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Bravo Two Zero (Andy McNab's Army Memoirs)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  8,780 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
Their mission: To take out the scuds. Eight went out. Five came back. Their story had been closed in secrecy. Until now. They were British Special Forces, trained to be the best. In January 1991 a squad of eight men went behind the Iraqi lines on a top secret mission. It was called Bravo Two Zero. On command was Sergeant Andy McNab. "They are the true unsung heroes of the ...more
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published September 18th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1991)
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Chris That's been a common question since the book was first published!
Firstly some names were definitely changed (you can find the real names of all…more
That's been a common question since the book was first published!
Firstly some names were definitely changed (you can find the real names of all concerned online if you particularly feel inclined), as for what 'the truth' of the story is? We may never know, the only suggestion I have is to read the half dozen or so various other accounts of the events of the book and make your own mind up.
At the time the publishing of the book was challenged legally by the MOD so I'd imagine certain details had to be altered or removed, and given how often 'McNab' describes himself as barely literate it's likely he had a fair bit of help writing it too, which may have again veered away from the truth to ensure the book sold better.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Graham
Dec 20, 2008 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this review is concerned with the book and the book alone; forget the conspiracy, bad mouthing and follow-ups which have followed in the decade since this came out. Instead, I'm just focusing on Bravo Two Zero the book and the book alone.

Of the various true-life war accounts written over the past century, it certainly stands out as a corker, chronicling the ill-fated 1991 mission from beginning to chaotic ending, beginning with the initial planning back at base, moving to behind e
...more
K Kamath
Jun 20, 2008 K Kamath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons, but one was the way it was written. I mean I believe I could actually see the method of writing, whether from taped interviews and transcriptions or from careful notes. The book was written the way McNab speaks and that voice is what comes through. You get the sense you are being told the story by a gifted story-teller, the kind of guy you want to hang out with and listen to his stories because, first and last, he tells a good story. The narrative mov ...more
Vijai
Apr 21, 2013 Vijai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hellyeah, awe-some
What an exhilarating read! different versions of the real-life mission notwithstanding I am compelled to say, this book's narrative sounded as close as one could get to being sincere.

Only a man from the trenches could narrate so gruesome a story of interrogation and surviving it.

I was honestly surprised that a highly trained commando could write so well. Maybe he had help but not all that way I am hoping.

A must-read for all action-thriller lovers. However, I say that in reverence and deep res
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James
May 23, 2011 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-war-stories
A must read for all fans of true war stories. I think most people in the UK, if not the western world, who was around at the time of the first Iraq war will have at least heard of this mission. This narrative takes us from the period when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait up until after the war had ended and the prisoners of the patrol code-named Bravo-Two-Zero returned home.

I find that it is almost always worthwhile reading first-hand accounts alongside the 'official' histories as they tell you mu
...more
Fabio Laporta
Jan 06, 2013 Fabio Laporta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Iraq, January 1991.
During the first war in Iraq, one team of 8 soldiers of the Royal Special Air Service, the elite special forces of the Royal Army, was sent to operate beyond the Iraqi lines, in the middle of the desert. The name of the team was BRAVO TWO ZERO and their mission was to cut off some phone lines and to destroy Scud missiles mobile launch stations of Suddam Hussein. After a huge fight against Iraqi troops they aborted the original mission and instead escaped toward the border wit
...more
Trung
Jun 09, 2011 Trung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of military history, I do have a passing understanding the 22nd Special Air Service with our allies in England. The boys at Hereford are a tough lot and we used the Regiment in establishing our own 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. If you find yourself in the mood to find out what tough really is, read this book.

Bravo Two Zero is a harrowing story. One that you may have heard about once or twice in passing. The story is not so much about the failure of a patrol to locate
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Thomas Fitzpatrick
"I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge.

As an Alan Partidge devotee, I thought it only proper I should read the great man's favourite book. It tells the story of an SAS misson during the first Gulf War. As an insight into the functioning of a special forces unit, it's a great read. Although heavy on jargon and military slang, it's always fast paced and it never gets in the way of
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Grace
Jan 27, 2012 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
I absolutely loved this book. I only began reading Andy McNabs books last year and have read a few of the Nick Stone series, some of which I have liked and others less so.

This book is completely different in that it is the true account of an SAS mission behind enemy lines. McNabs style of writing could be better however I think that this adds to the authencity of the account. After reading this, I am keen to read the Chris Ryan book "The one that got away" which is by a member of the same missio
...more
Rory
Sep 21, 2015 Rory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very good start and it had me gripped but lost interest and became fustrated quite soon after. A large amount of un needed detail on what I feel could have been cut down. 200 out of 400 pages of the same context spun changed slightly and repeated brought me close to insanity. Bravado for the work gone in but does it seem fabricated, defiantly so. Such a popular book on secrect services and i have no real idea why it's gained such acclaim.
Sarah
Apr 25, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A really informative book about what it's like to be in the sas. The levels of torture that Andy and the other men had to go through is just horrific. Certainly not a job that many could do.
Jemma
Mar 09, 2013 Jemma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a book I would normally have gravitated to but I admit, I was curious because the year I worked in a bookshop, this was our top seller. Also, this is the book I have bought most copies of ever, not for myself but from a variety of wholesale intermediaries as demand outstripped supply that year. So probably time to read it. I nearly did so about a decade ago but saw a bit of a TV version and found it unwatchable. Then I got a free copy, can't remember why though. Anyway, at nearly 20 years la ...more
Oliver Rabacal
Apr 09, 2013 Oliver Rabacal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This kept me from homesick reading Bravo Two Zero when I was in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. A very beautiful true story from the account of a British SAS who was really deep in Iraq. From Amazon.com review "Their mission: To take out the scuds. Eight went out. Five came back. Their story had been closed in secrecy. Until now. They were British Special Forces, trained to be the best. In January 1991 a squad of eight men went behind the Iraqi lines on a top secret mission. It was called Bravo Two Zero. O ...more
Crocifixio
After taking a breather from military books with Fevre Dream, i got back to the elite warriors scene with the SAS for a change. It's always refreshing to read army action from the British point of view. different jargon, lingo, lifestyle.

It was after watching The Unit tv series that I got into Eric Haney's IDF. And then I was recommended by my brother to watch Strike Back, the Brits' own Unit-like tv series, found out it was based on a book as well, by Chris Ryan. Who was with the Bravo Zero Tea
...more
S.
Aug 11, 2013 S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cheshire
22 SAS carried out a long-range deep interdiction/surveillance mission during the First Gulf War and ended up being placed between two regiments of the Iraqi Army. one eight-man element ended up being engaged in a 100-mile dash for freedom / running gun-fight that has generated no less than five separate books, starting with this one, by the element's commanding NCO, "Andy McNab." the resulting furore generated accusations and counter-accusations, with even the original assignment of the combat ...more
Joe Curtis
Oct 30, 2011 Joe Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome
Andy McNab an ex SAS infantryman tells the story of his mission in the first gulf war.
Their call sign: Bravo Two Zero.
Dropped into the middle of Iraq, an eight man SAS squad is given orders to sever a main communications line that ran from north-west Iraq to Baghdad and to destroy any Scud missiles they find being launched along the way. But on the second day, they are compromised. They are forced to run from the entire Iraqi army and flee to the Syrian border, along the way they are subject to
...more
Don
Jan 19, 2010 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, military
I'd heard good things about this book and that it contained the amazing (true) story of an SAS patrol operating in Iraq. I had no idea nearly half of the book was about the author's experiences as a POW after his patrol was discovered. What he and others were forced to endure was truly horrible.

The writing wasn't perhaps as polished as a professional writer's, but I thought it added more to the story. It sounded like how a hard-working, professional soldier would describe what was happening to h
...more
Oliver
Jul 29, 2014 Oliver rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"I can read you like a book, and not a very good book. Certainly not Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. Which actually improves with every read." Alan Partridge.

I have a soft spot for military memoirs, but reading this publishing phenomena 20 years+ after it came out, you really have to wonder what all the fuss was about. There's not a lot of literary merit to be found here. It's a clunky piece of writing and McNab's inability to reflect on anything in a more this-is-what-happened-next narrative offe
...more
Ray Kelly
Feb 21, 2015 Ray Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bravo Two Zero was the call sign of an eight-man British Army SAS patrol, inserted behind enemy lines into Iraq during the First Gulf War in January 1991 as part of the prelude to the Coalition ground invasion of Iraq. This top secret mission was commanded by Sergeant Steven Mitchell and this is the entertaining tale written under Mitchell’s pseudonym Andy McNab. Soon after being dropped the patrol found themselves surrounded by Saddam's army without working radios and with brutally cold weather ...more
Oscar
Oct 29, 2011 Oscar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cody
Jun 28, 2010 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Apparently there's some controversy about it? I haven't heard any of it, but I see it in some of the other reviews. Anywho, the book itself is very good. McNab tells his story very matter-of-factly. It doesn't sound impossible or even improbable really. A very readable account of Special Forces procedure and a capture and torture. He doesn't dwell too much on the mental state, but you get the feeling that mental state, as long as you're sane, isn't something you worry ...more
Matt
Feb 14, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andy McNab vividly captures the minutiae of what it means to be a special forces commando. His simplistic use of dialog and description only serves to heighten the tension. It's not so much as if you're reading a novel about commandos behind enemy lines as if you're actually in on the debriefing of those commandos. Any fan of military adventures fiction or otherwise should enjoy this book. The insights into how SAS missions are planned are simply amazing and the matter of fact way in which McNab ...more
Jerome
Jun 25, 2012 Jerome rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read, but apparently Chris Ryan's The One That Got Away: My SAS Mission Behind Enemy Lines and Michael Asher's The Real "Bravo Two Zero". Maybe Mike Coburn's Soldier Five: The Real Truth About the Bravo Two Zero Mission are more accurate.
Russell Stoewe
While an interesting story, Bravo Two Zero gets dragged down under its own weight. Parts are extremely interesting, but they fall few and far between thanks to long periods of nothing noteworthy. The book could be condensed significantly without missing much of its impact. Also, the book is unnecessarily 'British.' The author goes out of his way to use British slang at nearly every opportunity, and the effect is more confusing than relevant. It's an 'ok' read, but I wouldn't recommend it given t ...more
Robert White
My reason for giving this book a five star rating is not because of the skill of the author. Indeed, this kind of tale is best told by the soldier himself over a beer or two.
And that is how this book feels.
Two men sitting in a bar, one, re-telling the most horrific of war stories.
Hats off to McNab. Brave doesn't come into it.
If you want to immerse yourself in the head of an elite soldier. Read this and thank the Lord guys like this are on our side.
David Dennington
Mar 24, 2016 David Dennington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand this nonfiction book about the Gulf War, written by Britain's most decorated soldier, is required reading by some branches of the US military. Since it concerns capture and survival I can quite understand why. I found myself engaged from the opening pages until the end, much of the action so unreal that it had to be true. Real life is like that I suppose, especially in wartime.
Grant Turnage
Dec 23, 2014 Grant Turnage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best Military Non-Fiction book that I've read. The Vietnam accounts I've read were all good but I couldn't connect with them completely. This book was different. Learning about his training in the U.K. was interesting and his early days in North Ireland. It's a "must read" for anyone who loves stories about the Special Operations Community. McNab is a true hero and bad*ss.
Jessica
May 01, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was brutal and engaging. That's a combination I wouldn't normally put together. There are times when all the British military jargon goes over my head, but I was able to follow what 'Andy' went through with interest. I never thought I would be a reader of Andy McNab's work. But there you go....
Bob Mayer
Dec 29, 2010 Bob Mayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book for an inside look at who the men are in Special Operations. Since the US Special Forces and Delta Force 'borrowed' a lot from the SAS, particularly in Selection and Assessment, this is a good book to read to understand how that process works.
Digit
Feb 02, 2014 Digit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book started a passion of mine for the sas genre and I continue to recommend it, albeit these days I always offer a disclaimer to my recommendation suggesting that Chris ryan is also read so that a balanced opinion on the facts can be obtained.
Jo
Jan 02, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McNab recalls his time during the first Gulf War where his mission went awry and he was captured by the Iraqis. It's an interesting tale, full of gallows humour and derringdo. Immensely readable whether you're in the military or not due to McNab's style of writing which I feel reads like he talks.
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Andy McNab joined the infantry in 1976 as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was badged as a member of 22 SAS Regiment. He served in B Squadron 22 SAS for ten years and worked on both covert and overt special operations worldwide, including anti-terrorist and anti-drug operations in the Middle and Far East, South and Central America and Northern Ireland.

Trained as a specialist in counter terrorism, prime t
...more
More about Andy McNab...

Other Books in the Series

Andy McNab's Army Memoirs (3 books)
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