Stone Cold : The Extraordinary Story of Len Opie, Australia's Deadliest Soldier
A soldier cast in the image of Anzac, and revered in the post World War II military as a peerless fighter, Len Opie stands alone in the Australian military pantheon. But he was a paradox. A cold-eyed killer who drank nothing stronger than weak tea, he killed people with his bare hands, a sharpened shovel and piano wire. He was a larrikin who went by the book, unless the book was wrong. He set his own bar high and expected others to do the same...This, the first Opie biography, traces his fighting history from the jungles of New Guinea and Borneo to Korea, where he emerged from the ranks to excel in the epic Battle of Kapyong and play a key role at the Battle of Maryang San. Then, as a member of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, Opie joined the CIA's black ops program Phoenix, and as head of training found himself at the heart of the American counterinsurgency war in Vietnam...Andrew Faulkner explores the action-packed and surprising life of an extraordinary Australian soldier.
Andrew Faulkner is an Adelaide journalist who has written a highly acclaimed military biography of Arthur Blackburn, a VC winner in WWI who also served in WWII, becoming a prisoner of war under the Japanese. Andrew spent many hours interviewing Len Opie for this book and also had access to Opie's diary. He also interviewed many of Opie's comrades.
List of maps..Introduction..1 Vasey's Cutthroats..2 Up the Ramu..3 Balikpapan..4 Korea..5 The Third World War has started!..6 Hills are for heroes..7 Kapyong..8 Other battles..9 Maryang San..10 Private, temporary corporal, temporary warrant officer, class two..11 Eyes like a cat and no nerves at all...12 Belles and bullies..13 Vietnam..14 On the trail..15 'Sneaky work': the Phoenix program..16 Kashmir interlude..17 Return to Vietnam..18 Man of Sparta..Acknowledgements..Notes..Index