Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Against All Odds

Against All Odds

Escape from Sierra Leone

Major Phil Ashby

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In West Africa's War-Ravaged Sierra Leone No One Was Getting Out Alive.

It Took the Courage of One Man to Change the Odds.

By 1990, Sierra Leone, once hailed as the 'Athens of West Africa', had degenerated into a savage battlefield, overtaken by rebel forces in a devastating civil war. Assigned to spearhead the mission as UN peacekeeper was Major Phil Ashby. But by 2000, the rebel occupation he had worked so diligently to disarm rose again to control an astounding two-thirds of the country. The enemy's mission: get rid of the outside opposition first. A number of Ashby's colleagues were tortured and finally butchered, and more than 500 were taken as hostages. Among the hostages was Phil Ashby. Miles from civilization, with no rescue in sight, Ashby and three of his men knew that their fate was up to them alone. Lost deep inside the rebels' heartland, unarmed, and outnumbered 20-to-1, Ashby devised a plan to escape from the hostile jungles that would test fate and challenge all reason. They should have been doomed.

Against All Odds is the incredible true story of that escape-and of the heart-pounding courage of Major Phil Ashby who defeated the rebel forces of Sierra Leone and became a living testament to the power of the human spirit and the sheer determination to survive.

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About the author

Major Phil Ashby

Phil Ashby was born in Scotland in 1970. He joined the Royal Marines at the age of seventeen as a Second Lieutenant, the youngest commissioned officer in HM Forces. Having completed his Arctic Warfare training, and earned his Green Beret, he was sponsored by the Marines to attend Pembroke College, Cambridge. He met his future wife, Anna, there on Valentine's Day 1991. On leaving the university, he served in Alaska, Brunei, Central America, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, and Norway, and then undertook a year of specialist training as a Royal Marines Mountain Leader, the longest and hardest specialist infantry course in the British armed forces. In 1999, he was promoted to Major, the youngest person to hold that rank in the whole of the armed forces, and was posted to Sierra Leone. He was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his dramatic escape from rebel forces there. He is the author of Against All Odds and has a Master's degree in Defense Technology.

Major Phil Ashby

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