Diplomatic Dan was published in 1997 by:
The Book Guild Ltd
25 High Street
Sussex BN7 2LU
Used copies are available through Bookfinder.com and elsewhere.
When, in 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Raschen is posted to Stockholm as Military Attaché he claims it must be because the British Army can't think of anything else to do with him. It is certainly a far cry from commanding a Regiment of Royal Engineers. However, Dan quickly discovers his own unique style of diplomacy; ad libbing a "translation" of the Chinese attaché's speech, disappearing over the edge on a skiing trip and soaking his best uniform testing a floatation suit...
Dan Raschen's colourful memoir of diplomatic life is interspersed with an enthusiastic account of his exploration of Sweden with his family, based on his wife Judy's diaries. In this, his fourth book, Dan exposes the humour and the humanity of what is sometimes regarded as a pompous profession, while giving us a fascinating insight into a beautiful country.
Over thirty years ago, as an Army undergraduate at Cambridge, I came under Colonel Dan's command; and in the light of that experience he can only have regarded my subsequent career with some surprise, if not outright stupefaction. So I am now both proud and delighted, particularly as a non-Sapper, that he has invited me to introduce this very entertaining book.
Those who have read Dan's three previous works will need no encouragement to come back for more, and they will at once detect the tongue in cheek flavour in the choice of title. But Diplomatic Dan deserves to reach an even wider circle. Although it records the experiences of one attaché in one set of circumstances, the events described are of wider interest and in most cases typical of attaché life, while Dan's lively and original view of them imparts a distinctive and invariably amusing spin.
During my service I was fortunate to meet, and be advised by, many attachés from all three Services. They were all officers of wide experience doing an important and frequently demanding job, upon whom the Ministry of Defence and our embassies relied with confidence. Viewed in that context some readers may wonder whether Dan's light-hearted approach to attaché life was entirely appropriate. But if they look behind the strong sense of fun and the many hilarious situations in which he became entangled, they will also detect that few attachés will have learnt more than Dan about the military fabric of the country to which they were accredited, or been on better terms with all levels of its hierarchy. One can only conclude that it was fortunate indeed Dan turned down a job with "better prospects" in favour of Sweden. The selection proved to be inspired, and I can think of no couple better suited to undertake the wide-ranging duties of attachés than were Dan and Judy.
My wife Julia and I have both greatly enjoyed this book, and commend it as a thoroughly good read.
There are a couple of Web sites that discuss Diplomatic Dan. However, as they are in Swedish, I have no idea what they say. Here are the links: