Keystone of 22 SAS, The Life and Times of Lieutenant Colonel J M (Jock) Woodhouse MBE MC

Few authoritative books have been published about the SAS and this is one of them . The author is writing, from his own direct experiences, about a member of the SAS who was a key to the formation of 22 SAS and an important part of its development as a world leading counter terrorism unit. – Highly Recommended


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NAME: Keystone of 22 SAS, The Life and Times of Lieutenant Colonel J M 
(Jock) Woodhouse MBE MC
FILE: R2894
AUTHOR: Alan Hoe
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 242
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World 
War, Special Forces, SAS, Special Air Service, North Africa, Europe, 22 SAS, 
Oman, Borneo, Radfan, South Arabia, David Stirling, counter terrorism

ISBN: 1-52674-505-4

IMAGE: B2894.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y6xeq45z
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: Few authoritative books have been published about the SAS and 
this is one of them . The author is writing, from his own direct experiences, 
about a member of the SAS who was a key to the formation of 22 SAS and an 
important part of its development as a world leading counter terrorism unit.  –   
Highly Recommended

The nature of special forces means that a cloak of secrecy surrounds their operations 
and personnel. For many, they are a relatively recent military introduction although 
special forces have been a part of armies around the world for centuries. When a
book like this new work becomes available, it sheds light on the realities of special 
forces, dispelling many of the myths that have grown in the vacuum of genuine 
information.

Sir David Sterling has acknowledged publicly that Jock Woodhouse was a co-
founder of 22 SAS, but virtually nothing else has been known about Woodhouse 
and his contribution in the field of special forces. The story goes back into WWII 
and a part of SAS history that is perhaps best known. At that time, Britain was 
only supported by the Commonwealth against German aggression, save for small 
groups of soldiers of European countries who had managed to escape to Britain 
and form free forces. The Germans had reached the Channel Coast of France and 
threatened invasion of the British Isles. Churchill was trying to make up for the 
unprepared state of Britain militarily that he had inherited from the appeasers. 
First priority had to be to re-equip the men of the BEF who had escaped from 
Dunkirk, leaving much of their equipment behind. There was a drive to bring in
 new recruits to be trained and equipped, swelling the British Army but still short 
of the numbers required. In this situation, Churchill encouraged the formation of 
new intelligence services and special forces as a way of taking the war back to the 
Germans and to encourage Occupied Europe to form Resistance Groups.

With the priority to defend Britain from invasion taking most resources, there was 
still the need to defend the Suez Canal and that meant maintaining naval superiority 
in the Mediterranean and holding the Italian Forces in North Africa with inadequate 
resources. Inevitably, that meant that the rapid retreat of the Italians would not result 
in their total defeat, the British would be forced to fall back to Egypt and a period of 
chasing the Axis forces West, before then being chased back East, had begun. All 
means, however controversial or risky, that could be brought against the Axis armies 
were to be encouraged.

The Long Range Desert Group was formed to conduct deep penetration 
reconnaissance and attack behind German/Italian lines. Early encouraging successes 
led to a number of special units being formed. Some formed for one specific 
mission, others enjoyed a longer life. The SAS was created in this environment 
and achieved a number of successes and began the growth of myth and mystery 
about the unit. Where the LRDG was superfluous after victory in North Africa, 
the SAS had occupied a more durable niche. Their training and organization could
be applied to any theatre of war because they could be parachuted into an area and 
operate on foot, or with vehicles, notably their heavily armed version of the Jeep, 
and extracted by sea in much the same manner as the Commando Force that had 
proved very effective in raiding German positions in France.

However good their record in WWII, the SAS were facing a very uncertain future 
in 1945. 22 SAS were formed to fight in the Malayan Emergency against 
Communist insurgents. This was a rather different role. During WWII, the SAS had 
supported the regular Army formations by disrupting enemy supplies and 
communications. In Malaya, they were fighting what was to become a regular 
feature of the Cold War, by fighting terrorists and insurgents with much the same 
tactics that their opponents were employing. Jock Woodhouse was a driving force 
in this development and served on through the sequence of counter terrorism wars 
in the Far East, Middle East and in Africa. After leaving the Army, Woodhouse 
became a much sought counter-terrorism consultant.

This book sets out the life and times of Jock Woodhouse, his unique contribution 
to 22 SAS and at least an overview of the small wars in which the SAS were often 
critical to success, using tactics that were very different from those familiar in 
regular army formations. The text reads smoothly and there is illustration by a 
photo-plate section that includes some very interesting images.