In November 2001, in the biggest and most destructive mission in SAS recent history, half of the world's most elite regiment took on Al Queda's crack forces in Afghanistan. This is the first-hand account of that battle, drawing on the memories of the men who fought in it. The target was a [pound]50 million opium storage plant, which doubled as an Al Qaeda local command centre, in Helmand province. The mission had three objectives: to kill as many terrorists as possible; to collect enemy intelligence; and to destroy the opium, the main source of income for the Taliban regime. Ultimate Risk is a story of extraordinary courage. The mission involved a perilous advance to contact across open ground and yet there had been no time for CTRs (Close Target Reccies) and there were no maps. It culminated in a four-hour close quarter fight, leaving many enemy dead and yet, as the soldiers reveal, only a miracle prevented the biggest loss to life in SAS history.
Mark Nicol grew up in Hereford, where his father served in the 'regiment' for 16 years. He has worked as a journalist specializing in military reporting, and has exclusively covered the SAS inside Afghanistan.