A well written and researched book. Translation into English is spot on.
First the positives: as far as I could tell, the book seemed highly authentic. The author covers real situations, and people, with confidence and some skill. As far as the negatives are concerned:
- structure/weighting: I felt the book focussed to heavily on the section covering selection. The reader accepts that the entry criteria were rigorous, but I feel the author belabours the point. He also fails to provide much in the way of his perspective: was the training the correct level of toughness? In hindsight, could it have best been altered in a particular way? How does he feel to was similar/different to that of other special force units? He then covers some of the unit's operational activities, interspersed (often amusingly) with aspects of the men's personal lives. Whilst this section is interesting, I would like to know how he felt the unit's deployment was in agreement with the original mission of the Recces? Also, as hinted at in the selection of the author to tell the tale, the unit was culturally predominantly Afrikaans. What were the positives and/or negatives of that?
With the veil of secrecy being lifted by authors Peter Stiff (The Silent War), Col Andre Diedericks (Journey without Boundaries), Major Jack Greeff (A Greater Share of Honour), Koos Stadler (Recce), Neil Reynolds (Eye on the Enemy), and Alexander Strachan (1 Recce), it has been fascinating reading.
The fact that some 10 Honoris Crux Silver and Honoris Crux medals were awarded to 1 Recce operatives is testimony to how brave they were and the sacrifices they made, some the ultimate sacrifice. We owe a debt of gratitude to these these brave operatives.
I enjoyed this book more than the 2 Recce version. Very well written and an easy read. I highly recommend this book for all Bush War enthusiasts. Thank you Alex . Looking forward to the next book 1983 and post border war.
Although there has been a recent spate of Special Forces themed publications, this one stands out.
Firstly the author's abilities as a published, award-winning author is quite evident and this makes the book an easy read.
The fact that the author has first-hand experience of the subject of 1 Recce, is also evident in his correct descriptions, use of nomenclature and terms. This removes the frustration suffered by readers of some self-published titles that have not been edited professionally.
Although the book touches on previously published facts, the author succeeds in making this book different by having many first-hand accounts included, thus the book does not simply have the dry academic feel of previous publications, but rather has the relaxed tone of a novel.
Highly recommended. I cannot wait for the next volume.