Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This new expanded edition of AFN Clarke's bestselling and controversial book CONTACT is a raw, visceral, "no-holds-barred" account of combat from one of the men we paid to kill. When first published it caused a furor for its devastating honesty and chilling revelations.
Clarke vividly recounts his experiences of two tours in Northern Ireland (in Belfast and Crossmaglen) as a Platoon Commander with Britain's elite Parachute Regiment during the blood soaked 1970's. Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan comment on how relevant the book still is today, as the dangers, political agendas and religious roots underlying the conflict are eerily and heartbreakingly similar to their own more recent experiences.
Clarke takes us to heart of the action. We feel what it's like to live each day with senses on high alert, waiting to be ripped apart by the accuracy of a sniper or a well-hidden bomb. We enter the private world of soldiers ordered to hold the lines in an ancient quarrel they have little affinity for, but whose consequences are deadly. We experience their emotions, fear, courage, humor, bravado and the anguish of death.
This expanded edition continues from where the print version ended, revealing the untold nightmare Clarke lived through having nearly died, with half his insides missing, suffering from PTSD and being expected to return to a "normal life". A story of the scars of war that affect generations. Of heartache, courage and hope for peace.
of this community. Nobody is innocent in our eyes. We must have our revenge. Hearts and minds. It's difficult to do. Switch off the feeling, and smile, keep smiling. Smile at the abuse. Smile at the hate. Smile. Smile. Smile. “You boys here for much longer? Had your R. and R?” Here it comes, the gentle probing for information and yet there is no need as they probably know more than we do anyway. There is no such thing as a secure telephone in Belfast so the questions are only a preliminary to
Ireland is an industry, providing reporters with the opportunities to further their already stagnant careers, for social workers to martyr themselves on the unsympathetic conscience of an unimaginative nation. An entertainment without interlude. To hell with the lot of you. The O.C. has us into the briefing room again. A club raid is on tonight. Great, comes the cry. “Tony, your platoon with the Int. Section and C.S.M. We are not going to inform the R.U.C. until you are on the way. By the time
pressurisation. The loadmaster is nudging me and pointing to the rear. Suddenly my guts start to feel weaker and the heart beats a little faster. It's time to go back and start getting organised for the drop. Shit, I hate this part! Oh well! Haul myself off the seat and climb down the steps from the cockpit into the rear of the aircraft. The engine note changes and the plane starts to descend. As it goes down through the clouds there is some turbulence. The conditions in the back are hardly what
sleep.” They shuffle off to the billets looking like little old men now that the tension has gone and the tiredness creeps up on them. I follow, mind in neutral, to tile my patrol report and drop the tapes into the Int. cell for them to sort out. “Hello you wanker,” comes the cheerful voice of the 2 I.C., but I'm not in the mood. “Fuck off.” says I. “You can't crack me,” he laughs. “Quack, fucking quack,” is my only comment before going up to my bunk to clean my weapon and sort out my kit.
the ground. We were lucky he didn’t kill himself and laughed and teased him because he landed on his head. The birth of my first daughter in Tripoli Libya, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and a revolution all within a month in 1969. Birth of my second daughter the day I left for Northern Ireland on my first tour in Belfast in 1973. She was over three months old when I saw her next on four days R&R. Nearly getting killed parachuting when I got entangled and both chutes failed to open,