From the Cold War to the War on Terror – Mick Haygarth

Review by Rob Oliver.

What a story and what a career! From a junior technician through to squadron leader ranks, from nuclear weapons loader to an (undeniably) expert in the field of EOD and IEDD, and locations from the desolate corners of the UK, the Falklands and SLME (Secret Location Middle East!), to snatching tourist weekends in Las Vegas and New York. 

Despite the fairly heavy sounding title, the book is a great read and follows a dedicated RAF Armament Engineer through his many postings and adventures. The chapters chronicle the progression of the author’s career and include postings and deployments to locations including Lossiemouth in northern Scotland, Germany, the Falklands, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Oman, Uganda, Spain, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and Cyprus, to name just a few! In short, he enjoyed it and made every effort to maximise his opportunities while always trying to give the most to his family and the RAF.

Mick has a great way of expressing himself and clearly has a very dry sense of humour and laconic wit. He would have been a great guy to have in your squadron. Anybody who has served in the military will feel like he was describing episodes in their own career and any non-service readers will welcome the insights into defence force service in general and the role of the Bomb Disposal Teams in particular. He doesn’t hold back in showing his disdain, and occasional lack of respect, for elements of his own and other Services. There is a lot of frustration vented at times, but always in a professional and relatable manner.

The book is extremely readable with masses of great content, although I would have liked to have seen some more photographs from such a long career. It would be great to sit down with the author for a chat over a beer, such is the way his personality comes across. I would have liked most of the stories to have been expanded on, but that may be in his next book/s. Fingers crossed!

ISBN 978-1-52675-934-4

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