by Lewis Page
Arrow Books, 2007
Lewis Page had experience of all three arms of the Services, ending up in the Navy, leaving in 2004. He clearly cares about our Armed Forces, and writes with a great deal of affection, not to say in-house banter. He gives a breakdown of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, their personnel, equipment and weapons, describing how each works – or rather, doesn’t work. He’s withering, sarcastic and very, very funny. He is also absolutely furious about the appalling waste of money and resources, the unnecessary procurement of expensive equipment, whether tanks, ships or planes, which look good but are not needed, when basic equipment is missing.
He is angry about the cosy deals between Government and British Aerospace, deals which mean we the taxpayers always pay through the nose to get useless equipment which doesn’t do what it is supposed to and which is delivered years too late. He is angry about the feather-bedding of the brass hats, the ‘army’ of well paid generals, admirals and air marshals sitting behind desks.
It’s a riveting, infuriating, hilarious read, and stuffed full of facts and figures – the sort of facts that every campaigner against war can make use of.