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Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS,…

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit… (2016)

by Ben Macintyre

Other authors: John Slim (Foreword)

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46210437,156 (4.04)67
Britain's Special Air Service--or SAS--was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat with a remarkable strategic mind. Where his colleagues looked at a map of World War II's African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel's desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind Nazi lines and sabotage their airplanes and supplies. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS's remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow. Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.--Adapted from dust jacket and publisher description.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Phantom Major: The Story of David Stirling and the SAS Regiment by Virginia Cowles (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Written just 15 years after the events based on extensive first-person interviews.
  2. 00
    Inside the Green Berets by Charles Simpson (Omnigeek)
  3. 00
    Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab (Omnigeek)

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» See also 67 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
A great, highly detailed history that reads like good fiction. Well researched, well written and well worth the read! ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
Great book. Well researched and interesting. I enjoyed it start to finish. Opens you eyes to one of the different arenas of WWII . ( )
  ikeman100 | Jun 24, 2019 |
This biography of the birth and WWII exploits of the SAS was very-well researched from their archives and first-hand reminiscences. The initial start-up and actions in Egypt and neigbouring countries during the desert war with the Afrika Corps was the most interesting to me.

Once the exploits moved into the European and Russian theatres, I lost a sense of the camaraderie. The horrors of the Nazi camps was too difficult to do anything but skim, so that is a personal bias.
History buffs will perhaps have more positive insights, but I thought the personalities so well-developed initially as the rogue misfits, were relegated to the greater events later in Europe.

Ben Macintyre is certainly accomplished in writing creatively and brought some interesting aspects of SAS history forward without glorifying the situation. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Mar 31, 2019 |
I've enjoyed Macintyre's stories before. For me, though, this was just too much. Episode after episode after episode—some of the episodes are striking, but no larger plot ever gelled. The characters: I got tired of each one being introduced as `the son of an architect from London, nothing prepared him for war.' It might be an exciting reference book, for someone particularly interested in the SAS, but it doesn't work as a general-interest story. ( )
  breic | Feb 27, 2019 |
A well written piece of military biography, highlighting and describing a motley band of unruleable eccentrics, rogues and trouble makers who all had a great deal of resilience, self reliance, confidence and ability to survive in the harshest conditions. From the first initial raids in the gentlemans desert war to the brutal, bloodthirsty and destructive final phase of the war in the ruins of Mazi Germany, this is a stirring story of derringer do, heroism and mistakes. It doesn't seek to hagiograph these men, and doesn't shield them form their mistakes and errors, but is a fair and balanced account. Of interest to those who find the psychological interesting, and the actions of small unit tactics and special forces. ( )
  aadyer | Feb 17, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Macintyreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Slim, JohnForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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