The Apache attack helicopter is one of the world’s most awesome weapons systems. Deployed for the first time in Afghanistan, it has already passed into legend. The only thing more incredible than the Apache itself are the pilots who fly her. For the first time, Apache Dawn tells their story—and their baptism of fire in the unforgiving battle of Helmand province.
Their call sign was “Ugly”—and there was no better word for the grueling hundred-day deployment they endured. Day after day, four of England’s Army Air Corps’ finest pilots flew right into the heart of battle, testing their aircraft to the very limit. Apache Dawn takes the reader with them on a series of unrelenting and brutally intense combat missions, from daring, edge-of-the-seat rescues to dramatic close-air support in the white heat of battle.
Bestselling author Damien Lewis has been given unprecedented access to these heroic aircrews and to the men on the ground whose lives they saved. It is an astounding story of bravery, skill, and resilience in the face of unbelievable odds. And it is the story of the Apache itself—the ultimate fighting machine.
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15 January 2007, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
As the storm of rotor-blown dust settled over Jugroom Fort and a pall of ink-grey smoke drifted into the steel blue of the winter sky, the enemy emerged to gather up their wounded and count their dead. It was barely 1145 hours Afghanistan time, 0630 hours back in the UK, where, on an airfield on Salisbury Plain, a second Apache aircrew stirred.
It was day one of Exercise Kush Dragon, and the four pilots of flight Ugly were about to learn the tough lessons of that morning’s actions at Jugroom Fort.
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"Veteran war correspondent Lewis (Bloody Heroes) chronicles the dramatic story of two Apache attack helicopters in Afghanistan in this intense and sobering narrative...Lewis vividly recreates the deft skills and steady nerves demanded of helicopter pilots in combat in the tradition of Robert Mason's Vietnam War classic, Chickenhawk, and Ed Macy's Apache. Military and aviation enthusiasts will appreciate this fast-paced, eloquent account of modern war." --Publishers Weekly
"As good as any thriller I have ever read." --Freddie Forsyth
Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war and conflict zones around the world. His books include the Sunday Times bestseller Operation Certain Death, and Bloody Heroes, plus the novels Desert Claw and Cobra Gold. His books, films, and journalism have won awards and widespread praise in the media.