The latest from the bestselling author of Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends -- the untold story of one of WWII's most important secret military units.
Ben Macintyre's latest book of derring-do and wartime intrigue reveals the incredible story of the last truly unsung secret organization of World War II -- Britain's Special Air Service, or the SAS. Facing long odds and a tough slog against Rommel and the German tanks in the Middle East theatre, Britain turned to the brainchild of one its most unlikely heroes -- David Stirling, a young man whose aimlessness and almost practiced ennui belied a remarkable mind for strategy.
With the help of his equally unusual colleague, the rough-and-tumble Jock Lewes, Stirling sought to assemble a crack team of highly trained men who would parachute in behind enemy lines to throw monkey wrenches into the German war machine. Though he faced stiff resistance from those who believed such activities violated the classic rules of war, Stirling persevered and in the process created a legacy. Staffed by brilliant, idiosyncratic men whose talents defied both tradition and expectations, the SAS would not only change the course of the war, but the very nature of combat itself.
Written with complete access to the never-before-seen SAS archives (who chose Macintyre as their official historian), Rogue Heroes offers a powerfully intimate look at life on the battlefield as lived by a group of remarkable soldiers whose contributions have, until now, gone unrecognized beyond the classified world. Filled with wrenching set pieces and weaving its way through multiple theatres of our grandest and most terrible war, this book is both an excellent addition to the Macintyre library and a critical piece in our understanding of the war's unfolding.
Macintyre (A Spy Among Friends), who specializes in writing about espionage and clandestine operations, describes the founding and operations of the British Army's elite Special Air Service (SAS) regiment during WWII, in this well-written and comprehensive history. The SAS was born not from the staff work of military professionals but from the imagination of a very junior officer who was convalescing in a hospital. Macintyre uses unprecedented access to the SAS official records, along with memoirs, diaries, and interviews with the few surviving veterans, to chronicle the major operations, key personalities, successes, and failures of the regiment in WWII. He vividly captures the bravery and the sheer audaciousness of the SAS troopers and their leadership operating hundreds of miles behind enemy lines. Macintyre also illuminates their faults, including failed operations, lack of discipline, and drunkenness. He demonstrates that even in a global war, a few uniquely talented, imaginative, and bold individuals of relatively junior rank can have a major impact. Macintyre delivers a solid history and an enjoyable read that will appeal to those interested in military history as well as readers who enjoy real-life tales of adventure.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Brilliant Disertation
The author is at his lucid best enunciating the true history of one of the most secretive military units. An excellent read!