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The Long Range Desert Group 1940-1945: Providence Their Guide Paperback – 15 Mar 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd (15 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850528062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850528060
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'A splendid Adventure Story' - The Guardian; 'A tale of tremendous courage and enthusiasm - A delight to read' - The Field; 'Marvellously exciting reading' - The Spectator"

About the Author

Major-General David Lloyd Owen, CB DSO OBE MC was educated at Winchester College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Commissioned into The Queen's Royal Regiment in 1938, he saw service in Palestine before joining the Long Range Desert Group in 1941. Two years later, at the age of 26, he took over command of the unit until its disbandment in 1945. He has been Chairman of the LRDG Association since 1945. His post-war service included the posts of Military Assistant to the High Commissioner in Malaya (1952-53), Commander 24 infantry Brigade in Kenya (1962-64) and GOC Cyprus District and Near East Land Forces (1966-69). The author, who is married with three sons, is now retired and lives in Norfolk.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Blue frog on 22 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Very engaging. There was something that drew me to this book and I wasn't disappointed in any way. Maybe it was because I had never heard of the LRDG before. The book is well written and balances superbly a historical account of the Group and accounts of actions they undertook. The characters in the book are fascinating; to me they summed up the understated yet ultimately professional British soldier and as such are very endearing. The Group's exploits are amazing in a truly British way, it's not all about firepower or number of kills its about skill and cunning and whilst it in no way undermines the importance of winning the war, expresses the notion of it being to a certain extent a challenge and a game of wits with the Axis forces.

I was truly astonished at the distances the LRDG travelled in the desert to observe and sometimes attack the Italians or Germans. Even more so by the almost casual accounts of where soldiers had needed to walk huge distances after being separated from their unit or colleagues just to get back to friendly forces. I certainly developed a huge level of respect and admiration for these chaps having read the book. Highly recommended.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
Long range desert group with providence their guide as their motto states. Founded by Ralph Bagnold who before the war explored the desert and the great sand sea one of the hidden heroes of the war. The long range desert group was the first and foremost unit in the desert campaign even Rommel released the effect it had on the outcome of the desert war. Its primary role was of deep reconnaissance behind the lines on "road watch" logging all enemy movement on main roads but attacked the enemy at every chance. The intelligence gathered was invaluable this unit with New Zealanders, Rhodesians and English men in the unit, helped the SAS to get back on its feet after a disastrous start as well as playing a vital role in operations like the Tobruk raid. Traversing the most inhospitable of terrain in the heavily laden trucks lightly armed with heavy machine guns causing chaos wherever possible tying up many forces trying to find them. The author started out as a patrol commander and became the commanding officer as the unit left the desert and carried on in the war in the Aegean, Italy, Yugoslavia, Dalmatian Islands and the Balkans he paints a interesting picture of the life and characters in the unit as well as their achievements. Defiantly well worth reading.
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David Lloyd Owen writes the story that holds the reader to the last page, I served under the General in Cyprus in the 60's and this book reflecs my image of the soldier that I had met and served. Five star for his story of the Unknown unit the LRDG there must be other units in the British Army that have carried out thankless tasks and have never been give any recognition for there derring-do expedition's.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lord Byron on 17 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Back in the 1960s I met a former member of the long range desert group. He was a most interesting man to speak with. I think he was a corporal in one of the patrol groups (and he had photos, etc. to prove it). The tales he told of his time with the LRDG left me wanting to know more about the LRDG. But as is the way of life, I forgot all about the LRDG until a few months ago (and 45 years later) I spotted a reference to it in a book review and this awakened my long-forgotten interest in the LRDG's exploits. The author's memoir of the group is a good (but not a great) read, and it suffers from the flaw that it creates a myth of the few and may leave readers with an impression that the author knew little about the other ranks (e.g. the privates and corporals) who served in the LRDG. He certainly remembers the officers by name, the "Teddy Bullington-Smythes" so to speak (there is no such person by that name referred to in the memoir), but seldom refers by name to the other-rank "Jack Joneses" who would have comprised the great majority of those in the LRDG. "Teddy Bullington-Smythe got shot in the arm on patrol; 2 privates in the patrol group were killed." The author was a man of his time and the memoir suggests that he moved only among his upper class chums. One could not have imagined him sitting down with the other ranks and having a beer and a good old chin-wag about football. This does not mean that the author was not a thoroughly decent man in every other respect. He conformed to the mores of his time. But I would have liked to have read a lot more in the memoir about the Jack Joneses in the LRDG and not to have been left with an impression that the Teddy Bullington-Smythes won the war on their own.
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Good reading and informative. Its more of a personal story than a history.
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