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Operation Mayhem is the first ever account of a truly epic elite forces mission: one of the most highly decorated in modern military history.
Airlifted deep into the heart of the African jungle in the midst of a bloody civil war, twenty-six operators from the secret British unit X Platoon were sent into combat against two thousand rebels - being used as bait to lure the enemy into a decisive, do-or-die battle. High on blood-lust, voodoo and drugs, the rebels were notorious for their brutal savagery.
Equipped with captured armour, heavy machine-guns and grenade-launchers, they vastly outgunned the men of X Platoon - who were kitted out with pitiful supplies of ammunition and malfunctioning rifles, plus no body armour, grenades or heavy weaponry. Intended to last just days, the mission mutated into a desperate siege, as the men of X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders - faced what the rebels dubbed 'Operation Kill British'. Half-starved, surviving on giant African snails, fungi and other bush tucker, this handful of elite warriors were forced to make their stand unaided and alone.
They fought using grenades made from old food-tins and 'punji fields' - rows of vicious sharpened bamboo-stakes - as the locals joined forces with them to defend against the onslaught. Sergeant Steve Heaney was awarded the Military Cross for taking control of the battle after X Platoon lost their commanding officer. His story is full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely heroics with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain. The ferocious close quarter combat at the village of Lungi Lol brought to an end the horrific, decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. Operation Mayhem is the first ever account of this untold true story - one fought and won deep behind enemy lines.
About the Author
Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.
Sergeant Steve Heaney captures the confusion, black humour, raw courage and sheer exhilaration of combat brillantly. This book is one of the best accounts of low-level tactical soldiering since Fred Majdalany's WW2 classic Patrol. But Heaney tells a broader tale that has rarely been captured so well... I commend it to the professional soldier and layman alike. -- General Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, Chief of the Defence Staff 2010-13 THE TIMES '... read this account of his [Steve Heaney] stint with the 26-man strong X Platoon in the sweltering jungle, living on grubs, outnumbered 80 to one, battling heavily armed rebels with bamboo sticks and home-made grenades, and you'll be asking the question... Why wasn't he given TWO MCs?' -- Jon Wise Sunday Sport
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 29th July 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.4 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.5
Edition Number: 1