The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero

Bravo Two Zero patrol before departure in January 1991, on tailgate of Chinook helicopter.

The actual Bravo Two Zero patrol pose for a team snap on the tailgate of a Chinook helicopter before their departure in January 1991.

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Andy)
‘Andy McNab’ (Sean Bean)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Baz)
‘Baz’ AKA Bob Consiglio (Ian Curtis)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Chris)
‘Chris Ryan’ (Kevin Collins)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Dinger)
‘Dinger’ AKA Ian Pring (Steve Nicolson)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Mark)
‘Mark’ AKA ‘Kiwi Mike Coburn’ (Richard Graham)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Ray)
‘Ray’ AKA Vince Phillips (Jamie Bartlett)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Stan)
‘Stan’ AKA Mal MacGown (Robert Hobbs)

The Gang’s All Here #003: Bravo Two Zero (Tony)
‘Tony’ AKA Steve ‘Legs’ Lane (Rick Warden)

So, let’s meet the celebrated/infamous/notorious (delete as necessary) 1991 Gulf War SAS patrol Bravo Two Zero… Above we have a bunch of screengrabs taken from the 1999 TV mini-series Bravo Two Zero (written by Troy Kennedy-Martin and directed by Tom Clegg) of the 1993 book Bravo Two Zero by ‘Andy McNab’.

Now, there are some confusing things to consider. ‘McNab’ wrote the first book about the B20 mission, and he used pseudonyms for those of his comrades-in-arms who survived. He used the real names of those who died. One of those who survived, ‘Chris Ryan’, subsequently wrote his own escape of the mission and of his escape in the 1995 book The One That Got Away which in turn was turned into a 1996 television film The One That Got Away (written and directed by Paul Greengrass), and used some but not all of the same names. His version of events differs considerably from ‘McNab’s.

The ‘McNab’ and ‘Ryan’ books, and in particular the characterisation of on of those who perished, Vince Phillips, pissed off at least two of the remaining three survivors, and one of them, ‘Mike Coburn’ (previously called ‘Kiwi Mark’) wrote his own account in the 1998 book Soldier Five.

Of course, this not being a straight-forward story, there was a long and convoluted legal battle over the publication of the book – let’s just say that the MoD was not keen. Eventually, after a protracted court case the book came out in 2004.

Meanwhile, in 2000 former SAS reservist-turned-explorer Michael Asher roamed around Iraq searching for evidence of what happened during the B20 mission, having been commissioned to make a television programme for the Channel 4 documentary strand To The Ends Of The Earth. In 2002 the programme was completed and broadcast, under the name The Real Bravo Two Zero, accompanied by a book, also called The Real Bravo Two Zero.

Seriously – are you following this?

Anyway, when I get the chance I’ll do the same for the adaptation of the Ryan book for comparison’s sake.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: