Troubador Spider Zero Seven

Released: 28/02/2018

ISBN: 9781788038966

Format: Paperback

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Spider Zero Seven


Silver Cross recipient, Mike Borlace is considered to be one of the most experienced combat helicopter pilots of recent times. Now he collates his experiences in this compelling wartime memoir set against the backdrop of the civil war fought in Rhodesia during the 1970s.

Helicopters were a vital component of the small Rhodesian Defence Force and as part of special forces, Borlace and his fellow aircrew soon became key weapons in the counterinsurgency operations. Adopting new flexible tactics and blending stealth with courage, they carried the fight by air to the heart of the enemy, establishing a fearsome reputation. In this vivid history, Borlace chronicles the story of airmen, soldiers and leading figures such as Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe’s communist backed guerillas from the perspective of a professional officer at the sharp end.

In Spider Zero Seven, Borlace humorously recounts the training, living conditions and hardships of his time in the forces. He also touchingly depicts the human side of the military through his portrayals of his fellow pilots, technicians, medics, nurses and flying with his dog Doris.

Out of the 1096 days he served as a pilot in 7 Squadron, Borlace spent 739 days on combat operations. During his 149 contacts with the enemy he was shot down five times and wounded twice. He is one of only five recipients of the Silver Cross, the highest gallantry award given by the air force. With this authority he gives a powerful insight into the violent events of a brutal conflict, in a book that will appeal not only to those interested in military history, but also to a wider readership who enjoy a personal, true-life adventure.

That's Books

Classic Military Vehicle

Helicopter International

Mike Borlace writes knowledgeably and respectfully on his experiences. The writing is intense, and is rounded out in terms of details. There is even a glossary and appendix to help the reader acclimate to this world.

by JD DeHart

Exceptional in every way. Real, a time forgotten and a man of war

Over 700 days in combat with men, even flying nurses and even his DOG and yet even more amazing he survived 5 crashes.

A great reminder of what is real and what is just written about.

You will enjoy

by Ranger Harper

A truly amazing book . With his wonderfully descriptive style the author writes about events in a way that made me feel like I was sitting in the cockpit with him watching them unfold before my very eyes . And feeling the the emotions , the anticipation of action and action and quite often the sadness of it all. Truth be told I was one of those people on the ground and for the first time ever was able to understand and see events through a combat pilots eyes. Characters are described in such a way that I felt as if I had met them sometime in the distant past. And the humour - tongue-cheek, in-your-face laugh out loud that had me in stitches.

by Tony

Accurate, direct, well written, and welcomely devoid of political correctness - exactly how it should be!
Started reading and finished it in one sitting. Alarmingly real in the accurate conveyance of the emotions prevalent in that harsh unforgiving period. Insightful as well regarding the politics at work. Not everyone’s taste I suspect but a cracking read for anyone involved in the “struggle”

by AT

Fantastic read, brought back so many memories of Rhodesia, a "Paradise Lost".
The Rhodie slang, places in and around Salisbury and so many other long forgotten places.
Hopefully Mike will do a follow up as hinted at in the last page of the book when he was picked up in Zambia on the edge of the Zambezi River.
Well done Mike, one of the best books on the Rhodesian conflict.

by Jock Hiddleston

Amazing story can’t wait for next instalment!

by Ray Sutherland

Thoroughly enjoyed the book which took me back to one of the most interesting periods of my life. Recommend to anyone who was there and to those that were not - worth a read as well.

by Mike Cappuccitti

A really good read. About time someone talked about the shot comings of the Head Shed. Look forward to the next chapter..........

by Ian Evans

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