An above-average macho war memoir, full of high-tech gadgetry and deadly fireworks.
During a 2006 invasion of the chaotic Afghan province of Helmand by 3,300 British troops, the objective of which was to subdue the resurgent Taliban, Macy piloted a Westland Apache AH Mk1 attack helicopter, a vastly improved British version of the original American design. Complicated and wildly expensive—it costs nearly $30,000 an hour to operate—its advanced electronics enable the pilot to hover out of rifle range and deliver devastating cannon fire and rockets with pinpoint accuracy. Military buffs will appreciate the nuts-and-bolts technical details provided by the author as he relates his unit’s triumphs, frustrations and off-duty hijinks during an exhausting four-month tour that included a dramatic rescue under fire, an event that made headlines in Britain and earned Macy a medal. The author describes many close calls but no casualties among the Apache warriors as they inflicted spectacular damage on Taliban forces. The book ends as it began with the British under siege at a handful of bases, the enemy in control everywhere else and long-suffering Afghan civilians caught in the middle. Like Dan Mills accomplished in his recent battle memoir (Sniper One, 2008), Macy thankfully avoids the urge to heavy-handedly proclaim the righteousness of the cause, his love of freedom, his sympathy with oppressed civilians and his hatred for terrorists.
An entertaining account of fierce combat and adolescent military horseplay.