WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE 2012. This is the gripping story of the men of the Welsh Guards and their bloody battle for survival in Afghanistan in 2009. Underequipped and overstretched, they found themselves in the most intense fighting the British had experienced in a generation. They were led into battle by Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, a passionate believer in the justness of the war who was deeply dismayed by the way it was being resourced and conducted. Thorneloe was killed by an IED during Operation Panther's Claw, the biggest operation mounted by the British in Helmand. Dead Men Risen draws on secret documents written by Thorneloe, which raise questions from beyond the grave that will unnerve politicians and generals alike. The Welsh Guards also lost Major Sean Birchall, commanding officer of IX Company, and Lieutenant Mark Evison, a platoon commander whose candid personal diary was unnervingly prophetic. Not since the Second World War had a single British battalion lost officers at the three key levels of leadership.
Harnden transports the reader into the heart of a conflict in which a soldier has to be prepared to kill and die, to ward off paralysing fear and watch comrades perish in agony. Given unprecedented access to the Welsh Guards, Harnden conducted hundreds of interviews in Afghanistan, England and Wales. He weaves the experiences of the guardsmen and the loved ones they left behind into a seamless and unsparing narrative that sits alongside a piercing analysis of the political and military strategy. No other book about modern warfare succeeds on so many levels.
Toby Harnden is a veteran foreign correspondent who has reported from all over the world. He has covered the Welsh Guards in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan over the past fifteen years. His last book was the critically acclaimed bestseller Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh (1999). Harnden currently lives in Washington DC, where he is the US Editor of the Daily Telegraph.
Maps. Order of Battle. Author's Note. Prologue. Cymru Am Byth. Green Zone. Whitehall Warrior. Fighting Season. The Afghan Factor. Barma Inshallah. Flashman's Fort. Life is Fragile. Mystery Junction. Low Metal Content. Heaven in Helmand. Big Hand, Small Map. On the Canal. Top Cover. Regret to Inform. Men of Harlech. Battle Shock. One Shot, Two Kills. Dragon Punch. Time and the Clock. Epilogue. List of Key Personnel. Chronology. Glossary. Notes. Bibliography. Acknowledgements. List of Maps. Picture Credits. Index.