This unashamedly politically incorrect collection of 190 true stories, gathered from former members of the Paras and other Airborne forces, is guaranteed to have any former soldier in stitches.
Although it celebrates the particular madness of the British airborne soldier of the 1950s and 60s, it epitomises the no-nonsense sense of humour of all soldiers, no matter what units they were in or when they served.
The humour is sometimes sick, occasionally perverse, often rude, definitely weird and usually warped – a consequence of the vocation these men have chosen and the mental and physical toughness required of them.
Many of the stories feature memories of the infamous Parachute Regiment selection course known as ‘P’ Company (Pegasus Company); two weeks of mental and physical hell designed to test the endurance of even the strongest of men. Those who passed could wear their red berets with pride, knowing they had come through hell and survived, although this was just the beginning of their career as an airborne soldier.
Further incidents are recalled, involving the perils of leaping out of aircraft, hard landings, lucky escapes, practical jokes and other crazy antics of airborne personnel both on and off duty.
The end result is a book that will keep you chuckling for hours.
For any ex-Para it’s a “must-read” and for everyone else it will be a real eye-opener.