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This is the powerful and disturbing first-hand account of a British soldier of part Yugolsav origin painfully caught up in the savage maelstrom of the Bosnian war. Armed only with the pseudonym ‘Mike Stanely’ and an antiquated Serb-Croat vocabulary, Milos Stankovic – an officer in the Parachute Regiment – worked as interpreter and go-between for two British brigadiers and two British UN generals, Mike Rose and Rupert Smith.

His experiences plunged him deeper and deeper into Bosnia’s heart of darkness, where all human life was lived in extremis. His own Balkan heritage likewise drew him in: his Scottish grandmother had been a nurse on the Salonika front in the First World War; his father was a former Royalist Yugoslav who had fought in the Second World War; and his mother in 1945 had driven one of the first UN ambulances around Bosnia and Montenegro.

In helping to negotiate ceasefires between rival warlords, securing the release of UN hostages and organizing the escape from Sarajevo of stricken families, Milos Stankovic was propelled from one nerve-wracking crisis to another. Throughout he wa engaged in the highly dangerous game of bridging the gap between alien Balkan and Western mentalities. His was a role for which there was no military rule-book, and in the general climate of suspicion and paranoia his close contacts with the Bosnian Serb leadership of Dr Karadic and General Ratko Mladic.

Milos Stankovic author, HarperCollins publisher 2000, 476pp, hard cover, dj with mylar sleeve, b/w photos. Ex library copy with expected endorsements, attachments etc. Spine slightly skewed – a reasonably tidy copy with no major faults.

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