Tunnel Rats vs the Taliban: How Aussie Sappers Led the Way in the War on Terror

Author(s): Jimmy Thomson; Sandy MacGregor


They are young, they are tough, and they were the forward scouts in Australia's war against the Taliban.

This is the story of the sappers, the Army engineers in Afghanistan who learned their skills from the original Australian Tunnel Rats of the Vietnam War. Like their compatriots in Vietnam, the Tunnel Rats of Afghanistan have rutted out the enemy from deep inside their caves and hideouts, have defused thousands of improvised explosive devices (the booby traps and landmines of this most recent of wars), built bridges and schools to win a war of hearts and minds, and lost mates at a greater rate than any other group of soldiers. And they, too, have returned home with the devastating baggage of war: post-traumatic stress disorder.

Inspiring and action packed, this is the story of a special breed of soldier operating in a modern war against a medieval enemy. It is a story that connects the unsung heroes of Vietnam with the modern heroes of Afghanistan.


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JIMMY THOMSON is a journalist, author and screenwriter. He is the author of Snitch, Watto and Wendell Sailor: Crossing the line, and co-wrote Tunnel Rats and A Sappers' War with Sandy MacGregor. As a young captain SANDY MACGREGOR, a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, commanded the original Tunnel Rats of 3 Field Troop in Vietnam and was awarded the Military Cross. He served in the Army for 30 years, finishing as a colonel in the Reserves...

Maps of Afghanistan and Uruzgan province..List of abbreviations and acronyms..Foreword by Major General John Cantwell AO, DSC (Ret'd)..Prologue: The Tunnel Rat legacy..Introduction: Sappers in Afghanistan..1: Operation Salaam..2: The rise of the Taliban..3: Hunting bin Laden..4: Follow the sapper..5: Live ... move ... fight..6: Backyard Blitz..7: Moving on..8: Special ops and local cops..9: On patrol with special forces..10: Under fire..11: Holding ground..12: Taking on a tech killer..13: The horror of war..14: Clear, hold, build..15: All change..16: Front-line females..17: Heavy duties..18: The dogs of war..19: The 'good' war..20: Hard yards and Hescos..21: Life and death with special forces..22: Moving targets..23: Into Helmand..24: Building relationships..25: The Day of the Well..26: 21st-century Tunnel Rats..27: Fatal attraction..28: Trainers and turncoats..29: Wounded warriors..30: Was it worth it?..Afterword: Beating the retreat..Glossary..Acknowledgements..Further reading

General Fields

  • : 9781760294168
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : August 2016
  • : 198mm X 128mm
  • : Australia
  • : August 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jimmy Thomson; Sandy MacGregor
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 958.104742
  • : 288