By David Blakeley
First in - the reputable motto of 1 of the British Army's smallest and such a lot secretive devices, sixteen Air attack Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. Unofficially, they're the bastard son of the SAS. and prefer their opposite numbers in Hereford, the task of the Pathfinders is to function unseen and undetected deep at the back of enemy strains. whilst British forces deployed to Iraq in 2003, Captain David Blakeley was once given command of a reconnaissance project of such serious value that it might switch the process the battle. It's the tale of 9 males, working on my own and unsupported, fifty miles prior to a US Recon Marine boost and head instantly right into a hornets nest, teeming with hundreds of thousands of heavily-armed enemy forces. this can be the 1st account of that impressive undertaking - deserted by means of coalition command, left with out choice yet to struggle their method out of the enemy's yard. And it offers a gripping perception into the Pathfinders themselves, a shadowy unit, simply forty-five males powerful, that plies its alternate from the skies. knowledgeable to parachute in to enemy territory a long way past the ahead fringe of conflict - freefalling from excessive altitude respiring bottled oxygen and using the newest skydiving expertise - the PF are particular. as a result of new ideas brought because the book of Bravo 0, there were no first-hand bills of British specific Forces waging modern day battle for almost a decade. And no member of the Pathfinders has ever informed their tale earlier than. beforehand. Pathfinder is the one first-hand account of a UKSF venture to emerge for almost a iteration. And it may be the final.
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Extra info for Pathfinder
Only a summary was shared. One result was that many British and French generals went on regarding the German plans in Belgian hands as a plant. And some of these commanders shrugged off the plans on grounds that nothing much could be done about them even if they were real. Nor were the Allies as yet doing much of anything else to ward off the fearful and imminent danger that threatened them. Although their High Command gave an outward impression of extreme activity and bustle, shuffling papers from early morning until late at night, they actually were mired in a profound intellectual lethargy.
In any case, the two German officers clearly had no business where they were. They were taken to the nearby town of Mechelen-sur-Meuse for questioning. It quickly became clear to the Belgian officials that they had stumbled onto something extraordinary. At first, they believed the two majors might be on a spy mission. Then, when they examined the papers, they thought that the plans might be a plant, a false alarm to induce both the Belgians and the Western Allies to rush to arms and give away their own plans for troop movements at the outbreak of hostilities.
Amazingly, neither of the men was badly hurt. As they pulled themselves out of the wreck, some peasants came up to see what had happened. They spoke no German. Hoenmanns’ worst fears were realized. The river he had sighted was not the Rhine but the Meuse; they were down in Belgium. Reinberger had the presence of mind to duck behind a hedge and set fire to his precious papers, but he was too late. He had barely set a match to the files when Belgian border guards came up to investigate and put out the flames before they could do much more than scorch a few of the documents.