A story of combat, cricket and the SAS
By Anthony ‘Harry’ Moffitt
Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP $34.99 in paperback | ISBN 9781760877842
Author Anthony ‘Harry’ Moffitt retired from the Australian Defence Force after almost thirty years, most of which were spent in the SAS Regiment as a team commander and team specialist.
He completed eleven active deployments, including being wounded in action in 2008, which is how the book title ‘Eleven Bats’ emerged.
Along with the SAS, Harry’s other great love is cricket and he found that an improvised game of cricket was often the circuit-breaker his team needed to release the tension surrounding their operations.
As part of the cricket tradition, Harry took a cricket bat with him on operational tours, eleven of them in total.
From the mountains of East Timor with a fugitive rebel leader, or on the dusty streets of Baghdad, or in exposed Forward Operating Bases in the hills of Afghanistan, these spontaneous games became an important way to break down barriers.
It is these eleven bats that form the basis for Harry’s extraordinary memoir. It’s a book about combat, and what it takes to serve in one of the world’s most elite formations.
It’s a book about the toll that war takes on soldiers and their loved ones.
And it’s a book about the healing power of cricket, and how a game can break down borders in even the most desperate of circumstances.
VERDICT: A well-written and highly readable account of what it means to be part of Australia’s elite regiment, the SAS.