Operation Certain Death

Operation Certain Death

The Inside Story of the Greatest SAS Battles

Damien Lewis


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The terrifyingly true tale of a daring British special forces rescue mission and all-out assault on a savage Sierra Leone guerrilla gang: “What a story!” (Frederick Forsyth, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Day of the Jackal).

Officially, the SAS mission was called Operation Barras. The men on the ground called it Operation Certain Death.
In 2000, the British Special Air Service (SAS) attempted its riskiest rescue mission in more than half a century. A year before, an eleven-man patrol of Royal Irish Rangers who were training government troops in Sierra Leone was captured and held prisoner by the infamously ruthless rebel forces known as the West Side Boys. Their fortified base was hidden deep in the West African jungle, its barricades adorned with severed heads on spikes. Some four hundred heavily armed renegades were not only bloodthirsty—they were drink-and-drugs crazed. The guerrillas favored pink shades, shower caps, and fluorescent wigs, draping themselves in voodoo charms they believed made them bulletproof—a delusion reenforced by the steady consumption of ganja, heroin, crack, and sweet palm wine. This was the vicious and cutthroat enemy British special forces would confront in order to rescue their own.
Featuring extensive interviews with survivors, this gritty, blow-by-blow account of the bloody battle that brought an end to ten years of Africa’s most brutal civil war is “as good as any thriller I have ever read. This really is the low down” (Frederick Forsyth).


Damien Lewis:
Damien Lewis is a bestselling author whose books have been translated into over forty languages worldwide. For decades he worked as a war and conflict reporter for the world’s major broadcasters, reporting from Africa, South America, the Middle and Far East, and winning numerous awards. Lewis’s books include the #1 international bestseller Zero Six Bravo; the World War II classics Hunting the Nazi Bomb, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, and The Nazi Hunters; and the war dog books The Dog Who Could Fly and A Dog Called Hope. A dozen of his books have been made, or are being made, into movies or television drama series and several have been adapted as plays for the stage. Lewis has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charitable concerns connected to his writings.