|Pages/Publication Date:||379 / 2017|
Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) was the brainchild of David Stirling, a Scottish aristocrat with a remarkable strategic mind. Looking at a battlefield map of the African theater in 1941, and the protracted struggle with Rommel's desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity for a small number of well-trained men to parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage German airplanes and war materiel. With unprecedented access to SAS archives, the author of Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat chronicles a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy, illuminating how Stirling paired with training officer Jock Lewes to assemble an elite regiment that would revolutionize modern warfare through the use of special forces.
"Reads like a mashup of The Dirty Dozen and The Great Escape, with a sprinkling of Ocean's 11 thrown in for good measure.... Mr. Macintyre draws sharp, Dickensian portraits of these men, and he displays his usual gifts here for creating a cinematic narrative that races along.... Mr. Macintyre is masterly in using details to illustrate his heroes' bravery, élan and dogged perseverance.... A gripping account of the early days of S.A.S."—NYTimes
"Macintyre has produced yet another wonderful book.... Even minor characters bristle with life.... This is the spot in the book review where I'm supposed to find some point to quibble with, some omission, some historical inaccuracy, some flaw. Sorry to disappoint. The fact is Macintyre has produced yet another wonderful book.... A ripping good read."—Washington Post