Excursion to Hell

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by Vincent Bramley

Vincent Bramley's account of his experiences in the Falklands campaign is a universal story that transcends time and place. Such stories are rarely committed to paper and never as candidly as this. Mount Longdon will stand as the testament of common soldiers throughout history, caught up in wars not of their own making, of how they cope - or in many cases fail to cope - with fatigue, fear, aggression, carnage and death. It is a story filled with compassion and brutality in almost equal measure. Most of all it is a story of confusion - confusion in the heat of battle and confusion in the hearts and souls of ordinary men.

Lance-Corporal Vincent Bramley is one of the few soldiers from the ranks to write of his experiences in battle in the Falkland Islands. In retelling what happened to him and his fellow paratroopers during the bloody battle of Mount Longdon, he comes closer than any previous writer to exposing the effect that the prospect of dying and the reality of killing has on a common soldier. Different men react differently to these most bewildering of circumstances.

Vincent Bramley dispassionately describes behaviour of every kind from that of those who disappeared to avoid carnage, through those who - like himself - obeyed orders, faced death and did their share of killing, to those who became brutalized in the heat of battle and killed and maimed the enemy unnecessarily.

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— Vincent Bramley, Excursion to Hell