Trunk Monkeys: The Life of a Contract Soldier in Iraq

Author(s): Lewis Steiner  

ISBN: 9781781552209
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The bloody realities of being a contract soldier during the most dangerous time in Iraq’s history.
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WARNING! This book contains images some readers may find disturbing.

Trunk Monkeys: The Life of a Contract Soldier in Iraq tells the true story of operators from a private military contractor working in Iraq shortly after the Gulf War. From the perspective of grizzled veteran Lewis Steiner who had left the British Army to join the gold rush in the living hell that was war-torn Iraq, Steiner grew disillusioned about the declining situation in the country as he believed that the joint US and UK invasion had made things far worse.

This fascinating and often extremely violent book encompasses the highs and lows of operating throughout the country from Basra in the south up to Mosul in the north. Steiner recounts of friends lost due to negligence and poor planning to the realities of conducting a private war surrounded by civilians who might be the enemy. Ultimately injured in an incident that left two dead, Steiner decides to soldier on due to a misguided sense of duty. Armed with his belt-fed SAW machine gun, Steiner accepted a contract located near Tikrit. The missions rapidly become a death sentence to many of the contract soldiers and dogs of war. In some cases, these missions were pointless, costing men, vehicles and the sanity of brothers in arms. Steiner was in the thick of it from dodging enemy ambushes to taking out a suicide bomber and narrowly escaping death in ‘Sniper Alley’ collecting cranberry sauce for the US forces on Thanksgiving Day. With the pedal to the metal, his Humvee attracted the unwelcome attention of insurgents who tried to blow him up with RPGs.

Forget the fictionalised works of Andy McNab, Tom Clancy and Chris Ryan: this is the real deal. This is a firsthand account of the men who decide to pay the ultimate price, but be warned, this tells the real story that the Government does not want you to know.

BOOK ISBN 9781781552209
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 208 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 October 2014
ILLUSTRATIONS 38 colour photographs



Lewis Steiner was born and educated in London. Coming from a military family, he joined the Army as soon as he was old enough. After a varied and interesting career serving in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, Steiner left the disciplined world of the military and became a contract soldier in an industry that was massively expanding thanks to the instability in Iraq. Leaving after three years, he worked as a media security specialist/medic and regularly deploys with news crews to hostile environments around the world.