Colonel Stuart Tootal is the first senior commander to provide an account of the fighting in Afghanistan. A gritty portrayal of unforgiving conflict, Danger Close captures the essence of combat, the risks involved and the aftermath.
3 PARA was the first unit into Helmand in 2006. Sent on a peace mission, it became engaged in a level of combat that has not been experienced by the British Army since the end of the Korean War. Undermanned and suffering from equipment shortages, 3 PARA fought doggedly to win the break in battle.
Numerous gallantry decorations were awarded, but they were not without cost. On returning from Afghanistan, Tootal fought to get proper treatment for his wounded and feeling frustrated with the Government's treatment of its soldiers, he resigned from the Army.
This is a dramatic, and often moving insight into the leadership of soldiers and the sharp end of war.
Colonel Stuart Tootal has served in Germany, Northern Ireland, the Gulf War and during the invasion of Iraq. He also served in the MOD, for which he was awarded the OBE. In 2006, he commanded 3 PARA in Afghanistan and was awarded a DSO for outstanding leadership and gallantry. He subsequently set up the 3 PARA Afghan Trust charity, on leaving the Army. He now works in the City and is a defence commentator for a major national TV network, numerous papers and radio programmes. He regularly lectures on leadership in challenging environments and his experiences in Afghanistan to forums. Danger Close is his first book.