The SAS mission conducted behind Iraqi lines is one of the most famous stories of courage and survival in modern warfare. Of the eight members of the SAS regiment who set off, only one escaped capture. This is his story. Late on the evening of 24 January 1991 the patrol was compromised deep behind enemy lines in Iraq. A fierce fire-fight left the eight men miraculously unscathed, but they were forced to run for their lives. Their aim was to reach the Syrian border, 120 kilometres to the north-west, but during the first night the patrol accidentally broke into two groups, five and three. Chris Ryan found himself left with two companions. Nothing had prepared them for the vicious cold of the desert winter, and they began to suffer from hypothermia. During the night one of the men was to disappear in a blinding blizzard. The next day a goat-herd came across the two survivors. Chris's remaining partner, went with him in search of food and was never to return. Left on his own, Chris Ryan beat off an Iraqi attack and set out alone. His greatest adventure was only just beginning.
This is the story of courage under fire, of hairbreadth escapes, of the best trained soldiers in the world fighting against adverse conditions, and of one man's courageous refusal to lie down and die.
Chris Ryan was born in 1961 in a village near Newcastle. In 1984 he joined the SAS. During his ten years in the Regiment , he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also Sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris was the only member of an eight-man team to escape from Iraq, of which three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. During Ryan's last two years in the Regiment he selected and trained potential SAS recruits, he left the SAS in 1994 and is now the author of many bestselling thrillers for adults, as well as the Alpha Force and Code Red series for younger readers. His work in security takes him around the world. He has also appeared in a number of TV programmes, including Hunting Chris Ryan, Pushed to the Limit (Toughest Families) and Terror Alert (Sky TV, 2004).