SAS Zero Hour, The Secret Origins of the Special Air Service

Based on primary sources, this is an outstanding account of the early days of the SAS. Today, the SAS is a premier special forces group, known around the world and the example of professional dedicated service to the highest standards – Much Recommended.


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NAME: SAS Zero Hour, The Secret Origins of the Special Air Service
FILE: R2669
AUTHOR: Tim Jones
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline books
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  240
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, special 
forces, private armies, desert warfare, LRGD, covert raiders

ISBN: 978-1-52671-351-3

IMAGE: B2669.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybwx3mjw
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: Based on primary sources, this is an outstanding 
account of the early days of the SAS. Today, the SAS is a premier 
special forces group, known around the world and the example of 
professional dedicated service to the highest standards – Much 
Recommended.

In 1940, Britain and the Commonwealth stood alone against Nazi 
Germany. In a brilliant operation, the 'Little Ships' saved over 
300,000 British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, but 
at the expense of leaving behind the transport and heavy weapons of 
the BEF. Britain had survived to fight the Battle of Britain and 
inflict the first serious defeat on the Nazis. The huge challenge 
was how to recover and mount a liberation landing on the European 
coast to drive back Nazi troops and force their unconditional 
surrender. In the summer of 1940 that possibility seemed pure 
fantasy. There were still many reverses to come before the defeat 
of Germany would become a viable target for planning and execution.

Having been ejected from the European mainland, the next focus had 
to be the Mediterranean and North Africa to keep open the route via 
Suez to the rest of Empire. Churchill however was not prepared to 
wait for a turn around that might not come for some time. He 
encouraged the formation of what today we would call Special Forces 
and he encouraged the RAF to start taking the air war to Germany 
and Occupied Europe. It became a true Second Front, tying down 
German resources. It was not unalloyed success. SOE and the growing 
number of special forces had their failures and setbacks, but this 
was on-the-job training because no one had tried using irregular 
forces on anything like the scale being pursued by the British.

David Stirling was relatively late to the private army building 
program when he established the SAS in 1941 to attack the Germans 
in North Africa. It was almost a crowded market with the LRDG and a 
clutch of little groups formed around pugnacious individuals. The 
author explains the fascinating story of what promoted the idea and 
how Stirling managed to get the support from the beleaguered top 
Brass, Auckinlech and Ritchie. After a few early wobbles, the SAS 
became a highly professional covert raider unit, able to drive into 
the vastness of the desert, land from submarines and fast patrol 
boats, or arrive by air as paratroopers. Their speciality was to 
appear out of nowhere, blow up German fuel and supply dumps, 
destroy enemy aircraft on their own airfields and capture key 
enemy officers. Although their initial operations began in North 
Africa, they were to be deployed in the other theatres with success 
and to be one of the very few special forces groups to survive the 
end of WWII and carve out a unique niche in the post 1945 military 
structures.

The SAS has become so famous and highly regarded for breaking 
embassy sieges and countering terrorist groups, that remarkably 
little is known of their WWII successes and virtually nothing of 
how and why they were founded. The author has filled this deficit 
of knowledge in a very readable book that is firmly based on 
primary sources and includes some very good illustrative support.