In an age of continuous ‘news’ broadcasting and publishing, there are still conflicts that exist under the radar. The absorbing study of how the SAS waged a largely unreported war to keep Malaya free from Communist control. Good text with a fascinating photo-plate section – Much Recommended.
NAME: SAS Secret War in South-East Asia FILE: R2519 AUTHOR: Peter Dickens PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Frontline BINDING: soft back PAGES: 248 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Malaysia, Indonesia, Chinese Communists, covert war, jungle war, vertical insertion, terrorists, Cold War
IMAGE: B2519jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nx3y7p4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: In an age of continuous 'news' broadcasting and publishing, there are still conflicts that exist under the radar. The absorbing study of how the SAS waged a largely unreported war to keep Malaya free from Communist control. Good text with a fascinating photo-plate section - Much Recommended. The Malayan Campaign of the 1940s has received a reasonable amount of coverage in terms of news at the time and later from historians. It was hailed particularly as an example of how to fight insurgents and terrorists, as opposed to US involvement in Vietnam as an example of how not to wage this type of war. What has remained largely secret until this book is how the SAS continued to wage war in Malaya against Communists, Chinese and Indonesians into and beyond the 1950s. The very nature of the SAS, and the missions it is employed on, does not favour publicity. What the SAS have to do is also something that a democratic Government does not always wish to admit to, however justified the action. Special Forces have come front and centre in recent years because of the widely publicised conflicts and terror campaigns. American activity is also much more difficult to conceal because their Special Forces tend to operate mob-handed. Against that, the SAS tends to operate in very small four man units where each man has a specialization to support his comrades. That means that it is much easier to insert and extract them, using much smaller covert means of transport. Operating in tropical rain forest, these teams blend into the environment and operate without the need for frequent supply drops. They live off the land and what supplies they took in with them. They operate independently and win support from the local population. That contrasts strongly with most other Special Forces that employ large transport aircraft and helicopters, requiring frequent resupply drops and noisy extraction. They may be deployed in regimental strength generating high traffic radio communication back and forth with their reporting structure. They tend to be hard to miss and become the source of many conspiracy theories. They also suffer from a news media that places viewing figures ahead of national interest and the safety of military personnel. In one notorious incident a US Navy SEAL team cautiously swam ashore onto a hostile beach in darknesses only to be illuminated as they rose out of the surf by the massed floodlights of the television news media. Even on urban deployments, the SAS has become adept at avoiding those problems and operation in jungle missions make them effectively invisible. We will probably never know the full story of the SAS war in South- East Asia, even when the last sealed records are opened. They befriended 'former' head-hunting border tribes and trained some of them as an irregular military force. As the conflict continued, they followed their prey over the borders into Indonesia, tracked down and destroyed enemy camps, interdicted enemy supply routes which they interrupted and destroyed, and took on soldiers in riverboats. They achieved all of the objectives assigned to them. It is a story that is both absorbing and incredible. It demonstrated clearly that war does not have to be the domain of the big battalions. Small highly trained groups of professional and motivated soldiers can achieve as much and more than Divisions of regular troops and armadas of combat aircraft, without leaving the collateral wreckage that asymmetric warfare is notorious for.