Immediate Action

Immediate Action

by Andy McNab

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440222453
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1996
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 835,371
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.89(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Andy McNab, Sergeant, SAS, joined the British infantry as a boy soldier.   In 1984 he was "badged" as a member of the SAS--the British special forces--and has since been involved in elite intelligence and combat operations worldwide. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that in the words of his commanding officer "will remain in regimental history forever."  After six months of medical treatment immediately following his release by the Iraqis, Andy McNab was back on active service.  He remained with the SAS until February 1993, at which time he was the most highly decorated soldier in the British Army.  He is also the author of Bravo Two Zero.

Read an Excerpt

"I want to fly helicopters," I said to the recruiting sergeant.  "I want to go in the Army Air Corps."

I took a simple test in English and Maths, which I failed.

"Come and try again in a month's time," the sergeant said.  "The test will be exactly the same."

I went down to the public library and studied a book on basic arithmetic.  If I could master multiplication, I told myself, I'd never again have to hear the sound of a cell door slamming.

Four weeks later I went back in, sat the same test, and passed--by two points. The sergeant gave me a pile of forms to take home.

"What are you going in?" my dad said.

"Army Air Corps."

"That's all right then.  We don't want any of that infantry shit.  You don't learn anything in that."

I was given a travel warrant and went off to Sutton Coldfield for the three-day selection process.  We were given medicals and simple tests of the "If this cog turns this way, which way does that cog turn?" variety, and did a bit of sport. We watched films and were given talks about teeth arms and support arms, and where the army was in the world.  I was loving it.  The Army Air Corps seemed to operate everywhere; Cyprus and Hong Kong looked good for starters.

As I was going through the tests, though, the terrible truth dawned on me that there was no way I was going to become pilot.  A lot of the other candidates were in the brain surgeon bracket, loaded down with O levels and going for junior apprenticeships to become artificers and surveyors.  You'd have to be in same league as them to go for pilot training, and I didn't have a qualification to my name.  All the time I had wasted humping coal and lemonade flashed in front of me as if I was a drowning man.  For the first time since I'd been old enough to do something about I was surrounded by blokes who had something that I wanted--but this time it was something that couldn't be nicked.

At the final interview, an officer said to me, "You can go into the Army Air Corps, and train as a refueller.  However, I don't think you would be best suited to that.  You're an active sort of bloke, aren't you, McNab?"

"I suppose so."

Probably fancy a bit of traveling, seeing a bit of the world?"

"That's me."

Well then, have you considered a career in the infantry? There's a lot more potential--the battalions move every two or three years, you're going to different places.  It's a more exciting life for a young man.  We have vacancies in the Royal Green Jackets."

"Right, I'll have some of that."

I was quite proud of myself.  I thought I'd cracked it, I was a man, I was in the army now.  I couldn't wait to get home and tell my parents the news.

"What did you land up in then?" the old man asked, looking up from his paper.

"The Royal Green Jackets."

"What's that?"

"Part of the Light Division," I beamed.  "You know--light infantry."

"You wanker!" he exploded, hurling his newspaper to the floor.  "You're not going to learn anything.  All you're going to do is run around humping a big pack on your back."

But I was not going to be deterred.  A couple of days later, when it was clear that my mind was made up, my mum handed me an envelope and said, "I think you need to know all about this."

I opened the envelope and pulled out my adoption certificate.  It wasn't a shock.  I knew my brother was adopted, and I'd always just taken it for granted that I was, too.  I wasn't really fussed about it.

"I met your natural mother when you were about a year old," my mum said.  "She told me that she worked for a Greek immigrant who'd come over to England in the fifties and was running a nightclub in the West End.  She sold the cigarettes in the club, and was seventeen when she fell pregnant by him.  She told me neither of them wanted a baby so she left you on the hospital steps in a carrier bag."

My mum and dad had fostered me more or less straightaway, and eventually adopted me.

"She wasn't really concerned about you, Andy," my mum said.  "She said to me, "I can always have other kids."

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Immediate Action 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Immediate Action since I am a big fan of the British SAS and Military stuff. It takes you through the harsh training of the Regiment and how life was in it. Great Book!!! Would Recommend to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great Book it really brought you in. it made you feel like you were actually there i would recomend this book to anyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book if you are intersted at all in the Special Forces community or the SAS. Andy McNabb goes into detail to describe the rigorous training the regiment puts people through to get into the SAS. He also talks about their operations as well. As an American some of the lingo is a little hard to grasp, but I've sorted it out!
Zare on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
First modern [non-WW2] book on SAS that I have read. Gripping tale of SAS operators and their actions worldwide. As it is always the case with this sort of history books do not expect that all secrets of the trade will be revealed.
MatthewN on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This was a fairly quick read. I thought the author did a good job keeping the story going. A lot of military biographies are so slow getting to the point in their career where they are doing the stuff that made them famous. They feel the need to go on and on about some point in their life that doesn't really make the book any more interesting. Andy McNab seems to have side-stepped that landmine and gets you to the good stuff pretty quick.I love reading about the military. I am extremely fascinated with special forces soldiers as the hardships they go through just to become special forces soldiers are more than many people are able to bear. Having said that, I have to say that my favorite part about this book was not how difficult things were for the author. Yes, there were times in the book where I was glad I was in the comfort of my bed reading about it instead of being in the jungle at night, or in the cold and damp Irish night patrolling for IRA types. That stuff was interesting, but the main thing I enjoyed was the author's honesty about his own shortcomings. Especially, the shortcomings in his personal relationships. If I recall correctly, he went through 3 different women in the course of the book. However, he makes it pretty clear that he was generally the cause of it due to his own selfishness. I find that kind of brutal honesty lacking in so many biographies. Take for example, Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko. That was a good book filled with all kinds of SF type exploits, but good grief! He probably has to drive a pickup truck just to haul around his ego.If there was one thing I found lacking in this book, it was that it kind of left you hanging at the end. I wanted to hear more about his life in the "regiment". I have yet to read his other book, Bravo Two Zero, about his experience in the 1991 Gulf War. That will probably fill in some gaps for me.One final caveat for the non-English(as in United Kingdom) reader. There are a lot of terms that are used in the book that are quite odd to the foreigner. There is a glossary in the book, but you'll still possibly get confused by the fair amount of slang thrown around. I spent some time over in England so some of the terms I understood. However, I still found myself trying to make sense of certain terms or phrases that weren't in the glossary. It wasn't enough to make the book unreadable though.
TukangRoti on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A good book. Gives good description of life inside the SAS and the British army in general.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book - as well as Bravo Two Zero - are amazing and scary at the same time considering the reality of what McNabb writes about. Absolutely amazing! Read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book nowhere near as compelling and gripping as Bravo Two Zero. In fact, I found this terribly boring. The last chapter in the book is the best, and even that went by slow. I made the mistake of reading Bravo Two Zero first. That book was outstanding. Take a pass on this one and read that one.