The bloodiest battle of the Falklands War, retold in extraordinary detail by the men who were there.
'If you only read one book about the Falklands make sure it's this one.' - Soldier magazine
'An extraordinarily detailed account of the bloodiest battle of the Falklands war.' - Major General Jonathan Shaw CB CBE
When 3 Para began their assault under cover of darkness on Mount Longdon in June 1982, nobody knew what to expect. The three platoons of B Company each approached the mountain silently, treading carefully through a series of defensive minefields. But following an explosion, fighting quickly escalated with shocking speed and severity, resulting in some of the bloodiest close hand fighting, terrible injuries, and shocking loss of life experienced by British troops since the Korean war.
Recreating 3 Para's bloody Falklands battle from multiple angles, James O'Connell - who fought there and was seriously injured himself - has written a gut-wrenching 360 degree classic.
Frustrated by highly inaccurate books about the battle, O'Connell decided to set the record straight. What he did next was extraordinary - he revisited the Falkland's five times with comrades and Argentine soldiers and literally walked through the battle with them, step-by-step, creating an unprecedented masterpiece of immersive military publishing.
Combined with rare access to the Battalion's records and radio logs, the resulting book is the last word on Mount Longdon, and might be the most harrowingly realistic description of modern warfare you will ever read.
Former members of 3 Para and its attachments recall the brutal fighting and hostile terrain they faced during the battle for Mount Longdon. Combined, their perspectives provide a formidable account of the clash that reveals their tenacity, teamwork, courage and humour. For me this is the definitive title on the campaign that inspired me and many of my peers to join The Parachute Regiment. If you only read one book about the Falklands make sure it's this one. - Soldier Magazine
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, where he still lives, James O'Connell enlisted in the Parachute Regiment in 1979.
In April 1982, after a posting in Cold War Germany and a tour of Northern Ireland, the call came to take part in the British Task Force to re-capture the Falklands. During the attack on Mount Longdon, James was shot in the face. A bullet passed through his nose, destroying his right eye, cheekbone and front teeth. Though he survived, five years of reconstructive surgery followed, and James left the army in 1985 as a result of his injuries.
Following the conflict, transition to civilian life was a difficult and James suffered from what was likely undiagnosed PTSD. He eventually married his long-term girlfriend Maureen, who he met in 1981, and they have two sons.
Since 2014, James has helped with the campaign to get a posthumous gallantry medal for Cpl Stewart McLaughlin and was instrumental in getting a memorial erected on Mount Longdon on the exact location where Sgt Ian McKay was killed winning a posthumous Victoria Cross, and he has travelled to the Falklands several times in order to write this book.