Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rogue Heroes

Rogue Heroes" by Ben MacIntyre.
The History of the SAS
FTC: Reviewed fro Blogging for Books.

Here's the description I received in advance of the copy.

The incredible untold story of WWII’s greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue

Britain’s Special Air Service—or SAS—was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II’s African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel’s desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS’s remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow.

Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.

My Thoughts

I have always enjoyed Charles Dickens and the opening line of David Copperfield. "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

Most of you that read my blog, know I enjoy studying historical details so I felt this book was a must-read. 

The SAS was founded in 1941 as a regiment and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. It is known as the blueprint for special forces that have since been formed around the world.

This book arrived and is skillfully written, including squadron reports, letters, and personal diary accounts.  It makes for a great read for those interested in WWII history and tells of the human endurance it takes for those in the special forces. It also includes some captivating photojournalism.

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