5RAR Book Reviews Page



Author: Peter Haran & Robert Kearney

To be reviewed

Foreword by:
Lieutenant-General Peter J. Cosgrove, A.C. M.C.
Chief of Army.
Australian of the year 2001.

The Book: Crossfire"The fog of war feels like scuba diving. You're wearing a diving mask and all you can see is what's straight ahead, all you can hear is your own breathing and a rushing sound in your ears.

Outside the mask is just silence, like someone turned a radio off but it keeps coming back in bursts of terrible loudness. There is a crack above your head and then a loud bang and your ears shuts down to all noise: they're overloaded.

Then there's silence again, a silence you want to stop. The fog of war drains every ounce of energy out of your body in a rush; you have never been so terrified in your life - but never so capable and determined . . . ."

In October 1966 a group of soldiers from 5RAR were chosen to form Australia's first specialist Reconnaissance Platoon in the Vietnam War. One of this platoons' section commanders was a 20-year old regular soldier, Bob Kearney, who led a series of deadly patrols through the jungles of Phouc Tuy Province while the 1st Australian Task Force established its headquarters in Nui Dat.

Operating in isolation and in extreme danger ahead of the main Australian Forces these young men braved regular enemy contacts, mines, booby traps and the natural perils of the teeming jungle.

CROSSFIRE is the story of Bob and his mates in a tale of courage, terror, madness and survival

Like most veterans, the war didn't end for Bob and his fellow soldiers when their of duty was done: It haunted them night and day for decades. The life long bond forged between these men in Vietnam: sees them reunite 30 years later in the silent vastness of the Australian Outback. Reliving the fears, the desperation and the camaraderie of war, they finally lay their crippling ghosts to rest.

Bob Kearney teams up with fellow Vietnam veteran, Peter Haran best selling author of Trackers to tell this gripping story of men at war whose toughest battle is to regain peace