Sniper One: On Scope and Under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq

Sniper One: On Scope and Under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq

by Dan Mills
4.4 22

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Overview

Sniper One: On Scope and Under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq by Dan Mills

When Sgt. Dan Mills and the rest of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment flew into Iraq in April, 2004, they were supposed to be winning hearts and minds. They were soon fighting for their lives.

Within hours of their arrival in Iraq, a grenade bounced off one of the battalion's Land Rovers, rolled underneath and detonated. The ambush marked the beginning of a full-scale firefight during which Mills killed a man with a round that removed his assailant's head. It was going to be a long tour.

Like some post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" nightmare, the place had gone to hell in a handbasket. Temperatures on the ground often topped 120 degrees Fahrenheit, sewage systems had long since packed up, and the stench of cooking waste and piles of festering garbage grew wherever you looked. Throat-burning winds, blast bombs and well-trained, well-organized militias armed with AKs, RPGs and a limitless supply of mortar rounds were the icing on the cake.

If any of Mills's eighteen-man sniper platoon had thought that the people of Al Amarah were going to welcome them with open arms, they were rapidly forced to reconsider. For the next six months, isolated, besieged and under constant fire, the battalion refused to give an inch.

Sniper One is a breathtaking chronicle of endurance, camaraderie, dark humor and courage in the face of relentless, lethal assault.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312542429
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sgt. Dan Mills was decorated for his command of an eighteen-man sniper platoon during the siege of Al Amarah. During a long army career he has served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and the Falkland Islands. Sniper One is his first book.

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Sniper One: On Scope and Under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
shage1966 More than 1 year ago
I didn't know Dan Mills was a British soldier when I bought this book; I had assumed this was an American story when I grabbed it off the Barnes and Nobel table near the checkout. The reason this is noteworthy is because of the insight I gained into how much more sophisticated the Brits are with weaving humanitarian values into their combat roles and their level of pride and professionalism as opposed to our American style which is more ruthless, blunt, and perhaps arrogant. We can really learn so much from our friends over the pond.

Now, to all you American patriots and soldiers out there: hey, so am I. I'm an ex-military and fiercely patriotic. It's just that having lived in a military household with a 2-tour Viet Nam Marine vet (step-father), and relatives all around me who were also war vets, and myself as a vet who also worked in and around the Govt and military for several more years, I can honestly say that the actions of Sgt Dan Mills, as he portrayed them in this fantastic portrayal, contrasted so obviously with how I knew things to be. The "Kill'em all and let God sort 'em out" phrase I learned from paratroopers I knew as a kid was the simple way of dealing with the enemy. I have far more respect for the British with their pragmatism and thoughtfulness of the end-game during conflict after coming to know how many missed opportunities have slipped through the hands of the U.S. during this Iraq war.

Besides all that stuff, the book unfolds in ocean-swells of drama and quite space...and then more drama. It left me thirsty and thankful at the same time. What a great bunch of heroes in the PWCC! Dan, thanks for your service, the risks you took, the leadership you brought to bear, and the kick ass book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book isn't so much a story of a typical sniper / spotter, it does give you a great perspective of what combat is like in Iraq. Since the troops here are British, the reading is very entertaining learning there slang. Like most books of this nature, they make you proud of the guys that go oversees and keep our country safe.
EPClark 3 days ago
"For once," Dan Mills says about the news that his battalion was being sent to Iraq, "we were going somewhere interesting." A professional soldier in his 30s and the head of his battalion's sniper group, Mills had been bored stiff by a series of tours in tedious places like Northern Ireland and Bosnia. But finally, finally, he was going to get to do some proper soldiering, in Iraq, although there was the worry that the war would already be over by the time the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment got there. Those worries turned out to be unfounded, and the PWRR ended up right in the thick of it for months, much to the delight of most of its members. Mills tells his own story and that of his unit and regiment with true British humor and the zest of a battle addict, detailing everything from the type of rounds they used during practice shots, to how snipers dispose of their bodily wastes during long waits. As might be guessed by the above description, "Sniper One" is not for the faint of heart or the overly squeamish. It's not particularly gory: the PWRR sees plenty of action but suffers few casualties, and no one is tortured or commits any acts of torture, so that's a plus for a story about Iraq. However, there is combat. Lots and lots of combat. If you enjoy first-person descriptions of combat operations, you are pretty much guaranteed to like this book, because Mills not only knows what he's talking about through direct experience, but has a knack for writing gripping action scenes, often intermingled with some self-deprecating humor and no shortage of swear words (if you are bothered by obscenities, this is not the book for you). I personally tend to find too much action to be confusing and boring, but "Sniper One" held my attention from first page to last, and made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. Mills and his men are endearing characters, and, in the tradition of British war writing, and unlike the American version, Mills is at least somewhat aware of the history behind what he is doing, and experiences his service in Iraq as a continuation of the British Empire. One of the more touching moments in the book is when he and his men wander into a British cemetery from WWI and realize they are surrounded by the graves of British soldiers just like them. Mills reflects on it for a moment--and then hustles his men out of there before it sinks in too deeply. But the whole time they are aware that they are upholding the tradition of the British Empire and the honor of the British Army, a living part of history. Not that they think on it *too* much: they're too busy with weapons, porn, and squabbling over the limited plumbing facilities. Deep thinkers in the classical sense most of these soldiers are not, which is probably a good thing: it enables them to do their job, which is killing people, without fussing too much over the ramifications. No doubt the British Empire and its heir, the American Empire, need people like this. (Like many Brits, Mills has mixed feelings about the US, and is turns thrilled by and dismissive of the American support they receive, saying of the Spectre gunship they call on during one of their battles, "Spectre pilots have call signs only the Yanks can get away with. Brit pilots would never be sad enough to call themselves Steel Rain. We loved it anyway"). I myself find it a little alarming that these people vote, but they no doubt feel exactly the same about me.
Anna_ErishkigalAE More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this first-hand account of the British siege of Al Amarah and what they went through to hold that position. Lots of good sniper lore here, even more interesting stuff about how men cope under those kind of prolonged battle conditions. Not the usual sneak-and-peek and shoot, but a story about men under siege.
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Nicely written ..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a great well writen book and one i couldent put down
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376529595 More than 1 year ago
It has a slow start, but it is packed full of action. A must get!!!
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Ronin_06 More than 1 year ago
Mills writes his story while crediting everyone for missions complete but himself. In this "me" world he is a leader on the battle field and on the pages without overly drawing attention to himself. The situational awareness of each action makes putting the down the book difficult. I eagerly look forward to additional books by Dan Mills.
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