Author(s): Ben Macintyre
From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre- the first ever authorized history of the SAS
'Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II' - Antony Beevor
In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules- a small undercover unit that would inflict mayhem behind enemy lines.
Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world- the SAS.
Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.
The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.
Told with deceptive brilliance... one the finest books of its kind Evening Standard Thorough and highly entertaining. It would be nigh on impossible to praise it too highly Daily Express Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II -- Antony Beevor Excellent... accessible yet authoritative. Delivers stories of tremendous adventure and derring-do, but also offers more than straightforward military history. This book has many strengths but perhaps its greatest is how thought-provoking it is -- Laurence Rees Sunday Times Ben Macintyre's coverage of the SAS in north Africa and, later, Italy, France and Germany, is brilliant, blending gripping narratives of fighting with descriptions of the fears of individual soldiers before battle and their reactions to its horror... Britain's martial pantheon is full of outnumbered heroes who wouldn't throw in the sponge. Henry V's band of brothers at Agincourt, the redcoats at Waterloo, the defenders of Rorke's drift, and the paras who charged at Goose Green are part of the tradition that embraces the SAS. This book explains why Times A master at setting the pulse racing, Macintyre relates stories of raw courage and daring by extraordinary men -- Tony Rennell Daily Mail Meticulously researched, splendidly told, immensely entertaining and often very moving -- John le Carre on 'Agent Zigzag' Thrilling ... An extraordinary book -- The Times Book of the Week on 'A Spy Among Friends' Macintyre provides a riveting history of a revolutionary fighting force. Using unprecedented access to British Special Air Service regimental archives, Macintyre has gleaned fascinating material. A ripping good read Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2016 A wonderfully refreshing account of the origins of the regiment of balaclava-clad silent killers during the Second World War... The sharp style and sly wit reveal some pretty acute insights into the politics of the nation's favourite undercover boys Evening Standard Books of the Year So good and so much more than the boys own adventure you might think it will read like. Ben is a brilliant writer Dermot O'Leary
Ben Macintyre is the multimillion-copy bestselling author of books including Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends. He is a columnist and Associate Editor at The Times, and has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He regularly presents BBC series based on his acclaimed books.