‘The Hard Way: Adapt, Survive and Win’ by Mark ‘Billy Billingham

(*****Five out of Five Stars)
This was the fourth of the former ‘SAS – Who Dares Wins’ DS autobiographies I have read, and as with those by Jason Fox, Ollie Ollerton and Ant Middleton, this one didn’t disappoint.

I have the utmost respect for these guys and their colleagues and find it fascinating to see what type of person actually wants to put them through the situations they find themselves in. Their backstory is always interesting.

I’m way too old now, and certainly not brave or daft enough to have ever wanted to join up, but I always enjoy the physical challenge of training – just for sport in my case. So to read what these guys do is mind blowing. I would have loved to have been able to give that aspect of being an SAS operative a try.

It’s a little frustrating, but obviously understandable that Billy couldn’t include details of any specific battle situations in which he found himself. But there are some general references, so the reader is left in no doubt as to the stress our soldiers had to deal with.

An excellent and ‘easy’ read

First Man In.

I read this is about a week,having been given it as a Christmas present.

I have the utmost respect for our Armed forces, and what with the ‘SAS – Who Dares Wins’ TV programme now into its fifth series, I knew more or less what to expect here. But that did not detract from an engrossing and ‘easy’ read.

Autobiographies / biographies are generally interesting I think because there is always something in every book that the reader can relate to. For me, I love the thought of the physical challenges involved in getting to the selection process for the Special Forces. The courage, bravery and mental determination, though absolutely amazes me.

And I didn’t appreciate the difference between the attitudes of those in Para, to those in SBS / SAS. Interesting.

But though Ant’s experiences are all military based, there is so much to take inspiration from and take into one’s own daily life – especially if a ‘leader’ role is called for – be that in a family life situation; sports team or work environment.

Excellent read.

(I’ve already read Jason Fox’s ‘Battle Scars’ book, and that dealt more with the mental side of warfare, though no less riveting. I’ll not be getting hold of Billy and Ollie’s books too.)