27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
How it was., 10 Jan. 2004
The L.R.D.G. were the undisputed "kings of the Desert" from mid 1940 till the end of the war in N. Africa. Without their help the S.A.S. would never have got off the ground, yet they have always remained virtually unknown. Fortunately, over the past few years, this has slowly been put to rights by books such as "The Sting of the Scorpion".
A vast majority of books written about the war were written by the Officers who took part in the events or oversaw them. It was quite unusual to find an author with the wartime rank of Private, Generals being far more commonplace. This was due to two factors. Firstly, the higher the rank, the better informed the author and the greater the selling point for the book. Secondly, many "Other Ranks" were unable to write well enough to produce a book and ghost writers were not the accepted thing.
It is on the second point that this book scores. The men who served in the L.R.D.G. were of a different ilk to the average "Tommy" The fact that the L.R.D.G. produced one General, five Brigadiers and numerous Colonels gives an insight to the calibre of volunteer. Similarly, the fact that there were, on one occasion, over seven hundred volunteers for twelve vacancies shows the wide choice that was available. The interviews were conducted by one Officer, one N.C.O. and one Trooper!
Because these men had the ability to write down their stories, doing so while they were still fresh in their minds, meant that the Association Newsletters were always full of the Men's memories. This fact has made it possible for Mike Morgan to put together a very varied range of stories covering every aspect if life in L.R.D.G. They are from the pens of the O.C. his Officers, N.C.O.s and Other Ranks, appearing side by side as equals, just as it was on patrol.
If you want to read just one book that tells of the real life hundreds of miles behind Enemy lines, or on leave in Cairo, make this the one. It's all there. Every emotion known to man. The excitement, the boredom, the fear, the fun, the death and destruction. All told in that matter of fact, honest and modest way that is the hallmark of the real L.R.D.G. man.
I have had the honour of spending a lot of time among many of these men and discussing their memories with them. This book truly brings to the reader just what they are like as people and just what they achieved as soldiers. Everyone should know about them.