In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines.
Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.
The history of the SAS is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men willing to take monumental risks. It is a story of the meaning of courage.
©2016 Ben Macintyre (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.
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"McIntyre narration and great narrator."
I am fascinated by The men who made a difference and won the War.
And these Roque heroes are real characters.
I have read all of Ben McIntyre's books.
This one is unique!
"Exceptional insight. Rather monotone."
The book is a true to life account of the story of the regiment. A brutal history. The attention to detail shown is perfect. Not too much war jargon etc.
The only negative I have is the monotone way in which it was read. Little to no life was brought to the fore. I appreciate this is, in essence, snippets from the archives and diaries etc But I found it droning from time to time.
Incredible story of ordinary men doing extraordinary things.
I had known about the formation of the SAS for some time, aware of when it was started, it's founder and it's initial aims.
What I wasn't expecting were the personal stories of the men, mostly extremely brave with a complete disregard for personal safety, some very compassionate and caring, others completely cold and ruthless.
Told in a proper time line and drip feeding the main characters so as to get to know each one as the story progresses, the Author/Narrator paints a vivid picture of raids across North Africa, onto The Italian campaign, working with the Resistance in France and culminating with the final push into Hitlers Fatherland.
This is the British/Commonwealth/Volunteers "Band of Brothers". All it needs now is to be made into a movie series.
"Top Hole, What What".
"Needed more pace"
Whilst the achievements of the SAS are never in any question the book seems to lack pace and direction. The story's of the units beginnings and initial missions is told without much feeling or interest. This meant that whilst listening in the car i often found my mind wandering as my interest had dropped.
This is definitely a full account of the early days of the unit but it failed to grab my attention as i thought it would.
I have previously enjoyed Ben Macintyre's books so would definitely try another
The pace and tone of the narrator turned monotonus after a while.
Details of more recent missions (if available) would be interesting.
i'm not sure, i have previously read books by MacIntyre, and i do miss the pictures and illustrations in his books
i like the fact he is the author, he knows the book, and reads it as he imagined it should be read
good book well read
"Absolute must read/listen!"
The story of the SAS. From its beginnings until it looked like the regiments demise....
Historically, the sas name brings visions of black outfits, respirators and the Iranian embassy, but this reaches right back to one man's idea and follows it through to the end of the war.
not blood thirsty but comical enough in an ironic way, this book was brilliant. read SPECTACULARLY well too. that counts for a lot.
I genuinely couldn't wait to commute to hear the next episode of madness and downright ballsyness. needs a follow-up when the stuff gets declassified!!
Will be revisited a few times, I think.
I could not stop listening, the narrator and the accounts of these brave men are incredible.
An absolute must read, truly gripping. Fantastically narrated. Searching for further material on the subject.
Captivating, Eccentric Cavaliers!
Paddy Mayne's fantastically complex character had me enthralled from start to finish.
The narrator brought the characters and narrative to life with his verve. The stories are quite remarkable and the characters are wonderful evocations of a bygone age....and the craziest part is that its all fact.
If you are looking for a definitive account of the birth of this unit, this is it. Well worth it.
My only regret is that in finishing this book, I have bought and read every book by Ben MacIntyre and have no more left to read. If you liked his ww2 books like Operation Mincemeat you can't go wrong here.
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