Patrick Bishop – 3 Para

In April 2006, the elite 3 Para battlegroup was dispatched to Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. They were tasked with providing security to reconstruction efforts, a deployment it was hoped would pass off without a shot being fired. In fact, over the six months they were there, the 3 Para battle group saw near continuous combat, one gruelling battle after another, in what would become one of the most extraordinary campaigns ever fought by British troops.

Around parched, dusty outposts reliant on a limited number of helicopters for food and ammunition re-supply, troops were subjected to relentless Taliban attacks, as well as energy-sapping 50 degree heat and Spartan conditions. At the end of the tour, the Taliban offensive aimed at driving the British and Afghan Government troops out of Helmand had been tactically defeated. But 3 Para paid a high price: 14 soldiers and one interpreter were killed, and 46 wounded.

3 Para tells the stories of the men and women who took part in this extraordinary and largely unreported saga. Best-selling author Patrick Bishop was given exclusive access to the soldiers whose tales of courage and endurance provide an unforgettable portrait of one of the world’s finest and most fascinating fighting regiments, and a remarkable band of warriors. Their bravery was reflected in the array of gallantry medals that were bestowed on their return, including the Victoria Cross awarded to Corporal Bryan Budd and the George Cross won by Corporal Mark Wright, both of whom were killed winning their awards. 3 Para’s saga of comradeship, courage, and fortitude is set to become a classic.

Author: Patrick Bishop
Narrator: Christian Rodska
Duration: 5 hours 50 minutes
Released: 7 Oct 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Language: English

User Review:

plait lucid

Arctic-orienteering, war-wounds, support-system, English-military, friendship, Norway, journaling, nonfiction

What a fantastic undertaking! It started with two men with a mission to do something unusual for war damaged soldiers, primarily from the Afghanistan, that wasn’t being done. So they came up with an idea and first discussed it with an experienced Norwegian guide who agreed to become involved, then there were backers needed as well as sponsors, and finally the military. That’s just the beginning. There were difficulties with the military, grueling training, some medical issues (especially involving prosthetics), and a whole lot more. I snickered here and there about their expedition guide who thought little of the cold on his own account, only for others, because it was so like listening to Pop (true Norwegian) or to my husband who worked outside in Wisconsin winters. Absolutely astounding!
I understand that the BBC filmed and aired portions and that they are still available on YouTube. For me, I think that the book is better because it is basically comprised of the journals of all involved and more. The introduction is by fellow Afghanistan soldier Prince Harry.
Four men do the narration spectacularly.
Read the book. Donate to Walking With The Wounded. Please.
Americans might prefer The Wounded Warrior Foundation, in Australia the Bravery Trust, and in Canada there are several supportive organizations.