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With the Paras in Helmand (Paperback)

A Photographic Diary

Colour Books Military > Biographies > Military Biographies Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Afghanistan War Military > SAS & Special Forces Photographic Books

By Craig Allen
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781399020886
Published: 28th June 2022



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Craig Allen, a Paratrooper for 29 years, returned to 2 PARA as a reservist and unofficial photographer for the Battlegroup's dramatic 2008 Tour in Helmand.

As both a respected soldier and photographer he had unrivalled access to the fighting and moved from area to area following the action. Every evening he wrote up his experiences and those of the men he was with, whose trust he had as 'a member of the club'. He had a ringside seat to a very costly summer tour, with the Taliban proving themselves worthy enemies to even the most elite British Army soldiers.

His story tells in superb action photographs and no-nonsense prose of the hardships, courage, fears and cost suffered by front line soldiers over prolonged periods. He captures the colour of life and death in Afghanistan for both combatants and the luckless civilian population caught up in this vicious spiral of war.

An unforgettable book which has true visual appeal.

A source of essential documentation on British Paratroopers in Afghanistan.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Shooting with his camera rather than his riffle, former Regular paratrooper Craig Allen returned to him regimental family to deploy to Helmand in the summer of 2008 and recorded 2 Para Battles groups tour in images.

However, this is much more than a coffee table book of dramatic pictures. The authors factual and straight talking diary of his time in theatre, brought to life by his photographs, creates an accessible account of tje daily challengers faced by troops on operations.

Soldier magazine

Closer than you've ever been to the frontline of Afganistan. Closer to the action than John Simpson or Jeremy Bowen ever get.

Here is a book that takes you there in pictures and words.

Some readable, some routine, books about the war in Afganistan are as plentiful as suicide bombers. With the Paras in Helmand, though, is the right stuff, essentially for real.

Edinburgh Evening News

About Craig Allen

After 23 years of service in the Parachute Regiment, Craig Allen returned to civilian life in 2001 and began a career as a freelance photographer. Once in never out, however, and he continued to serve with 4 Para, the Reserve Battalion. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 he returned to the regular regiment as a media escort and photographer for the campaign in Iraq with the job of escorting the embedded BBC crew and print journalist. The role gave him the freedom to move around the battlefield and cover the Paras on operations.

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