Jimmy Thomson and Sandy MacGregor
Allen and Unwin
Publication Date: 29th July 2015
This is the powerful story of the Army engineers in Afghanistan – the sappers – and the war against the Taliban. They are the soldiers who are everywhere, and who do everything, from building schools to assisting the disadvantaged local Afghan people in rebuilding their lives as war wreaks damage on their country.
Starting with a history that describes the best it can in a few pages, the reader learns how the war started and what the situation is today. The book does a good job of explaining the hows and whys of the region and gives honest and eye-opening first-hand stories from a number of Australian soldiers who were there to contribute to the offensive. These soldiers are some of the bravest: first in to a situation and last out. 14 lives were lost in Afghanistan – 9 of them sappers. This book tells us what their time serving Australia was likely to entail.
Although it is about a very specific topic it is written in layman’s terms and was very easy to read. War books are not usually my chosen genre but this book was especially interesting to me as I have a family member who served in Afghanistan. It has given me a real insight into some of what he would have experienced during his time there.
A great gift for Father’s Day, or for anyone interested in this modern war from an insider’s view.