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.
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.