Secret Techniques of the Elite Forces: How To Train and Fight Like the Elite and Special Operations Forces of the World  by Leroy Thompson.  Published by Greenhill Books, London and Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, 2005.  ISBN 1-85367-652-7.  Paperback, 207 pp, 60-plus b & w photos and drawings, 16 x 23 cm.  UK price 11.99 plus post and pack, but best to see your local friendly bookseller. 

In the Greenhill Military Manuals series Leroy Thompson authored two excellent books, viz. Combat Shotguns and Combat Handguns.  Demonstrating his versatility in authorship and his extensive expertise in many fields, he has now produced this brilliant expose of what special forces can do and how they prepare for it.

 The pages are liberally sprinkled with all sorts of fascinating miscellaneous, but generally unknown, facts such as the weakness of Kevlar armour when exposed to water, the bullet-stopping power of ice and snow, the thickness of ice needed to support troops, kernmantle ropes, and double cambered skis.

 The introductory chapter gives an overview of the origins of today’s special forces and sets the scene for the following seven chapters, which deal with selection, weaponry, airborne operations, water operations, operations in deserts, cold climes and the jungle, intelligence gathering, plus survival, evasion and escape.

 The reader may have read books about the SAS, Delta Force and special operations.  Well and good.  What this book does is to review the whole world of special forces and special operations and to provide a very helpful overview of the state of play.  This is an invaluable guide for the professional operator, the armchair theorist, the wargamer, the fiction author writing a best seller or anyone interested in military affairs. 

In short, this is an invaluable contribution to the subject area.  Bravo!