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The SAS in World War II: An Illustrated History (General Military) Hardcover – 20 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey; 1st Edition edition (20 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184908646X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849086462
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.3 x 24.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The key to oral history is proper research around a subject's memories, and this Mortimer has wisely done, and thoroughly so, producing a highly authoritative but also absorbing account. Sensibly, he does not linger on their foundation and exploits in north Africa, for which the wartime SAS is still best known, and about which the most has already been written. Rather he gives much weight to the expansion and development of the SAS and their wide participation in Europe, highlighting not only their numerous successes, but also the inter-battalion tensions and later shortcomings in training. Recounted with breathless pace and very effective use of first-hand testimonies, and supported by a superb collection of photographs and documents, this is a fascinating and hugely enjoyable book. It should prove an important starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about the early years of this legendary regiment." --BBC History Magazine

About the Author

Gavin Mortimer is the author of Stirling's Men (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004), a ground-breaking history of the early operations of the SAS, The Longest Night: Voices from the London Blitz (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005) and The Blitz: An Illustrated History (Osprey, 2010). An award-winning writer whose books have been published on both sides of the Atlantic, Gavin has previously written for The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and Esquire magazine. He continues to contribute to a wide range of newspapers and magazines from BBC History to the American Military History Quarterly. In addition he has lectured on the SAS in World War Two at the National Army Museum.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photographs alone make this a "must buy" for anyone interested in the history of the SAS and/or WWII in general. It is not at all gung ho, pretty dispassionate but gives due credit where credit is due and doesn't hide any of the fallibilities of the unit. I must admit to finding "Stirling's men" a bit dry and although this volume goes over some old ground the judicious editing has improved matters and there are sufficient new facts and of course the photographs to justify the purchase of this volume.
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By G.I.Forbes on 24 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent text and pictorial history of the SAS from its inception in 1941 until the end of the war.
Under the command of David Stirling (its founder) it carried out many raids in North Africa and destroyed several hundred aircraft. However in 1943 Stirling was captured and the SAS was restructured into the Special Raiding Squadron and the Special Boat squadron on returning to the UK the SRS reverted to the SAS as we know it.
This is a first class well written and researched book and it is useful to compare it to SAS Zero Hour(isbn 9781853676697) a very poor book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting read depicting the early years of these truly amazing warriors. When men were men.
Valiant and seemingly fearless, true patriots, dedicated to duty and courage proving that commando tactics and methods are still vital today. Military Commanders today still have a lot they could learn from the stories and exploits of these men. These guys set out the blueprints for such special forces operations.....
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Airman 1 on 28 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw this book in WH Smith and was immediately struck by the large amount of previously unpublished photographs and accounts - something very uneasy to do on such a vastly covered subject. This follows on the heels of Mortimer's 'Stirlings Men', another superb and refreshing book.

I was additionally pleased to see the numerous references to an uncle of mine - an original L Detachment member!

Well worth the money, and highly recommended!
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By Mr. Charlez on 2 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i'm biased been an SAS trainspotter type, but great book and pics. Born of the Desert by Malcolm James is still the definitive book on the subject though
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SHADOW-WATCHER on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of a few that I would call essential reading for studies of the SAS and all special forces in WW2. Many of the photographs are either rare or previously unpublished and the quality of these, the writing and the book as a whole is first class
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