Punching Below Our Weight: Frank Ledwidge takes aim at military leaders with his new ebook short
Monday, 18 June 2012
Frank Ledwidge, author of the bestselling and controversial book on British military policy Losing Small Wars, has returned with a startling ebook essay on rivalry between top ranks of the UK military forces. In Punching Below Our Weight: How Inter-Service Rivalry has Damaged the British Armed Forces, priced at just 99p (excluding VAT), Ledwidge takes aim at the military leaders whose actions (or inactions) have such an enormous impact on the lives of those following their orders. And he doesn’t pull any punches.
Last year Yale published his groundbreaking book Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an enormous success, both commercially and critically, gaining widespread media attention for it’s frank revelations about UK military policy.
Since publication of Losing Small Wars back in July 2011, Frank Ledwidge has become an often-sourced expert on Britain’s ongoing conflict in Afghanistan (watch Ledwidge being interviewed on Channel 4 news). He has been quoted by newspapers and media figures on all sides of the political spectrum, amazed and appalled by the statistics revealed in his book (The Sun newspaper ran with the headline 'Britain has got more Generals than Tanks' back in October 2011, and the BBC’s Andrew Marr called Losing Small Wars "one of the most devastating books on British policy I have read").
Due to this intense media exposure, the hardback of Losing Small Wars raced out of print. The paperback has just been published, alongside a short ebook Punching Below our Weight: How Inter-Service Rivalry has Damaged the British Armed Forces, which is published today.
Priced at just under £1 (excluding VAT), the 5,000-word ebook looks at the problem of rivalry between the top ranks of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Ledwidge argues that senior generals, admirals and air marshals have focused more on empire-building within their own services rather than on the needs of the UK armed forces as a whole, with enormously damaging results. In particular, the UK involvement in Libya was hampered by a total lack of aircraft carriers – sacrificed to preserve the Typhoon, a fighter jet designed for Cold War combat that never happened.
Written with Ledwidge’s trademark insight and panache, Punching Below Our Weight is an incisive condemnation of the British armed forces at the very top, ending with some pertinent suggestions for how the UK could reorient its military priorities. As with Losing Small Wars, Ledwidge shows support for the troops on the ground (indeed, both Losing Small Wars and Punching Below Our Weight have been extremely well-received by The Army Rumour Service, the unofficial Army website and forum). Instead he takes aim at the military leaders whose actions (or inactions) have such an enormous impact on the lives of those following their orders. And he doesn’t pull any punches.