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The extraordinary story of Australian sappers on the frontlines of the war in Afghanistan.
They were young, they were tough and they were everywhere. They were both the backyard builders and the frontline troops in Australia's war against the Taliban.
This is the powerful story of the sappers, the Army engineers in Afghanistan whose raw courage and skills were inspired by the original Australian Tunnel Rats of the war in Vietnam. These Tunnel Rats of Afghanistan have rooted out the enemy from deep inside their caves and mountain hideouts, have defused thousands of improvised explosive devices (the booby traps and landmines of this most recent of wars), built bridges and schools to win a war of hearts and minds, and fought side by side with special forces commandos and SAS troops. They, too, lost a disproportionate number of their comrades and many returned home with the devastating baggage of war, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Inspiring and action packed, this is the story of a special breed of soldier operating in a modern war against an enemy with medieval morals . . . and bombs triggered by mobile phones. It is a story that connects the unsung heroes of Vietnam with the modern heroes of Afghanistan.
About the Author
JIMMY THOMSON is a journalist, author and screenwriter. He is the author of Snitch, Watto and Wendell Sailor: Crossing the line, and co-wrote Tunnel Rats and A Sappers' War with Sandy MacGregor.
As a young captain SANDY MACGREGOR, a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, commanded the original Tunnel Rats of 3 Field Troop in Vietnam and was awarded the Military Cross. He served in the Army for 30 years, finishing as a colonel in the Reserves.
Maps of Afghanistan and Uruzgan province
List of abbreviations and acronyms
Foreword by Major General John Cantwell AO, DSC (Ret'd)
Prologue: The Tunnel Rat legacy
Introduction: Sappers in Afghanistan
1: Operation Salaam
2: The rise of the Taliban
3: Hunting bin Laden
4: Follow the sapper
5: Live . . . move . . . fight
6: Backyard Blitz
7: Moving on
8: Special ops and local cops
9: On patrol with special forces
10: Under fire
11: Holding ground
12: Taking on a tech killer
13: The horror of war
14: Clear, hold, build
15: All change
16: Front-line females
17: Heavy duties
18: The dogs of war
19: The 'good' war
20: Hard yards and Hescos
21: Life and death with special forces
22: Moving targets
23: Into Helmand
24: Building relationships
25: The Day of the Well
26: 21st-century Tunnel Rats
27: Fatal attraction
28: Trainers and turncoats
29: Wounded warriors
30: Was it worth it?
Afterword: Beating the retreat
ISBN: 9781760294168 ISBN-10: 1760294160 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 288 Published: 24th August 2016 Publisher: Allen & Unwin Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.28