Sniper One: On Scope and Under Siege with a Sniper Team in Iraq
Sergeant Dan Mills. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2008. 350 pp. Illus. $26.95.
In April 2004, the newly arrived 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales Royal Regiment became immersed in a bloody siege at the city of Al Amarah by the militia-led Mahdi Army. More than seven months and two Mahdi uprisings later, the battalion had endured continuous combat and paid a high butcher's bill.
The author was the sniper platoon commander in a hard-charging outfit that was outgunned and outmanned, but managed to stave off every enemy attack. Although one company lost nearly half its men, Sergeant Mills' 18-man platoon took relatively few casualties.
This book features straight talk. Much as it does in the company of U.S. military forces, the all-purpose F-word abounds. In his "delicate fireside chat" with an Iraqi police chief, the colonel asked, "Your men have had all the training, we've cleared up the enemy for you, so, with respect, sir, is there any reason why they can't start earning their f---ing pay now?"