Listen free for 30 days

  • Operation Trojan Horse

  • The True Story Behind the Most Shocking Government Cover-Up of the Last Thirty Years
  • By: Stephen Davis
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Middle East
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £34.99

Buy Now for £34.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

On 1 August 1990, British Airways Flight 149 departed from Heathrow airport, destined for Kuala Lumpur. It never made it there, and neither did its nearly 400 passengers. Instead, Flight 149 stopped to refuel in Kuwait, as Iraqi troops amassed on the border - delivering the passengers and crew into the hands of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi army, to be used as 'human shields' during their invasion.  

Why did BA flight 149 proceed with plans to refuel in Kuwait City, even as all other flights were rerouted - and even though British and American governments had clear intelligence that Saddam was about to invade? The answer lies in an exchange of favours at the highest echelons of government, and a secret, unaccountable organization - authorised by Margaret Thatcher - carrying out a 'deniable' intelligence operation to sneak in a group of intelligence offers into Kuwait aboard the flight. The plane was the 'Trojan Horse', and the plan - as well as the horrific, traumatic consequences for the civilian passengers - has been lied about, denied and covered up by successive British Governments ever since. 

Soon to be a major TV drama, this explosive book is written with the full cooperation of the survivors, as well as astonishing and conclusive input from a senior intelligence source. It is a story of scandal, betrayal and misuse of intelligence at the highest levels of UK and US governments - which has had direct, horrifying impact on terror attacks in the West and the shape of the Middle East today. It is high time the truth is told.

©2021 Stephen Davis (P)2021 Bonnier Books UK

What listeners say about Operation Trojan Horse

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    73
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inside look on deniable operations

What a super listen very easy to get into with great narration that seems to put you in the room
A very interesting subject that I now want to know more about
Highly recommended ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic insight into the Gulf War

An incredible insight into the biggest cover up by the British and American government

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely riveting book

Fantastic. Well structured and paced. I felt for all of the hostages and human shields m. An amazing narrative on a historical event that received little publicity. Thank you

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A distressing story, but important nonetheless!

A distressing story, but one which deserves to be told nonetheless. Stephen Davis has written with compelling clarity and this audiobook version is sensitively voiced by Colin Mace.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

This book promised much but delivered little

The world knows that there were hostages taken in the first Gulf War. The conflict brought disaster and unspeakable cruelty - which is immensely sad and my heart goes to those people. However, there is no strong narrative and the greatest revelation is that governments and military often need to be covert in their actions. Hindsight is wonderful, but in some occasions the public does not have the right to know.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Story Behind The Story

I'd never heard of the events covered in this book until seeing it advertised in one of my Audible emails. Really? I thought as I read the synopsis, I remember that 1991 Gulf War so well and yet I'd never heard of this, not even a hint of it. Yes, I remember quite clearly those human shields used by Saddam and their appearance on television,but had no idea that many of them were there as a result of decisions made at the highest levels. Not only were they used as pawns by Saddam in his propaganda war, but also by the British government.

So, with this in mind, I grabbed this book hot off the press as it were. Not long into this book however, I wasn't enamoured by the narrator. He would leave gaps before ending a sentence, perhaps because he'd reached the end of a line and paused as he began reading the next. This jarred at times. To be fair, it appeared to lessen as the book progressed, but there were further instances of this. Although the narrator had the right sort of voice for the subject matter, he lacked the flow, I felt, to provide a fluid reading experience.

Not enjoying the narration of a book doesn't make for easy listening and I found that what should otherwise have been a real page turner for me, just wasn't. I was able to put this down after relatively short listening sessions and pick it up a day or two later.

I can't really summarized just what it was about the narration that put me off this read.

In addition, I wasn't impressed with, to me at least unless I'm missing some subtle use of terminology, a clear and obvious typo. Even the narrator seemed to hesitate for just a second before reading the word. As far as I can tell, the line ought to have been something like:

"The plane had a chequered history."

Instead, as read by the narrator, so presumably something he saw on the page, it actually read:

"The plane had a chickened history."

For me, if I come across such blatant typographical errors, it detracts from the gravitas of the book and particularly in this case, the serious subject matter at hand.

The story itself was clearly a labour of love for the author, taking some 15 years of painstaking research to accomplish. To that end, it's a book that should be read. Those poor people that were used as human shields and all they endured, needs to be seen by the world at large. However, and I can't quite put my finger on it, this wasn't nearly as compelling a read as I thought it might be. Maybe it was the narrator that killed it a bit for me, I can't say for certain, but I found it a bit of a struggle to get through in places. Although the author describes the terrible situations and conditions the hostages suffered, and that alone should be reason enough to read this book, I just felt the way the book was written lacked the more personal aspects of the terror people were experiencing. In many instances, it was more a case of lacking material comforts, as with those trapped in the American embassy. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way belittling the plight of those poor people. I'm sure the daily threat of capture hung over their heads heavily. It's just I didn't get the full sense of this much of the time. There were places where this came through more, but in others the telling of the story felt somewhat flat to me.

I am aware just what a monumental task this book was for the author and how much of his life was put into it, it's just the way the non diary parts of the book were written felt like a slightly detached documentary.

I'd have liked to give this book top marks, but in all honesty I can't. it's not the story itself, more the way it was told that wasn't what I was hoping for. Combine this with a narrator that wasn't as fluid as others I've heard and I am left feeling rather disappointed.

I heard this book is part of a television documentary. My hope is that the visceral nature of the fear endured by those hostages comes across far better when spoken by those who went through it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Shocking story

Absolutely shocked by this story as I knew nothing about it. I was only 9 years old when this happened, I can remember the gulf war but nothing about the events in this book. The things these people went through were truly horrendous and the coverup shocking. Very well written book. Hopefully the passengers of flight 149 will finally get the answers they deserve!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dull...

I found the story dull and the narration too. I just couldn't it to it ended up returning it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The truth will set you free!

Absolutely excellent audio book, well worth the 8 + hours of listening time, horrific memories for the captives, very well written book, and the truth I do believe always comes out in the end to eventually set one free from those endless conscience filled sleepless nights. Thanks

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little disappointing

This is a very well researched book with some major flaws. Firstly it's labelled a "The true story behind..." but the author actually admits that he's never gotten to the truth - hence it's being mis-sold. The other fault is his failure to mention the plight of Penny Nabokov, the ten year old American girl who was the first one to be released.