Andy McNab

Andy McNab

Infobox Military Person
name= Andy McNab
lived=28 December 1959 -
placeofbirth= London, England

caption= Andy McNab
allegiance= flagcountry|United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1976 - 1993
rank= Sergeant
commands=Bravo Two Zero
unit= Special Air Service
battles= The Troubles
Gulf War
awards= Distinguished Conduct Medal
Military Medal
laterwork= Author

Andy McNab DCM MM (born 28 December 1959) is a former British soldier turned novelist. McNab came to public prominence in 1993, when his account of the failed SAS mission "Bravo Two Zero", describing events which took place during the Gulf War, was published. He has subsequently written an autobiography and a number of works of fiction, including a specially commissioned story for the Quick Reads Initiative to assist adult literacy. Andy McNab is a pseudonym for security reasons.


Infobox Writer
name = Andy McNab
caption =
birthdate = Birth date and age|1959|12|28|mf=y
birthplace =
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Ex-Soldier turned Novelist
genre = Action, Military
movement =
notableworks = Bravo Two Zero
influences =
influenced =
website =
Andy McNab came originally from Peckham, London, an adopted son. He originally aspired to be a helicopter pilot, but failing the entrance test, he instead joined the Infantry as a Royal Green Jacket. He served in a variety of places including Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and eventually tried for selection to the SAS, succeeding at the second attempt. McNab's real name is not known to the public; he assumed the pseudonym Andy McNab when writing "Bravo Two Zero". When he appears on television to promote his books or to act as a special services expert, his face is shadowed to prevent identification. As Larry King put it when McNab appeared on the "Larry King Live" show on CNN: "He's in shadow for his security, as he is wanted dead by some terrorist groups." According to the book "The Big Breach", by Richard Tomlinson, a renegade MI6 spy, after the Iraq war McNab was part of a special training team, training MI6 recruits in sabotage and guerrilla warfare techniques.

McNab joined the Infantry in 1976 at the age of 16. In 1984 he was badged as a member of 22 Regiment SAS. He served in B Squadron 22 SAS for ten years and worked on both covert and overt special operations worldwide, including anti-terrorist and anti-drug operations in the Middle and Far East, South and Central America and in Northern Ireland. McNab Trained as a specialist in counter terrorism, prime target elimination, demolitions, weapons and tactics, covert surveillance and information gathering in hostile environments, and VIP protection. McNab worked on cooperative operations with police forces, prison services, anti-drug forces and Western backed guerilla movements as well as on conventional special operations. In Northern Ireland he spent two years working as an undercover operator with 14 Intelligence Company, going on to become an instructor.

McNab was involved in covert and overt operations on five continents, McNab worked alongside Delta Force, the FBI, and the DEA. When he left the Regiment in 1993, he was the most highly decorated serving soldier in the British Army. He now lectures on security and military related topics, in both the USA and the UK

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of his work while serving with the SAS, Andy McNab is the only author who has to submit his fiction to the British Ministry of Defence for review, and he is still believed to be wanted by a number of the world's terrorist organizations. He is therefore forbidden to reveal either his face or his current location.

In his autobiography "Immediate Action", McNab describes his involvement in a number of operations in Northern Ireland prior to his SAS selection, during which time he was in the Royal Green Jackets. In the book, he reveals his part in the shooting and killing of IRA operatives during a foot patrol.

After leaving the Army, McNab developed and runs a specialist training course for news crews, journalists and members of non-governmental organisations working in hostile environments. He has spent time in Hollywood as technical weapons advisor, and trainer on the Michael Mann film "Heat" helping to engineer how master-thief De Niro would go about pulling off robberies on an armoured car and a bank, and how cop Al Pacino would go about tracking him down and stopping him, and fight technical advisor on the 2005 crime film "Dirty".

In February 2007, McNab returned to Iraq for seven days as "The Sun" newspaper's security advisor with his old regiment the Royal Green Jackets. Here he researched the background for his new book, "Crossfire". [ [,,2-2007110295,00.html "Hero McNab goes back to Iraq"] "The Sun", retrieved 27 February 2008]

McNab also worked as an instructor on the SAS selection and training team, and instructed foreign special forces in counter terrorism, hostage rescue and survival training. During the First Gulf War, 1991, McNab commanded the famous Bravo Two Zero patrol, an eight man patrol tasked with destroying underground communication links between Baghdad and north-west Iraq and with finding and destroying mobile Scud missile launchers. The patrol infiltrated Iraq in January 1991, but were soon compromised. An engagement with Iraqi troops ensued, and the patrol was forced to escape and evade on foot to try and reach neutral Syria. Three of the eight men were killed; four were captured after three days on the run, one escaped. One of the four taken prisoner was McNab, who was held for six weeks and tortured. By the time he was released he was suffering from nerve damage to both hands, a dislocated shoulder, kidney and liver damage and had contracted Hepatitis B. After six months of medical treatment he was back on active service.

The most highly decorated patrol since the Boer War, the exploits of the Bravo Two Zero patrol have been recognised the world over and, in the words of the patrol's commanding officer 'will remain in Regimental history forever'. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993. However, McNab has been criticised by some, who believe he has exploited his SAS career to make money.

Post-SAS work

Andy McNab has written about his experiences in the SAS in two bestselling books, "Bravo Two Zero" (1993) and "Immediate Action" (1995). "Bravo Two Zero" is the highest selling war book of all time, and sold over 1.7 million copies, with Immediate Action selling 1.4 Million in the UK. To date it has been published in 17 countries and translated into 16 languages.

The CD spoken word version of "Bravo Two Zero", narrated by McNab, sold over 60,000 copies and earned a silver disc. The BBC's film of "Bravo Two Zero", starring Sean Bean, was shown on primetime BBC 1 television in 1999 and released on DVD in 2000. "Immediate Action", McNab's autobiography, spent 18 weeks at the top of the best-seller lists following the lifting of an ex-parte injunction granted to the Ministry of Defence in September 1995.

McNab is the author of ten action thrillers, highly acclaimed for their authenticity."Remote Control" was published in 1997, and was hailed as the most authentic thriller ever written selling over half a million copies in the UK.Fact|date:October 2008|date=October 2008 McNab's subsequent thrillers, "Crisis Four", "Firewall", "Last Light", "Liberation Day", "Dark Winter", "Deep Black", "Aggressor", "Recoil" and "Crossfire" have all gone on to sell equally well. The central character in all the books is Nick Stone, an ex-SAS soldier working as a 'K' on deniable operations for British intelligence. McNab's fiction draws extensively on his experiences and knowledge of Special Forces soldiering. He has been officially registered by Neilsen Bookscan as the bestselling British thriller writer of the year.

After working on the Miramax film, "Heat", Miramax has acquired the film rights to the first four of McNab's novels, and "Crisis Four" is currently in production, co-produced by McNab himself. Also a director of a Hereford-based security company. He is also currently finishing a film script for a forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster believed to be an adaptation of his 1999 thriller 'Crisis Four'.

In conjunction with Spoken Group Ltd, Andy McNab is pioneering spoken drama for download from the Internet and to Mobile phones. These stories include real battle field sound effects.McNab took part in E4's "" on 13 January 2008.



*"Bravo Two Zero" (1993)
*"Immediate Action" (1995)
*"Seven Troop" (September 2008)


Nick Stone Missions
*"Remote Control" (17 February 1998)
*"Crisis Four" (22 August 2000)
*"Firewall" (5 October 2000)
*"Last Light " (1 October 2001)
*"Liberation Day" (1 October 2002)
*"Dark Winter" (3 November 2003)
*"Deep Black" (1 November 2004)
*"Aggressor" (1 November 2005)
*"Recoil" (6 November 2006)
*"Crossfire" (12 November 2007)
*"Brute Force" (3 November 2008)

Boy Soldier Series (written with Robert Rigby)
*"Boy Soldier" (US title "Traitor", 5 May 2005)
*"Payback" (6 October 2005)
*"Avenger" (4 May 2006)
*"Meltdown" (3 May 2007)

Quick Reads project
*"The Grey Man" (8 May 2006)

Audio Stories
*"Iraq Ambush" (May 2007)
*"Royal Kidnap" (June 2007)
*"Roadside Bomb" (September 2007)
*"Sniper" (TBA 2008)


* "Andy McNab's Tour of Duty"



*cite book
last = Peter
first = Ratcliffe
title = Eye of the Storm: Twenty-Five Years in Action with the SAS
year = 2000
publisher = Michael O'Mara Books
isbn = 978-1854798091

*cite book
last = Asher
first = Michael
title = The Real Bravo Two Zero: The Truth Behind Bravo Two Zero
year = 2002
publisher = Cassell Military
isbn = 978-0304365548

*cite book
last = Coburn
first = Mike
title = Soldier Five: The Real Truth About The Bravo Two Zero Mission
year = 2004
publisher = Mainstream Publishing
isbn = 978-1840189070

External links

* [ Andy McNab Official Website]
* [ Essay for BBC's This Week programme]
* [ Unofficial Andy McNab website]
* [ Full booklist]

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