o Top review mate 8)
Aye,

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:51 pm 
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Cheers chap- i try... i'm reading "Nemisis File" at the momment, and after that i got hold of a tatty copy of Fiennes' "the Feathermen" - i'lll keep you all posted!

Being new here i wondered if anybody has reviewed any of the "Soldier [A, B, C, D....]" books???

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:57 pm 
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http://www.militaryforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4291


'The Nemisis File' by Paul Bruce. He was never in the SAS.

adj125 put this on the thread above.

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A flurry of activity. On Thursday (01/08/96) Paul Bruce, the author of The Nemesis File was detained at 5:45am at his home in Weston-super-Mare, by officers of the RUC. A copy of his manuscript containing a new chapter, which the publisher claimed would substantiate his claims, was also seized. The Nemesis File was a best selling book billed as a true story of an SAS squad that had executed about 30 men in Northern Ireland, of which Bruce had claimed to be a member. Defence sources had always ridiculed the claims, and even Sinn Fein described them as "totally outlandish". Paul Bruce was flown to Northern Ireland and questioned by the RUC under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and a day of claims and statements followed. On Friday (02/08/96) the RUC issued a statement. The book was a "work of fiction". Paul Inman, who used the pen name Paul Bruce, had never worked for the SAS. The closest he had got was working for several months in Ulster as a army vehicle mechanic. The RUC confirmed that he could now face a charge of wasting Police time. A senior SAS source said "We are delighted this man has been exposed as the phoney we always said he was."
Reported in The Telegraph 01/08/96 and 02/08/96.



I was once told Ballinger was never badged either although he did do a fair amount of the course.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 pm 
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Ran fiennes, to give him part of his name, his full title occupies several lines, was in 21 SAS (where ge was reffered to as Mr. Smith) and also involved in the war in Oman.

He is the author of several books fiction and non fiction. When asked if the Feather Men was fiction his reply was 'I will leave that for the reader to decide', well it is definitely Fiction. :o :oops:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:57 am 
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sp10122 wrote:
'The Nemisis File' by Paul Bruce. He was never in the SAS


I finished Nemisis last night - as a work of fiction, it is a really good book - but even if it is fiction, i wonder how much fact lays behind it??? I'm pretty dam sure their must have been UK 'owned' slotting-squads, but the second half of the book, where it turns to random violence - there's something wrong with that!

sp10122 wrote:
I was once told Ballinger was never badged either although he did do a fair amount of the course.


Don't know. I want to know if he worked the problems out with his wife or not!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:47 am 
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Bat - He did not say it was a work of fiction, he even claimed (as above) that he was oppressed by the security services because of what they did. The problem is people will believe this rubbish.

That the SAS ran assassination squads.
That IRA men were murdered in cold blood and it was security forces policy.

If either of these were true the IRA would have been destroyed as we know exactly who these people are. Even Sinn Fein agreed it waws b***cks. Any sniff of collusion or wrongdoing by the security forces is jumped on as the British Army (quite rightly) have to conduct themselves within the rule of the law. We have to be better than the terrorists and be seen to be. Inman only goes to undermine this just to make money for himself.

Of course mistakes have been made in NI and there are a few questionable incidents but, as many serving over there I'm sure have experienced, the attitude and way the security forces do business is in a fair and confident manner. The sugestion by some muppet that he was SF and that he went around murdering people (and trying to pass it off as fact) just makes people think......what a nob, when everybody else is doing their best to do the job.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:44 am 
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Being new here i wondered if anybody has reviewed any of the "Soldier [A, B, C, D....]" books???

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:58 am 
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Are they like the early readers Jack & Jill


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