The origins of the Special Air Service in the Western Desert in 1941 was a haphazard and informal affair. The two officers who created it – David Stirling and Jock Lewis – were convinced that a few men working behind the enemy’s lines could, with sufficient bluff and daring, wreak havoc with supplies and equipment. The principles on which they based their plans were that safety lay in surprise and that surprise meant using small numbers. Speed and elusiveness were the chief essentials in such a form of warfare. This book is an attempt to portray the growth of the Special Air Service; a unit made up of men whose methods were as unorthodox as their results were successful; a unit that was born of the desert. It is a personal description of these men: of their emotions, of the way they bore their hardships and sufferings, and of their never-ending humour.
BORN OF THE DESERT With the SAS in North Africa
The birth of the SAS in the North African desert ushered in a new form of warfare that is increasingly relevant today. Speed, surprise and small numbers were the principles behind the new force, and worked to astonishing effect, as this account of the unit’s early growth makes clear.
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SB 352 pp