The SAS in World War II

The SAS in World War II : An Illustrated History

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In his new book, WWII historian Gavin Mortimer examines the pivotal events of one of the most famous military units of all time. Starting with the unit's formation in July 1941, Mortimer recreates the heady days when a young Scots' Guard officer called David Stirling persuaded MEHQ to give its backing to a small band of 60 men christened 'L Detachment.' From there, drawing on over 100 hours of interviews with veterans (much of which has never before been published) he describes the early raids in the desert against Axis airfields that inflicted a deadly cost on the enemy. Embellished with 150 stunning photographs, the majority of which have never before been printed, the book also features side panels on the Lewes bomb, selection and training of personnel, the importance of the French and Belgian squadrons and how the French resistance helped the regiment in 1944.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 190 x 242 x 28.45mm | 1,007g
  • Osprey Publishing
  • Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 56 b/w
  • 184908646X
  • 9781849086462
  • 273,880

Table of contents

Foreword/ Introduction /Early Operations /Later War Years /Conclusion /Index
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Review quote

"The key to oral history is proper research around a subject's memories, and this Mortimer has wisely done, and thoroughly so, producing a highly authoritative but also absorbing account. Sensibly, he does not linger on their foundation and exploits in north Africa, for which the wartime SAS is still best known, and about which the most has already been written. Rather he gives much weight to the expansion and development of the SAS and their wide participation in Europe, highlighting not only their numerous successes, but also the inter-battalion tensions and later shortcomings in training. Recounted with breathless pace and very effective use of first-hand testimonies, and supported by a superb collection of photographs and documents, this is a fascinating and hugely enjoyable book. It should prove an important starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about the early years of this legendary regiment." - BBC History Magazine
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About Gavin Mortimer

Gavin Mortimer is the author of Stirling's Men (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004), a ground-breaking history of the early operations of the SAS, The Longest Night: Voices from the London Blitz (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005) and The Blitz: An Illustrated History (Osprey, 2010). An award-winning writer whose books have been published on both sides of the Atlantic, Gavin has previously written for The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and Esquire magazine. He continues to contribute to a wide range of newspapers and magazines from BBC History to the American Military History Quarterly. In addition he has lectured on the SAS in World War Two at the National Army Museum.
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Rating details

37 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 35% (13)
4 41% (15)
3 24% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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