Author(s): Tim Collins
From the moment Tim Collins's speech to his men in Iraq was made public, this soldier/thinker became a hero and an inspiration to world leaders and infantrymen alike. To a public confused and suspicious about the motives for war, he at last offered some explanation for it and inspired a mood of optimism and humanity that has since been sadly lost. And yet, only two months later Collins was pilloried by two national newspapers and accused of war crimes. But these tumultuous events are only part of his story. Rules of Engagement begins when he takes command of the First Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment in the immediate aftermath of its devastating experience during the hostage crisis in Sierra Leone. 1 R Irish go on to combat the Loyalist murder gangs in East Tyrone, hold the line between two communities during the Holy Cross dispute in Belfast and survive ambush in the deserts of Iraq. Rules of Engagement is a powerful memoir that provides a series of resonant and timeless close-ups of history in the making.
'As well as concentrating on Iraq, this well-written, evocative book also focuses on the author's deeply personal relationship with his regiment and men, whose lives were always close to his heart' -- Hugh McManners, Sunday Times 20050529 'This absorbing tale, by turns dramatic, thoughtful and humorous, is a lesson in the humanity behind a country at war' -- Sun 20050626 'Painfully compelling' -- Allan Mallinson, The Times 20050604 'The book is a fascinating, detailed account of what he and his men went through in the invasion and delivers a hard-hitting message of where the Coalition has gone wrong since the invasion' -- Sydney Sun Herald 20050626 'His memoir is incendiary' -- Herald 20050523 'He is a thinking soldier with a gift for words and tells his story well. He is particularly good on the travails of his own regiment' -- John Keegan, Spectator 20050611
Tim Collins was born in Belfast and was commissioned into the Army in 1981 when he joined the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers in West Berlin. After a career that encompassed tours in Northern Ireland, the Falklands Islands and Cyprus, time as an operations officer in the SAS and trekking with the Gurkhas in Eastern Nepal, aged 38 he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and assumed command of 1 Royal Irish in January 2001. He led the Battalion on operations in East Tyrone, on Op FRESCO, the Fireman's strike, and on Op TELIC, the Liberation of Iraq. On returning from that war, he was the centre of a controversy over allegations of war crimes. After clearing his name he was promoted to Colonel. Tim retired from the Army in January 2004 and now lives in Kent with his wife and children.