Dusty Warriors - Modern Soldiers at War by Richard Holmes Harper Perennial, HK$144 There are few writers of military history with Richard Holmes' knowledge and understanding of the lot of the common soldier. His recently completed trilogy - Redcoat, Tommy and Sahib - captures the context of war and how it's perceived by those who fight and die. Holmes, although perceptive in his historical analysis, has always preferred to let the soldiers tell the story. Dusty Warriors, as its subtitle says, is an examination of modern British soldiers at war, with their advanced weaponry, protected by life-saving Kevlar helmets and body armour, highly mobile in their light armoured vehicles and with an apolitical and amoral professionalism. His subjects are the men and women of the 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment, of which he's colonel. Working from interviews and available documents - the official diary can't be opened for 30 years - Holmes reconstructs the regiment's terrifying tour in Iraq in 2004. Tim Collins (Rules of Engagement), reviewing for The Times, calls this 'an important historical milestone for future generations wanting to understand the British Army and the post-invasion turbulence of Iraq'.