The extraordinary story of Len Opie, Australia’s deadliest soldier
By Andrew Faulkner
Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP $32.99 in paperback; 300pp
Author Andrew Faulkner spoke about his work on this book on 101.5FM Radio Adelaide on January 28, 2016 – I’ve provided the link here to listen to the interview:
The subject of this book, Len Opie, died in 2008. Faulkner was asked by Opie to consider writing his memoirs but he only got the chance to interview Opie twice before he passed away in 2008.
What has emerged from Faulkner’s research is the portrait of a man with a high moral code, someone who didn’t suffer fools; he was someone who set his own bar very high and expected others to do the same. It is the extraordinary story of one of Australia’s most fearless fighters
Through three wars across 30 years, Len Opie carved a reputation as one of the country’s greatest infantrymen. A cold-eyed killer who drank nothing stronger than weak tea, he fought with his bare hands, a sharpened shovel and piano wire. He was a larrikin who went by the book, unless the book was wrong.
Faulkner takes us into the jungles of New Guinea and Borneo and some of the fiercest battles of World War II, then to the cold heart of Korea, where Len emerged from the ranks to excel in the epic Battle of Kapyong and play a key role at the Battle of Maryang San. And he drops us into the centre of the American counterinsurgency war in Vietnam with Len’s involvement in the CIA’s shadowy black ops program, Phoenix.
This is the true story of a remarkable highly-regarded Australian soldier whose story should not be forgotten.