Breakfast at Babs
Written mostly in Iraq post mission the events described in this novel are either true, based on fact or fictionalised from real experiences.
The real mission was to capture a 'person of interest'
The excitement throughout 539 ASRM, based in the small village of Turnchapel in Plymouth, was tangible, this was a serious mission.
Our boat group on permanent short notice to move had to deploy to Iraq within days, plan, prepare, and forward deploy to a FOB (forward operating base) and execute a mission into the unknown.
Everyone including the intelligence services who were tracking him assumed 'Abdulla' was moving large quantities of weapons, ammunition and maybe fighters.
His movements from Iran through the waterways and channels into Iraq were linked with the growing insurrections in Al Amarah.
As our trap closed we realised there was no way he was moving anything large, but what could be so important that could only be moved in a small skiff at night?
The inflatable boats & outboard engines were painted by the team in theater to help them blend in with the dirty water, base of the reeds and the mud.
The intelligence was real..the threat was real...the mission was real...but who were the real targets?...could it really have gone so wrong?
Babs and Carol ran 'Babsies'....the cafe at Turnchaple the home of 539 at the time, where the real mission was briefed and breakfast taken on return!
539 ASRM (Assault Squadron Royal Marines) is 3 Commando Brigades deployable boat squadron, formed in 1984 and named after the famous 539 Assault Flotilla which landed on Gold Beach during the Invasion of Normandy.
The Chinook incident is genuine, the aircraft nearly crashed the air gunner ended up with a bloody nose Simon and one of the team saved his ammunition but he lost his tea!
Although it didn't actually crash the events around the rocket attack on the C130 are real, the pilot's took evasive maneuvers and unlike the book they crash landed safely with the aircraft intact, the events and drama inside the Hercules are real!