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Summary

When British troops first deployed to Northern Ireland in 1969 to keep apart rioting factions of loyalists and nationalists, they could not have known that they were being drawn into the longest campaign in the British Army's history, a battle against the threat of a new rising force - the Provisional Irish Republican Army.  

While patrols, vehicle bombs and incendiary speeches are the defining memories of the Troubles, the real war was fought out of sight and out of mind. For 30 years, Britain's Special Forces waged a ferocious, secretive struggle against a ruthless and implacable enemy.

Harry McCallion's deep experience across the theatre of Northern Ireland offers a unique insight into nearly every major military action and operation in the Province. Having served seven tours with the Parachute Regiment, undergone selection for the 14 Intelligence Company, completed six years with the SAS - including two tours with their anti-terrorism team - and received two commendations for bravery during service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, there are few more qualified to tell this astonishing story.

This book is his blistering account of the history of Britain's war against the IRA between 1970 and 1998. From new insights into high-profile killings and riveting accounts of enemy contact, to revelations about clandestine missions and the strategies used in combating a merciless enemy, Undercover War is the definitive inside story of the battle against the IRA, one of the most dangerous and effective terrorist organisations in recent history.

©2020 Harry McCallion (P)2020 Bonnier Books UK

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Fantastic

As an ex serving soldier both in the Scottish and parachute regiments serving in the early seventies I found Harry‘a accounts interesting and credible, thank you Harry on behalf of ex serving soldiers.

15 people found this helpful

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A well written fanciful tale

Well written, however the author obviously has an agenda. He goes to great lengths in trying to justify the SAS and British governments shot to kill policy in N Ireland. Would be better served in the fairy tale section

12 people found this helpful

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Terrible

This book is a list of 'events' with no evidence references provided to back up a single statement, the author makes wider reference to public sources but academically this book is bad.

12 people found this helpful

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The IRA are scum

A good insight into the disgusting behaviour of the irish terrorists. A very good listen

9 people found this helpful

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Great book

Only gave 3 stars for performance due to the narrators pronunciation of some of the surnames, not hard to learn them correctly, otherwise a great book.

2 people found this helpful

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Who Dares Gets Sold Out by Bliar

good read explains the history of the troubles n how Bliar sold out the British.

2 people found this helpful

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insightful and accurate

A very honest insight to undercover operations in NI during the troubles, having served in NI myself.

1 person found this helpful

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an informative listen

eye opening account of the military role in Northern Ireland and the effect this had.

1 person found this helpful

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A Well-Researched History Of The Troubles

Harry McCallion has drawn together a fine collection of sources to orovide an insight into how the British and Irish forces fought against IRA terrorists.
A welll-constructed book, well-read.

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Covert OPs, an insightful overview.

A most informative and revealing account of covert operatons during the troubles. The authors' ability to drscribe events in a manner in which civilians would understand is testimony to his laying out in chapters of interesting but factual information.

1 person found this helpful

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  • WCHBlok
  • 22-12-21

I liked it

This was great. I’m an American with limited prior understanding of the Troubles (other than the basic gist) and no real connection to or particular fondness for any of the parties involved. I found this very entertaining, easy to follow and I think the narrator has a great voice and did a good job.

The one thing that got old was the number of times the author responded to critics and explained the actions taken by SAS or Det operators in specific “contacts”. Maybe others will find that useful but to me it was unnecessary and redundant. I already understood and agreed with the use of force in those situations based on the initial telling of events. I didn’t need a rehashing of those decisions and an explanation of why they were right. In my opinion, if people are already sympathetic to the IRA no amount of explanation is going to change their minds. There’s always a conspiracy they can use to explain it away anyway. Other than that minor quibble, it was awesome!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas Le Min
  • 27-03-22

An excellent history of special forces actions in N Ireland

This book provides an excellent overview of the actions of the Special Air Service (SAS) and reconnaissance detachments in Northern Ireland during the “Troubles.” Written by an actual member, the author is uniquely placed to provide a first hand vantage point for the day to day duties these men and women performed and it clears up many of the specious claims made by those members (and supporters) of the various republican and loyalist terrorist groups.

Finally, the narrator does a superb job of reading this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • B. Hines
  • 29-06-22

Informative

Good history of the troubles from the British action conducted by special forces. The reader is easy to listen too.

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  • S. A. James
  • 01-02-22

Thorough and interesting history

Great book to go into detail about the undercover war, especially in regards to the SAS, 14 Intelligence Detachment, the Provisional IRA and to a lesser extent some Loyalist groups (UDA mostly, some UVF) and other branches of the Republican movement (OIRA & ILNA mostly). Author even provided some information about the INLA splinter group the IPLO, although not in very much detail. It did seem like the author was trying to make excuses for military action in some areas but I’m glad it didn’t overpower the story. It’s fairly understandable he would have a strong bias in that direction considering the amount of time he spent in special operations forces so it’s nice that he didn’t let it go to the extremes that some other books do. Would definitely recommend and this book will be going into my listen again playlist on Audible

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  • Tim Schnese
  • 21-01-22

In-depth telling of the Troubles in Northern Ireland

Tells the story of Det 14th intelligence company and SAS troops and there fight against the Provisional IRA is very illuminating on what occurred.