When Sgt. Dan Mills and the rest of the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment flew into Iraq in April, 2004, they were supposed to be winning hearts and minds. They were soon fighting for their lives.
Within hours of their arrival in Iraq, a grenade bounced off one of the battalion’s Land Rovers, rolled underneath and detonated. The ambush marked the beginning of a full-scale firefight during which Mills killed a man with a round that removed his assailant’s head. It was going to be a long tour.
Like some post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” nightmare, the place had gone to hell in a handbasket. Temperatures on the ground often topped 120 degrees Fahrenheit, sewage systems had long since packed up, and the stench of cooking waste and piles of festering garbage grew wherever you looked. Throat-burning winds, blast bombs and well-trained, well-organized militias armed with AKs, RPGs and a limitless supply of mortar rounds were the icing on the cake.
If any of Mills’s eighteen-man sniper platoon had thought that the people of Al Amarah were going to welcome them with open arms, they were rapidly forced to reconsider. For the next six months, isolated, besieged and under constant fire, the battalion refused to give an inch.
Sniper One is a breathtaking chronicle of endurance, camaraderie, dark humor and courage in the face of relentless, lethal assault.