The SAS preserved their anonymity for decades but, after some memoirs were published, they have begun to attract the attention of historians. The SAS performed well beyond their actual strength during the final advance into Germany and on to victory. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: With The SAS Across The Rhine, Into The Heart Of Hitler's Third Reich FILE: R3299 AUTHOR: Ian Wellsted PUBLISHER: frontline books, Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, European Theatre, Allied Forces, final stages of WWII, SAS, Special Forces, reconnaissance, interdiction, confusion, mobility, jeeps, roving brief ISBN: 1-52674-334-569-0 PAGES: 155, an eight page b&w photo plate section with additional illustration through the body of the text IMAGE: B3299.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y6qhox8j LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The SAS preserved their anonymity for decades but, after some memoirs were published, they have begun to attract the attention of historians. The SAS performed well beyond their actual strength during the final advance into Germany and on to victory. – Very Highly Recommended
The original Special Air Service was formed under Churchill’s direction in 1940 and was to become the Airborne Division, by which latter name it is now widely known. It was part of the rapid formation of new types of raiding force to take the war back to the Germans ahead of the day when Britain and its Allies would be able to assemble the invasion force to land in France and drive on into Germany.
In the Middle East, there was a proliferation of special units, some forming only for very short periods for specific targets. Two groups endured and stood out. The LRDG was a mobile force, mounted in jeeps, lorries and sometimes armoured cars, that drove deep behind German lines in North Africa, across some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. The other group was Sterling’s SAS that was trained in beach landing and parachute landing to engage in hit and run attacks with particular interest in German and Italian airfields and aircraft. They achieved some spectacular success, destroying many German aircraft on the ground with explosives and igniting fuel and supply dumps. As they developed, they found the heavily armed jeep a very useful means of transport and attack. As the war in North Africa drew to its conclusion, the SAS transferred into the Aegean, mainly landing by boat to attack German and Italian garrisons.
As preparations speeded up for the Normandy landings, the SAS were selected to fight covertly ahead of the invasion force. They and their jeeps were landed in France to fight alongside the Maquis. In these actions they were often set against SS counter-insurgency units.
Although these actions were useful, preparations were well advanced to use SAS unit in a combination of reconnaissance and fast attack, ahead of conventional forces. Today, this is a typical use of special forces which can be deployed in much larger numbers, but in 1944 it was a new concept and an evolution from the original tactics of commando and airborne forces. The jeep continued to be the main form of transport. It was versatile and fast, even across poor terrain, and its heavy machine gun armament made it formidable in the hands of highly trained troops.