A couple of days ago I published a short article about Damien Lewis and his very soon to be published new book Zero Six Bravo. I have had time to digest the story, and maybe more importantly get a little of the back story from the author.

Lets start with Damien Lewis. He has something like a dozen books in print, some are fiction, while many are fact based. He is also a well known TV war correspondent on the BBC and other European new outlets. He has been ‘boots on the ground’ for many of the conflicts over the past three decades. It would be wrong to say that Damien and I are friends, we have never met, in fact we have never even talked on the phone. We instead we are friends, we ‘talk’ in email.

It is lost in the mystery of time as to how or why we started communicating. But talk we do. It was a pleasant surprise when he asked if I would be interested in taking a look at Zero Six Bravo. He offered no back story, was it fact or fiction?

The story sounded ludicrous. Would the UK ask 60 of their special forces to take on the crazy project? The second Iraq conflict (2003) was mere days from moving into high gear. The Iraqi 5th Corps and a good number of Sadam’s rabid dogs, the Fedayeen had gone to earth in the northern part of Iraq. The exact number of fighters varies, but most sources place it between 100,000 and 120,000.

My first thought was that Damien Lewis had lost his mind having read too many Tom Clancy novels. It doesn’t take much rocket science to realize that 60 men against 100,000 is slightly unbalanced and has little chance of success.

The story alas is a true one. In an amazing piece of luck, all 60 men made it out alive.

It is 10 years after the event, and while still bound with secrecy clauses Damien Lewis has recreated seven days of hell for 60 very brave men. Names have been changed, and some aspects of the mission obfuscated, for security reasons. Members of the upper echelons of the British military have ‘green lighted’ its release.

This is a must read book. I will also share another secret. I was working with a pre-release copy of the manuscript. In an article I used a word from the manuscript, yes just one word. I was asked to change it to a more generic definition of the US team that had involvement in the operation.

Yes folks, this is a very serious book. It goes on sale March 14. There is little doubt that it will hit the UK bestseller lists, and I would love to see the same thing happen in the US. Zero Six Bravo has a US component  that cannot be ignored.

Review coming soon.

Simon Barrett

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