Computers now switched and everything seems to be up and running. Thanks for staying with me and hopefully you’ve been following on Twitter: TerenceStrong@AuthorSASplus…when it lets me in or forgets my Password. Yes, it forgets my password, not the other way round. Try telling it that! Grrr.
Look forward to a mix of serious debate and some fun at my favourite virtual pub, The Lying Toad, which may well feature in a future book.
Thought a new fun idea that might be useful is new SENSIBLE political policies for any Party that wants to think outside the box. Some accuse UKIP of not having enough apart from leaving Europe although, to be honest, that does solve a lot of problems at a stroke. Really. Creates some others too, of course. That’s what the Eurosceptics have to prove to the people…that the UK can survive…indeed thrive outside of the EU.


KK was back at The Lying Toad today.
He still looks like the untamed man of rock he once was, although now he’s a plumber. He moved on but his cheerful, worn looks and hair didn’t.
KK, or K to his friends, played ukelale in the 70s group Wild Child. But, as it’s fifth member, was dropped when it hit the big time. K ended up alone in Paris where he became an exotic smells engineer for Chanel, when a job description as trainee plumber on his CV was misinterpreted.
He lived a fantasy life on the Riviera with film stars and the political elite of Europe.
K is friends with Snoggy. Snoggy is a collector and motor mechanic, into repairing and restoring classic cars, especially early Land Rovers and tractors. Rumour in the village has it he has just bought a WWII Sherman tank on eBay.
He is being uncharacteristically silent on the subject. But he is known to be looking for some “running 8-inch link sprockets (circ 1943)”. So all bets are on.
Meanwhile Salty Dog, who served in the Falkland War, is now a short crewman on a tall charity ship. He has bought a real parrot which he insists on bringing into the pub. The pub dog is not happy. Nor is Pixie who has to do the cleaning there.


ISIS Audio Books have snapped up the rights for Some Unholy War in full length CD and audio-tape formats. Actor Peter Wickham has been selected to read the story. He has read several of my previous audio books and is a master of his craft.
That craft was tested to its limits when he read Rogue Element, which contained several Northern Ireland and South African characters, each with similar but different accents – and a female lawyer who sounded like Joanna Lumley!
I love listening to the sound versions of my work. It gives a whole new perspective to them. If you haven’t yet, do give it a try. Peter and I last met for lunch in the late 90s in a brasserie in Sloane Square, Chelsea. Fun times

Watch this Blog and Twitter (Terence Strong @AuthorSASplus) for news on audio release.
(NOTE: Spellcheck had Peter and I meeting in a brassiere in Chelsea. No doubt we had a cup each.)


Great news!

The lovely old-fashioned Cross Keys Bookshop and I have teamed up to provide an author-signed (and dedicated) mail order service for SOME UNHOLY WAR (Hardback) and all my previous books currently in print.

So if you’re looking for a special present (birthday or Christmas) for a special person call: 01722 326131 or Email:

I will personally sign your special copy with a dedication. Please make sure any names and dedication are provided in a clearly written form because I don’t want to make a mistake. Remember, I can write but I can’t necessarily spell!


I am not only an Armchair General, I’m also an Armchair Air Chief Marshall and Supreme Admiral of the Fleet.

In the latter capacity, I’d like to query just what consecutive British governments think they’re doing playing with our ships? In particular, our aircraft carriers.

When we really needed big carriers during the Cold War, we got rid of them and introduced three baby ones. HMS Invincible, Illustrious and Ark Royal. Through-deck cruisers they were initially called.

They had no steam-catapult to launch fast jets, but at the time we had short-range, British-invented Harrier jump jets. They were nimble and the combination more than proved its worth during the Falklands War.

Now that our immediate perceived enemies are terrorists with shoe bombs and exploding underpants the last Labour government decided to invest in two huge carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

You’d have thought they could launch the latest fast jets with a steam catapult like the nuclear-powered USS Nimitz and the other big American floating fortresses.

(Note to accountants: Nuclear carriers have a shelf life of 50 years with only one change of reactor halfway through. Now they may be an expensive investment, but that’s what you really call value-for-money!)

But no, our ones aren’t nuclear powered for some reason. Running on natural methane and solar panels apparently. So no catapults, so no conventional fast jets.

So enter the American take on the Harrier, the experimental F35, which is too heavy and has all sorts of teething problems.

If our first new carrier is launched in 2017 as planned, it will still not have any aircraft to fly from it until 2021 at the earliest.

Several bright ideas to overcome the problem have been suggested by Whitehall and our European allies – namely allowing the French to fly their aircraft from it. Now do our jack tars have to learn French or vice-versa? Or do all crew members learn to speak German to make it fair?

Did no one ever think of simply creating newer variants of the Invincible class and brilliant Harriers, other variants of which could also provide close battlefield support to the army.

(Note to accountants: These were also cheaper for emerging nations to afford. Ie. longer production runs and making profits.)

Now we find that our new HMS Queen Elizabeth will be without a vital crow’s nest. Crowsnest is a vital helicopter-based, airborne early warning system that apparently now won’t be ready until 2022 at the earliest.

It’s been tried by us before, on a Sea King at one time, and my understanding is that a helicopter is an inherently and vibrantly unsuitable platform for delicate radar instrumentation.

Unlike, that is, the tried and tested twin-engine Grumman E-2C Hawkeye high-wing turboprop that flies off US carriers with an all-seeing 24 ft radar dish. It’s been bought by several friendly nations and its very latest incarnation, the Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) awaits… But not, it seems, for the Royal Navy.

You may not know this if you’re a land-lubber, but big Aircraft Carriers bring with them their own big problems.

They’re huge and very expensive bits of capital kit. Their crews are huge, floating cities. You have to have at least three of them. Possibly needing more sailors than we have – unless you include admirals without a ship to sit on.

After the first few years’, one Carrier will always be unavailable, in dock for a major refit of engines or avionics. Another will be in for minor repairs or updates, probably available but not working 100 per cent.

A Carrier has very little self-protection, mostly wishful-thinking anti-missile missiles or rotary cannon. It therefore ideally needs at least four seriously dedicated anti-aircraft/missile frigates or destroyers deployed way out to its fore and aft, port and starboard.

Ditto anti-submarine frigates and/or hunter-killer submarines against the enemy’s underwater or surface threat.

Obviously the figures vary with each scenario. But you get the drift. That’s a substantial sized fleet just to protect your main asset.

That whole fleet also needs long distance protection from enemy aircraft and/or surface-to-surface missiles, especially modern surface-skimming varieties that can be difficult for radars to pick up.

Line-of-sight or nap of the earth eyeball vision or surface-to-surface radar is in the region of 25 miles at sea. Other radars can give farther range but with less clarity given different climate and sea conditions. Airborne early warning –essential to counter any modern missile or aircraft threat – increases that to around 250 miles plus.

So you can see that our wonderful Royal Navy, in which my father, godfather and uncle proudly served, has been lumbered with two huge Aircraft Carriers to fight a bunch of land-based terrorists as the immediate threat, when at least three are needed to be effective anyway. But also no aircraft, or the wrong aircraft, to fly from them, and no airborne early warning to offer them crucial protection.

You couldn’t make it up. Perhaps we should give up our delusions of grandeur and just ask the Swiss Navy for advice. Methinks they’d have a better idea.


A sad marking of the publication of SOME UNHOLY WAR today is the death of film- maker Bryan Forbes at the age of 86.

I loved his movies, famously Stepford Wives and Whistle Down the Wind. My favourite was King Rat, an adaptation of James Clavell’s novel. When Forbes bought film-rights to a book he tried to stick with it and not change everything. Unusual for a movie- maker!

But for me, it was as a novelist that Brian Forbes truly excelled. He was one of my favourite few authors. He didn’t write many, but do treat yourself if you haven’t tried any of them before. I especially loved The Rewrite Man.

A very British talent sadly missed.

‘SOME UNHOLY WAR’ is out today (Thursday)

SOME UNHOLY WAR is out today (Thursday).

It should be available in three formats: hardback, large C-paperback and ebook. You should be able order a copy by following the button links on the ‘Book Information’ page on this website.

If you experience problems ordering a hardback online, remember your lovely old-fashioned High Street bookseller can order a real book for you, which should arrive within a few days.

I wonder if publishers still send a bottle of bubbly to author on pub date? Maybe not. Times is hard.

Hope you enjoy it! Let me and your friends know. Meanwhile why not follow me on Facebook or on my current secret mission across the Twitterscape on Terence Strong @AuthorSASplus.


I’ve rather fallen into this BLOG-writing business without thinking or planning too much.

Mostly it’s to keep my readers entertained, and sometimes informed.

Obviously I’ll cover topics I’m guessing we’re all interested in: politics – international, and closer to home; military and special forces; the worlds of intelligence, crime and espionage. Not forgetting that most fascinating of subjects, the human condition.

Also the arty side of things, particularly in the shape of books, TV and movies. And not forgetting food, drink and travel.

In fact, I warn you that there are few subjects I’m NOT interested in, so be prepared for the unexpected.

And I look forward to getting feedback from you, too. If you disagree with me about anything that’s fine. I’m a libertine and believe in democracy. Nothing better than a heated debate between socialists, communists, liberals and conservatives. And greens. Particularly if they’re edible.

There’ll also be some stuff from my local pub The Lying Toad. People like 86-year old Smiffy, former flyer and Indian hand, Big Brian (who inspired Duffy in SOME UNHOLY WAR) and Soggy who is…well, just Foggy. Or is it Groggy? He’s something to do with Land Rovers. I forget.

Dicky McGoogle and his diminutive wife Pixie have just taken the place over and are making huge changes to the little country pub. Already they have dug up the garden and turned it into a car park, while at the same time digging up the car park to turn it into a garden.

God knows what else Dicky has in mind. As he sits there with a pint of McGuiness and smoking three cigarettes at once, there can be a somewhat mad and ambitious gleam to be seen in his eyes.

Another floor? A 20 ft cascading water feature and fountain? A ferris wheel? The village waits in trepidation.