SAS Secret War in South-East Asia

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.


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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

ISBN: 1-47385-599-1

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.