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Helmand mission (Hardback)

With 1st Royal irish Battlegroup in Afghanistan 2008

Modern Warfare Afghanistan Colour Books

By Richard Doherty
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781848841482
Published: 19th November 2009
Last Released: 16th November 2009

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After celebrating St Patrick's Day 2008, 1st Royal Irish Battlegroup deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand province as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. For six months the Royal Irish fought the Taliban in Helmand in some of the most difficult country on earth. At the same time the Battlegroup was training the nascent Afghan National Army (ANA) and many of its engagements were alongside Afghan soldiers.

Well trained and with an operational maturity gained from deployments in every year but one since 1998, they were considered the unit in 16 Air Assault Brigade best suited to the critical task of mentoring the ANA.

One company deployed with 2 PARA Battlegroup in the Sangin valley. Its soldiers saw intense action against the Taliban, especially through the latter's use of IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices). Another company was given the task of ensuring the safe passage of an additional generator for the Kajaki dam and was involved in heavy fighting while so doing. TA soldiers from 2 R Irish formed Imjin Company which provided security but also deployed on wider tasks.

Professionalism, high levels of trust and the unique humour of Irish soldiers ensured that they had a successful tour and accomplished their missions. This is the stirring story of a regimental family at war and of those who sustained them, including their remarkable chaplain, Padre Albert Jackson, and the rear party which supported the families, especially those whose fathers or sons suffered injury or death. Above all, it is the story of a highly professional unit demonstrating its skills to the world and helping make Afghanistan a better place for its people.

As seen in the Belfast Telegraph.

Belfast Telegraph

The 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment forms part of 16 Air Assault Brigade and deployed to Afghanistan for the second time in the spring of 2008. This book not only covers the fighting which took place on the Battalion's tour but the individual stories of some of its members. An excellent read and one which remembers those who kept the home fires burning too.

The Regimental Journal

In this passionate account of the actions of The Royal Irish Battlegroup during their 2008 tour of Helmand, Doherty writes in remarkable detail of the heroism and initiative of the Irish soldier.

Soldier Magazine

It is an excellent account of one battalion's six month deployment to "the heart of Asia".

African Armed Forces Journal

About Richard Doherty

One of the leading military historians in the UK and Ireland, writer and broadcaster Richard Doherty has twenty-nine books to his credit, two of which were nominated for the prestigious Templer Medal. Chronologically his titles range from The Williamite War in Ireland, 1688-1691 to Helmand Mission: With the Royal Irish Battlegroup in Afghanistan 2008 and also include a history of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, The Thin Green Line.

Over the years he has researched, written and presented several historical series for BBC Radio Ulster, presented two major historical programmes for BBC TV, for whom he has also researched and written historical programmes, and has contributed to, or advised on, many programmes for BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Four, RTE (Irish radio and TV) and independent producers. His BBC Radio Ulster programme on the North African campaign, part of the Sons of Ulster series, was nominated for a Sony Award in 1989. He has featured twice in the popular 'Who Do You Think You Are?' television series, providing historical background for David Tennent (2006) and Paul Hollywood (2015).

A popular speaker, he has addressed a wide variety of audiences in the UK, Republic of Ireland, France and Italy, as well as the United States, where he has lectured (on limited warfare) at the US Marine Corps Staff and Command College at Quantico, Virginia. Since 2002 he has been a guest speaker on cruise ships with topics ranging from military and naval history, including the Battle of the Atlantic, through Celtic history, to Irish myth, history and culture.

He leads battlefield tours in Ireland, Normandy, Italy and Greece, writes historical articles and book reviews for newspapers, magazines and journals, is Chairman of the Irish Regiments Historical Society, a member of several military history societies in the UK, Ireland and the USA, a trustee of the Royal Irish Fusiliers’ Museum, Armagh and of the Royal Irish Regiment Museum, a trustee of the International School for Peace Studies, a trustee, and member of the Council, of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, and honorary historian of the Royal Irish Regiment.

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