Book: In the Service of the Sultan

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    • #95743

        I am nearly finished with this book. I recommend it to you. It is written by a Royal Marine office who was seconded to the Sultan of Oman’s Army in 1973 (the year I was born). Prior to this, he served in Northern Ireland. In 1982, he was a company commander in the Falklands. The book is written more recently, so it has the benefit of research and hindsight.

        This book so closely mirrors things that I say and teach, that I feel I could have written it, had I served a generation before my time.

        What immediately stuck me was that he starts to harp on how hard it is to locate enemy positions. He then talks about casualties, and how hard it is to extract them. What do I always tell you are the two hardest things to do? Same.

        Given the sort of potential warfare that he is writing about, this is the kind of book that you need to read. It hits up everything that we teach on MVT classes. Even down to having vehicles to bring ammo forward and causalities to the rear. This is a much more raw type of combat, which in effect is what you will experience if you have to fight in an SHTF situation. Even in the book, they have artillery and air support, but much more analogue than today in the GWOT. They have massive radio communication problems. You will not have that, so you have to rely on your basic infantry rifleman skills. That is not unheard of, and I have had multiple situations both in and out of military uniform where there has been no support, or no immediate support: small arms contacts in Northern Ireland, with or without IEDs, do not have artillery called in support. Contacts in Iraq and Helmand. It can be done, as trained at MVT.

        I have attached a scanned extract, which is a great example, and includes a lot of aspects. To summarize:

        – Khareef is the mist season, poor visibility. Adoo are the communist enemy.

        – mention of fast firing weapons at close range: Adoo have AKs, and this is often the preference of some of the Brit officers, giving up the heavy FN FAL 7..62 rifle. Today, we can do better with the AR.

        -Issues of PID and fratricde.

        – Height over bore!

        – Shitty comms, hard to call for fire support and casualty extraction.

        – Getting the high ground.

        -breaking contact under fire, carrying casualties.

        – Initiative and firepower generated by the few leaders – Heraclitus’ 10, rather than the rest of the led, who do little (native troops).

        – imperative and effect of accurate fire (this time mainly from the adoo).

        – bounding back from ambush position to hasty ambush position breaking contact.

        – vehicles forward for ammo forward, casualties back.

        He also talks about training, complacency, patrolling, ambush and a whole other bunch of things that we teach or advocate at MVT. You may well never have heard of this war, being all insulated in ‘Merica – and Vietnam was going on at the time also.

      • #95744

          Try this then:

        • #95745

            Would a man be called a shirker if he would have preferred to have been seconded to Brunei?

            Does it have a lot of maps? I ask because kindle always seems to screw up maps and I like maps to get a picture up in my head.

            PS IMO one of your strengths as a writer is that I can understand the orientation of you battles without maps.

          • #95746

              Just ordered from Amazon for my Kindle. Max, Survival Blog, whenever they recommend something on their site, they get a kickback from Amazon. I don’t know the process, but maybe something you might be interested in. If someone buys your books through your site off Amazon you would get a little more kickback. Thought you would like to know.

            • #95747

                Thanks for sharing Max. Any insight into the decision to split up the patrol onto four hills?

              • #95748

                  Overwatch positions on surrounding higher ground, around the minefield area, which they were going to search.

                • #95749

                    Just ordered. Thanks for the recomendation.

                  • #95750

                      I just finished his Falklands book two days ago; I’ll check this one out.

                    • #95751

                        Excerpts (p 49)

                        They (Simon Hill and David Nicholls) pointed out that it is only in films that the goody knows instantly and precisely where to return his fire when someone shoots at him. If only it were so easy. In reality, finding out from where you have been shot at – locating the enemy – is often one of the most difficult things to do on a battlefield. Typically you are on patrol with your men and the crack of enemy rifle or machine-gun fire is simultaneous with one or more of your men dropping to the ground wounded or dead. Everyone else dives on their bellies and scrambles for cover. Someone attends to the stricken man or men and everybody else shouts; ‘anyone seen the enemy?’ – and nobody has. So you start from there.


                        If the enemy is supported by indirect fire, you can expect mortar shells or rockets to start crashing in amongst you within a couple of minutes of the first contact. Fear, utter confusion and blind desperation are waiting to overwhelm you, and only the best trained soldiers with the coolest NCOs and quickest thinking officers can turn such a situation round. ……

                      • #95752

                          Who is reading this?

                        • #95753
                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                            Bought it, haven’t started it yet.

                          • #95754


                              HEAT 1 2017
                              Intro to CQB 2017
                              Texas HEAT 2 2018
                              Operation TeaSinker 2019
                              Combat Leader Course 2019
                              Team Coyote
                              Team Rekkr
                              Team Cowbell

                            • #95755
                              Mike Q

                                About 1 chapter in.

                              • #95756

                                  bought but not started.

                                • #95757

                                    I have it on my Kindle, but haven’t started it yet

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