Thursday, May 13, 2021

Fighting Season

Section:

A review of Fighting Season by Graham Lee

 

At school, one of my classmates was a chap named Graham Lee. We used to travel home together on the same bus from Lancaster and as both our mothers worked at the same university and shared a love of all things equestrian, we had much in common.

 

9780715642979
“Fighting Season: Tales of a British Officer in Afghanistan” by Graham Lee

Naturally, as happens when one goes to university, we lost touch and it was the phenomenon that is Facebook that caused us to regain contact with one another recently. Whilst I may have enjoyed a somewhat colourful time working for a billionaire, launching drinks brands and writing, Lee has been involved in something far more important in the time since we left Lancaster Royal Grammar School in 1999.

 

Lee, after Cambridge and Sandhurst, served in Kenya and Germany and then as an officer in the British Army’s spearhead Air Assault Brigade was sent to Afghanistan. In Fighting Season: Tales of a British Officer in Afghanistan, he recounts his experiences in a way that reveals that fighting a war there is very much different to how we see it in newspapers and on our televisions.

 

Mixing the every day travails of being a soldier, though doing so unlike others who’ve written of the Afghan campaign without focusing too much on a lack of equipment and bashing the government, Lee paints a picture of a country where loyalty changes constantly. Alongside accounts of dealings with the “Bond villain” General Muhayadin, who goes mad when a consignment of tomato paste isn’t delivered on time, but whom “knew exactly what he was doing” when exploiting the British into building checkpoints; Lee graphically explains how power, dominance and sex are thought of by many soldiers:

 

“ ‘Smash her in,’ was the phrase we’d been taught. It replaced ‘make love to her.’ It was a good phrase because it removed the necessity of being desired… Every man in the army knew how to dominate and be dominated. Power and violence were our bread and butter… Power. Domination. Violence. Sex.”

 

The book is not without humour. A passage about an “ancient general,” for example, tells of how, for him, the phrase “well done” had become a “reflex action” as he’d used it so much:

 

“Outside a country church he’d be introduced to a frail old lady with the line ‘this is Margaret. Her sister was killed in the blitz you know.’”

 

The Taliban themselves are presented as the unseen enemy in the main but again wit is used to depict them in a passage about ICOM intercepts:

 

“Taliban 1: Go and bring me the two headed thing that uses a lot of ammunition, not a pickaxe!

 

(He was talking about a rocket propelled grenade)

 

Taliban 2: OK.

Taliban 1: One time, when I asked this someone brought me an actual pickaxe!”

 

On a more serious note, the book deals with the death of Lee’s colleagues and delves into the psyche of being a soldier in passages such as:

 

“I could remember seeing British soldiers in Northern Ireland when I was a boy on holiday, driving past them and watching them look down on our car from behind their guns. They’d seemed like a horrible bunch of bastards. Now it was me behind the machine gun, encased by armour and uniform, with the little boy in rags standing in front of me, the muzzle of my gun covering half of his tiny body. How strange is life, I thought.”

 

Fighting Season is a book that points out the illogical nature of the Afghans and the seriously high level of bribery in their country. It details the horrors of war but also reveals how soldiers use humour to keep themselves sane.

 

In his final paragraph, Lee talks about being in his officers’ mess bar discussing how girlfriends often compare Afghanistan to a “big game of Lazerquest” and do not understand the differences betweem artillery and guns. He concludes with the line:

 

“And with that we bought ourselves another beer, and started talking about something else.”

 

When we meet again, Graham, the beer is on me.

 

Fighting Season by Graham Lee. Published by Duckworth Overlook, 2012. ISBN: 9780715644979. £16.99.

 

To purchase a copy, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fighting-Season-Graham-Lee/dp/0715642979

5e3b97728b2e4bf58c9ff7822befe328?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The Steeple Times
We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.
  1. […] Kajaki is a film so tense that it does not need music. It focuses on courage and selflessness and it shows the real enemy of the troops turns out be ignorance and incompetence. That the right batteries haven’t been supplied for their radios and that the RAF send in a Chinook helicopter that starts the minefield vibrating echoes the kind of story told by such people as Graham Lee in his 2012 account of his time in Afghanistan, Fighting Season: Tales of a British Officer in Afghanistan. […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement
Advertisement

Become a Patron of The Steeple Times

Independent journalism will only remain independent if it is supported by clear-thinking people like you. We each have the command to make a real difference. Join us.

2,628FansLike
2,068FollowersFollow
11,030FollowersFollow

Subscribe For DAILY NEWS

Please subscribe, like and share this very British site, it helps us grow. Your data is protected and The Steeple Times will send you an email at noon everyday that we rather trust you will enjoy.

Advertisement

Other Stories You May Enjoy

Nathan in November – Ghislaine Maxwell trial moved to 29th November – Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial before Judge Nathan moved to 29th November in spite of her crackpot lawyer claiming jurors won’t be fair to her because they will want to be home for Christmas.

Nathan in November

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial before Judge Nathan moved to 29th November in spite of her crackpot lawyer claiming jurors won’t be fair to her because they will want to be home for Christmas.
Wisdom From Wales 2021 – Analysis of election results and Labour – Nikolay Kalinin delves into Labour success in Wales in the recent elections and suggests if the party wants to win nationwide they should pay heed to what went on there.

Wisdom From Wales

Nikolay Kalinin delves into Labour’s success in Wales in the recent elections and suggests if the party wants to win nationwide they should pay heed to what went on there.
Hoping v Helping 2021 – Sue Homan slams Michael Barrymore – Sue Homan “slams” deviant disgrace Michael Barrymore for not helping secure justice for her murdered ex-husband Stuart Lubbock.

Hoping v Helping

Sue Homan quite deservedly “slams” deviant disgrace Michael Barrymore for not helping secure justice for her murdered ex-husband Stuart Lubbock.
Fagin’s Bentley – Ex-Ron Moody 1961 Bentley S2 Continental for sale – 1961 Bentley S2 Continental drophead coupé owned by Golden Globe award winning actor Ron Moody – best known as ‘Fagin’ in ‘Oliver!’ – for sale for 329% more than it sold for in 2014 after restoration. Offered by Frank Dale & Stepsons for £295,000 ($413,000, €339,000 or درهم1.5 million).

Fagin’s Bentley

1961 Bentley S2 Continental drophead coupé owned by Golden Globe award winning actor Ron Moody – best known as ‘Fagin’ in ‘Oliver!’ – for sale for 329% more than it sold for in 2014 after restoration.
A Hiding in Hartlepool 2021 – Labour loses Hartlepool to the Tories – Nikolay Kalinin shares his thoughts on Labour’s electoral hiding in Hartlepool.

A Hiding in Hartlepool

Nikolay Kalinin shares his thoughts on Labour’s electoral hiding in Hartlepool.
Maxwell, McCann & Menendez… And Matthew Steeples – ‘The Steeple Times’s’ Matthew Steeples to answer questions live during YouTube premiere of his ‘Maxwell, McCann & Menendez’ interview with Shaun Attwood on Saturday 8th May 2021. Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, Robert Maxwell, Michael Barrymore, Stuart Lubbock, Terry Lubbock, Marie-Claire von Alvensleben, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Max Clifford, Owen Oyston, Madeleine McCann, Gerry McCann, Kate McCann, Catherine Meyer, Sir Christopher Meyer, Luke Durbin, Martin Allen, Ben Needham, Jeremy Bamber, White House Farm, Lyle Menendez, Erik Menendez, Robert Rand, Hazel Thornton, Gavin Newsom, Mark Alexander, Terry Waite, Corey Feldman.

Maxwell, McCann & Menendez… And Matthew Steeples

‘The Steeple Times’s’ Matthew Steeples to answer questions live during YouTube premiere of his ‘Maxwell, McCann & Menendez’ interview with Shaun Attwood on Saturday 8th May.
Word of the Week 2021 – Going to the Polls – Fox v Binface – Susie Dent shares the fascinating origin of “going to the polls” just as Count Binface looks to get more votes than Laurence Fox in spite of the latter having a ludicrous £5 million campaign pot.

Word of the Week 2021 – Going to the Polls

Susie Dent shares the fascinating origin of “going to the polls” just as Count Binface looks to get more votes than Laurence Fox in spite of the latter having a ludicrous £5 million campaign pot.
Starmer’s Multifaceted Mess 2021 – Labour fail to make inroads – Nikolay Kalinin suggests that in spite of their crusade against Tory sleaze, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer is failing to make any inroads and finds himself in a multifaceted mess.

Starmer’s Multifaceted Mess

Nikolay Kalinin suggests that in spite of their crusade against Tory sleaze, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer is failing to make any inroads and finds himself in a multifaceted mess.
Earn From The Lord – £34k for church hall that could earn £300 per night – Former church hall on the Isle of Lewis to be sold for just £34,000 in spite of the fact that it could earn the buyer £300 per night – Lionel Mission Hall, Lionel, Barvas, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, HS2 0XD, United Kingdom to be sold by Future Property Auctions on 7th May 2021.

Earn From The Lord

Former church hall on the Isle of Lewis to be sold for just £34,000 in spite of the fact that it could earn the...
Maxwell Delayed 2021 – Ghislaine Maxwell trial put back to autumn 2021 – Matthew Steeples suggests that Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial delay is not surprising given new charges against the mucky madam; it is now time Prince Andrew spoke to the FBI, he adds.

Maxwell Delayed

Matthew Steeples suggests that Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial being delayed is not surprising given new charges against the mucky madam; it is now time Prince Andrew spoke to the FBI, he adds.

Popular Articles From The Past

Weather

London
light rain
10.8 ° C
13.5 °
9.1 °
90 %
2.6kmh
90 %
Thu
12 °
Fri
14 °
Sat
12 °
Sun
14 °
Mon
14 °